Midweek VinopolPick 6-20-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

A Top Flight Grower Bubbly – New to the Clearance Sale
Grapelive Loves Cuilleron’s Crozes
2013 Barolo: A Tipping Point for Collectible Piemonte
Rosé of the Day!
The Perrier-Jouet Train Keeps Rolling
Karthauserhof’s Modern, Historic Wines
#Trending: Hot Wines from a Hot Weekend
Southern Rhone Whites: The Quiet Sibling is a Secret Star
Even More from the June Clearance Sale

New to Our June Clearance Sale

Top Flight Grower Champagne

Heavenly Summer Champagne!
Christophe Mignon Brut Nature Pur Meunier, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) Was $46, Now $39 Clearance Price
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Brut Nature Blanc de Noirs Pur Meunier is a fabulous wine that captures the essence of Christophe Mignon’s style. Rich and resonant on the palate, the Pur Meunier exudes creaminess. This is an especially weighty expression of Meunier, and yet all the elements are very nicely balanced. Red fruit, dried pear, smoke, menthol and hazelnut notes slowly open up in the glass adding further shades of nuance. Expressive mineral notes extend the finish while providing an attractive counterpoint to the dense, pliant fruit. The current release is a blend of equal parts 2014 and 2013. Mignon’s Pur Meunier is one of the most distinctive wines being made in Champagne today. Don’t miss it. Disgorged: March 2017 and bottled with no dosage.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Other Highlights of the June Sale:

A coveted, powerful Knights Valley Cabernet
Anakota Helena Montana Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley 2014 750ML ($119.95) Was $99, Now $89 Clearance Price
Robert Parker 93+ points “The 2014s are 30-year wines, even in such a supple, easygoing and charming vintage. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana has an opaque purple color, a beautiful nose of graphite, creosote, incense, blackberry and licorice, and maybe a touch of charcoal and earth. The tannins are soft, and there is enormous fruit as well as a deep, full-bodied mouthfeel and some coffee in the finish. It should drink well for 25-30 years.”

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An incredible deal on a Loire master
Thierry Germain (Domaine des Roches Neuves) Saumur-Champigny La Marginale, Loire 2015 750ML ($59.95) $28 Clearance Price
Importer note “100% Cabernet Franc. Biodynamic. Marginale is Germain’s old-vines cuvée, drawn from parcels on the limestone Fosse de Chaintre (lieux-dits of les Dares and Clos Maurice) and from a small parcel of old vines on Turonian limestone in Les Poyeux. Made from the estates oldest and lowest yielding Cabernet Franc vines, the wine is given an extra 6 months élevage. Perhaps more than any other red, Marginale encapsulates the metamorphoses of Germain’s wines from powerhouse intensity to the profound elegance that today defines this domaine’s reds. The wine is now raised in large 25-hectolitre foudre ) for 12 months before finishing its elevage in three-year-old Burgundian piéces purchased from a grower in Vosne-Romanée. Since 2013, Germain has also managed his vines and harvest to deliver ripeness at lower beaume, as well as employing a shorter maceration. The resulting wines have been more balanced and comparatively low in alcohol.”

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The next best price is $49.99
Aged Burgundian Etna rosso
Gulfi Reseca Rosso Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2006 750ML ($49.95) Was $36, Now $29 Clearance Price
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2006 Reseca is Nerello Mascalese from vineyards on Mount Etna. It is one of the darker, more overtly fruit driven wines I have tasted from the Etna. The finish turns a bit more delicate and ethereal, though. It will be interesting to see the direction Gulfi takes with this bottling in coming years.”

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A rare Bad Kreuznacher auction wine!
Weingut Joh. Bapt. Schafer Burg Layer Schlossberg Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2015 ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2015 Burg Layer Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese was auctioned in Bad Kreuznach in September 2016. Sourced from vines that are less than 30 years old, it opens with a very clear, ripe and almost tropical fruit aroma intertwined with delicate, flinty notes from the reddish/silvery slatey clay soils. This is another reductive styled, racy, piquant and finesse-full Riesling with tropical fruit aromas, some toasted speck and date flavors. Its combination of finesse and lush fruit texture reminds me of red slate Rieslings from the Mosel such as Ürziger Würzgarten or the red slate parts of the Pünderich Marienburg. The finish is full of tension and grip. A gorgeous Spätlese of which 400 liters have been produced.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “Made from a 25-year-old parcel and harvested at 94° Oechsle, this delivers a nice set of fruity and juicy aromatics including yellow peach, quince star anise, rose water and grapefruit juice. The wine starts off on the light side on the palate but creamy fruits paired with rich Auslese GK styled sweetness quickly take over before some pear, pineapple and peach lead the way to a juicy and creamy long finish. This is a nicely creamy and clean Auslese GK styled Riesling. 2022-2035”

Aged Priorat? Yes please!
Bodegas Marco Abella ‘Clos Abella’, Priorat DOCa 2009 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49 Clearance Price
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 93 points “(50% carinena, 39% garnacha and 11% cabernet sauvignon; aged for two years in French oak): Saturated ruby. Heady aromas of cherry, cassis, mocha, Indian spices and underbrush are sharpened by a smoky mineral quality. Juicy, sappy and concentrated, showing excellent density to its smoke-tinged flavors of blueberry, cherry-vanilla and candied flowers. A fleshy, expansive, sexy wine that shows the warmth of the vintage to good effect, finishing with strong mineral cut, smooth tannins and lingering smokiness.”

See the complete list of June Clearance Sale wines at the bottom of this newsletter, including wines from FX Pichler, Diamond Creek, Magnien and more!


New Grapelive Review

For Cuilleron’s Super Value Crozes

Laya, you’ve got me on my knees
Yves Cuilleron Crozes-Hermitage Laya, Rhone 2015 750ML ($37.95) $28 special
Grapelive 93+ points “One of the Northern Rhone most gifted winemakers, who has gained international fame for his Syrah and Viognier offerings from his Domaine based in the village of Verlieu in Chavanay, he farms a variety of small plots in top Crus including Condrieu and Cote-Rotie, as well as spectacular old vine parcels in Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph that make for wold class wines that shine with a true sense of terroir. The “Laya” Crozes-Hermitage Rouge comes from a single Lieu-dit vineyard south of the Tain L’Hermitage set on granite influenced soils, the grapes 100% Syrah are partially destemmed, with just the right amount of whole cluster and stems, then placed in open vats for a three week cuvaison with malolactic fermentation in small mostly neutral (used) French oak barrels where the wine is left to age for 16 months before bottling. Deeply colored, beautiful purple/black with bright edges the Laya Crozes is vivid and wonderfully earthy in style with layers of dark fruits, graphite/stones, leather, pretty underlying violets and minty herbs. Youthful and fresh it unfolds with a medium body and firm fruit density with boysenberry, damson plum, blueberry and currant all coming through with touches of black olive, leather, cedar, peppercorns and kirsch. Gains mouth feel and width with air, but never losing it’s sharp focus, Yves Cuilleron is, as mentioned in prior reviews, making some of the best wines of his career and his Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage, both his white and red versions, are some of the greatest Rhone values out there bar none! Drink this classic Crozes (Syrah) over the next 5 to 10 years, and don’t miss any and all chances to try these 2015 and 2016 Cuilleron wines.”
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2013 Barolo

A Tipping Point for Collectible Piemonte

In Barolo, 2004, 2006, and 2013 all have something in common. Aside from being acknowledged as utterly classic Barolo vintages, they all had hyped (ripe) years following, dampening some of the excitement for the years on release. Now, 2004 and 2006 are trading at a premium as collectors have realized the brilliance of the years, while 2005 and 2007 are available easily and relatively cheaply on the open market.

2013 looks to be following in that same track—we’re already hearing questions about 2014 and 2015 when there are vastly superior 2013 versions of the same wine sitting right there on the shelf.  In two to three years, those 2013’s are going to start commanding a premium as the wines disappear from the market.  For now, though, you should be aiming to buy as many 2013’s as you can—especially the wines in the $50-$100 price class.  That’s the sweet spot for the region—you’re getting world class producers’ top wines, but you aren’t paying for the brand names that the top two or three labels command.

On the pricing front—we’re seeing prices rises and allocations getting cut every year.  The top wines of the Piemonte are no longer secrets and collectors the world over are chasing these as they would top Burgundy or Bordeaux.  That doesn’t just apply to the Giacosas’s and Conterno’s of the world, either—names like Brovia, Parusso and Cavallotto are much harder to track down than they were a few years ago and prices seem set to rise dramatically.

We’ve highlighted a selection of our favorite, but if you want to see all of the Barolo (and Barbaresco) in stock right now, you can just click here to head to our web store:

A landmark Bussia that’s a collector must-have
Parusso Armando Bussia, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
James Suckling 97 points “This is one of the greatest wines I have ever had from here. So much ripe cherry, raspberry and floral character. Medium body, super-refined tannins and a long and flavorful finish. So much going on here. Better in 2021.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2013 Barolo Bussia is my favorite wine among Marco Parusso’s new releases. This wine shows an extraordinary level of richness and softness that speaks to the unique winemaking style proposed by this innovative producer. The Bussia cru tends to produce softer and finer fruit characteristics. The bouquet delivers elegant notes of wild berry, forest floor and white truffle with mineral notes such as pencil shaving delicately tucked in at the back. The wine sees up to 60% stem inclusion and maceration times are long. This Barolo is articulate and profoundly expressive.”
Eric Guido (Morrell Wine Group) 93 points “Parusso Barolo Bussia 2013 – I’ve come to the conclusion that Parusso’s Bussia should be opened many hours before serving, because at each tasting, many people find it to be too different and too exotic, yet with time it reveals so much more. On the nose, I found crushed raspberry, cranberry and sour cherry with exotic florals, spiced orange, dried savory herbs, undergrowth and a hint of coconut. On the palate, remarkably soft textures ushered in black cherry and raspberry fruits, as zesty acids paved the way to a coating of fine tannin with inner florals and citrus tones sweeping across the senses. The finish was long, lingering of dried cherries, spice, lasting minerals and saturating tannin which held on tight.”

A stalwart name delivers in a classic vintage
Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($59.95) $47 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2013 Barolo is a gorgeous entry-level bottling. Sweet tobacco, blood orange, anise, dried flowers and cedar give the wine its aromatic depth and delineation. Bright and exquisitely layered in the glass, with lovely persistence, the 2013 drinks well now, but also has enough pedigree and complexity to hold for another decade-plus. This is a superb showing from Rinaldi.”
Eric Guido (Morrell Wine Group) 92 points ” The 2013 Barolo from Francesco Rinaldi is a classic in every sense of the word. It’s one of those wines that really makes me question if one can really have too much 2013 Barolo in their cellar. The bouquet opened up with a display of gorgeous pure red berry fruits, dusty old spices, earth and minerals tones, yet it gained a balsamic spiciness and savoriness the more time it spent in the glass. On the palate, I found silky textures with balsamic-infused strawberry, inner florals, earthy minerals, and animal muskiness. The finish was long, as dried red berries gave way to hints of cedar and spice with a coating of fine tannin which reminded me of how young this wine really is. Bravo, and what a value as well.”

Only 7 bottles and 3 magnums available:
Elio Grasso Gavarini Vigna Chiniera, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Elio Grasso Gavarini Vigna Chiniera, Barolo DOCG 2013 1.5L ($219.95) $189 special
Eric Guido (Morrell Wine Group) 96 points “The nose of the Gavarini Chiniera was just as massive, dark and intimidating as I expected, even showing those odd hints of baker’s chocolate in the initial whiff that trick many tasters into thinking this is aged in new oak. However, with time in the glass, that all cleared away to reveal crushed black cherries with hints of rosemary and mint upon mint, soaring rosy florals and crushed stone. On the palate, I found surprisingly silky textures, backed by dark red fruits and hints of balsamic spice, as grippy tannin began to settle upon the senses and firm up the experience. The finish was long and austere, destined for greatness one day, but many years from now, as balsamic-inflected black cherry and hints of spice slowly faded. There’s simply so much going on beneath the hood of the ’13 Gavarini Vigna Chiniera.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “The 2013 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera is racy, exotic and super-elegant, with a finesse to tannins that is almost impossible to believe in a young Barolo. This is an especially delicate, refined style that shows just how elegant Nebbiolo can be. Sweet red cherry, kirsch, chalk, mint, white pepper and rose petals meld into a super expressive, inviting finish laced with veins of bright, salivating acidity. The 2013 gets better and better with time in the glass, but its finest drinking belongs to the future.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2013 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera stands apart in this tasting of Elio Grasso’s new releases. The fruit portrayed shows a very crisp and focused quality. It absolutely pops from the glass with brilliant sharpness. Gianluca Grasso tells me lab reports confirm the higher acidic tenor of the wine, although this is not necessarily perceived acidity that you taste. Aromas of wild berry, balsam herb, licorice and smoke emerge delicately from the bouquet. The wine’s mouthfeel evokes a profound sense of elegance thanks to those noble tannins and its silky texture.”

Built for age and profundity
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($89.95) $66 special
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis, Barolo DOCG 2013 1.5L ($179.95) $149 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.”

Charming, bistro Barolo
Lapo Berti del Comune di La Morra, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($49.95) $44 special
VinopolNote: “The first ever ‘John Paul Selection’ from our favorite winemaker at Cameron.  This comes from an old friend of his from prime La Morra fruit.  The wine is soft and supple for Barolo, true to the La Morra style, but has depth and complexity.  We’re excited to see how it ages but suspect it will go the distance if you can keep your hands off of it.”

Old school and classic at friendly pricing
Giacomo Fenocchio Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
James Suckling 93 points “Very refined and polished with gorgeous berry, spice and light leather character. Medium body, firm and silky tannins and a lightly chewy, tannin background. Hard not to drink now. Better in three years.”

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

Rosé of the Day

A Perennial Favorite Returns!

While Chinon is best known for its lovely, savory bistro reds, a few producers make dynamite rosé from the AOC as well.  Plouzeau is one of those that makes excellent rosé, and the 2017 version just landed. As a red, some don’t love Chinon because of its herbal, savory streak, but that’s tempered in rosé form, turning into a lovely background note of thyme or rosemary to complement the bright juicy fruit.  This is dry and crisp—and more importantly budget friendly.  It’s one of the best values in the rosé world, especially if you buy it by the case!

Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rosé, Loire 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rosé, Loire 2017 750ML ($189.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Direct press Cabernet Franc, hand-harvested, natural yeasts only. Organic.

The P-J Train Keeps Rolling

More Grand Pricing on the Grande Marque

Perrier Jouet is one of the most glamourous houses in Champagne.  They’re best known for their top cuvee, Belle Epoque, with its flower-painted bottle, but their entry level bottling is fantastic as well.  Both are made in a Pinot-driven, Bollinger inflected style that marries richness to grace.  We scored fantastic deals on both the classic NV as well as some of the 2004 Belle Epoque and although both wines have been selling like hotcakes, we have a bit more left to offer.  Don’t delay, though—these won’t be around much longer.

Perrier-Jouet Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $28 special
Wine Spectator 90 points “Lively and mouthwatering, with flavors of black currant, graphite, candied lemon zest and smoky mineral, supported by a creamy mousse. A balanced crowd-pleaser. Drink now through 2018.”

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Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Millesime, Champagne 2004 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “”This shimmers with its flavors of apple and lime, its hint of toast and its soft finish. It’s finely balanced, a great selection that is ready to drink now.” WE

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The average listed price is $144



Karthauserhof’s Modern, Historic Wines

Crackling Riesling, Rippling With Minerality

Karthauserhof is a special and unique winery even in a region with an abundance of magical producers—the combination of unique, historical sites, own-rooted vines and visionary ownership has created an iconic producer whose wines bear attention year in and out.

The winery dates back to at least the 13th century and takes its name from the original use of the building and plantings as a Carthusian monastery.  In the centuries since its establishment, Karthauserhof has become one of the two vanguard producers of the Ruwer valley, a small, colder tributary of the Mosel.  With history like that, it would be easy for a winery to rest on its laurels, but the Tyrell family (owners of the winery) have been forward looking in both the farming (no pesticides are used in the vineyards) and in the winemaking (Karthauserhof was a one of the most prominent Mosel wineries to begin focusing on dry wines).

The resulting wines combine the power and complexity of old vineyards, often own-rooted, in great soils with a modern eye toward polish and raciness.  The Ruwer tends to be cooler than the middle Mosel, so the wines are naturally bright, crunchy and mineral-driven no matter how dry or sweet they are.  Our offering this week highlights these estate wines in a variety of styles and formats (including some incredibly rare magnums) over a trio of very successful vintages for the Mosel.

Dry (and Functionally Dry) Wines:

The top dry wine from the estate—maximum minerals!
Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs Trocken, Mosel 2013 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Case-6 Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs Trocken, Mosel 2013 750ML ($359.95) $269 special (that’s only $44.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Very clear, discreet and refined on the nose – where the 2013 Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling GG displays fine stone and fruit aromas of lemons and green apples. Lean and vital but also intense, rich and juicy on the palate, this is a lovely pure, straightforward, piquant and very salty expression of the Karthäuserhofberg terroir and the 2013 vintage. This long-distance runner has more fruit intensity than the Edition and reveals a very fine raciness and a complex finish with lingering lemon aromas.” WA

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $64.99 for the 750ML

Alte Reben means “old vines”—for this estate, very old indeed (and dry)
Weingut Karthauserhof Alte Reben Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Spatlese Trocken, Mosel 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 21 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points
“The 2014 Riesling Trocken Alte Reben (officially Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Spätlese trocken, AP #8) offers a deep and ripe, as well as very fine and elegant bouquet. Intense and mineral on the palate, this is a stunningly complex and persistent Riesling with power, structure, finesse and a lingering salinity and complexity. Good aging potential.”
John Gilman, View From The Cellar #56: ” The 2014 Alte Reben Riesling Trocken from Weingut Karthäuserhof is an outstanding example of the vintage. This excellent wine delivers a fine bouquet bread fruit, pink grapefruit, wild yeasts, lovely smokiness, a fine base of slate minerality and a topnote of citrus peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with outstanding focus and grip, a fairly primary personality and superb length and balance on the young, but very promising finish.

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A perfect introduction to Karthauserhof
Weingut Karthauserhof ‘Ruwer’ Riesling Trocken, Mosel 2014 750ML ($34.95) $21.90 special
Mosel Fine Wines #28: “This delivers a clean feel of grapefruit, herbs, spices and fresh fruits. The wine is still on the sharp and reduced side on the palate and is best left alone until next year to give it a chance to flesh out and gain in aromatic zest and fruity presence. 2016-2018”
John Gilman, View From The Cellar #56: “The basic estate Riesling Trocken from Karthäuserhof is really an excellent basic bottling from the 2014 vintage, as it offers up impressive focus and cut in its medium-bodied, dry and quite complex format. The lovely nose is still on the young side, but deep and pure, as it wafts from the glass in a mix of grapefruit, wild yeasts, lemongrass, petrol, slate and dried flowers. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied, crisp and still fairly primary in personality, with an impressive core of fruit, excellent cut and grip for the vintage and a long, youthful and beautifully balanced finish. 2015-2035.”

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Racy, bright and fresh, this is a “mini” GG!
Weingut Karthauserhof Tyrells Edition Riesling Trocken, Mosel 2014 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Jean Fisch & David Rayer, Mosel Fine Wines #28: “Already at this early stage, this gorgeously light wine (with only 11.5% of alcohol) delivers beautiful scents of cassis, white flowers and minerals on the nose and a superbly playful feel on the palate. The finish is long and deliciously tart. Despite the hint of fruits, this is still only at the beginning of its life and lovers of racy Riesling will really enjoy this most in a few years’ time. 2019-2029”

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Feinherb is a fantastic style in the Ruwer—dry but with fruit!
Weingut Karthauserhof Schieferkristall Riesling Feinherb, Mosel 2014 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
“Reflecting a selection of lots that finished with more than 10 grams of residual sugar and under 10% alcohol, this delivers juicy white and redcurrant tinged with sage and marjoram, leading to a buoyant and refreshing finish of impressive sheer penetration. Its higher acidity vis-à-vis this collection’s dry wines is experienced as positive vivacity. It’s entirely possible that greater complexity will emerge with some time in bottle.”–David Schildknecht–Vinous Media

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Off-Dry to Sweet Wines:

Old school, “true” Kabinett. Off-dry but tangy
Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2014 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2014 Riesling Karthäuserhofberg Kabinett is a very clear, bright and delicate Riesling of great finesse and lightness. Lovely juiciness. The acidity is rather smooth, respectively and perfectly integrated into the round and elegant texture. This Riesling is very clear, bright and light. with great finesse and lightness. Ruwer style. Bottled with 8% alcohol and 44 grams of residual sugar.”
John Gilman, View From The Cellar #56: “The 2014 Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Kabinett is a terrific young Kabinett in this vintage that has produced some many excellent examples of this Prädikat level. The wine wafts from the glass in a very impressively complex and utterly classic constellation of green apple, a touch of white cherry, complex minerality, a touch of petrol, white flowers, a bit of wild yeasts, lemon zest and a whiff of ocean breeze in the upper register. On the palate the wine is medium- bodied, mineral and beautifully filigreed, with a nice core of fruit, bright, ripe acids, excellent focus and grip and a very long, dancing and youthful finish of excellent potential. A paradigm of its Prädikat level. 2015-2035+”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
2012 was an Incredible Spatlese Vintage!
Weingut Karthauserhof Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2012 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This Wine is quite open and expressive at this early stage and explodes with juicy flavors of yellow peach, quince and some flowers on the palate. This offers everything one could expect from a juicy Spatlese. The fact that it does deliver the goods without too much richness (it has technically less than 60 g/l of residual sugar) makes it utterly delicious also at this early stage. 2017-2032” MFW

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For lovers of brighter Spatlese—minerality and crystalline precision
Weingut Karthauserhof Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2014 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 90+ points “The 2014 Riesling Karthäuserhofberg Spätlese (AP #9) offers a very clear and complex, mineral-scented bouquet of ripe white fruits. Juicy and piquant on the palate, with grip, raciness and the lean and crystalline Karthäuserhofberg character, this is a pretty complex and persistent Spätlese with grip and a prominent crispiness. It should be cellared for at least another 5-10 years. Very good aging potential.”

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Karthauserhof’s Auslese is nearly immortal.  The 2014 is delicious now, though
Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2014 750ML ($59.95) $39 special
Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2014 375ML ($39.95) $24 special
Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2014 1.5L ($119.95) $79 special
John Gilman 94 points “I did not have a chance to taste the 2014 Auslese AP #12 on my trip last March and was very happy to have a chance to visit it prior to launching into the excellent vertical of Grosses Gewächs generously prepared by the estate. This is an absolutely superb bottle of young Auslese, wafting from the glass in a gently glazed blend of pear, white cherry, honeycomb, salty slate, orange zest and a pungent floral topnote redolent of cherry blossoms. On the palate the wine is fullish, racy and very long, with excellent focus and cut, excellent complexity and a long, vibrant and very poised finish. Classy juice. 2018-2050. 94.
Jean Fisch & David Rayer, Mosel Fine Wines #28: “Vineyard selections of botrytis-affected grapes only delivered 500 liters of Auslese harvested with a comparatively low 94° Oechsle. This Auslese starts off with a beautifully complex nose of fresh fruits, with pineapple, star anise and spices providing depth to the experience. The wine is superbly playful on the palate, where mouth-watering acidity adds to the aromatic precision. A riper side comes through in the finish tough, with almond, saffron and honey giving the wine a definitive Auslese GK style. 2024-2044”

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The Hottest Wines of a Hot Weekend

Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($44.95) $36 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “This cuts more of a broad swath than its peers, yet remains graveful, evoking strawberry, cherry, tobacco and stony mineral flavors. Long and dense in structure, with a tobacco- and under-brush-tinged finish. Best from 2021 through 2033.”

Elouan Pinot Noir, Oregon 2016 750ML ($21.95) $18 Clearance Price
Case-6 Elouan Pinot Noir, Oregon 2016 750ML ($129.95) $99 Clearance Price (that’s only $16.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Elouan Pinot Noir, Oregon 2016 750ML ($249.95)
$179 Clearance Price (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 88 points
“Well-knit and approachable, with delicate raspberry and spice flavors. Drink now through 2022.”$79 special

Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 96 points “Beautiful clarity on the nose with lavender, raspberry and violet aromas. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a long, fresh and simply fantastic finish. Best ever. Better in 2021.”

Piaggia Il Sasso, Carmignano DOCG 2015 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special
Case-12 Piaggia Il Sasso, Carmignano DOCG 2015 750ML ($419.95) $339 special (that’s only $28.25/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“Piaggia’s 2015 Carmignano Il Sasso is rich, ample and voluptuous in what is a very representative expression of the year. Black cherry, plum, lavender, spice, tobacco and dried herbs develop in the glass, but the 2015 is all about fruit intensity and texture. There is not much subtlety here, but wow, is the 2015 gorgeous.”

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Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Mise en Bouche, Rhone 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Jeb Dunnuck 90-92 points “The 2016 Crozes-Hermitage Mise En Bouche comes from the southern parts of the appellation and is aging in a mix of tank, used barrels and foudre. It offers terrific red and black fruits, spice, tapenade and peppery herb aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness, moderate tannin and a great finish. It’s a hidden little gem in the vintage.”

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The next best price is $25

Southern Rhone Whites

The Quiet Sibling is a Secret Star

While the southern Rhone is best known for big, brawny reds, the whites can be absolute beauties.  At their best, they’re some of the most opulent, rich whites in the world but manage to hold onto a freshness that makes them compelling.  These are wines to take your breath away.

Only 17 bottles of this modern classic remain!
Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “This is dreamy, with creamed melon, pear and green fig flavors gliding along, framed by light brioche and meringue flavors. The long finish just lets the fruit hang beautifully. Offers refined opulence. Drink now through 2022.”

Only 7 bottles remain of this decadent version of Beaucastel’s top white wine
Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Roussanne Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Advocate 94-97 points “Even better than the Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, the richer, more concentrated 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes comes from a single parcel of vines located beside the Chateau that were planted in 1909. Full-bodied, rich, gorgeously concentrated and textured, with fabulous notes of orange blossom, buttered citrus, marmalade and honey, it will be up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. It’s worth noting that since 2009, the estate has changed the viticulture with regards to their whites, moving to slightly larger yields, with the goal of making a more elegant white that ages more predictably.”

For many, Beaucastel’s VV is the pinnacle of white Rhones. 2016 was special. 5 bottles left
Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Roussanne Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes is utterly killer and is as good as it gets. Huge notes of orange blossom, peach, tangerine, honeysuckle, and caramelized citrus flow from this insanely good, unctuous, heavenly textured white that possesses full-bodied richness and power, yet stays light, graceful and perfectly balanced on the palate. Drink bottles anytime over the coming 4-6 years, or cellar for a decade or more. Robert Parker once famously called this the Montrachet of the Rhône, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. Don’t miss this wine!”
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 500-case production of this wine comes from a three-hectare parcel of Roussanne planted in 1909. The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes takes the quality of Beaucastel’s traditional white and raises it another level. Caramelized pineapple sounds sweet and cloying, but it isn’t when it’s backed by amazing texture, citrus zest and a briny sensation on the never-ending finish. As this was the last wine of my visit to the estate, I found it especially hard to spit out.”

Telegraphe blanc is always one of the most long lived, mineral versions of the AOC
Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau Blanc, Rhone 2016 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95+ points “Slightly fresher than the La Roquete release (I always taste this cuvee after the la Roquete which is also made by the Brunier family), the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc gives up lots of lemon and grapefruit characteristics as well as a terrific, salty minerality that makes you salivate. Medium to full-bodied, tight, fresh and clean, it needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will singe for 2 decades or more. As with the 2015, it’s a candidate for the finest white made at this estate.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Ripe and rich, but focused, with verbena, bitter almond and wet stone notes threading through the core of creamed yellow apple, pear and melon flavors. Very long, with a gorgeous salted butter echo. Drink now through 2020.”JM

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Arriving in July:

Beaucastel blanc is always a winner, in 2016 especially so!
Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “Just sensational, and one of the best examples of this cuvée out there, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc boasts phenomenal notes of orange blossom, salty minerality, caramelized peach, and spice. Rich, full-bodied, unctuous and yet always pure and elegant, it’s one of the finest wines coming from this hallowed appellation.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The family is a great believer in Roussanne as the white grape of the Southern Rhône, and the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc includes 80% of that variety. Waves of honeyed pineapple and tangerine sorbet flood the senses. This is really lush, yet it’s underscored by a briny sense of freshness that prolongs and lingers on the finish. It may be drunk young or aged several years.”

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Now made by the Bruniers (Telegraphe), Roquete has come into its own
Domaine La Roquete Chateauneuf-du-Pape Clos La Roquete Blanc, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Intense, with creamed papaya, Cavaillon melon and Jonagold apple flavors pouring forth, underscored by heather honey, almond and salted butter notes. The long finish has a bitter citrus hint to help the length match the weight. Drink now through 2019. 100 cases imported.”
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June Sale

Hot Tickets, Selling Fast

See the complete list of our June Clearance Sale wines below or click here to shop the sale!


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