Midweek VinopolPick 7-18-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

Featured New Arrival: Willamette Syrah Edition

New Arrivals Including
New Goodfellow, Beaux Freres, Vilmart, Balthazar and More!

Staff Pick: Dolcetto Dreams
Delicious Wines in the July Sale
We’re Mad for Molitor
Calabretta’s Historic, Exciting Sicily
Five Trending Under $25
Hidden Gem of the Roussillon: L’ou
Fortune Favors the Talented in Brunello
July Sale Roundup

Featured New Arrival

& July Clearance Sale Special

Matello Fool’s Journey Deux Vert Vineyard Syrah, Willamette Valley 2013 750ML ($24.95) Was $21.90, Now $18 Clearance Price
Case-12 Matello Fool’s Journey Deux Vert Vineyard Syrah, Willamette Valley 2013 750ML ($269.95) $199 Clearance Price (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points
“Bright violet. Smoke-tinged dark berries and pungent flowers on the nose. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry and cassis flavors that take a sweeter turn on the back half. Dusty tannins make a late appearance and add gentle grip to the smooth, energetic finish.”
Winery note “From the Willamette Valley’s first planting of Syrah, this cool climate, low alcohol wine will redefine your idea of the possibilities of new-world Syrah. If you like your Syrah French, here is a kindred but one of a kind wine from Oregon.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Read on to see more highlights from our July Sale!



New Arrivals


Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois Rouviere Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
James Suckling 92 points “Fresh and linear with crushed stones, dried violets and dried-peach character. Full body, pretty fruit and a crisp and clean finish. Extremely drinkable and enjoyable. Always a winner. Drink now.”
Josh Raynolds Vinous 90 points “Pale orange-pink. Incisive red berry and orange zest scents are complemented by subtle floral and herb nuances. Fleshy and dry, showing good heft to the strawberry and blood orange flavors, which are given spine by a core of juicy acidity. Smoothly blends power and elegance and finishes long and gently spicy, featuring lingering florality and a hint of candied flowers.”

Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Gris Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Winery note “Pinot Gris vines are in the highest and most exposed part of both vineyards, resulting in intensely flavored fruit with strong elements of acidity and minerality. The vines are farmed using low input viticulture and a combination of cover crops to help prevent loss of soil moisture from the shallow sedimentary soils. No irrigation is employed. The Pinot Gris pressed, settled, and racked to foudre, puncheon, barrique, and a single 300 gallon tank. Fermentation is long and cool, employing a combination of native and inoculated yeasts. Elevage is 11 months on the gros lees, racked a single time. 2016 was a relatively ideal growing season. Warm spring weather led to a slightly early bloom and excellent set. Summer weather was warm throughout the growing season, and harvest occurred in mid-September with little or no inclement weather. Fruit is generous, but balanced with good mature acidity, and the shallow soil sites show marked minerality in white wines. Elevage: 35% Acacia, 19% neutral French oak & 46% tank. Vineyards: Whistling Ridge & Bishop Creek.”

Goodfellow Family Cellars Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
VinopolNote “This wine sits between

Beaux Freres The Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2013 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “With a delicate and open texture, this shows lanolin and rose petal undertones to the red berry flavors. Gains depth with each sip.—Non-blind Beaux Frères vertical (October 2015). Drink now through 2025.”

France – Champagne
Vilmart & Cie Coeur de Cuvee Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($149.95) $126 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “A racy, exuberant wine, the 2009 Coeur de Cuvée offers up a super-appealing mélange of apricot, butter, baked apple tart and vanillin. The combination of the ripe, warm vintage along with fermentation and aging in small French oak barrels yielded an especially opulent Coeur de Cuvée with plenty of exotic and tropical overtones. The 2009 will be ready to drink with minimal cellaring.”

Vouette et Sorbee Cuvee Blanc d’Argile Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Importer Note “From Clay, Kimmeridgian limestone soils. Hand harvested, natural yeast fermentation in French oak, [and] minimal SO2. Mainly from a small parcel of Chardonnay in Briaunes supplemented with scattered plantings of Chardonnay in Bertrand’s other lieux-dits. Small in volume now, it will increase when the young vines in Vouette begin to come online. Mineral, nougat, salty and long –  basically a Grand Cru Chablis with bubbles.”

A. Margaine Le Brut (Cuvee Traditionelle), Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $36.60 special
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The NV Brut Cuvée Le Brut is bright and finely sculpted to its core, with terrific energy and verve throughout. Citrus, white flowers, slate and chalk all take shape in the glass. On the palate, the Brut offers a compelling interplay of translucence married to creamy resonance of the Pinot Noir in the blend. Those qualities, along with the wine’s overall balance, make Le Brut irresistibly beautiful and alluring. The current release is 48% 2014 and the rest 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2009. Disgorged: June 2017. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.”
Terry Theise note “In the early days of this portfolio—jeez, 20 years ago—this was among my most beloved NVs, and then there seemed to be a kind of trough, and now it’s gorgeous once more. It’s gorgeous, and there is nothing remotely like it. 91% CH (Villers Marmery is an island of CH in a sea of PN a.k.a. the Montagne de Reims) and 9% PN, it’s 48% 2014 with the remainder blending ’13, ’12, ’11 and ’09. Another lovely edition of Margaine, that will improve with more time on the cork. Still pale, with an almost ghostly, eerie clarity, a high-register shimmer, diaphanous and spectral, and the finish is like tiny white sparks are shooting from your tongue. The customary flavors of jasmine and talc are certainly present, but it’s the haunting ethereal pealing that you’ll remember.”

France – Rhone
Franck Balthazar Cornas Cuvee Casimir Balthazar, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points “Lurid ruby. High-pitched red and dark berry scents are complemented by exotic spice and floral pastille accents. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry cola and violet flavors sharpened by a spicy jolt of cracked pepper. Shows impressive purity and no rough edges on a very long, silky, floral-driven finish.”

Franck Balthazar Cornas Chaillot, Rhone 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94-96 points “Bright purple. Powerful, smoke-accented aromas of ripe dark berries, licorice, olive and incense on the deeply perfumed nose. Juicy and sharply delineated on the palate, offering concentrated, mineral-accented boysenberry, cherry liqueur and spicecake flavors that show alluring sweetness and no rough edges. In an ample but energetic style, finishing sweet and extremely long; building tannins contribute framework and youthful grip.”



Staff Pick

Dreamy Dolcetto

OK, I’ll admit it. I’ve got a crush on Dolcetto. This underappreciated Piedmontese grape, with its classic touch of bitterness, provides the perfect foil to so many foods. It’s like roasted herbs on chicken or grill marks on a nice steak – it adds complexity and brings out the flavors of dishes (without drowning out the food or breaking the budget). When I saw we were getting in a Dogliani Superiore (the cream of the Dolcetto crop) at an exceptional price, I immediately jumped on it, popping the cork the day it arrived. The Pecchenino family has crafted Dolcetto for four generations, garnering fans world-wide for their wines’ quality and ageability. Adding my two cents to Galloni’s enthusiastic review, I’d say at this point, the classic black cherry note pops immediately to the front amidst notes of cinnamon and vanilla from the moderate oak aging with a strong undertone of fresh herbs and black raspberries. It’s grippy for a Dolcetto, though I think the inherent bitterness adds to that sensation. Clocking in at 14% alcohol, it’s no light weight, but it’s well balanced between the tannin and acidity. It’s a wine that begs to be drunk with food, and it paired very nicely with venison burgers!

July Sale Wine!
Pecchenino Siri d’Jermu, Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore DOCG 2015 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Smoke, crème de cassis, plum, licorice, menthol, wild flowers and incense infuse the 2015 Dogliani Superiore Sirì d’Jermu. A gorgeous, beautifully layered wine, the 2015 is sumptuous and racy, but not at all overdone. There is no shortage of richness in this superb and super-expressive Dogliani from the Pecchenino brothers.”


Delicious Wines of the July Sale
You can see the full list of the July Sale wines at the bottom of the newsletter, but until then, enjoy these highlights!

A true Cult Classic—$9/btl cheaper than at the winery!
Merry Edwards Olivet Lane Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 2014 750ML ($99.95) Was $66, Now $59 Clearance Price, 18 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 92 points
“Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2014 Pinot Noir Olivet Lane offers an earthy nose of underbrush, moss, dusty soil and truffles over notes of crushed Bing cherries and cranberries, plus a waft of bay leaves. Medium-bodied, elegant and fresh in the mouth, the red berry and earth flavors are well-supported by chewy tannins and give a nice long finish.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $77.43
The average price is $83

Domaine de Saint-Siffrein Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2012 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $29 Clearance Price, 15 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 90 points
“Kicking off the 2012s, Saint Siffrein’s straight Châteauneuf du Pape offers loads of kirsch, mulled spice, blackberry and garrigue in its classic, medium to full-bodied, ripe and textured style. Made from 65% Grenache, 15% each of Mourvedre and Syrah and the rest Cinsault, aged 12 moths in stainless steel and foudre, it’s an outstanding, Provencal effort to drink over the coming 8-10 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Les Caillerets, Volnay Premier Cru 2012 1.5L ($179.95) Was $149, Now $128 Clearance Price, 3 magnums in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92-94 points
“The 2012 Volnay Caillerets is the most impressive of these 2012s from Francois Bitouzet. Here the flavors are deep, layered and beautifully resonant from start to finish. Plum, smoke, black cherry, licorice and spices wrap around the palate as this fleshy, deep Volnay shows off its pure class and pedigree. The finish is long, generous and inviting, but the 2012 is a wine for the cellar. Patience will be rewarded. In 2012 there is just one barrel of the Caillerets instead of the customary three.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $150
Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Taillepieds, Volnay Premier Cru 2012 1.5L ($149.950 Was $119, Now $99 Clearance Price, 6 magnums in stock now
Antonio Galloni 91-93+ points
“A layered, totally exquisite wine, the 2012 Volnay Taillepieds impresses for its balance above all else. The aromas and flavors are beautifully detailed and nuanced in a Taillepieds that is all about crystalline purity. This tasting catches the 2012 in a slightly raw, unpolished state, but nothing a little time in bottle won’t take care of.”

This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!
Mad About Molitor

2015 was a glorious vintage in the Mosel (among dozens of other regions!). Check out what Kerry Winslow of Grapelive had to say about Markus Molitor’s dry Kabinett from the Urziger Wurzgarten vineyard. We’ve included a few of our favorite picks to peruse below!

Markus Molitor Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett Trocken, Mosel 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 92+ points
“One of the Mosel legends, Markus Molitor is one of Germany’s elite and classic wineries along with the likes Willi Schaefer, Fritz Haag, Dr. Loosen, Selbach-Oster, Robert Eymael’s Monchhof and J. J. Prum. It’s a standard bearer traditional Riesling house and a wine you should never pass up a chance on drinking. The Molitor family has been producing wine in the Mosel for more than 8 generations. Markus Molitor, who took over in 1984, is the proprietor and winemaker. He has a wonderful set of parcels, with 22 hectares of vineyard sites (some of the best in the region) including holdings in the famed areas of Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Ürziger Würzgarten, Graacher Himmelreich and Bernkasteler Badstube. His substantial holding in Zeltinger Sonnenuhr is Markus’ prize plot and known as his prime time spot, much the same as Johannes Selbach. Though all the wines are terrific, I have a soft spot for the unique and sexy Ürziger Würzgarten bottlings, especially Molitor’s Spatlese and this amazing Kabinett from the “Spice Garden.” Its intriguing red iron rich volcanic soils with an under pinning of broken slates that are strikingly different from the more pure weathered slate sites that make up on bulk of the wineries vineyards. The slope here is dramatically red and insanely steep: the Ürziger Würzgarten is remarkably picturesque and set in an amphitheater formed by a tight bend in the Mosel River at Ürzig. The wines from here are yellow fruited, tropical and utterly exotic, with spicy aromas and complex earthiness. Molitor’s studied 2015 [is] one of the best examples: a great vintage expressing an astonishing sense of place. The Molitor Kabinett Ürziger Würzgarten 2015 is almost startling dry in feel with an austere nose with hints of orchid fruits and quince coming through in a cool and crisp personality before opening on the palate with an array of spice, stones and vibrant tropical fruit. The steely mineral core makes this wine seem tightly coiled. Classic Riesling elements come through in time with air. This is really serious stuff [and] not as generous as one might expect. This is a wine that has a decade or more to go before everything is easier to understand. Layers of green apple, white peach, citron, chamomile tea, dried pineapple, white pepper and flinty wet rock all add to the complexity in this fine and reserved Riesling. It’s a wine that will benefit from a willing patience as it has entered a shy stage at this point. I would give an opinion that it needs 2 to 3 years before it fully expresses itself and that it has a rewarding future.”

Molitor Highlights In Stock Now

“a memorable one.”
Markus Molitor Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Auslese *** Goldkapsel, Mosel 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points
“Stunningly clear and pure on the citric-perfumed nose, the sweet 2013 Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Auslese *** is characterized by its laser-like precision and elegance, which is perfectly paired with its vibrant acidity and piquant minerality that lingers and makes this Auslese a memorable one.”

“This is perfectly made.”
Markus Molitor Kinheimer Hubertuslay Riesling Auslese *** Goldkapsel, Mosel 2013 375ML ($59.95) $39 special, 24+ half-bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 97 points
“The 2013 Kinheimer Hubertuslay Auslese *** needs a little but of time to open up and show its finest, intense raisin aromas indicating grapefruit/lemon and pineapples on a piquant background. Rich, oily textured and extremely elegant on the palate, the wine offers a lavish tropical juiciness quoting pineapples, but is stunningly pure and piquant. The finish is beautifully balanced and highly elegant. This is perfectly made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $49.94

Molitor Wines Arriving Tomorrow, July 18th

Only 4 half-bottles available!
Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese *** Goldkapsel, Mosel 2013 375ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 100 points “The sweet 2013 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese *** is another laser sword in the armada of starred Ausleses. Pure and precise but less smoky and cool on the nose than the Wehlener Sonnenuhr it intertwines darker smoky stone aromas with ripe orange flavors and tropical fruit aromas to build up a very clear, deep and aromatic bouquet. Full, sweet and round on the elegant palate this is still a very delicate, pure, perfectly balanced Auslese of great complexity. The finish is juicy and lingering, mineral scented and perfectly balanced with lush fruit. The wines is less filigreed than the Wehlener Sonnenuhr.”

Only 4 magnums available!
Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese *** Goldkapsel, Mosel 2015 1.5L ($219.95)
$199 pre-arrival special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 99 points “The 2015 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese *** (Golden Capsule) is clear, fresh and concentrated on the nose nose where deep and smoky flavors of crushed stones are displayed, giving just a hint of the true potential of this wine. Round and seamless on the palate, with perfectly ripe but vital and fresh fruit, this has a gorgeous mineral raciness and tension. There is also a quiet stream of perfectly balanced and concentrated melting stones and very fine salts that flows over the palate. This is an exciting, very well structured and tightly woven Riesling legend that will still fascinate wine lovers in 50, 60, maybe 70 years. This is a laser beam of great Riesling, tight and concentrated but still not that open like the corresponding Wehlener.”
David Schildknecht – Vinous 96 points “A haunting nose conveys ripe white peach, rowan, and almond extract as well as a decadent suggestion of lily perfume. This sets up an expectation of creaminess and enveloping richness that is not entirely confounded on the palate, but an intense alliance of brightly juicy fresh lime and piquant peach kernel provides a remarkable sense of cut and energy. Hints of caramel and sorghum add allure to a whirl of finishing flavors that manages not to turn sweet-sour or otherwise unruly, while mineral salts contribute mouthwatering savor of a sort rare in a botrytized Auslese and otherwise displayed in the present collection only by the astonishing “two-star” Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese.”

2016 bottlings are arriving in the fall – you can reserve your bottles today on our web store! Browse the list below and click here to shop online.




Historic, Exciting Sicilian Wines

Etna has become the newest hottest region in Sicily, and for good reason.  Jancis Robinson even called it “the Burgundy of the Mediterranean,” which is an apt description of most of the new wines coming off of the high altitude slopes of Sicily’s volcano.  There is another traditional style of wine made on Etna as well, though, one that tends to have a foot in Barolo rather than in Burgundy, and its best practitioner is Calabretta. With Burgundy and Barolo prices climbing through the roof, now is a great time to explore those regions that seem to be lost in time.

Calabretta was founded in 1900 and for the majority of the time since then only sold wine in barrel or in demijohns to private customers (who would bottle the wine themselves) or to local restaurants.  Since the beginning, the farming has been organic, without chemical pesticides or herbicides—dated for a majority of the life of the winery and suddenly in vogue now.  In 1997, the third and fourth generation of the family decided that the future lay in bottling estate wines and releasing them under a family label.

The one thing that didn’t change when Calabretta started bottling was a commitment to old-school vinification and aging.  Macerations of up to 60 days are common as is long aging in botti (often up to 6 years for the high end wine).  The wines are powerful and structured but, unlike wines from lower altitudes, maintain a freshness and vibrancy to them.

In Stock Now:

Calabretta ‘Cappuccio’ Rosso Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily 2013 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“Since the winery’s founding in 1900, the Calabretta family has farmed and produced wines from Etna’s ancient indigenous varieties—including Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio—in the mountain’s unique noble vineyards. Historically, the family had sold its wine in sfuso or in barrel to restaurants and to private customers, many of whom travelled long distances to pick up their wine. But in 1997, third and fourth-generation father and son Massimo and Massimiliano Calabretta decided to bottle their best wine under their own label to ensure the winemaking traditions of their family and Etna would not be lost.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $34.99

Calabretta Nerello Mascalese Vigne Vecchie Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2007 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 32 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90 points
“Deep red-ruby. Underbrush, tar and licorice dominate the red fruit aromas and flavors. A hint of shoepolish emerges on the long tactile and slightly warm finish. This big wine has plenty of personality but I would have liked a little more grace. (15% alcohol)”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Calabretta ‘Piede Franco’ Ungrafted Rosso, Sicily 2015 750ML ($54.95) $46 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Ian D’agata-Vinous 91+ points
“Bright dark red. Camphor and herbs complicate red cherry and berries on the nose. Dense and youthfully chewy with brooding flavors of red fruit and spicy herbs. Finishes long and savory with a tactile mouthfeel. This is deeper than the regular (not made from ungrafted vines) Rosso, but is also currently less well delineated. (12.5% alcohol)”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Arriving Friday:

Calabretta Carricante Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Importer note “95% Carricante, 5% Cataratto & Insolia. From seven hectares of vineyard in the area around Etna. Hand harvested. 1/3 of the fruit for this wine comes from old vines averaging 60-80 years old — some vines even over 100 years old and 2/3 of the fruit comes from a young vineyard planted in 2004. Aged in stainless steel. Practicing organic.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Calabretta Cala Cala Rosso, Sicily NV 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Importer note “95% Nerello Mascalese & 5% Nerello Cappuccio. Aged partially in large botti and partially in stainless steel. The current bottling is a blend of 2005, 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016! Sourced from a mix of young and old vines. Cala Cala means “Gulp, Gulp” says Massimiliano, meaning you should gulp this one down because it’s so tasty!”

Calabretta Gaio Gaio Vino Rosso, Sicily 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 pre-arrival special
Winery note “[Translated] A red wine from young, newly planted vineyards in the Calderara district by a rigorous selection massale. Fruity, floral, and slightly spicy. Dedicated to my father when he was a child (Gaio).”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Calabretta Pinot Nero, Sicily 2016 750ML ($34.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Winery note “[Translated] Pinot Noir: the ‘enfant terrible’ of world viticulture returns to the Etna area… It is planted in a vineyard where the temperature changes between day and night are more than 20 ° C, the wind beats undeterred and the sun warms and illuminates the leaves.  The production of grapes per plant is extremely low and the fermentation is cured and studied specifically to better develop the sensory qualities of this wonderful grape.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Five Trendy Wines

Under Twenty-Five Bucks

This is a “village” level wine from a top Pfalz producer at great price. A staff favorite!
Dr. Burklin-Wolf Deidesheimer Riesling, Pfalz 2014 750ML ($24.95) $16 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “Very clear and open, with lovely ripe peach and some flinty aromas on the nose starts the 2014 Deidesheimer Riesling trocken — announcing a more accessible wine compared to the Wachenheimer. The coolish/warm character of the nose is reflected on the palate, which is medium to full-bodied, very intense, concentrated and very expressive in the piquant and juicy finish. The wine is pure and powerful, very aromatic but not fat or big at all. It’s simply sexy in its piquant and racy richness.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $20

Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie l’Alchimiste, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
: This is Dubois flagship wine, from a southwest-facing section of Fleurie on mostly granite soils.  The wine is clearly a product of a Burgundy-style vinification (as opposed to carbonic maceration) but seems to channel the soul of Fleurie with dark and red fruits, foral notes and pretty spice flavors. Delicious.

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Classic, Cotes du Rhone style at a bistro price.
Chateau Valcombe Les Hauts de Valcombe Ventoux, Rhone 2015 750ML ($15.95) $14 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Chateau Valcombe Les Hauts de Valcombe Ventoux, Rhone2015 750ML ($179.95)
$142 special (that’s only $11.83/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Grapelive 92 points
“Sometimes you just need the warm comfort of a nice Grenache based Southern Rhone, with its full flavored and smooth tannin charm washing over your palate and light spicy character holding on the mouth coating finish adding complexity to its sweet fruits and earthy seduction. Yup, that is what was needed and this Valcombe Ventoux Rouge delivered! The “Les Hauts de Valcombe” is a cuvee cepage/blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah from exclusively north-facing vineyards, allowing for less sun to give an extra burst of freshness, even in a ripe year. Even with that much Syrah this wine feels remarkably graceful and Grenache(y) on the palate with a playful and fruity core. Valcombe, near the town of St. Pierre de Vassols, is all organic and this cuvee is all cement vat fermented and raised. It’s an old school traditional wine that displays a wonderful transparency and is terroir driven with the chalky marl soils showing through. With air some of the Syrah savoriness comes through, but the dense fruit always keeps the pleasure levels high. It’s an easy Rhone to love with racy raspberry, plum, boysenberry, sweet cherry and strawberry fruits along with hints of dusty stones, pepper, anise, leather and wild lavender. Chateau Valcombe’s owners Luc and Cendrine Guénard trained under Paul Jeune, former winemaking legend at Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s famed Domaine Monpertuis. [Jeune] transformed this property, with vineyards on the lower slopes of Mont Ventoux, from its humble origins into a serious estate [and the Guénards] have continued in his footsteps, and, in fact, in recent vintages even risen the quality here. This is a winery that almost always over delivers in the price to quality ratio, especially this bottling, which I adore. Drink this dark garnet hued medium/full bodied and textural 2015 “Les Hauts de Valcombe” over the next 3 to 5 years, but there’s no need to wait as it is drinking beautiful and fresh right now. It’s a steal.”

July Sale Wine!
Adriano Marco e Vittorio Basarin, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 750ML ($34.95) Was $29, Now $24 Clearance Price, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Elegant, leading off with perfumed aromas of rose, cherry, strawberry and white pepper. The profile is sleek, with a solid base of acidity and tannins. Shows terrific length, evoking fruit and mineral on the aftertaste. Best from 2019 through 2033.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $28

An in-store favorite!
Feudi di San Gregorio Rubrato Aglianico Irpinia, Campania 2015 750ML ($21.95) $17.75 special
Case-12 Feudi di San Gregorio Rubrato Aglianico Irpinia, Campania 2015 750ML ($249.95) $184 special (that’s only $15.33/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points
“This shows such a beautiful density and texture with licorice and blackberry character. Full and layered yet always tight and focused. A fantastic young red. Drink or hold.”

Chateau de l’Ou

Hidden Gem of the Roussillon

“This is a family run estate created by the incredibly talented and passionate Séverine and Philippe Bourrier, and lies just to the south of Perpignan, in the plains region of the Roussillon….Séverine, who trained and worked as an oenologist in Bordeaux, oversees the winemaking and normally releases ….three reds; the Infiniment de l’Ou, Secret de Schistes and Velours Noir. Each of these come from a different terroir of the estate. In addition, in 2015 she released a tiny productive cuvee called Ispo Facto, which is blend of the three wines (it’s heavily weighted towards the Secret de Schistes cuvee).

“The reds are all 100% Syrah, mostly destemmed, and fermented and aged in new barrels. They’re all released under the Côtes Catalanes label. Recently, Séverine has started experimenting with different types of barrels, and has even used some amphora for her whites….

“The Secret de Schists comes from higher elevation (over 1,000 feet above sea level) brown schist soils located around the village of Saint-Paul-De-Fenouillet. It’s always 100% Syrah fermented and aged in new barrels. This cuvee always shows the most structure and tannin of the three cuvees, yet still packs plenty of fruit….

“As to the vintages reviewed here, the standout is the 2015, yet the 2014s and 2013s are both brilliant as well….This estate is a hidden gem in the Roussillon that readers should seek out.” – Jeb Dunnuck

In Stock Now from Chateau de l’Ou:

Chateau de l’Ou ‘Secret de Schistes ‘ Rouge, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-12 Chateau de l’Ou ‘Secret de Schistes ‘ Rouge, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2015 750ML ($549.95) $419 special (that’s only $34.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Saturated black in color, the 2015 IGP Côtes Catalanes Secret de Schistes is reminiscent of Manfred Krankl’s SQN Syrahs with its deep, unctuous, layered profile. Cassis, chocolate, licorice, smoked herbs and ample minerality all emerge from this full-bodied, sexy beauty that just begs to be drunk. Possessing ripe tannin, a stacked mid-palate and a great finish, it will be better in a year or two and keep for a decade.”

La Fortuna Brunello

Fortune Favors the Talented

La Fortuna is a top producer of Brunello, having turned their small (11 hectare) estate into one of the most consistently excellent in all of Tuscany.  The winery leans modern, with rich, ripe fruit and plush textures, but the wines all maintain an earthiness that keeps them grounded and allows them to age beautifully.  These wines arrive in September, and the quantities on the top wines are extremely limted.

Arriving ETA September:

La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 97 points “Perfumed, with wild herb aromas and a subtle mix of strawberry and cherry fruit. Vibrant and dense, with fine acidity driving the long finish. Though elegant, there is intensity and fine energy on the aftertaste. Best from 2022 through 2028.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 93 points “Aromas of blackberry and cherry with flowers. Smoky. Hot stone. Medium to full body, firm and fresh tannins and a delicious finish. Beautiful now but needs a year or two to soften.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
La Fortuna Giobi, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 93 points “Some ash and spice undertones to the cherry and berry aromas. Medium to full body, silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Linear and focused. Better in 2020.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Also, In-Stock Now:

La Fortuna Giobi, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 96 points
“Perfumed aromas of strawberry, cherry and rose burst from the glass, while wild berry, spice, tobacco and tea notes follow through and linger on the finish. Though tannic, there is sweet fruit to match. Shows fine equilibrium overall. Best from 2018 through 2032.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
July Sale Recap
See the complete list of wines on our July Clearance Sale below or click to shop the sale on our web store!


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