Midweek VinopolPick 7-2-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Big Rhone Reds for Grilling

Tempier Rose Arrives Friday

Case Specials for Your Cookout

Top Rosé Picks for a Sunny Fourth


Please Note

Vinopolis Will Be Closed on July 4th

In Observance of Independence Day


Big Rhone Reds for Grilling

While many people like to go all-American for their fourth of July celebrations, we’re after the best wines and biggest values to pair with wines coming off of the grill. To that end, there’s no better choice than the Rhone valley, whose rich, robust reds seem born to pair with hearty, smoky foods.  Whether you’re looking at $15 Cotes du Rhones or $75 Chateauneuf du Pape, the wines deliver a top of value relative to other regions in their price categories, as well—always a good thing.  We’ve got a selection of our favorites below, but you can see all 195 different red Rhone bottlings available for purchase in our webstore.

In Stock Now:

Rayas on a budget? Theodoric’s calling card is sandy soils and exotic bouquets.
Chapelle Saint Theodoric Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Case-6 Chapelle Saint Theodoric Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse, Rhone 2016 750ML ($499.95) $389 special (that’s only $64.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95-97 points
“As I predicted last year, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape La Guigasse has smoothed out considerably and seemingly absorbed the stemmy elements I noted previously. Still not yet bottled, it now offers wonderful fruit purity and intensity. Raspberries and cherries are delivered on a full-bodied, rich and creamy palate that somehow avoids any sense of heaviness. It looks to be a stunning example of 70-year-old Grenache from the sandy lieu-dit of the same name.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points “Made from 100% Grenache in the La Guigasse lieu-dit, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse boasts a deeper ruby/purple color as well as a sensational bouquet of kirsch and black raspberries, spring flowers, rose petals, and exotic spice. This beauty builds on the palate, with terrific concentration, yet it always holds onto the more ethereal, elegant, seamless style of this estate.”

At less than $12.50/btl by the case, it’s an unbeatable value.
Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone, Rhone 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone, Rhone 2017 750ML ($189.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Grapelive 92 points
“Saint Cosme’s Cotes-du-Rhone, grown on a mix of soils, including red clay, pebbles and limestone sands all hillside vines is partial whole cluster and all tank raised. Always a wine of value and purity it gives a ton of character, personality and never disappoints in any vintage, and this one is an exceptional year. In 2017, low yields produced wines with lots of intensity and depth with hedonistic density, but with vibrant fresh detail, with what Barruol notes, adds crunchiness and salinity to this beautiful red wine. This 2017, which is an amazing follow up to the great 2015 and 2016 versions that I loved, delivers boysenberry, sweet blueberry and plum fruit as well as savory spices, a touch of meat, black licorice and a inner perfume of violets and lavender. Rounded tannins give structure, making this wine perform at a higher level than one would expect and this vintage in particular will age well, maybe a decade or more, impressive for the price!”
James Suckling 91 points “Beautiful, garrigue herbs and flowers across fragrant, red berries. The palate has a very deep-set, plush and ripe core of dark-berry flavors, amid glossy, ripe tannins. Great value. Drink or hold.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 100% Syrah 2017 Cotes du Rhone is a bargain superstar, offering hints of smoke, cracked pepper, blueberries and black olives. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a long, supple finish. For the $20 (or less) I’ve seen it selling for, you’re not going to find a better Syrah.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Traditionally made, spicy and powerful.
Domaine de Cabasse Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) $28 special
Wine Advocate 95 points
“A blend of 70% Grenache and 15% each Mourvèdre and Syrah grown at about 400 meters above sea level, the 2016 Gigondas Jucunditas is a silky, lush wine. Cherry, apricot and dark chocolate notes swirl about on the nose and palate of this full-bodied offering, which shows great length on the finish, picking up hints of licorice and cracked pepper. It’s a lovely expression of the appellation’s high-altitude terroir.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
From the family behind Vieux Telegraphe, this is superb value.
Piedlong Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $44 special
James Suckling 95 points
“10 hectares of elevated Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this is an hommage to grenache with just a hatful of mourvèdre. Ripe raspberry and red plum pastry aromas. Super silky, plush and layered. Extremely impressive. Shows fluidity and balance, density and lightness. 50% stalks (crushed).”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Excellent, polished Cotes du Rhone from an exciting producer.
Domaine Garon Cotes du Rhone ‘La Part des Vivants,’ Rhone 2017 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 special
: This blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan delivers a rich, full-bodied version of a Cotes du Rhone.  Made by the talented Garon family, it’s seductive and lush, with a beautiful blend of black and red fruits supplemented with just a hint of garrigue.

This is the only listing in the USA today!
A legendary vintage for the venerable top estate.
Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Reservee, Rhone 2015 750ML ($89.95) $75 special
Jeb Dunnuck – Rhone Report 95-97+ points
“A vintage compared to 2010 by Laurence, the 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape looks to be one of the big successes in the vintage. Possessing a ripe, rounded, sexy style backed up by solid density and concentration, it offers classic Pegau notes of currants, pepper, and cured meats. Big, rich, concentrated and beautifully textured, it offers a rare depth of fruit and richness in the vintage.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Solid, with a muscular core of dark fig, blackberry, raspberry paste flavors mixed liberally with anise, savory, tobacco and singed mesquite notes. Shows a sanguine thread on the finish, where everything knits together. This has ample depth and character. Best from 2020 through 2035.”
Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Réservée is beauty, and about as classic an expression of this estate as I can recall. Blackcurrants, peppery herbs, roasted meats and garrigue all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, balanced, nicely concentrated 2015 that has ripe tannin and a great finish. It’s not on par with the 2010, 2009 or 2003, but it should surpass the 2012 and have two decades or more of longevity.”
Josh Raynolds 93-95 points “Vivid ruby. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes ripe raspberry, cherry and garrigue, while a suave floral element expands with air. Fleshy, seamless and broad on the palate, offering intense black raspberry and fruitcake flavors that are braced and lifted by a spine of juicy acidity. The floral note builds as the wine opens up and carries through the sweet, strikingly long finish, which leaves behind red fruit liqueur and licorice notes.”


Tempier Rose Arrives Friday

“In general, the 2018 rosés from the south of France display impeccable balance, superb drinkability, and a streak of classicism that sets them above the 2017s.” –Neal Rosenthal

Tempier is the most in-demand rosé.  Their pink wine from Bandol is considered to be one of the finest examples of the genre, and the wine that sparked the craze for dry rosé in the United States (thanks largely to Kermit Lynch, Tempier’s importer).  We’re excited to finally be able to announce that our allocation of the ’18s arrives on Friday—in time for the real kickoff of summer.  Several of the formats are nearly sold out, so if you’re after this wine, head to our web store and grab it now.

Arriving Friday:

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($54.95) $49 pre-arrival special

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 375ML ($34.95) $29 pre-arrival special

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 1.5L ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 3L ($399.95) $349 pre-arrival special

Looking for top rosé picks for your July 4th celebrations? Check out all 95 rosés available in our webstore or keep reading for our top picks.


Case Picks

For Your Cookouts

In Stock Now:

Casarena makes wine from the Lujan de Cuyo section of Mendoza—a section relatively unexplored in the modern wine industry, but possessing a wealth of old vines and interesting vineyards.  The wine we’re highlighting today, from Owen’s Vineyard, is made from a block of 80+ year old, pergola trained Cabernet.  That vineyard, combined with rigorous sorting and extended maceration, creates a Cab of high quality and obscene value.

Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo 2015 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Case-12 Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo 2015 750ML ($359.95) $279 special (that’s only $23.25/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Tasted side by side with the 2014, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Owen’s Vineyard feels a lot fresher. This is an old, balanced, traditional vineyard that yields wines with very good depth and natural balance. There is perfect ripeness here and a notable absence of those green pepper aromas that often mask the personality of many Cabernets. These old vines yield very concentrated juice and it shows in the tannins and acidity, which show in perfect harmony. 30,000 bottles produced.”

Willamette Pinot may be the easiest wine to own a case of—it goes with everything.  Burgers? Check. Salmon? Check.  Pizza? Check. Hearty Salads? Check.  All of this is to say that the deals on Scott Paul wines mean that you should be buying them by the case and drinking often and with everything.

Scott Paul Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($59.95) $24 special
Case-12 Scott Paul Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($299.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
“The famous vineyard is showing well here. Winemaker Ian Burch has a fine ability to provide a distinct focus for each of the winery’s single vineyard selections. This bottling is refined, with an intriguing mix of flavors, from grapefruit and Bing cherry, to chicken broth and milk chocolate. As odd as it sounds, it all knits together quite well.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

From the man behind the production of the K wines comes a wine that marries the power of Washington state with real poise and class.  These are wines that are only going to get more attention over the next few years and so grabbing them now, while the pricing is reasonable, is the smart play.

B. Leighton Olsen’s Brothers Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Case-12 B. Leighton Olsen’s Brothers Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($599.95) $479 special (that’s only $39.92/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“The 2016 Syrah comes from a site in the Yakima Valley that was planted by Leighton. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by classic Syrah notes of dark berry fruits, smoke tobacco, olive tapenade, and ground pepper. Medium to full-bodied, with both freshness and richness, it’s impeccably balanced, with beautiful fruit and a great finish. It’s another seriously good wine from Brennon that delivers the goods. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years.”

Germain’s Saumur is a wonderful introduction to the estate and a prime example for why the region has been supplying Paris’ bistros for generations.  Fruit without sweetness, earth without overt funkiness and a bright, refreshing finish, it’s one to drink summer, fall, winter and spring.

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

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $26.99

A go-to with anything off the grill, Muga’s Rioja Reserva is one of our go-to’s for barbeque season.  Robust enough to handle steaks and chicken with some smokiness, it’s nevertheless smooth and easy enough to drink that you can enjoy it while you (or someone else) is cooking.  This wine is a standout, especially for the price, and we’d be happy to go through a case while cooking out for a group of friends.

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

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Top Rosé Picks

For A Sunny Independence Day

In Stock Now:

Pink Sancerre is the best of both worlds, especially at this address. 
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Importer Note
“Indeed, the 2018 Sancerre Rosé—clocking in just shy of 14%–is deeper in color than usual, as well as more vinous and commanding on the palate. Pure Pinot Noir produced solely from direct-press juice and aged on its lees in stainless steel, this ’18 manages to carry its weight very well, with ultra-bracing acidity and a sense of lift on the nearly viscous palate. While this wine often drinks much like Crochet’s epic whites—steely and mineral, with enormous cut—one feels the Pinot Noir a bit more in this vintage, but it is ultimately a very interesting and delicious rosé”

Perhaps the best value in rosé out there, especially by the case.
Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14.40 special
Case-12 Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($199.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
“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 2018 version is tops. 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!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
This is the best rosé we’ve ever tasted from Crowley which is really saying something. 
Crowley Rose, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Winery Note
“Our personal preference for Rosé is a more Provençal-leaning style, biting and herbaceous with just enough succulent fruit to soften the edges. Low alcohol and high acid, refreshing and crisp…delivering the feeling like you aren’t really drinking, so why not keep going?! The best Rosé does that, and we wanted to see if we could draw closer to that benchmark….Color is probably the biggest wild card with Rosé and a pesky holdout until the wine finishes. You never quite know until bottling what color you have but we really like this one! Two-thirds of this wine was fermented in barrel for aromatic nuance and the rest in stainless steel to maintain edginess and cut. It all worked out and in the end we’re proud of the adjustments and really love this wine. Making Rosé is fun, probably since it’s meant to be paired with all manner of fun endeavors. Enjoy!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The essence of Provence and our workhorse rosé every year.
Peyrassol Cotes de Provence ‘Commanderie de Peyrassol’ Rose 2018 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Peyrassol Cotes de Provence ‘Commanderie de Peyrassol’ Rose 2018 1.5L ($51.95) $47 special
Importer note
“For us, this wine is the classic representation of the pink-tinted wines of this region and is the workhorse wine of the estate. It carries a pale rose color, a lovely fruit blossom nose and finishes crisply dry with a stony touch that gives it class and elegance. The grape blend is usually Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah in varying percentages. The average age of the vines is 25 years or more. The Rosés of Peyrassol are made from the direct press method. The grapes undergo cold maceration before being pressed. This gives them their beautiful watermelon pink color. The fermentation takes place under controlled temperatures and is exceptionally long, resulting in rosés that are both lively, fresh and full-bodied. As production has increased at Peyrassol with the additional plantings, we too have increased our purchases.”

Twill takes the cake as “rising star” Willamette rosé this year.
Twill Cellars Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($21.95) $17 special
: A single-vineyard Pinot Noir rosé (with a dollop of Gamay) from Molly’s Vineyard in the Northeast Willamette Valley. The wine is characterized by a savory undertone to the elegant style. There are notes of red berries, rose petals and lemon zest. This is a superb release from the up-and-coming winery. Keep an eye on this estate!

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Looking for more top rosé picks for your July 4th celebrations?
Check out all 95 rosés available right now in our webstore.

Thanks for reading!