Midweek VinopolPick 7-9-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Top New Wave Spanish Whites

“Most Under Rated Producer in All of Burgundy”

The Return of de Villaine’s Classic Aligote

Trending Wines

The Dueling Vouvray of Huet and Foreau

Romantic and Impressive: Domaine Garon’s Cote Rotie

July Sale Roundup


Top New Wave Spanish Whites

Coastal, northwestern Spain is one of the most exciting wine regions in the world.  After decades operating in obscurity, the wine world is starting to discover the maritime climate, amazing terroirs and unique grapes of Galicia.  As the world has noticed, money and technical ability have flowed in, creating the perfect environment for stunning, cool climate wines.  These are wines that can challenge the finest of Chablis for complexity, personality and age-worthiness at prices that, while expensive for Spanish white wine, are bargains for the quality of the bottles in question. We’re bringing in top bottles from two of the top producers on Friday and are excited to present them today.

The wines arriving Friday come from two producers, Do Ferreiro and Vina Mein, who are the greatest winemakers in their respective regions.  Both are notable for the attention and quality of their wines, working with indigenous yeasts (rare) and farming organically (even rarer). The resulting wines are resolutely savory, mineral and complex—true outliers in a region that often aims for fruity and easy.

Do Ferreiro works from Rias Baixas and produces the finest Albarino in the world.  They’re best known for their “Cepas Vellas” cuvee but have just released three single-vineyard wines to highlight the special terroirs of their neck of Galicia.  We tasted these and were blown away—the minerality and vibrancy were second to none and all three wines showed distinct personality.  Likewise, the two wines from Vina Mein are exceptional and distinct.  Vina Mein is based in Ribeiro and as a result, the wines show more texture and richness from the region’s slightly warmer climate and Treixadura (grape) base.

While it’s easy and tempting to compare these wines to something like Burgundy (specifically Grand Cru Chablis), we’d like to note that these are very much their own genres—it’s just that these specific examples are more or less without peer in Spain.  If ever we needed proof that the expansion of the wine world has been a good thing, these are some of the first wines we’d point towards.  They arrive Friday in very small quantities, perfect for your cellar and table.

Arriving Friday:

Do Ferreiro Adina Albarino, Rias Baixas 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2017 Adina comes from a strip of red slate that goes from Porto to the south of England. The nose is more powerful, more exuberant, more immediate, and the palate is very intense. This is very different from the Lourido. It has lots of citrus sensations and more notes of grapefruit; Manuel Méndez told me he thinks this citrus acidity is present because there is malic acid. It was kept with the lees for nine months. This is superb, really tasty and has all it should take for a long and positive evolution in the bottle. 2,000 bottles were filled in September 2018.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Do Ferreiro Dous Ferrados Albarino, Rias Baixas 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2017 Dous Ferrados is basically the evolution of the Albariño Barrica. They started in 2011, and Gerardo used vines from sandy soils. His son Manuel changed the wine in 2015—he used grapes from red slate soils and felt the wine went better with the barrique. In 2016 he thought the oak was very subtle and wanted to change the name, removing the reference to the barriques. They only produce two 500-liter barrels, and one “ferrado” is the amount land that they need to fill one barrique, hence the name of the wine. If you are put off by the idea of oak and Albariño, taste this. The salinity comes through here, perhaps because of the slow oxygenation through the pores of the oak, and they search for complexity, especially the change in the mouthfeel. The wine was in contact with the lees for eight months. This has volume and clout, with perhaps a rounder palate than the Adina. With time in the glass, notes of licorice and aniseed emerge. The barrels are ten years old, so they do not lend aromas or flavors. In the future, they might experiment with foudres and other sizes. 1,300 bottles were filled in September 2018.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Do Ferreiro Lourido Albarino, Rias Baixas 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2017 Lourido shows the austerity of the poor granite soils, like the ones in this zone very close to the island of La Toja. But the palate is also more mineral, vibrant, intense and pungent, with citrus acidity and very long in the palate. They started working these small plots in 2014 and were surprised because the vines are very close to the sea, yet the wine has less salinity. This is because salinity comes from fog, not from proximity to the sea, and so they ended up with a very mineral, electric palate. This is a great addition to the Do Ferreiro portfolio. 1,300 bottles produced. It was bottled in late September 2018. It would be very interesting to see how this ages.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Vina Mein ‘Eiras Altas’, Ribeiro 2016 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The lemony and citrusy 2016 Eiras Altas comes from the vineyard that surrounds the winery, a place that was mentioned in old books linked to the San Clodio Monastery, where the Ribeiro wine was born. They used a blend of 70% Treixadura, 20% Loureiro and 10% Albariño from three hectares planted in 1987 on soils of white granite sand. The full clusters were pressed and the juice fermented in oak foudre, stainless steel and egg-shaped concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and then matured in those vessels for ten months with lees but without bâtonnage. This has great freshness and purity, great tension and length, it feels very young and undeveloped. There are some balsamic notes, possibly from the Loureiro, which they try not to pick early. It has tingling acidity that gives an electric sensation. This should develop nicely in bottle, and even if it’s drinkable now, I’d wait a little more before pulling the cork. 5,544 bottles were filled in September 2017.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Vina Mein ‘Tega do Sal’, Ribeiro 2016 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The single-vineyard 2016 Tega do Sal is 90% Treixadura and 10% Albariño from the Vilerma zone, from 25-year-old plants on granite soils that have more clay and some laminar, schist-like texture, soils that give a little more volume. There’s also a high percentage of Treixadura and an east-facing exposition that provides good ripeness. They try to tame that natural power, as they are looking for tension in a place that would naturally deliver more volume, so they decided to ferment the Treixadura in stainless steel. It has great finesse and elegance; it’s floral and has a fresh palate with very good acidity. 2,745 bottles produced.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

“Most Under Rated Producer in All of Burgundy”

The Fantastic Reds of Henri Prudhon

“The quality that this domaine consistently achieves is nothing short of remarkable… I have said this before but I would go so far as to say that Domaine Henri Prudhon is one of, and perhaps even the most under rated producer in all of Burgundy. The style is ultra-pure and completely classic. Moreover, the wines sell for very reasonable prices so if you don’t need a famous name on a label to be happy, try a bottle from Prudhon and in either color.” – Allen Meadows, Burghound

Most of the time when the phrase “cult wine” is used we think of small production, pricy wines with lots of points. But every now and then we see a wine that breaks that mold. The wines from Domain Henri Prudhon are prime examples. They aren’t expensive, but they are hard for us to source because they occupy a unique place in the Burgundy world.  For one, they’re incredibly fairly priced, which seems to be rarer than ever before in Burgundy. Most of all, though, they’re mineral driven wines, built on stone and not fruit, including the reds, which we’re highlighting today.

The Prudhon wines seem to hold the essence of their stony terroirs inside of them. Both red and white have a minerality and precision that’s very old-school and completely captivating.  They’re held back before release and this set of releases are from outstanding vintages, especially for the cooler St. Aubin terroir that the Prudhon family owns.  2015 was a standout vintage for the red side of Burgundy and the year’s natural richness plays off of the estate’s natural leaner style.  These are some of the best reds we’ve tasted from the estate, which is really saying something.  They’re in stock now, perfect for summer/fall drinking and cellaring for the future.

In Stock Now:

Henri Prudhon & Fils Bourgogne Rouge Les Charmeaux, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note
“This cuvée is drawn from several parcels in Saint Aubin that comprise about 7/10 of a hectare. The vines are a mix of young (10 years) and old (40 years). Clay and limestone soils with a western exposure in the western most sector of the village of Saint Aubin. The wine is aged in small barrel for eight months but no new oak is used.”

Henri Prudhon & Fils Saint-Aubin Les Argillers Rouge, Cote de Beaune 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Case-12 Henri Prudhon & Fils Saint-Aubin Les Argillers Rouge, Cote de Beaune 2015 750ML ($379.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note
““Les Argillers” sits on the upper reaches of the slope of Saint-Aubin, just south of “Le Ban” and bordering the forest. Prudhon farms two hectares of 30-to-60-year-old vines here, and the wine they produce tends to be snappy, mineral-driven, and floral—less about Pinot Noir plushness and more about the freshness and drive of a cool-climate red wine.”
Burghound “A pretty and fresh mix of red and dark raspberry aromas reveals earth and soft spice nuances. There is better volume to the sappy, round and succulent middle weight flavors that possess a bit more overall depth and length as well as slightly more supporting structure.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $32.98
Henri Prudhon & Fils Les Frionnes Rouge, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Case-12 Henri Prudhon & Fils Les Frionnes Rouge, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($479.95) $389 special (that’s only $32.42/bottle!)
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note
“The Prudhons own a solid hectare of vines between 30 and 60 years of age in this premier cru that lies just to the north of “Les Perrieres.” In keeping with the Prudhon house style, “Frionnes” emphasizes the freshness and raciness of Saint-Aubin—there is virtually no new oak used in its elevage, and there’s a certain restraint and brightness to the fruit that feels self-assured and very terroir-loyal.”
Burghound “A spicy and again attractively fresh nose offers up notes of red currant, black raspberry and a hint of violet. The mouth feel of the medium-bodied flavors is also sappy and round with reasonably good vibrancy to the naturally sweet finale. This should be enjoyable young if that’s your preference.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $40.99
Henri Prudhon & Fils Les Rouges Gorges, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Case-12 Henri Prudhon & Fils Les Rouges Gorges, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($479.95) $389 special (that’s only $32.42/bottle!)
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note
“his wine is produced from two separate parcels: one on a hillside above the hamlet of Gamay and the other from a parcel between Saint Aubin and Chassagne Montrachet. The average age of the vines is 50 years (as of 2011). A classic wine of this sector with compelling notes of animal and wild berries. The elevage is about 18 months before bottling; again, very little new oak is used.”
Burghound 87-90 points “Here the expressive nose is spicier still with its layered array of various red berries, soft earth and pretty floral nuances. There is a bit more volume to the slightly richer, seductive and caressing medium weight flavors that exude a subtle minerality onto the mildly austere and rustic finale. This could use a few years to round out.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Henri Prudhon & Fils Sur le Sentier du Clou Vieilles Vignes Rouge, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Case-12 Henri Prudhon & Fils Sur le Sentier du Clou Vieilles Vignes Rouge, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($479.95) $389 special (that’s only $32.42/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Burghound 89-91 points
“This possesses the most elegant and perhaps even the most complex nose in the range with its layered assortment of red and black cherry, plum, violet and freshly turned earth scents. The fine complexity continues onto the solidly concentrated and more obviously mineral-inflected flavors that possess a relatively sophisticated mouth feel while concluding in a balanced and lingering finish. This is really quite good and worth considering.”
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note “This wine is from some of the oldest vines in the estate, planted between 40 and 80 years ago (as of 2011). The parcel is about 1.5 hectare in size and sits on a hillside between Saint Aubin and Gamay with an east-southeast exposure. There is an elevage of 15 to 18 months (with very little new oak used). Perhaps the most serious and complex of the red wines of the domaine with a character dominated by red fruits and spices supported by substantial backbone.”
The average price nationally is $38


The Return of de Villaine’s Classic Aligote

The 2016 de Villaine Bouzeron was the first thing to sell out in the July Sale (more on that later) and we’re excited to bring in the new vintage, 2017, this Friday.  Brighter, more classic and mineral than the (still quite good) ’16, the new edition is one of the finest they’ve ever produced.  This might be the wine they’re best known for—one of the best renditions of Aligote out there.  It arrives Friday and is available for pre-arrival order now.

Arriving Friday:

Domaine A. & P. de Villaine Bouzeron, Cote Chalonnaise 2017 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 pre-arrival special
Winery note
“Our Bouzeron comes from vines situated on the best slopes of the appellations. We have planted to Bouzeron the golden Aligoté doré grape, which gives lowers yield and more aromatic wines than its cousin, the Aligoté vert. True to its varietal nature, our Bouzeron is a liveley, fruity wine, but it also has a finesse and roundness that spring from the essential nature of the terroir. These qualities lend it great versatility. To best appreciate the freshness and fruit, our Bouzeron would be drunk young, within two or three years. To allow the wine to fully develop fullness and “fatness”, age it for up to ten years. This Bouzeron 2016 is more floral than fruity but remains very fresh, thanks to the acidity present. This liveliness, as always, is generated by the particular marl-limestone soils of Bouzeron. Rich, round and lively at the same time, the mouth feel oscillates between richness of the fruit, roundness generated by a good maturity and a saline presence, a palatability that makes the wine extremely digestible.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Want to see all of the A&P de Villaine wines in stock and in our July Sale? View all our July Sale wines in our webstore or read to the end of the newsletter for more highlights and a full list.

Trending Wines

In Stock Now:

If there’s a better value in Barbera, we haven’t found it yet.
Cordero di Montezemolo Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($24.95) $16.60 special
Wine Spectator 91 points
“This is rich and fruity, boasting black currant, blackberry, violet and earth flavors. Round and supple, with a light dusting of tannins on the lingering finish. Drink now through 2023. 4,500 cases made.”
James Suckling 90 points “A fruity and straightforward barbera with plum and berry aromas and flavors. Medium-to full-bodied, round and yummy. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $20

Dark, rich, powerful and built for the cellar.  At this price, buy a six pack and hide it from yourself.
Cordero di Montezemolo Monfalletto, Barolo DOCG 2014 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
James Suckling 93 points
“A little lift with woody and floral aromas here. The base line red cherries run from nose to palate seamlessly. There’s also an attractive, compressed density to the tannins here. Good polish. This is promising. Try from 2022.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2014 Barolo Monfalletto is a powerful, deep wine, especially considering that it was bottled not long before this tasting. A somber, dark Barolo, the 2014 is laced with the essence of black cherry, spice, leather and underbrush. Although not massively tannic, it is inward, closed and also unusually potent. I would give it at least a few years to be at its best. The 2014 is a decidedly serious Monfalletto that speaks in a baritone register.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Intense aromas of raspberry compote, forest floor, eucalyptus and oak-driven spice drive the nose on this fragrant red. On the firm, youthfully austere palate, assertive, fine-grained tannins provide support for Marasca cherry, licorice, mint and a note of French oak. Drink 2021–2026.”
Decanter 92 points “From this long established La Morra estate comes this imposing wine, heralded by its intense and pungent sour cherry nose. It’s rich, broad and fleshy, highly concentrated and spicy, showing admirable force and power without being aggressive. Despite the grip on the long finish, there’s a soft core of fruit at the heart of the wine.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $39.98
The average listed price is $46

A perpetual value in Sauternes, this ’02 is on song right now.
Chateau Raymond-Lafon, Sauternes, 2002 750ML ($49.95) $29 special
Chateau Raymond-Lafon, Sauternes, 2002 375ML ($29.95) $18 special
Robert Parker 92-94 points
“I suspect most readers will find it hard to get excited about the 2002 vintage for the sweet wines of Barsac and Sauternes after what appears to be a prodigious 2001. However, 2002 is a very fine year for this region, possibly superior to any of the vintages between 2000 and 1991. The wines possess plenty of botrytis, but neither the impressive definition nor supreme elegance of the 2001s. This is a sweet, full-bodied, fat, concentrated, intense effort that was showing well in September, 2003.” (Oct 2003)
VinopolNote: Raymond Lafon has always represented exceptional value in Sauternes.  Some of the estate’s vines used to belong to Yquem and it wasn’t included in the 1855 classification, largely because it was founded in 1850.  Raymond Lafon’s wines tend to be age worthy and exceptional value.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Just sold out, re-arriving on Friday. Perfect Kabinett.
Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2018 750ML ($31.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2018 750ML ($379.95) $275 pre-arrival special (that’s only $22.91/bottle!)
John Gilman 93 points
“The Leistenberg has the oldest vines of all the Dönnhoff parcels and they have really excelled in 2018. This beautiful Kabinett offers up a complex bouquet of white cherries, apple, salty slate, bee pollen and a lovely mix of spring flowers and fruit blossoms. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and filigreed, with its beautiful fruit tones stretched taught over its minerality, with bright, zesty acids and lovely lift and grip on the long and complex finish. Just beautiful. 2022-2060.”
Terry Theise note “My WINE OF THE VINTAGE this year. In ancient times, before you were born (shit, before my primeval ass was born), Leistenberg was the top site of Oberhausen. “Brücke” didn’t yet exist; the vineyard was part of Niederhäuser Hermannsberg, and Helmut hadn’t begun to acquire his necklace of Grand Crus in Niederhausen, Schlossböckelheim and Norheim. Though its exposure is less than perfect (southeast rather than due south), this is favorable in the modern climate era, as it permits longer hang-time, which enables wines like these Kabinetts to be made, and to be outstanding. I sense my old friend Helmut was feeling wistful about Leistenberg, as though it was the child who doesn’t get enough attention. Often I feel, do I need Dönnhoff’s wines to be better than this? This ’18 is like lace curtains of  spindrift, as if it were snowing the little crystals from the pears.”

We have the 2014, 2015 and 2017 in stock right now, as well.  All are great, but this is especially singing.
Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($119.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 point
s “Glimmering red. A hugely aromatic bouquet evokes fresh red fruits, Asian spices and potpourri, along with a bright mineral overtone and a touch of smokiness. Juicy, seamless and precise on the palate, offering potent, mineral-laced raspberry preserve, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out steadily on the back half. Delivers a compelling blend of power and finesse and finishes with silky tannins, outstanding clarity and floral- and mineral-driven persistence.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a lovely, open nose of black and red cherries and blackberries with notions of wood smoke, turned earth, autumn leaves, cardamom and potpourri. Medium-bodied, it floods the mouth with ripe black and red fruits with wonderful earthy/spicy accents, very fine, grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long with spice and floral layers. 480 cases produced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $89.95
The average listed price is $95

One of the most monumental Beaujolais made in a while.
Domaine Jean-Claude Lapalu Brouilly Cuvee des Fous, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Wine Advocate 92-94 points
“The 2015 Brouilly Cuvée des Fous had been racked the day before my visit to the domaine and I tasted this directly from vat. It has an intense dark cherry, cassis and iodine-scented bouquet with gorgeous raspberry ripple scents lurking just underneath. The palate is very well balanced with fine, very lithe tannin. The acidity here is perfectly judged, as it sashays towards a composed and very pure and long finish. Wow – this is going to turn into one sensual and compelling Beaujolais.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


The Dueling Vouvray

of Huet and Foreau

When it comes to the top of Vouvray, there are two names that really matter: Huet and Foreau.  Both producers are the pinnacle of quality for the appellation (and therefore some of the best values in truly world-class wine) though their styles and approaches differ.  We’ve got a broad selection of both producers in stock now and anyone who loves world class white wines needs to have both in their cellar.

When you compare the two producers, side by side, two things jump out immediately.  The first is that Foreau definitely produces wines with a razor sharp edge and more intense minerality at any given sweetness level compared to the rounder, richer wines of Huet.  As a result, we often find that they require more time to come around in the cellar (with the notable exception of the stellar ’15’s).  The Huet’s seem to be richer, more flamboyant and packed with fruit—they’re easy to love and the complexity is obvious, right in front of you to see.

The other main distinction has to do with terroir—Huet makes three single vineyard wines that all display unique personalities, from the softer, drink-now Le Haut Lieu to the dense and age-worthy Le Mont (and the in-between Clos du Bourg).  Foreau, by contrast, makes a single wine from his estate, the Clos Naudin.  We try to buy as many of all of these wines as we can, because we love both estates, and we think anyone who likes world class whites at reasonable prices should be exploring both producers.  We’ve got some highlights below, but you can see all of the Huet and all of the Foreau in stock in our webstore, as well.

Highlights, In Stock Now:

Domaine Huet

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Demi-Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($59.95) $46 special
Case-6 Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Demi-Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($299.95) $249 special (that’s only $41.50/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Gorgeous, with creamy-edged nectarine, yellow and green apple, pear and quince flavors that are brightly defined from start to finish, flecked with verbena and honeysuckle hints and backed by a off-dry edge on the finish. Stays fresh and pure throughout. Tempting now but there’s no rush. Drink now through 2032.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “From 30-year-old vines on calcareous loam soils, the 2016 Vouvray Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec offers a clear, pure, fine and intensely aromatic bouquet with tropical fruit and chalky aromas. Round, lush and exotic on the palate, with a silky texture and salty piquancy on the finish, the 2016 needs up to a decade to integrate the 19 grams of residual sugar. The finish is lovey, concentrated, juicy and well structured, with a lingering and stimulating salinity. Tasted February 2018.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ Moelleux, Loire 2016 750ML ($59.95) $46 special
Case-6 Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ Moelleux, Loire 2016 750ML ($299.95) $249 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Gorgeous crystallized ginger, dried quince, glazed pear and warm persimmon notes are seamlessly interwoven here, gliding through a lengthy finish that picks up a lilting green tea accent. Frankly off-dry but wonderfully pure. Drink now through 2035.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($47.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Green plum and verbena notes lead the way for now, with a flash of quinine on the finish. This is juicy, but still a bit compact overall, with the core of ample pear, quince and ginger flavors in reserve. Just wait for everything to knit together and stretch out, as the purity and length are there. Best from 2018 through 2028.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($47.95) $39 special
Case-6 Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($269.95) $219 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Bright and pure, with delightful pear, green almond and green plum notes laced with a fennel streak, ending with finely beaded acidity and a mineral echo through the finish. Very refined. Drink now through 2027.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “Huet’s 2016 Vouvray Clos du Bourg Sec is clear, pure, fine and fresh on the chalky-mineral, delicately fruity nose. Medium-bodied, round and fruity with good mineral grip and tension but also a charming sweet creaminess, the 2016 is a very elegant and pretty complex Chenin Blanc from the chalky soils of the Clos de Bourg. The salty, persistent finish is aromatic, lush and well structured, indicating a certain sweetness, good grip and very promising aging potential. Tasted February 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Philippe Foreau
Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux, Loire 2015 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Neal Rosenthal tasting note
“The 2015 Moelleux is really a step up in concentration and complexity from the Sec and Demi-Sec.  It is at this level where the ultimate potential of Vouvray begins to reveal itself. The dense aromas lean bitter, with notes of pear, pit fruits, and fresh honey.  On the palate, the fruit is warm and leans toward plum and quince, with an undercurrent of sea foam and Indian spices.  Wearing 70 grams of sugar, this wine’s intense minerality keeps it fresh and structured, which adds to its incredible persistence and surprisingly dry finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux Reserve, Loire 2009 750ML ($119.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 97 points
“What there was in this vintage of botrytis, Foreau reports, essentially went into his 2009 Vouvray Moelleux Reserve. Brown-spiced pear liqueur and quince preserves dominate the proceedings – wreathed in perfume of freesia and lily – and there are buoyancy and elegance, despite viscosity, enormous richness of texture and residual sweetness, that indeed point to the magic nobility rot can convey. Its sense of lift – when combined with luscious, still juicy suggestions of grapefruit and blood orange familiar from the corresponding demi-sec – wards off any risk of palate fatigue. Mysterious botrytis manifestations of stale bread, truffle, and white raisin emerge from the empty glass. This extraordinary achievement will stand with such past great Foreau moelleux reserves as 2005, 2003, and 1989-90 and is likely to merit 30 or more years of consideration. In direct comparison, what strikes one about the 2005 today is its more obvious sense of botrytis and its slightly diminished sense of acidity and lift. But it maintains the edge in sheer complexity.” WA

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Sec, Loire 2015 750ML ($59.95) $44.50 special
Neal Rosenthal tasting note
“Philippe feels that the 2015 Sec is better than the 2002, and perhaps approaching the great ‘96 Sec. It is a rich and powerful wine, holding 5 grams of residual sugar. Carried mostly by its intense mineral backbone, it presents quite expansive in the mouth. The fruit is quite tart, which is typical of this wine, with apple skin notes, a salty and tonic mineral texture that gives the wine considerable length.  Currently the nose is rather closed and shows a flinty white-pepper note. Foreau recommends waiting ideally about seven years for this wine to reach its full potential.”

Want to see the full list of wines from each producer?  Just head to our webstore to see all the wines from Domaine Huet or Philippe Foreau.

Romantic and Impressive

Domaine Garon’s Cote Rotie

One of the most profound stories in Kermit Lynch’s seminal Adventures on the Wine Route is the heartbreaking story of the lost vines of Cornas. As winemakers increasingly elected to farm on the valley floor rather than work the rustic and difficult slope of Cornas, weeds, trees and eventually houses took over the terraced vineyards. Vineyards were abandoned as modernity took root, and something was lost.  What does this have to do with the neighboring appellation of Cote Rotie? Well, such a loss is not limited to Cornas alone. The abandonment of backbreaking work in difficult terrains happens elsewhere, too, including in Cote Rotie.

Yet, against all logic and practicality, it seems, some brave souls are not only continuing the work in their families’ vineyards, these hardy few are even seeking out abandoned vineyards to reclaim the former glory of these forgotten times. Crazy? Illogical? Romantic? Perhaps. But the results speak for themselves and Domaine Garon is a perfect example of a new-wave romantic domaine.

If you’re unfamiliar with Domaine Garon, know that the family goes back hundreds of years in and around Ampuis. The domaine as we know it was started in the early 80’s, as they began to reclaim old, abandoned vineyards in Cote Rotie. The replanted vineyards were farmed carefully and sustainably, and for years the fruit was sold to negociants. Once the restored vineyards were old enough, the family started bottling the “Les Triotes.” Various higher-tier cuvees followed as the years progressed.

These are wines that appeal to the head, the heart and some instinctive sense of nostalgia.  The quality of the fruit is evident from first sip—there’s a power and complexity to the wines that only comes from premier sites farmed by a master.  The wines are mostly destemmed, with some, but not too much new oak and as a result these can be delicious and polished when young.  With age, they turn into some of the greatest wines of Cote Rotie.  We’ve stocked up on these beauties and so should you–they belong in any collector’s cellar.

In Stock Now:

Domaine Garon Condrieu La Vieille Maison, Rhone 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Garon Cotes du Rhone ‘La Part des Vivants’ 2017 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Garon ‘Les Grandes Parcelles’ Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 88-90 points
“Lurid violet. Aromas of fresh, spice-accented black and blue fruits and licorice are given a spicy edge by a peppery flourish. Silky and appealingly sweet, offering juicy blueberry and cassis flavors that firm up steadily on the back half. Finishes on a subtly tannic note, featuring lingering blue fruit and pepper notes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Garon Cote Rotie Les Triotes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Domaine Garon Cote Rotie Les Triotes, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“Opaque ruby. Smoky, mineral-accented cherry and blueberry scents are complicated by hints of vanilla, Indian spices and licorice. Supple and broad on the palate, offering pliant blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. A sexy floral pastille note emerges on the clinging finish, which shows excellent clarity and gentle, slow-building tannins.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points “From a mix of the La Triotes, Mollard, Combard, and Lancement lieux-dits, the 2016 Côte Rôtie Les Triotes is charming and elegant, with lots of black raspberries, vanilla oak, candied flowers and hints of meatiness. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and silky on the palate, it’s going to drink nicely right out of the gate, yet should evolve gracefully on its balance.”
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2016 Cote Rotie Les Triotes is a blend of the domaine’s parcels in the Côte Blond that will spend 18 months in oak. It doesn’t have the excitement of the lieu-dit wines, but it’s solidly made, offering hints of cedar and vanilla over red berries. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a plush texture and a long, velvety finish.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast for the 750ml!
This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!
Domaine Garon Cote Rotie Lancement, Rhone 2016 750ML ($179.95) $138 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Vivid purple. Candied cherry, blueberry, Moroccan spices and olive paste on the exotically perfumed nose. Silky, seamless and sweet on the palate, offering juicy, spice-laced black and blue fruit, floral pastille and spicecake flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. A smoky mineral note comes up on the strikingly long finish, which is framed by smooth, well-integrated tannins.”
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The medium to full-bodied 2016 Cote Rotie Lancement is a stunning, seductive example of Cote Rotie, with fine herbal notes entwined around ripe blueberries and cracked spices. It’s creamy through the mid-palate and onto the plush finish, where it picks up hints of mocha and mint.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 points “The most aromatic of the lineup is the 2016 Côte Rôtie Lancement, 100% Syrah that was 70% destemmed and will see 20 months in French oak. It’s loaded with notes of incense, dried violets, white pepper and assorted red and blue fruits. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and seamless on the palate, with building, fine tannin, it shines for its purity and length and is an impressive barrel sample.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Domaine Garon Cote Rotie Les Rochins, Rhone 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Bright violet. Smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of dark berries, cherry pie and vanilla, along with a hint of olive in the background. Supple, broad and sweet on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, spicecake and violet pastille flavors and a snap of smoky minerality on the back half. Shows impressive energy and detail and reveals no rough edges. Finishes velvety and quite long, displaying excellent focus, even tannins and lingering spiciness.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 points “The 2016 Côte Rôtie Les Rochins from Garon is a more modern styled beauty that has plenty of toasty oak and vanilla, yet also has ample classic black raspberry, spice and floral nuances. It’s ripe, medium-bodied, beautifully balanced and polished, and is loaded with charm. This cuvée is 100% Syrah and includes 20% stems.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Garon Cote Rotie La Sybarine, Rhone 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90-93 points
“Brilliant purple. Ripe dark berries, olive and hints of camphor and cracked pepper on the fragrant nose. Sweet and energetic on the palate, offering juicy black and blue fruit flavors that pick up succulent floral and spice notes as the wine opens up. In a lively, precise style, showing very good clarity and length on a gently tannic finish that leaves olive paste and cassis notes behind.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!


July Sale Roundup

A week into July and we’ve already sold out of one of the wines in the July Sale!  Now’s your chance to grab de Villaine, magnums of Dönnhoff, Bitouzet-Prieur and more at even better pricing than usual.  You can see all of the wines in our webstore or in the spreadsheet below, but we’ve also got some in-stock highlights if you’re having trouble making up your mind.

Highlights In Stock Now:

Thierry Triolet Cuvee Grande Reserve Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) Was $36, Now $33 July Sale Special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points
“Pale gold. Intense citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by notes of honeysuckle, tarragon and iodine. Chewy tangerine and pear skin flavors become silkier and spicier with aeration. Shows a seductive floral quality on the clinging finish, which features a dusty mineral nuance and a touch of buttered toast.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $38
Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette, Rhone 2015 750ML ($89.95) Was $69, Now $59 July Sale Special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“This is loaded with well-defined loganberry, blackberry and boysenberry pâte de fruit flavors, flecked with anise and black tea notes and carried by a fine iron streak that lingers wonderfully. A wine of cut, purity and precision. Best from 2020 through 2035. From France.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “A blend of Syrah grapes from several lieux-dits, including Les Bessards, the 2015 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes is aged in new and second use barrels. It’s a dark, concentrated wine, meaty, rich and tannic but with a bright beam of cassis fruit that lifts it and gives it great definition and shape on the palate. Give this medium to full-bodied wine at least 5 years in the cellar and drink it over the next 15.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “While the Les Bessards gets all the attention, the 2015 Hermitage Domaine Des Tourettes isn’t far behind and is unquestionably the value play. Beef blood, cassis, blackberry liqueur and loads of crushed rock nuances all emerge from this ripe, concentrated, full-bodied Hermitage that has a classic, structured profile. It’s well worth a case purchase and will keep for two to three decades. As always, this cuvée comes from two parcels, the lower part of the Bessards lieu-dit and the Les Grandes Vignes located at the highest point on Hermitage Hill. It’s completely destemmed and sees 16 months in 30% new French oak.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Taillepieds, Volnay Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($59.95) Was $56, Now $49 July Sale Special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91+ points
“Healthy dark red. Very primary nose hints at black cherry, menthol and bitter chocolate lifted by a floral topnote. Then sappy and saline on the palate, showing very good chewy concentration and medicinal reserve. Quite reticent today but displays a terrific balance between sweetness and firm minerality. Bitouzet wishes he made big bottles of this juice.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese, Nahe 2015 1.5L ($199.95) Was $149, Now $133 July Sale Special, 4 magnums in stock now
David Schildknecht-Vinous 95 points
” Buddleia and lily perfume, red raspberry and white peach headily entice the nose – then billow across a subtly creamy palate, set-off by a stony undertone and enhanced by animatingly bright fresh lime, tart apple and jammy but invigoratingly seedy berries. While the sweetness here is rather obvious, it doesn’t interfere with – and perhaps even enhances – the ripeness of fruit flavors in a luscious, refreshingly-sustained finish that is startlingly penetrating, almost as if this were an Eiswein, though in fact it represents a botrytis selection picked-out ahead of the corresponding Spätlese. ”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2015 Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Auslese was selected shortly before the Spätlese and is a selection of super ripe and the rarely botrytis grapes. The wine has a super ripe and warm fruit bouquet with some spicy and flinty aromas. On the palate, this is a piquant and generous Riesling with clear definition and lingering complexity and salinity. It has very good grip. (The wine is also available in 375 milliliter bottles for $45 and 1500 milliliter bottles for $180.)”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine A. & P. de Villaine Bourgogne Cote Chalonnaise La Fortune, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $36 July Sale Special, 4 bottles in stock now – more arriving July 12th!
Winery note
“Fresh with fruity notes that evoke blackberry, red fruits, wild strawberries. The tannins are soft, silky and give the wines, beside a powerful structure, a real aromatic lightness.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $42

Thanks for reading!