Midweek VinopolPick 8-13-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Back Vintage Rougeard, Selling Fast

Two Italian Icons: (Gaja San Lorenzo + Tignanello)

The Return of L’Hetre – Hot Bordeaux Value

Stocking Up on Tuscan Classics

Grapelive on Diamond Creek

Introducing Hebrart’s Mes Favorites

Two Top Rioja Values, Restocked

Pierrick Boulay’s Fantastic Volnay

Trending Wines


A Trove of Back Vintage Rougeard

Arriving Friday, Selling Out Fast

Clos Rougeard is one of the toughest wines in the world to source—and older vintages even more so.  These are bottles that are some of the most coveted in the world—the only producer of their stature in the Loire, they’re on par with the highest end Burgundy.  Collectors fight to get mere bottles of current releases, so it’s even more exciting to get our hands on a massive collection of back-vintage Rougeard with excellent provenance.  We first offered these last week and they’ve sold quickly—we’re down to one vintage of Breze and only a few bottles of a number of the single vineyard wine).  They arrive Friday and if you love the wines of Rougeard, you owe it to yourself to jump on these now, while there are still some left.

This is like winning a vinous lottery (if winning the lottery were a result of hard work and careful sourcing).  These wines are directly from the cellar of the importer/distributor for these bottles.  All were bought on release and carefully stored until now—it’s hard to imagine a better source for these outside of buying directly from the cellar of the estate (and good luck with that).  We’re able to offer you excellent pricing as well, as most of these wines are either national wine-searcher lows or very close—and no one else has the sort of sourcing we do.

We’ve got a table of all the wines below, but you can also view a full list in our webstore, if you’d like.  Given the limited quantities we’d suggest you order online if you want to make sure you get your order in before things sell out.  Happy hunting!

All Wines Arriving Friday, August 16th:


Two Italian Icons

(Gaja San Lorenzo + Tignanello)

Arriving Friday

Neither Gaja’s Sori San Lorenzo nor Tignanello need much in the way of introduction.  Both wines are true icons of the wine world—capital “G” Great Wine.  We’re bringing in (unfortunately limited) quantities of these masterpieces—the brand new 2016 Tignanello and two vintages of San Lorenzo.  These are wines that should be massively on the radars of any lover/collector of Italian wine and they’re bottles that shouldn’t be around for very long.  Stock up now.

Arriving Friday:

Gaja Sori San Lorenzo Langhe, Piedmont 2011 750ML ($499.95) $399 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 97+ points
“The 2011 Sorì San Lorenzo boasts massive depth, intensity and power. Black fruit, smoke, tar, licorice, savory herbs and leather are some of the many notes that emerge from the glass. Regardless of the year, the personality of Sorì San Lorenzo always comes through, which is why this is one of the great sites in Barbaresco, Piedmont and Italy. In 2011 the contours are a bit softer, which gives the wine a level of accessibility that is quite rare in Sorì San Lorenzos when the wines are young. Why is Sorì San Lorenzo one of the world’s most profound vineyards? Because its personality simply can’t be denied.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “The exciting 2011 Sori San Lorenzo is a wine of enormous beauty and grace. Gaia Gaja classifies her three single vineyard Langhe Nebbiolo wines as follows: Costa Russi is “flowers;” Sori Tildin is “fruit;” and San Lorenzo is “plant” (with more structure and a more compact feel). San Lorenzo does indeed boast a strong mineral component of pencil shavings and crushed granite, followed by red cherry and soft spice. The wine’s tannins start off harder than the other wines, but soften with time. Drink: 2018-2040.”

Gaja Sori San Lorenzo Langhe-Barbaresco, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($499.95) $399 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 97+ points
“The 2014 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo is the most virile and explosive of Gaja’s Barbarescos. Dark, brooding and powerful, with a huge spine of tannin, the San Lorenzo is utterly regal in the glass. Gravel, smoke, menthol, tar, licorice and a host of sepia-toned fruits build into a crescendo of aromas and flavors that is truly compelling. What a gorgeous wine this is.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Earthy notes lead off, followed by cherry, plum, graphite and tobacco flavors. Starts out broad and muscular, with a thick layer of tannins for support, yet gains elegance with aeration. A tad austere on the finish, but stays vibrant and long. Best from 2021 through 2036. 170 cases imported.”

Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 97 points
“To hit the market in June, the 2016 Tignanello is a rock-solid wine and a stunning beauty. The wine offers an impeccable level of precision and laser-focus delivery of fruits, spices, tilled earth, espresso beans and Mediterranean herbs. This vintage follows the classic blending formula of 80% Sangiovese with about 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc. The vines are now 15 to 20 years old. Compared to the 2015 vintage that ultimately appeared more chewy and succulent, this expression from the iconic 2016 vintage is more vibrant, nervous and jazzed. It shows more savory spice, saltiness and minerality, with a beautifully integrated quality of tannins. Some 320,000 bottles were produced. This wine is at the top of the list of some of the best Tignanello ever made, including the vintages 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2015.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “A big, lush style, this red delivers pure aromas and flavors of black currant, cherry, violet, flint, tobacco and baking spices, ending with a sweet, ripe finish. Though supple, this is backed by a firm, dense matrix of tannins, so all the components are there, but this just needs time to integrate. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2040. 5,000 cases imported.—B.S.”



The Return of L’Hetre

Jacques Thienpoint is the iconic owner of Le Pin, the hyper-rare and sought after Pomerol, and L’if, a cult property in St. Emilion.  He’s recently added a third property to that list—L’Hetre, also named after a tree, in the emerging region of Castillon in Bordeaux.  There are a lot of reasons to think that Castillon is going to be the next big thing in Bordeaux (for one, it’s one of the highest points in the region) and Thienpoint’s investment is an important marker.  Unlike Le Pin (one of the most expensive wines in the world) L’Hetre is very much a value proposition, at least for now.  We’ve got the debut 2016 vintage arriving this week, along with the second wine, Raison L’Hetre, and these are as fantastic as any sub-$30 Bordeaux we can remember.

Only time will tell if L’Hetre ends up being one of the most expensive wines in Bordeaux (the initial vintage of Le Pin went for ~$20) but for now it’s one of the best values in classy, right-bank Bordeaux.  We sold through most of our initial tranche (including all of the Case-6 specials) but we’ve got another drop coming tomorrow.  Don’t sleep on this one—it’s a delicious wine that drinks well now and will continue to for a while to come.

Re-Arriving Tomorrow, August 14th:

l’Hetre, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-6 l’Hetre, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon 2016 750ML ($159.95) $119 pre-arrival special (that’s only $19.83/bottle!)
Julia Harding MW – jancisrobinson .com
“L’Hêtre 2016 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux is the first release of this wine from the organically farmed estate perched at 100 m on the end of the St-Philippe d’Aiguilhe limestone plateau, the highest point in Bordeaux…‘Rich in blackcurrant fruit with a savoury dark glow to make it more than just fruit. Just a touch of smoky char even though the oak is well in the background, a seductive fruit sweetness. On the palate, this is beautifully balanced, the alcohol perfectly integrated in the tannic structure and fruit core with a fresh tang that runs through the middle. There’s a cool fluidity to it even with its depth and length. Fine, dry, lingering and savoury aftertaste. Impressive first vintage with a promising future in the bottle. I opened this on a Sunday evening and it was still tasting fresh and vibrant four days later. This is a very classy wine, and the tannins tell you everything: fine, definite, building in the mouth but in perfect balance with the fruit and freshness. Blue-blooded Castillon. Catch it while you can.’”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
l’Hetre ‘La Raison d’Hetre’, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon 2016 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 pre-arrival special
Case-12 l’Hetre ‘La Raison d’Hetre’, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon 2016 750ML ($259.95) $179 pre-arrival special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Julia Harding MW – jancisrobinson .com
“There is a second wine, Raison d’Hêtre, made from the younger vines and lower slopes. It’s a little lighter in body and tasted as if it had a little more of the Cabernets in the blend though the proportions are the same, but this was perhaps just slightly less ripe Merlot fruit.”

Stocking Up on Tuscan Classics

We love the great wines of Tuscany—there’s something about the heart of Italy that’s utterly captivating.  From great Brunello Riserva’s like the epic ’12 La Fortuna to the cream of the Chianti crop, like Volpaia’s Gran Selezione, we’re bringing in extra stock on a number of Vinopolis favorites tomorrow. These are wines that over deliver in a major way and really bring the magic.

La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, Arriving Tomorrow
Case-6 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($699.95) $564 pre-arrival special (that’s only $94/bottle!), Arriving Tomorrow
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!

#87 Wine of the Year – James Suckling Top 100 in 2018
Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2013 750ML ($134.95) $99 special, In Stock Now
James Suckling 98 points
“A vivid and bright red with intense blueberries and raspberries. Floral undertones and tons of citrus, too! Full-bodied, dense and layered. Polished tannins and fantastic fruit. The muscularity of the structure is what gives this wine focus and intensity. So serious for the vintage. Give it time to show its greatness. Drink in 2022.”
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 95+ points “Bright deep red. The youthfully reticent nose hints at flinty red cherry, blueberry, graphite, cedar and pepper. Then flavors similar to the aromas, and a tight acid spine and serious but polished tannins nicely extending and framing the brooding fruit notes and peppery flintiness on the long, deep, complex finish. A truly outstanding Tenuta Nuova Brunello that seems less fruit-forward and more shut down than usual but holds exciting promise. Interestingly, some of this wine’s elements, such as its flinty nuances, reminded me of Casanova di Neri’s Cerretalto Brunello (made with grapes grown at the opposite end of the Montalcino territory). I guess my palate needs to take a vacation. This knockout wine will age splendidly and will likely merit an even higher score in eight to ten years’ time.”

Castello di Volpaia Coltassala, Chianti Gran Selezione DOCG 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, In Stock Now
James Suckling 96 points
“A decadent nose of vanilla, brambleberries, resin, coffee beans, tobacco and hot stones with a touch of citrus and other fresher elements. Full-bodied and very intense on the palate, but the ripe tannins also show plenty of firmness. The bright acidity carries this through to a delightfully long finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink in 2021.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 95 points “This wine has now been upgraded from Riserva to Gran Selezione status. The 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Coltassala is a beautifully enriched wine that bursts open with a satisfying display of bold fruit, ripe blackberry, tobacco, spice and tar. There is ample muscle and brawn, but the wine shows impressive balance thanks to its soft textural richness and full-bodied approach. The blend is 95% Sangiovese and 5% Mammolo. This is a real beauty that pairs a hot vintage with one of the coolest, high-altitude subzones (Radda in Chianti) in this celebrated appellation. I’m sure this is the best wines I have ever tasted from Castello di Volpaia. Some 12,000 bottles were produced.”

Tenuta di Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, In Stock Now
James Suckling 95 points
“Beautiful aromas of black cherry and apricot. Full body, exotic and intense. A wealth of fruit yet remains vibrant and firm. Extremely focused. Long finish. Great follow up to the 2012. Drink in 2021.”
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 94 points “Palish red. The intensely floral nose (violet, peony, iris, rose) also offers aromas of red cherry and incense. Dense but juicy, showing a sappy quality, but plenty of extract nicely frames the red fruit and candied violet flavors. The long finish is given added punch by strong underlying minerality. Very attractive wine of impeccable balance. Well done.”



Grapelive on Diamond Creek

In Stock Now:

Only thirteen bottles available
Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($249.95) $188 special
Grapelive 96 points
“Diamond Creek, one of the first single vineyard wines and a California legend, still makes one of the best Cabernet Sauvignons in the state. This latest Gravelly Meadow is a gorgeous wine with a deep purple/crimson color and ripe tannin. It’s a wine that is packed with fruit and should age, like all Diamond Creeks, for another two to three decades.  The winery began when Al Broustein bought about 70 acres on Napa’s Diamond Mountain in 1967, and he planted around 25 acres to Cabernet Sauvignon, along with a small amount of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot on four distinct terroirs, incredibly all were within 60 feet of each other with Volcanic Hill, Red Rock Terrace, Gravelly Meadow and the tiny Lake cru all becoming prestigious sites and are always bottled and vinified separately. By the early to mid-seventies Diamond Creek was producing powerful mountain Cabernet Sauvignon that rivaled the best Bordeaux… and the current 2015 vintage is top notch[. F]or me, this Gravelly Meadow is Cabernet that lives up to the historic wines from their past with blackberry, plum, black currant and blueberry fruits on the full bodied palate along with touches of smoky wood, anise, minty sage, sweet tobacco leaf, violet florals and lingering creme de cassis all wrapped in a firm structure, though unlike the 1970s and 1980s, the tannins are lush and smooth, mostly from the vintage rather than any winemaking changes…. I love these wines and while not cheap, they are often better than wines twice or three times the price, and while in recent years the climate and warm years have made these wines beautiful in their youth, they still reward patience, making them attractive to collectors, and this 2015 looks set to be a classic.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Introducing Hebrart’s Mes Favorites

Marc Hebrart is one of our favorite grower houses in Champagne.  They’ve gone from a reliable producer of excellent bubbles to a house making some of the most noteworthy, compelling Champagne out there over the last decade and it’s been a thrill to follow along.  We’ve got a new bottling from Hebrart arriving Friday—an old vines selection entirely from the home village of Mareuil-sur-Äy.  We tasted it last week and had to have it—this is some serious stuff, especially for the price.  It’s a bit wound up right now, but by the time fall comes around it should have settled down a bit (and if you can age it longer, you’ll be rewarded).  As you might expect given Hebrart’s rising star, this is fairly limited in scope (we’re only getting three cases on Friday), so grab it while you can.

Arriving Friday:

Marc Hebrart Premier Cru Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes, Champagne 750ML ($69.95) $61.90 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise Note
“[+++] The facts first—It is 75% PN from Mareuil, 25% Chard also from Mareuil. Old vines, massale selection. Deg 4/2018. 60% 2014, 20% 2013, 20% 2012. It’s from his favorite parcels in Mareuil, and is intended as a tribute to its terroir. It has a truly noble PN fragrance, leading to an utter masterpiece of weightless concentration, as huge and yet as penetrable as a cumulous cloud. Mareuil is clearly great but it’s also somewhat inscrutable; it has some of the malt of Aÿ, some mirabelle confiture, an almost gingery spice and top notes of chalk. This wine has great, gossamer opulence.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Two Top Rioja Values, Restocked

Telmo Rondriguez is one of the most talented winemakers in Spain.  Internationally trained, he returned to the family estate, Remelluri, and has taken it to new heights.  Remelluri is in Rioja Alavesa—the smallest part of Rioja which is known for intense, powerful wines and these are no exception.  The soils in their vineyards are exceptionally shallow, creating small berries and greater concentration in the wines and their organic farming and careful cellar work keeps a sense of brightness and energy even in warm vintages. The Lindes de Remelluri (“Borders of Remelluri”) is made from grapes traditionally sold to the estate and sourced from village vineyards in San Vicente de La Sonsierra surrounding the estate.  This “second wine” is an absolute steal of a bottling and a wine to buy with abandon.

In Stock Now, More Arriving Tomorrow:

Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Vinedos de San Vicente, Rioja 2014 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Case-6 Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Vinedos de San Vicente, Rioja 2014 750ML ($179.95) $128 special (that’s only $21.33/bottle!)
James Suckling 96 points
“Some richer, darker and deeper fruit character with plums, blackberries and a dark, earthy streak. The tannins are more upright, more elevated, and the fruit is richer and darker than in the Labastida. This has real presence, grip and energy. Try from 2021.”
Grapelive 94 points “Telmo Rodriguez, one of the most iconic and best winemakers of his generation…. has accomplished himself as a champion of terroir over varietal and employs artisan craftsmanship in the cellar, with his wines hardly ever showing overt oak or aggressive alcohol, they always show distinctive purity and a sense of place, and these secondary wines known as Lindes de Remmelluri are magnificent expressions of Rioja, they are richly flavored and soulful wines crafted from old vine purchased fruit from vineyards that prior had got into the family’s main wine. These two vineyard select wines, Labastida and this San Vincente, coming from vineyards that used to go into the Remelluri Reserva are now separated into these two new single vineyard bottlings that are absolutely stunning values, especially in this 2014 vintage….The beautiful and deep Lindes de Remelluri Viñedos de San Vicente 2014, a field blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Garnacha, was fermented using all native yeasts in cool stainless steel tanks and then raised in barrel, 100% French oak, for 12 months before bottling where it is rested a good amount of time as well. San Vincente in the Rioja Alta just to the east of Haro is at about 50 meters up, but hotter than the higher sites at Labastida and at the main Remelluri estate located in Rioja Alavesa which are much cooler, making this wine seem more lush, riper in satiny tannin and with a softer acidity. Grown on hardened clay and calcareous limestone over a firm core of bedrock from organic vines that average at least 40 years of age this wine shows warm dark fruits, blackberry, cherry and plum lead the way along with hints of earthy mulberry and cranberry along with lilacs, cedar/sandalwood, a touch of vanilla and a subtle array of spices. 2014 was a slightly cooler year and that really helps this wine feel alive on the opulent and full bodied palate and it lingers on and on with a echoing aftertaste that is highly impressive. Telmo’s wines are always polished and textural, but distinctly authentic with terruño character and delivering substance along with some flair, which this one shows, it should age well too, I can imagine at least another decade plus with this 2014 San Vincente.”

Lopez de Heredia is one of the world’s elite wine estates.  Yet, for all of the grace, complexity, age-worthiness and profundity of the wines, the prices are shockingly low.  You can purchase the entry level wine from the greatest traditional Rioja estate for less than $25, even lower by the six-pack.  Their ’09 Cubillo is as good as you’d expect—a little richer and denser from the warmth of the vintage, but with exceptional elegance, as always.

In Stock Now, More Arriving Tomorrow:

R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia ‘Vina Cubillo’ Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Case-6 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia ‘Vina Cubillo’ Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($179.95) $133 special 
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The red they say was born to go with tapas and sold in local restaurants is the 2009 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza. 2009 was a warm and ripe year, and this blend of Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha (or the masculine Garnacho they like to use) plus 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo from limestone soils with quite a lot of clay, feels juicy and soft. It fermented with natural yeasts in large oak vats and matured in used barriques for three years. This is a bottling that has grown and improved a lot since 2004-2005. It shows very good balance between fruit and more developed aromas, with hints of leather and cherries, spices and smoke, very clean and with good volume in the palate. It’s usually a little riper and with higher alcohol than Tondonia or Bosconia, with the character, finesse and elegance of a classical Reserva. 93,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in April 2013.”


Pierrick Boulay’s Fantastic Volnay

Generational change is the best chance to buy capital “G” Great Burgundy at reasonable prices.  Case in point? Today’s offering of Volnay from Pierrick Bouley, who has taken over the family estate (known as Reyane & Pascal Bouley).  He’s young and clearly very talented—these are some seriously special wines at prices that are equivalent to most middling producers of Volnay.  We’re sure the pricing will change as he gets more notice, but for now these represent a fantastic buying opportunity.

Pierrick is the fifth generation of his family to make wine from Volnay and its surroundings and he seems to have absorbed the cumulative knowledge of the previous generations.  Stylistically, his wines are notable for their finesse, polish and elegance—Volnay in a nutshell.  There’s very little new wood, minimal manipulation and a striking purity to the flavors and aromatics.

As far as the vintage goes, we couldn’t be happier about our first offer of these wines. 2016 is an excellent, classically-styled vintage that plays to the strengths of Pierrick and Volnay as a whole.  Our only complaint is that the wines are in short supply due to frost damage across the Cote de Beaune.  We’ve secured all we could, but most of the top wines are only available in small (1-2 case) quantities.

In Stock Now from Pierrick Bouley

Domaine Reyane et Pascal Bouley Clos des Chenes, Volnay Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Fine Wine Review 92-95 points
“49 hl/ha. Here, too, the vines are younger than most of the estate’s other vines, being only about 30 years-old. The nose is stony and pure. The mouth shows dark fruits and it is sleeker than that of the Champans. The wine shows excellent energy and penetration and one can feel the limestone in the vineyard. The wine also shows good minearlity and length. It should age well.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Reyane et Pascal Bouley Les Grands Champs, Volnay Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Fine Wine Review 90-94 points
“10 hl/ha. Bouley owns the only part of the Grands Champs that is classified as premier cru. The nose is powerful with red fruits and some spiciness. The mouth is medium light with elegance, good length and spicy red and dark fruits. ”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Reyane et Pascal Bouley Santenots, Volnay Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Fine Wine Review 90-94 points
“26.7 hl/ha. No SO2 yet added. The nose shows spiced blackberries. The mouth is dense with good structure, very deep blackberry fruit, and overall balance. It is a very good representation of wine from the Santenots vineyard.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Reyane et Pascal Bouley Monthelie Aux Fournereaux, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($47.95) $39 special
Fine Wine Review 88-92 points
“5.25 hl/ha here. The nose shows ripe crushed blackberry fruit. The mouth is dense and pure with good structure to support the wild blackberry fruit. If this wine were available in any quantity, it would be a no-brainer.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Reyane et Pascal Bouley Bourgogne Rouge 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Fine Wine Review 89-91 points
“The yield for this wine is 8.3 hl/ha. So far, there’s been no SO2 added to this wine. The nose and mouth both show red fruits. In the mouth, the wine is long and salty with good density and balance.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Reyane et Pascal Bouley Bourgogne Passetoutgrain, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Trending Wines
Another stunner from Occhipinti.
Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 95 points
“Deep red. Pungent floral aromas of red rose, quinine, cinnamon, red cherry and minerals. Then juicy and fresh, with real floral lift to the sour red cherry and dried berry flavors. Finishes long with zingy acidity. Another knockout Frappato from Arianna Occhipinti.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $44

“as food-flexible as any red wine gets” -JS
Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Petalos’, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Case-12 Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Petalos’, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($279.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92+ points
“I tasted two vintages of their entry-level wine because the 2016 Pétalos del Bierzo was sold out and the 2017 has already been released. Depending on the vintage, they use more or less white grapes in the fermentation, and in 2016 it was around 6%. It has an elegant profile, clean, floral and spicy, with a soft palate and subtle acidity that gives it a kick and makes it longer. This is one of the best value wines in Spain, and 2016 is not an exception. Perhaps it won’t be the longest-lived vintage, but it’s drinking beautifully and gives a lot of pleasure. It’s somehow reminiscent of 2013 or 2014, perhaps a tad warmer. There were a whopping 318,000 bottles and 3,000 magnums, which means they had 1,568 barrels of this wine.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Deep, lurid ruby. Powerful, mineral- and spice-accented cherry and dark berry aromas, along with a suave violet nuance that builds in the glass. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering intense black raspberry, cherry-cola and spicecake flavors and a deeper suggestion of candied licorice. Shows excellent clarity and mineral cut on a long, subtle tannic finish that leaves a bitter cherry note behind.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “This savory red offers notes of espresso, black olive and graphite framing a core of black cherry and licorice. Fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity keep this balanced. Harmonious and graceful. Drink now through 2024. 27,000 cases made.”
James Suckling 92 points “In spite of all the blackberry and violet aromas, this wine has great herbal freshness and enormous vitality on the sleek and positively dry palate, with a long and crisp mineral finish. About as food-flexible as any red wine gets.”

The average price nationally is $20
Find us a better Cab from California at this price.
Isole e Olena Collezione Privata Cabernet Sauvignon Toscana IGT 2014 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“A regal wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione Privata from Isole e Olena soars out of the glass with tremendous aromatic and palate intensity. Deceptive in its mid-weight structure, the 2014 has so much to offer. Once again, De Marchi crafted a Cabernet Sauvignon that exudes character. Today, the 2014 is vivid but also intensely saline and clenched. Another few years in bottle should do the trick. This fruit was brought in during the last week of October and first week of November, quite late, even by the standards of the year.”

A top Rhone white from a rising star that’s easy on the wallet, as well.
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Peray, Rhone 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Case-12 Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Peray, Rhone 2016 750ML ($289.95) $259 special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“This team has made a terrific 2016 Saint-Péray, (50/50 Marsanne and Roussanne aged in 15% new oak) from an appellation that continues to produce more and more outstanding wines. Honeysuckle, white flowers, caramelized peach and white currant notes give way to a pure, elegant, layered white that has terrific purity and length. It’s going to drink beautifully for 3-4 years or more.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Pale yellow-gold. Fresh and incisive on the nose, displaying vibrant citrus and orchard fruit scents complemented by hints of honeysuckle and chalky minerals. Shows very good depth of flavor but comes off lithe, offering juicy Meyer lemon and bitter pear skin flavors that pick up a spicy ginger note on the back half. Closes very long and precise, delivering a firm snap of minerality and lingering floral character.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $27.99

Big, powerful, thrilling Priorat—for under $20(?!?!)
Celler Cal Pla Black Slate Porrera, Priorat DOCa 2016 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The 2016 Black Slate Porrera comes from a project of importer Eric Solomon focusing on the specific villages in the Priorat. The 2016 is 60% Grenache and 40% Carignan that was mostly destemmed and spent a full year in used barrels. Thrilling blue fruits, tar, rose petals, and a smoky, marine, iodine-like character all emerge from this full-bodied effort that opens up nicely with time in the glass. Tasting like it cost three times the price, it picks up more minerality with time in the glass, has beautiful balance, and great purity of fruit. It would be hard to find a better value. Drink bottles over the coming 3-5 years.”

A standout for the price.
Cordero di Montezemolo Monfalletto, Barolo DOCG 2014 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
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.”
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.”
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
Thanks for reading!