Midweek VinopolPick 8-14-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

New Vinous Rosé Reviews
Staff Pick: Not-Pinot from the Willamette
Marques de Caceres – A Wine Spectator Top-20 Wine
Trending Wines of the Week
The Taste of Latour, Under $100
2013 Barolo – A Tipping Point Vintage
The Rarest Chartogne-Taillet?
La Gerla: No Brainer Brunello
First Offer! 2015 Opus One
Highlights of the August Sale

New Rose Reviews

From Josh Raynolds of Vinous

“This summer gave me an opportunity to sample a number of high-quality Rosés, wines that are ideal companions to hot-weather food or for just enjoying by themselves. But don’t be in a hurry as their adaptability at the table often makes them year-round drinking options.

“I tasted a pleasantly high number of excellent, even outstanding, pink wines since we began our coverage of this year’s new releases in June. The Rosé category continues to grow, some might say metastasize, at a dizzying pace. Just looking at the calendar proves that many of this year’s early releases of 2017 Rosés, at least those from the northern hemisphere, were clearly rushed through their fermentations, bottled too early and released as quickly as possible to take advantage of the ongoing world-wide craze for all wines pink, and ideally of an extremely pale shade of pink. The result was an abundance of usually inoffensive but less-than-exciting wines, with only a handful of real standouts. Happily, the second round proved to be far more interesting, not to mention successful.

“The trend towards lighter bodied, high-acid pink wines shows no sign of slowing down. Moreover, anecdotal evidence from producers, importers, sommeliers and retailers is that deeper, richer, full-bodied Rosés have become a tough sell. That style is perhaps best exemplified by Tavel, an appellation in France’s southern Rhône Valley devoted solely to Rosé.…Compared to what seems like the majority of pink wines on retail shelves and that are being poured in restaurants around the world, Tavel and other weighty Rosés might be a shock to many palates. While more brisk Rosés can easily take the place of lighter white wines, deeper Rosés are terrific alternatives to red wines. Fuller-bodied Rosés also work well with the type of food that would overpower most delicate Rosés, such as red meats, richer poultry like duck, strong cheeses and pretty much anything grilled or smoked. I hope that readers will give richer, bolder Rosés a serious look, as their adaptability and flexibility at the table is welcome and vast.” Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91 points “Light bright pink. Racy and focused on the nose, displaying mineral-accented red berry, orange zest and floral scents and a subtle herbal undertone. Dry and nervy in style, offering juicy red currant and bitter cherry flavors that deepen and become sweeter with air. Clings with impressive authority on the finish, leaving candied rose and chalky mineral notes behind.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Chateau de Calavon Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Chateau de Calavon Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($249.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points
“Light bright orange. Mineral-tinged red fruit and peach aromas show very good clarity and pick up a subtle floral nuance with air. Juicy and light on its feet, offering zesty strawberry and orange pith flavors that slowly deepen as the wine stretches out. Lingers with strong persistence on the incisive finish, leaving an appealingly sweet strawberry note behind.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Charvin Cotes du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points “Light lurid orange. Mineral-accented red berry and floral aromas are complemented by a subtle mineral element that gains power as the wine opens up. Juicy and expansive in the mouth, showing appealingly sweet raspberry, tangerine and lavender flavors and seamless texture. Concentrated yet lively in style, finishing with strong mineral thrust and a suave floral echo.”

Domaine Collotte Marsannay Rose, Cote de Nuits 2017 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points “Light vivid pink. Lively and sharply focused on the nose, displaying fresh red berry, orange and floral scents that deepen slowly as the wine opens up. Supple and broad on entry, offering subtly sweet raspberry and cherry flavors sharpened by dusty mineral and spice flourishes. Shows very good clarity and zesty cut on the finish, which leaves a gentle herbal note behind.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cote du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cote du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($189.95) $138 special (that’s only $11.50/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points
“Light lurid orange. Mineral-accented red berry and citrus fruit aromas show very good clarity and pick up a sexy floral nuance with aeration. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering chewy red currant, cherry and bitter orange pith flavors that soften up steadily on the back half. The floral note comes back strong on the persistent finish, which is sharpened by a snap of tangy acidity.”

Domaine Les Grands Bois Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Les Trois Soeurs Rose 2017 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 89 points “Limpid orange-pink. Ripe strawberry and tangerine and a subtle floral note on the fragrant nose and in the mouth. In a fleshy, smooth style but shows good energy and lift as well. Finishes with repeating florality and good, red-fruit-driven persistence.”

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The Eyrie Vineyards Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($21.95) $19 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points “Pale brilliant orange. Bright and energetic on the highly fragrant, incisive nose, which presents intense red berry, orange pith and floral scents along with building herb and spice nuances. Chewy and densely packed on the palate, offering sappy, mineral-laced strawberry and bitter cherry flavors that deepen and take a sweeter turn with aeration. The mineral note adds emphatic bite to the finish, which lingers with strong, floral-driven tenacity. There aren’t many New World pink wines that can match this one, and precious few from the Old World, either, much less at the price asked.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91 points “Limpid orange. Incisive orange pith and red currant aromas are complemented by building herb and floral accents. Silky and round on the palate, offering intense red berry and blood orange flavors firmed by a jolt of bitter cherry pit. Finishes with strong authority, echoing the orange and floral notes.”

Arriving Friday:
Bernard Baudry Chinon Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($21.95)
$18 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points “Very pale orange-pink. Mineral-tinged red berry and floral scents, along with an herbal flourish that emerges with aeration. Dry and sharply focused on the palate, offering juicy strawberry, rose pastille and orange zest flavors that deepen and become spicier on the back half. Finishes on a repeating mineral note, with displaying very good clarity and floral-driven persistence.”

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Staff Pick:

Not-Pinot from the Willamette

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Marques de Caceres

A Wine Spectator Top-20 Wine

Trending Wines of the Week
Tavel—perfect with lamb on a warm night.
$18 special
Case-12 Domaine Lafond Tavel Roc-Epine Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“A dependable producer of Tavel and Lirac (and Châteauneuf-du-Pape), the Lafonds have turned out a spice-driven 2017 Tavel that’s bottled under screwcap. Hints of allspice and clove accent watermelon and red berry flavors, while the palate is medium to full-bodied and richly textured, leading into a long, silky finish. Bravo!”

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Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($89.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2010 Barolo Bussia is a gorgeous expression that hits all the high notes, both in terms of bouquet and mouthfeel. The nose is redolent of pressed cherries, tar, licorice, crushed granite and chopped mint. It offers the special characteristics that are so forth coming with the Nebbiolo grape. The wine caresses the palate with a fine and enduring sense of freshness and structure. The 2010 vintage is a stunner. Drink: 2016-2028.”
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “The 2010 Barolo Bussia is gorgeous and super-classic in every way. Dark red cherry, plum, spice, new leather and tobacco are some of the many notes that take shape in the glass. The 2010 is a beautiful version of the Bussia, with less of the approachability of some previous vintages, but tons of potential for the future. There is a lot to look forward to here. This is one of the best versions of the Bussia I can remember tasting. The 2010 stands out for its precision and crystalline purity. Readers looking for a great 2010 Barolo that won’t kill the budget should check out the 2010 Bussia.’

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $86.80
If you’re only going to buy one Prum bottling, this is it.
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2016 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2016 1.5L ($119.95) $96 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2016 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese (AP 23 17) is still discreet, floral and finely mineral rather than fruity on the nose compared to the other 2016 Spätlesen. Lush, piquant and juicy on the palate, this is a firm but sensual Sonnenuhr with remarkable finesse, lightness and lingering salinity. Tasted March 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Old school St. Emilion.
Chateau Quinault L’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “This is very distinctive, with live-wire acidity running through the core of damson plum, linzer torte and blackberry fruit that’s framed by a mouthwatering roasted apple wood note. The long and driven finish has a piercing iron edge and a smoldering tobacco note that adds to the dramatic profile. Best from 2015 through 2025.”

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#3 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 2017
Chateau Coutet, Barsac 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Chateau Coutet, Barsac 2014 375ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “This shows the vivid, racy side of Barsac, with streaming flavors of pineapple, yellow apple, green plum and white ginger, displaying lovely energy from start to finish. Ends with enough honeysuckle and orange blossom notes to balance the richness. Best from 2020 through 2035.”
The Taste of Latour

For Under $100

Chateau Latour is one of the storied properties of the wine world—with prices to match.  What’s a wine lover to if they want to taste some of the fabled wine but don’t want to spend tons of dough?  Look to the second and third wines of the estate.  We have finally locked down some excellent pricing on several cases of the soon-to-be released “Le Pauillac de Chateau Latour,” the entry level wine from the famed producer.

Latour has changed their release model recently, deciding to hold back wines until much closer to maturity, so there was much speculation about when the next vintage (2013) would be released.  We now have an answer—it lands a mere ten days from now, in perfect time to stock up on for fall drinking.  This is made with the same style and care as the flagship wine, but is crafted for earlier drinkability, in other words, a perfect Latour for less-than-momentous occasions.

Arriving Friday, August 24th:

Chateau Latour Le Pauillac de Latour, Pauillac 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 90 points “A firm and silky red with currant, plum and berry character. Medium body, fresh finish. Stone and dark fruit. Drink now.”



2013 Barolo

A Tipping Point for Collectible Piemonte

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

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

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

We’ve highlighted a selection of our favorites here, but don’t forget you can see the full list on our web store!

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

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

Built for age and profundity.
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($89.95) $66 special
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis, Barolo DOCG 2013 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96+ points “Cavallotto is on a roll with some very impressive new releases. The 2013 Barolo Bricco Boschis is a tremendous effort that has an edge on the excellent 2010 vintage in my view. The wine shows a beautifully exuberant but elegant bouquet with the ethereal and undertone fruit and spice aromas you get with Nebbiolo. Although the wine is never overdone, it does show silky persistence and a long finish that comes from the noble nature of the tannins and the wine’s textural finesse. Yet, it is playfully deceiving in a way because behind that polished grace, it delivers impressive depth and power.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “This is packed with sweet cherry, currant, floral and spice flavors. The vivid acidity drives the intensity, while dense tannins lend support. This will take some time to harmonize, but should be well worth the wait. Best from 2022 through 2040.”

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

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

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The Rarest Chartogne-Taillet?

The 100% Meunier Beaux Sens

“Visitors to France should look out for another Meunier cuvée from the next-door neighbor vineyard, Beaux Sens. 61-year vines, and different from Les Barres, chalkier, less earthy, less deep but more silvery”  –Terry Theise

Chartogne-Taillet is widely recognized as a top tier Champagne grower—their focus on single vineyard, old vine bottlings produces wine that has depth and soul that’s matched by only a very few in the region.  We’re excited to have secured his rare “Beaux Sens” bottling—the next door neighbor to the coveted Les Barres and the flagship wine for the estate in his home country.

Because of the scarcity of the cuvee, no Beaux Sens “officially” is exported to the US—it’s all marked for the top restaurants and shops in Alexandre Chartogne’s home country (France).  We’ve been working on securing some for a while and it’s quite a coup to be able to secure eighteen bottles, arriving next month.  Lovers of Champagne should pay attention—this is the toughest wine from the esteemed estate to source and a monument to old-vine Meunier.

Arriving ETA September:

Chartogne-Taillet ‘Beaux Sens’ Extra Brut, Champagne 2011 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
100% Pinot Meunier
James Suckling 95 points “Pure and delicious pinot meunier vinified in old wood, it opens up with sweet fragrant red and blue berry fruits, woody forest notes and peppery nuances as well as almond paste, dried meadow flowers and fresh bread nuances. Initially occupies the palate in sleek, plate like shape, builds outwards with plenty of flesh driven by cleverly paced acidity. Terrific vinous presence at the finish, this has unique and distinctive style. Drink now.”

La Gerla

No Brainer Brunello

It’s been a golden decade for Brunello—most vintages since 2008 have been above average, but the last few years have produced some real head turning wines—chief among them from La Gerla.  The estate is a favorite here because of a combination of powerful yet accessible wines and pricing that’s far, far below what the market would bear.

La Gerla makes fantastic Brunello in a traditional (yet approachable) way.  The wines always have striking purity of fruit and elegant structures but are free of the sweet tinted oak that masks many “easy drinking” Brunellos.  We have their epic 2013 Brunello and 2012 Riserva arriving this fall and both are some of the best wines ever produced by the estate.  2012 is an excellent Riserva vintage, with power and structure to produce the profound and 2013…well, we’ve yet to meet a bad wine in the vintage and they’re already drinking great.  Stock up on both and drink the normale while the Riserva matures.

Arriving In September:

La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($59.95) $45 pre-arrival special
La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 375ML ($29.95) $26 pre-arrival special
La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 1.5L ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino is elegant, balanced and bright. The pretty luminosity of the wine’s appearance helps to underline this positive impression. The bouquet is nuanced and layered with dried fruit aromas that segue to spice, tar and balsam herb. You get sassy aromas of licorice, tar and cola on the close.”
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 93+ points “Bright red. Pure and very flinty nuances complement aromas and flavors of strawberry-rhubarb and wild berries on the nose and palate. Dense and juicy and boasting a focused, penetrating mouthfeel, this finishes long and clean with a very strong note of licorice. Best classico Brunello from La Gerla in some time.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $56.70

La Gerla Riserva gli Angeli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($99.95) $69 pre-arrival special
La Gerla Riserva gli Angeli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 1.5L ($219.95) $159 pre-arrival special
La Gerla Riserva gli Angeli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 3L ($499.95) $319 pre-arrival special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 95 points “Bright medium ruby. Very clean and fresh aromas and flavors of red currant, cherry pit, flowers and blood orange jelly. Bright, juicy and very light on its feet, offering superb vinosity and clarity of flavor, this conveys an impression of real underlying density and a multilayered mouthfeel. A knockout wine of outstanding energy and class, finishing with polished tannins, uncanny sweetness and lovely subtle persistence, not to mention outstanding balance (it hides its 14.5% alcohol very well).”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “Here is a dense and meaty Tusan red that flaunts its immediate power, structure and intensity. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva gli Angeli is robust and deep thanks to a generous offering of dark fruit, spice and tar-like aromas. Fruit is carefully selected for this wine, and the grapes are fermented in stainless steel. Post fermentation, the wine goes into large Slavonian oak casks for four years. The finish is soft and supple with sweet berry flavors. This wine has made an impressive jump forward in this vintage.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $98.55

First Offer

2015 Opus One

Arriving ETA October:

Opus One, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($369.95) $333 pre-arrival special
“Purity and brilliance on the nose with so much currant and flower character. Roses, currant bush and fresh leaves, too. Brightness is the word that comes to mind. Full-bodied and broad-shouldered. Juicy and so gorgeous now. Balance is so wonderful here. All about harmonious fruit and tannin balance. I like it slightly better than the excellent 2014. 81% cabernet sauvignon, 4% petit verdot, 7% cabernet franc, 6% merlot and 2% malbec. Drink or hold.    (7/2018)”
Wine Advocate 96-98 points ” Blended of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Malbec and displaying a medium to deep garnet-purple color, the Opus One 2015 Proprietary Red Wine is a sexy, beautiful spice-bomb, with tons of cinnamon stick, cloves, fenugreek and pepper notes springing forth over a core of mulberries, plum preserves, blackberry pie and fragrant earth plus a waft of lavender. The palate is big, voluptuous and totally decadent, with velvety tannins and just enough freshness framing the rich, spicy black fruits, finishing with a lovely perfumed lift. This wine was tasted as a tank sample, but it is due to be bottled soon. (LPB)    (10/2017)”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2015 Opus One is just as fabulous from bottle as it was from barrel. Dark, sumptuous and voluptuous in the glass, with no hard edges, the 2015 captures all the essence of the vintage while retaining a good bit of aromatic freshness. At this stage, the new oak is still a bit prominent, but that should not be an issue as the wine ages. There is more than enough depth for the 2015 to develop positively for 20-25 years, perhaps more. Just bottled a month prior to this tasting, the 2015 is naturally a bit more reticent than it has been in the past. Winemaker Michael Silacci add that the 2015 will, in his view, follow a similar trajectory to the 2008, which he later opened for the sake of comparison. In my view, the 2015 will always be more extroverted, although it does need time to be at its most expressive. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. 96+ (AG)”

Highlights of the August Sale
Rich, bold, powerful and far more than a “Bourgogne.”
$49 Clearance Price
VinopolNote: The Bourgogne is a blend of village and premier cru wine from some under-the-radar appellations, like Fixin, Savigny and Pernand (along with some Hauts Cotes) with village wine from the Cote de Nuits and even some Premier and Grand Cru barrels that don’t quite meet the exceptionally lofty standards to be sold under the vineyard names (and prices). Less than 500 bottles make it into the US, so the chance to acquire some is a special opportunity.

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A stunning deal on a rising star grower.
Christophe Mignon Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39 Clearance Price
Grapelive 94 points “Of Champagne’s new generation of natural/biodynamic winegrowers, Christophe Mignon is one of my favorite grower producers. His latest Brut Nature is a gorgeous sparkler. It comes from a blend of 2013 and 2014 vintages with no dosage. Christophe Mignon is an absolute Pinot Meunier specialist. He comes from a long line of family farmers in the Le-Mesnil-le-Huttier area….[This] terroir suits the Meunier and allows for complex ripe flavors, which makes it easier for him to use almost non dosage on all of his dry offerings. These are beautiful and detailed Champagnes with finesse, elegance and yeasty brioche notes that are not severe in style. They are wonderfully pleasing examples and show Pinot Meunier at its finest. Mignon is guided by holistic farming and follows the lunar cycle in working the vines and in the cellar, [and] he ferments in temperature controlled epoxy lined vats. Each terroir parcel is vinified separately at each sites’ perfect ripeness in a fermentation that lasts up to 30 days. This Brut Nature [was] aged 24 months in bottle, raised with lees, and as mentioned with no dosage. This… 100% Pinot Meunier and is drinking great right now with lovely white flowers, subtle red berry aromas and toasty notes along with layers of lemon, golden figs, hazelnut and white cherry elements all lifted by vital acidity and a luxurious, but vigorous mousse that delivers a divine textural or vinous mouth feel and lingering finish. This is brilliant grower fizz [has] a perfectly balanced sense of density/body and vibrancy. It finishes with a grip of dry extract making this an enthusiast all Meunier bubbly that is sublime with cuisine, but also opulent and easy to love on its own. Very impressive again from Christophe Mignon.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Brut Nature Blanc de Noirs Pur Meunier is a fabulous wine that captures the essence of Christophe Mignon’s style. Rich and resonant on the palate, the Pur Meunier exudes creaminess. This is an especially weighty expression of Meunier, and yet all the elements are very nicely balanced. Red fruit, dried pear, smoke, menthol and hazelnut notes slowly open up in the glass adding further shades of nuance. Expressive mineral notes extend the finish while providing an attractive counterpoint to the dense, pliant fruit. The current release is a blend of equal parts 2014 and 2013. Mignon’s Pur Meunier is one of the most distinctive wines being made in Champagne today. Don’t miss it. Disgorged: March 2017 and bottled with no dosage.”

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A more elegant take on Rio Sordo, this is a knockout.
Cascina delle Rose Barbaresco Rio Sordo, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 1.5L ($149.95) Was $119, Now $99 Clearance Price
Wine Spectator 95 points “A lively version, displaying cherry, plum, licorice, spice and subtle tar flavors. Taut and balanced, exuding a mineral element on the long finish. Really elegant overall. Best from 2021 through 2035. ”
Winery note “Barbaresco Rio Sordo was born through a severe selection in a vineyard of Nebbiolo grapes. The   immediate characteristics are its complexity and deepness accompanied with elegance and finesse. The colour is garnet red with slight orange flecks.  The taste is intense and persistent and its intriguing perfume as slight hint of wild fruit, spicy with sensations of leather and pepper. It combines perfectly with important red meats dishes, roasts, mature cheeses.””

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Want to see all of the wines in our August Clearance Sale? Here you go:

Thanks for reading!