MidWeek VinopolPick 8-15-17

Il Poggione 2011; Raul Perez Prieto Picudo; Saint Cosme Gigondas – WOTY?; Benchmark Pfalz – Muller-Catoir; Staff Pick: Pouilly Fume; Cristom’s Epic 2014’s; Grillin’ Languedoc; Reloading Leflaive; Loewensein’s 2016 Prearrival;
Breaking News: 98 Point Insignia At Sharp Pricing;
2002 Krug: Small Volume, Big, Big Deal


Arriving Friday

Il Poggione’s Magnificent 2011 Brunello

At the Lowest Price in the Country

Most Brunello collectors buy either traditional or modern examples with the exception of a few wines whose appeal seems to transcend stylistic categories. These wines are the real ‘collectible’ Brunelli—there’s always going to be a market for them. In that category, Il Poggione manages to be unique. It’s a wine that’s traditionally made, yet approachable, beloved across the board and is still reasonably priced.

For that reason, Il Poggione remains one of our favorite wines in Brunello—it’s tough to beat the combination of quality and price. The wines are probably the least expensive, collectible-quality Brunello out there. The 2011 vintage is no exception and the wine is gorgeous, from a warm vintage but with the freshness and elegance you expect from Il Poggione. It’s an especially good vintage to drink young, as the rich and friendly personality will ensure that you don’t hit a wall of tannin if you pop it early. We have a stash arriving Friday and we’re excited to share it with you.

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2011 750ML ($79.95) $58.50 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2011 750ML ($419.95) $319 pre-arrival special (that’s only $53.17/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95 points “Il Poggione has done a terrific job with its 2011 Brunello di Montalcino. The wine is soft, yielding and charged with a velvety and smooth texture. It is deeply redolent of dark berry, black cherry, spice, leather and tobacco. The wine’s sunny personality never feels flat or too dense. In fact, the wine offers a very tight and steely backbone that gives the wine stature and strength. This is one of my favorite Brunellos from the 2011 vintage.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “A dark, powerful wine, the 2011 Brunello di Montalcino offers notable depth and intensity. Il Poggione’s 2011 is one of the richest, most powerful wines of the year. Black cherry, plum, lavender, cloves and new leather are some of the first nuances that open up. With time in the glass, the 2011 becomes more lifted, as brighter red cherry and raspberry-infused flavors gradually release. This is a rare 2011 that demands at least a good few years in the cellar. In 2011, Il Poggione did not bottle a Riserva. All the juice went into the straight Brunello.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Just Arrived (With More on the Way)

Raul Perez’s Autochthonous Masterpiece
There’s a grape native to chilly northwestern Spain called Prieto Picudo, a grape with an odd shape and a flavor profile that’s somehow familiar, like a reflection of Nebbiolo through a looking glass.  Not many acres of this rare beast are planted and most of it that’s grown goes into wine chugged cheerfully by locals, not by world renowned winemakers like Raul Perez. We’ve sung the praises of Mr. Perez before (he’s awesome, long story short) and the work he’s doing here is stellar.  We’ve got a little bit of this one here now and after that orders will be pre-arrival with an ETA later this month.

Raul Perez Prieto Picudo Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon 2011 750ML ($59.95) $49 special (7 bottles available now, more at the end of the month)
Grapelive 96 points “The rare Prieto Picudo is an odd varietal with high acid, high tannin and slightly oval shaped with a pointy tip, it’s native and almost only found here in Tierra de Leon, the name means beaked, hence the name, Raul Perez’s is from a high elevation old vine site on sandy clay soils with river rocks, making for a unique wine that has an almost Nebbiolo or Ramisco like flavor profile. This extraordinary red, from vines planted in 1900 in the village of Pajares de los Oteros at about 900 feet above sea level, was fermented whole cluster in chestnut wood vats with a cool 60 day maceration and then raised for about 60 months in French barriques, this long elevage adding to the wine’s refinement and mature character. The 2011 Prieto Picudo, from 111 year old vines when harvested, is a brilliant ruby/dark red color with herb and floral notes on the nose with mineral tones as well as a slight earthy/spice and kirsch note before opening to a medium full palate of racy red fruits including brambly forest berry, cherry, plum and mulberry plus dried flowers, peppercorns, grilled fennel and light cedar. The texture is fantastic and mouth filling with satiny feel, this is mind-blowing stuff with great depth and layers of pleasure, but with firm tannins and glowing vibrancy making this wine really pop, lingering distilled strawberry, salty stones, sweet tobacco leaf and baking spice. This is one of the coolest wines I’ve tried this year, again it reminds me somewhat of Lessona DOC, Nebbiolo based reds that spend 4 to 5 years in cask, of the upper Piedmonte area. The fruit is ripe and polished, this is very much a classic Perez wine, it was great to taste it with the winemaker himself, you could see just how thrilled he was with this Prieto Picudo and his passion was thick in the air, and I think this wine has potential to age another decade, I hope to get a chance to see how it evolves. Wow.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

The Early Contender for

Vinopolis Wine of the Year
What wine offers incredible value, ageability, versatility, complexity, and a dozen other superlatives from one of the oldest wine estates in the world?

2015 Saint Cosme Gigondas

Wine Spectator loves the entire range of 2015 Gigondas from Saint Cosme (you can view the entire lineup on our website, here) and we definitely feel Top-100 vibes (perhaps top-10?) coming from more than one wine of the bunch.  Whether or not they’re on the list, we know these won’t be around come November/December…

Re-arriving Friday, August 18th

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2015 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2015 1.5L ($89.95) $79 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “A textbook version of the brawny side of Gigondas, this offers a grippy alder bass line underneath layers of dark currant and fig fruit, while lots of tobacco, rosemary and bay fill in throughout. Muscular and energetic, this is built for the cellar. Best from 2019 through 2030.”

This is the only listing for a magnum in the USA today!


Muller-Catoir: Landmark Estate of the Pfalz
Every wine region in the world has one or two estates that immediately come to mind when you hear the name of the region.  Chateau Margaux in Margaux, Romanee-Conti in Vosne-Romanee, and Donnhoff in the Nahe and Muller-Catoir occupies that space in the Pfalz in Germany.  A historic name that continues to make excellent wines, these are some of the finest in Germany and from a vintage that’s one of the best in years.

The Pfalz is a unique region in Germany in that wineries there focused on powerful dry wines long before it was fashionable to do so in the rest of the country.  Most of the wines we’re highlighting today are dry and are some of the best values in the world for breathtakingly mineral wines.  Muller-Catoir owns some of the best vineyards in the region and has a special touch with them.

Pinot Blanc:

Muller-Catoir Haardt Weissburgunder Trocken, Pfalz 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2015 Weissburgunder Haardt is very clear and elegant on the nose, offering ripe golden delicious apple, along with some smoky and lemony flavors. Full-bodied, pretty intense and juicy, this is an aromatic and highly elegant Pinot Blanc with great purity and perfect ripeness of fruit. There are very discreet toasty notes with some speck flavors (no oak though, no malolactic fermentation), but this makes it an excellent food wine. It would go especially well with smoked characteristics, predominantly fish”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Muller-Catoir Herzog Weissburgunder Trocken, Pfalz 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 special, 10 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points “From a shallow, gravelly Buntsandstein soil the 2015 Weissburgunder Haardter Herzog is very clear, deep and fresh on the nose, but also reveals a great intensity and ripeness of fruit with lemon and herbal flavors. This Pinot Blanc is full-bodied, intense and concentrated, with great elegance and juicy minerals. This is a stunning Pinot Blanc with power, great tension and aromatic length. It is creamy textured, perfectly structured and indicates a great ageing potential. Fermented in stainless steel, no malolactic fermentation.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Dry Riesling:

Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2015 Pfalz Riesling Trocken Haardter Bürgergarten VDP Erste Lage is pure, deep, rich, ripe and intense on the nose; it shows grapefruit and herbal flavors intertwined with excitingly flinty/stony or mineral aromas, due to the stony Buntsandstein subsoils, but also the organic farming. Highly elegant and very intense, this is a gorgeous Riesling with great intensity of both minerals and fruits. This is a super well-structured and transparent, dry Riesling of great elegance and expression. Its power comes only in the finish and is mixed with lots of stone salts. This is an extremely stimulating and great Riesling. Yield is 40 hectoliters per hectare.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Muller-Catoir Haardter Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2015 Pfalz Riesling Trocken Haardt has a deep and intense Riesling flavors that reflects the deeper soils of the vineyards in the Haardt slopes. The nose is discreet in its white stone fruit aromas, but deep, intense, really clear and fresh. On the palate, this is a very straight, firm and pure Riesling with a lot of grip and tension. However, it needs more time to develop its charm. The mineral length and compact structure is already impressive though.”

Muller-Catoir Haardter Herrenletten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2015 750ML ($41.95) $33 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points ““The 2015 Riesling Trocken Haardter Herrenletten VDP Erste Lage has a lovely bouquet that reflects the small chalk stripe in the vineyard, which gives a wet and smoky stone fruit flavor, along with some lemon and herbal aromas. The wine is round and elegant on the palate, almost mouth-fillingly fruity and reveals a seductive concentration and intensity; it also has a refined acidity structure on the palate. It is richer and more generous than the Bürgergarten, but with concentrated fruit. This is very long and intensely mineral Riesling. It is one of the best Herrenletten I have ever tasted at this domaine. Spectacular!””

Nobly-Sweet Riesling:

Muller-Catoir Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten Riesling Auslese, Pfalz 2015 375ML ($39.95) $33 special, 17 half-bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2015 Riesling Auslese Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten is super pure and fine on the nobly concentrated, stony nose with its honey and bright fruit aromas. Rich, sweet, lush and piquant on the palate, this is an excellent Auslese with great finesse and a lingering piquancy. Despite its sweetness, this is a very stimulating and pure Auslese with great ageing potential.”

Staff Pick:

J-C Dagueneau’s Classic Pouilly Fume

In the dog days of August, I can only think of getting out of the kitchen or away from the grill for a minute. All of the vegetables have taken on urgency to their flavors, and perhaps a break from the parade of grilled meats is welcome. So welcome to the salad days of August and the wine you’ll be drinking too much of should be the Jean Claude Dagueneau Poilly Fume.

As far as Sauvignon Blanc goes, the aromatics on this stand out as pure Loire; snappy minerals, a whiff of light smoke, and citrus notes that lean more orange than lemon or lime. The stoniness is echoed in the glass but the acidity and snap turns juicy in a moment with brightness and fruit that wake your palate up. When paired with a fresh chevre and hazelnuts over a garden green salad, you think to yourself, “I could eat this way every day.” This is true; you could eat this way. Until you think about how good this wine was with crab last week.

Jean-Claude Dagueneau Domaine des Berthiers Pouilly-Fume, Loire 2015 750ML ($24.95) $20.90 special, 36+ bottles available
Case-12 Jean-Claude Dagueneau Domaine des Berthiers Pouilly-Fume, Loire 2015 750ML ($299) $219 special, 2 cases available
Winery note “100% Sauvignon blanc from 20 to 30 year old vines grown in Silex and calcaire soils. Golden green reflections. Discreet aromas on the nose with a hint of ripe orange. A taste of fruit drops and lemon peel on the palate.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Oregon Spotlight:

Cristom’s Epic 2014’s
2014 is already regarded as one of the most epic vintages in recent years.  A warm year that’s produced powerful wines that are easy to drink (by virtue of their rich fruit) but have intense structure that should make these extremely long lived wines.  Critically, both Wine Spectator and Vinous think this is a top vintage (96 points in Spectator, 93 in Vinous) and we agree.

Cristom, in particular, made outstanding wines in 2014.  Their house style leans on high-percentages of whole-cluster fermentation and a clear Burgundian influence, so in riper years the wines seem to combine the best of both worlds and show why they’re a top producer.  These are wines to wine blind Burgundy tastings in 10+ years and also to enjoy today—a rare combination.  They’re a core winery for us and we have plenty in stock, direct from the source.

PS:  They also made an Estate Syrah in 2014, something they don’t do every year.  It’s a rare bird and one that we love—both spicy and floral and rich.  Rhone fans should pay attention.

In Stock Now:

Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 9 bottles available
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Deep red. Ripe black raspberry and cherry cola scents are complemented by suggestions of exotic floral oils, Indian spices and woodsmoke. Plush, sweet and sappy on the palate, offering concentrated red and dark berry and cherry liqueur flavors that become more lively with aeration. In a rich but decidedly vibrant style, thanks to a spine of juicy acidity. Finishes smooth, focused and extremely long, with building spiciness and smooth, gently gripping tannins.”
James Suckling 92 points “Aromas of dried strawberries, figs and hints of toffee follow through to a full body, round and velvety tannins and a juicy finish. Drink now.”

Cristom Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 14 bottles available
Cristom Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 375ML ($34.95) $28 special, 12 half-bottles available
James Suckling 93 points “Aromas of toffee, ripe fruit and chocolate follow through to a full body, soft tannins and walnut/hazelnut undertones. Soft-textured. Delicious finish. Drink or hold.”

Cristom Marjorie Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 375ML ($37.95) $33 special, 12 half-bottles available
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Vivid red. Sexy, intensely perfumed cherry, boysenberry and floral pastille scents are complemented by hints of cola, rhubarb and Asian spices. Palate-staining red and blue fruit and spicecake flavors convey power as well as vivacity thanks to a core of juicy acidity. The floral quality comes back strong on a strikingly long, sappy and focused finish that’s shaped by smooth tannins.”
James Suckling 93 points “Lovely richness and decadence to this on the nose with plum, chocolate and violet character plus hints of violets. Medium to full body, silky tannins and a savory finish. Hints of hazelnuts. Drink or hold.”

This is the only listing for a half bottle in the USA today!

Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 750ML ($31.95) $26 special, 8 bottles available
James Sucking 94 points “Aromas of walnuts, berries and spices with hints of orange peel. Full-bodied with a soft texture and chewy tannins. A juicy and delicious wine already. Needs a year or two to soften. Better in 2018”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91 points “Aromas of walnuts, berries and spices with hints of orange peel. Full-bodied with a soft texture and chewy tannins. A juicy and delicious wine already. Needs a year or two to soften. Better in 2018”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2014 Mt Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir, which contains around 50% whole cluster fruit, has a lively, wild strawberry and candied orange peel scented bouquet, a touch of freshly sliced tangerine in the background. This is a vivacious bouquet with more intensity than the 2013. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh, lithe tannin. This is nicely balanced with good grip in the mouth, the 15% new oak nicely integrated with a subtle saline note towards the earthy finish. For thirty bucks, this is a great value.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Cristom Estate Syrah, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 18 bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 93 points “Highly perfumed scents of black and blue fruits, Indian spices, pungent flowers and cola, joined by a smoky nuance that builds in the glass. Palate-staining blackberry and boysenberry flavors show very good depth, and exotic violet pastille and black pepper nuances add complexity. Finishes smooth, spicy and warm, displaying lingering notes of sweet dark berry liqueur and gentle tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Re-arriving Friday:

Cristom Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine & Spirits 95 points “Perhaps the best this to be said about this wine is how much it compelled us to want to drink more of it. Grown at Cristom’s highest-elevation vineyard, this is captivating, by turns propulsive and generous, light and penetrating, invigorating in its earthy lavender scents, its wisp of bergamot and cherry. Fully ripe, it maintains a light tone, propelled by vigorous acidity and suspended by a pulsing, mineral grip.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Brilliant red. Highly fragrant, expansive scents of ripe red berries, Asian spices, blood orange and candied rose; a smoky mineral element builds in the glass. Silky and seamless in texture, offering palate-staining raspberry and floral pastille flavors that show a striking interplay of depth and vivacity. Closes sweet, gently tannic and impressively long, delivering lingering notes of emphatic red berry, spice and floral pastille.”


Languedocs for the Grill
Now that the heat wave has past and we can stand outside and not melt away, we start thinking about getting back to the grill.  “Fire, meat, wine…”,we think, and not necessarily in that order. Some of our favorite wines for early season grilling, when the weather might not yet be at peak-sunshine, are from the sunny Languedoc Roussillon. The trinity of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan pair with almost anything you can put on a grill; red and black fruit paired with snappy minerals, slick tannins, and enough backbone and alcohol to stand up to the ripeness. These have a spiciness and smokiness all of their own; who needs the grill?

Domain de l’Edre is the star of the show: ripe and round, full of pepper and licorice. There is also a pretty floral note and a whiff of smoke. The fruit is surprising and bright – ripe raspberry and fresh plum. This wine brings the most elegance to the table, and it has the highest percentage of Syrah at about 60%. This might make it a little safer for those that don’t know the area, but the most interesting part of the wine comes from the aromatics and the lift that the Carignan provides. I save this for better cuts of meat, where the fat, salt and pepper play with the bright, polished side of this wine.

The dark horse is Mas Cal Demoura L’infidele. It tends toward the wild side, only partially destemmed with a long maceration before being aged in large, mostly older demi muids. It goes to bottle unfiltered and continues to develop and age nicely. Aside from the Syrah, Grenache and Carignan, there are also almost equal parts of Cinsault and Mourvedre. It has a ton of flavor but doesn’t overwhelm the palate. As the lightest of the three selections, coming in at 14% alcohol, this wine is almost refreshing in the chewiness. This is one for ribs, roast chicken, smoked sausages. It will stand a little chill as well.

The Peuch-Haut Prestige is the juiciest of the three: fresh, lively and fruity, but deep. It also is the most Grenache heavy, with no Carignan. It’s a crowd pleaser. Put this alongside your pulled pork sandwiches. It’s going to play well with a wider variety of savory stuffs, including Kansas City BBQ and grilled veggies.

Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Case-6 Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $39.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95 points “One of the wines of the vintage is the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Domaine de l’Edre. While this cuvee had a rustic edge in the past, today it’s incredibly polished and pure, with brilliant aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, licorice, crushed flowers and chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, yet elegant and balanced, it’s a classic Roussillon that can be enjoyed today or cellared for a decade.”

Mas Cal Demoura Terrasses du Larzac L’Infidele, Languedoc-Roussillon 2010 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
Wine Advocate: “Meaning “One must remain” in Occitan, Mas Cal Demoura was created by Jean-Pierre Jullien in 1970. At the time, there was a mass exodus of vignerons away from their own estates, and the region in general, due to an inability to make a living producing wine. Jean-Pierre followed this trend, but in 1985, his son Olivier set off on his own, creating the now benchmark estate Mas Jullien (which is also reviewed in this report). Following his son’s example, Jean-Pierre left the coop in 1993, sold a number of his vineyards, but kept the best 5 hectares for his own estate. Jean-Pierre retired in 2004, selling the estate (after working with them for a year during the transition) to the current owners, Isabelle and Vincent Goumard, who both studied winemaking in Dijon. The estate now covers roughly 11 hectares located outside the village of Jonquieres, in the heart of the Terrasses du Larzac region. The wines are all noteworthy, with medium to full-bodied richness that’s always balanced by classy, elegant overall profiles that remain a joy to drink. They’re all highly recommended.” JD
Importer Notes: “The historic cuvée of Jean-Pierre Jullien, L’Infidèle is a blend of all the regional grapes – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan. The Goumards make choices in the vineyard and in the cellar that will emphasize finesse and freshness in this bottling, allowing for full expression of the fruit. The grapes are partially destemmed. Temperature is rigorously controlled. The cuvaison can extend for as long as six weeks with frequent remontage. Aging takes place mostly in older demi-muids and each grape variety undergoes the primary stages of the elevage separately.  Based upon a series of ongoing tastings, the Goumards determine the final blend and then the five varieties are assembled in cuve and aged for an additional six to eight months prior to bottling. The wine is bottled without filtration.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Prestige Rouge, Languedoc-Roussillon 2013 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Prestige Rouge, Languedoc-Roussillon 2013 750ML ($249.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc Prestige (which was already in bottle at the time of this tasting) is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah aged all in concrete tank. Fresh, elegant and thrillingly pure, with first rate aromas of blackberry, fresh plum, licorice and ground herbs, it is decidedly sexy and forward, yet stays perfectly balanced, with juicy acidity and fine tannin on the finish. Easily one of the top estates in the Languedoc (if not southern France), Chateau Puech Haut lies just outside the village of Saint-Drezery and is owned and run by Gerard Bru, with consulting help from Philippe Cambie. They produce a number of cuvees, with their entry level efforts representing superb values, and their top cuvees being able to stand toe to toe with the greatest wines in the world.”

Summer Shipping Special:

Midwest, East, & South

For the summer season we are offering UPS Three Day Select Service for the price of UPS Ground for shipments normally traveling 4 or more business days by ground.

Free service upgrade only applies on single orders purchased and shipped during the promotional period.  Additional fees will apply to orders held for any reason until after the promotional period and shipped by Three Day Select.  Offer not valid on items purchased before the promotional period or on pre-arrival items that arrive after the promotional period ends.

Domaine Leflaive

There are few names more connected and permanently identified with a village than Domaine Leflaive and Puligny-Montrachet. Following the phylloxera tragedy of the last years of the 19th century, and recovering after the Great War, Joseph Leflaive laid the groundwork of rehabilitating the vineyards and eventually selling wine under his own label instead of selling to negociants. The quality of the wines has been a trajectory nearly unmatched by any producer in the Cote d’Or. His descendants have thrown themselves into the Domaine, stepping into their roles with pride and renewed vigor. The family has committed themselves for five generations to improving vineyard health and the quality of their wines with every vintage.

The wines are an experience and a master class in terroir. The vineyard team has had direct lineage for 3 generations. They have dug into the clay and limestone, isolating individual mineral traces showing up in narrow bands throughout the individual vineyards. This allows Leflaive to further narrow the profile they want to achieve with every vineyard, every vintage. Intensity, concentration and volume are hallmarks, especially with a tremendous vintage like ‘15, but beyond the power come the finesse and beauty that reveal themselves more every year that you can keep your hands off of them. With wines like these, scents of apple become apple tartine, citrus becomes lemon oil or toasted zest; superlative becomes the norm. These are, quite simply, the best wines you’ll find in Puligny-Montrachet, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a more pure expression of Chardonnay anywhere on the planet.

Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 3 bottles available
“The 2013 Bourgogne Blanc has plenty of light citrus fruit and orange blossom scents on the nose. The palate is fresh and clean with crisp lime and green apple notes, leading to a light, easy-drinking finish….” –Wine Advocate

Domaine Leflaive Sous le Dos d’Ane, Meursault Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($199.95) $179 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2014 Meursault 1er Cru Sous le Dos d’Ane has a stony, slate-scented bouquet, perhaps more Puligny-like than Meursault. The palate is crisp and fresh with a fine line of acidity. This is a pretty Meursault with a detailed, citrus peel finish that is poised and pure. I appreciate the Zen-like personality of this Meursault that dovetails nicely with its Puligny “cousins.””

Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($599.95) $569 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2014 Bienvenue Bâtard Montrachet Grand Cru has a come-hither bouquet that is very immediate: passion fruit, apricot blossom, cold stone and even a faint touch of strawberry winegums. The palate is well balanced with a keen line of acidity, good weight in the mouth with a touch of citrus lemon and lime, but perhaps just needing more complexity and terroir expression to come through on the finish. This is one of the best 2014 Bienvenues that I have come across — an absolute delight.”

Arriving Friday:

Domaine Leflaive Les Folatieres, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($279.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer — Vinous 92 points: “Bright, pale yellow. Subtle, complex scents of spices, flowers, minerals, menthol and white pepper, along with a smoky nuance. Very suave and fine-grained, conveying a light touch to its flavors of lemon, lime and dusty stone. The long, rising finish cleanses the palate. This is excellent, but it may already be closing down in the bottle following the late-April bottling.”

Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune 2014 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 93 points “A racy style, this white is sleek and intense, with acacia and lime blossom notes leading the way for lemon, peach, spice and mineral flavors. Harmonious and long, with a mouthwatering finish. Delicious now, but should be better in a year. Best from 2018 through 2028.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2014 Puligny Montrachet Village Cru offers lilting dewy green apple and wet limestone aromas on the nose, underneath subtle scents of orange blossom lending more complexity as it opens in the glass. The palate is crisp and fresh with a twist of bitter lemon on the entry. This is well balanced with good weight, plenty of energy on the tip of the tongue with a pleasant saline finish. It does not quite possess the drive of the premier crus, although there is a pleasant spicy note that pops up on the aftertaste. Tasted December 2016.”

Arriving in September

Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special, only 18 bottles available
“This too is agreeably cool with its fresh array of pear, apple and kiwi fruit aromas. There is once again fine volume to the solidly concentrated flavors where the mid-palate is supple to the point of being almost easy yet the finish tightens up enough to maintain the balance.”–Burghound

Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special, only 9 bottles available
Burghound 89-91 points “Outstanding. A pretty and airy nose offers up notes of apple, pear, acacia blossom and both lemon and orange peel scents. There is once again fine volume and intensity to the medium-bodied flavors that possess markedly better complexity on the notably tighter finish that is shaped by moderately firm citrus-tinged acidity.”

Domaine Leflaive Clavoillon, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
Burghound 90-93 points “Outstanding. Here too there is a trace of matchstick character on the slightly riper aromas that feature notes of apple compote, lavender and hints of the exotic and citrus elements. The rich, generously proportioned and fleshy medium weight flavors possess more size and weight than is usual for this wine thanks to the copious level of dry extract that confers a sappy texture to the moderately structured and notably dry finish in the context of the vintage.”

Domaine Leflaive Les Pucelles, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($359.95) $319 pre-arrival special, only 1 bottle available
Burghound 92-94 points “In contrast to the relative expressiveness of most of the prior wines, this is much more reserved and only grudgingly reveals its aromas of honeysuckle, essence of pear and soft oak nuances. The caressing and very refined middle weight flavors possess a highly seductive mouth feel that also brims with dry extract while delivering excellent length on the beautifully complex and persistent finale that, like the Combettes, is unusually dry relative to what is common for the vintage. Class in a glass.”

Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($799.95) $699 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Burghound 93-95 points “Don’t Miss! A pungent and more expressive nose offers up a broad assortment of aromas that include notes of matchstick, white orchard fruit and in particular white peach, exotic tea and plenty of citrus nuances. The mouth feel of the big-bodied flavors is notably more refined than usual yet the underlying power of a fine Bâtard is certainly present and especially so on the hugely long, firm and built-to-age finish. In a word, impressive.”

Domaine Leflaive Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($699.95) $599 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Burghound 92-95 points “Don’t Miss! As is often the case this evidences a similar aromatic profile to that of the Pucelles and in particular with respect to the honeysuckle character. While there is a bit more size, density and mid-palate volume to the middle weight plus flavors they manage to retain the same heightened sense of refinement and particularly so on the sneaky long and focused finish. This is potentially really fine juice.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($899.95) $799 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Burghound 93-95 points “This offers the most elegant nose in the range with its cool, pure and airy array that is composed by notes of essence of pear, white flowers, spice, jasmine tea and citrus zest nuances. There is outstanding volume, power and concentration to the focused, intense and palate coating broad-shouldered flavors that despite the imposing scale remain highly refined and particularly so on the markedly mineral-driven and explosively long finish. This won’t be the finest Chevalier that Leflaive has ever produced but it is a terrific effort for the vintage.”


Heymann-Löwenstein’s Epic 2016s

The Only Offer in the Country

The Heymann-Löwenstein website proudly proclaims “Heymann-Löwenstein: The Sound of Slate,” and although it sounds like a fantastic claim, it’s one that we believe.  These are wines that are precise and mineral, full of the essence of the slate soils they’re grown in.  These are wines made from a master and for lovers of German Riesling (especially dry Riesling) these are in a class only a few other names.

We’re pleased to begin our pre-arrival offering for the 2016’s from this elite estate.  2016 looks to be an excellent year for Mosel Riesling, more charming and slyly seductive than the sometimes stern 2015’s.  These are going to be dynamite wines to drink (while the 2015’s loosen up).

Arriving in September:

Heymann-Lowenstein Schieferterrassen Riesling, Mosel 2016 750ML ($37.95) $29 pre-arrival special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Heymann-Lowenstein ‘von Blauem Schiefer’ Riesling, Mosel 2016 750ML ($41.95) $36 pre-arrival special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Heymann-Lowenstein Kirchberg (Erste Lage) Riesling, Mosel 2016 750ML ($44.95) $39 pre-arrival special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Heymann-Lowenstein Rottgen (Erste Lage) Riesling, Mosel 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Heymann-Lowenstein Stolzenberg (Erste Lage) Riesling, Mosel 2016 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Heymann-Lowenstein Uhlen B Blaufusser Lay Riesling, Mosel 2016 750ML ($69.95) $57 pre-arrival special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Heymann-Lowenstein Uhlen Laubach Lay Riesling, Mosel 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Last minute addition!

The 98 point 2013 Joseph Phelps Insignia

We’ve all read about and tasted through the incredible wines from 2013 in California. We’re happy to offer an absolute icon of Napa winemaking history. This stunning vintage coincides with the 40th vintage of Phelps flagship wine, and the results could hardly be better. Allocations are extremely limited, so take time now to secure what will be a wine for the ages.

Arriving Friday

Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia, Napa Valley 2013 750ML ($239.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia, Napa Valley 2013 750ML ($1439.95) $1119 pre-arrival special (that’s only $186.50/bottle!)
Robert Parker 98+ points “The 2013 Insignia (their 40th vintage) is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, and the rest Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. This wine is aged 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels, and the production can vary from just over 10,000 cases to nearly 20,000 cases in a very abundant vintage. There were 12,300 cases produced in 2013, and this vintage of Insignia is certainly going to turn out to be one of the great ones. The wine offers a stunning inky blue/purple color, a gorgeous nose of blueberry and blackberry liqueur, pen ink, graphite, new saddle leather and barrique. The wine has fabulous concentration, a full-bodied, multi-layered mouthfeel, and tremendous finish with moderate tannin. It’s interesting to note that the Phelps winemaking staff had been gradually reducing the amount of Merlot in this wine over recent vintages. The 2013 should hit its peak in 5-7 years and last for 35-50.”


The 100 point Krug 2002

Small Volume, Big Deal

We don’t need to say a lot with this one—We’ve secured a small parcel of 2002 Krug at the best price in the country.  2002 was an exceptional vintage in Champagne and this is a stunning wine, with a trio of 100 point scores to bolster its CV.

Arriving Friday

Krug Brut 2002, Champagne 750ML ($319.95) $249 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 100 points “The much-anticipated 2002 has impeccable detail and depth with a lot of chalky, stony and flinty elements on the nose as well as a very fresh edge. The nose is very complex and wound up tight but presents itself as very integrated and compressed. There are aromas of lemon rind, lime juice and a lime custard all at once, complemented in turn by a super-restrained hazelnut-like edge. Undertones of brown mushrooms, chalky minerals and lemon leaf. The palate has a core of sizzlingly intense, concentrated chardonnay framed whitin a powerful phenolic structure that will underpin the future of this Champagne. Flawlessly fresh and as perfect as it gets. Give this time as it needs to settle: best from 2020 and then for another decade beyond.”
Wine Enthusiast 100 points “This is a fabulous wine from the greatest Champagne vintage so far this century. Still young, it blends almost equal amounts of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fleshed out with Pinot Meunier. The minerality and the rich apple and green fruits are balanced, and acidity cuts into the wine with a pure, perfumed line of freshness. The wine could be drunk now, but it will age well into the the 2020s.”
Wine & Spirits 100 points “This has the stamina of the 2002 vintage from the first scent, a fragrance like pear skin and butterscotch, and something fresher, like meadow flowers. All of that fragrance comes in a wine that’s expansive and dry, almost austere in the power of its acidity. Over the course of several days, the wine remains impervious to the fraying of oxidation, instead building on its flavors, deepening to scents of white truffles. Initially, the power of the acidity not only cleans up after the wine’s substantial flavor, but also seems to lash all those notes together and rocket them through a buzz of energy that lasts for minutes. That energy, undiminished four days later, when the bubbles have finally gone, takes on a gentler power, presenting the harmony and elegance at the center of the wine. The 2002 may well be the greatest vintage wine Henri Krug produced during his four-decade career.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!