Midweek VinopolPick 8-27-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

The Wine Spectator Advance Lauds Dominus

Chateau Carignan – A New Top Bordeaux Value Pick

CVNE’s “Other” Rioja Gran Reserva

Ulysse Collin: Face of the New Champagne

Rare Winery-Cellared Comte de Vogue
2009 Bonnes-Mares and 2008 Musigny VV

A 96 Point, Under $25 Southwest French Find

A Final Round of 2007 Taittinger Comtes at Fantastic Pricing

Trending Wines

Vincent Paris’ Excellent 17 Cornas

The Standout Wine of the 2017 Port Vintage?


The Wine Spectator Advance Lauds Dominus

Dominus has been on a roll.  Both the 2015 and now the 2016 vintages of this landmark wine are some of the best wines in Napa ever, at prices that should make cult-cabs blush.  The 2016 is in stock and is stunning—a statement to which Wine Spectator now concurs. This is a wine that perfectly synthesizes old-school Napa sensibilities with new-wave drinkability and style.  Lovers of California Cabernet should not miss, and should buy as much as possible for the cellar.

Newly Reviewed, In Stock Now

Dominus Estate, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($319.95) $289 special
Dominus Estate, Napa Valley 2016 1.5L ($699.95) $599 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
” This marries a range of old-school savory, tobacco, chestnut and bay leaf notes with a dense and muscular core of dark currant and blackberry fruit, all backed by a loam-swaddled finish. Long and dense, but defined, with the fruit steadily emerging to win out in the end. Patience is required. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2040. 5,500 cases made.”


A New Top Bordeaux Value Pick

Chateau Carignan

In the world of value Bordeaux, Chateau Carignan’s wines are among the tops.  Located in the Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux, an area nestled next to Entre-Deux-Mers, it’s a great source for high quality right-bank wines.  There’s a lot of evident care and craftsmanship in this wine—certainly a lot more than you’d expect given the (very) sub $20 price (and under $15/ea by the case!).  2016 was an outstanding vintage and while that certainly translates to the classed growth wines, it may move the needle on the less expensive wines even more.  This is rich and round, with dark plummy flavor and enough tannin to give the wine good length on the palate.

When we find Bordeaux we really like in this price range we buy as much as we can, so we’ve got this available by the bottle and with a little extra love by the case.  It’s due to arrive just in time for fall and winter Bordeaux drinking season and we’d highly suggest you squirrel away a case or two—this is going to be your house red.

Arriving ETA Mid-September:

Chateau Carignan, Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2016 750ML ($19.95) $16.50 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Chateau Carignan, Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2016 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
James Suckling 91 points
“This offers bright and ripe dark berries and plums with a smooth, dark-stone edge, continuing into the palate that offers a succulent and supple array of rich, plush tannins and ample flavor. A blend of 75 per cent merlot, 15 per cent cabernet sauvignon and ten per cent cabernet franc. Try from 2021.”

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The next best price is $19.99


CVNE’s “Other” Rioja Gran Reserva

CVNE is one of the historically great producers of Rioja, but their sleeper wines come from their “Contino” estate. It’s located in Rioja Alavesa, a sub-region known for brighter wines with more structure and density, and is a classical example of the area as you can find.  That translates especially well at the Reserva and Gran Reserva levels, which is why this offer for their 2010 GR is especially exciting.  The 2010 vintage was an epic year in Rioja and we’ve been trying to get our hands on every top-level bottling we can.  Quantities are limited, but fans of Spanish wines need to sit up and pay attention to this one.

Arriving ETA Mid-September:

CVNE ‘Contino’ Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points
“This is very Asian with black tea, mushroom and bark aromas, and ripe fruit undertones. Full body, round and polished. Edgy structure with blackberry, mushroom skin and cedar. Fantastic finish. Just a baby. Stock up for the cellar. Better in 2020 but already excellent. (1/18/18)”
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 94 points “…the 2010 Gran Reserva is produced with grapes from their oldest vineyards as a classic blend of Tempranillo, 15% Graciano, 12% Garnacha and a pinch of Viura; the grapes were fermented in cement vats with malolactic in barrel and the wine underwent an élevage in used French (60%) and American oak barrels for three years, followed by another three years in bottle. It has a very spicy nose with tantalizing aromas reminiscent of curry and some red and black fruit, very clean and precise. It develops some faint lactic notes spiced up with cinnamon. The palate is focused and polished, with great balance (14.4% alcohol and a 3.3 pH), great acidity and volume. This is the best of the wines I tasted from Contino in this sitting. 3,261 magnums. Drink: 2016-2025.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94 points “(Fermented in concrete tanks, followed by malolactic fermentation in new French oak barrels; aged for two years in new and used barrels, 60 percent of them French and 40 percent American; and then held in bottle for at least three years prior to being released) Brilliant ruby. An expansive, highly perfumed nose displays an array of ripe red fruits and pungent flowers, along with oak spice, vanilla and pipe tobacco overtones. Juicy and concentrated on the palate, offering intense, smoke-laced black raspberry and cherry-vanilla flavors and a suave rose pastille nuance that builds as the wine opens up. Finishes smooth, sweet and quite long, with slow-building tannins that fold smoothly into the sweet fruit. This is a distinctly graceful and seductive expression for this vintage. Drink: 2020-2030.”
Wine & Spirits 94 points “Contino is CVNE’s estate in Rioja Alavesa, 153 acres on terraces along a meander in the Ebro River, in Laserna, near Laguardia. Jesús Madrazo, in charge of this property from 1999 until earlier this year, grew one of the great wines of the 2010 vintage, generous in its Alavesa richness, precise in its complexity. It tastes healthy, with a classical Rioja presence that fills its bright, fennel-scented black cherry flavors with stature and grace. Those flavors have direction and drive, while the tannins yield a hint of the acorn flavor of Iberico ham, with which it would go so well. (Dec 2017)”

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Ulysse Collin

Face of the New Champagne

Perhaps no vigneron exemplifies the New Champagne like Ulysse Collin.  Born to a family of grape-growers, he worked tirelessly to free the family land from contracts selling fruit to negociants and now vinifies all of his wines as single-vineyard/vintage bottlings.  His wines are profoundly introspective and challenge preconceived notions about what Champagne should be. At the forefront of the new wave of ultra-terroir-driven Champagnes, Olivier produces deeply vinous, mineral and hyper-concentrated wines. True to their terroir, these are reflections of the individual parcels.  These wines are exceptionally rare and we’ve just received our allocation of the new releases, arriving this coming Friday.

“Winemaking as a rule here is as natural and non-interventionist as possible. All fermentation is carried out with indigenous yeasts, which can take a remarkably long time to complete: six to eight months is not at all unusual for Collin, and even when tasting vins clairs in June or July, they are typically still in the middle of their alcoholic fermentations. Both the fermentation and malolactic are carried out in three- to six-year old barriques, and the wine is neither fined nor filtered before bottling, which takes place in the fall after the harvest.” – Peter Liem, Champagneguide.net

Arriving Friday August 30th:

Ulysse Collin ‘Les Enfers’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) ($189.95) $159 pre-arrival special
90% 2014, 10% 2013
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2014 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Enfers is a wine of tremendous breadth and staying power. Clay-rich soils in Congy yield a Champagne of real textural resonance. Apricot, orange peel, vanilla and tropical overtones infuse the 2014 with notable character. All the elements seem amplified in the Enfers, including a mousse that is a bit brawny. This release includes 10% reserve wines from 2013 and spent a total of 48 months on its lees. Olivier Collin has another lot in the cellar that will be released with 60 months on the lees. Dosage is 2.4 grams per liter.”

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Ulysse Collin ‘Les Pierrieres’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (’15) ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
40% 2015, 60% Reserve wine
Antonio Galloni 94-95 points “The 2015 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blanc Les Pierrières is tense, vibrant and wonderfully focused. In this release, the Les Pierrières is 40% 2015 and 60% 2014 [if it is based 2015 why is there more 2014 %] juice that spent two years in oak, with the reserve wines no doubt contributing freshness and overall energy. Crushed rocks, citrus, white flowers and slate add striking layers of nuance. A slight touch of reduction adds character, but with less of an imprint than in some previous editions. Olivier Collin told me that he lowered the SO2 prior to bottling, which explains why this edition of the Pierrières is not as reduced as some of its predecessors have been. Dosage is 1.7 grams per liter.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Ulysse Collin ‘Les Maillons’ Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2015) ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
40% 2015, 60% Reserve wine
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2015 Extra-Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Maillons is ample, creamy and also incredibly inviting. More than anything else, the 2015 stands out for its textural sophistication and total class. Here too, the significant presence of 2014 reserve wines (60%) works beautifully in capturing an attractive interplay of fruit richness, savory complexity and layers of texture. Gorgeous Pinot aromatics and flavors meld together in this striking, effortless Champagne from Olivier Collin. Dosage is 2.4 grams per liter.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Ulysse Collin ‘Les Maillons’ Rose de Saignee Extra Brut, Champagne NV (’15) 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
100% 2015



Subscriber-Only, Unlisted Special:

Rare Winery-Cellared Releases

Comte de Vogue 2009 Bonnes-Mares and 2008 Musigny VV

These wines cannot be listed online. To order, reply to this email or call.

Wines released by winery through national importer and exclusively offered here. These are not grey market or from a private collector – no second hand bottles!

Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($699.95) $549 pre-arrival special, only six bottles available!
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2009 Bonnes-Mares is quite big and powerful yet also possesses a seamlessness that is very 2009. Waves of black fruit, spices, menthol and licorice saturate the palate as this large-scaled, dramatic wine opens up in the glass. The Bonnes-Mares boasts a tremendous combination of fruit and sheer structure. The 2009 is more approachable than the 2010 and nearly as dazzling. It will still require quite a bit of time, however, readers need to be patient.”
Burghound 95 points “This is very deeply colored. A notably riper nose of kirsch, spice and earth plus an herbal hint that is also picked up by the powerful and tautly muscled broad-shouldered flavors that possess buckets of extract that buffer the very firm tannins that impart a dusty texture on the superbly long finish. This intensely floral effort is presently quite austere but it has everything that it needs to be great in time. In a word, sensational.”
Jancis Robinson 18/20 points “On red clay from the south-east corner of Bonnes Mares. Rather darker than the Amoureuses though still transparent cherry red. Quite solid and rich – sweet and a little gamey. Solid, with some obviously density and structure, should make delicious old bones – not at all off-puttingly tannic now.”

Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Grand Cru ‘Cuvee Vieilles Vignes’ 2008 750ML ($799.95) $645 pre-arrival special, only three bottles available!
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The 2008 Musigny Vieilles Vignes is a wine I could smell all day. The explosive bouquet literally jumps from the glass, followed by deep, beautifully delineated layers of fruit. This shows terrific concentration and depth, dazzling finesse, and a nicely pointed, direct finish. It is an eternal wine.”
John Gilman 97 points “At this point in the festivities, I could not believe what I had been tasting, and then the Musigny comes along and takes everything up yet another level. This is a simply profound bottle of Musigny in the making, as the wine soars from the glass in a hauntingly pure and complex blend of cherries, pomegranate, blood orange, wild strawberries, a glorious base of complex soil tones, citrus zest, a touch of spicy oak and a faint topnote of woodsmoke on the breeze. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, long and very intensely flavored, with a great core, perfect focus and balance, ripe, silky tannins and stunning length and grip on the dancing finish. Just a great Musigny. (Drink between 2020-2070).”
Burghound 96 points “Don’t Miss! This is also quite reserved at present with an elegant, airy, cool and pure nose that is kaleidoscopically complex as it offers red currant, plum, black cherry and a panoply of floral and spice notes, in particular violet and anise, before marrying seamlessly into mineral-driven and alluring big-bodied flavors that explode on the powerful and almost painfully intense finish that delivers genuinely stunning length. I love the way Musigny can so effortlessly combine a silky palate impression with serious muscle. This should be quite impressive in time though note that it will need a minimum of 18 to 25 years of cellar time.”
Jancis Robinson 19/20 points “The produce of the vines more than 25 years old goes into this (as opposed to the younger-vine Chambolle Premier Cru). Very dense and introvert. Not nearly as expressive in November 2009 as the domaine’s Bonnes Mares. Extremely serious, ambitious wine. An intriguing floral note that took me straight back to the smell of my grandmother’s flower arrangements. Rich, powerful attack on the palate. Wonderful precision. Sinewy. Then great nuances. This wine has such finesse! Yet it is dense and muscular too and just races away on the palate. Sweetness of fruit at the beginning and then absolutely dry and correct on the finish. Neat, reserved but clearly very special indeed. 19/20 points (JR).”

These wines cannot be listed online. To order, reply to this email or call.
A 96 Point, Under $25 Southwest French Find

Lafage’s Chateau Saint Roch produces some of the best value big reds out there.  Based in the Rouissillon, with its wealth of old vines and warm sun, they make wines that are massively built, with rich, sumptuous fruit and seductive textures.  The Kerbuccio, from the newly created Maury Sec AOC, is sourced from some of the warmest sites on black schist soils (similar to Priorat’s). This is a brilliant, full-throttle wine that’s sure to bring a lot of joy to tables this summer and fall.

In Stock Now

Chateau Saint-Roch ‘Kerbuccio’ Maury Sec, Languedoc-Roussillon 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Decanter 96 points
“Gold Medal Winner 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards. Lovely kirsch nose with bags of ripe and authentic Maury fruit. The palate is round, fleshy and warm with a delicious richness of oak, vanilla flavour and intense and complex finish. Lovely wine that’s beautifully balanced with great typicity. Full-bodied and very polished.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Another great vintage for the cuvée, the 2016 Maury Sec Kerbuccio (75% Grenache, 20% Carignan, and 5% Mourvèdre) is loaded with character and reveals a deep purple color as well as notes of black and blue fruits, new saddle leather, exotic herbs, and tobacco. Charming, medium to full-bodied, beautifully pure, and seamless on the palate, you can’t go wrong with this wine.”

A Final Round of 2007 Taittinger Comtes

At Fantastic Pricing

Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne is a benchmark bottling.  It’s consistently in the top handful of Blanc de Blancs in years it’s released and few other wines have a similar track record for ageability, complexity and sheer deliciousness.  It’s a bit of a value, too—this wine delivers at a level similar to the Krugs, Cristals and Sir Winston Churchills of the world but at a much better tariff.  That price is especially low  on what will likely be our final delivery of the delicious 2007 version.  Grab it now while you can.

Arriving ETA January 2020:

Only thirty-six bottles available!
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne 2007 750ML ($179.95) $125 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points
“This is a step up from the linear and fresh 2006. It shows subtle depth and power with a dense block of vivid fruit that’s highlighted with lemon zest, green apples and hints of white peaches. Just the right amount of praline and nuts on the nose. Fine and tight bead give the Champagne a luxurious mouthfeel. One for now or the cellar. Drink or hold.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “Taittinger’s 2007 Comtes de Champagne will be nearly impossible to resist upon release. Soaring aromatics, mid-weight structure and soft contours give the 2007 its alluring personality. Lemon oil, white flowers, mint, chamomile and green pear add brightness and freshness throughout, with a persistent, clean finish that makes it impossible to resist a second taste. Today, the 2007 comes across as a slightly more open version of the 2004, with freshness that makes that wine so appealing, and a touch of textural richness that recalls the 2002. Although the 2007 does not have the explosive energy or verticality of the profound 2006, it will drink better earlier. The 2007 has been positively brilliant on the three occasions I have tasted it so far.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Taittinger’s prestigious Comtes de Champagne is composed entirely of Chardonnay grapes from the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger (Côte des Blancs). The citrus-golden colored 2007 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the fourth in a row after the 2004 vintage (which will be followed by 2008 whereas there will be no Comtes from 2009, 2010 and 2011) and opens with a nobly intense yet nuanced bouquet of ripe fruits, chalk, iodine and a touch of brioche. The wine indicates a coolish and precise character on the clear, flinty nose that develops lemon, pastry and floral notes. On the palate, this is Taittinger at its best: clear, fresh, lush and elegant, offering both sensuality and noble elegance. The 2007 reveals great finesse and is a perfect expression of both the Taittinger style and the Côte de Blancs. The wine (of which 5% has spent four months in oak barrels to give roundness and a touch of toast) is tightly woven, well concentrated and even juicy yet always clear, fresh, pure, fine and elegant. The finish is intense, clean, vivacious and complex, with good grip and lingering salty minerals that indicate good aging potential. Disgorged in October 2017; tasted in May 2018.”

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

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

“It’s bigger on the inside.” A wine that rewards inspection with detail.
Peter Lauer Kupp GG Fass 18 Riesling, Mosel 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Hot Wine. Features a surprising amount of expression packed into a light frame. This very minerally white is elegant, showing beautiful harmony throughout. Refined flavors of clementine, Bosc pear, quince and elderflower are offset by a bright structure. Intense, but not overripe, with focused acidity, plenty of slate and mineral notes, and a finish filled with hints of pepper and chamomile. Drink now through 2031.”
Stuart Pigott-JamesSuckling 94 points “This smells of lemon curd, but that only gives a vague idea of the wonderfully subtle aromas of this wine. Rich and creamy on the palate, yet so fresh and lively with a vibrant, very uplifting finish. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $55
If there’s a better value in Barbera, we haven’t found it yet.
Cordero di Montezemolo Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($24.95) $16.60 special
Wine Spectator 91 points
“This is rich and fruity, boasting black currant, blackberry, violet and earth flavors. Round and supple, with a light dusting of tannins on the lingering finish. Drink now through 2023. 4,500 cases made.”
James Suckling 90 points “A fruity and straightforward barbera with plum and berry aromas and flavors. Medium-to full-bodied, round and yummy. Drink now.”

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

“Cavallotto may very well be the greatest Barolo producer few people have ever heard of” -AG
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points
“I had tasted this wine from barrel last year, and the wine was already shaping up beautifully back then. Staying the course, the 2015 Barolo Bricco Boschis shows extreme elegance and finesse. These are the characteristics of what is surely one of the most beautiful vineyard sites in Barolo. The Bricco Boschis cru affords a panoramic view onto much of the Langhe, with snowcapped Alps in the background. Barolo from Castiglione Falletto tends to show characteristics that are very fine, precise and linear. That’s fundamentally what you get here despite the more exuberant and fleshy 2015 vintage. This wine is truly beautiful. Some 27,700 bottles were made.”

Betz is as classical Washington as you can get and this wine is starting its prime.
Betz Family Winery La Serenne Syrah, Yakima Valley 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“Coming from the Boushey Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, the 2015 Syrah La Serenne is full-bodied, fresh and elegant, with classic cooler climate Syrah notes of peppery herbs, darker berry fruits, lavender, spring flowers, and smoked earth. It has terrific complexity and glides over the palate, making for a sensational Syrah from Washington State. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “All from Dick Boushey’s vineyard in Yakima Valley, the 2015 Syrah La Serenne was also all destemmed and brought up in barrel. It’s a more elegant, complex and nuanced Syrah compared to the Cote Rousse and offers classic notes of blackberries, peppery herbs, lavender and spring flowers. Full-bodied, fresh and lively, drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years.”

Vincent Paris’ Excellent ’17 Cornas

It’s pretty clear that Vincent Paris is the next “it” winemaker in the Northern Rhone.  Working primarily in Cornas, the wines have everything we love about Northern Rhone Syrah packaged in a clean, direct style.  He has the benefit of incredible vineyard material, too, as he now works the vineyards his uncle, Robert Michel, made famous.  Stylistically, there’s definitely some of that old-school Michel rusticity, but overall, his wines are far more polished and in line with what we think of as good modern Cornas. Don’t look for new oak here, though there is an elegance about them that has always impressed us.

He makes several wines from Cornas and we’re pleased we get to offer the range, but we’re happy to feature his top two wines today, the Granit 60 and La Geynale.  The “60” is from some of his steepest vineyards and is an introspective, powerful wine with great class and poise.  The Geynale, by comparison is all raw emotion and feral power.  Made from Robert Michel’s old vines and done 100% whole-cluster, it’s uncivilized in the best ways.

The 2017 versions of both of these wines remind us of 2015 or 2011—bigger, bolder versions with great fruit intensity.  ’17 is shaping up to be yet another fantastic year, especially at the lower end of the scale.  Even appellations like Crozes and St. Joseph are bigger and more powerful—more reminiscent of Cornas or Cote Rotie than usual.

In Stock Now:

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60, Rhone 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 93-95+ points
“Similar colored, the 2017 Cornas Granit 60 comes from further up the slope and older vines. It offers a deeper, richer bouquet of black and blue fruits, smoked earth, violets, and ground pepper. Deep, full-bodied, thrillingly pure and elegant, yet still with classic Cornas density, power, and length, it’s another gem of a wine from this incredibly talented winemaker.”

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas La Geynale, Rhone 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points
“The 2017 Cornas Geynale is the only wine in the lineup to not be destemmed and it comes all from the La Geynale lieu-dit. Deep saturated purple-colored, with beautiful notes of blackcurrants, smoked herbs, earth, pepper, and tons of meatiness, it’s certainly the most classic in style, as well as structured and tannic. Give this full-bodied beauty 2-4 years of bottle age and it’s going to drink nicely for 10-15 years or more. It’s an awesome wine for the true Cornas lovers out there.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points
“The 2017 Cornas Granit 30 shows a fresher, elegant, polished style as well as perfumed notes of black raspberries, crème de cassis, crushed violets, and hints of bouquet garni. Floral, elegant, and medium-bodied, it’s just a pretty, elegant, juicy wine that’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and drink nicely for a decade.”

Domaine Vincent Paris Saint-Joseph Les Cotes, Rhone 2017 750ML ($37.95) $28 special
Grapelive 93 points
“Vincent Paris, whose first vintage was 1997, is one of the Northern Rhone’s great young winemakers. [He] is co-president of the Cornas appellation, where he is based. His small-lot collection of Syrah(s) include Cornas, for which obviously he most famous for, and a selection of Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph bottlings like this gorgeous version. Vincent’s uncle is the legendary and now retired Robert Michel, one of Cornas’ finest ever growers. [Michel] mentored him and helped make his first few vintages, before he stepped out on his own… Vincent’s total rented and owned holdings amounting to a mere 8 hectares… This is such a satisfying Northern Rhone that is high-toned and pure. It has potential to get even better, making it a great buy for the price, even though it is not as thrilling as the more whole-cluster driven Cornas, but still a wonderful wine. Farming all organic and tending steep granite soil sites, Paris crafts bold and expressive wines. [He ferments] in tiny batches and with this Les Cotes Saint-Joseph he uses native yeast and ferments in a combination of steel and wood at low temps to preserve the beautiful aromatics, with this wine seeing a year in barrel. With the Saint-Joesph he uses less whole cluster to focus on elegance and refinement, which this vintage shows especially, but with the vintage’s depth and concentration this is an awesome mouthful of Syrah. After fabulous stuff in 2015 and 2016, these 2017 had a lot to do to match and excite the Rhone enthusiasts’ cravings and it does and then some! This 2017 Saint-Joseph is freshly detailed with classic elements. It’s impressive in the glass with a deep garnet/purple color and layers of blackberry, currant, boysenberry and blueberry fruits along with graphite, anise, cedar and pepper, adding density with air and gaining hints of subtle florals including violets.”
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “Don’t overlook Paris’s outstanding 2017 Saint Joseph Les Cotes. It combines blueberries, espresso and pepper in a medium to full-bodied format that’s supported by silky, fine-grained tannins and plenty of length. Like previous vintages, it’s approachable young, but it should have the stuffing to age up to a decade.”

The Standout Wine of the 2017 Port Vintage?
Dirk Niepoort is one of the biggest personalities in the world of Port, producing wines that raise the quality level of the entire region.  That his 2017 would be fantastic is no surprise—this is a legendary year.  Mark Squires described the vintage as a “freak vintage… a big-time year that does everything well—old-school power, concentration, freshness, lifted fruit and vivid flavors.”

Neal Martin, in his reviews of the vintage, added “General Declarations do not come in pairs. They are supposed to be drip-fed, three or maybe four each decade, keeping Port aficionados on their toes. The chances of consecutive General Declarations must be incredibly low, considering not just the meteorological odds of a textbook growing season but also the willingness of all Port houses to declare.”

The 2017 Niepoort is one of the best wines produced in the year— Mark Squires called it “the best I’ve ever seen from him” and went on to call it “a leading candidate for ‘Wine of the Vintage.’”  We’ve secured a parcel arriving in February, available for pre-arrival sale now.

Arriving ETA February:

Niepoort Vintage Port 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 99-100 points
“The 2017 Vintage Port is a field blend from old vines (80 to 100 years old). It comes in with 89 grams per liter of residual sugar. This was set for bottling in two weeks, but it was the final blend. Even when open for a couple of days, this was still tight, muscular and concentrated, grabbing the palate and never letting go. On opening, it was fragrant and delicious, but even then, there was plenty of muscle and evident concentration. The concentration and power merely improved as it aired out—unlike a lot of 2016s (which year Niepoort did not declare). Tasting it after several days open showed that it shut down and closed up in terms of expressiveness, but it definitively proved that it’s an old-school, long-haul wine. Dry, stern and long on the finish, this is brilliant. It is hard to think of any basis on which this is not perfection just now—Niepoort says it is the best he’s ever made. It’s certainly the best I’ve seen from him, and it is a leading candidate for “Wine of the Vintage,” although certainly not the only one. Finally, this is going to require patience. Nothing about it says “drink me now.” It should age brilliantly. If you lack a cellar and patience, look away.”
James Suckling 98 points “Wow. Smoky and intense on the nose with dried fruits and slate undertones. Lots of wet earth too. Full body, sweet yet dry and tannic on the palate. Very powerful and focused. Racy and powerful. A fantastic center palate of fruit. A blend of touriga franca, tinto cao, tinta francisca, tinta amarela, sousao, tinta roriz and others. Drink in 2025 and onwards.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 96 points “The 2017 Vintage Port was picked early to obtain optimal ripeness, commencing 24 August and finished 26 September. Yields are some 30% below the previous year. The fruit was foot-trodden in granite lagares and matured in large barrels in Vila Nova de Gaia. It has a refulgent purple colour. The nose is explosive, a heady cornucopia of blueberry, black cherries and crème de cassis, later just a touch of lavender. There is no holding back on these aromatics. The palate follows suit with sumptuous black fruit, quite tannic but simultaneously rounded and lavish/velvety in texture. Touches of fresh fig and raisin appear towards the finish. Drop dead gorgeous.”


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