Midweek VinopolPick 8-6-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

A Trove of Back Vintage Rougeard

Featured New Arrival: Gaja’s Ca’ Marcanda

New Reviews! Grapelive on Cameron + Vinous on Sicily

The Old-School Chateauneuf of Mourre du Tendre

Rosé of the Day – Chinon’s Lighter Side

Trending Wines

Arriving Friday :The Outstanding Rioja Alta


A Trove of Back Vintage Rougeard

Presenting Verticals of the Cult Wine with Impeccable Provenance

Clos Rougeard is one of the toughest wines in the world to source—and older vintages even more so.  These are bottles that are some of the most coveted in the world—the only producer of their stature in the Loire, they’re on par with the highest end Burgundy.  Collectors fight to get mere bottles of current releases, so it’s even more exciting to get our hands on a massive collection of back-vintage Rougeard with excellent provenance.

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

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

All Wines Arriving ETA August 23rd:


Featured New Arrival

Gaja’s Ca’ Marcanda

Gaja is a name that requires no context in discussion—like Latour or DRC, it’s understood which estate is meant and that the wines are epic, change-your-dinner-plans events.  Angelo Gaja is one of the primary reasons we care about Barbaresco today and the wines bearing his name remain the most treasured and collectible of the region.  Furthermore, the top wines from his Brunello estate, Ca’ Marcanda, have quickly become among top two or three most sought after wines in Tuscany.

The latter wine is what we’re offering today—the flagship wine of Gaja’s Tuscan estate, from a great vintage.  One of the top Super-Tuscans out there, this is a big, powerful blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Franc.  We’ve got this library wine (2010 remains a benchmark vintage in Tuscany) for an exceptional price.  It just arrived and we don’t expect it to stay around very long.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Gaja Ca’Marcanda ‘Camarcanda’ Bolgheri, Tuscany 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2010 Bolgheri Camarcanda is an exceptional wine with a level of aromatic intensity and integrity that is impossible to exaggerate. The blend is Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, in that order of importance. The bouquet is impeccable and refined, with deep layers of Morello cherry, cassis, dried blackberry and spice that peel back in quick succession. The oak component is beautifully integrated, imparting notes of chocolate and tobacco that complete this beautiful portrait of Tuscan winemaking. Hold this bottle for a few more years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $145


New Reviews!

Grapelive Reviews Cameron and Vinous Takes on Sicily

We’re always excited to read new reviews for wines we love.  Whether it’s Grapelive’s take on Cameron Dundee Hills Pinot (“hard to imagine a better Oregon Pinot for the price”) or Ian D’Agata’s praise for the current state of Sicily (“I don’t remember the last time I tasted through so many world-class wines, both white and red, from Sicily”), we love when writers champion things that are exciting to them.  We’ve got a selection of these great bottles in stock now and highlighted below.

In Stock Now:

Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($29.95) $27 special
Case-12 Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($349.95) $309 special (that’s only $25.75/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA!)
Grapelive 93 points
“The amazingly seductive and Burgundy like Cameron 2017 Dundee Hills cuvee Pinot Noir is from grapes exclusively from the two exceptional estate vineyard sites…the fabled Clos Electrique and Abbey Ridge Vineyards, both of which are multi-clone and non-irrigated vines. The 2017 version is wonderfully lively and bright with phenomenally low alcohol at only 12.6%, but still surprisingly deep in flavors and with a dark hue and fruit profile along with tons of personality and charms. It is sometimes is hard to imagine a better Oregon Pinot for the price. Slightly reduced at this stage, as all Cameron’s seem to be when young, the 2017 Dundee Hills Pinot is lively with layers of blackberry, strawberry and plum fruits that are wrapped around a dark cherry core along with red spices, cinnamon, graphite, sweet toast, tea notes and cedary/wood. John Paul, Cameron’s legendary winemaker, who is Burgundy influenced to the core of his being, is devoted to non-irrigated vines for the intensity of concentration and pigment, and that he strives for sustainable and organic grapes and in the cellar he goes for traditional methods. The Pinots are all 100% native yeast fermented and they receive long elevage, at minimum 18 months and such was the case here in the this beautiful, rich and spicy barrel selection Dundee Hills bottling. After time in the glass and with air this deep garnet/ruby Pinot opens to reveal more floral elements, ripe currant jelly and savory things both meaty and herbal, making for a sexy and stylish wine to drink over the next 5 to 7 years easy. Not as densely packed as 2014, 2015 and 2016 versions, the 2017’s are more lacy and lighted, though not light or missing anything, it is much more a finessed year to cherish.

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

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti ‘Grotte Alte’, Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG 2014 750ML ($75.95) $66 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 91+ points
“Bright dark red. Spicy and floral nuances complicate the lemon, red cherry and red berry aromas and flavors. Tar and licorice add complexity, as does a floral note on the long, juicy earthy finish. Slightly astringent on the back end, which lowers my score a tad.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $74.98
The average listed price is $82

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti ‘Siccagno’ Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($47.95) $37 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 90 points
“Deep red. Juicy aromas and flavors of red berries, medicinal herbs, licorice and earth tones. Long and lively on the juicy, vibrant back end.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Calderara Sottana Bianco Etna, Sicily 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 94 points
“Vibrant deep yellow. Deep, round and complex, this enters sweet then turns mineral and steely, with refined lemony, apple and chamomile flavors. Finishes long, very austere and stony, but manages the neat trick of tasting luscious and ripe at the same time. Deeper and more complex than the other 2017 whites I tasted from Terre Nere this year. This 100% Carricante, mostly from 60 years old vines, may well be the best white wine from owner Marc de Grazia’s Terre Nere estate I have ever tried at a similar stage of development.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Santo Spirito Bianco Etna, Sicily 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 93 points
“Luminous golden-tinged straw yellow. Minerals and a hint of white flowers on the saline accented nose. Rich round and smooth, with very deep, complex flavors of honey and pomaceous orchard fruit. Finishes long and vibrant, this is absolutely a knockout. 100% Carricante, the vines of which range from 7 to 60 years of age (but De Grazia uses the youngest vines for the entry-level Etna Bianco blend).”

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Guardiola Rosso Etna, Sicily 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 96+ points
“Luminous deep red. Expressive, nuanced aromas of minerals, red cherry, lemon peel, marzipan and a hint of white pepper. Then glyceral yet light on its feet, with a suave, silky texture to its Guardiola-typical, very vibrant steely red fruit and mineral flavors that showcase truly remarkable inner-mouth perfume. Deep, plush and concentrated and not at all a super-ripe style (a truly great wine from Guardiola, a very cool site, never is), this really perks up the palate leaving the mouth feeling refreshed and clean. Finishes very long, with captivating perfumed floral lift and hints of ripe black cherry.”

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

Tenuta delle Terre Nere ‘San Lorenzo’ Etna Rosso, Sicily 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 94 points
“Good full red. Mint and cinnamon complicate pristine aromas of red/black cherry, bitter field greens and red rose petals. Enters sweet, rich and dense, then a touch austere in the middle, but with an overall easygoing quality and a building peppery nuance to the red/dark fruit flavors. Silky and very fresh, this is less steely and deep than the Guardiola, but has currently an easier to drink quality to it; more Barbaresco to Guardiola’s Barolo, if you will. The San Lorenzo is one of the Etna’s best contradas for Nerello Mascalese (in fact, it’s a grand cru for this variety, in my opinion). In a telling sign of where Etna is going market-wise, De Grazia bought a small piece of this vineyard only a few years ago in order to make a San Lorenzo with his other Etna brand, Le Vigne di Eli (named in honor of his daughter) and recalls that: “… I paid a hectare that day more than what I had paid for the ten hectares I had bought in 2001”.”

Old-School Chateauneuf

from Chateau Mourre du Tendre

We’re always on the hunt for hyper-traditional, old school Rhone producers and in Chateau Mourre de Terre, we’ve scored a massive success.  This is everything we love about old-school Rhone wines wrapped up into one, very reasonably priced package.  Their importer asks the question “what would Roberto Conterno do if he owned a vineyard in Châteauneuf-du-Pape?” and that’s the best analogy here—lovers of ageworthy, old-school CdP should be racing to buy these.

The estate owns a meager 3ha of vineyards in Chateauneuf du Pape and the oldest vines date back to 1929—they’re nearly 100 years old.  The youngest vines are a solid 50+ years old at this point, which is probably all you need to know.  This is an estate that doesn’t like change or “progress.” Everything is still done by hand and fermentation/elevage is done in in concrete and old foudre for a long time.  This is not the sort of estate to rush things.  We’ve got their (just released) 2015 Chateauneuf “Tres Vielles Vignes” and old vine Cotes du Rhone arriving on Friday in (as you might expect) limited quantities.  With only a few cases of each available, Rhone traditionalists are going to want to stock up quickly.

Arriving Friday:

Chateau du Mourre du Tendre Chateauneuf-du-Pape Tres Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Importer Note
“Château Mourre du Tendre tends 3ha of vines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the lieu-dits of Le Crau, La Guigasse and Saintes-Vierges – all sandy terroirs. While primarily Grenache, planted in 1929 and 1945, there is a small portion of Mourvedre that Jacques Paumel added in 1967 to compliment the final blend. Spending at least 3 years in concrete tanks and foudre before release, it perhaps answers the question, what would Roberto Conterno do if he owned a vineyard in Châteauneuf-du-Pape? …Farming at Mourre du Tendre is minimalist and traditional. Everything is done by hand and the family has never used pesticides in their vineyards. The harvest is conducted in several passes and the grapes are carefully sorted when they reach the cellar. The Paumel family makes powerful and traditional wines and the fruit is not destemmed, fermentations occur spontaneously after a short semi-carbonic maceration, and the elevage is quite long – averaging about three years in a combination of concrete tanks and foudre. The resulting wines are charming, bold and structured with much more in common with Barolo and Barbaresco than most anything else you will find in the region. Needless to say they age beautifully and gracefully, even the Côtes-du-Rhône. Sadly we only receive tiny quantities.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Chateau du Mourre De Tendre Cotes Du Rhone Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Importer Note
“The oldest vines at Château du Mourre du Tendre is a Grenache vineyard planted in 1925 on gravelly clay soils in the Côtes-du-Rhône appellation. These vines were supplemented in 1969 with the addition of Mourvedre bringing the total size of site to 7 hectares. This is the source of the estate’s Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Vieilles Vignes cuvée. It is darker, earthier and more somber than the regular Côtes-du-Rhône, no doubt due to the Mourvedre, but it retains the intensity and charming rusticity that is the hallmark of this estate. Like it’s siblings, it is fermented whole cluster with indigenous yeasts and aged for three years before release.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Rosé of the Day

Chinon’s Lighter Side

Chinon is the source of some of our favorite rosé and none is better value than Plouzeau’s.  Pale pink, it’s got the snappy, red-berry fruit and peach of lightly macerated Franc with a touch of the rosemary and thyme the variety brings to the table as well.  Even better, it’s extremely well priced, so this is one to buy by the case and drink with gusto over the summer.

In Stock Now:

M Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14.40 special
Case-12 M Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($199.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
“While Chinon is best known for its lovely, savory bistro reds, a few producers make dynamite rosé from the AOC as well.  Plouzeau is one of those that makes excellent rosé, and the 2018 version is tops. As a red, some don’t love Chinon because of its herbal, savory streak, but that’s tempered in rosé form, turning into a lovely background note of thyme or rosemary to complement the bright juicy fruit.  This is dry and crisp—and more importantly budget friendly.  It’s one of the best values in the rosé world, especially if you buy it by the case!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Want to see all 90+ rosés available here at Vinopolis? Just head to our webstore to see the entire list!
Trending Wines

“If I could give more than 100 for this one, I would”-LPB
Dominus Estate, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($319.95) $289 special
Dominus Estate, Napa Valley 2016 1.5L ($699.95) $599 special
Lisa Perrotti-Brown-Wine Advocate 100 points
“A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc aged in 40% new oak, the 2016 Proprietary Red Wine is deep purple-black in color and quite reticent at this youthful stage to begin, offering up subtle notions of potpourri, Indian spices, cigar box and iron ore over a core of crushed blackberries and black cherries with intermittent wafts of black and red currants, new leather and smoked meats. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a densely packed mid-palate and oodles of freshness framed by very ripe, finely grained tannins and laced with compelling earthy accents. It offers incredible vibrancy with tons of black and red fruit sparkle in the mid-palate leading to a provocative mineral element on the very long finish. If I could give more than 100 for this one, I would. To be released in May 2019.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98+ points “Another possible legend in the making is the 2016 Dominus, a classic blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc brought up in 40% new French oak. Pure, pristine notes of charcoal, cold fireplace, smoke tobacco, and both blue and black fruits all flow to a full-bodied 2016 that has incredible elegance and finesse, yet also depth and density. It’s more backward and reserved than the 2015 and needs 4-5 years of cellaring. It will unquestionably live for 25-30 years.”
James Suckling 98 points “The opulence of fresh flowers and dark fruit is so impressive. There’s so much going on, from flowers to currants. The palate is full and powerful, but what impresses most are the ripe tannins and the amazing poise at the finish. Tightens down at the end. A blend of 84 per cent cabernet sauvignon, eight per cent petit verdot and eight per cent cabernet franc. Drink in 2021.”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2016 Dominus is a dark, somber wine. I don’t quite see the explosive energy of the 2013 or 2010, not the seductiveness of the 2012, but the 2016 has a distinct charm that is all its own. Quite frankly, I can’t remember a young Dominus with this combination of fruit density, freshness and polished tannins. A huge center of fruit emerge with time in the glass in a big, large-scaled Dominus that should provide readers with a long drinking window of pure pleasure once some of the baby fat wears off.”

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
A stunning value high elevation Alexander Valley Cabernet.
Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2013 750ML ($79.95) $49 special
Case-6 Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2013 750ML ($299.95) $259 special
Robert Parker 92+ points
“The single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the highest elevation (400-1000 feet) is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Ridge. It displays blacker fruit, loads of plums, blueberry and blackberry, a deep, full-bodied, mouthfeel, rich, concentrated, moderately high tannin, a nice minerality and plenty of black fruits. These are all well-built and potentially very long-lived wines of 25-30 or more years. This wine needs a good 4-5 years of cellaring.”

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

“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

A stunning bottling from de la Mordoree
Domaine de la Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Dame Voyageuse, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points
“The new entry-level release from this estate is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Dame Voyageuse, a more Grenache-dominated blend of 90% Grenache, 4% each of Mourvèdre and Syrah, and the balance Counoise and Vaccarèse. Aged mostly in tank, with 15% in old barrels, it boasts a deep violet/purple color as well as a full-bodied, voluptuous style in its blueberry and cherry fruits, violets, damp earth, and spice-laced aromas and flavors. This cuvée is always more upfront and sexier compared to the more structured La Reine des Bois cuvée, and it’s already drinking brilliantly today. Nevertheless, it will keep for a good 10-15 years if you’re so inclined.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
“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.”

Arriving Friday

The Outstanding Rioja Alta

La Rioja Alta is one of the Great Names of Rioja.  Along with Lopez de Heredia and Muga, they form a triumvirate of excellent, resolutely traditional producers in the heart of Haro.  Rioja Alta is perhaps the most under the radar of the three—not as romanticized as Lopez and not as big and everpresent as Muga.  Despite their (relative) obscurity, Rioja Alta makes wines that are every bit the top of the class of the region.

We were blown away with the quality levels across the board when we tasted through this upcoming release from Rioja Alta. From the entry level to the high end, these are some of the best wines we’ve tasted from the venerable producer—which is really saying something considering the wines they’ve put out in the past.  The highlights, of course, are the two Gran Reservas and the “Vina Ardanza” Reserva—three wines that are beautifully aged (and drinking great now) but will last in the cellar as long as you have patience.

We’re stocking up on these and so should you—these are absolutely brilliant wines to drink now and to age, so it’s hard to buy too many.  They arrive on Friday and you’d do well to stock up—these are brilliant bottles at prices that are fantastic for what’s inside them.

Arriving Friday August 9th:

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($71.95) $57.50 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points
“Fresh blueberries and brambleberries take center stage, which is striking for a wine of this age. There are also lots of roasted herbs, such as sage, not to mention floral elements, including lavender and dried violets. Then come cedar, sandalwood and tar. The tannins are incredibly round and soft, without the slightest hint of anything dry. This is among the most elegant of Riojas, where the acidity is wonderfully pronounced and cuts right through any touch of dried fruit. Long and powerful, yet subtle on the finish. Drink now, or hold for a very long time.”
Wine Advocate 96+ points “It seems like yesterday when the superb 2001 was released, and now I already have the 2010 Gran Reserva 904 in my glass. It has to be among the greatest modern time vintages of this mythical bottling, where they aim for a wine that has a long aging potential. This is mostly Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 13.5% alcohol, and it matured in fourth-used American oak barrels for four years, during which time the wine was racked every six months. It has the combination of elegance and power only the best vintages are capable of, with the classical aromas, great detail and nuance, very good balance and persistence. They consider 2010 among the best years of this century, and maybe future generations will talk about 2010 like we talk about the great classical vintages of yesterday today. The palate is polished but shows plenty of energy and tension, the tannins are very fine and elegant, and the flavors are focused and clean. This has to be one of the greatest wines from the vintage. A legend in the making. 150,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2015.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($39.95) $30.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($399.95) $333 pre-arrival special (that’s only $27.75/bottle—
the lowest listed price in the country!)
James Suckling 96 points
“Very fresh and vivid 2009 with berries, dark spice and hints of walnuts. Full-bodied, reserved and so held back and muscular, but you don’t feel the tannins and the strength. A great wine. Give it two or three years. Try in 2020.”
Wine Advocate 93+ points “The current vintage of one of the flagship wines from La Rioja Alta is the 2009 Viña Ardanza Reserva, the second year it has contained 20% Garnacha grapes from their estate vineyards in La Pedriza in the village of Tudelilla in Rioja Baja. The Tempranillo comes from vineyards averaging 30 years of age in Fuenmayor and Cenicero. The hand-harvested bunches were sorted and put in boxes, transferred to the winery at 14 degrees Celsius to be destemmed and crushed, then the grapes fermented in stainless steel, including malolactic. The two varieties were aged separately, 36 months in used American oak barrels for Tempranillo and 30 months for Garnacha, and racked every six months. It was initially closed, shy and serious, riper and a little darker than the 2008 but still very balanced, serious and harmonious. The palate combines power with elegance, with some tannins, focused flavors, some chalky texture and a rustic touch that gives it character. 600,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2014.”

La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($49.95) $38 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points
“Brambleberries, licorice, dried blueberries, cedar, tobacco, smoke, vanilla, dried citrus and even a hint of grapefruit. The lazer-sharp acidity evinces a real sense of purity, and the tannins are really edgy and structured. Full-bodied but very elegant and stylish. The finish goes on and on, thanks to the shimmering acidity. Beautiful now, but better in 2024.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2014 750ML ($24.95) $19 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 92 points “Dried red cherries, paprika, coconut, dried strawberries and earth. Medium body, steely and subtle tannins and a red plum-soaked, medium-chewy finish. Drink in 2021.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The first wine in their portfolio is already at Reserva level (labeled Crianza in Spain…), of which I tasted the 2014 Viña Alberdi. 2014 was a challenging harvest with lots of rains, and they had to sort and select the grapes. The wine has plenty of balsamic and smoky notes, incense and cigar ash, smoke and spice. The palate is quite marked by the élevage of two years in barrel and reveals a medium-bodied wine with a bitter twist on the finish, and the balsamic notes that you find on the nose make a comeback in the finish. This seems to be a lighter vintage of Viña Alberdi. 500,000 bottles produced. it was bottled in June 2017.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Thanks for reading!