Midweek VinopolPick 9-3-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

New Cayuse Arrivals

High Scoring Cabs from Bevan Cellars

Grapelive Reviews a Under the Radar Chablis Find

Voguë Grand Cru, Ex-Cellar, Library Wines

Rare Library Old School Barolo

Collector’s Corner

End of Summer Rose Picks

New Southern Rhone Wine Advocate Reviews

William Kelley Raves about Ulysse Collin

First Offer: 2016 Lapostelle “Le Petit Clos”


New Cayuse Arrivals

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Only two bottles available
Cayuse Vineyards Armada Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2015 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Advocate 97 points
“The 2015 Syrah Armada Vineyard is superb, wafting from the glass with a complex and savory bouquet of dark chocolate, peat, candied violets, plums and marinading meat. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich and layered, with a deep core of sapid fruit framed by powdery, fine-grained tannins and concluding with a saline finish. Seamlessly integrated and elegant, the 2015 was harvested on September 9 and fermented with 60% to 70% whole clusters, finishing with 13.7% natural alcohol. It was matured in foudres and demi-muids, seeing 10% new oak and—as has been the case since 2011—no smaller cooperage.”
James Suckling 97 points “The depth and complexity on offer is instantly impressive with smoky bacon and charcuterie notes across gun flint, peppers and an array of mostly red-tinged fruits. The palate has impressively smooth tannins, carrying deeper blue-plum and cherry flavors in a smooth, fine and supple mode. Impressive. Drink or hold.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The only Syrah bottled in 2015 due to issues with corks, the 2015 Syrah Armada Vineyard is a classic expression of this vineyard and gives up a rocking bouquet of ripe black cherries, peat moss, sous bois, tapenade and scorched earth. It’s medium to full-bodied, silky and polished on the palate, with sweet tannin, impeccable balance, and great finish. Drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years.”

Only three bottles available
Cayuse Vineyards Cailloux Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97-99 points
“Moving to the Syrahs and always the largest production release, the 2016 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard includes a small amount of co-fermented Viognier and is raised all in puncheons. Cold campfire/ash, plums, dried violets, and pepper all flow to a rich, full-bodied, incredibly opulent Syrah that has a stacked, thick mid-palate, bright acidity, and a great, great finish. It’s another killer vintage for this vineyard and it’s going to be one of the Syrahs of the vintage.”

Cayuse Vineyards Bionic Frog Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($279.95) $249 special
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points
“Pure perfection in a glass, the 2016 Syrah Bionic Frog is another magical wine from this estate and is as good as it gets. Crème de cassis, rose petals, menthol, ash, and smoky, meaty, soy sauce notes all emerge from this singular wine. Full-bodied, expansive, and powerful yet weightless on the palate, it has ultra-fine tannins, a brilliant finish, and a singular, magical character. It matches the otherworldly 2014 and 2010 and is one of the wines of the vintage.”


First Offer

High Scoring Cab from Bevan Cellars

Bevan Cellars has quickly emerged as one of the top handful of Napa Cabernet producers in a crowded marketplace.  Since their founding in 2005, they’ve earned multiple perfect scores for their bold, silky style.  These are intense expressions of Cabernet (and a few impressive Cabernet-based blends) that manage to be delicious and texturally impressive now.  They don’t see a lot of action in the retail world (most of their wine is sold to a fervent mailing list) but we’ve got our hands on some, arriving later this month.

Arriving ETA Late September:

Bevan Cellars Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville 2016 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 97+ points
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard is very deep purple-black in color with an earthy, meaty, broody nose with notes of mocha over baked plums and crème de cassis plus wafts of spice box and mincemeat. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated, rich and earthy with great vibrancy on the finish. 839 cases produced.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “From a steep hillside in Oakville, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard offers a more savory, masculine, layered style as well as a huge nose of red and black fruits, dried herbs, chocolate, and earth. It hits the palate with a full-bodied, mouthfilling style that carries plenty of tannins, a deep, concentrated mid-palate, and a great finish. I like it today, yet it’s going to continue drinking brilliantly for two decades.”

Bevan Cellars Proprietary Red EE Tench Vineyard, Oakville 2016 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Proprietary Red EE Tench Vineyard is scented of pure plums and ripe blueberries with redcurrants and touches of lavender, roses, bay leaves and dusty earth. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm, fine-grained, vibrant and refreshing, finishing long and perfumed. 1,403 cases produced.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “The 2016 Tench Vineyard EE Red Wine checks in as a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Merlot, which is the smallest amount of Cabernet Franc to date. Brought up in new barrels, it has gorgeous blue fruits, violets, spring flowers, and damp earth. Medium to full-bodied, elegant, and just about as seamless and silky as it gets, this is a magical wine to drink over the coming 15 years or more.”

Bevan Cellars ‘Ontogeny’ Red, Oakville 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Bevan Cellars ‘Ontogeny’ Red, Oakville NE 2016 750ML ($719.95) $569 pre-arrival special (that’s only $94.83/bottle—
the lowest listed price in the USA!)
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points
“While the 2016 Ontogeny Red Wine might be the least expensive wine in the lineup, it’s unquestionably at the same quality level as the top tier releases. Boasting a saturated purple color and sensational notes of plums, currants, chocolate, and graphite, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, incredible opulence and decadent, no hard edges and perfect overall balance. It’s the real deal, and readers should snatch up this beauty.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Blended of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 15% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot, the deep purple-black colored 2016 Ontogeny Proprietary Red Wine gives pure blackberries, black cherries and blueberries with bay leaves and black pepper plus a touch of cedar. The palate is medium to full-bodied, fresh, grainy and harmonious, finishing long and juicy. 2,963 cases produced.”

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


Grapelive Reviews a Under the Radar Chablis Find

The Schaller family is a prime example of what we’re looking for in Burgundy.  These are honest, excellently made wines from a family with a long history of farming and a new generation bringing energy and commitment to the winemaking side of things.  They’re beyond fairly priced, which reflects their status as a relative unknown, but these wines are classic in every sense of the word.

Camille and Laurent Schaller are bright, young and talented and committed to making a name for themselves in the world of Chablis.  The Schaller family has grown grapes in Chablis for generations, but it wasn’t until Camille went through enology school that they started bottling any on their own.  Initially they only made one wine (an AOC Chablis) but as grape contracts to negociants have ended they have increased the number of bottlings produced under their own label.

These are wines to buy and winemakers to watch—we expect them to be considered one of the stars of Chablis in the next decade.  Mostly fermented and aged in stainless, they use a small percentage of (used) oak on some of their top wines.  The results are stunning—bright, mineral and with that Chablisienne quality.  Grapelive recently reviewed their exceptional-value old vines bottling and the Wine Advocate praised their whole lineup, so it seems as though the world is catching on to these beauties.

Just Reviewed, In Stock Now:

Domaine Camille et Laurent Schaller Chablis Vieilles Vignes, Burgundy 2017 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Grapelive 92 points
“Absolutely new to me, the Domaine Camille & Laurent Schaller, is a family estate based in Préhy, a village in the heart of the Chablis region. The estate is run by Laurent and his son Camille….Their Chablis collection includes main bottling of Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru, and this “Old Vine” Vieilles Vignes, which I think is an outstanding wine, it really thrills the palate and is an exceptional value with steely intensity and a depth of flavors that rivals Premier Crus and much more expensive Chablis, it’s very impressive. Classic in style with riveting crushed stone and a touch of smoky leesy character this Schaller Vieilles vignes adds layers of steely lemon, green apple and peach fruits along with a touch of honeycomb, creme brûlée richness on the lively palate making for a Chardonnay of poise and fine tension…This pale golden Chablis is delicious and is a wine of remarkable substance and length, quite surprising for a wine in this price class, it has depth and vigor to make it a wine to savor over a meal, going especially well with soft cheeses and an array of foods.  Made from vines at least 40 years old and set on the classic limestone and clay soils that provide Chablis with its unique flinty/chalky profile, Schaller’s Old Vine was fermented mostly in stainless, about 70%, and about 30% in barrel to preserve purity and fresh details, while enough barrel fermented to provide complexity and richness on the medium bodied palate, in fact it is incredibly well judged and has loads of personality, charm and vivacious form, making for a stunning example of the region and the grape, this is lovely stuff that stays vivid and vibrant throughout. Well made, textured and with Premier Cru depth this Schaller Vieilles Vignes is a real crowd pleasing white, and while not as laser like intense as say Raveneau or quite as classic like William Fevre, but this is well worth your attention and this 2017 drinks very well, comparing well with anything in its price range, I highly recommend discovering this estate.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Also Available:

“This new domaine in Préhy debuted with the 2014 vintage. The Schaller family were hitherto part of La Chablisienne, but today they vinify the fruit of some eight of the fifteen hectares they own—in stainless steel, with the exception of their barrel-aged Vieilles Vignes bottling. The wines are lively and nicely balanced, suggesting that this is an address of some promise.” – William Kelley

Domaine Camille et Laurent Schaller Vau de Vey, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points
“Unwinding in the glass with aromas of citrus blossom, Meyer lemon and wheat toast, the 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Vau de Vey is medium to full-bodied, pretty and precise, with a fragrant core of fruit, racy acids and a saline, delicately wood-inflected finish.”

Domaine Camille et Laurent Schaller Vaucoupin, Chablis Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 89 points
“Blossoming in the glass with scents of white flowers, citrus oil, green apple and musky peach, the 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Vaucoupin is medium to full-bodied, saline and open-knit, with racy acids but a charming, expressive personality. It’s produced from seven-year-old vines, so the best is likely still to come.”


Comte de Vogue

Grand Cru, Ex-Cellar, Library Wines

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!

These wines cannot be listed online. To order, reply to this email or call.
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.
Rare Library Old School Barolo
Two of the most heralded names in traditional Barolo are Cappellano and Burlotto, both known for old-school, age worthy wines that are some of the most profound bottlings in the region.  Both use long macerations and age their wines only in large botti (casks).  The result are wines that can often be austere in their youth but blossom over the decades into sensual, intellectually and hedonistically satisfying bottles.  We’ve been able to secure a large parcel of back vintage wines from both producers at prices that are excellent given the provenance and market conditions for these wines.  These are very hard to find on the secondary market, as well—unlike some names, collectors of these bottles tend to drink rather than re-sell.  Now’s your chance to secure some rare bottlings arriving at the end of the month.  Unfortunately as you’ll see below, the quantities on each individual bottling are small, so you’re going to have to act quickly.  You can view the entire list from each producer below or click here to see all of the wines from Cappellano or here to see the wines from Burlotto that are available for purchase.

ETA Late September:

Collector’s Corner

In Stock Now:

Old Lopez Blancos are some of the most profound wines ever.
Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco, Rioja DOCa 1973 750ML ($999.95) $799 special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The 1973 Vina Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva is so sublime, so complete and natural that it may bring tears to the eyes. It has a complex bouquet of beeswax, lanolin, lemon curd and almond that is effortlessly combined. The palate is nigh-perfectly balanced with very good weight. It has a seamless waxy texture and a peacock’s tail of almond, creme brulee, marzipan and dried apricot. There is a beguiling sense of completeness here. Heaven in a glass, and one of the finest Tondonia Blancos I have encountered. Drink now-2020+”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $870

Romanée-Saint-Vivant from an overlooked producer in a great year.
Domaine Follin-Arbelet Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2009 750ML ($499.95) $333 special
Burghound 92-94 points
“A ripe and exuberantly spicy nose also features an expansive range of fruit aromas that include red, blue and black berries plus plum nuances. The rich, seductive and mouth coating flavors are underpinned by phenolically mature tannins and excellent length where a touch of menthol surfaces. If there is a nit, it seems that this does not have the same level of energy of the best in the range but at this stage of development, this could easily change.”BH

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Perfect, polished and in magnum.
Chateau Pavie, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2000 1.5L ($1999.95) $1699 special
Robert Parker 100 points
“Just beginning to come around and strut its enormous potential, this wine at age 15 has been evolving like a glacier. The wine has an inky, opaque, plum/purple color and a stunningly rich nose of mulberries, bramble berries, blackberries, licorice and incense as well as touches of toast and graphite. Fabulously concentrated and full-bodied, with a multidimensional mouthfeel, this profound Pavie is in mid-adolescence. It should evolve and continue to drink well for at least another 30-40 years. This is clearly the first compelling effort made by the Perse family.” 8/2015

Bernstein’s Burgundies are released in miniscule quantites.
Olivier Bernstein Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($869.95) $779 special
Wine Spectator 97 points
“($865) Expressive, even flamboyant, this red features red and black cherry, sandalwood, stony mineral, earth and spice flavors. Larger than life, with a boisterous personality, yet there’s no denying the intensity and complexity. Shows superb structure and length. Best from 2023 through 2046. From France.”-B.S.
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 93-96 points “(Bernstein works with two strips of vines that extend from the bottom to the top of the cru on the Chambolle side, thus giving him both red and white soil influences): Healthy dark red with ruby suggestions. Reticent, pure aromas of musky raspberry, spices and rocky minerality, lifted by a floral topnote. Boasts terrific precision and inner-mouth mineral grip but this is youthfully imploded today and less accessible than the Clos de la Roche, with a touch of peppery stems contributing to the impression of tension. The very long, building finish stimulates the salivary glands, leaving behind notes of black and white pepper in the empty glass. This wine, too, should be long-lived. Bernstein vinified in 2016 with an average of 50% whole clusters but this one was more like two-thirds.”

Perfect provenance, along with the other Rougeard in stock now.
Clos Rougeard Saumur-Champigny Les Poyeaux, Loire 2008 750ML ($399.95) $349 special

Roumier is always a special find—Bonnes Mares exceptionally so.
Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2013 750ML ($1199.95) $999 special
Burghound 95 points
“This is quite floral with plenty of earth and assorted spice elements adding interest to the very fresh mix of green tea and red and dark berry fruit scents. There is outstanding power and concentration to the broad-shouldered flavors that possess a robust mouth feel and ample minerality, all wrapped in a moderately austere and hugely long finish. This is a big, indeed even opulent but balanced wine that is clearly built for longer-term cellaring.”

One of the finest vineyards in Napa in an excellent year.
Colgin Cellars IX Estate Red, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($699.95) $499 special
Robert Parker 98+ points
“From their steep hillside vineyards on Pritchard Hill, the 2014 Proprietary Red IX Estate is an old-fashioned Médoc blend dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, but with some Cabernet Franc (rarely seen in the Médoc these years) as well as Merlot and Petit Verdot. Striking aromatics of violets, forest floor, loamy soil nuances, blueberry, black raspberry and blackberry soar from the glass of this spectacular 2014. The acidity seems reasonable but on the lower side, the texture is magnificent, and the overall purity and equilibrium flawless. This is a wine pushing, even demanding, a three-digit score once again, but I’m holding back – at least for now. This magnificent effort from Colgin should drink beautifully for 25-30 years.”

End of Summer Rose Picks
Classic, pale, Provencal rosé.
Chateau Gassier Cotes de Provence ‘Esprit Gassier’ Rose 2018 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Chateau Gassier Cotes de Provence ‘Esprit Gassier’ Rose 2018 750ML ($249.95) $196 special (that’s only $16.33/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points
“Vivid orange-pink. High-pitched strawberry, peach and jasmine scents are complemented by building floral and herb nuances. Silky and energetic on the palate, offering fresh red berry and pit fruit flavors and a hint of bitter orange pith. Finishes silky and precise, displaying very good persistence and a repeating floral note.”
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “This wine is the heart of the production from this estate. The blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Vermentino creates a wonderful freshness, while also showing richness and a touch of spice. It is intensely fruity and ready to drink now.”
Importer Note “‘Esprit Gassier’ is the ‘Gassier Spirit’ that combines the exceptional terroir of the Sainte-Victoire region with Côtes de Provence varietals to produce a wine that expresses the family’s passion, expertise and creativity. The beautiful label, designed by a local artist, is silk-screened on the bottle to create a striking package.  A very clear rosé with shades of peach. Intense nose with delicate aromas of white flowers and white fruit (peach). A second nose unveils spicy notes as well as scents of clementine. The mouth is round with notes of citrus fruits and a slight and healthy final acidity.”This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Domaines Bunan is one of the most interesting and undervalued producers in Bandol.  They’re a historic estate with some of the most privileged vineyards in the region, but manage to fly under the radar in a way that we have a hard time reconciling.  Case in point? Their two single vineyard Bandol rosés should be scooped up as quickly as names like Pradeaux and Bastide Blanche—the wines they make are fantastic for the prices they’re asking.

They make two different, single-vineyard, Bandol rosés. The Moulin des Costes is a vineyard at lower elevation but is closer to the ocean and you can almost feel that sea breeze in the wine.  The Mas Rouviere sits next to the Chateau of the same name and is higher in elevation on a steeper slope, which gives a more intense, powerful rosé.  Both are fantastic and at ½ the price of Tempier, a total steal.

Domaine Bunan Moulin des Costes Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
“Hints of crushed stone and lime zest appear on the nose of the 2018 Bandol Rose Moulin des Costes, a blend of 50% Cinsault, 40% Mourvèdre and 10% Grenache. Although only light to medium-bodied, it’s pleasantly silky in texture, with ample length on the refined, elegant finish.” -Wine Advocate

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Bunan Mas de la Rouviere Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Wine Advocate 90 points
“Hints of crushed stone accent melon and lime scents on the nose of the 2018 Bandol Rose Mas de la Rouviere. It’s light to medium-bodied, not terribly intense, but fine and silky, with a long, harmonious and refreshing finish.”

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

New Southern Rhone Wine Advocate Reviews
The Wine Advocate just published their reviews for the outstanding 2017 southern Rhone vintage and there are some real highlights.  It’s a big, dense year, with wines of intense concentration and fruit because of the weather during the vintage.  As Joe Czerwinski put it in his report “the growing season was extremely dry, with some appellations receiving essentially no precipitation from mid-May through the start of harvest, at the end of August. The combination of fewer berries and lack of water meant the berries that did develop remained small and concentrated.”

This is a vintage that’s going to age beautifully for a long time.  The risk in a year like this is that wines come off as astringent or tannic, but, as the WA explains, “knowing that they were facing tiny berries, plentiful tannins and ripe fruit, many vignerons adjusted their vinifications accordingly, either extracting more gently or adjusting the proportion of whole bunches.”  The result? “few of the wines show excessive hardness or underripe qualities.”

We’ve got a number of the top rated wines from the report in stock now (and will have more coming over the next few months.  You can view all of our Rhone wines, in stock and arriving soon, in our webstore, or keep reading for the highlights of the WA report.

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone, France 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone, France 2017 750ML ($599.95) $419 special (that’s only $34.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92+ points
“Loaded with notes of black olives and black cherries, the full-bodied 2017 Gigondas is rich and velvety in the mouth. I’m not sure it’s quite as good as the 2018, but it’s certainly no slouch, with a long, silky finish that picks up a hint of cocoa.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides, Rhone 2017 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points
“More peppery and floral than it was looking last year from barrel, the 2017 Gigondas Hominis Fides is another gorgeous Gigondas from the talented Louis Barruol. Boasting vibrant cassis fruit and hints of dark chocolate, this full-bodied, velvety-textured wine is a real beauty, showing terrific harmony and elegance on the finish.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux, Rhone 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 32 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2017 Gigondas le Claux features deep blue and black fruit on the nose. It’s full-bodied in the mouth, with a generous, silky mouthfeel and an expansive, voluptuous finish that folds in hints of dark chocolate and salted licorice. All Grenache, from vines planted in the 19th century, it’s a terrific Gigondas.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Poste, Rhone 2017 750ML ($139.95) $109 special, 26 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points
“More civilized than it was last year out of barrel, the 2017 Gigondas le Poste boasts lovely blueberry and cassis fruit. It’s full-bodied and intense yet silky and darn near elegant on the palate. Don’t underestimate the quantity of (ripe) tannins here, which provide a pleasant chewiness to the long, salted-licorice finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2017 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special, ETA Late December
Case-6 Chateau de Vaudieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2017 750ML ($299.95) $238 pre-arrival special (that’s only $39.67/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 90 points
“The full-bodied 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape is a pleasure-giving mouthful of wine, a blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre. Tasted on two different occasions (once blind), I scored it consistently, although one occasion I found it more tannic. Cherry and black raspberry fruit abounds; the tannins are ripe and silky in texture; and the finish lingers, adding hints of crushed stone and brine. I noted chocolate on one occasion, which makes me think it might not be terribly long-lived, so my aging estimate is conservative.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
William Kelley Raves about Ulysse Collin

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.

William Kelley of the Wine Advocate just published a set of new Champagne reviews and perhaps no producer stood out like Ulysse Collin.  These hard to find wines just arrived in the shop last week and are moving quickly, but if they’re of interest, now’s the time to act!

Just reviewed, in stock now:

Ulysse Collin ‘Les Enfers’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) 750ML ($189.95) $159 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points
“Disgorged with in March 2019 with 2.4 grams per liter dosage, the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Enfers (2014) is based on the 2014 vintage, supplemented by some 10% reserve wines, and spent fully 48 months on the lees. Opening in the glass with expressive aromas of fresh pastry, green mango, waxy citrus fruit and white flowers, it’s medium to full-bodied, precise and elegantly enveloping, with superb depth at the core, racy acids and a beautifully defined, delicately chalky finish. Like all of Collin’s 2014-base bottlings, this is a tender, charming rendition of Les Enfers.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Ulysse Collin ‘Les Pierrieres’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2015) 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96+ points
“Disgorged in March 2019 with 1.7 grams per liter dosage, the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Pierrières (2015) is based on the 2015 vintage and contains fully 60% reserve wines from 2014. It’s still a touch shut down after its recent disgorgement, unwinding in the glass with scents of lemon oil, pomelo and crisp white peach that mingle with nuances of lily pollen and freshly baked bread. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated on the palate, it’s searingly intense, with a racy spine of acidity that lends the wine incredible cut and energy, despite its unquestionable breadth and concentration. The finish is long, mouthwatering and electric. This is another brilliant Pierrières from Collin, but at least a year’s patience is warmly recommended.”

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Ulysse Collin ‘Les Maillons’ Rose de Saignee Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2015) 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Derived entirely from the 2015 vintage, the NV Extra Brut Rosé de Saignée Les Maillons (2015) was disgorged in March 2019 after 36 months sur lattes. A serious, gastronomic rosé, this is one of the more reserved of Collin’s 2015-base releases, unwinding in the glass with scents of raspberries, pomegranate, crushed mint, spices, toasted almonds and citrus rind. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a muscular core of fruit girdled by lively acids and fine-grained phenolics, concluding with a long and sapid finish. A wine that rewards reflection, this is another terrific cuvée from Collin, but it will need a year on cork to really show its cards.”

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

First Offer:

2016 Lapostelle “Le Petit Clos”

The Lapostelle family is synonymous with quality in Chile.  Perhaps no other family has produced so many great wines from Chilean soil, year in and out.  No matter the grape or the vintage, it seems like everything they put out is a winner—especially their flagship, Clos Apalta.  It’s regularly considered one of the top two wines in Chile, a Bordeaux styled blend that combines rich, opulent fruit and the structure to age for a long time.  We’ve got two vintages of Apalta in stock right now and are excited to offer the new vintage of their second wine, the Petit Clos, for the first time today.

Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet founded Lapostolle in 1994. The Marnier Lapostolle family, known for founding Grand Marnier liqueur, drew on long long roots in wine and spirits within France. Their project in Chile, under the name Lapostolle, delivers world-class wines across every tier.  Their flagship wine, the Clos Apalta, is a wine spared no expense (as you’d expect given the names involved.  It’s regularly considered one of the top two wines in Chile, a Bordeaux styled blend that combines rich, opulent fruit and the structure to age for a long time.

Arriving ETA February:

Casa Lapostolle ‘Le Petit Clos Apalta’, Apalta Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) $39 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 96 points
“A juicy and delicious second wine from Clos Apalta. Beautiful, ripe and delicious with dark berries and mushrooms. Full-bodied and very balanced with complex walnut, spice and berry character. Dark chocolate and hazelnuts at the finish. Drinkable now, but better in 2022.”

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Also Available, In Stock Now:

Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta, Apalta 2015 750ML ($149.95) $128 special
James Suckling 100 points
“There is a subtle complexity on the nose with currant, berry, fresh herb and wet earth aromas. Cut fresh flowers, too. Full body, dense and powerful. Incredible character here with such purity and polish. It goes on for minutes. Formed, sculptured yet soulful. A monumental wine for Chile. Unbelievable. More powerful than the 2014 which was 100 points. A blend of 46% carmenere, 30% cabernet sauvignon, 19% merlot and 5% cabernet franc. Made from biodynamically grown grapes. Better in 2022”

Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta, Apalta 2014 750ML ($159.95) $119 special
James Suckling 100 points
“An extremely aromatic and focused Clos Apalta with blackberry, blueberry, floral and hot stone character. Full body, very linear and ultra-fine tannins. Focused and tight. Precise and long. This is the most polished and beautiful definition of this wine ever. You want to drink it now but better in 2020. A blend of carmenere, cabernet sauvignon and merlot.”

Casa Lapostolle ‘Le Petit Clos Apalta’, Apalta Valley 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-6 Casa Lapostolle ‘Le Petit Clos Apalta’, Apalta Valley 2015 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points
“Blackberry, fresh herb, wet earth and tar aromas follow through to a full body, with powerful tannins and density yet an agile and polished, textured finish. Much better than 2014. The second wine of Clos Apalta. Try it in 2021”


Thanks for reading!