Midweek Vinopolpick Addition 2-28-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Ex-Cellar Releases From DRC

The Best-Value Name in Brunello?

You Keep Selling It Out / We Keep Bringing It Back

Mature Chablis from the Winery’s Cellar

Back Vintage Raymond Lafon Sauternes

Cotes du Rhone from the President of Latour

Faiveley’s Charmes Chambertin and More ’16 Grand Crus

#Trending Wines

Staff Pick: Old-School Bandol

The February Sale Ends Tomorrow

The Best Value in Bubbles: “Undiscovered” Champagne

February Sale Recap


Domaine de la Romanee Conti

Exclusive Ex-Cellar Release 

We cannot list these bottles online. This offer is first-come, first-served.
To order, please call us at 503-223-6002

Arriving in March

As a prelude to the release of 2016s (which will be in disappointingly short supply) the Domaine has put out ex-cellar allocations of some other recent vintages. Our allocation will arrive in March. We’re offering these wines at the lowest listed prices in the USA first-come, first-served. We expect these to go quickly, so call immediately to order!

Only one bottle available!
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($17,999.95) $14,999 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 97 points “Bright, deep red. Reticent, musky nose opens slowly to reveal blackberry, violet, wild herbs and spicy oak; in a rather feminine style and a showstopper. Juicy and penetrating but at the same time silky and sweet, offering an ineffable combination of red and dark berries, spices, flowers and minerals. Conveys an impression of volume and thickness without any obvious weight. Dusty tannins saturate the palate and shimmer on the unflagging finish. The combination of silkiness and vibrancy here is uncanny.”
Neal Martin – Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2011 Romanee-Conti was picked on 6 September at 26.83hl/ha. As usual, the Romanee-Conti is reticent at first, as if the wine is checking you out before deciding whether you are worthy. It then unfurls to reveal a precise, exquisitely focused bouquet with crushed strawberry, flint and smoke. The palate is devastatingly smooth on the entry. The tannins are lace-like, the acidity perfectly judged and it gently crescendos in the mouth towards a seductive poised finish that lingers incredibly long. This is a master-class in ‘less being more’: a consummate Romanee-Conti for mid- rather than long-term cellaring. 473 cases produced. Drink 2017-2035+”
Burghound 96 points “Discreet wood sets off a wonderfully elegant, airy and ultra-pure dark pinot fruit nose that is perhaps even more reticent and shut down than the La Tâche and only seriously aggressive swirling can reveal stubborn notes of rose petal, spice and menthol influence. The ultra-silky but firm medium-scaled flavors are also blessed with an impressive abundance of dry extract that buffers the prominent but ripe supporting tannins on the moderately austere, deep and palate coating finish. The length here is genuinely amazing, indeed even at this early juncture this is already the longest wine in the range. As it virtually always is at this point in its development, this is an exercise in understatement, poise and controlled power with an unrivaled purity of expression. In sum, this is Zen-like. As to whether it will ultimately be better than the La Tâche in 2011 remains to be seen but for now the two seem to be neck and neck from a purely qualitative perspective.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $16,375
The average price is $17,690

Only one bottle available!
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2011 750ML ($7,999.95) $6,999 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin – Wine Advocate 97 points “The Montrachet was picked on 6 September at a respectable 37.1hl/ha. Lucid in colour, perhaps a little deeper than expected, it has a multi-faceted nose that you have to monitor over one hour. Hints of almond and butterscotch emerge at first, then salted caramel, pralines and peach skin. It is mercurial and utterly alluring. The palate is intense on the entry and immediately expresses a sense of vitality and tension. This Montrachet is suffused with great weight in the mouth with subtle touches of orange peel, almond and hazelnut that ebb with time. It mellows in the glass but never dispensing with one iota of tension, yet seeming if anything to gain in volume. This epitomizes great Montrachet. 265 cases produced. Drink 2016-2030+.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “While the 2012 Montrachet goes from being tightly-wound to exotic, the 2011, interestingly, follows a totally different trajectory over several hours. The first impression of unctuousness, with plenty of candied almond, citrus oil, white flower, mint and a touch of botrytis. Over time, the 2011 turns more delicate and understated. In 2011, the Montrachet is a wine of layers and pure sensuality. As in the past, the 2011 gives the impression of being a Montrachet that will reach maturity a bit earlier than some of the other surrounding vintages. I am also happy to see that this bottle does not show the slightly reductive quality that I have noted previously.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $7,650
The average price is $7,911


The Best-Value Name in Brunello?

La Gerla Delivers Profundity at Exceptional Prices

La Gerla makes fantastic Brunello in a traditional (yet approachable) way and at prices that are outrageous for the wine quality and the appellation. Stylistically, La Gerla wines always have striking purity of fruit and elegant structures but are free of the sweet tinted oak that masks many “easy drinking” Brunellos. The pricing is on-point and the combination of all of the above has turned the estate into a Vinopolis staple.  We have their epic 2013 Brunello and 2012 Riserva in stock now  in a variety of formats and both are some of the best wines ever produced by the estate.

In Stock Now:

La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 375ML ($29.95) $26 special
La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 1.5L ($119.95) $99 special
Case-12 La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($599.95) $489 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino is elegant, balanced and bright. The pretty luminosity of the wine’s appearance helps to underline this positive impression. The bouquet is nuanced and layered with dried fruit aromas that segue to spice, tar and balsam herb. You get sassy aromas of licorice, tar and cola on the close.”
Ian D’agata-Vinous 93+ points “Bright red. Pure and very flinty nuances complement aromas and flavors of strawberry-rhubarb and wild berries on the nose and palate. Dense and juicy and boasting a focused, penetrating mouthfeel, this finishes long and clean with a very strong note of licorice. Best classico Brunello from La Gerla in some time.”

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


You Keep Selling It Out

We Keep Bringing It Back In

More Scott Paul Re-Stocks

The Great Scott Paul Selloff continues—we’re blowing through a mountain of these very discounted wines and have new wine arriving (and re-arriving) every week. These are some incredibly well made Willamette Valley wines (either by Kelley Fox or, after 2014, Ian Burch) that are now at hard-to-believe prices.  From their value label, “Wildstock,” to their single vineyard and prestige cuvee bottlings, all are discounted heavily from their original prices.  We’ve just received new stock on a number of previously sold-out wines and wanted to highlight them here.

Previously Sold Out, Now Back in Stock:

Scott Paul D122 Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ML ($39.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 93 points
“Bright ruby-red. A strongly perfumed bouquet displays scents of black raspberry, gingerbread and potpourri. Sappy, incisive red and dark berry flavors are framed by silky tannins and perked up by a nervy orange zest quality. Becomes more heady with aeration, picking up an exotic Asian spice note that carries through the impressively long finish. There’s lots going on here already.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Scott Paul ‘La Paulee’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2013 750ML ($39.95) $18 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points
“Deep red. Bright and energetic on the nose, displaying intense red berry and blood orange scents, along with candied rose and allspice highlights. Silky, sweet and incisive on the palate, offering juicy strawberry and floral pastille flavors and a spicy kick of white pepper. Closes very long and nervy; fine-grained tannins lend shape and closing grip.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Sophisticated and subtle, this lovely wine expresses varietal elegance, with a bouquet of roses and raspberries to begin. The jumble of pretty fruits is framed with citrus peel and a dusting of chocolate.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2013 Pinot Noir la Paulee comes from fruit sourced from Maresh and Nysa in the Dundee Hills, Azana in Chehalem and from the Ribbon Ridge, matured for ten months in neutral oak. It has a very natural, Côte de Beaune-like bouquet with ample brambly red fruit with hints of black tea developing with aeration. I appreciate the focus and definition here. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, smooth in the mouth with just a faint honeyed note. Tart red cherries mingle with redcurrant and strawberry, segueing into a poised and fulsome finish. This should drink well over the next 7-10 years and represents great value.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Scott Paul ‘La Paulee’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($39.95) $18 special
Grapelive 90 points
“Originally made for a special La Paulee celebration, this Scott Paul is now available at $18. [This] is less than half price through multiple outlets; the original winery price was $39. This Kelley Fox-made 2014 version is a steal with a generous and elegant focus and easy to love personality…The 2014 La Paulee is very silky and flows seamlessly across the medium bodied palate with loads of red cherry, plum and cranberry fruits, light spices, cola bean, subtle toasty oak and a nice streak of mineral, ripe tannin and sweet floral tones which is a rose petal array in the nose. The dark crimson and ruby hue is very pretty in the glass and this Pinot Noir never puts a foot wrong. It’s very lovely from start to finish and with lots of admirable quality in the glass. As the winery puts it, [La Paulee] is a bottling that was selection of superior lots from our blocks of Maresh and Nysa Vineyards in the Dundee Hills and Ribbon Ridge and Azana Vineyards on the Chehalem Mountains that was aged in all neutral French oak barrels. Still fresh and focused, it will drink very nicely for another 3 to 5 years with graceful ease, and at this price it is more than worth it. Stocking up is not a bad idea.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Scott Paul Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($59.95) $24 special
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
“The famous vineyard is showing well here. Winemaker Ian Burch has a fine ability to provide a distinct focus for each of the winery’s single vineyard selections. This bottling is refined, with an intriguing mix of flavors, from grapefruit and Bing cherry, to chicken broth and milk chocolate. As odd as it sounds, it all knits together quite well.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Looking for more great wines from Scott Paul? Just click here to see all sixteen Scott Paul and Wildstock bottlings in stock right now!


Mature Chablis

From the Winery’s Cellar

Daniel-Etienne Defaix releases Chablis when he believes the wines are ready. This can mean 15 years past their release. Luckily, the time has come for the truly awesome 2005s. They’re not really ex-cellar or library release, but represent the current vintage on offer (and imported by Rosenthal, so you know it’s good). These are magnificent bottlings that have just reached their peak maturity window. What could you possibly expect to pay for such an experience? At Vinopolis – under $50/bottle!

We’re giant fans of the Defaix wines, but we’re not the only ones.  Recently, William Kelley (the new Burgundy reviewer at the Wine Advocate) published a little bit about the wines and the estate that included some glowing praise.  We’ve included his notes below, but trust us as well—you’re going to want to stock up on these wines.

“A genial gourmet, Daniel-Etienne Defaix is one of Chablis’s personalities, and his wines are no less characterful. He releases his sapid, gourmand expressions of Chablis at maturity—that’s to say, some 15 years after everyone else in the region….These are textural, complex wines that evoke the white Burgundies of yesteryear, and they may confuse consumers habituated to the tart, brittle, processed wines that are often passed off as expressions of region’s “terroir.” Their potential to develop in bottle and their capacity to pair with a thrilling variety of foods, however, make them fascinating, at least to this writer. Much of the production is sold to France’s best restaurants, but what reaches the export market is well worth seeking out.” – William Kelley, Wine Advocate

Arriving Tomorrow:

Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Cote de Lechet, Chablis Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2005 Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet is more complex than the Vaillon, unfurling with complex aromas of honeycomb, mandarin oil, fresh mushroom, almond paste and oyster shell. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, rich and gourmand, with a satiny attack, a deep, concentrated core and tangy balancing acids. It’s a textural, sapid Chablis that will work well at the table.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $49.88
Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Les Lys, Chablis Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 93 points
“Dramatic aromas of blanched almonds, beeswax, honey and preserved lemon introduce the 2005 Chablis 1er Cru Les Lys, a full-bodied, textural wine that’s rich, concentrated and structured, with a tight-knit core, tangy acids and a stony finish. Like Defaix’s other 2005s, it’s very much in its prime and will be well worth seeking out when it reaches the marketplace.”

Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Vaillon, Chablis Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2005 Chablis 1er Cru Vaillon is drinking beautifully, wafting from the glass with a pretty bouquet of honey, buttered citrus and confit lemon. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, satiny and bright, with a generous, textural attack, vibrant acids and a charming, open-knit profile that belies its evident capacity to age. It will be well worth seeking out when it’s released.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Overlooked and Undervalued

Back Vintage Raymond Lafon Sauternes

“2002 is an underrated vintage. After a cool August, September was mostly dry and sunny. Some rain early in the month provoked the first outbreaks of noble rot, and some fruit was picked in mid-September. It was high in acidity, pure and citrussy. There were more pickings in late September and early October, until rain interrupted the harvest. Cool nights retained acidity. It was stop and go, as often happens in Sauternes, and the harvest continued at some properties into mid-November. The later pickings were fatter, more orangey, and provided a useful contrast in the blend to the fresher, earlier-picked crop. But some late-picked fruit was uneven in quality and lacked concentration. Nicolas Heeter-Tari at Château Nairac found his 2002 similar to 2001: ‘Because there was no excessive heat in 2002, the wines have a great deal of freshness.’ That, indeed, is their charm. The wines are not as rich and complex, in general, as the 2001s, but they are elegant and beguiling. Some estates produced quite light wines that may not prove long lived; others made wines almost as structured as the 2001s.” – Stephen Brook, Decanter Magazine

Just Arrived:

“possibly superior to any of the vintages between 2000 and 1991”
Chateau Raymond-Lafon, Sauternes 2002 750ML ($49.95) $29 special
Chateau Raymond-Lafon, Sauternes 2002 375ML ($29.95) $18 special
Robert Parker 92-94 points
“I suspect most readers will find it hard to get excited about the 2002 vintage for the sweet wines of Barsac and Sauternes after what appears to be a prodigious 2001. However, 2002 is a very fine year for this region, possibly superior to any of the vintages between 2000 and 1991. The wines possess plenty of botrytis, but neither the impressive definition nor supreme elegance of the 2001s. This is a sweet, full-bodied, fat, concentrated, intense effort that was showing well in September, 2003.” (Oct 2003)
VinopolNote: Raymond Lafon has always represented exceptional value in Sauternes.  Some of the estate’s vines used to belong to Yquem and it wasn’t included in the 1855 classification, largely because it was founded in 1850.  Raymond Lafon’s wines tend to be age worthy and exceptional value.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
A Fantastic Cotes du Rhone

From the President of Latour

While Fontboneau isn’t the oldest estate in the Rhone (or close, by any measure) it makes up for its lack of history with sheer star power.  Childhood friends Jerome Malet (now an important Roussillon negociant) and Frederic Engerer (President of Chateau Latour and GM of Araujo, Ch. Grillet, etc) took over the 42 acre property in 2008 and have very quickly brought it to the highest heights of the Rhone.  While only in the Cotes du Rhone AOC, the partners have aspirations of challenging Gigondas or Vaqueyras in quality (and one presumes pricing, eventually).  At the moment, this remains one of the best deals in Rhone wine out there, with structure and intensity that don’t match the price tag or the names behind the winery.

In Stock Now:

Domaine de Fontbonau Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Rhone 2010 750ML ($27.95) $18 special
Case-6 Domaine de Fontbonau Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Rhone 2010 750ML ($149.95) $99 special (that’s only $16.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Domaine de Fontbonau Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Rhone 2010 750ML ($279.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 91+ points
“Medium garnet-purple colored, the nose is of warm berries, black cherry compote and dried Provence herb aromas with hints of cumin seed, cardamom and violets. Full, opulent and seductive on the palate, it is superbly structured with a nice acid backbone and a medium to firm level of very finely grained tannins, finishing long and spicy. Delicious now, it should develop beautifully to 2020+.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $20.99
Just Arrived

Faiveley’s Charmes Chambertin

And More 2016 Grand Crus

2016 was a very good year for Faiveley.  It was an excellent year across Burgundy, but for the venerable Burgundy producer it was exceptional, as Erwan Faiveley continues to transform the estate into one of the best producers in Burgundy by any measure.  Historically (under Erwan’s father) Faiveley was known for stern wines that took a long time to come around.  These days, the wines have more fruit and are approachable young, but still have the bones to age for a long time.

Erwan is moving the estate towards becoming a true Domaine and is shifting all the farming to organics.  These changes, combined with more care in the cellar, mean that the jump in quality for 2016 has been huge—and critics have noticed, as well.  We’ve been receiving more stock of the ’16 every week, including the 2016 Charmes Chambertin yesterday.  Stock up while you can find these (especially these Grand Crus), because Faiveley is a house that’s going places.

Just Arrived:

Only twelve bottles available
Domaine Faiveley Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Burghound 92-94 points
“(from Charmes proper; from yields of only 18 hl/ha). Much more subtle though by no means invisible oak sets off beautifully layered aromas of plum, spice, earth and a whiff of underbrush character. There is terrific richness and density to the velvet-textured and voluminous flavors that possess a real sense of mid-palate density thanks to the abundant level of dry extract that also buffers the moderately firm tannic spine. This is at once a relatively elegant version of the appellation yet it is also altogether serious. (92-94)/2028+
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points “(partly from purchased grapes and the rest from a 60-year-old massale selection in both Charmes and Mazoyères–the same “Magnien selection” as the Lavaux Saint-Jacques; 100% destemmed; aging in 60% new oak and 40% once-used barrels): Dark red. Ripe, slightly high-toned aromas of almost liqueur-like dark fruit salad. Juicy on entry, then dense, sappy and dry, displaying lovely definition and cut. Very firm but with an element of perfume that makes it approachable now. Finishes complex and long, with supple tannins. Technical directly Jérôme Flous says that this is “the closest in style among our wines to Rousseau’s.” There’s certainly an element of softness to it.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $240

Looking for Other 2016 Faiveley Grand Crus? Check out these selections in stock now or click here for a full list of all 54 available Faiveley wines on our website:

Only seven bottles available
Domaine Faiveley Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($449.95) $379 special
Wine Spectator 98 points
“A rich, powerful version, backed by flashy oak and beefy tannins that sandwich the flavors of black cherry, blackberry, licorice, iron and tobacco. Concentrated, yet vibrant and long. Best from 2024 through 2050. 500 cases made.—B.S.”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Chambertin-Clos de Bèze Grand Cru is also showing superbly, offering up aromas of cassis, grilled meats, pungent spices and a savory bass-note reminiscent of oyster sauce. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich and fleshy, with velvety structuring tannins, succulent acids and a long, expansive finish. It isn’t quite as multidimensional or complete as this year’s spectacular Ouvrées Rodin bottling, but it’s a very fine Clos de Bèze.”
Stephen Tanzer 94-97 points “Bright, dark red-ruby. Knockout sappy nose combines black raspberry, crushed rock and white pepper. Boasts remarkable intensity and clarity–not to mention class–to its flavors of raspberry, spices and pungent minerals. Wonderfully sappy and dense but almost magically light on its feet. This sharply delineated wine finishes with ineffable rising perfume and outstanding length. This wine manages to combine the best traits of Faiveley’s other Gevrey grand crus–not to mention the finest qualities of the 2016 vintage–in an utterly weightless package.”

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

Domaine Faiveley Corton ‘Clos des Cortons’ Faiveley Monopole Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Stephen Tanzer 95-98 points
“Bright ruby. Fruit-driven aromas of crushed black cherry and dark raspberry convey outstanding pungent lift. Incredibly concentrated, sappy and primary, conveying outstanding juicy purity and compelling thickness to its dark fruit and violet flavors. At once hugely powerful and utterly seamless, this wine finishes with great spicy length and lift. A real essence of Burgundy–and likely to evolve gracefully for 25 years or more.”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Corton Grand Cru Clos des Cortons Faiveley is another cuvée that is showing superbly from bottle, revealing an attractive bouquet of ripe red berry fruit, orange rind, wood smoke, espresso roast and dark chocolate that’s framed by a deft touch of classy new oak. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, satiny and lavish, with a deep and layered core, excellent concentration, vibrant acids and a long, beautifully defined finish. This is one of the finest rendition of the Clos des Cortons Faiveley produced under the new regime.”

Only six bottles available
Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($299.95) $249 special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 95 points
“One of the more reserved wines in the range, the 2016 Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru unfurls in the glass with a youthfully reticent bouquet of dark wild berry fruit, licorice, coniferous forest floor, grilled meats and spices. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, with an elegantly satiny attack and a deep, immensely concentrated mid-palate that’s framed by ripe tannins and brisk acids, concluding with a long and expansive finish. This is an understated but profound Latricières which numbers among Faiveley’s best in 2016.”
Burghound 93-95 points “(from a very large 1.21 ha parcel). Here too the wood treatment is subtle yet just prominent enough to warrant pointing out on the cool, pure and notably more sauvage nose of both red and dark wild berry and earth scents. There is a really lovely sense of underlying tension suffusing the much more mineral-driven middle weight flavors that are not quite as rich but notably more precise on the chiseled and wonderfully refined finish. Textbook. (93-95)/2031+.”

#Trending Wines

Powerful, old-world style Cabernet with 94 points—and well under $30!
Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo 2015 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Case-12 Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo, 2015 750ML ($359.95) $279 special (that’s only $23.25/bottle—the lowest listed price in the country!)
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Tasted side by side with the 2014, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Owen’s Vineyard feels a lot fresher. This is an old, balanced, traditional vineyard that yields wines with very good depth and natural balance. There is perfect ripeness here and a notable absence of those green pepper aromas that often mask the personality of many Cabernets. These old vines yield very concentrated juice and it shows in the tannins and acidity, which show in perfect harmony. 30,000 bottles produced.”

Bright, natural and delicious Loire Gamay.
Domaine de la Garreliere Touraine Gamay Sans Tra-lala, Loire 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
100% Gamay
Importer Note “Gamay without bullshit!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $27.30
Rich and sexy Cote Rotie from previously abandoned vineyards.
Domaine Garon Cote Rotie Les Triotes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Domaine Garon Cote Rotie Les Triotes, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“(40% new oak) Opaque ruby. Smoky, mineral-accented cherry and blueberry scents are complicated by hints of vanilla, Indian spices and licorice. Supple and broad on the palate, offering pliant blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. A sexy floral pastille note emerges on the clinging finish, which shows excellent clarity and gentle, slow-building tannins.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points “From a mix of the La Triotes, Mollard, Combard, and Lancement lieux-dits, the 2016 Côte Rôtie Les Triotes is charming and elegant, with lots of black raspberries, vanilla oak, candied flowers and hints of meatiness. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and silky on the palate, it’s going to drink nicely right out of the gate, yet should evolve gracefully on its balance.”
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2016 Cote Rotie Les Triotes is a blend of the domaine’s parcels in the Côte Blond that will spend 18 months in oak. It doesn’t have the excitement of the lieu-dit wines, but it’s solidly made, offering hints of cedar and vanilla over red berries. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a plush texture and a long, velvety finish.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast for the 750ml!
This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!
Hard to beat this California Chardonnay at this sort of price.
Mount Eden Vineyards ‘Domaine Eden’ Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2014 750ML ($34.95) $21.90 special
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points
“Showing a deep gold color, the 2014 Chardonnay (57% declassified Mount Eden Fruit, aged 10 months in 35% new barrels) offers lots of orchard fruits and buttered citrus, terrific minerality and reductive notes, medium-bodied richness and a silky texture. It has bright acidity, and while it doesn’t quite have the balance and finesse of the Mount Eden Chardonnay releases, it is a terrific Chardonnay.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $24.95
The average price is $30
“Off-season” rosé drinking is the way to go for stellar deals.
Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($31.95) $27.75 special
Case-12 Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($349.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 92 points
“Light, bright orange. Intense, mineral-laced citrus fruit, redcurrant and peach aromas, along with a sexy floral overtone. Juicy and penetrating on the palate, offering subtly sweet red berry and pit fruit flavors that tighten up and become more nervy on the back half. Smoothly blends power and finesse and finishes with outstanding clarity and mineral- and floral-driven persistence.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $35

Pretty wine from a very, very pretty place.
Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
Case-12 Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($449.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Importer Note
“Cassis is not only an active port, but what Kermit calls “an earthly paradise.”  The vineyards of Clos Sainte Magdeleine are particularly stunning. They jut out on a private cape to meet majestic limestone cliffs, poised spectacularly above the sparkling, azure Mediterranean. With landscapes such as these, it is only fitting that writers and poets alike have found inspiration in Cassis. Only a handful of vignerons today are fortunate enough to produce A.O.C. Cassis, and the small quantities available are largely consumed locally with fresh fish—the best way to enjoy them.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $37
Thivin’s super-cuvee is a knockout in 2017.
Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly Cuvee Zaccharie, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($54.95) $47 special
Winery note
“This cuvée comes from a blend of our oldest plantings; the plots at La Chapelle in the south and Godefroy in the east. Tasting note: Beautiful deep red colour, very ripe fruit flavour (blackcurrant, blackberry), mouth round and warm with lots of spice. This wine is currently a little young, though already very pleasant, and can be kept for up to ten years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Staff Pick

Old-School Bandol

Bandol is perhaps the most perfect winter red. Brooding, grippy, primally feral, it’s the wine equivalent of a lamb or game stew—at least in theory, anyway.  Many Bandol that I taste these days seem to be doing their best to be California wines—extremely dark and purple in color with the intense fruit to match the hue.  While I get the appeal, I turn to Bandol for something wilder and untamed.  The solution, as it has been for generations, is Chateau Pradeaux.

Imported by Neal Rosenthal, Pradeaux has been a top producer of Bandol since its inception and is now one of the last great traditionalists in the region.  The wines are made from a very high percentage of Mourvèdre (the signature grape of Bandol) and have the grippy tannin that I seek out with these wines—perfect for pairing with a variety of hearty winter fare.  The 2013 is remarkably delicious now, though it will continue to age for as long as you have patience—Bandol is legendary for its ability to grow old gracefully.  If you enjoy rustic, old school wine, the tariff on the Pradeaux renders it an absolute bargain—one that you’d do well to stock up on.

In Stock Now:

Chateau Pradeaux Bandol, Provence 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Grapelive 94 points
“Etienne Portalis, the fourteenth generation, winemaker at Pradeaux has made a brilliant and deep Bandol in the 2013 vintage. It is my pick for #Mourvedre Day. It is a traditional and old school wine that is made with the blessing of the warm Mediterranean sun and his family’s old vines. The Chateau Pradeaux, founded back in 1752, is a Provence legend and the house style is natural and powerful with Etienne only using whole cluster with stems. These are wines that have firm structures from the raw/authentic skin tannins and wines that can age many decades. That said, this 2013 shows a beautiful freshness of detail and refinement after its extended time in large used cask. The 2013 is deep in color with a dark garnet hue around a blackish core with an earthy profile that opens to a full bodied and complex wine. [It is] almost 100% Mourvedre with a tiny amount of other black grapes. It reveals layers of dusty blackberry, kirsch, plum and boysenberry fruits, peppery briar spice, leather, chalky stones, anise, bitter coco and a touch of floral lift with a mix of violet and lavender as well as a cedar/tobacco element. This 2013 is drinking with an impressive palate impact with plenty of dry grip and force, but turns generous with air with a ripe opulence allowing lots of pleasure and textural charm. It’s a serious example that will gain further with short to mid-term cellaring. Imported by Rosenthal Wine Merchant, Chateau Pradeaux is without question, along with Domaine Tempier, is a standard bearer of the region. This 2013 is a beauty that will be perfect with rustic and simple country cuisine. It’s a big, bold and robust Bandol with a natural sex appeal and inner energy. Drink over the next 10 to 15 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

The February Sale Ends Tomorrow

February is wrapping up and with it our February Sale ends, as well.  Whether you’re looking for great deals on incredible Vin Santo, 2015 Burgundy, epic Brunello or any number of other things, you’ll find them in our February Sale—but you’ll have to hurry. These prices expire when we open for business on March 1st (at 10am, PT).  We’ve included some highlights below, but you can also find a full list at the end of the newsletter or in our web store by clicking here.

The other Italian Petrus slayer—at a third the price of Masseto.
Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($299.95) Was $228, Now $219 February Sale Special
James Suckling 100 points
“This is an extraordinary merlot with such purity and focus. Flowers such as violets and hints of orange peel. It is full-bodied yet incredibly energetic and structured. The finish goes on for minutes. Seamless texture. Fresh yet dense. Contrasty. Best Redigaffi ever. Hard not to drink now but a wine for decades.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Lush and polished, featuring a cashmere texture caressing vanilla, chocolate, black cherry and plum flavors. Well-balanced, with a persistent finish. The harmony hides a solid structure. Decant now. Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2032.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $264
Big, bold, beautiful.  To quote WS, “dreamy.”
Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($99.95) Was $79, Now $71.90 February Sale Special
Wine Spectator 97 points
“This delivers a lush, enticing blast of cassis and raspberry and boysenberry preserve flavors, carried by a silky structure that lets the fruit play out at length, giving adequate time for black tea, singed apple wood, dried anise and fruitcake notes to fill in throughout. Dreamy. Grenache. Best from 2020 through 2040.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $86

The standard by which other Vin Santo is judged.
Avignonesi Vin Santo di Montepulciano, Tuscany 2001 375ML ($219.95) Was $199, Now $169 February Sale Special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The 2001 Vin Santo di Montepulciano (375 milliliters) is a divine and superbly delicious sweet blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia and Grechetto. The results are super concentrated and simmered down to a virtual reduction sauce of deliciousness. There are so many aromas to name, but some of the most evident highlights include candied orange peel, almond marzipan, caramel, toasted coffee bean, vanilla stick, mocha, dark honey and fragrant yellow rose. The mouthfeel is creamy, rich and deeply layered. I’m suggesting a slightly shorter drinking window here compared to the Occhio di Pernice. But, the truth is: I have no idea. I’m pretty sure these wines will outlive anyone of legal drinking age.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $229.90
Desert island Brunello producer in a great vintage.
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($89.95) Was $59, Now $49 February Sale Special
Wine Advocate 95+ points
“Il Poggione is a Brunello superstar and a vintage like this reveals every reason why that affirmation is true. From the second the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino pours into the glass, you know you are in for something special. The wine is darkly saturated and rich in appearance. Absent are those slightly amber or browning hues you often get with Sangiovese in a hot vintage. Nor does the wine show flat or tired characteristics. Instead, the quality of fruit is vibrant and rich. This is a healthy, generous and exuberant Brunello with dark density and succulent fruit flavors that are followed by integrated spice and tobacco. The balance is impressive and one thing you get here is fresh acidity. This is not to be underestimated, because the acidity quota in the 2012 vintage across the appellation is not as high or evident as usual. This is one of the year’s best Brunellos.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 93+ points “Good full red. Medicinal red cherry, raspberry, sweet spices and mint on the fresh, precise nose. Bright and sweet, with a penetrating, austere quality to its flavors of red fruits, minerals and medicinal herbs. Harmonious acidity nicely frames the pure, long, youthfully tight finish. Lovely young Brunello that will repay cellaring.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

RSV is a top-five Burgundy vineyard.  This pricing is extraordinary. 
Louis Latour Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru Les Quatre Journaux, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($599.95) Was $499, Now $399 February Sale Special
James Suckling 98 points
“So perfumed and aromatic with fabulous character of flowers, dark berries and chalk. Full-bodied and voluptuous. Ripe and velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. A wine with great potential and depth. Flamboyant. Drink in 2022.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2015 Romanee St Vivant les Quatre Journaux Grand Cru is a lovely wine, and one which is likely to surprise in blind tastings in a few years’ time. A pretty nose of rose petal, ripe red cherry, dark chocolate, anise and incipient smoked duck introduces a full-bodied, supple wine with a lavish, expansive attack, good depth, and an ample chassis of fine-grained tannins. The finish is deceptively long. This wine seems likely to be one of the more approachable 2015 grand crus and should give pleasure throughout a broad window.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $495.95

Want to see the complete list of wines on our February Sale? Don’t miss the full recap at the bottom or head to our web store to shop!
“Undiscovered” Grower Champagne

The Best Value in Bubbles

While we love (and carry) many excellent value Champagne producers, the sources of the best value are estates that have yet to reach national prominence.  Winemakers like Chartogne-Taillet, Bereche, Christophe Mignon and Mousse were virtually unknown not that long ago and their prices reflected that.  Finding estates on the rise is the surest way for us to deliver the best value in Champagne for you.  Here, we have an assortment of wines from some of the lesser known growers in our store, all of which deliver exceptional bang for the buck.

In Stock Now:

Lean, mineral driven and full of character.
Bourdaire-Gallois Brut Non Dosage, Champagne NV 750ML ($47.95) $33 special
Case-12 Bourdaire-Gallois Brut Non Dosage, Champagne NV 750ML ($499.95) $349 special (that’s only $29.08/bottle!)
Importer note
“The Brut NV is 100% Pinot Meunier harvested from six different parcels.  After a slow and gentle pressing in a traditional Coquard vertical press, the juice is fermented in stainless steel tanks. It undergoes a malo-lactic fermentation and then rests “sur lattes” for a minimum of 18 months. The Champagne is finished with a dosage of 0g/l.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
A beautiful, very dry rosé Champagne.
Bourdaire-Gallois Brut Rose Non Dosage, Champagne NV 750ML ($54.95) $36 special
Importer note
“The Brut Rosé NV is 100% Pinot Meunier harvested from six different parcels.  It is made by combining 21% red wine with 79% white wine from Pinot Meunier (blanc de noir).  The juice is fermented in stainless steel tanks and an “assemblage is made that includes 20%reserve wine from the previous vintage. The wine goes through a malo-lactic fermentation and then rests “sur lattes” for a minimum of 3 years. The Champagne is finished with a dosage of 0g/l.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
A standout from an on the rise grower.
Perseval-Farge Cuvee de Pinots Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Importer note
“The “C. de Pinots” is a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. A gentle pressing is done with a vertical press and the juice is vinified in stainless steel vats and in barrels (not new). A part of the wine goes through a malolactic fermentation. This cuvée is typically a blend of several vintages with at least 40% being reserve wine. The Champagne rests 48 months “sur lattes” before being disgorged. The dosage is 7g/L.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
From the sandiest soils, an elegant and impressive wine.
Perseval-Farge Premier Cru Terre de Sables Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Importer note
“The Terre de Sables is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. As referenced in its name, the cuvée is made from grapes grown on the domain’s sandiest soils and is sharply marked by it, with notes of marine minerals being supported by bright acidity. This cuvee is a blend of vintages, with 50% of reserve wine. It is held “sur lattes” for four years before disgorgement and finished with a dosage of 7g/L.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Thierry Triolet Carte Noire Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) $33 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points
“(90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir; 10 g/l dosage): Light yellow. Vibrant, mineral-accented aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits, with suave floral and candied ginger notes adding complexity. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering juicy green apple and orange zest flavors and a touch of white pepper. Closes silky and smoky, with good clarity and length.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Thierry Triolet Cuvee Grande Reserve Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) $36 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points
“Pale gold. Intense citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by notes of honeysuckle, tarragon and iodine. Chewy tangerine and pear skin flavors become silkier and spicier with aeration. Shows a seductive floral quality on the clinging finish, which features a dusty mineral nuance and a touch of buttered toast.”

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

It can be hard to believe this is under $30.
R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 375ML ($24.95) $18 special
R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 1.5L ($89.95) $66 special
Importer note
“The Dumont Brut NV is a blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay. The grapes from their vineyard have qualities that seem less aggressive and more sumptuous than those from the northern districts. In addition, vinification of whole berries at low temperatures enhances this quality of soft elegance. The NV is a blend of vintages typically between two and five years old. It is aged for two years on the lees before disgorgement. Dosage is 9 grams.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
This is the only listing for a half bottle in the USA today!
February Sale Recap
We’ve slashed prices on Tuscan icons, Chateauneuf, great red Burgundy and classic Cote Rotie (and a whole lot more).  It’s an amazing way to shop for wine (provided you like excellent deals on outstanding wines) and these prices only last until tomorrow when we open for business (10am PT). As with all of our Sale Wines—these prices are limited to stock on hand, so once we sell out, the sale pricing is gone forever. View the complete list below, and shop our web store by clicking here.

Thanks for reading!