Midweek Vinopolpick Addition 5-15-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

A Sale So Popular, We’re Running it Again!

Old School, 95 Point Gigondas – Under $30!

The Sleeping Giant of Barolo, Awoken

Can’t Live Without Il Poggione

Trending Wines

Rosé of the Day: A Provencal Classic

Staff Pick: Mencia’s Other Home

Decanter Reviews Top Dry German Rieslings

A Subscriber Super-Tuscan Secret

May Sale Roundup


A Sale So Popular, We’re Running it Again!

Subscriber-Only Larkmead Sale

Ends Friday, May 17th at 11:59 PM

Prices So Good, They Can’t be on Our Website

We’re not allowed to publish these massively discounted prices online and that’s fine with us because we will just offer it to you! All of the Larkmead wines we carry are at the lowest prices in the country on this sale—some as much as $47/btl below our closest competitor.  We’ll take the discounts off manually before we finalize the order on our end (it won’t show in your cart), so don’t worry when checking out.  The only thing you should worry about is timing: once these wines sell out, they’re gone for good.

Subscriber Only Larkmead Sale
Discounted Prices Will Not Display Online
We Will Adjust Pricing Manually Before Finalizing Your Order
Sale Prices Limited to Stock on Hand

Only 15 bottles remaining!
Larkmead Vineyards Dr. Olmo, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($199.95) Was $169, Now $119 Subscriber-Only Special
Wine Advocate 95+ points
“The “Black Label” wines include the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Olmo, which is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the clone of Cabernet that is also called Eisele. This wine spent 20 months in 62% new French oak. A magnificent wine by any standard of measurement, with notes of scorched earth, lead pencil shavings, charcoal embers, and blackberry and cassis fruit, this dense purple wine has undeniable minerality, a beautiful, full-bodied texture and a voluptuous finish. Drink it over the next 25 years.”
Antonio Galloni 92-95 points “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Olmo is holding back quite a bit of its potential. Dark cherry, smoke, licorice, tar and menthol give the Dr. Olmo much of its brooding personality. The tannins are quite firm, but that should be less of an issue as the wine won’t be released for about a year.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $186
The next best price is $146.25
That’s a difference of over $27/bottle!

Only 21 bottles remaining!
Larkmead Vineyards Firebelle Red, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($179.95) Was $149, Now $99 Subscriber-Only Special
Robert Parker 94 points
“A blend of 72% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2014 Firebelle finished at 14.9% alcohol. It is a beautifully rich, chocolaty wine with notes of savory spices, black cherries and mulberries, some fudge and coffee bean. It has medium to full body, outstanding purity, concentration and length. It was aged in 66% new French oak for 19 months prior to bottling. Drink it over the next 15-20 years.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2014 Firebelle, Larkmead’s Merlot-based wine, is terrific. Succulent black cherry, lavender, mint and dark spices infuse this pliant, creamy wine. Expressive savory and mineral-infused notes punctuate the finish. The tannins need time to soften, but there is plenty to like and look forward to.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $156
The next best price is $145
That’s a difference of $46/bottle!

Only three bottles remaining!
Larkmead Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($149.95) Was $119, Now $89 Subscriber-Only Special
Robert Parker 93 points
“The 2014 “White Label” red wines include the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa, which is a beauty. An elegant, Pauillac-style wine with notes of chocolate, cedar wood, fruitcake, unsmoked cigar tobacco and underbrush, it is dense, full-bodied and rich. It is a blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petit Verdot aged 19 months in 75% new French oak. There are 2,705 cases of this wine, which finished at 14.7% natural alcohol. It should drink well for 20-25 years, but there’s no reason to defer your gratification.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Larkmead’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is a very pretty, understated wine. Bright red stone fruit, floral notes and spice give the 2014 its refreshing, vibrant personality. The fruit is nicely pushed forward, but the 2014 is light on its feet and gracious, especially for a Calistoga Cabernet. Even so, this is a relatively laid-back style built on finesse more than power.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $107
The average price is $126

Subscriber Only Larkmead Sale
Discounted Prices Will Not Display Online
We Will Adjust Pricing Manually Before Finalizing
Sale Prices Limited to Stock on Hand
Ends Friday, May 17th at 11:59 PM
Old School, 95 Point Gigondas

Under $30!

Domaine du Cabasse is a name you should get used to hearing.  Although they’ve existed for a while, they’re new to us and we’ve been blown away at what we’ve tasted (and at the scores they’ve received).  They produce incredibly traditional, powerful wines from a number of towns in the Cotes du Rhone, but the highlight is always their Gigondas “Jucunditas”—a wine made from old vines at high altitude up against the Dentelles of the Rhone.  The 2016 is their best version yet—rich, yet bright and peppery.  We tasted it and bought it for the shop without knowing the Wine Advocate had scored it an impressive 95 points, but weren’t surprised when we found out—this is a fantastic bottle of wine. That it’s under $30 per bottle is even more stunning—this is a wine that should probably cost twice that, given the current market for the Southern Rhone.  We’re buying everything we can and you should to—this is a do-not-miss wine.

Arriving Friday, May 24th:

Domaine de Cabasse Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points
“A blend of 70% Grenache and 15% each Mourvèdre and Syrah grown at about 400 meters above sea level, the 2016 Gigondas Jucunditas is a silky, lush wine. Cherry, apricot and dark chocolate notes swirl about on the nose and palate of this full-bodied offering, which shows great length on the finish, picking up hints of licorice and cracked pepper. It’s a lovely expression of the appellation’s high-altitude terroir.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

The Sleeping Giant of Barolo, Awoken:

On the Resurgence of Oddero

If you were to draw up a playbook for a great Barolo producer arriving out of nowhere, it might look a lot like what’s happened at Oddero.  An old estate, with excellent vineyards (purchased back when Barolo was less prestigious and land was cheap) underperforms for decades until one day a new generation takes over, redoes the farming and the cellar and suddenly—boom! There you are.  What once was an afterthought is now one of the best producers in Piemonte.

To put it another way: If a winemaker like Christina Oddero were starting from scratch today, there’d be no way she could afford to buy the vineyards that she works with as the seventh-generation winemaker for her family estate.  These are some of the best parts of both Brunate and Vigna Rionda (the latter of which Antonio Galloni called “the Musigny of Barolo”) and the wines from Oddero are as good as you could hope for now, even if they’ve been through some ups and downs in the past.

All of the Nebbiolo vineyards of the estate are farmed organically and fermentation of the Barolos takes place in stainless steel before maturation in large casks—no barrique here.  The top two wines at Oddero are their Brunate and their Vigna Rionda Riserva.  The latter is only released after ten years of aging and both wines represent some of the best, most traditional Barolo on the market today.  We’re excited to offer a small vertical of both wines, though quantities are fairly limited on both.  This set would be quite a fun collection for any lover of Piedmontese wines.

In Stock Now:

2011 produced rich, relatively early drinking versions of Barolo.
Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
James Suckling 94 points
“Gorgeous dried fruits and citrus character with a dense palate, fresh acidity and a lingering finish. Another gorgeous Brunate. Drink in 2017.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
2012 remains a favorite, classical Barolo vintage.
Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
“Enticing aromas of cherry, rose and spice lead off, while the flavors pick up tar and tobacco, echoing the spice. This is rich and balanced, with oak tannins adding another layer on the long sweet-fruit finish. Best from 2018 through 2032. 180 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
What needs to be said about 2013? One for the cellar.
Poderi Oddero Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
“This opens with alluring red berry, menthol, new leather, star anise and crushed herb scents. It’s elegantly structured, offering sour cherry, cranberry, licorice and sage flavors set against firm, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. A hint of orange zest closes the finish. Drink 2023–2033.”

Held ten years before release, only 200 magnums were bottled.
Poderi Oddero Vigna Rionda, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2007 1.5L ($499.95) $419 special
James Suckling 96 points
“This is drinking wonderfully now with so much depth of fruit and lots of juicy character. Full body, layered and intense. Plenty of dark berry and chocolate. Fantastic. Drink or hold.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “This wine is released ten years after the harvest, giving consumers the opportunity to buy an older vintage of Barolo that has been stored carefully back at the winery. Older-release wines like this are becoming ever more popular in the Langhe. The 2007 Barolo Riserva Vignarionda is a powerful and exuberant expression that shows the density and the inner energy of Serralunga d’Alba. Blackberry and dark cherry lift from the bouquet to reveal pretty undertones of spice, leather and savory tobacco. Only 2,763 750-milliliter bottles, 200 magnums and 20 jeroboams were produced. This wine offers a very special taste of Nebbiolo.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “After 10 years, this is ready to enjoy. However, despite the sweet cherry fruit, leather, woodsy and mineral flavors, there are still dense tannins. This is moving in the right direction, mellowing gracefully and lingering with a long, fresh, tobacco- and mineral-tinged aftertaste. Best from 2020 through 2034. 150 cases made.”

A current release, ten years after harvest.  A magnificent wine.
Poderi Oddero Vigna Rionda, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2008 750ML ($219.95) $169 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2008 Barolo Riserva Vignarionda was held back at the winery to be released commercially ten years after the harvest. The fruit is sourced from 50-year-old vines that benefit from organic farming. You feel the robust nature of the Serralunga d’Alba village, with heat, structure and power at the back. It is a classic but powerful Nebbiolo, with earthy tones, sweet spice and dark chocolate. This wine is moving beautifully along its aging trajectory. Bravi. Only 2,000 bottles are available.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Now a decade old, this Barolo reveals hints of truffle, carob and burnished leather in the bouquet, with fading cherry and berry fruit and licorice and spice accents. Displays the tightly knit, Serralunga structure, along with a chalky, minerally sensation on the lingering finish. Drink now through 2036.”

Can’t Live Without Il Poggione
Let’s cut to the chase: any lover of Brunello—no, any lover of Italian wine—should have a case of Il Poggione’s Brunello in their cellar.  The combination of classical proportions and attention grabbing power and complexity is extremely rare in a wine, especially at these sorts of prices.  They are truly Great Brunello, along with names like Biondi-Santi, Soldera, Saliciutti, etc. except at half (or less) the price of its peer group. Il Poggione made some of the wines of the vintage in both 2013 and 2012 (both excellent to all-time-classic years) and we’ve stocked up.

If you’re unfamiliar with the wines of Il Poggione, let’s catch you up quickly.  They are a classic Brunello Brunello producer working with very traditional methods in the subzone of Sant’Angelo in Colle, a region that tends to produce wines with big, bold personality.  Whereas some of Il Poggione’s neighbors take this natural abundance and add plenty of new wood and extraction, the attitude at Il Poggione is much more minimalist.  The resulting wines are both crowd pleasing (rich fruit, up front aromatics) and intellectually stimulating (age-worthy, not obstructed by new oak) in way that is nearly unique in Brunello outside of names that trade for significantly more money per bottle.

That combo, and that pricing, is what makes Il Poggione a contradiction in the best way—a traditional Brunello that’s often approachable young.  An ageworthy wine that doesn’t have to be aged.  A wine that’s top tier collectible and respected while remaining in the reasonable stratosphere of affordability.  It’s a lot for a wine to be, but luckily there it is and we’ve stocked up so you can, too.

In Stock Now:

“precisely the type of year in which Il Poggione excels”
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Case-6 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($419.95) $369 special (that’s only $61.50/bottle!)
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino lives up to the impeccable reputation garnered by this estate over the years. This is a profound and beautifully rendered Sangiovese that delivers bold and luscious fruit quality with black cherry and spicy plum at the start. The bouquet follows through with mild oak notes of smoke, tar and toasted nut. There is another aromatic component that includes crushed stone and dried herb or mint. This Brunello shows elegant evolution in the glass and promises a very long aging future ahead. Some 200,000 bottles were made, so it should be easy to locate this excellent wine.”
Ian d’Agata – Vinous 95 points “Bright red. Pure, refined red cherry and wild strawberry aromas and flavors complicated by sweet spices and aromatic herbs. Deep and multilayered, the wine boasts polished tannins and a harmonious acid spine that lifts and extends the red fruit on the long, suave finish. An essence of Sant’Angelo in Colle with bigger body and palate weight than, for example, the Brunellos of Montosoli, but still sleek and refined as the best wines of Sant’Angelo in Colle can be. The cool-climate-styled 2013 vintage is precisely the type of year in which Il Poggione excels: this lovely, focused wine is the best classico Brunello from Il Poggione in years. Superb.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $76

“This is one of the year’s best Brunellos”
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($89.95) $51.90 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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the country today!
The average price nationally is $79


Trending Wines

This will out-duel a lot of CdP for $5-10 less per bottle.
Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant, Central Coast 2013 750ML ($44.95) $33 special
Grapelive 94 points
“The 30th Anniversary edition of Randall Grahm’s iconic Le Cigare Volant is a ripe and full bodied effort of sublime fruit, spice and depth. It’s a Grenache-led Chateauneuf-style red blend that perfectly celebrates Grahm’s milestone achievement. A regional cuvee rather than a single terroir, the Le Cigare Volant marries a combination of selected sites from Santa Maria to Contra Costa County with the main Grenache component coming from Monterey County and the Rancho Solo Vineyard plus a tiny bit of Lodi’s Bechtold Vineyard, a hot spot for Cinsault, included and of which looks to be a bigger part of future Cigare Volant. The final break down was 55% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 16% Mourvèdre and 4% Cinsault which resulted in this wine’s opulent fruit and its lush texture… Those that love modern Chateauneuf du Pape will adore this hedonistic vintage of Cigare Rouge. Its 14.5% natural alcohol compares well with the current or more modern French versions… This vintage of Le Cigare Volant Rouge is very sexy stuff, adding candied cherry, almost like pie filling and exotic spices with air. It thrills with Grenache charm, the Syrah, the Cinsault and the Mourvedre really act as a stage platform for the Grenache to take center stage and deliver a mind blowing performance. It reminds me of Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape 2007, and I find it crazy this wine doesn’t get more serious attention! Enjoy this Cigare over the next 5 to 10 years. It certainly drinks gloriously now, but has the underlying stuffing to go a long time in the cellar. Impressive for what some thought was a more difficult year, this is exceptional and a masterpiece of blending, get it while you can.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

What an interesting wine! This has Sherry brightness with less oxidation and alcohol.
Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana ‘Las 30 del Cuadrado’ Cepas Viejas, Andalucia 2017 750ML ($27.95) $19 special
“an unfortified Palomino fermented in old Manzanilla casks, a style that wants to revive the wines from yesteryear, so it has some of the flor notes of a Manzanilla” –Luiz Gutierrez, Wine Advocate [No reviews yet for the 2017 vintage]

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Lauer is on fire.  This is the most approachable of the ’17’s.
Peter Lauer ‘Kern’ Ayler Kupp Fass 9 Riesling, Mosel 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling.com 94 points
“Tropical and creamy, but it also shows a very firm core — Kern means core in German. This is another stunningly original wine from Peter Lauer. A lot of power at the finish. Drink or hold.”
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “The 2017er Kern Fass 9 comes from old vines in a prime south-west-facing part of the original Ayler Kupp hill situated well into the side valley and was fermented down to almost fruity levels (40 g/l of residual sugar). It offers a delicately vibrant nose of candied grapefruit, cassis, lemon zest, ginger and fine herbs. The wine is beautifully focused and just fruity-styled on the palate and leaves a vibrant feel of zesty acidity and bitter lemon in the long and delicately tart finish. This is a beautiful expression of fully off-dry tasting Riesling in the making! 2022-2032.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Powerful, bold and ageworthy.  For Grange des Peres lovers.
Domaine Le Clos des Fees Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2015 750ML ($79.95) $54.50 special
Case-6 Domaine Le Clos des Fees Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2015 750ML ($399.95) $299 special
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Eighteen months in new French oak barrels has given the 2015 Côtes du Roussillon Villages le Clos des Fées a certain tightness and discipline lacking in the Vieilles Vignes bottling. There’s still massive fruit and buried complexity, full body and rich tannins, but there’s also firmness of structure that shows the serious, age-worthy side of Bizeul’s winemaking. Vanilla and baking spices accent deep, dark cherries and plums, ending in a long, velvety finish.”

Looking for something earthier than the 2014 La Paulee? Try this.
Matello Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
: Lots of whole cluster to balance out the warmth and richness of the year.  2014 power and fruit marries with spice and structure to produce a beautifully integrated bottle of Pinot Noir.

This is the only listing in the USA today!
A brilliant wine for lovers of traditional Barolo (at an excellent price).
Calabretta ‘Cappuccio’ Rosso Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily 2013 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Importer note
“Since the winery’s founding in 1900, the Calabretta family has farmed and produced wines from Etna’s ancient indigenous varieties—including Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio—in the mountain’s unique noble vineyards. Historically, the family had sold its wine in sfuso or in barrel to restaurants and to private customers, many of whom travelled long distances to pick up their wine. But in 1997, third and fourth-generation father and son Massimo and Massimiliano Calabretta decided to bottle their best wine under their own label to ensure the winemaking traditions of their family and Etna would not be lost.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Just stunning and entering its prime drinking window.  Wow.
Jacques Lassaigne Millesime Brut Nature, Champagne 2006 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Advocate 94+ points
” The 2006 Millésime Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature from Montgueux’s Le Cotet vineyard (64%) and 60-year-old vines in Les Paluets is a fascinating, absorbing Champagne. Golden in color, it offers a deep and rich yet unmasked, natural bouquet of yeasty-scented Chardonnay flavors quoting pineapples, buttercup, ripe honeydew melon, biscuits, turrón, white chocolate with pine nuts and dried apricots. Rich and full-bodied but pure and natural again on the palate, this is an intense, full-flavored and multi-layered Champagne with an alluringly salty finish. Each gram of more sugar would have reduced the purity, and by nature, the rich character of this Brut Nature that has power and complexity enough to mesmerize by its natural beauty. I tasted the wine again in November 2015 and it offered a lovely iodine and chalky bouquet, a highly elegant and balanced palate with a complex minerality and structure, and an iodine/salty aftertaste. This is great Champagne and worth a try. The wine did not see any oak, although you might feel there must have been at least a kiss of oak — none! The 2006 was disgorged in September 2013.”-SR


Rosé of the Day

A Provencal Classic

Provence is ground zero for the classical modern style of rosé, and among our selection of Provencal rosé, Calavon is a perennial favorite.  Pale, crisp and bright, it’s resoundingly dry and fresh with good peachy fruit.  In short it’s what a lot of us think of when we think of rosé, and its year-over-year sales are very much a testament to that.  This is a classic.

In Stock Now:

Chateau de Calavon Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Chateau de Calavon Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($249.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Winery note
“This is the unique cuvée of rosé from Calavon. It comes from a rigorous selection from the best parcels of Calavon. The vintage 2017, issued from a majority of Grenache, black and gray, offers the originality of a blend with Syrah and Rolle. Both round and fresh, it is the perfect rosé for summer lunches by the sea: grilled red mullet in garlic cream, bouillabaisse or lamb tajine with candied lemon.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $21.99
Staff Pick

Mencia’s Other Home

We’ve got the Raul Perez wines arriving soon, which got me thinking about the many ways that Mencia expresses itself.  Most wines we see from the grape are from Bierzo, a (relatively) warmer climate than Ribera Sacra, my favorite climate for the grape (and a region that’s less represented on shelves).  Ribera Sacra looks like the Mosel—steep slopes of slate vineyards around beautiful rivers, and like the Mosel it’s a cool climate that produces bright, tangy wines.  Albamar’s Fusco is a perfect example of what makes this region so much fun.  Where Bierzo trades on a blend of power and finesse, this wine is all about grace, fruit and floral aromatics.  It’ll go with nearly everything and won’t break the bank on the way.

In Stock Now:

Bodegas Albamar Fusco Mencia, Ribeira Sacra 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Wine Advocate 91 points
“Mostly from the Chantada zone in Ribeira Sacra, the 2017 Fusco fermented destemmed in stainless steel and was bottled completely unoaked. It saw a maceration of 20 to 25 days and was bottled after it spent the winter in stainless steel. It’s very pleasant, fresh and easy to drink, but it’s not banal and is more about the granite soils than the variety—simple, transparent, straightforward. A degree more sophisticated and deep than the 2015. There are 13,000 bottles of this.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Decanter Reviews Top Dry German Rieslings
Arriving ETA June:

Okonomierat Rebholz ‘Ganz Horn-im Sonnenschein’ Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($99.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Decanter 95 points
“Gravelly, sandy soil makes for subtle but concentrated citrus flavours in the Ganz Horn site. A coolness emanates from the glass as the nose is gentle and shows subtle hints of citrus. The mouthfeel is lacy, with zesty lemon and a grounded, dancing dryness pervaded by limpid acidity. This is slender and sinuous and hooks you with its citrus charm.”

This is the only listing on the West Coast!
Arriving This Fall:
Schafer-Frohlich Bockenauer Stromberg Grosses Gewachs Riesling, Nahe 2017 750ML ($99.95) $85 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Schafer-Frohlich Bockenauer Stromberg Grosses Gewachs Riesling, Nahe 2017 750ML ($599.95) $479 pre-arrival special (that’s only $79.83/bottle!)
Decanter 95 points
“The customary reduction resulting from a spontaneous, slow ferment still clouds the nose of this Riesling. From porphyry soils on a rocky, elevated site we get almost piercing freshness that presses all of the pleasure buttons of dry Riesling fans. Bundled around a central, bright shaft of acid are alluring notes of citrus and juicy passion fruit. A most wonderful, stony, precise juxtaposition of exactitude and juiciness.”

Schafer-Frohlich Vulkangestein Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2018 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 pre-arrival special
Decanter 94 points
“This wine is effectively made from declassified fruit from Tim Fröhlich’s volcanic grand cru sites of Felsenberg and Kupfergrube, and it’s a hot tip for lovers of thrilling Riesling. Like all his wines, this has a reductive cloud for now but underneath lies a tropical allure with pristine flavours of passion fruit and mango. The body is slender and concentrated, with a stony, long and crystalline finish. Lovely now but this also ages well.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Subscriber Super-Tuscan Secret

At a Price So Good We Can’t List it Online

Roberto Cavalli, international fashion icon, owns a top-end winery in Tuscany.  Named Tenuta degli Dei (Estate of the Gods), he (and his son, who’s the winemaker) aim to make the best possible Super Tuscan style wines out of their beautiful vineyard in the Tuscan hills.  As you might expect from someone known for attention to detail and a strong sense of perfectionism, these are immaculately made wines.  No expense is spared in their production and the resulting wines are bold, dense and textured.

We’ve secured a parcel of the excellent 2015, arriving this fall.  Because of the nature of the brand, it’s, err, encouraged that we keep our pricing above a certain threshold—which of course we aren’t doing.  Rather, we’re not going to list the wine on our web store and until we do, we’re offering you, our newsletter subscribers, an exclusive offer at a really fantastic price.  To order you’re going to have to call (503-223-6002) or email (just reply to this) but we promise the extra effort is worth it.

Arriving ETA Fall:

Cavalli Tenuta degli Dei Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Cavalli Tenuta degli Dei Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($299.95) $238 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 96 points
“Creme de cassis, freshly picked blueberries, crushed violets, hot stones, dried sage and thyme, charcoal and bark. Full body, tightly worked tannins and a long yet tight finish. The palate shows real transparency and a sense of minerality in addition to the stellar depth you would expect. Drink in 2022.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
May Sale Roundup

May is halfway over and there are a ton of great deals in our May Sale!  You can view highlights below or click here to see the full list of May Sale Wines in our web store!

In Stock Now:

Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau, Rhone 2015 750ML ($79.95) Was $69, Now $59 May Sale Special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“This has a lovely, perfumy mix of savory, mint, tobacco, blood orange, cherry and bergamot notes, with finely beaded acidity and silky but ample structure. Long, mineral- and shiso leaf-infused finish. Best from 2020 through 2035.”JM
Wine Advocate 94 points “The flagship wine, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape, is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties. It features delicate floral scents and ample cherry and licorice aromas. Somehow, it manages to be full-bodied and almost creamy in texture but without much weight, then it ends powerfully, with a flourish of rich Mexican chocolate on the long, silky finish. It should drink well for up to 20 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $81

Piedlong Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $41.90 May Sale Special
James Suckling 95 points
“10 hectares of elevated Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this is an hommage to grenache with just a hatful of mourvèdre. Ripe raspberry and red plum pastry aromas. Super silky, plush and layered. Extremely impressive. Shows fluidity and balance, density and lightness. 50% stalks (crushed).”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $53
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Empreintes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $36 May Sale Special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“($48) Loads of chalky grip keeps this wrapped up tight, but the core of steeped plum, fig and blackberry fruit is brimming with energy, while bay leaf, licorice root and charcoal notes chomp at the bit on the finish. Cellaring will rein this in. Best from 2021 through 2035. 700 cases made.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Produced from 30-year-old vines and aged in 20% new oak, the 2015 Cornas Empreintes features classic Cornas notes of crushed stone, bloody meat and red plums. It’s full-bodied, rich and packed with fruit and tannin but supple at the same time. It’s mouth-filling and round, then finishes long, dry and mouthwatering.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93+ points “The 2015 Cornas Empreintes is unique in the lineup as it comes 30% from more limestone soils. It’s 75% destemmed and aged in 20% new French oak. It’s more elegant and focused than the opulent Premices and gives up lots of blackberry and cassis fruits, leather, crushed rock and pepper aromatics. Deep, rich, beautifully concentrated and pure, it needs short-term cellaring but is a brilliant wine that’s going to impress for 10-15 years.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Opaque ruby. Spice-accented dark fruit, violet and olive scents, along with suggestions of smoky bacon and cracked pepper. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering densely packed cassis, blueberry and spicecake flavors that become livelier as the wine opens up. Rich yet energetic in style, showing excellent delineation and dark fruit thrust on a very long, smooth finish framed by velvety tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $44.94
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Cornas Premices, Rhone 2014 750ML ($37.95) Was $29, Now $26 May Sale Special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Offers a ripe, dark profile, with a core of steeped blackberry and plum fruit that picks up bay, white pepper and iron accents through the finish. Shows solid depth and fruit for the vintage, displaying excellent energy. Best from 2018 through 2029. 1,500 cases made.”

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Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Joseph Les Coteaux, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) Was $24, Now $21.90 May Sale Special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“Bright violet. Vibrant and focused on the nose, displaying intense blue fruit, olive and cracked pepper scents and a hint of cola. Appealingly sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering juicy boysenberry and cola flavors and a touch of allspice. Supple tannins build steadily on the clinging finish, which features rounded tannins and a hint of candied flowers. ”
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2016 Saint Joseph Les Coteaux looks as good from bottle as it did from tank last year. Richly concentrated and velvety, this medium to full-bodied beauty features savory notes of black olive, allspice and clove, backed by supple tannins and a long finish.”-JC

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $26
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