Midweek VinopolPick Addition 6-29-17

Budget Rhones for Everyday Drinking; New Rosé Reviews; Bond in its Prime; Foreau’s Vivid Vouvray; Cuilleron Rosé!; Mad for Mencia; Staff Picks; Karthauserhof’s Lean Mean Riesling


Featured New Arrivals

Just in time for your July 4th festivities!

Budget-Friendly Rhone

(And Rhone-Adjacent) Wine

Domaine Boisson Cotes du Rhone Villages Massif d’Uchaux Clos de la Brussiere, Rhone 2009 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Case-12 Domaine Boisson Cotes du Rhone Villages Massif d’Uchaux Clos de la Brussiere, Rhone 2009 750ML ($299.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Robert Parker 91 points “Even better is the 2009 Cairanne Clos de la Brussiere from the Massif d’Uchaux, the newest Cotes du Rhone-Villages appellation. A dark ruby/purple color is followed by deliciously ripe fruit in this seriously stacked and packed effort. Revealing lots of kirsch liqueur, loamy soil, garrigue and lavender notes, this full-bodied, richly fruity, pure, well-balanced 2009 should drink well for 4-5 years.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Lavau Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rhone 2013 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special
Case-12 Lavau Cotes du Rhone Villages, Rhone 2013 750ML ($179.95) $119 special (that’s only $9.92/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 88 points “Juicy blackberry and raspberry fruit races along, inlaid with subtle black tea and anise notes. Focused finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $12.74

Lavau Gigondas, Rhone 2012 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Case-12 Lavau Gigondas, Rhone 2012 750ML ($299.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 90 points “Features a dark profile, with steeped plum, black licorice and graphite notes framed by Lapsang souchong tea and carrying through the fleshy, well-defined finish. Very solid.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $24.99
The average price is $26

Chateau Pesquie Terrasses Rouge, Ventoux 2007 750ML ($19.95) $11.90 special
Robert Parker 91 points “The 2007 Terrasses Rouge is a custom cuvee put together for importer Eric Solomon. Made from 60-year-old Grenache and 30-year-old Syrah, one-third is aged in small barrels and the rest in foudre and tank. I’m sure discounters will offer this cuvee for around $12 a bottle, which makes it a remarkable bargain. A dense ruby/purple color is followed by aromas of cassis, kirsch, lavender, pepper, and spice. The sweetness of the tannins, abundant glycerin, razor sharp focus, and wonderful depth make for a wine that transcends its humble price and bucolic appellation.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $19.95


New Rosé Reviews

From Josh Raynolds of Vinous Media

“The northern hemisphere has just officially entered summer but Rosé sales and consumption began to take off a good three months ago and appear to just be hitting their stride. By all reports the pace is, once again, rapid and not slowing down. It’s good to bear in mind that the vast majority of Rosés in the market right now are from the 2016 vintage, so barely half a year old, and with rare exception the wines have only just had time to open up since bottling and shipping. …top-notch pink wines not only reward some patience, many of them quite frankly demand it. For most of the Rosés reviewed here, a year (or usually more) of bottle age brings more aromatic complexity, texture and depth but rarely compromises the wines’ freshness and energy. While there’s absolutely no harm in drinking even the most serious recently released Rosés over the coming months, I strongly encourage those with open minds and available storage space to stash away some of the best wines covered here for at least a year, or even more.” –Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Newly Reviewed Rosés in Stock Now

Peyrassol Cotes de Provence ‘Commanderie de Peyrassol’ Rose, Provence 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 36+ bottles available
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points “Light bright orange. High-pitched orange zest, red berry and floral scents, along with a chalky mineral nuance that gains strength as the wine opens up. Bright and energetic on the palate, offering tangy red currant, bitter cherry and lavender flavors and a deeper suggestion of melon on the back half. Concentrated yet lithe, with zero excess fat. The strong, mineral-driven finish shows impressive tenacity. I’d give this taut wine at least a few more months to stretch out.”

Peyrassol Cotes de Provence ‘Chateau Peyrassol’ Rose, Provence 2016 3L ($199.95) $169 special, 1 jeroboam available
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91 points “Pale brilliant pink. Fresh and sharply focused on the nose, displaying vibrant red berry and orange zest scents along with a suave floral overtone. Sappy strawberry, red currant and blood orange flavors are underscored by a vein of dusty minerality that adds back-end lift and cut. Concentrated yet lithe, giving no sense of undue weight and finishing with strong, minerally thrust.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $179.99

Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Terre de Maimbray Rose, Loire 2016 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 12 bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points “Pale bright orange-pink. Vibrant, mineral-accented strawberry, tangerine and quince scents, along with subtle herb and floral nuances in the background. Concentrated yet lithe in character, offering sappy red berry and citrus fruit flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. The mineral note comes back strong on the long, seamless finish, which shows excellent clarity.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Les Grands Bois Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Les Trois Soeurs Rose 2016 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special, 36+ bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points “Pale brilliant orange-pink. Lively red berry and tangerine aromas, along with hints of honey and fennel. Concentrated strawberry, blood orange and peach flavors show seamless texture and a suave floral nuance on the back half. Smoothly blends heft and energy and finishes very long and sappy, displaying no rough edges and a lingering lavender note.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Arriving Friday

Domaine de la Bastide Blanche Bandol Rose, Provence 2016 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points “Brilliant orange-pink. Intense, mineral-accented strawberry, cherry pit and blood orange aromas, along with a sexy floral overtone. Concentrated red fruit and lavender pastille flavors are supported by a spine of juicy acidity that adds definition and back-end cut. Closes very long and focused, featuring resonating minerality and a lingering floral quality.”


New Arrival

Bond Estate

2005 Perspective by Stephen Tanzer

Come walk the vineyards at Bond Estates with Stephen Tanzer.

A Brief Overview of Bond’s Four “Grand Crus”

“Melbury is a rocky, steep 7-acre south/southeast-facing vineyard planted in 1991 in the hills east of Rutherford on the slopes north of Lake Hennessey, at an altitude mostly between 400 and 500 feet. With soil that features a high percentage of clay, the wines it produces are typically round and velvety, displaying as much red fruits as black. Melbury rarely shows the sheer density of the Bond wines that come from vineyards lower on the slopes; it’s known more for its elegance and for its aromatic spice and floral components.” – Stephen Tanzer

Bond Estates Melbury Red, Napa Valley 2005 750ML ($279.95) $249 special, 1 bottle available
Stephen Tanzer 95 points “[Reviewed June 2017] Bright red with ruby tones. Deep, dark blackberry and cassis aromas are complicated by violet, licorice and minerals as well as a mellow tobacco nuance; the first really secondary nose among these Melbury wines. Push, rich, mouthfilling and deep but not at all heavy; a wonderfully fruity, almost liqueur-like wine with sneaky inner-mouth energy and lift. Harmonious acidity and noble, horizontal tannins perfectly buffer and shape the wine’s sweet fruit. Most impressive today on the slowly mounting, palate-staining whiplash of a finish. This is the highest score I’ve yet given to this vintage.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $311

“Vecina is actually situated directly southeast of the Bond winery, on terraced volcanic soil slopes in the western foothills of Oakville at an altitude ranging from 221 to 330 feet (the Harlan Estate vineyards climb to 1,225 feet). The 11-acre site benefits from the cooler morning sun as well as cool air at night but afternoons are very warm. Vecina is typically a powerful, layered wine with a huge amount of color and tannins; it is invariably a mistake to open bottles too early as it is normally the most backward of the Bond bottlings.” – Stephen Tanzer

Bond Estates Vecina Red, Napa Valley 2005 750ML ($349.95) $279 special, 1 bottle available
Robert Parker 98 points “2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Vecina is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in 100% new oak, like the other cuvées. It is from an 11-acre site directly southeast of the Bond Winery, close to Harlan Estate. This wine tends to be the closest to the Harlan Estate in quality, with notes of new saddle leather, blackberry, roasted coffee and a hint of chocolate – and again – graphite and subtle smoke. Opaque purple, but still incredibly youthful, the wine is spicy, intense, full-bodied and majestic. There is a deep tone to this massive Cabernet Sauvignon, which is set for another 25 or 30 years of life, although it certainly is accessible at present.”
Stephen Tanzer 95 points “[Reviewed June 2017] Deep ruby-red. Black cherry, blueberry, licorice and minerals on the nose, lifted by a violet topnote. More densely packed and sweet than the 2006, and showing much more personality. A slightly high-toned suggestion of exotic dark berry fruits is perfectly countered by harmonious acidity that leavens the wine’s sweetness. This tactile, chewy, highly concentrated wine really spreads out to saturate the palate. Finishes with substantial ripe tannins, a suggestion of chocolatey ripeness and terrific rising length. Boasts lovely definition from start to finish.”

“St. Eden comes from an 11-acre rocky knoll located just north of the Oakville Crossroad, on iron-rich red rocky soil that originally came down from the Vaca Mountains in a landslide. The lowest of the Bond sites at an elevation ranging from 145 to 188 feet, it’s on a gentle north-facing slope (it’s the least steep of the Bond vineyards) and is typically the highest in acidity and the most sharply focused. Winemaker Cory Empting referred to its “yin-yang of a ripe, rich entry with a coolness that’s due to strong acidity, which takes the weight off the wine.”” – Stephen Tanzer

Bond Estates St. Eden Red, Napa Valley 2005 750ML ($299.95) $259 special, 1 bottle available
Robert Parker 97 points “The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Eden is from an 11-acre vineyard on the foothills north of the Oakville crossroad that has the classic red, rocky soil of this area, essentially in the foothills of the Vaca Mountains that define the eastern edges of Napa Valley. This wine, which shows notes of new saddle leather, Christmas fruitcake and spice, is broad and savory, with a classic full-bodied mouthfeel, stunning purity and sensational flavors of wild forest mixed with blackberry and cassis fruit. This blend can be drunk now, or cellared for at least another two decades.”
Stephen Tanzer 95 points “[Reviewed June 2017] Dark red-ruby. Musky aromas of red- and blackcurrant and mocha display a slightly carnal truffley element. Fat, sweet, rich and seamless; wonderfully plush, deep wine with currant, plum and mineral flavors saturating the palate and lingering on the very long, ripely tannic back end. This superb wine is gentle and creamy, but perfectly integrated acidity gives it captivating inner-mouth lift.”

“Pluribus is a steep 7-acre site on volcanic bedrock at an elevation between 1,100 and 1,300 feet on the slopes of Spring Mountain, with exposures to the north, east and southeast. The vineyard is surrounded by a conifer forest, which often gives the wine a cedary quality. As the vines are protected by afternoon shade, the serious mountain tannins of the Pluribus wines typically show a racy quality owing to sound levels of acidity in the grapes.” – Stephen Tanzer

Bond Estates Pluribus Red, Napa Valley 2005 750ML ($349.95) $279 special, 1 bottle available
Robert Parker 98+ points “The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Pluribus is from a relatively high-elevation vineyard on the steep slopes of Spring Mountain and planted in the white Tufa volcanic bedrock of that area. This is the most northern vineyard of the Bond Estates, and this wine was just incredible. By far, the biggest, most backward and massive of all the 2005s, this wine behaved as if it were three or four years old, rather than ten. Dense purple, it offers notes of blueberry liqueur, St.-Estèphe-like earth, licorice and a gravelly note with incredible depth, lots of blackberries, and a finish that goes on for 45+ seconds. This is incredibly youthful and dominated by the blue and black fruits that are so much a part of the Spring Mountain AVA. This wine needs another 3-4 years of cellaring and should keep for 30-40+ years and turn out to be a fabulous classic from Bond Estate.”
Stephen Tanzer 95+ points “Full, deep ruby. Stunning aromas of black raspberry, licorice and rocky minerality. A wine of outstanding richness and depth of flavor, with its power leavened by an almost magically creamy, pliant texture. Last year, winemaker Bob Levy told me that he fermented this wine in barrel to build up its middle palate while limiting extraction of tannins, as these vines from halfway up Spring Mountain could normally be expected to yield a very powerful, tannic style of wine. Based on this sample, his approach has worked wonders, as this wine is way suave for a cabernet-based wine from this area. The dark fruit and mineral flavors really spread out to saturate the palate on the extremely long aftertaste. As sexy as this is now, it’s likely to evolve positively for a couple of decades.”

Don’t forget we have over 45 sought-after California Cabernets, from Bryant Family, Kapscandy, Sine Qua Non to Hundred Acre, Colgin and Ulysses, in stock right now and you can see them all at our website: www.vinopoliswineshop.com

Flat Rate Shipping Info


Arriving Friday

Foreau: The Master of Steely Vouvray

Although Huet might be better known as a producer of Vouvray, Phillippe Foreau is at least as good.  More importantly, the wines he makes are different stylistically—more mineral drenched, steely and bright.  These are wines which are firm and crunchy, from dry to sweet.  In a vintage like 2015, this is a great thing.  2015 is an acclaimed vintage for good reason, but the wines can be rich, so with a winemaker like Foreau, this is harnessed to minerality and the wines absolutely sing.

These wines arrive tomorrow, June 30th

Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Demi-Sec, Loire 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
“Again, Foreau does not produce a Demi-Sec every year. All depends on the level of ripeness at time of harvest. When a Demi-Sec is released by the domaine, it can carry somewhere between 8 and sometimes as much as 20 grams or so of residual sugar but, more often than not, a Foreau Demi-Sec will be at the 8 to 12 grams RS level. Obviously, each year develops from its own unique circumstances. As indicated in the general description above, Foreau NEVER chapitalizes to achieve the Demi-Sec level and malo-lactic fermentations are never permitted to occur. All still wines at Foreau are bottled during the spring season following the harvest.”–Importer [Neal Rosenthal] Note

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

Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux, Loire 2015 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
“The Moelleux cuvées are made in vintages when at least a portion of the vineyards produce grapes that carry significant levels of natural sugar. Botrytis sometimes occurs but it is not necessary in order to declare a Moelleux. Conditions of “passerillage”, that is extended exposure of the grapes to sun and high luminosity, create the impetus to release wines as Moelleux. Wines so declared can carry formidable leves of residual sugar: 25 grams is perhaps the minimum but more often the Moelleux at the Foreau domaine has 35 or 50 or sometimes even 80 or 90 grams of sugar left in the wine. The goal is to create a wine that is in perfect balance, maintaining a proper level of acidity while keeping the ultimate alcohol level under control.”–Importer [Neal Rosenthal] Note

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux Reserve, Loire 2015 750ML ($129.95) $105 pre-arrival special
“It is the rare vintage that is blessed with the conditions necessary for Foreau to release a Moelleux Réserve. Wines so declared frequently have levels of residual sugar that are in excess of 150 grams of residual sugar. It is not, however, simply the level of ripeness that creates the Moelleux Réserve; it is as much the conditions of the growing season that produce grapes that have a level of complexity and ripeness that demand this sort of classification. An error that many make in assessing and utilizing these wines is to consider the sugar quotient as a disqualifier for use of this wine during any stage of a meal. Our experience is such that these wines can marry well with a wide range of dishes served at the beginning, middle or end of a meal.”–Importer [Neal Rosenthal] Note

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Recent Arrival from Philippe Foreau:

Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Sec, Loire 2015 750ML ($59.95) $44.50 special
“When Foreau issues a “Sec” (and the decision to do so relates entirely to the vintage conditions and the composition of the grapes at harvest), the wine can carry from 1 to 2 grams of residual sugar but never more than 6 grams. Because of the vibrant acidity that accompanies these wines, the sensation one experiences is of drinking a scintillatingly dry wine, although one with considerable body and a honeyed texture. We tend to have several vintages available at all times so that our clients can have the option of enjoying the Vouvray Sec in its youth but also with several years of bottle age.”–Importer [Neal Rosenthal] Note

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Cuilleron Syrah Rosé

Arriving Friday

Cave Yves Cuilleron ‘Sybel’ Syrah Rose, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes 2016 750ML ($19.95) $16 pre-arrival special
Importer note “A pure northern Rhône Syrah vinified as rosé by Yves Cuilleron. This is robust and fruity with a touch of spicy strawberry that makes it a fine companion at the picnic table. Simple, straight-forward and satisfying … a fine value.”



Spain’s Answer to Pinot Noir

While Tempranillo is undoubtedly the greatest grape in Spain, the most exciting one right now is undoubtedly Mencia.  Grown in northwestern Spain, in Galicia (the part above Portugal), it’s a cool-climate grape that seems to have a particular ability to transmit the terroir that it’s grown in.  Stylistically, Mencia often comes off as a slightly fuller-bodied Pinot Noir, though the fruit is often more savory.

The two primary regions for growing Mencia are Bierzo and Ribeira Sacra.  Bierzo is a transitional region, more inland than Ribeira Sacra, and links the high plateau of Castilla (where Ribera del Duero is) with the mountainous and cool costal region. As a result, the wines are often more robust and full bodied than their cousins in Ribeira Sacra, though the changing nature of the geography means that it’s possible to find wines (like Raul Perez’s) that come from cool, high altitude vineyards.

Ribeira Sacra, though, is a cool climate region through and through.  The closest analogue to the vineyards might be the Mosel, in Germany, as both have extremely steep slate vineyards that make you wonder who would think it would be reasonable to farm them.  The best wines from here are lean and taut, but with enough fruit to give the structure definition and detail.  We’re highlighting some of our favorites from the grape today, from the plush and rich Palacios wines to the leaner versions of Raul Perez and Guimaro.  No matter which, though, you owe it to yourself to try the wines—they’re something special.

Raul Perez Ultreia Saint Jacques, Bierzo 2015 750ML ($21.95) $17.80 special, 36+ bottles available
Grapelive 93 points “It was a great honor to meet and taste with Raul Perez, one of Spain’s most heroic and influential winemakers (also known as the godfather of Mencia). Perez has mentored many rising stars, including Pedro Rodriguez and Veronica Ortega, whose wines I recently discovered and who is still working with him. Raul Perez’s lineup was mind-blowing and lived up to my huge expectations in every way. I was wildly thrilled with each and every one of these offerings, especially this new Ultra Saint Jacques Bierzo Tinto that delivers wonderful depth and complexity at a price that makes it a bargain by any standards. [It is] made from mainly from Mencia, but with some inter planted Bastardo (thought to be Trousseau) and Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet) coming off vines that average about 75 years old. This dark and ripe vintage shows an almost Northern Rhone-like character and has an earthy/savory/spicy edge like a lighter Cornas. This was fermented with native yeasts, about 80% whole cluster in large oak cask with long macerations lasting between 2 and 5 months and then aged in mixed vessels including some cement, as well as 225L and 500L oak. [It was bottled] unfined and unfiltered. It’s pretty in detail with violet/floral tones, peppercorn and a medium body that flows with sweet tannins. It shows vibrant but smooth acidity, and flinty mineral elements as well as a core of loganberry, plum, candied cherry and tart currant fruits as well as salted black licorice, lavender, pipe tobacco, shale stones, earthy charms and a hint of cinnamon. This 2015 is lovely stuff that drinks very well right now and should prove pleasing for 3 to 5 years. For this price you’ll want a case!”

Raul Perez Ultreia Mencia, Bierzo 2014 750ML ($31.95) $24.80 special, 36+ bottles available
VinopolNote “This is the flagship wine of the Ultreia project and is something that any lover of cool-climate red wine should pay attention to. Mostly Mencia, with a few other grapes that accumulated in this part of the Camino de Santiago over the years discreetly blended in, this is a wine that speaks of Bierzo in urgent, though quiet, tones.”

La Vizcaina

This is from Raul’s highest altitude vineyard, with a northeastern exposure and the most influence of the Atlantic ocean.  As a result the wines have long hang times and can be picked late (this is often picked last of the Vizcaina wines) with great freshness and character.  Stunning stuff that we can’t say enough about.

La Vizcaina El Rapolao, Bierzo 2014 750ML ($37.95) $29.80 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “(aged in used barriques and demi-muids) Inky ruby. Smoke-accented blackberry and blueberry scents on the deeply perfumed nose, complicated by violet, peppery spice and game notes. This reminds me a lot of a northern Rhône wine. Densely packed dark berry preserve flavors pick up candied licorice and cola qualities with aeration, along with hints of bitter chocolate and candied flowers. Coats the palate and puts on weight with air, finishing with smoky mineral cut, excellent tenacity and building tannins.”

Pedro Rodriguez

Pedro Rodriguez is probably the foremost producer of Mencia in the world.  His estate, Guimaro, in Ribeira Sacra produces wines that exemplify why wine geeks love the region.  From steep slate vineyards, the wines are reminiscent of Burgundy in their balance, but with a distinct minerality and flavor profile that’s entirely Mencia.  A must try and a great price for one of the most interesting wines from Spain.

Guimaro Finca Meixeman, Ribeira Sacra 2014 750ML ($41.95) $36 special, 8 bottles available
John Gilman 94+ points “The Finca Meixemaìn bottling from Pedro Rodriìguez is produced from seventy-five year- old Mencìa vines, with the fruit foot-trodden and raised in old oak barrels. The 2014 vintage of this fine single vineyard wine is stunning, with great nascent complexity already in evidence on both the nose and palate. The beautiful bouquet offers up a wild and classy blend of mulberry, pomegranate, graphite, a bit of bonfire, a beautifully complex base of slate minerality, balsam bough and chicory. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and tangy, with a sappy core, great soil signature, suave tannins and outstanding focus and grip and beautiful balance on the very long and nascently complex finish. This is a beautiful example of Ribeira Sacra- deep, complex and still light on its feet, with simply gorgeous complexity. It is very easy to drink already, but it is still a puppy and will be far better five to ten years down the road, as the wine has enormous potential! 2017-2050+”

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

More great Mencias in stock now:

Adega Algueira Mencia, Ribeira Sacra 2015 750ML ($19.95) $16 special, 9 bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “(raised entirely in stainless steel tanks) Bright magenta. Lively dark berry and floral scents, along with smoky mineral and white pepper flourishes. Juicy, focused and light on its feet, offering nervy boysenberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter on the back half. Smoothly plays power off delicacy and finishes long and gently tannic, leaving a subtle violet note behind.”

Bodegas Avancia Mencia, Valdeorras 2014 750ML ($41.95) $26 special, 36+ bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 93 points “(fermented and aged in new French oak for 14 months): Bright purple. High-pitched cherry and blue fruit scents are complemented by a suggestion of candied lavender and accented by white pepper. Silky and sweet on the palate, offering intense boysenberry and cherry-cola flavors and a repeating lavender quality. Blends richness and vivacity with a deft hand and closes subtly tannic, with excellent focus and mineral-driven persistence. These vines were reportedly planted between 1902 and 1920 at an altitude of nearly 1,500 feet.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $34.99

Bodegas Avancia Cuvee de O Mencia, Valdeorras 2014 750ML ($19.95) $11.90 special, 36+ bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “(initially fermented in large stainless steel tanks, with malo in French oak barrels followed by six months of aging in the same casks before bottling): Deep ruby. Mineral-accented cherry, blackcurrant and licorice scents are complemented by a hint of dark chocolate. Coats the palate with vibrant dark berry and spicecake flavors complemented by candied lavender and licorice. Smoothly melds power and finesse and finishes on a youthfully tannic note, with very good persistence and repeating floral character. Offers serious bang for the buck.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Aires de Vendimia Mencia de Valtuille, Bierzo 2012 750ML ($44.95) $38 special, 14 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91+ points “I was quite impressed with the 2012 Aires de Vendimia, especially for a warm vintage. It’s old-vine Mencia which fermented with 50% full clusters in an oak vat with indigenous yeasts and aged for 11 months in contact with the lees in 225- and 300-liter oak barrels. It’s still a bit marked by the oak, clean, good-quality oak, with faint notes of vanilla and other spices over a core of violets, red cherries and blueberries; it is quite harmonious and aromatic but with certain restraint. The palate is medium-bodied, supple with juicy fruit, focused, with good freshness developing a licorice final note.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Staff Pick

La Poderina Brunello di Montalcino 2006

A wine in its prime, right on time

The 2006 vintage for Brunello wasn’t a world beater, but it is just starting to show off the capabilities of well-made wines from a year of little fanfare. I first had the La Poderina in 2010 – wound up, sort of a jumble of all the classic puzzle pieces. In the seven years since, the puzzle has been fitted together expertly. Wild blueberries, light powdery graphite, baking spices all fit together in a solid, yet elegant package. The wine carries seriousness without weight, including a nice lengthy finish. A great maturation of a great wine.

La Poderina Brunello Di Montalcino 2006 750ML ($74.95) $49 special, 33 bottles available
James Suckling 95 points “Blueberries, flowers and raspberries. Love the nose, like so many others. Full body, with fine tannins and a silky textured finish. So much going on here.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!



Karthauserhof is a special and unique winery even in a region with an abundance of magical producers—the combination of unique, historical sites, own-rooted vines and visionary ownership has created an iconic producer whose wines bear attention year in and out.

The winery dates back to at least the 13th century and takes its name from the original use of the building and plantings as a Carthusian monastery.  In the centuries since its establishment, Karthauserhof has become one of the two vanguard producers of the Ruwer valley, a small, colder tributary of the Mosel.  With history like that, it would be easy for a winery to rest on its laurels, but the Tyrell family (owners of the winery) have been forward looking in both the farming (no pesticides are used in the vineyards) and in the winemaking (Karthauserhof was a one of the most prominent Mosel wineries to begin focusing on dry wines).

The resulting wines combine the power and complexity of old vineyards, often own-rooted, in great soils with a modern eye toward polish and raciness.  The Ruwer tends to be cooler than the middle Mosel, so the wines are naturally bright, crunchy and mineral-driven no matter how dry or sweet they are.  Our offering this week highlights these estate wines in a variety of styles and formats (including some incredibly rare magnums) over a trio of very successful vintages for the Mosel.

Dry (and functionally Dry) Wines:

Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs Trocken, Mosel 2013 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 35 bottles available
Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs Trocken, Mosel 2013 375ML ($39.95) $24 special, 1 half-bottle available
Case-6 Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs Trocken, Mosel 2013 750ML ($359.95) $269 special, 6 six-packs available (that’s only $44.83/bottle!)
John Gilman 93+ points “The 2013 Grosses Gewächs is outstanding, and I was very grateful of Christian Vogt to generously include it in with the 2014ers, as I had not had a chance to taste this last year during my spring trip to Germany. The wine is outstanding, soaring from the glass in a blend of tart orange, sweet grapefruit, wild yeasts, a beautifully complex base of salty slate minerality, citrus peel and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and very elegant out of the blocks, with a fine core of fruit, ripe, perfectly integrated acids, excellent focus and grip and a long, complex and very classy finish. This is a very refined example of Grosses Gewächs that will age beautifully, but should start to drink with a lot of style in only another three or four years. 2018-2045.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “Very clear, discreet and refined on the nose – where the 2013 Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling GG displays fine stone and fruit aromas of lemons and green apples. Lean and vital but also intense, rich and juicy on the palate, this is a lovely pure, straightforward, piquant and very salty expression of the Karthäuserhofberg terroir and the 2013 vintage. This long-distance runner has more fruit intensity than the Edition and reveals a very fine raciness and a complex finish with lingering lemon aromas.” WA

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Weingut Karthauserhof Alte Reben Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Spatlese Trocken, Mosel 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 19 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2014 Riesling Trocken Alte Reben (officially Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Spätlese trocken, AP #8) offers a deep and ripe, as well as very fine and elegant bouquet. Intense and mineral on the palate, this is a stunningly complex and persistent Riesling with power, structure, finesse and a lingering salinity and complexity. Good aging potential.”
John Gilman 92 points “The 2014 Alte Reben Riesling Trocken from Weingut Karthäuserhof is an outstanding example of the vintage. This excellent wine delivers a fine bouquet bread fruit, pink grapefruit, wild yeasts, lovely smokiness, a fine base of slate minerality and a topnote of citrus peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with outstanding focus and grip, a fairly primary personality and superb length and balance on the young, but very promising finish.”

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Weingut Karthauserhof ‘Ruwer’ Riesling Trocken, Mosel 2014 750ML ($34.95) $21.90 special, 24 bottles available
John Gilman 89 points “The basic estate Riesling Trocken from Karthäuserhof is really an excellent basic bottling from the 2014 vintage, as it offers up impressive focus and cut in its medium-bodied, dry and quite complex format. The lovely nose is still on the young side, but deep and pure, as it wafts from the glass in a mix of grapefruit, wild yeasts, lemongrass, petrol, slate and dried flowers. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied, crisp and still fairly primary in personality, with an impressive core of fruit, excellent cut and grip for the vintage and a long, youthful and beautifully balanced finish. 2015-2035.”

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Weingut Karthauserhof Tyrells Edition Riesling Trocken, Mosel 2014 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 23 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points “Already at this early stage, this gorgeously light wine (with only 11.5% of alcohol) delivers beautiful scents of cassis, white flowers and minerals on the nose and a superbly playful feel on the palate. The finish is long and deliciously tart. Despite the hint of fruits, this is still only at the beginning of its life and lovers of racy Riesling will really enjoy this most in a few years’ time. 2019-2029”

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Weingut Karthauserhof Schieferkristall Riesling Feinherb, Mosel 2014 750ML ($31.95) $26 special, 20 bottles available
John Gilman 91 points “Schieferkristall Riesling Trocken- Weingut Karthäuserhof The 2014 Schieferkristall Riesling Trocken from Weingut Karthäuserhof is quite a pretty wine, with just a touch of residual sweetness on the attack to buffer the fine acidity and minerality, but a good, long and quite dry finish. The lovely nose wafts from the glass in a blend of white cherries, lemon, a touch of sea salts, dried flowers, a touch of wild yeasts and quite a complex base of slate. On the palate the wine is medium-full, crisp and quite mineral-driven, with excellent focus and grip, impressive cut for the vintage and lovely nascent complexity perking up the long and vibrant finish. This is really a very well-made wine and a terrific value. 2015-2035.”
“Reflecting a selection of lots that finished with more than 10 grams of residual sugar and under 10% alcohol, this delivers juicy white and redcurrant tinged with sage and marjoram, leading to a buoyant and refreshing finish of impressive sheer penetration. Its higher acidity vis-à-vis this collection’s dry wines is experienced as positive vivacity. It’s entirely possible that greater complexity will emerge with some time in bottle.”–David Schildknecht–Vinous Media

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Off-Dry to Sweet Wines:

Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2014 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 31 bottles available
Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2014 1.5L ($89.95) $69 special, 4 magnums available
John Gilman 93+ points “The 2014 Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Kabinett is a terrific young Kabinett in this vintage that has produced some many excellent examples of this Prädikat level. The wine wafts from the glass in a very impressively complex and utterly classic constellation of green apple, a touch of white cherry, complex minerality, a touch of petrol, white flowers, a bit of wild yeasts, lemon zest and a whiff of ocean breeze in the upper register. On the palate the wine is medium- bodied, mineral and beautifully filigreed, with a nice core of fruit, bright, ripe acids, excellent focus and grip and a very long, dancing and youthful finish of excellent potential. A paradigm of its Prädikat level. 2015-2035+”
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2014 Riesling Karthäuserhofberg Kabinett is a very clear, bright and delicate Riesling of great finesse and lightness. Lovely juiciness. The acidity is rather smooth, respectively and perfectly integrated into the round and elegant texture. This Riesling is very clear, bright and light. with great finesse and lightness. Ruwer style. Bottled with 8% alcohol and 44 grams of residual sugar.”

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Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2012 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 19 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This Wine is quite open and expressive at this early stage and explodes with juicy flavors of yellow peach, quince and some flowers on the palate. This offers everything one could expect from a juicy Spatlese. The fact that it does deliver the goods without too much richness (it has technically less than 60 g/l of residual sugar) makes it utterly delicious also at this ealrly stage. 2017-2032” MFW

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Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2014 750ML ($49.95) $33 special, 33 bottles available
Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2014 1.5L ($99.95) $69 special, 3 magnums available
John Gilman 94 points “The 2014 Spätlese from the Karthäuserhofberg has a bit more residual sugar in evidence on the nose than I would have expected, but when one tastes the blaze of mineral and snappy backbone of acidity on the palate, one realizes why this is so, as the three elements are in perfect harmony in the mouth. The bouquet is bright, primary and very promising, as it wafts from the glass in a blend of pear, white cherry, beautiful slate minerality, bee pollen, just a touch of sea salts and a topnote of spring flowers. On the palate the wine is medium-full, rock solid at the core and beautifully balanced, with brisk acids, great mineral drive, laser-like focus and a very long, filigreed and still quite youthful finish. Despite the nose suggesting a more generous style of Spätlese on first impression, this is actually a very classically proportioned, mineral and racy bottle that needs some time in the cellar to really blossom, but should prove to be one of the top Spätlesen of the vintage. Great juice. 2018-2040+.”

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Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2014 750ML ($59.95) $39 special, 9 bottles available
Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2014 375ML ($39.95) $24 special, 20 half-bottles available
Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2014 1.5L ($119.95) $79 special 6 magnums available
John Gilman 94 points “I did not have a chance to taste the 2014 Auslese AP #12 on my trip last March and was very happy to have a chance to visit it prior to launching into the excellent vertical of Grosses Gewächs generously prepared by the estate. This is an absolutely superb bottle of young Auslese, wafting from the glass in a gently glazed blend of pear, white cherry, honeycomb, salty slate, orange zest and a pungent floral topnote redolent of cherry blossoms. On the palate the wine is fullish, racy and very long, with excellent focus and cut, excellent complexity and a long, vibrant and very poised finish. Classy juice. 2018-2050. 94.
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “Vineyard selections of botrytis-affected grapes only delivered 500 liters of Auslese harvested with a comparatively low 94° Oechsle. This Auslese starts off with a beautifully complex nose of fresh fruits, with pineapple, star anise and spices providing depth to the experience. The wine is superbly playful on the palate, where mouth-watering acidity adds to the aromatic precision. A riper side comes through in the finish tough, with almond, saffron and honey giving the wine a definitive Auslese GK style. 2024-2044”

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