Midweek VinopolPick Addition 7-6-17

100 point Quilceda Creek; Beaujolais’ Young Garde; Overlooked and Undervalued; The Natural Wines of Damien Delecheneau; Canary Islands in the Sun; Vieux Chateau Mazerat; Well apPointed Wines; Over the Horizon Pre-Arrivals


Summer Shipping Special:

Midwest, East, & South

For the summer season we are offering UPS Three Day Select Service for the price of UPS Ground for shipments normally traveling 4 or more business days by ground.

Free service upgrade only applies on single orders purchased and shipped during the promotional period.  Additional fees will apply to orders held for any reason until after the promotional period and shipped by Three Day Select.  Offer not valid on items purchased before the promotional period or on pre-arrival items that arrive after the promotional period ends.


A 100 Point Cabernet

From Quilceda Creek

There’s a reason that Quilceda Creek is the number one name in Washington Cabernet—the standard by which all others are judged.  Simply put, no other winery has been making wines that score as highly as consistently (and for so long).  The Wine Advocate just published a set of reviews recently and gave the 2014 Cabernet a perfect score, so there’s no resting on laurels going on at all.

We have secured a little bit of this perfect Cabernet and are excited to offer it (and its 98 point cousin) to you today with perfect provenance.  There’s barely over a case of each, so this probably won’t last long here (though we expect it to last a long, long time in your cellar).

In Stock Now:

Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2014 750ML ($219.95) $199 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 100 points “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is another tour de force from this estate that’s reminiscent of first growth Bordeaux from a vintage like 2009. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in new barrels, it offers incredible notes of blackcurrants, graphite, lead pencil shavings and crushed rocks in a full-bodied, decadent, insanely layered and seamless style. This beauty possesses ultra-fine tannin, no hard edges and a forward, already hard to resist style, yet it’s going to keep for more than two decades.”

Quilceda Creek Galitzine Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain 2013 750ML ($219.95) $179 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98 points “An utterly prodigious effort that would most likely be the wine of the vintage if not for its big brother, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard comes all from Red Mountain and was raised in 100% new French oak. Revealing a healthy ruby/purple color and classic notes of sage brush, graphite, black cherries, currants and chocolate, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness; building, present, yet ripe and polished tannin; perfect integration of its fruit, alcohol and oak; and awesome length. This is a powerhouse Cabernet Sauvignon that still holds onto a sense of elegance and finesse. Forget it for 4-5 years and drink bottles over the following two decades.”

Also just reviewed and in stock now:

Charles Smith K Vintners ‘M.C.K. Motor City Kitty’ Syrah 2014 750ML ($39.95) $36 special, 22 bottles available
Case-12 Charles Smith K Vintners ‘M.C.K. Motor City Kitty’ Syrah 2014 750ML ($479.95) $399 special (that’s only $33.25/bottle!), 3 cases available—arriving Friday
Wine Advocate 95 points “Named after a cat owned by Charles when he was living in Walla Walla, the 2014 M C K Syrah sports a deep purple color as well as ripe, decadent notes of black fruits, plums, graphite, crushed rock and licorice. Big, sexy, seamless and pure, with present, yet ripe tannin, drink it through 2024. It’s worth noting that this comes completely from the River Rock vineyard in this vintage. As usual, it’s a crazy value.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points –Editors’ Choice–“This aromatically brooding wine brings aromas of brown stems, scorched earth, smoked meat, iron, violets, orange peel and blue and black fruit. The flavors coat the palate from end to end with silky soft, unabashedly appealing fruit and savory notes. It hits the delicious gong hard, with an enduring finish.”

Cayuse Vineyards Impulsivo Tempranillo, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98+ points “Road tar, shiitake mushroom, black cherry, crushed flowers and graphite all emerge from the 2014 Impulsivo, which is a full-bodied, ethereally textured, structured Tempranillo that has insane purity and length. While it started out downright earthy and umami, it gained more and more fruit as it sat in the glass, has a beautiful mid-palate and a finish that won’t quit. Nevertheless, this firm, tannic wine needs to be forgotten for at least 4-5 years.”

Cayuse Horsepower Vineyards ‘Sur Echalas Vineyard’ Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($199.95) $169 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97 points “Another soot, tar, mineral, bacon fat and smoked dark fruit driven beauty is the 2014 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard. Made from 100% Syrah, this peppery, bloody, iodine, full-bodied, concentrated effort has building tannin, a great mid-palate and a salt-laced finish. It’s another unique, singular beauty that’s going to benefit from short term cellaring and keep for two decades.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Plump yet structured, with a delicate core of lively acidity and stony tannins, supported by rich black raspberry, tapenade and bacon flavors. Drink now through 2024.”

Cayuse Horsepower Vineyards ‘The Tribe Vineyard’ Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($189.95) $169 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96+ points “From a site that’s next to En Chamberlin that’s planted with a 4×4 spacing (the Sur Echalas is 3×3), the 2014 Syrah The Tribe Vineyard offers more fruit (blackberry, black cherry) as well as beautiful notes of violets, rose petal, pepper and earth. Fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged in neutral puncheons, this full-bodied beauty has fine tannin, juicy acidity and a great finish. It’s in direct contrast to the more masculine, meaty, umami style of the Sur Echalas Vineyard. Give it 2-3 years and it too will be long lived!”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Balances power and finesse, with distinctive plum, bacon fat and black olive aromas and dense yet polished blackberry and stony mineral flavors that lead to big but refined tannins on the finish. Drink now through 2024.”


Emerging Artists:

Under the Radar Winemakers in Beaujolais

The best time to buy a wine is before a winemaker becomes “known” and prices start to rise.  This opportunity can come about because it’s a new winery/generational change in an established region (see: Fourrier circa 2002) or because the region they’re operating in just doesn’t get enough respect (e.g. all of Muscadet).  Today we wanted to highlight three winemakers in Beaujolais, which presents a little column A/B situation—the prices for the top wines (Foillard, Metras, Gran’Cour) have started to skyrocket, but there are still a bunch of producers that fly under the radar and remain reasonable for the quality they provide and we wanted to highlight them here.

Nicolas Chemarin:

Born into a family with holdings in Beaujolais-Villages, Regnie and Morgon, his father ran the winery (that was started by Nicolas’ grandfather) and made wine in a commercial style that wasn’t focused on extreme quality.  In the last few years since Nicolas took over, he’s started plowing to avoid herbicide usage and moved to natural yeast fermentation with minimal sulfur useage.

The Regnie is what we want to highlight today.  Made from 40+ year old vines in what has been called “The Prince of the Crus,” this is everything we love about Beaujolais in the 2014 vintage.  Snappy, bright and classical, it’s extremely aromatic and energetic—to drink some is to want to immediately drink more.  Best yet, unlike wines that we feel are comparable (eg Breton or his friend Coquelet), this Regnie is still under $20.  Back up the truck.

Nicolas Chemarin Regnie Les Haute Ronze, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “Vivid ruby-red. Sexy, mineral-laced aromas of ripe red and dark berries, violet and licorice. Sappy and penetrating, offering bitter cherry and black raspberry flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. Concentrated yet lithe, delivering excellent finishing clarity and strong, mineral-driven persistence.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Quentin Harel:

Another heir to a winery with humble holdings, Quentin Harel bought one hectare of Morgon in 2011 in the “Les Charmes” climat—the focus of his current domaine.  He’s known for his curiosity and inventiveness—a homebrewer who studied soil microbiology in Diois.  He chose to move and live outside Beaujolais because he wanted to broaden his horizons.  His first solo vintage was 2012 and he’s already attracted the attention of experts in the region (he’s now imported by Kermit Lynch).

Today he farms a little over 5 ha, all organically, and makes two wines, a Beaujolais AOC and the “Les Charmes”, which we’re highlighting today.  Les Charmes  is a higher altitude region of Morgon which produces wines that are a little closer to Fleurie in style—pretty, fresh and mineral driven.  Harel’s version is really excellent and supremely underpriced.

Quentin Harel Morgon “Les Charmes,” Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($21.95) $19 special, 27 bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “Vivid purple. High-pitched red and blue fruit, violet and peppery spice scents show very good clarity and pick up a minerally nuance with air. Juicy, focused and light on its feet, offering zesty raspberry and boysenberry flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. Blends richness and vivacity with a deft hand and finishes very long and smooth, with subtle tannins framing lingering blue fruit and floral pastille notes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Anne-Sophie Dubois:

So Anne-Sophie Dubois is, in some circles, already a name-brand, rockstar producer.  Generally speaking, though, she’s not well known enough.  With training in Volnay and the great Henri Jayer as her inspiration, Dubois makes wines with traditional Burgundian macerations—no carbonic here.  She also expertly farms several hectares of prime vineyards in Fleurie—all organically.

The wines she makes are clearly from Beaujolais, but seem to have the soul of Burgundy.  Her winemaking style is definitely influence by natural wine (there are no tricks in the cellar and no new oak) but she uses sulfur and the wines are clean and elegant.  There are two different cuvee’s in stock today, both of which deserve a lot of attention.  The Alchemiste is her flagship and very drinkable now, while the Clepsydre should be aged for a few years or decanted well before serving.

Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie l’Alchimiste, Beaujolais2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 22 bottles available
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie l’Alchimiste, Beaujolais2015 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special, 3 magnums available
VinopolNote “This is Dubois flagship wine, from a southwest-facing section of Fleurie on mostly granite soils.  The wine is clearly a product of a Burgundy-style vinification (as opposed to carbonic maceration) but seems to channel the soul of Fleurie with dark and red fruits, foral notes and pretty spice flavors. Delcious.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Clepsydre, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 33 bottles available
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Clepsydre, Beaujolais 2015 1.5L ($79.95) $66 special, 5 magnums available
VinopolNote: “Clepsydre is the French word for ‘water clock’ and denotes the most age-worthy of the wines that Dubois makes.  It still has her trademark elegance but with more richness and power than her other wines.  One to lay down or decant before opening, for sure.”

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


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An Assortment of Overlooked Wines

Normally around this point in the newsletter we’d highlight one or two wines that are staff picks.  Today, though, we wanted to highlight a list of wines which, for one reason or another, don’t neatly fall into a category that we’d highlight in a feature in the newsletter.  The result is that they don’t get the attention in this space that they deserve and while we could highlight one or two at a time (in a staff picks fashion) there are way too many interesting wines here for that.  So here it goes: the island of misfit toys of Vinopolis.

Domaine Comte Abbatucci Barbarossa Blanc, Corsica NV (2012) 750ML ($79.95), $29 super special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points “Abbatucci’s 2012 br constitutes a tank-rendered blanc de noir from the Barbarossa vines his father planted in the early 1960s. Scents and flavors of apricot, pineapple and pink grapefruit are prominently reinforced by piquancy of pit, core, pip and rind, so that the mid-palate effect here – while lush and expansive – is simultaneously zesty and tactilely prickling. Accompanying candied citrus rinds and bitter-edged licorice offers a tannic sense of graininess that accentuates this wine’s invigorating persistence. I have no experience or even reliable word on how previous renditions have fared in bottle, but if fortune favors you with the opportunity and liquidity, enjoy this wine in its youth, but also explore its potential by cellaring a couple of bottles.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $66

Domaine Antoine Arena ‘BG’ Bianco Gentile, Corsica 750ML ($49.95) $18 special, 15 bottles available
Vinopolnote: From a miniscule, half-hectare vineyard of clay and limestone soils planted in the late-90’s. Bianco Gentile is an ancient varietal which Arena had discovered and had genetically tested; the wine is rich, complex, tangy, and broad. Salty sea air and peach fruit qualities make for great concentration and a long, lingering finish – this would be fantastic with rich seafood dishes!

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine de L’Oustal Blanc Naick Blanc, Languedoc-Roussillon750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 10 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2011 Naick Blanc offers another level of texture, richness and depth, with better overall integration and balance. Spiced apples, toast, almond and mineral all flow from the glass and this medium to full-bodied white has a full, layered texture, integrated acidity and a great finish. It will be best with food and should drink nicely for a number of years.” WA

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Leroy Bourgogne Aligote, Burgundy 2010 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 6 bottles available

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $92

Tablas Creek Vineyards Vermentino, Paso Robles 2016 750ML ($31.95) $26 special, 11 bottles available
Winery note “The 2016 Vermentino has a classic Vermentino nose of grapefruit pith, citrus leaf, fresh herbs and sea spray, but with an extra level of creaminess beyond what we usually see, like key lime pie. The palate is zingy with flavors of lemon, nectarine, and a briny mineral note that comes out on the long, clean, bright finish. Drink now and over the next few years.”

Terra Laura Cour-Cheverny, Loire 2010 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 13 bottles available
Importer notes “Terra Laura is a new 50 acre estate founded by Laura Semeria and her husband Dominique in 2007. With the aim to produce wines at the highest level the appellation has to offer, they purchased an old estate with vineyards planted with vines 15-80 years of age located in the appellation of Cheverny in the Loire Valley. They are also one of the few producers of the tiny appellation of Cour-Cheverny.”

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

Chateau Feuillet Torrette, Aosta Valley 2011 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 15 bottles available
Grapelive 91-92 points “This spicy Valle D’ Aoste red is made up of mostly the native Petit Rouge and even rarer Maoylet grapes and is another gem from winemaker Maurizio Fiorano at Chateau Feuillet with bright cherry, strawberry and plum fruits plus fleshy red peach and savory spices and wild herb notes. Mineral and chalky essence add character in this medium weighted Alpine wine. While not as deep or dark as the Fumin, this wine shines with balance and raciness making it a suburb wine with lots of food choices from fish to smoked ham and or specialty risotto dishes. Peppery notes and tangy fruit linger on the crisp finish.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Proprieta Sperino ‘L Franc Bandit Vino da Tavola, Piedmont 2009 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 6 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The 2009 L’Franc, 100% Cabernet Franc, is a new wine from Sperino. Over the years, Paolo De Marchi has proved he has the magic touch pretty much with every grape. You can add Cabernet Franc to the list. Here in its debut vintage, the L’Franc possesses remarkable varietal definition and finesse from start to finish. Violets, lavender, plums and mocha add further shades of nuance as the 2009 opens up. Amazingly, this fruit was not harvested until late October and into early November. In my view the 2009 is a bit overoaked, but that will simply require a small correction in future vintages. Superb Cabernet Franc in Lessona? Yes, at Proprietà Sperino, it is possible.” AG

Domaine Roulot Auxey-Duresses Rouge Premier Cru, Cote de Beaune 2014 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 15 bottles available

Domaine de la Grange des Peres, IGP Pays d’Herault 2011 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 11 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 points “A distinctive red, this has dried red berry and meaty notes supported by a tangy acidity. With lightly chewy tannins, this shows savory spice, bitter herb and fresh earth flavors on the finish. Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Counoise. Drink now through 2017. 165 cases imported.” WS

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $129!



The Delicious Natural Wines of Grange Tiphane

Damien Delecheneau is a winemaker who does Natural Wine the right way.  Working out of Touraine, in the Loire, the wines he makes under his family’s label “La Grange Tiphane” have captivated those in the know in both Paris and the US.  In a broad sense, he makes ‘Natural Wine,’ but without the flaws and bottle variation that you sometimes associate with the category. Really, he makes classic wines.

The family holdings encompass a number of different grapes, from the common Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc to the slightly more obscure Cot and Grolleau.  All of the wines have a bell-clear purity of flavor to them and seem to disappear effortlessly once they’re open, especially the Ad Libitum.  The Becarre and Quatre Mains are both age-worthy efforts that are complex and will reward time in the cellar.

Arriving Friday from La Grange Tiphaine:

Domaine La Grange Tiphaine Touraine Amboise Ad Libitum, Loire 2015 750ML ($21.95) $19 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote: A midweight to light red that is super gulpable.  It’s a blend of the three big grapes for the Touraine—Gamay, Cab Franc and Cot—and goes down too easily.  Don’t buy just one bottle.  We warned you.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine La Grange Tiphaine Touraine Amboise Becarre, Loire 2015 750ML ($31.95) $27 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote: This is a serious bottle of Cabernet Franc, on par with anything from Chinon but Baudry’s very top bottlings.  The 2015 vintage brought a lot of ripeness, so no greenness and less herbal flavors than usual, but with lots of great dark fruit and some structure to balance it out.  A real stunner and one to drink now or age for a little while.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine La Grange Tiphaine Montlouis Nouveau Nez, Loire 2014 750ML ($31.95) $27 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote: We’ll keep this simple: this is one of the two or three best pet-nats we’ve tried.  Made from 100% Chenin Blanc and sparkling as a the result of a single fermentation, this is bubbly (though not as much as Champagne) and flat out delicious.

Domaine La Grange Tiphaine Touraine Quatre Mains, Loire 2015 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote: This is the top white from the estate—a 100% Sauvignon Blanc grown on Silex soils that reminds us of Dageneau in how it marries richness and minerality.  In a vintage like 2015, it should be approachable young, but this stunner will only become more and more exciting with age.  Damien Delecheneau is a producer to watch and this wine is the first item on his resumé.

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Canary Islands: Tenerife’s Volcanic Majesty

The Canary Islands are about as perfect a manifestation of the power of wine as you could imagine.  What would drive someone to farm grapes here, to dig pits for each grapevine and build a stone wall for each plant, other than the glory that is wine.  On the island of Tenerife, where most of the best red wines are grown, the vineyards rise to over 3000ft of elevation, straight out of the sea on terraced vineyards with walls on them, to protect the grapevines from the tradewinds that can buffer these vineyards, 1,500km southwest of Spain, in the Atlantic Ocean.

The wines we’re featuring today come from one of the top producers on Tenerife, Suertes del Marques, who makes wine primarily from the Listan Negro grape.  These are fascinating, compelling wines that have both richness and power combined with a delicacy and floral component that is reminiscent of Barolo or Côte Rôtie.  The best way to describe the wines might be to say that they have some ineffable quality that you can’t put your finger on—which in our minds is a sign that they’re really something special.  There’s a reason these wines have been making waves and we’re excited to offer a pair of really delicious wines to you today.

Suertes del Marques ‘El Ciruelo’ Listan Negro Vinas Viejas, Valle de la Orotava 2014 750ML ($59.95) $46 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points “My favorite wine is always the one produced from a single 0.9-hectare plot of centenary, ungrafted vineyards that are planted with Listán Negro and some 2% Listán Blanco (Palomino); the vines are situated at 480 to 520 meters’ altitude and pruned in the traditional cordón trenzado style with a northwest orientation. They used 100% full clusters that were foot trodden in raw cement vats without temperature control and some 35 days of maceration, and as with all of their wines, with indigenous yeasts. The élevage lasted 14 months and was in neutral 500-liter French oak barrels. The old vines are planted in the middle of the slope on finer soils and always give very balanced wines. The nose is superb, really complex with aromas of freshly cracked peppercorns, violets and lilies, wet stones and that impossible pumice that cries Tenerife. I see more balance in this vintage, with a medium-bodied palate that shows a velvety texture with ultra-fine tannins. This is subtle, elegant, a much more powerful wine than you might think at first sight. However, it has a mysterious and ethereal quality. Elegant, balanced, precise, fresh and complex. This is awesome!”

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

Suertes del Marques El Esquilon, Valle de la Orotava 2011 750ML ($41.95) $37 special, 17 bottles available
Importer Note: “El Esquilón is a single vineyard site at Suertes del Marques where 80 year old Listán Negro is planted in el cordon trenzado on soils that range from clay to sand over volcanic subsoils. The final blend for El Esquilón sees about 30% Tintilla from younger vines averaging about 20 years old. Each variety is fermented and aged separately and the final blend is made after 14 months of aging in 500L French oak demi-muids.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Vieux Chateau Mazerat 2010

The collection of expatriate Chateau owners in Bordeaux must seem like the best thing to happen to the tonnellerie industry since Napolean planted those stands of Oak so long ago. Looking at wines like Vieux Chateau Mazerat, it becomes clear what added dimension of quality barrels can do for a vineyard that was annually lagging behind illustrious right-bank neighbors. VCM is surrounded by Chateau Canon and Angelus, in solid Cru Classe real estate. The new owner, Jonathan Maltus says it best: “David Peppercorn, in his eighties book BORDEAUX, stated that if the then proprietor was to buy some oak barrels there would be no reason why Vieux Chateau Mazerat shouldn’t be a cru classe like all of its neighbours. We bought the oak barrels.”

The wine shows a new decadence that should earn fans around the globe, particularly fans of New World wine looking for that gateway wine to the world of Bordeaux. This is a collectors dream. Affordable Saint-Emilion silk: the wine is balanced between the red fruit and minerals of the limestone parcel of the vineyard, with the distinctive Crasse de Fer iron rich soil notes of mushroom and Indian spice. The 2010 should also allow those with the cellar space to stash a case away for a long time, but reward those with little patience. The Merlot and Cab Franc are singing already, and will continue to evolve. Vieux Chateau Mazerat could eventually start to find its place among its neighbors more frequently on winelists and in cellars, but thankfully is still currently available for less than half the price. This 2010 should be a first look among those who want to see why the right bank bottlings are in such high demand again.

We’re happy to offer the Vieux Chaeau Mazerat below:

Vieux Chateau Mazerat, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2010 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 36+ bottles available
Case-12 Vieux Chateau Mazerat, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2010 750ML ($1199.95) $999 special, 2 cases available
Robert Parker 95+ points “This is one of the tightest, most backward wines in the Jonathan Malthus portfolio. The grapes come from an old-vine parcel near Angelus and Beausejour-Duffau, and the final product is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc. Again displaying plenty of minerality, which seems to be a prevailing theme throughout the 2010s from Malthus, the 2010 Vieux Chateau Mazerat is full-bodied, with an abundance of floral notes as well as black currant and blackberry fruit. Impressively endowed and built like a skyscraper, this full-bodied wine needs a good 7-8 years of cellaring and should keep for 25-30 years. Interestingly, the vines were planted in 1947.”


Wines well apPointed!

New Reviews

Arriving Tomorrow:

Charles Smith K Vintners The Creator Cabernet – Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points “An 80/20 Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah blend from the Powerline Vineyard, the 2014 The Creator is killer stuff. Cassis, black olive, crushed rock, dusty earth and graphite characteristics emerge from this wild, gamey, full-bodied and impeccably balanced red. It stays lightly textured and graceful, with fine tannin, but it’s a big, rich wine that’s going to benefit from short term cellaring and keep for 15-20 years.”

Chateau Cos d’Estournel, Saint-Estephe 2010 750ML ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points “There’s clarity and beauty to this wine as always with pure dark berry, stones and spices. Some clove too. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a long finish. Pure and precise wine with so much class. Try in 2020.”
Robert Parker 97+ points “The 2010 is a more structured, restrained, less flamboyant version of the 2009. A final blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that hit 14.5% natural alcohol, this wine (which represents only 55% of the estate’s production) is full-bodied, classic and built along the lines of the 2000 (although that wine was made before Reybier acquired the estate and upgraded quality significantly). This wine exhibits beautifully pure notes of creme de cassis, blueberry liqueur, pen ink, graphite and hints of toast and vanillin. The wine is full and rich, and although aged in 80% new oak, the wood is a subtle background component. This beauty will take longer to round into shape than the dramatic and compelling 2009. Forget it for 5-8 years, and drink it over the following three-plus decades.”

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

Re-Arriving Tomorrow:

Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2014 750ML ($31.95) $26 pre-arrival special
James Sucking 94 points “Aromas of walnuts, berries and spices with hints of orange peel. Full-bodied with a soft texture and chewy tannins. A juicy and delicious wine already. Needs a year or two to soften. Better in 2018”
Josh Raynolds — Vinous 91 points “Aromas of walnuts, berries and spices with hints of orange peel. Full-bodied with a soft texture and chewy tannins. A juicy and delicious wine already. Needs a year or two to soften. Better in 2018”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2014 Mt Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir, which contains around 50% whole cluster fruit, has a lively, wild strawberry and candied orange peel scented bouquet, a touch of freshly sliced tangerine in the background. This is a vivacious bouquet with more intensity than the 2013. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh, lithe tannin. This is nicely balanced with good grip in the mouth, the 15% new oak nicely integrated with a subtle saline note towards the earthy finish. For thirty bucks, this is a great value.”

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

And this one- no points but not pointless:

Joseph Drouhin Bourgogne Laforet Pinot Noir, Burgundy 2014 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Joseph Drouhin Bourgogne Laforet Pinot Noir, Burgundy 2014 750ML ($199.95) $149 pre-arrival special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
“A wine full of charm: bright ruby colour and a nose rich with aromas of red fruit (raspberry, red currants, wild strawberry). On the palate, the wine is pleasant, fruity and refreshing, with light tannins and great elegance.”–Winery note


Over the Horizon- Pre Arrivals!!

Arriving in the Fall:

Chateau de L’Ou ‘Secret de Schistes ‘ Rouge, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Chateau de L’Ou ‘Secret de Schistes ‘ Rouge, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2015 750ML ($549.95) $419 pre-arrival special (that’s only $34.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 96 points “Saturated black in color, the 2015 IGP Côtes Catalanes Secret de Schistes is reminiscent of Manfred Krankl’s SQN Syrahs with its deep, unctuous, layered profile. Cassis, chocolate, licorice, smoked herbs and ample minerality all emerge from this full-bodied, sexy beauty that just begs to be drunk. Possessing ripe tannin, a stacked mid-palate and a great finish, it will be better in a year or two and keep for a decade.”JD

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Arriving February 2018:

Pio Cesare Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The Pio Cesare 2013 Barolo offers all of the plentiful qualities that make this such a memorable vintage. Because the growing season was slightly cooler compared to the two years preceding it, 2013 offers a great sense of freshness and brightness. Fruit was sourced from seven different vineyard sites (with much of it coming from Serralunga d’Alba). Starting in 2015, Monforte d’Alba fruit will be added. The tannins are tightly integrated within the firm fabric of the wine. Yet, the finish is round and supple. This Barolo offers characteristic aromas of wild berry, black truffle and cola. It is executed in a very traditional style with botte grande and a tiny part barrique to give the wine a tad more oxygen during its integration and aging process.”