Monday Newsletter – 11-27-17

New Arrivals: Corison, Bollinger Rosé, Beaucastel & more!; #Trending: Wines for the Party & Wines for the Cellar; New Arrival Highlight: The Excellent Value Champagne of Louis Nicaise; Staff Pick; Canary Islands: Volcanic Majesty; Arriving Wednesday, November 29th Legendary Romanée Saint-Vivant: Sylvain Cathiard; Raise a Glass to the Most Festive Time of Year! Terry Theise Champagnes Arriving Mid- December


New Arrivals


#25 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 2017
Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley NV 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “A voulptuous and expressive sparkler, with floral red apple, brioche and cinnimom spice aromas and rich, vibrant flavors that finish on a luxurious note. Drink now through 2018.”

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

Corison Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($119.95) $95 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is dark and powerful, with serious intensity. Cathy Corison’s wines usually take a long time to come together, but the 2014 is surprisingly approachable. The effects of the drought are felt in the wine’s concentration, and yet all the elements are in the right place. Dark red cherry, plum, licorice and menthol infuse the creamy, voluptuous finish. Deceptively medium in body, the 2014 packs a serious punch. Even so, it will drink well with minimal cellaring.”
France – Champagne

Bollinger Rose, Champagne 2006 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Decanter 94 points “The excellent 2006 vintage encouraged Bollinger to create a vintage rose to reflect the quality of the grapes, especially the Pinot Noir. The fruit comes from 84% grand cru vineyards and 16% premiers cru vineyards. The wine was barrel fermented before spending over 10 years maturing in the bottle. It has a delicious Pinot character, with mulchy red fruits, accompanied by a soft Chardonnay note of delicate bruised apple and some woody breadth. It has a delicious streak of raspberry acidity, and comes across as a finessed and structured champagne that is only at the start of its life. Drinking window: 2017-2032.”
Champagnist 93-95 points “I had the privilege to taste this wine on a Bollinger – life can be perfect – party and once more with the assistant cellar master Denis Bunner at Bollinger. My conclusion remains the same: what a marvelous rosé it is! It spends 10 years on the lees. Lovely copper-rose color with a very delicate, refined effervescence. The nose is very perfumated with Turkish rose oil, rose petals, bergamot, dried mandarin orange, lots of fresh raspberry, violin rosin, a hint of musk, nutmeg and an overtone of old Port (quite oxidative indeed), toast and slate. After warming up in the glass it became smoky, nutty with walnuts, I got a hint of sandalwood, patchouli and that lovely smell of old red currant comfiture and quince jelly. When you give it time in the glass you get cured parma ham and an impression of leather and lots of Alsatian patisserie. In the mouth this is elegant, sexy, dynamic but also compact. On the palate you get raspberry, goji berry, dried redcurrant, bramble, a hint of Fino sherry (Bolly goût Anglaise is back!) and dry toast with lovely acidity of kumquat, mandarin orange, redcurrant and a rather dark – going towards graphite – minerality topped of with rose pepper corns. Perfectly balanced with a fabulous acidity of red berries. Excellent to drink now but this could be a serious competitor for the Grande Année 1996 Rosé after some more time in the cellar.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

France – Rhone

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Roussanne Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Advocate 94-97 points “Even better than the Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, the richer, more concentrated 2015 Châteauneuf du Pape Roussanne Vieilles Vignes comes from a single parcel of vines located beside the Chateau that were planted in 1909. Full-bodied, rich, gorgeously concentrated and textured, with fabulous notes of orange blossom, buttered citrus, marmalade and honey, it will be up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. It’s worth noting that since 2009, the estate has changed the viticulture with regards to their whites, moving to slightly larger yields, with the goal of making a more elegant white that ages more predictably.”

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Spectator 97 points “A stunner from the get-go, with waves of thoroughly seductive boysenberry, plum, blueberry and raspberry reduction forming the core, while roasted apple wood, rooibos tea, bergamot, and anise notes flash throughout. Has plenty of bass, with a Turkish coffee accent and a hint of alder driving underneath. Everything moves in lockstep through the seriously long finish. Best from 2020 through 2045”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Bottled in late July, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape is an amazing effort, especially when one considers the production volume. Loaded with black cherry fruit and cola-like spice, this full-bodied, richly textured wine never seems heavy or warm, while exotic Indian spice notes linger on the finish. It should drink well for at least 20 years.”

Italy – Piedmont

A & G Natale Fantino Barolo Riserva Bussia – Cascina Dardi, Barolo DOCG 2007 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2007 Barolo Riserva Bussia – Cascina Dardi is power and virile, but above all else, it really speaks to a time in the estate’s history when French oak barrels were used more heavily than they are today. The 2007 is quite attractive, but it is also hard to taste in this range because it is so stylistically different than the other wines. A host of dark cherry, plum, smoke and licorice notes meld into the expressive finish.”

A & G Natale Fantino Barolo Riserva Bussia – Cascina Dardi, Barolo DOCG 2008 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “The 2008 Barolo Riserva Bussia – Cascina Dardi is shaping up to be a real jewel. Exquisite balsamic-inflected aromatics meld into a core of dark fruit. Slender and nuanced, as most wines are in this vintage, the 2008 Riserva is all about grace and finesse. The first signs of aromatic complexity are just beginning to appear, making the 2008 an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next 10-15 years. The 2008 spent five and half years in cask and is just being released now.”

A & G Natale Fantino Barolo Riserva Bussia – Cascina Dardi, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Importer note “Barolos from Bussia tend to have deep color and rich fruit and while they don’t lack the classic tannic structure of Nebbiolo from this part of the world, they are not nearly as hard as the Barolos from the southside of Monforte or from Serralunga. This fact does not preclude the Fantino Baroli from aging but makes them delightfully approachable relatively young. The Fantinos are also blessed with some of the oldest vines in the entire Barolo zone, thanks to the fastidious care given to them by Alessandro and Gian Natale. Planted in 1946 and 1947 and pruned in an old style that is very labor intensive, they produce grapes that would be the envy of any Barolista. The Riserva Bussia is from 60 year old vines grown in sandy clay. Fermented for 30 to 35 days in stainless steel tank. Aged in large oak barrels for 5 years. Aged in bottle for 12 months before release.”

Adriano Marco e Vittorio Basarin, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Case-12 Adriano Marco e Vittorio Basarin, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 750ML ($379.95) $315 special (that’s only $26.25/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 94 points “Elegant, leading off with perfumed aromas of rose, cherry, strawberry and white pepper. The profile is sleek, with a solid base of acidity and tannins. Shows terrific length, evoking fruit and mineral on the aftertaste. Best from 2019 through 2033.”

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

Cantina del Pino Albesani, Barbaresco DOCG 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “Usually a rich, bombastic wine, the 2013 Barbaresco Albesani shows more finesse than I remember seeing in the past. There is plenty of the power that is so typical of this site, but at the same time, the 2013 is translucent, super-elegant and refined. Another few years in bottle will do wonders for the Albesani, which, despite its obvious appeal, is very tightly wound at this stage. A persistent, striking finish rounds things out in style. At this stage the Albesani is the most complete wine in the range.”

Socre Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Socré’s 2013 Barbaresco is a terrific example of the vintage at its best. The aromatics alone are enticing. Sweet dark cherry, plum, sage, lavender, rose petal mint and licorice give the 2013 a dark, mysterious quality that is hard to fully describe. Deep and yet also weightless as only Nebbiolo can be, the 2013 hits all the right notes. This is a vivid and impeccable Barbaresco from Socré.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Italy – Tuscany

Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
James Suckling 93 points “Very perfumed and vivid on the nose. Equally so on the palate with a medium body, integrated tannins and a long and linear finish. Very polished and silky. Drink now.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 92 points “Succulent dark cherry, plum, lavender, menthol and French oak are very nicely delineated in the 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva. There is lovely depth and juiciness to the fruit, but the Riserva remains very much medium in body. A wine of restraint and polish, the 2013 Riserva is super-impressive today. Drink it over the next 10-15 years.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva is a lovely and balanced wine that offers a crisp and elegantly streamlined taste of organically-grown Sangiovese. This is a versatile and food friendly wine that shows the best of the Radda in Chianti subzone (with high altitude freshness and acidity).”

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

Italy – Other

Cleto Chiarli Vecchia Modena Lambrusco di Sorbara, Emilia-Romagna NV 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 special
VinopolNote: This Lambrusco di Sorbara is really delightful–dry and a dark rose color.  Made by a historic house in a classic style, this slightly earthy wine is a perfect match for pizza, charcuterie and even light fare like a salad.

Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore, Veneto 2009 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 94+ points “Built like a tank, the 2009 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta is a masterful achievement. This wine shows so beautifully, especially in a warm but balanced vintage like 2009. The fruit is expressive and articulate with deep layers of blackberry preserves, dried cherry, dark chocolate, espresso bean, mesquite smoke and soy sauce. The mouthfeel is super rich and concentrated as the Dal Forno signature style would dictate. The tannic bite is still strong and this wine needs a few more years to stretch out its muscular build. I’d suggest drinking it after 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $97

Gulfi Nerosanlore Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2011 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 94 points “Fully saturated ruby-red. Super-ripe aromas of black cherry, raspberry jelly, incense and coriander are very typical of the Sanloré site. Then surprisingly light on its feet, offering vibrant flavors of red and black cherry, tar, licorice and pomegranate liqueur. The finish is bright and juicy and features a lingering saline nuance. Knockout Sanloré that manages to be at once powerful and graceful, the latter a quality not always evident in wines from this site, which are usually known for their richness and size.”

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

La Valentina Spelt Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva 2013 750ML ($27.95) $19.90 special
Ian D’Agata–Vinous 94 points “Inky-purple. Very deep smoky nose hints at blackberry, blueberry, flint and violet. Then refined and juicy, with smooth deep flavors of mineral-accented blueberry and aromatic herbs. Long, multilayered and extremely elegant finish boasts real depth and complexity. This is a knockout, really grand, Montepulciano wine. Very, very well done.”

#59 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 2017
Bodegas Emilio Moro Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero 2015 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
Wine Spectator 90 points “Black cherry, red plum and currant flavors are fresh and lively in this firm red, backed by dark chocolate, licorice and toasty notes. Light, firm tannins and citrusy acidity keep this focused. Drink now through 2023. 58,333 cases made.”

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


The Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Boston Bual Special Reserve, Madeira NV 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points “Light, bright amber. Deep aromas of cherry pit, candied orange, toffee and molasses, lifted by a note of dried rose. Chewy in texture, with dry-edged nut and burnt orange flavors, a touch of molasses sugar and good back-end grip. Quite sweet but the wine’s acidity adds focus, nerve and finishing bite.”
Importer/Producer Note “Sweeter than either Charleston Sercial or Savannah Verdelho, Boston Bual still boasts incredible balance and refreshing acidity. The hallmark of this wine is its otherworldly complexity, featuring cinnamon-clove spiciness with overtones of citrus peel and woodsmoke. There is just enough sweetness to excel as an after-dinner wine, but its long, dry finish also makes it work beautifully with food.”

The Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Savannah Verdelho Special Reserve, Madeira NV 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 93 points “Medium amber with a green rim. Aromas of burnt orange, tobacco, toffee and herbs, with a hint of potpourri adding an exotic component. Broader and deeper than the Charleston, offering sappy orange marmalade, chestnut honey and toffee flavors underscored by tangy acidity. Shows a sweet, nutty quality on the smoky, gently spicy finish. I like this wine’s heft and thrust.”
Importer/Producer Note “Released in April 2010, Savannah Verdelho is simply incredible, its bouquet exuding orange zest and buttery shortbread with hints of ginger, milk chocolate, and almonds. Lightly sweet with zesty acidity to keep it fresh, the palate reveals notes of candied citrus, ginger, and spicy honey. The finish sharpens all of the above into a refreshing and palate-cleansing blend of spiciness and citrus sweetness.”

Arlaux insert



Hot party wines & great ideas for gifts (or your cellar!)

Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley, Chile 2016 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special
Case-12 Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley, Chile 2016 750ML ($149.95) $128 special (that’s only $10.66/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92 points “The super-tasty and gulpable 2016 Aupa Pipeño is a blend of País with some 30% Carignan (and whatever is found in the old vineyards) from a slightly cooler year. It keeps the style of previous vintages with the bright red fruit and the freshness of short macerations. In the dry-farming part of Maule they only saw 30 to 50 millimeters of rain when in the central valley they got 200! These grapes were harvested before the rain anyway, but the wine retains the freshness of a cooler year, fresher than 2015, more in line with the 2014 and 2013” –LG
Wine and Spirits 92 points “David Marcel, from France’s Basque country, was working in Maule as a bulk wine broker while building his own project, Maitía, back in 2012. That’s when he fell in love with the refreshing pipeños, the traditional wines of Chile’s south, usually made from país… The result is a lovely, refreshing and red-fruited pipeño, with vivid, shining acidity. It’s the kind of wine you won’t stop drinking.”

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

Matello Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Matello Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($179.95) $138 special (that’s only $11.50/bottle!)
Winery note “Never more than a few hundred cases, this micro-production showcases the beautiful mineral nature of the shallow sedimentary soils of the Whistling Ridge and Bishop creek vineyards. Bright, fresh, pear, lime blossom, hints of hazelnut, and a saline note.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $15.99

Domaine Jean-Claude Lapalu Brouilly Cuvee des Fous, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2015 Brouilly Cuvée des Fous had been racked the day before my visit to the domaine and I tasted this directly from vat. It has an intense dark cherry, cassis and iodine-scented bouquet with gorgeous raspberry ripple scents lurking just underneath. The palate is very well balanced with fine, very lithe tannin. The acidity here is perfectly judged, as it sashays towards a composed and very pure and long finish. Wow – this is going to turn into one sensual and compelling Beaujolais.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Xavier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Anonyme X 2010 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 95+ points “The powerful, rich 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme reveals an off-the-chart level of extract, lots of glycerin (nearly 16% natural alcohol) and copious black cherry, blueberry, forest floor, lavender and graphite characteristics. This full-throttle red requires 3-4 years of cellaring and should keep for two decades.”

Chateau Meyney, Saint-Estephe 2014 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, smoke, chocolate, licorice and tobacco are some of the signatures in the 2014 Meyney. This is one of the more overt, flamboyant 2014s readers will come across. Although certainly not a shy wine, it is loaded with personality. The late harvest and the generally intense style favored by consulting winemaker Hubert de Boüard are very much in evidence. Tasted two times.”
James Suckling 92 points “This is one of the most immediately appealing 2014s from the appellation thanks to its very ripe black fruits, and there’s still a lot of structure behind it. Reminds me of some of Meyney’s top vintages of the 1960s.”

Chateau La Vieille Cure, Fronsac 2014 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2014 La Vieille Cure is soft, supple and radiant throughout. Succulent red cherry, sweet tobacco, raspberry and flowers all flesh out in a deep, expressive Fronsac endowed with real class. Bright fruit-toned fruit and lively acids give the 2014 its distinctive personality. The interplay of succulent fruit and lifted aromatics is compelling.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Ripe and structured, this sports a vivid core of cassis and plum that races along, with fine-grained structure and light anise, bay and chalk notes hanging in the background. The long finish has cut and drive, with the cassis accent pushing through with determination. Rock-solid. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2018 through 2026.”


New Arrival Highlight

The Excellent Value Champagne of

Louis Nicaise

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Family growing grapes and making some wine has their youngest generation go off into the wide world, and she/he becomes interested in high quality wines.  The kids apprentice with some famous names, go to oenology school and come back to run the winery.  The quality improves quickly but the prices don’t go up correspondingly fast.  The wines present an excellent opportunity for savvy buyers.

The family in this case is the Champagne house Louis Nicaise and the new wines are very informed by Anselme Selosse, where son-in-law Clement worked.  Yields and dosage are both lower and the wines have become real gems, though the market seems not to have caught wind yet.  We’ve got a nice little parcel that just arrived, all of which speak of the classic terroir of Montagne de Reims.  From the base level wines all the way to the not-very-expensive top cuvee’s, the wines are excellent, and an excellent value.

Just Arrived:

Louis Nicaise Cuvee Louis par Laure Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Distributor note “Grower-Producers, the Nicaise family have been making champagne for 4 generations from their 9 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards, all in Hautvillers, but it is only very recently that the quality took a big jump up after the arrival at the domaine in 2007 of the new generation represented by Laure Nicaise-Préaux and her husband, then 25 year old Clement Préaux. Clémént apprenticed at Anselme Selosse and work at the co-op of Mailly before becoming part of the Louis Nicaise family. As his father-in-law has given him more control, Clémént has reduced the dosages on the wines and pushed the quality upwards.”

Louis Nicaise Premier Cru Brut Millesime, Champagne 2010 750ML ($59.95) $49 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Louis Nicaise Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
VinopolNote: 2014 base wine for this edition of the NV Reserve

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Louis Nicaise Premier Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 special


Staff Pick

Chateau de Pressac Saint Emilion 2014

Someone flipped the switch in the sky and it is officially autumn. There was rain, cool temperatures, and a need for something braised a couple of weeks ago. I grabbed the Chateau de Pressac thinking it would pair nicely with whatever we decided to throw in the oven. The Pressac stole the show, to be honest. I knew that the “new” owners (since 1997) had been working hard to rebuild the brand: vineyards were replanted and serious investments were made to help improve quality. It is a fairly forward 2014, but doesn’t seem to have fallen prey to becoming completely modern in style despite the new toys.

We opened the bottle and threw it in a decanter as we put the lamb shank in the oven. We ate two hours later and the wine was lit up. In ‘14 the Merlot seems to have done very well and the Cab Franc adds a lovely spice to the ripe fruit. Smokiness, chocolate, and Asian spices came around too. It’s not lush or heavy, but very ready to show off. This bottle can provide a lot of pleasure over the next few years. I wouldn’t hold on to it for outside of a decade, but you’re not going to be disappointed anytime you decide to open it.

Chateau de Pressac, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92 points “A gorgeous wine, the 2014 de Pressac is dark, bold and voluptuous. Dark cherry, plum, bittersweet chocolate, smoke, lavender, sage and licorice all run through it. Deeply expressive, pliant and succulent, the 2014 will drink well with minimal cellaring. The dark, flamboyant style works beautifully here.The blend is 69% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon plus dollops of Malbec and Carmenère. Tasted two times.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $38.95


Canary Islands:

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? In the Atlantic Ocean 1,500 km from Spain on the island of Tenerife, where most of the best red wines are grown, the vineyards rise to over 1000 m of elevation straight out of the sea on walled, terraced vineyards to protect the grapevines from the harsh trade winds.

The wines we’re featuring today come from one of the top producers on Tenerife, Suertes del Marques, who makes wine primarily from the native 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 to you today.

Suertes del Marques ‘El Ciruelo’ Listan Negro Vinas Viejas, Valle de la Orotava 2014 750ML ($59.95) $46 special, 21 bottles in stock now
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 7 Fuentes Tinto, Valle de la Orotava 2015 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 91 points “Fresh blackberry fruit and almost silky tannins make this crisp, slightly sappy, medium-bodied red from Tenerife both refreshing and distinctive. Drink now.”
Winery notes: “7 Fuentes is composed of 35 plots from area winegrowers and from our property with vines ranging from 10 to approximately 180 years old. The heights of the different vineyards ranges from 250 to 800 meters above sea level. This wine is made with two varietals: listán negro, cultivated mainly in cordón trenzado; and tintilla, from Bocanegra plot and in telegraph system. Each plot is vinified separately and assembled just before bottling.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Suertes del Marques La Solana, Valle de la Orotava 2014 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2014 La Solana is pure Listán Negro from a single plot of very old vines at 350 to 450 meters altitude on clay and iron soils. The grapes were destemmed, but not crushed, trying to preserve the fruit character, and was fermented in cement vats without epoxy with indigenous yeasts. The wine matured for 14 months in neutral 500-liter French oak barrels. The wine had been bottled one week before I tasted it and I found it really closed for business. La Solana tries to express the fruit, as the plot gives fruit-driven wines from slightly deeper soils lower in the slope and with a high content of iron. None of the wines show any oak and the house style is fresh with good acidity, and this showcases it perfectly. The palate is fresh, showing some herbal notes that provide a different touch. It ends dry, a little austere. 9,000 bottles were filled in March 2016.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Arriving Wednesday, November 29th

Legendary Romanée Saint-Vivant:

Sylvain Cathiard

Sylvain Cathiard Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2009 750ML ($2799.95) $2499 pre-arrival special, 4 bottles arriving Wednesday
Burghound 94-97 points “A dazzlingly complex, perfumed and pure nose reveals a bit of wood influence yet remains strikingly elegant with its superb scope of spicy red berry fruit aromas that are followed by ripe, seductive and beautifully intense flavors that display marvelous depth and perfect balance on the sappy and naturally sweet finish of monumental length. This is a wine of indisputable class and a model of grace and understatement that should age effortlessly for 20 to 30 years.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Raise a Glass to the Most Festive Time of Year!

More Terry Theise Champagnes

Arriving Mid- December

The Champagnes that Terry Theise imports have become standard bearers for excellent value, high quality bubbly.  He’s a market creator—putting small producer, terroir oriented Champagne on the map during a time when most Americans thought that the region started with “Bollinger” and ended with “Veuve.”

There are a few producers that have moved in and out of the portfolio, but everything Terry puts his name on is of the highest quality (including a few new additions to the club, so to speak). From the lean, mineral driven style of Pierre Peters to the classic bottlings from Gimmonet to the more avant-garde leanings of Chartogne-Taillet, there’s something in the portfolio for everyone—especially at the pricing we’re offering.

Cedric Moussé

If you’re looking for your next Meunier-based superstar producer, look no further.  Cedric Moussé is a young, up and coming producer in the Marne, who has a maniacal drive for quality. The wines are absolutely stunning—they thread the needle between Meunier as earthy, bass-noted Champagne and the fruity, less ‘serious’ style with admirable grace.  All you probably need to know is that he’s the first producer in the Club Tresor to release a 100% Pinot Meunier Special Club wine and Didier Gimmonet described him as one of the up and coming producers to watch.

Arriving Mid- December from Mousse Fils

Mousse Fils L’Or d’Eugene Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 91 points “[Reviewed 2017] Firm acidity structures this vibrant Champagne, softened by the creamy mousse, which carries a subtle mesh of ripe blackberry, toast, preserved lemon and fleur de sel notes. Fresh and floral, lingering finish. Drink now through 2020. 75 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $45

Mousse Fils L’Extra Or d’Eugene Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($54.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Importer note “80-20 Meunier-PN, disg. 3/2017, a “superior” NV with longer tirage from older material (solera 2003/2012), I am offering this extremely dry Champagne both for those pathologically averse to RS and also to show Cédric’s “serious” side. It has a certain depth and is certainly aligned with the Zeitgeist.”

Mousse Fils ‘Anecdote’ Lieu dit Les Varosses Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 91 points “[Reviewed 2017] A snappy Champagne, well-cut and lightly chalky, with juicy pear, white raspberry, apple blossom and lemon zest flavors. A tang of salinity shows on the finish. Drink now through 2021. 25 cases imported.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Mousse Fils ‘Effusion’ Rose Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($57.95) $44 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 90 points “[Reviewed 2017] A firm rosé Champagne, with a lively mix of raspberry, grated ginger, smoke and candied orange zest flavors. Fresh and snappy. Drink now. 75 cases imported.”

Mousse Fils ‘Les Vignes de Mon Village’ Blanc de Meuniers, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note “100% Meunier, and a lower pressurage. It is, touchingly, a tribute to Cédric’s father, who was mayor of Cuisles and who “loved Cuisles.” 50-50 2014-2015, available late summer, zero dosage; it’s a rugged, muscular Meunier, showing more locality than fruit. Water drains into the soil’s third layer, the green clay Illite, which occurs nowhere else in Champagne. If you want a solid contained Champagne (and fear a drop of sweetness will kill you) this one’s pretty impressive.”

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Mousse Fils Terre d’Illite Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne 2012 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note “This is Cédric’s best wine to date, and gives a thrilling glimpse of what lies ahead for this outstanding vintner. This is 100% from Cuisles, which a local broker calls “The Grand Cru of Meunier,” and with this wine you can clearly see why. Disg. 2/2016, it’s actively minerally—Meunier! It has the most intricately non-fruit profile I’ve ever encountered from this variety. Salty, long, fascinating, the core of Meunier that’s hidden below the pretty stuff. A dignity. It’s para-sensual, beautiful and serious, with herbal notes and spelt bread.”

A. Margaine

The wines of Margaine are both present and forgotten—wines which are both acknowledged as excellent and yet somehow aren’t on the tip of the tongue when it comes to the hot new producers.  We love Margaine, who is based in Villers-Marmery in Montagne de Reims, for their shimmering, delicate and precise Champagne that evoke comparisons to Riesling more often than not.

These are champagnes that are both extremely dry (ie: extra-brut) yet balanced and drinkable—it’s hard to think of more food-friendly bubbles in the entire portfolio.  The wines all tend to be based around the Chardonnay that grows so well in and around Reims but there’s always a bit of Pinot Noir blended in to ensure that austerity doesn’t rule the day.  Furthermore, their basic NV bottlings, both the rosé and blanc, are as they’ve good as they’ve been in the last 5+ years—this is really an estate on form right now.

Arriving Mid- December from A. Margaine

A. Margaine ‘Le Brut’ Premier Cru, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $36.60 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note “In the early days of this portfolio—jeez, 20 years ago—this was among my most beloved NVs, and then there seemed to be a kind of trough, and now it’s gorgeous once more. It’s gorgeous, and there is nothing remotely like it. 91% CH (Villers Marmery is an island of CH in a sea of PN a.k.a. the Montagne de Reims) and 9% PN, it’s 48% 2014 with the remainder blending ’13, ’12, ’11 and ’09. Another lovely edition of Margaine, that will improve with more time on the cork. Still pale, with an almost ghostly, eerie clarity, a high-register shimmer, diaphanous and spectral, and the finish is like tiny white sparks are shooting from your tongue. The customary flavors of jasmine and talc are certainly present, but it’s the haunting ethereal pealing that you’ll remember.”

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A. Margaine Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note “Arnaud’s energetic daughter Mathilde hinted she might wish to change the label on this wine, whereupon we all made Edvard Munch Scream faces and pleaded with her to leave it be. In any case the wine, after suffering from 2011’s predations, is strongly back in form the past two years. Base of 2014, it’s 75% CH, 13% PN and 10% still red PN. Disg 12/2016, this is a sheer version of this dewy-fruited being, all class and spring water purity. It’s as pretty as strawberries you never forgot because they were so divine.”

A. Margaine Cuvee Traditionelle Premier Cru Demi-Sec, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
A. Margaine Cuvee Traditionelle Premier Cru Demi-Sec, Champagne NV 375ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note “Well don’t you smell good! Deg 1/2016, it’s identical to the NV Brut, with more dosage but not a ton more—30g/l—and it’s completely successful. C’mon somms; this needs to go on your tasting-menu pairings, between the sorghum ale and the amphora sake!”

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Aubry is an interesting estate, in that stylistically (and from a zeitgeist perspective) they’re very much thought of as a “classical” producer, but when you look at the wines they make, they appear very avant-garde.  That’s largely due to a desire to work with what might be termed as “heirloom” varieties (Pinot Blanc, Arbanne, Petit Meslier) which goes back to time before that might have been seen as cool (and was instead thought of as crazy).  The winemaking, though, is classic, so on the base-level NV side, both the Brut and the Rosé are extreme crowd pleasers—like your idea of what “Champagne” is, between the lines and very good.

Their “other” wines are what they’ve become known for recently—field blends that incorporate the old grapes that aren’t planted anymore.  The bubbles produced from these grapes are the opposite of their basic wines—you recognize them instantly as Champagne, but as though through a filter or mirror that subtly distorts what you expect to be there.  The wines are delicious and approachable but you leave with the impression that the world of Champagne has a few more layers than you’d previously assumed were there.

Arriving Mid- December from Aubry

Aubry Premier Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note “All 2014. 40% CH, 40% PM, 10% PN and 10% still PN. Disg 1/2017. Even for a wine in their “classic” series this is original; always very dry and always tasting like ripe blackberry juice from which the sweetness was somehow removed. Iris and berry as always, but an especially fetching and balanced edition of this. The finish is like stirring chalk dust through blackberry juice. It was also more present from the larger glass; less overtly chalky than the ’13, more iodé, ferrous.”

Aubry Le Nombre d’Or Campanae Veteres Vites Brut, Champagne 2012 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “One of the most distinctive and compelling wines in this range, the NV (2012) Brut Le Nombre d’Or Campanae Veteres Vites is deep and exquisitely layered, yet done in the classic Aubry style that prizes finesse above pure power. Scents of pear, white stone fruit, mint and white flowers inform this super-expressive Champagne. The Veteres Vites is a blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier, Arbanne, Chardonnay and Meunier. Dosage is 5 grams per liter.”

Aubry ‘Aubry de Humbert’ Premier Cru, Champagne 2008 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Firm and racy, this well-meshed version offers flavors of white raspberry, biscuit and lime blossom riding a fine, silky mousse. Zesty finish. Disgorged November 2016. Drink now through 2030. 10 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $63

Aubry ‘Ivoire et Ebene’ Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2012 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $45.40


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