Monday 10-16-17

Breaking News: Hot New Wine Spectator Review for a Top Barbaresco Estate; Giuseppe Mascarello Monprivato Sale; New Champagne Arrivals; #Trending; Champagne Arriving Friday; Staff Pick; New 2013 Barolo Reviews- From Antonio Galloni; Dr. Crusius


Breaking News: Hot New Wine Spectator Review

Top Barbaresco Estate / Top Vintage / Top Vineyard / Lowest (And Affordable!) Price


“Two thousand thirteen… is shaping up to be an epic vintage of classic proportions and superb pedigree. The growing season was much more stable than 2012, but it is the last month of the year, a perfect September with warm days and cool nights, that yielded Barbarescos endowed with regal intensity.” –Antonio Galloni

The 2013 vintage in Barbaresco is generating well deserved anticipation. While the top estates won’t release until the spring, but their wines are already generating rave reviews and quickly selling out. We’re sharing a special preview with you today of hot new praise from the Wine Spectator for a historic and much loved estate.

What makes this very wine a rare treasure? The estate and the vineyard, Ovello, are the historic origins of Barbaresco wine itself: Toward the end of the 19th century, Domizio Cavazza, director of Alba’s Royal Enological School and subsequent founder of Produttori del Barbaresco, purchased vines in Ovello and produced the first wine labeled “Barbaresco.” In 1912, the Vacca family bought the estate, and eventually helped revive the Produttori’s endeavors. Then, in 1997, Renato Vacca created Cantina del Pino. Both consumers and critics alike took note, and today the Cantina del Pino ranks among Barbaresco’s finest alongside its cousin cooperative.

The true gem of Cantina del Pino still is the family’s old-vine Ovello vineyard. Structured, ripe, and elegant, these wines define Barbaresco. “Not only were the wines from Cantina del Pino among the standouts of my tastings,” writes Antonio Galloni, “they also happen to be among the best values in Barbaresco.”

Limited allocation arriving in February:

Cantina del Pino Ovello, Barbaresco DOCG 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 97 points “A pretty, firmly structured red, with delicate flavors and subtle power, this evokes floral, red berry, mineral, tobacco and tar aromas and flavors, remaining harmonious and long on the mineral- and tobacco-tinged finish. Best from 2020 to 2036.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!



On Sale Now!

Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio Monprivato, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($159.95) Was $119, Now $99
Wine Advocate 95 points “No matter the vintage – hot or cold – this special wine always stays true to itself. The 2011 Barolo Monprivato is not as precise or polished as the excellent 2010 vintage, but the wine offers abundant elegance and generosity nonetheless. Dark fruit is followed by pipe tobacco, licorice and cola. These elements achieve a beautiful level of balance, depth and unity. Some tartness appears on the close. This wine demonstrates that you can’t beat an excellent vineyard site when it comes to making iconic wines.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This is expressive, with alluring cherry, strawberry, floral and mineral flavors building to a long, expansive finish. The elegant profile belies the serious structure underneath, which should allow this red to develop over the next 15 to 20 years. Offers fine berry fruit and a minerally aftertaste. Best from 2018 through 2033.”
Jancis Robinson 18/20 points “Very pale ruby. More stony and liquorice-like than Villero. Brooding concentration but holding back on the nose. Lithe and very elegant palate with amazing tactile and fine tannins. Has the wow factor.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $142

Sale ends Tuesday at midnight!
Limited to the 26 bottles on hand today



New Champagne Arrivals

Bereche Crus Selectionnes Blanc De Blancs Cote Grand Cru – Terroir du Mesnil sur Oger 2006 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Vibrant and lacy, with a seamless weave of poached quince, blanched almond, pink grapefruit pith and jasmine notes. This minerally Champagne is finely knit and graceful, offering a firm, focused finish. Drink now through 2029.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2006 Côte Grand Cru – Terroir du Mesnil sur Oger offers a striking combination of aromatic nuance, freshness and the natural flavor comlexity of Champagne with some age. Candied lemon peel, hazelnut, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes are front and center in this super-expressive Champagne. The 2006 finishes with notable power and substance. Although not especially deep, the 2006 is absolutely delicious, not to mention a real joy to taste.” (7/2017)

Pierre Peters Cuvee Speciale ‘Les Chetillons’ Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2010 750ML ($149.95) $128 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Péters’ 2010 Brut Cuvée Spéciale Les Chétillons looks to be a relatively easygoing, approachable version of this reference-point Mesnil Champagne. There is good depth and purity to the flavors, but the 2010 is decidedly delicate and airy in the glass, with mid-weight structure and more openness than is typically the case. Scents of yellow orchard fruit, honey, chamomile and white flowers open up nicely. I don’t find the dimension or energy of the finest years. In exchange, though, the 2010 should drink well with minimal cellaring.”

Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut L’Esprit de 2012 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2012 Brut L’Esprit captures the radiance of the vintage yet also retains striking precision. The 2012 is also remarkably open considering it was disgorged just a month ago. Lemon confit, acacia chamomile, apricot, sweet flowers, mint and sage are all pushed forward. At times, Rodolphe Péters’ wines can be hard to drink when young. That is not at all the case here. The 2012 is open-knit, radiant and absolutely delicious. Dosage is 4 grams per liter.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $83

Pierre Peters ‘Reserve Oubliee’ Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne (2011) NV 750ML ($129.95) $115 special

Staff pick!
Pierre Peters Cuvee Rose for Albane Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($89.95) $75 special
Base vintage: 2014; disgorgement date: 4/2017.
Suzanne: My favorite rose Champagne year-in, year-out for its crystalline minerality, pop of fresh berries, and long cellar potential. I’ll be breaking open my bottle of 2012 base this New Years!
Winery note “The nose: Delicate, it expresses the full palette of fresh red fruit (strawberry, raspberry and gooseberry) and floral aromas; the notes of citrus (pink grapefruit and pomelo) follow bringing a beautiful impression of smoothness and freshness. Palate: The first impression is dominated with red fruit, followed by creamy notes. Persistant on the are the citrus notes, grapefruit and blood oranges with the perfect dosage that highlight the vibrant fruit flavors but do not mask the chalky minerality of Le Mesnil Chardonnay that emerges with vigor on the finish. An innovation and small revolution for our family house which produced exclusively Blancs de Blancs Champagnes prior to 2007, this Cuvee is a blend of Chardonnay from Le Mesnil and a wonderful ‘Rose de Saignee’ giving birth to a Rose Champagne in keeping with the Pierre Peters style: full of freshness, purity and elegance.”



We’ve seen incredible response to our Arlaux offer – though there are still a few six-pack specials left, we don’t expect these to last much longer!

Arlaux Grande Cuvee Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Case-6 Arlaux Grande Cuvee Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 5 six-packs in stock now (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92 points “The nose of this wine seduces you straight away with a great balance of autolytic and fruit aromas: toasted hazelnuts, warm apple tart and kaya (coconut and egg) jam. The palate is equally well balanced providing plenty of evolved fruit and toasty / yeasty flavors. Small, fine bubbles, seamless use of dosage and a long nutty finish. This fine if relatively unknown Brut NV takes first place in the derby – a shocker even for me!”
Importer notes: “Arlaux is a small family-run champagne house producing only 5,000 cases a year located in a small village on the Petit Montagne de Reims called Vrigny.  Arlaux has been producing champagne since 1826 but the Arlaux-Marchal family have lived in Vrigny since the 13th century. Exclusively 1er Cru Champagne with a minimum of 4 years aging. They only use their own grapes from 20 to 100 year old vines which are hand-picked in order to select only the very best. All Arlaux cuvées are 100% Premier Cru and 100% Tête de Cuvée (meaning that they only use the juice of the 1st press).”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $37

Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel (A.P #15) 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2015 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese seems not as clear and brilliant on the nose as the corresponding Schlossberg and Badstube in the first moments, but this changes after a while in the glass when it becomes more clear and flinty. Full-bodied, lush and mouth-filling this is a very sweet but also mineral and piquant Spätlese with a fine acidity and a lingering salinity. This is a very rich, but firmly structured Spätlese that comes along as an Auslese and should be aged for 15 or 20 years to show all its talents.”
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “A strikingly ripe nose of white peach, pear and fig with musky and decadent floral overtones translates on a glossy and expansive palate into a sumptuous display of rich fruit and liquid perfume backed by generous sweetness. But for all of this wine’s up-front opulence, it finishes with buoyancy, irrepressible refreshment and impressive clarity, revealing site-typical smoky, alkaline and stony nuances.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “Notes of spontaneous fermentation give way to candied grapefruit, cassis and peach, with herbs and spices firmly pushed to the background. The wine delivers a slightly Auslese creamy feel on the palate and leaves a clean fruity feel in the long finish. 2025-2040.”
Importer note “Zeltinger Sonnenuhr: is the Premier Grand Cru. Slate, lime, apple, butter-vanilla, rich, almost chewy earthiness, great depth. Some parcels are prized by locals as the best sites in the entire Bernkastel-Zeltingen ramp-Doktor notwithstanding! These wines are fullbodied. Selbachs are now the primo owners in this great site, and have inaugurated an era of elective harvesting and a quality potential such as we have never before seen.”


Speaking of Champagne…

Arriving Friday

Andre Clouet is a Champagne house known for many things, chief among them being some of the best values in the appellation.  The wines they’re making are fantastic, from their base non-vintage blend all the way through the prestige “1911” cuvee, which is perpetually one of the best under $100 Champagnes out there.

Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($47.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($519.95) $359 pre-arrival special (that’s only $29.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 3L ($319.95) $269 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The NV Brut Grande Reserve emerges from the glass with layers of hazelnut, pear, spice and dried flower aromas. This rich, creamy wine impresses for its balance and sheer richness. I loved it.” AG

This is the only listing in the USA today for the jeroboam!
The average price is $47

Andre Clouet Grand Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 3L ($299.95) $279 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “Vivid orange-pink. Aromas and flavors of ripe red berries, candied rose and toasty lees. Fleshy but nervy and focused, with strong mineral cut and hints of bitter herbs on the very long, energetic finish. Smoothly blends richness and vivacity, making it extremely flexible with food or without.”

This is the only listing in the USA today for the jeroboam!

Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($47.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($519.95) $359 pre-arrival special (that’s only $29.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Brut Nature Silver is naturally a very focused, driven wine given the no-dosage style. This shows wonderful nuance and depth all the way through to the long finish, with bright aromas and flavors but less of the toastiness than some of the house’s other wines. The mousse and finish are both utterly impeccable in their elegance.” AG

The average price is $44

Andre Clouet Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Clouet’s 2008 Brut Millesime shows quite a bit more tension and focus than the 2007, hardly a surprise given then personality of the vintage. Bright, saline notes frame expressive red fruits, flowers and sweet spices. The 2008 Brut is a gorgeous wine with plenty of appeal today, but it will also develop beautifully in bottle. Stylistically it is less overt than the 2007 but places more emphasis on length. Brut Millesime is mostly Pinot, with 30-40% Chardonnay.” AG

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $53.78

Andre Clouet Un Jour de 1911… Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Staff Pick

Quinault L’Enclos is the all-organic side-project of Cheval Blanc (conversion began in 2009 and was completed in 2012).  The wine is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from vines that average 45 years in age.  The wine opens with a hint of vanilla and savory herbs.  On the palate, the flavor develops into notes of black raspberries, dark chocolate and forest floor.  It is well-balanced and smooth on the finish.  Excellent today or as your holiday claret, this ’09 would cellar well for 5-7 years.

Robert Parker notes: “Now owned by the proprietors of Cheval Blanc, the 2009 Quinault l’Enclos (composed of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) exhibits an opaque purple color, notes of licorice, incense, raspberries, and black cherries, medium body, elegant, stylish flavors, and no hint of oak. This is a beautifully made, pure, deep wine that continues to confirm what Dr. Alain Raynaud suspected when he bought this property in 1997. The naysayers all said this terroir was suspect, but that has been proven wrong by the wines that have been produced. This 2009 should drink well for 10-20 years.”

Chateau Quinault L’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 93 points “A soft and fruity wine, with orange peel and berries and plums. Full body, with super fine tannins and a fruity finish. Refined and very pretty. Structured in the end. Fresh. Succulent. A style away from the over extracted one a few years ago. Try after 2018.” JS
Wine Spectator 92 points “This is very distinctive, with live-wire acidity running through the core of damson plum, linzer torte and blackberry fruit that’s framed by a mouthwatering roasted apple wood note. The long and driven finish has a piercing iron edge and a smoldering tobacco note that adds to the dramatic profile. Best from 2015 through 2025.” WA

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


New 2013 Barolo Reviews

From Antonio Galloni

Francesco Rinaldi & Paolo Scavino

“The 2013 Barolos continue to impress for their grace and finesse. The late-ripening season produced translucent, perfumed Barolos that capture the essence of site, in my mind the single greatest attribute that separates the great vintages from merely excellent or good years.” –Antonio Galloni

Francesco Rinaldi

“Francesco Rinaldi is one of the Piedmont’s most historic estates, with a lineage that goes back to the late 1800s. The current generation led by Paola and Piera Rinaldi has made significant improvements in the vineyard and cellars that have been evident for a number of years now. The estate’s three 2013 Barolos are terrific. Fans of classically built Barolos will want to take note of the 2013s. The straight Barolo in particular offers superb quality at a very fair price” –Antonio Galloni

Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($59.95) $47 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2013 Barolo is a gorgeous entry-level bottling. Sweet tobacco, blood orange, anise, dried flowers and cedar give the wine its aromatic depth and delineation. Bright and exquisitely layered in the glass, with lovely persistence, the 2013 drinks well now, but also has enough pedigree and complexity to hold for another decade-plus. This is a superb showing from Rinaldi.”

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

Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Barolo Le Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “A dark, powerful Barolo, 2013 Brunate is another wine that is built for the cellar. The brooding, mysterious side of Brunate comes through in a dense, muscular Barolo built on structure and acidity. Traditionally leaning palates will adore the 2013 Brunate. A host of balsamic-inflected notes lead into the firm, unyielding finish, adding to the wine’s gravitas and seriousness. This is an especially somber, powerful wine, even by Brunate standards.”

Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Cannubi (Cannubbio), Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2012 Barolo Cannubi is unusually deep and powerful, both of which bode very well for the future, but make the wine forbidding in the early going. Not that readers should be too concerned with drinking these wines young in the first place though. Firm tannins enshroud a core of expressive fruit in a Barolo that is going to need time to fully emerge. Even so, the Cannubi is super-impressive today.”

Paolo Scavino

“This is a very pretty set of wines from Enrico Scavino and his daughters, Enrica and Elisa. The Scavinos have decided to show their young Barolos later than in prior years, hence their inclusion in this article. The 2013s are translucent, mid-weight Barolos full of character. I found that the 2013s needed a lot of air to start to be expressive. Stylistically, the 2013s are quite different from the dense, overt Barolos of the 1990s and the 2000s that brought the Scavinos so much acclaim. It’s hard to know if the 2013s are more reflective of the specific attributes of the year, or if they are indicative of a more important stylistic shift. Either way, the wines are markedly different in style from those of the past.” -Antonio Galloni

Paolo Scavino Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 89 points “Scavino’s 2013 Barolo is a fresh, inviting wine that captures the mid-weight style of the year nicely. Sweet red cherry, anise, mint, blood orange and exotic spice notes are laced into the super-appealing finish. This is a delicious, entry-level offering from Scavino and one of the better editions of this wine I can recall tasting. The straight Barolo is a blend of fruit from a number of sites, including Mariondino, Manescotto, Vignane, Terlo, Albarella, San Bernardo and Pernanno.”

Paolo Scavino Monvigliero, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “One of the highlights in this range, the 2013 Barolo Monvigliero is creamy, sweet and also unusually supple for a young Barolo. Hints of rose petal, dried herb, cedar and sweet pipe tobacco gradually open up in a wine that is more giving on the palate than it is in its aromatics. The 2013 needs time for the classic Monvigliero perfume to emerge fully. There is more than enough precision, energy and tension to make me think that will come in time.”


Dr. Crusius

Arriving in December

Although the family’s history in the region dates back to the mid-1500s, the family didn’t start a winery until the mid-1950s – quite the delay! Dr. Peter Crusius’ father converted the family’s land into a winery, planting mostly Riesling, but also included some Burgundian Chardonnay & Pinot Noir vines. When Peter took over, he expanded the vineyard holdings.

Dr. Crusius Traiser Rotenfels Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2016 750ML ($29.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Winery notes: “The Traiser Rotenfels with its steep southern slopes on the shoulder of the magnificent Rotenfels massif is the heart of our impressive vineyard location. For over 200 years, these parcels have been producing top wines from dry to noble sweet, which convey the feeling of biting into the Riesling grape with every sip. Low alcohol, lightness, fine aromas and delicate structure – these attributes make our Traiser Rotenfels Riesling Kabinett. This makes it versatile and an elegant companion for a relaxing evening.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Dr. Crusius Traiser Bastei Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Dr. Crusius Traiser Rotenfels Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2016 750ML ($44.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Dr. Crusius Traiser Bastei Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Dr. Crusius Schlossbockelheimer Kupfergrube Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special

These are all the only listings in the USA today!

Dr. Crusius Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points “This offers an aromatic and smoky nose with plenty of fruity notes including quince, apricot blossom, apple, and a touch of banana, as well as mint and anise. The wine is beautifully balanced on the palate where it delivers presence and intensity as well as finesse and delicacy. The after-taste is full of smoke, delicately salty tartness and ginger. This is an outstanding slightly spicy dry Riesling in the making. 2021-2031”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Dr. Crusius Muhlberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points “This delivers a ripe and fruit-driven nose of quince, pear, peach, gooseberry and dried mango. With airing, notes of smoke and licorice join the party. The wine is broad and juicy on the palate, and the initial feeling of fruits and smoothness is nicely balanced out by some tickly acidity as well as quite some tartness. The finish is spicy and slightly powerful. This ostentatious expression of dry Nahe Riesling will please lovers of more forceful expressions of dry Riesling.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

In Stock Now from Dr. Crusius – VDP 2016 Auction Wine:

A Vinopolis Exclusive!
crusius felsenberg ba 15Dr. Crusius Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Beerenauslese Goldkapsel, Nahe 2015 375ML ($179.95) $159 special, 11 half-bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 98 points “Harvested at a full-on 153° Oechsle (i.e. sugar levels technically qualifying for TBA), this auction BA starts off on the primary and discreet side at first before rapidly exhibiting huge finesse, complexity and depth with honeyed notes of apricot, pineapple, mango, vanilla cream and other exotic fruits. The botrytis gives the wine a great exotic, luscious and unctuous texture with plenty of juice, creamy viscosity and smoothness on the palate. The wine is, of course, still very sweet at this stage (it has no less than 229 g/l of residual sugar), but the interplay with some gorgeously playful acidity makes for a superbly clean and focused feel in the long finish. The only drawback of this little masterpiece of a BA is that it is still a good decade away from maturity. Patience is required! 2030-2085.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Thank you for reading!