|In This Newsletter:Arriving TomorrowIntroducing “4 Monos Viticultores”New ArrivalsDelamotte, Pol Roger, Marietta, Anne Sophie Dubois, Montille, Antinori, PoggionePre-Arrival
#3 Wine Spectator Wine of The Year
Special Collector’s Arrival
Staff Pick Winery
The Willamette’s Best Bubbles Are Back!
Where Eagles Dare
Introducing “4 Monos Viticultores”
Have you ever gone on vacation to a wonderful, beautiful place and then spent a good chunk of your precious time there thinking up ways to stay there permanently? Well, the friends behind the fabulous Spanish winery “4 Monos Viticultores” (pictured above) managed to do just that on a hiking trip through The Sierra de Gredos mountain range west of Madrid. Equal parts Mediterranean and Alpine, the Sierra de Gredos spans three viticultural regions (Méntrida, Vinos de Madrid, and Castilla y León) but represents a terroir all their own. For this reason, the area has become a hotspot of new activity despite not having a legal appellation of its own. The growing reputation of Gredos to produce tense and evocative burgundy-like Garnacha and Albillo Real wines are part of what attracted the owners of 4 Monos to the region. They employ a minimalist winemaking approach to ensure that the terroir they fell in love can speak for itself. Their bottlings are pulled from villages that belong to the Sierra de Gredos and their “GR10” wines (presented below) are a blend of wines pulled from multiple villages across different appellations within the region. It may be a complicated affair, but the best things in life often are. Like a speak-easy or private dining club, these wines feel like a well-kept secret. It is our pleasure to share them with you. 4 Monos Viticultores ‘GR10’ Vino Blanco de la Sierra de Gredos, Spain 2021 750ml $26.50 pre-arrival specialWine Advocate 91+ Points
“The regional white 2021 GR-10 Blanco was produced with 60% Albillo Real and 15% Viura, with the remaining 25% composed of a mixture of varieties including Moscatel and Chelva Rosa from different vineyards in Cadalso de los Vidrios and San Martín de Valdeiglesias. It’s a little lighter than the wines produced with pure Albillo, with 13.5% alcohol. It’s a refreshing white with good balance and acidity. This fermented in a mixture of barrels and stainless steel and matured in used barrels for six months. The varietal mix changes here quite a lot, and so does the character of the wine. This feels fresher (it does have less alcohol), but the effect of the skin contact is also more noticeable; it’s a little cloudier and feels a bit wilder, and the chalky sensation is also stronger (it did have more skin contact than the 2020). It also comes through as a little funkier (but I like it!). 2,997 bottles were filled in August 2022.” 4 Monos Viticultores ‘GR10’ Vino Tinto de la Sierra de Gredos, Spain 2020 750ml $24.50 pre-arrival specialWine Advocate 92 Points
“The 2020 GR-10 Tinto was produced with 92% Garnacha and 8% Cariñena from different vineyards in the villages of San Martin de Valdeiglesias, Cenicientos and Cadalso de los Vidrios. It fermented with full clusters and matured for nine months in barrels of different sizes and one 4,200-liter oak vat. It has 13.5% alcohol and very good freshness, but it’s a little darker than the 2021 I tasted next to it. It also comes through as riper, as it was a slow-ripening year that allowed them to wait for rounder tannins. They did a little longer maceration, and the wine is more structured and should be long lived. 13,950 bottles produced. It was bottled in September 20221.”
These are the lowest listed prices on the West Coast today!
“One of the best buys in exquisitely crafted Champagne.” –Robert Parker
The 6th oldest Champagne house in existence! Produced in a fresh, creamy, and zesty style, this is a perfect aperitif champagne and it makes an exquisite guest at any dinner table or holiday party.
Delamotte Brut Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ml $79 special, 12 bottles availableJames Suckling 93 Points
“Croissants, toasted sourdough, white pears, acacia and lemon meringue pie. Salty almond notes on the palate. Deliciously saline and creamy, with silky bubbles and a gently toasty finish. 100% chardonnay from Mesnil, Avize and Oger. Based on 2017 vintage with 20% reservewines. Drink now. – July 19, 2023”
Delamotte Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $59 special, 34 bottles availableCase-6 Delamotte Brut NV, Champagne 750ml $349 special, 15 six-packs available[That’s $58.16 a bottle!]William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 Points
“Pillowy and charming, the latest rendition of Delamotte’s NV Brut offers up attractive aromas of orchard fruit, fresh bread and citrus oil. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and elegant, with a pretty pinpoint mousse and lively balancing acids, it’s drinking well out of the gates but will also develop gracefully for a few years in the cellar.”Wine Spectator 90 Points
“A creamy Champagne with a delicate mousse, featuring a subtle range of poached raspberry, lemon curd, oyster shell and almond paste flavors. Sleek and mouthwatering. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Drink now.”VinopolNote
“60% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir from Tours-sur-Marne, Bouzy and Ambonnay and 5% Pinot Meunier. This is a well-rounded and elegant Champagne at a great price.
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Valentin Leflaive Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil Sur Oger Grand Cru Extra Brut Millesime (2015) 750ml $99 special, 14 bottles availableWinery Notes
“The grapes used for the production of Valentin Leflaive’s Champagne Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Mesnil 15 50 stem from parcels classified as Grand Cru of Mesnil-sur-Oger. With a low dosage of 5 g/l, this 100% Chardonnay cuvée contains 12% reserve wines. Drawn in April 2016, this cuvée was disgorged in February 2020. After bottling, the champagne is aged on laths for three and a half years.The palate hamoniously expresses this wine’s minerality, a typical feature of Mesnil-sur-Oger and its terroir composed of chalk and flint.”
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Legras & Haas Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $79 special, 6 bottles availableJames Suckling 93 points “
This has beautiful balance and clarity with notes of chalk, jasmine, white grapefruit and white pears on the nose. Gentle honey notes. Medium-bodied, chalky and fresh, with tight bubbles and a long, bright and mineral finish.”Jeb Dunnuck 92 points
“This release of the NV Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut is from the 2017 base vintage and has 7.6 grams per liter dosage. Pale straw in color, it offers fresh orchard fruits with green apple, ripe peach, and white flowers, and the palate is ripe but cleans up nicely with lime blossom and delicate salinity. It has clarity and focus and is a very charming and classic Champagne. Best after 2022.” Legras & Haas Millesime Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne 2012 750ml $99 special, 6 bottles availableRoger Voss – Wine Enthusiast “
A well matured Champagne, this benefits from textured Chardonnay. The wine has great fruit along with a nutty character that gives a balanced richness. Drink now. “
Only listing in the USA today!
Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill Brut 2015 750ml $349 special, 3 bottles availableVinous 95 Points
“The 2015 Brut Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill shows off the savory side of the vintage to great effect. Hints of dried pear, sage, mint, dried flowers, lemon oil and chamomile open gradually in this mid-weight, lithe edition of Pol Roger’s tête de cuvée. The 2015 unfolds nicely with time in the glass, but I wouldn’t think of opening a bottle anytime soon. Readers will find a nervy Winston Churchill marked by notable freshness and vigor more than size. This is a fine effort in a vintage that has proven to be far trickier than most observers originally envisioned. Dosage is 7 grams per liter. Disgorged September 2022.”Wine Advocate 94+ Points
“A strong effort in a less-acclaimed vintage, Pol Roger’s newly released 2015 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill opens in the glass with aromas of confit citrus, ripe orchard fruits and dried white flowers mingled with hints of honeycomb, freshly baked bread and anise. Medium to full-bodied, vinous and concentrated, with bright acids, chalky structuring extract and a pinpoint mousse, this inherently rather rich, gastronomic Champagne is quite tightly wound out of the gates and will reward a bit of bottle age. Stylistically, it is somewhat reminiscent of a modern-day version of the 1985.”
“Willamette Wine with French Roots”
Willamette does not come more pedigreed than these wines… Caballus is a side project of Veronique Drouhin. Caballus Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ml $49 special, 24 bottles availableNot reviewed, 2014 review provided for referenceJames Suckling 95 Points
“Terrific aromas of raspberries, blackberries, stones and bark. Full-bodied, tight and chewy with linear and defined tannins that are silky and beautiful. Wonderful length and focus. A tiny-production wine from Veronique Drouhin and Isabelle Dutartre.”
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Located in the epicenter of Washington State’s premiere Wine Country, DVV calls the Walla Walla Valley home. This rolling valley, back dropped by the Blue Mountains, has historically been landscaped by golden wheat fields, green vegetable fields (the Walla Walla Sweet Onion our favorite) and fruit orchards. However, this oasis has quickly become home to world class vineyards and wines. Dusted Valley Stained Tooth Syrah, Columbia Valley 2020 750ml $29 special, 36 bottles availableJeb Dunnuck 92 Points
“A co-fermented blend of 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier, the 2020 Syrah Stained Tooth sports a medium ruby/plum color as well as great nose of ripe black raspberry and blueberry fruit, iron, peppery herbs, and bacon fat. It’s medium to full-bodied, has lots of fruit, ripe tannins, and an outstanding finish.”James Suckling 91 Points
“Ripe and mellow plums and mulberries with chocolate and sweet spices. Citrus peel, too. Rich and juicy with medium to full body, firm tannins and bright acidity. Flavorful and satisfying. Drink now.”
Only Listing in the USA today!
Arnot-Roberts Watson Ranch Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2022 750ml $44.50 special, 24 bottles availableNot yet reviewed, 2019 review supplied for referenceJames Suckling 93 points “
A refreshing, floral and mineral nose of lilies, ocean breeze and limestone with notes of lemon leaf and grapefruit rind. Medium-bodied with very good tension and lean expression. Nuanced wet-stone minerality and sea-salt salinity with a charming note of lime. Lovely tannins at the finish. Drink now.”Wine Notes
“Arnot-Roberts Watson Ranch Chardonnay is from one of the southernmost vineyards in Napa Valley AVA. The vines were planted in 1993 and dry farmed in clay over limestone with a view of San Pablo Bay. The grapes were whole cluster pressed, fermented in stainless steel by native yeasts, and the wine was aged in neutral French oak barrels.”
Marietta Cellars Angeli Cuvee, Alexander Valley 2021 750ml $38 special, 26 bottles availableErin Brooks – Wine Advocate 96 Points
“Grapes for the 2021 Angeli Zinfandel are picked in three passes. Proprietor Scot Bilbro notes that Zinfandel’s naturally varying levels of ripeness can lead to raisiny flavors if all the grapes are picked at a higher brix. “If you bring Zinfandel in over 25 brix, that means the juice inside is at 25, but the skins have a lot more sugar, and the level will go up to 28 or more,” he explains. “So, we pick at 23, 24 and just shy of 25. You can enable the wine to show off layers with those different picks.” This strategy led to a gorgeous Angeli in 2021 that is incredibly expressive and perfumed. Blueberry, boysenberry and blackberry give way to wafts of graphite, gobs of violet and even touches of tangerine. The medium to full-bodied palate explodes with concentrated fruit and expansive layers of floral perfume and spice. It has a powdery frame, bursts of mouthwatering acidity and a very long, nuanced finish.”
Only Listing in the USA today!
Marietta Cellars ‘Christo’, California 2021 750ml $21.90 special, 36+ bottles availableWine Advocate 93 Points
“The 2021 Christo is a blend of 68% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 8% Petite Sirah and 4% Viognier. The nose features fresh blackcurrant and blueberry aromas with tones of cast iron, violet, sagebrush and conifer. The full-bodied palate is chalky and refreshing with restrained, mineral-driven fruit and a long, perfumed finish. Give it 2-3 years in bottle or a couple hours in a decanter.”
Lowest Listed price on the West Coast
Marietta Cellars OVR Old Vine Rose, California 2022 750ml $14.50 special, 36+ bottles availableWine Advocate 92 Points
“A blend of 50% Syrah, 25% Grenache Noir and 25% Grenache Gris, the 2022 Old Vine Rosé has a medium cherry-pink color and pretty scents of peach, dried herbs and charcuterie. The light-bodied palate is bright and refreshing with a deep core of fruit, a touch of anchoring texture and a long, spicy finish. It drinks well on its own, although it will pair widely at the table.”
Lowest Listed price in the United States
This is the shop’s absolute favorite Beaujolais producer. Hard stop. Everything about the vineyard and the winemaking for Dubois is painstakingly artisan. The vineyards (about 20 hectares) are farmed organically, with biodiversity encouraged between the rows for topsoil health and composting employed. Dubois harvests by hand and works with gravity in the winery, making wines that balance the Jayer method—an approach that advocates destemming—with whole cluster incorporation depending on the vintage. Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Les Cocottes 2022 750ml $28 special, 36+ bottles availableImporter Note
“Starting with the 2015 vintage, Anne-Sophie has decided to release a different side of her Fleurie. Up until then, all of her Fleuries were 100% destemmed and fermented in a Burgundian-style. In stark contrast to her usual style, she is making Les Cocottes with 100% whole cluster and using carbonic maceration. It is released the spring after the vintage and is intended to be fruit driven and drunk early & often.”Anne-Sophie Dubois Sans Detour VDF 2022 750ml $28 special, 24 bottles availableVinopolnote
“This is one for the wine geeks. Produced from Gamay and Gamaret (pronounced like “Gamma Ray”) a clone of Gamay first created in Switzerland. Expect Blackberry and Strawberry, plus mild tannins and a soft undercurrent of earthy minerality. Highly recommended.”
“Domaine de Montille”
Domaine de Montille Bourgogne Blanc, France 2020 $36 special, 12 bottles availableImporter’s Notes
“100% Chardonnay from the walled vineyard right in front of the Château inside the village of Puligny-Montrachet, this over-achieving Bourgogne Blanc is stellar year in and year out. It definitely shows the floral and mineral notes in the nose that make the village famous. Good length and buttery, citrus fruit make this a great wine at any price, but this “little” wine from an estate with an embarrassing array of riches can stand up to the best of them.”
Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2020 750ml $159 special, 6 bottles availableJames Suckling 97 points
“Violets and lavender with dark fruit and hints of dark chocolate. Sophisticated nose. Medium-bodied with fine tannin structure that gives this finesse and beauty. It’s very long and goes on for minutes. Precision. 68% sangiovese with the rest in cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. Drinkable but better in three or four years.”Vinous 96 points “
The 2020 Tignanello is so primary, so intensely fruit-driven, that it almost tastes like a barrel sample. A burst of red Sangiovese fruit opens first, followed by hints of blood orange, cinnamon, spice, dried flowers and mocha develop later. Time in the glass brings out striking dimensions. In 2020, Tignanello is wonderfully sleek and racy, with fine tannins that lie below a core of bright, sculpted fruit. The balance here is just sublime. I can’t wait to revisit the 2020 with age. “We are gradually increasing the Cabernet Franc in Tignanello to balance the greater richness that today’s warmer seasons are giving to our Sangioveses,” Antinori CEO Renzo Cotarella told me.”Wine Advocate 95 points “
Newly on the market now, the 2020 Tignanello shows a gorgeous bouquet with an upfront and accessible personality. Right off the bat, you get dark cherry, dried raspberry, spice, toasted almond and citrusy blood orange. The blend is normally 75% to 80% Sangiovese with 7% Cabernet Franc. The grape in between, making up 13% to 18%, is Cabernet Sauvignon. This vintage is very pretty and won’t require a long wait. The tannins are sweet and silky. “Tignanello proves itself as a great vineyard site in both the challenging and the classic years,” says Managing Director Renzo Cotarella.”Wine Spectator 94 points
“A concentrated red, with black cherry, blackberry, iron, tobacco and vanilla flavors framed by sweet spices and toast accents. Ends with mouthcoating tannins, yet is pretty well-balanced overall. Alluring and classy. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.” Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2016 750ml $69 special, 36+ bottles availableAntonio Galloni 97 Points
“I’m not sure how Il Poggione manages to remain one of the largest producers of Brunello maintaining such a high level of quality and turning out some of the best wines of the vintage year after year – but they do. The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is yet another stunning example. Depths of mineral-encased black cherries sage allspice licorice tobacco and crushed violets lift up from the glass. It’s seamlessly silky even as the palate is peppered with tart red and black berries nervous acids and savory exotic spices. This shows the density and weight of the vintage in a youthfully monolithic stance yet with all the necessary components to maintain perfect balance. The 2016 Il Poggione seems to fold in upon itself through the finish which is dark mysterious and structured with only hints of black tea and licorice to tempt the imagination. It’s a classic in the making. (Drink between 2026-2040)” Paolo Bea Arboreus Bianco Umbria IGT, Italy 2016 750ml $64.50 special, 7 bottles availableVinous 95 Points
“The 2016 Bianco Arboreus has gained volume and depth since I lasted tasted it, wafting up unexpectedly rich and tropical in the glass, with a burst of exotic florals, ginger and spices giving way to freshly sliced nectarine. It’s round and supple on the palate, with a flourish of saline minerality, lime-tinged pit fruits and hints of sour kiwi that cascade throughout. This tapers off with a honeyed inner sweetness contrasted by a salty twang, lasting incredibly long yet still remarkably fresh. The 2016 is flat-out gorgeous.”
Arriving February 2024
#3 Wine Spectator Best of 2023:
“Château Lynch Bages Paulliac 2020”
“The 2020 vintage proves once again that the estate punches well above its fifth-growth classification.” -James Molesworth
Wine Spectator “Gorgeous from the start, with cassis and violet notes leading off, followed by additional waves of black cherry and blackberry fruit as well as sweet tobacco and iron. Shows subtle savory and cedar hints that stay in the background, as the iron note pierces through the fruit on the finish. Almost approachable for the fruit, but wait if you can. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2026 through 2040.”
Even more Accolades:
Chateau Lynch Bages Paulliac 2020 750ml $179 pre-arrival specialJames Suckling 99 Points
“A beautifully layered red with blackcurrant, hazelnut and lead-pencil character and fine, velvety tannins. Full-bodied and reserved. It’s like a tightly knit ball of polished tannins that are cashmere in texture. So very long and impressive. Give this time. A terrific Lynch. Better after 2027.”Decanter 98 Points
“One of my favourite wines of the vintage, this is a wonderful example of high definition winemaking but still offering plenty of Pauillac swagger. Smells dark and slightly savoury, full of black fruit and toasted aromas. Bright and lively on the palate with clarity and precision to the berry fruit, shining and clear with juicy, mouthwatering acidity – so much energy in the glass.
Staff Pick Winery
The Willamette’s Best Bubbles Are Back!
“Sivilli Wine Co.”
Cameron Winery fans alert!! The most exciting Oregon sparkling wine we tasted last year is back with a vengeance. The first release from Cameron Winery’s assistant winemaker (and, if you ask John Paul, the guy who actually makes the Cameron wines), Tom Sivilli. We’ve known it’s been in the works for a few years now – the wine spent four years on the lees resulting in a great mouthfeel and those tiny, refined bubbles we love. These are dry-farmed, vintage dated, sparkling wines from the Grand Cru of Dundee Hills.Be warned: they’re limited, supremely underpriced, and you will have to fight the staff over them. Sivilli Wine Co. Abbey Ridge Vineyard Blanc De Blanc 2019 750ml $41.90 special, 24 bottles availableWinery Note
“Made with 100% Chardonnay from the Roadblock portion of Abbey Ridge. Primary ferment was conducted in neutral French oak barriques with cultured yeast. Malolactic fermentation was completed naturally” Sivilli Wine Co Abbey Ridge Vinyard Blanc De Noir 2019 750ml $41.90 special, 24 bottles availableWinery Note “
This was a single barrel comprised of roughly equal parts Pinot meunier and Coury clone Pinot noir from Abbey Ridge. Primary fermentation was completed in neutral French oak barriques with cultured yeast. Malolactic fermentation was completed naturally.”
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The Eagle has landed! The original Napa cult winery, Screaming Eagle’s quality was already a poorly kept secret among oenophiles before a perfect 100 point review by Robert Parker launched its reputation into the stratosphere. Screaming Eagle ‘The Flight’, Napa Valley 2020 750ml $1079 special, 3 bottles availableCase-3 Screaming Eagle ‘The Flight’, Napa Valley 2020 750ml $2,999 special, 1 3-pack available [that’s $999.67/bottle]James Suckling 98 Points
“Aromas of blackberries, red and black currants. Green olives, too. Dark roses and perfume. Medium-bodied with super crunchy energy and brightness. Very fine tannins. Elegant and precise. So subtle and complex, it’s really something. A blend of 64% merlot and 36% cabernet sauvignon. Needs four to five years to open and come together.”
Lowest Case Price in the USA!
Screaming Eagle ‘The Flight’, Napa Valley 2019 750ml $999 special, 4 bottles availableJames Suckling 99 Points
“Extremely floral and aromatic with violets and lavender throughout. Black olives, too. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, very fine-grained tannins that run the length of the wine. Goes on for minutes. A greenish undertone comes out at the end with some spearmint, green tea and green olive. About two-thirds merlot. Best after 2028, but already stunning.”Antonio Galloni 97 Points
“The 2019 The Flight, the estate’s Merlot-based wine, is dark, powerful and brooding in demeanor, almost shockingly so. The natural concentration of a year with low yields and small berries is very much in evidence. A rush of black cherry, plum, graphite, lavender and blue/purplish fruit builds as this virile, explosive wine shows off its arresting beauty. In a word: impressive.”
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