Monday Newsletter 2-18-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Featured New Arrivals:
St. Damien’s Souteyraudes &
Carl Loewen

New Week – New Arrivals

Staff Pick

Trending Wines

Trending Wines of the Weekend

Arriving This Month:
Felsina Rancia 2016
Clos Saint-Jean’s 2016s
Daniel-Etienne Defaix
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte

February Sale Recap

Featured New Arrival

St. Damien’s Souteyraudes

“[Saint Damien is] a small, family domaine with the magnificently mustachioed Joël Saurel at the helm, although son Romain is increasingly confident in the winery. This is a reference point for traditional Gigondas, but the family also owns a small portion of Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu. We finished up with a handful of older wines, which I noted for readers who may have cellared them.” –Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate

Gigondas has become the shooting star of the Southern Rhone—occupying the space that Chateauneuf du-Pape did during the 90’s and early 00’s.  This is a region that’s producing electric, thrilling wines at prices that despite recent increases are some of the best deals in the world of the highest quality wines.  Saint Damien has emerged as one of the best producers and the recent scores from the Wine Advocate only highlight the quality emerging from their cellar. These are some of the top wines coming out of the Rhone and at prices that make other top producers blush.

The long awaited “Les Souteyrades” has finally arrived in all of its 97 point glory.  The biggest, richest and most powerful of all of the wines that St. Damien makes and consequently the is the most sought after.  It’s here (for now) and anyone who loves massive, dense Southern Rhone wines ought to have some in their cellar.

Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas ‘Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes’, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $36 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points
“The 2016 Gigondas Les Souteyrades checks in as 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre that was brought up all in foudre. It’s another powerful, concentrated, awesome wine that has slightly more exotic notes of black raspberries, crushed flowers, spice, and sappy garrigue. I almost always find a citrus note in this cuvée, which is full-bodied, opulent and mouthfilling on the palate, yet always stays graceful and lively.”

Also in Stock from St. Damien:

Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($37.95) $33 special
Case-12 Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($419.95) $349 special (that’s only $29.08/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“Similarly colored, the 2016 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes (80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre) offers a killer bouquet of blackcurrants, sappy garrigue, exotic spices, and leafy herbs. It’s full-bodied, ultra-pure, seamless and silky, with no hard edges and beautiful balance. Checking in as a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre brought up in older foudre, don’t miss this beauty!”

Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas La Louisiane Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $36 special
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“Deeply colored, the 2016 Gigondas La Louisiane comes from single vineyard on the lower plain, not far from the estate, and is 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, and the balance Syrah and Cinsault. It offers a classic bouquet of dark berry fruits, peppery herbs, garrigue, and obvious minerality. Reminding me of the 2010 with its pure, straight style, it’s full-bodied and elegant on the palate, and is going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age.”

New Arrival Special Feature:

Carl Loewen

Carl Loewen took over the historic Schmitt-Wagner estate and has elevated it to new heights, returning a slew of historic vineyards back to the esteem they were held to in the 1800’s.  His wines are textural, rich and complex and often from old, ungrafted parcels within vineyards.  2017 continues the estate’s rise and plays into their strengths, as the savoriness and minerality of the year ally perfectly with Loewen’s aims.Newly Arrived

Weingut Carl Loewen Klosterlay Riesling, Mosel 2017 750ML ($34.95) $26 special
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points 
“The 2017er Maximin Klosterlay (as it is referred to on the commercial label) is made from 45 year-old vines in the central part of the vineyard and was fermented down to 11 g/l of residual sugar. It offers a beautiful nose of mirabelle, greengage, green herbs and slate, all wrapped into a hint of licorice. The wine is beautifully smooth yet also comparatively assertive on the palate and leaves a beautiful feel in the long and deliciously tart finish. This is a very good wine full of intense flavors in the making. 2020-2027.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $29.99

Weingut Carl Loewen Alte Reben Riesling Trocken, Mosel 2017 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Stuart Pigott – 94 points
“More floral and herbal than fruity. This needs a year or two to open up and give its best. However, it has an impressive concentration and an iron-firm core already. A long and subtle finish. Better from 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Carl Loewen Herrenberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Mosel 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Stuart Pigott – 95 points
“Pump up the volume! Rich and deep with a kaleidoscope of aromas ranging from exotic fruit to berries and herbs. A very dry, dangerously refreshing finish. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Carl Loewen Thornicher Ritsch Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Mosel 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Stuart Pigott – 96 points
“Stunning flint, lemon zest and white peaches on the nose. A stunning combination of mineral power and filigree. A diamond-bright finish. Just beginning to open up, but it has decades of aging potential.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Carl Loewen Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2017 750ML ($34.95) $26 special
Stuart Pigott – 95 points
“A breathtaking Spätlese! Succulent and vibrant with a bright acidity, carrying the long and super clean finish. Better from 2020, but it shows enormous aging potential.”

New Week – New Arrivals


Domaine A. & P. De Villaine Bourgogne Cote Chalonnaise Les Clous Aime Blanc, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Winery note
“Les Clous Aimé comes from several parcels located on a south-facing slope of Bouzeron’s valley, sheltered from summer’s north wind during ripening. Our vineyard here is planted with selections of Chardonnay grapes that we have chosen for moderate yields. 2016 [was a] great success. Our Clous Aimé 2016 is powerful, dense with a soft and floral touch on the palate at the same time. A wine of pleasure, without complexity and very attractive. No need to think about it, it simply must be drunk.”Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2018
Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume, Loire 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume, Loire 2015 375ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 98 points
“Highly Recommended. Waves of creamed Jonagold apple, Cavaillon melon, mirabelle plum, mango and white peach flavors provide thrilling range, while flashes of honeysuckle and verbena add detail and focus throughout. Unctuous yet pure, sweet yet invigorating, with an inner brightness that matches the outward hedonism. Best from 2020 through 2045. 100 cases imported.”
Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Vinothek Riesling, Wachau 2002 750ML ($219.95) $179 special
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 96 points
“From the Im Weingebirge single vineyard, the 2002 Riesling Vinothek has been aged… for 16 years in a 6,000-liter oak cask. Bottled in July 2018, the brilliantly white-golden colored wine is fascinatingly clear and bright on the elegant and aromatic nose. Highly elegant and beautifully balanced on the palate, with some bitterness in the finish, this is a concentrated Riesling whose fine acidity is completely integrated. The finish is tight, intense, very complex and terribly long. The acidity is completely interwoven with the stony character, which gives the 2002 great elegance and finesse. Tasted at the Nikolaihof in Mautern/Wachau, September 2018.”
Terry Theise “[++]This as you know is a concept whereby a Smaragd wine is left in (large) cask for fifteen years or longer, without sulfur. (There’s a parallel program called “Steinriesler” made from lighter material, but I wasn’t persuaded by the current vintage.) This is the best since the ’95; solid, powerful, smoky; strong but not heavy, an old iron stove of Riesling. The roast is reposing fragrantly, and the stove still smolders….”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $199.99

Staff Pick

The Merkelbach wines remain somewhat of an open secret among lovers of German wines—everyone knows the brothers are going to retire soon and no one really makes these sorts of wines anymore (which is to say, en-bloc picked, snappy, ethereal, off-dry Riesling that’s true to its Pradikat level).  They’ve received a lot of buying attention in the last few years, but most of that focuses on their wines from the Urziger Wurzgarten—which is fair, these are the flagship wines for the Merkelbachs.That said, I’ve fallen quietly in love with their wines from the Kinheimer Rosenberg in the last few vintages.  It emphasizes the things I love about Merkelbach—namely a grace and delicacy that can be hard to find anywhere else.  With the Rosenberg wines it feels as though they’ve made Riesling that has been stripped to its frame—a hard thing to do in solar vintages like ’16/’17.  As with most of the wines the Merkelbach brothers make, they drink a Pradikat level down at the table, so their Spatlese works like Kabinett with food, a real plus for me.  I’ll never stop buying the wines from the Wurzgarten (especially for laying down) but for now the Rosenberg has stolen my heart, and could steal yours too, if you let it.In Stock Now:

Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese #1, Mosel 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points
“Harvested at a full 90° Oechsle (from a vineyard which suffered yield losses due to the outbreak of diseases in June), this offers a gorgeous nose of pear, melon, cassis, smoky slate and fine earthy spices. The wine delivers a rather ripe and smooth expression of fruity Riesling with a ripe yet tickly feel of acidity on the palate and leaves a pure and very clean feel in the intense finish (certainly by Merkelbach standards). 2026-2046”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $27
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese #1, Mosel 2017 750ML ($34.95) $26 special
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points
“The 2017er Kinheimer Rosenberg Spätlese AP 1 was harvested at 89° Oechsle. It offers a lovely and attractive bouquet made of ripe fruits including pear, peach, and a hint of pineapple, all wrapped into smoke and herbs. The wine is delightfully refined on the palate with juicy fruits but also nicely racy acidity. The finish is quite direct, comparatively light, and superbly fruity. While already showing well at this early stage, this fully fruity Spätlese will only really deliver in a couple of years. 2025-2037.”
Terry Theise note “Now this is a Merkelbach wine! Explosively fresh and spicy; here the botrytis is positive; the wine is energetic and flourishing, recalling the ‘15s. You can’t help but love it. It’s sweeter than they usually bottle but acidity carries it.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese #2, Mosel 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 90 points
“Picked a day after the A.P. #1 but in a sector slightly lower in must weight and higher in acidity, this evokes ripe pear and quince tinged with caramel. The feel is soothingly soft but preserves luscious fresh fruit juiciness, and the lingering finish introduces cooling notes of mint and tarragon as well as piquant pear seed counterpoint, its residual sugar more effectively (and more typically for a Merkelbach Spätlese) integrated than in that corresponding A.P. #1. This was picked with a bit of botrytis, and at yields cut by peronospora to an even greater degree than the parcel that informed A.P. #1.”
Terry Theise note “This is cooler, even slatier, finer now—this is classy Riesling and not just “for Kinheim.” The purest apple! Swollen slate is almost smoky on the finish.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese #2, Mosel 2017 750ML ($34.95) $26 special
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points
“The 2017er Kinheimer Rosenberg Spätlese AP 2 was harvested at 88° Oechsle. It exhibits beautifully complex and refined aromatics blending floral elements with vineyard peach, grapefruit and spices. The wine is slightly reductive at first on the palate as it displays quite some racy acidity wrapped into a straight and pure structure. Notes of grapefruit, orange zest and spices emerge in the finish and lead to a slightly herbal and freshly tart feel in the after-taste. This is packed with quite some elements and only needs a couple of years to fully shine. 2025-2037.”
Terry Theise note “Same exact parcel, one harvest day apart. This one’s drier and the acid-phenolics are more grippy; a curious departure from their usual type, denser, more inscrutable. A case could be made for combining the fuders…but I didn’t make it. I’m into small-batch.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $31

Trending Wines of the Weekend

So trendy – it sold out in four hours! Re-arriving Friday, February 22nd
Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($49.95) $36 re-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92+ points
“The 2016 Il Frappato is another surprise hit from a vintage that was not easy generally speaking. This wine is chiseled and focused, showing a pretty mineral note that is carried forth from start to finish. The wine is delicate and finessed with small berry nuances, dried blackberry, cherry and pencil shaving. This is an elegant and graceful red wine from Sicily.”Trending Wines In Stock Now:Exceptionally well made Russian River Chardonnay for the price.
The Calling Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2017 750ML ($29.95) $19 special
Case-12 The Calling Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2017 750ML ($319.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Winery Note
 “Fruit for this vintage was sourced from several locations within Dutton Ranch’s Russian River Valley vineyards. Plots in the warmer end of the valley contributed ripe tropical elements, while those from cooler areas lent minerality and a structural backbone.  Inviting notes of honeysuckle, white rose, lemon meringue and baked brioche on the nose. Balanced yet with crisp acidity on the palate with flavors of ripe Asian pear, melon and Meyer lemon with a lingering, elegant finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $24.92
The average price is $28
Vinsobres is an unusual region in the Rhone and produces this stunning wine.
Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Hauts de Julien, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-6 Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Hauts de Julien, Rhone 2015 ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points
“The 2015 Vinsobres Les Hauts De Julien comes from the Vinsobres region, which is a cooler terroir located in the northern part of the southern Rhône. Based largely on very old vine Syrah blended with Grenache, it offers a vibrant purple color as well as a sensational bouquet of blueberries, cracked pepper, violets, lavender, and exotic spices. Incredibly textured, full-bodied, deep, and opulent, with awesome purity of fruit, it’s another sensational vintage for this cuvée that would pass undetected in a blind lineup of top Cornas. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $43
An under $20 champion, year in and out.
Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Petalos’, Bierzo 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Petalos’, Bierzo 2015 750ML ($249.95) $189 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points
“The entry level 2015 Pétalos del Bierzo, their regional wine, in the new official category that will start working in the appellation from the 2017 vintage, a blend of many different vineyards planted with field blends, where the breakdown might come to some 5% white varieties (Valenciana/Doña Blanca, Godello and Palomino/Jerez) and around 1% other reds (Pan y Carne, Negrada and Gran Negro), all from vines ranging between 40 and 90 years of age on slopes (half of the grapes around the village of Corullón and the remainder in the rest of Bierzo). It’s a showy, approachable, aromatic and open version of Pétalos, and as I tasted it later on in the season, it felt more polished and round, with a lush texture. It’s extremely aromatic, in a way similar to the 2012. This is always one of the best values not only of Bierzo but for the whole of Spain. 310,000 bottles and 2,000 magnums produced.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $21
One of the best Burgundy values in a while. 2015 delivers again.
Domaine Collotte Marsannay Les Boivins 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Wine Spectator 90 points
“The core flavors of black cherry and blackberry are wrapped in oak, lending vanilla and sweet spice details along with a layer of tannins. Just needs a little more time. Best from 2020 through 2028. 110 cases imported.”
Importer Note “The Marsannay Boivins is lieu-dit in Marsannay Villages, on vines over 40 years and varying limestone soil. Aged in oak, 25% new, to round the tannins.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Creamy, rich and completely under the radar for the quality.
Thierry Triolet Cuvee Grande Reserve Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) $36 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points
“Pale gold. Intense citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by notes of honeysuckle, tarragon and iodine. Chewy tangerine and pear skin flavors become silkier and spicier with aeration. Shows a seductive floral quality on the clinging finish, which features a dusty mineral nuance and a touch of buttered toast.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The most approachable of the 2017 Lauer wines, this is breathtaking.
Peter Lauer ‘Kern’ Ayler Kupp Fass 9 Riesling, Mosel 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Stuart Pigott 94 points
“Tropical and creamy, but it also shows a very firm core — Kern means core in German. This is another stunningly original wine from Peter Lauer. A lot of power at the finish. Drink or hold.”
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “The 2017er Kern Fass 9 comes from old vines in a prime south-west-facing part of the original Ayler Kupp hill situated well into the side valley and was fermented down to almost fruity levels (40 g/l of residual sugar). It offers a delicately vibrant nose of candied grapefruit, cassis, lemon zest, ginger and fine herbs. The wine is beautifully focused and just fruity-styled on the palate and leaves a vibrant feel of zesty acidity and bitter lemon in the long and delicately tart finish. This is a beautiful expression of fully off-dry tasting Riesling in the making! 2022-2032.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $43.99

Felsina Rancia 2016New Release from the Hottest Chianti Estate in VinopolHistory!

Arriving This Month

How do you best a string of profoundly pointed vintages? 

2010: 95+ AG, 95 WA
2011: 94+ AG, 94 WA
2012: 94+ AG, 93 WA
2013: 96+ AG, 95 WA
2015: 95JS, 94-97 AG, 94 WA

By releasing the 2016!

“Of [2015 and 2016], I’d put my money on 2016 in terms of long-term cellaring.” –Monica Larner, Wine Advocate

Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2016 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Winery note
“Ruby red appearance with rich, intense tones. Spicy nose with floral notes and hints of wild berry (red and black), accompanied by mineral impressions and light toasted notes. Spice re-appears on the palate, which displays firm but supple tannins, and the finale is vigorous and taut. Overall, the wine is compelling for its flavour-rich mid-palate and supporting acidity. The Rancia vineyard takes its name from the historic Rancia farmhouse, once a Benedictine monastery. Located in Castelnuovo Berardenga at elevations ranging between 400 and 420 metres it has a fine southwest-facing exposure. The more recent plantings utilize genetic material from massal selections gathered from the old Rancia vineyard. The soil is composed of limestone-derived alberese classic to the Castelnuovo Berardenga area and of galestro marl in some areas. First vintage was 1983.”

Clos Saint-Jean’s 2016sArriving in February

“Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s monumental 2015 vintage was a tough act to follow, but 2016 was up to the challenge. In fact, in many cases the wines from this uniformly outstanding warm year actually outclass – or at least outmuscle – their older siblings.” –Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media

A perfect intro to Clos St. Jean’s style.
Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 points
“Leading off the 2016s, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is noticeably darker than any of the 2015s and offers terrific blackcurrants, blackberries, smoked meats and roasted garrigue aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied, ripe and undeniably sexy, with gorgeous purity of fruit.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 92 points “The lush, fruit-forward 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is a good introduction to the domaine’s Grenache-dominated style, boasting copious amounts of cherry and apricot fruit. It’s full-bodied and velvety in texture, with attractive hints of licorice emerging on the long finish. With its slightly more prominent acidity, it should drink well for longer than the 2015 or 2017 versions.”

Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous, Rhone 2016 750ML ($149.95) $109 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 97-99 points
 “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Combe des Fous is the classic blend of mostly Grenache mixed with a small amount of Syrah and Vaccarèse. It’s a huge, unctuous effort that packs an incredible amount of blackcurrants, garrigue, pepper and dried flowers into its balanced, elegant, layered personality. It picks up a charcuterie meatiness with time in the glass, as well as the telltale melted licorice characteristic of perfectly ripe Grenache. Count me as a fan and this heavenly juice shouldn’t be missed by any Rhône lover.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “From a single exposed hilltop parcel, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape La Combe des Fous is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% each Cinsault and Vaccarèse. As the Syrah was aged in wood, there’s a hint of campfire smoke here, plus layers of rich, voluptuous plummy fruit. Full-bodied and velvety in texture, this is more concentrated than even the Vieilles Vignes bottling, but it’s not that much better in terms of overall quality or longevity.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “A dark and winey style, featuring intense raspberry and black currant preserve flavors coiled up with singed cedar, dried anise and rooibos tea notes. A lightly dusty, lavender-infused structure runs through the finish. Best from 2020 through 2036.”

Love Chateauneuf-du-Pape? Here’s some in-stock top picks from the 2016 vintage:
A standard-bearer delivers the goods.
Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($149.95) $128 special
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 97+ points
“The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is full-bodied but balanced, with plenty of richness and concentration but also a certain paradoxical lightness. It offers complex garrigue and anise notes, a blend of cherry and raspberry fruit, a silky texture and a long finish that shows no sign of the wine’s 15.8% alcohol. For technocrats, the wine’s pH is 3.7, which is sufficient acidity to maintain a fine sense of balance. This lovely wine should drink well for at least two decades. Together with the 2015 and the 2017, it will be a compelling trio of wines to follow over the years.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95-97 points “Vivid ruby-red. Ripe, intensely perfumed raspberry, blackberry, cherry pit and pungent flowers on the highly expressive, mineral- and spice-tinged nose. Juicy and seamless in texture, offering palate-staining yet graceful red and blue fruit liqueur and floral pastille flavors and an exotic suggestion of candied fennel. Delivers flavor intensity without excess weight and shows no rough edges. Closes sweet, sappy and extremely long, with smooth, slow-building tannins framing lingering red fruit preserve and floral notes.”Domaine de Ferrand Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Nick 98 points
“There’s a beautiful purity of fresh, mixed berries, dark plums, deep spices, as well as a gentle, coal-smoke edge. The palate has an effortless, fleshy, fine-grained texture with long, majestic tannins and a long, black-cherry finish Such purity and depth, pulling a lot of flavor with perfectly balanced acidity. Equal parts of old and young vine parcels here. No wood. The real deal. Drink now or hold.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape offers more depth and richness than the 2015, with slightly darker fruits (blackberry, black raspberries), garrigue, smoked earth and licorice all emerging from the glass. It’s ripe, voluptuous, and beautifully textured, with sweet tannin, and is going to be a smokin’ good 2016 that’s going to have a long life. As always, this cuvée is a un-oaked blend of mostly Grenache (3% each of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Bourboulenc, with a splash of Cinsault) that comes mostly from clay soils, partially destemmed, and will be bottled with no filtration.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $58
Alain Jaume & Fils Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.59) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96+ points
“Possibly the finest vintage of this cuvée to date, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines (50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and the balance Syrah) offers a full-bodied, unctuous, yet thrillingly pure style in its black raspberry, cassis, licorice and spice aromas and flavors. It has a smoking good mid-palate, building, ripe tannin and a huge finish.”Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Girard, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Girard is blended exclusively for American importer Peter Weygandt and is bottled unfiltered. It’s about 90% Grenache and delivers a compelling mix of fragrant raspberries and savory, earthy spices. It’s full-bodied and plush, with a long, complex finish that suggests it will age well for a decade or more. It’s powerful and concentrated yet feels fresh and lively.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 points “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Girard is like the traditional cuvée, yet has more tannin. Cassis, licorice, blackberry jam and garrigue aromas give way to full-bodied, concentrated, tannic 2016 that has tons of fruit and mid-palate depth. The cellar is going to be your friend.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $46
Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Case-12 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale, Rhone 2016 750ML ($979.95) $736 special (that’s only $61.33/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Jeb Dunnuck 96-100 points
“Violets, spring flowers, cassis, plums, and incense notes all define the stunningly good 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Imperiale. Made from 100% Grenache from very old vines, it’s full-bodied and powerful, yet also graceful, balanced and pure, with terrific freshness and purity. My money is on this flirting with perfection once bottled.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 95 points “Almost entirely Grenache, from parcels planted in 1901 and 1902, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperiale is a stunner. Scents of roses, black tea and raspberries set the scene, while the palate is full-bodied but silky and nearly weightless, delivering an intricate, detailed interplay of red fruit, dried spices and orange zest. Despite what must be 15% alcohol or more, it shows absolutely no sign of heat.”
The average price is $71

Daniel-Etienne DefaixWinery-Cellared Chablis

ETA February

Daniel-Etienne Defaix releases Chablis when he believes the wines are ready. This can mean 15 years past their release. Luckily, the time has come for the truly awesome 2005s. They’re not really ex-cellar or library release, but represent the current vintage on offer (and imported by Rosenthal, so you know it’s good). These are magnificent bottlings that have just reached their peak maturity window. What could you possibly expect to pay for such an experience? At Vinopolis – under $50/bottle!

“These are textural, complex wines that evoke the white Burgundies of yesteryear, and they may confuse consumers habituated to the tart, brittle, processed wines that are often passed off as expressions of region’s “terroir.” Their potential to develop in bottle and their capacity to pair with a thrilling variety of foods, however, make them fascinating, at least to this writer. Much of the production is sold to France’s best restaurants, but what reaches the export market is well worth seeking out.” – William Kelley, Wine Advocate

Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix (Domaine du Vieux Chateau)

Arriving in February:

Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Cote de Lechet, Chablis Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2005 Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet is more complex than the Vaillon, unfurling with complex aromas of honeycomb, mandarin oil, fresh mushroom, almond paste and oyster shell. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, rich and gourmand, with a satiny attack, a deep, concentrated core and tangy balancing acids. It’s a textural, sapid Chablis that will work well at the table.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $49
Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Les Lys, Chablis Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 93 points
“Dramatic aromas of blanched almonds, beeswax, honey and preserved lemon introduce the 2005 Chablis 1er Cru Les Lys, a full-bodied, textural wine that’s rich, concentrated and structured, with a tight-knit core, tangy acids and a stony finish. Like Defaix’s other 2005s, it’s very much in its prime and will be well worth seeking out when it reaches the marketplace.”Domaine Daniel-Etienne Defaix Vaillon, Chablis Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2005 Chablis 1er Cru Vaillon is drinking beautifully, wafting from the glass with a pretty bouquet of honey, buttered citrus and confit lemon. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, satiny and bright, with a generous, textural attack, vibrant acids and a charming, open-knit profile that belies its evident capacity to age. It will be well worth seeking out when it’s released.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Montevertine Le Pergole TorteETA February

One of Chianti’s greatest wines isn’t labeled as a Chianti, despite being made in the heart of the Classico zone. Montevertine originally left the appellation because at the time, white grapes were required to call a wine Chianti and Sergio Manetti, the owner, wanted to make a wine that was 100% Sangiovese, a scandalous thing at the time. Thus Le Pergole Torte was born. It’s a special wine, one that stops a conversation every time you get a chance to taste it.  This is one of the icons of Tuscany and at this price, should be a star of your cellar, as well.Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($189.95) $166 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96-98 points
“Tasted as a barrel sample, the 2015 Le Pergole Torte is a 100% expression of Sangiovese sourced from the estate’s oldest vines (between 30 and 50 years old). Like the other wines from Montevertine, Le Pergole Torte sees both its alcoholic and malolactic fermentations in cement, and the wine later ages in new oak barrels for 12 to 18 months depending on the vintage. After that first phase in barrique, it goes into large botte to complete its integration. This gorgeous vintage opens to a deep, dark appearance with a velvety presentation of dark fruit and black cherry flavors. The wine’s textural richness is ultimately what sets this fantastic vintage apart.”
Antonio Galloni 95-98 points “The 2015 Le Pergole Torte is explosive and powerful while showing a remarkable level of precision. Pliant and beautifully resonant, it captures all the best qualities of the year. The oak still needs time to fully assimilate. Even so, the wine’s pedigree and potential are very much in evidence today. In a word: superb.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

February Sale Recap
As with all of our Sale Wines—these prices are limited to stock on hand, so once we sell out, the sale pricing is gone forever.  View the complete list below and shop our web store.

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