Monday August 25th Newsletter

August 25, 2014

Opus One, Champagne, Case Specials, and more below…

Jump Start Sale

Last Call
Ruinart Champagne

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut NV ($79.95) $51.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Pale yellow.  Complex, high-pitched aromas of orange zest, lemon pith, iodine, smoky minerals, anise and jasmine.  Sappy and tactile on the palate, offering impressive volume to its ripe citrus and orchard fruit flavors accented by smoke and minerals.  Finishes tangy and long, with lingering smokiness and an echo of anise.” 

This is the lowest listed price in the USA! 

Order now!
 Last Call Pricing ends 8/31
As of September 1st, the price will go to $59 / bottle




J. Christopher Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 ($29.95) $26 special
Winery notes:
 “The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is the flagship J. Christopher wine. The 2012 is blended from excellent vineyards in four of the Willamette Valley’s AVAs: Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, Yamhill-Carlton and Eola-Amity Hills. Made with native fermentations and up to 18 months of barrel time, this is classic Oregon Pinot Noir. Appellation: Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, Yamhill-Carlton and Eola Hills”

Brick House Vineyards ‘Cuvee du Tonnelier’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2012 ($49.95) $39 special
Winery’s notes:
 “From our oldest vines, a wine whose name means “ the Cooper’s Cuvee.” It honors the winemaker’s father whose French family long ago took the name “Tonnelier” or cooper, after the craft by which they earned their livelihood. “Dad’s wine” is a tribute to a man as soft-spoken and generous as the Pinot Noir that honors him.”

Evening Land Silver Label ‘Seven Springs Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2011 ($59.95) $39 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Vivid red.  Spicy cherry and red berry aromas are complemented by zesty minerality and a hint of potpourri.  Bitter cherry and black raspberry flavors put on weight with air, showing a silky texture and slow-building sweetness.  At once powerful and lively, with the berry and mineral notes echoing on the focused, persistent finish.” ST
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2,700 cases of Evening Land’s flagship 2011 Pinot Noir Seven Springs Vineyard–comprised of around half Pommard and half Dijon clones–is striking for its immediate display of carnal and mineral dimensions: smoked and roasted red meats, saline and alkaline sea breeze emerge already in the nose, accompanied, to be sure, by ripe dark berries. Tart-edged elderberry and blackberry inform a polished and vivaciously bright palate and correspondingly exuberant, sustained finish. There isn’t an ounce of fat or of superficial sweetness here, and an undertone of forest floor and wet stone sets a somewhat somber contrast with the refreshing juiciness of fruit acidity; but the upshot of this dark-light paradox is both intrigue and sensual appeal. Look for high performance through at least 2022.”

Penner-Ash Wine Cellars Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 ($69.95) $59 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Vivid ruby.  Aromas of ripe blackberry, cola, lavender and allspice, with subtle vanilla and mineral qualities in the background.  Fleshy and silky in texture, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors that are given lift and spine by juicy acidity.  Becomes spicier and livelier with air, finishing with resonating florality, a touch of smokiness and smooth, slow-mounting tannins.  I like the blend of richness and vivacity here.”

Penner-Ash Wine Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 ($41.95) $37 special
Stephen Tanzer 90 points 
“Brilliant ruby-red.  Intense raspberry and cherry aromas are complemented by white pepper, allspice and smoky minerals.  On the palate, juicy, sharply focused red fruit flavors stretch out and gain weight with air.  Finishes on a lively spicy note, with very good length and sneaky tannins.  Distinctly elegant for the vintage and very enjoyable now.”

Amaurice Cellars Viognier, Columbia Valley 2013 ($29.95) $26 special
Winery’s note:
 “Clear, pale lemon yellow. Citrus, honey, satsuma, and nectarine on the nose. Extended lees contact creates a slight breadiness. Faint oak. Bright acidity balanced by moderate alcohol and a rich texture. Soft fruit notes of apricots, nectarines, mandarin oranges, and honey. Refreshing ripeness gives way to blanded almonds on the expressive finish. The nose and the palate are in a lovely harmony in this well balanced wine.”

Amaurice Cellars Cummings Red Blend 2009, Columbia Valley ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Enthusiast 91 points
 “Upon opening, it’s compact and tangy, with deep fruit flavors of raspberry, red plum and pie cherry. There is a lot of life to this wine, with fresh and clean fruit flavors. It needs time to develop in the bottle. A blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 33% Merlot.” WE

Amaurice Cellars Gamache Vineyard Malbec, Columbia Valley 2009 ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Enthusiast 90 points 
“Pretty and deep, this has notes of juicy boysenberry, blueberry and cherry. The balanced acidity and racy tannins give it substance and style.”

Amaurice Cellars Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2009 ($37.95) $31.90 special
Wine Advocate 90 points
 “Starting the reds and an outstanding effort, the 2009 Syrah is 100% Syrah that’s from the Boushey, Lewis and aMaurice Estate vineyards. Spending 12 months in 10% new French oak, it has a suave, polished profile with creamy raspberry, liquid smoke, bouquet garni and big minerality to go with a medium to full-bodied, balanced and beautifully textured palate. Leaning towards the elegant side of the spectrum, yet with solid richness and a sheen of classy oak, it should flesh out nicely with another year or two in bottle and have upwards of a decade of ultimate longevity. Drink now-2019.’

Amaurice Cellars Syrah – Grenache, Columbia Valley 2008 ($37.95) $31.90 special
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
 “There’s just 15% Grenache in the blend, but the label lists it along with the dominant Syrah. The wine is tight at first, then rich aromas of plum, berry and mocha open to reveal a bright and tangy midpalate that nicely matches perfectly ripened fruit to the sweet barrel spices. Good concentration and excellent acidity complete the picture.”

Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 ($149.95) $119 special
Library release from Dunn: Robert Parker 95 points 
“Rich with surprisingly soft tannin, this dense plum/ruby/purple-colored 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits lots of briary mountain fruit, blackberries, blueberries and cassis, outstanding purity, full-bodied power and nicely integrated tannin. There is no evidence of toasty oak to be found in this beauty from Randy Dunn. Drink it now or cellar it for 15+ years. It finished at 13.8% natural alcohol.” RP

Laherte Freres Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature NV ($49.95) $39 special
Winery’s note:
 “Our Blanc de Blancs Tradition is made with our best parcels of Chardonnay (located on the south slopes of Epernay and the Côte des Blancs). This wine is very representative of the purity and the minerality of the Chardonnay. Terroirs of Chavot, Vaudancourt, Voipreux 1erc Cru and Epernay. Limestone soils and sometime with a presence of fine silts and chalk in surface. Chalky subsoils.  50% of which are reserve wines of past years kept in barrels.”

Laherte Freres Les Vignes d’Autrefois Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut 2009 ($69.95) $59 special
Winery’s note
 “100% Pinot Meunier.  The selected plots have been planted by our forefathers between 1947 and 1953. Some have been planted on franc vine stock, others are the result of old mass selections. All this contributes to give birth to this cuvée, a real tribute to our ancestors and to the grape variety Pinot Meunier.”

Jean Milan Grande Reserve 1864 Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut NV ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The NV Brut Grand Reserve 1864 is another hauntingly beautiful wine great with exquisite inner perfume and lovely softness in its fruit. Aging in oak gives the wine a little more inner sweetness and spiciness, but the oak is very well balanced. Mirabelle plums, kirsch and jasmine are some of the nuances that linger on the haunting finish. The current release is a blend of vintages 2000 and 2001. This bottle was disgorged on July 12, 2011. Dosage is 8 grams per liter. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018.”WA

Jean Milan Symphorine Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut 2008 ($89.95) $69 special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “Light gold. Ripe tangerine and melon on the nose, with exotic floral and spicecake notes expanding with air. Spicy and energetic, displaying dense orchard fruit, Meyer lemon and honeydew flavors and sneaky power. The broad, sappy finish shows excellent tenacity and leaves sweet citrus fruit and poached pear notes in its wake”ST

Jean Milan Terres de Noel Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut 2009 ($99.95) $75 special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points 
“(made from a single plot of 72-year-old vines and aged for around 40 months on its lees; disgorged June, 2013):  Light yellow-gold.  Highly perfumed lemon, orange and toasted nut scents are complicated by a suave floral quality.  Smoky and dry, offering intense lemon pith, orange and buttered toast flavors and a hint of hazelnut.  Becomes creamier with air and finishes with excellent clarity and smoky persistence.” ST

Domaine Facchin Condrieu Les Grand’ Maisons 2010 ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “My favorite of the lineup, the 2010 Condrieu Les Grand Maisons has slightly more maturity on the nose, with ripe apricots, caramelized sugar, crushed rock and hints of spice that give way to a full-bodied, supple and layered palate that carries excellent acidity, big fruit and a dry, length finish. It’s a beautiful bottle of Condrieu that will drink nicely for 2-3 years.” WA

Jean-Louis Chave Selection Hermitage Farconnet 2009 ($79.95) $66 special
Winery’s note
 “The grapes come from 3 distinctive parts of the Hermitage hill. Diognières is at the base of the hill on alluvial soil brought by the river ages ago. It is a sandy clay soil with many small pebbles. It gives spice to the wine. The next parcel is Péleat. It sits above Diognières and is composed of more sand and limestone in the clay. It gives finesse to the wine. And finally, Greffieux sits at the base of Le Meal on the hill. Its soil consists of rolled river stones brought by the glaciers. It gives the flesh in the wine. Farconnet was the name of a nobleman back in the time of Jean-Louis Chave’s great grandfather. He was actually the man from whom the great grandfather bought the Bessards parcel.”

Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge 2011 ($319.95) $249 special
Wine Advocate 96-98 points 
“The 2011 Hermitage (also still in barrel), in comparison, is more focused and straight, with a slightly more serious feel to its tannin profile and overall structure. All of the samples (again, tasted in individual components) were beautifully perfumed, with the Les Bessards (which will make up the bulk of the blend) showing surprising density and concentration in a vintage that generally produced more up-front and supple wines. A serious 2011 that will certainly be one of the stars of the vintage, it should be reasonably approachable on release and have an easy two decades of longevity.” WA

Domaine Richard Rottiers Moulin-a-Vent 2013 ($27.95) $24 special
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “The 2013 Moulin-a-Vent Tradition comes from 2.5 hectares of 50-year-old vines, undergoes semi-carbonic maceration before four months in wooden vats (30% barrel aged.) It has an engaging bouquet of dark cherries, bergamot and undergrowth that is well-defined and gains vigor in the glass. The palate is well-balanced with supple, ripe tannins. There is good weight and focus, fresh mineral-rich dark berry fruit with a crisp, structured finish. This is very fine. Drink now-2022.” WA

Le Capitaine Vouvray Methode Traditionnelle Brut NV ($19.95) $16 special

100% Chenin Blanc sparkling wine

Pascal Janvier Jasnieres Cuvee du Silex 2012 ($24.95) $21.90 special
35-40 year old vines on clay, flint and limestone soils

Domaine La Grange Tiphaine Touraine Amboise Cuvee Bel Air Sec 2011 ($17.95) $14 special

A crisp and dry Chenin Blanc

Isole e Olena Collezione De Marchi Chardonnay Toscana IGT 2012 ($49.95) $39 special
Winery’s note
 “An inviting golden colour. Rich aromas of toasted almonds with buttery notes. On the palate, there is great balance between rich, ripe fruit, creamy brioche and complex minerality. A full-bodied mouthfeel extends through to a long finish.”

Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino 2012 ($29.95) $24 special
Antonio Galloni 91 Points
 “Il Poggione’s 2012 Rosso di Montalcino bursts from the glass with sweet red cherries, raspberries, pomegranate and spices. This is a superb Rosso to drink now or cellar.”

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico DOCG 2011 ($24.95) $19.90 special
Antonio Galloni 90 points
 “Sweet raspberry, rose petal and spice notes wrap around the palate in the 2011 Chianti Classico. Soft and enveloping, the 2011 is highly typical of the vintage. In 2011 proprietor Paolo De Marchi used about 10% Syrah to give the wine a little more freshness. Savory herbs, tobacco and licorice add nuance on the finish. The 2011 is an outstanding wine. I would drink the 2011 now and give the 2010 another year in bottle.”

Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT 2005 ($79.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “The 2005 Cepparello is striking. It possesses stunning depth and a darker profile of fruit than is typical. The 2005 was quite compact when first released, but what a difference a few years in bottle make. Today the 2005 has begun to blossom into a big, dramatic wine for the year. As was the case throughout most of Chianti Classico, 2005 was shaping up to be a great year until the rains arrived just before harvest. This is a fabulous effort on its own, but especially notable for the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030.”

Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT 2009 ($79.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “The 2009 Cepparello is gorgeous. It brings together the radiance and ripeness of a warmer year with the medium-bodied structure of a cooler vintage. Today the 2009 is a bit reticent and appears headed for a period of dormancy. From time to time hints of its ultimate potential come through in attractive layers of dark red fruit. The rich, textured finish bodes well for the future. Paolo De Marchi describes 2009 as a year with a cold spring and a hot summer that also brought hail in early August. The 2009 Cepparello is clearly one of the wines of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2034.”WA

Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT 2010 ($79.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 96+ points 
“Isole e Olena’s 2010 Cepparello is magnificent. In particular, I admire the way the wine fleshes out in all directions, with seemingly endless layers of dark, mineral-infused berry, plum and pomegranate notes. A primal wine in need of significant cellaring, the 2010 is easily one of the highlights of the year. Bright, saline notes support the precise finish. Today, the 2010 is naturally quite backward and undeveloped, but it should be a gem in another 5-10 years. This is an especially dark, structured Cepparello built for the cellar. The 2010 brightens up with time in the glass, but it remains one of the darker, more brooding wines made in the estate’s history.” AG

Isole e Olena Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2003 375ML ($59.95) $49 special
Decanter Magazine 
“High-toned nose, rich in dried fruit, marmalade and salted nut aromas. Utterly delicious; intense and crammed with flavour – raisins, figs, orange peel – but relatively light on its feet with cracking freshness.”

Rottlan Torra Priorat Crianza 2010 ($24.95) $19 special
Wine Spectator 90 points
 “Aromatic, with floral, spice and smoke notes, this expressive red follows through with kirsch, vanilla and mountain herb flavors that mingle in the firm texture. Balsamic accents round out the package. Drink now through 2020.” WS

Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat, Priorat DOCa 2013 ($21.95) $17 special
Importer’s note
 “40% Garnacha, 30% Samso, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah. The grapes are destemmed and sofly crushed. Fermentation is in stainless steel, cement and large wooden vats. Remontages and punching down.”

Descendientes de J. Palacios Petalos, Bierzo 2012 ($24.95) $19 special
Wine Spectator 90 points
 “Plump yet polished, this red offers plum, espresso, mineral and fresh herb flavors, supported by gentle tannins and fresh acidity. Subtle, harmonious and graceful. Drink now through 2018.” WS

Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena 5, Ribera del Duero 2009 ($149.95) $129 special
Importer’s note
 “To lovers of Spanish wines, Vega Sicilia needs no introduction. The 100 hectares estate is by far the most prestigious wine producer in Spain, ranking with the world’s greatest names. The property is located 100 miles north of Madrid in the shallow Duero (Douro) river valley on the high remote plateau of Castilla Léon. The altitude is some 700 meters above sea level, creating a unique climate; the cold nights and hot days during the crucial ripening period in September largely contribute to the uniqueness of Vega Sicilia.  The aging process is unique with long maturation in cask and bottle. The Valbuena is released after 5 years (3 years in cask and 2 years in bottle). The wines are truly remarkable with enormous complexity, and richness. The soft velvety texture, gorgeous mature flavours of black fruit, leather and oak are absolutely unique.”

Mollydooker Enchanted Path Shiraz – Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale 2010 ($99.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “Blended of 65% Shiraz and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2010 Enchanted Path was matured for 12 months in 85% new oak (97% American and 3% French). Very deep purple-black colored, it gives notes of ripe cassis and black cherry compote over hints of smoked bacon, dark chocolate, espresso, cedar and cloves. Very full bodied, densely packed and opulent in the mouth, it has a medium level of grainy tannins, very crisp acidity and a long finish with some mintiness coming through. Drink it 2014 to 2022+.”

Mollydooker Two Left Feet Shiraz – Cabernet – Merlot, McLaren Vale 2013 ($29.95) $26 special
Winery’s note 
“Two Left Feet is the wine that is always looked forward to each year. It always exceeds expectations; it is magical how well it comes together. Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon work together brilliantly! The combination brings complexity and depth to this wine. Rich fruit and luscious flavors dance upon creamy mouth-feel and firm structure. Perfectly balanced and intense this wine is exciting and already very drinkable.”

Bodega Atamisque Malbec, Uco Valley 2011 ($27.95) $24 special
Wine Advocate 93 points 
“The 2011 Malbec is produced from low-yielding, almost centenary vines in La Consulta, in the south of the Uco Valley aged for 14 months in new French oak barrels and is a big jump from the Catalpa. It has much better integrated oak, more depth of fruit, good balance and freshness, with notes of ripe plums, violets and blueberries with a spicy touch and medium to full-bodied, ripe and long. This is a great Malbec at a great price, drinkable, but should also age well. 25,000 bottles produced. Highly recommended.” WA

Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, San Antonio Valley 2012 ($14.95) $8.80 special
Wine Advocate 88 points
 “The 2012 Medalla Real Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc is produced from grapes sourced from the Leyda Valley, west of Santiago, closer to the sea. The wine sees no oak but is aged in contact with its lees from yields of 5,000 kg/hectare. It has pungent aromas of asparagus and is fresh, fermented in inox (16-18C), on its lees for three months, no malolactic, no acidification (100,000 liters), pungent flavors, with good acidity, light to medium bodied, classical notes of gooseberries and fennel, quite refreshing, light to medium-bodied (less powerful than Casablanca). It develops some floral notes of jasmine, ending very dry. Drink now.” WA

Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo Valley 2009 ($19.95) $11.90 special
Wine Spectator 88 points 
“A medium-bodied and elegant red, with chocolate and tobacco notes to the ripe flavors of dark fruit, mocha and cola. The supple finish lingers with dried herb nuances. Drink now through 2016.”

Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Carmenere, Maipo Valley 2008 ($19.95) $11.90 special
Winemaker’s comments:
 “Deep and intense ruby red in color with a complex bouquet that combines the variety’s typical fresh black fruits and spicy notes that blend elegantly with rich oak to heighten the wine’s chocolate and vanilla characteristics. The result is a big and flavorful wine that is concentrated and persistent without sacrificing elegance or depth.”


New Arrival Case-12 Special
Domaine La Roquete

Just as in Burgundy (though to a lower degree), vineyard specificity plays a major role in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and is one of the highlights when speaking about La Roquète.  The three largest vineyards from this highly regarded Domaine are all situated at high altitudes on the Piélong plateau, just north of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.   Each of the vineyards are able to provide their own individual component to La Roquète, with a variety of soils between them ranging from sand, pebbles, soft stone, red clay and limestone.   Taking over the property in 1986, the Brunier brothers have years of experience in maintaining some of the most highly regarded vineyards in the region, including ‘La Crau’ for Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe.  They have made some incredible improvements and achieved the difficult task of creating a wine full of delicacy and finesse, in a region that is known for their robust styles, full of muscle and deep structure.  With vines averaging at 45 years old, La Roquète’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape is comprised of primarily Grenache, with smaller percentages of Syrah and Mourvèdre to add both structure and savory, herbal components.

Available Now

Case -12 Vignobles Brunier Domaine La Roquete Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010 ($499.95) $399 case price special 5 cases available
Vignobles Brunier Domaine La Roquete Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010 750ML ($59.95) $39 special 35 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points 
“Silky and briary, with lots of pepper, savory and tobacco notes coursing along, while a hint of shiso leaf separates them from the blackberry and black currant confiture flavors. Lovely, finely beaded acidity offsets the tarry grip. Great range and tension. Best from 2014 through 2028. 1,200 cases imported.” 


Oregon Wines Arriving First Week of September

Purple Hands Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2013 ($24.95) $20.90 special

WildAire Cellars Timothy Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 ($24.95) $20.90 special
WildAire Cellars Zenith Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2012 ($49.95) $40.90 special
WildAire Cellars Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2012 ($49.95) $40.90 special

Wildstock Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 ($29.95) $24 special
(Scott Paul Wines) Winery’s note
 “This wine is the perfect entry level Oregon Pinot Noir made with the same overriding philosophy of non-manipulated winemaking as the Scott Paul Pinot Noirs. We let the natural character of the Willamette Valley shine through in each bottle.”

Roco Knudsen Vineyard Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2012 ($49.95) $41.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“Brilliant ruby-red.  Black raspberry, cola, rose pastille and a hint of woodsmoke on the perfumed nose.  On the palate, gently sweet dark berry flavors are lifted and firmed by juicy acidity and a touch of allspice.  The spicy quality gains strength with air and carried through a long, seamless finish, which shows just a hint of dusty tannins.  Very approachable now, but has the depth to suggest that a few years of cellaring would be rewarded.”

Roco Marsh Estate Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir 2012 ($49.95) $41.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Vivid ruby-red.  Sexy spice-laced black raspberry and cherry-cola aromas are complemented by deeper notes of mocha and licorice.  At once lush and lively, offering broad dark berry flavors and a bracing kick of peppery spices.  Silky tannins shape the finish, which clings with excellent clarity and persistent smoke and spice notes.”

Roco Private Stash #10 Wit’s End Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir 2012 ($79.95) $66 special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “Brilliant ruby-red.  Heady, exotically perfumed aromas of black raspberry, cola, Asian spices, vanilla and pungent flowers, with a bright mineral quality adding lift.  Offers intense, palate-staining dark berry and rose pastille flavors that become spicier and weightier with air.  The mineral element returns on the subtly tannic finish, adding focus and cut to the persistent blackberry and cherry-cola flavors.”

Roco The Stalker Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 ($49.95) $41.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Vivid ruby-red.  Aromas of pungent dark berries, black tea, cola and lavender, with a spicy nuance adding lift.  Expansive blackberry and boysenberry flavors are lifted by gentle acidity and a hint of blood orange, which adds refreshing cut.  Finishes smooth, sweet and long, with lingering smokiness and soft, round tannins.”

Roco Wit’s End Vineyard Chehalem Pinot Noir 2012 ($49.95) $41.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Brilliant ruby-red.  Sexy, spice-tinged red and dark berry aromas pick up subtle smoke and floral pastille qualities with air.  Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering intense black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a jolt of allspice.  Silky tannins build on the finish, which lingers with excellent focus and length and insistent berry fruit character.”

Scott Paul La Paulee Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 ($47.95) $36 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Bright red.  Exotic, spice-laced red berry and floral pastille aromas pick up a smoky quality with air, showing a pure, nervy character and a hint of musky earth.  Sappy, incisive and focused on the palate, offering intense raspberry and cola flavors and a palate-numbing peppery kick. Gains in sweetness with air, picking up a bitter cherry note that carries through the long, gently tannic finish.”

Seven Of Hearts Special Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 ($49.95) $44 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Brilliant ruby-red.  Intense dark berry and floral pastille aromas are complicated by suggestions of cola, anise and smoky minerals.  At once fleshy and lithe, showing excellent clarity and lift to its black raspberry and cherry-cola flavors.  Brighter red fruits emerge with air and carry through a strikingly long, seamless finish, which features youthfully chewy tannins and a hint of spicecake.  Bet on this concentrated, lively pinot to reward at least another six-plus years of aging.”

St Innocent Freedom Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 ($41.95) $37 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “(28% new oak):  Limpid ruby-red.  Tightly focused cherry and black raspberry scents open up with air and are complicated by notes of cola, allspice and dried rose.  Sappy, mineral-tinged bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors show very good focus and pick up a hint of smokiness with air.  Fleshes out slowly on the persistent floral finish, which features youthfully chewy tannins.  Based on this pinot’s power and structure I’d bet on it rewarding at least a decade of patience.”

St Innocent Momtazi Vineyard Mcminnville Pinot Noir 2012 375ML ($21.95) $18 special
St Innocent Momtazi Vineyard Mcminnville Pinot Noir  2012 750ML ($37.95) $33 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Bright red.  Ripe red berries, sassafras and orange pith on the pungent nose, with a peppery quality adding lift.  Spicy and precise on the palate, offering slow-to-open bitter cherry and raspberry flavors and a hint of rhubarb.  Becomes sweeter with air and finishes with serious thrust, dusty tannins and an exotic floral pastille note that lingers with excellent tenacity.  By all means let this one sit in a decanter, or a cool, dark spot, so that it can stretch out.”


Arriving in September

Spottswoode Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Napa County – Sonoma County 2013 ($39.95) $36 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“Bright lemon-yellow color.  Vibrant nose combines pineapple, lemon, aromatic herbs, grass, anise and peppermint.  At once ripe and pliant and energetic, displaying good grip to the flavors of white peach, green melon and cassis bud.  Finishes dry and classic, with good length.  Winemaker Aron Weinkauf noted that 2013 was a challenging vintage as the sugar accumulation came before flavor development, “but luckily the temperatures cooled off toward the end.”” ST

Spottswoode Family Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena 2011 ($169.95) $149 special
James Suckling 95 points
 “A solid Spottswoode with mint, currants, berries and flowers. Sweet tobacco and rose petals. Full body with silky tannins and a long, long finish. Tangy, energetic and lively. A wine with form, tension and beauty. This is classic California. 89% cabernet sauvignon, 8% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Spottswoode’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon is beautiful, immediate and impeccable in its balance. The 2011 doesn’t have the layered, explosive personality of some of the iconic vintages, but it isn’t too far off that level. Spottswoode fans should drink the 2011 relatively early, while some of the more powerful, structured vintages age. I will not be surprised if the 2011 turns out to be one of the jewels of this vintage. The medium-bodied structure argues for early drinking, but there is more than enough energy and acidity to suggest the 2011 will age gracefully for a number of years. Incidentally, the 2011 is the first Spottswoode Cabernet under 14% in a decade. Once again, the winemaking team led by Aron Weinkauf has done a fabulous job. The 2011 is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petite Verdot.” AG

Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($69.95) $44 special
James Suckling 93 points
 “So much floral character on the nose, plus ripe fruits. Full body with velvety tannins and a fruity finish. Subtle and reserved. Better in 2016.” JS


Spain Plundered 

Dozen Deals – Arriving Mid-September  

Case-12 Bodegas Emilio Moro Finca Resalso Ribera del Duero 2012 ($249.95) $168 case price special 20 cases available
Josh Raynolds 91 points
 “Vivid purple.  Ripe boysenberry and blueberry aromas and an undercurrent of mocha on the nose, with candied licorice and vanilla qualities coming up with air.  Lush, weighty and round, showing good thrust to its dark berry liqueur and cocoa flavors.  Finishes creamy, round and long, with soft tannins and building notes of plum and dark chocolate.”

Case -12 Bodegas Emilio Moro Malleolus Ribera del Duero 2009 ($449.95) $396 case price special 3 cases available
Josh Raynolds 92 points
 “Opaque ruby.  Highly nuanced aromas of cherry compote, smoky minerals, vanilla and candied flowers.  Offers seductively sweet red and dark fruit and floral pastille flavors, with exotic floral tones and sweet oak in the background.  This powerful yet lively wine finishes with excellent thrust and supple tannins.”

Case -12 Bodegas y Vinedos Ilurce Rio Madre Rioja 2012 ($149.95) $119 case price special 12 cases available
Josh Raynolds 91 points
 “(100% graciano; aged in French oak for 11 months):  Opaque ruby.  Sexy, high-toned cherry and blackcurrant aromas are complicated by notes of Indian spices and fresh rose.  Smooth and seamless in texture, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors that become spicier with air.  The floral element repeats on the finish, which shows excellent clarity and persistence.  This wine delivers uncanny value and has the structure to age.”

Case -12 Bodega Bernabeleva Camino de Navaherreros Vinos de Madrid 2012 ($199.95) $149 case price special 17 cases available
Josh Raynolds 91 points
 “Vivid ruby-red.  Sexy, highly perfumed aromas of raspberry, potpourri and Asian spices.  Silky, penetrating red fruit and rose pastille flavors pick up a mineral nuance with air.  Clings with excellent tenacity on the vibrant finish, which features fine-grained tannins and a touch of blood orange.”

Case -12 Bodega Bernabeleva Navaherreros Vinos de Madrid Tinto 2011 ($299.95) $219 case price special 3 cases available
Josh Raynolds 92 points 
“Bright ruby-red.  Flamboyant aromas of raspberry, Asian spices, pungent herbs and white pepper.  Dense, juicy and focused, offering mineral-driven flavors of raspberry, spicecake and rose pastille.  The incisive finish features silky tannins and an echo of juicy red fruit.  This sexy wine is delicious right now.”

Case -12 Bodegas Breca Garnacha de Fuego Old Vines Calatayud 2012 ($119.95) $89 case price special 17 cases available
Josh Raynolds 89 points 
“Bright purple.  Ripe dark berries and cracked pepper on the nose.  Smooth and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering tangy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors and a hint of licorice.  Sweeter on the finish, with the cherry and licorice notes echoing.  This is an amazing value.”

Case -12 Bodegas Borsao Vina Borgia Campo de Borja 2012 ($99.95) $75 case price special 17 cases available
Josh Raynolds 88 points
 “(100% garnacha; all stainless steel):  Bright purple.  Jammy black and blue fruits on the nose and in the mouth.  Plump, juicy and tannin-free, making for very easy drinkability.  For the money, this really delivers, a point not missed by the numerous restaurants that are pouring this fruit bomb by the glass.”

Case -12 Bodegas Campo de Borja 2012 ($119.95) $79 case price special 17 cases available
Josh Raynolds 89 points
” 85% garnacha and 15% tempranillo; all stainless steel):  Vivid purple.  Expressive aromas of black raspberry, violet and white pepper.  Supple, spicy and pliant, with an appealingly sweet quality to the dark berry, spice and floral flavors.  Plenty of personality here, especially at the price.  Finishes on a refreshingly bitter note, with silky tannins and very good persistence.”

Case-12 Bodegas Borsao Garnacha Tres Picos Campo de Borja ($219.95) $179 case price special 9 cases available
Josh Raynolds 92 points 
“(half fermented in French oak and half in stainless steel):  Bright purple.  Heady aromas of blueberry, cherry compote, white pepper and woodsmoke, plus an exotic cinnamon note.  Fresh and seamless, offering vibrant blueberry and black raspberry flavors and suave floral notes.  The spicy quality lingers seductively on the tenacious finish.”

Case -4 Bodegas Borsao Vina Borgia Campo de Borja 2013 3L BAG IN BOX ($89.95) $66 case price special 17 cases available
Consists of 4 x 3l bag in box units.  The equivalent of 15 standard 750ml bottles @ 4.40 / BOTTLE


Just a reminder about our current shipping specials during this season:

We offer flat rate shipping on any size single / single shipment order
-to Oregon for $17,
-Washington & Idaho for 
-and California for 

For our friends east of the Rockies
we are offering 3 day select shipping for the same price as ground.

Thank you for shopping with us!


  More Dozen Deals – Available Here Now  

Case-12 Zorzal Garnacha Vinas Viejas 2010 ($149.95) $89 case price special 10 cases available
Stephen Tanzer 88 points
 “Bright purple.  Jammy black and blue fruits on the nose and in the mouth.  Open-knit and juicy, with good clarity and lift.  Not the last word in complexity but extremely easy to like.  Finishes with good clarity and subtle spiciness.”

Case-12 Clos Du Caillou Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz 2009 ($899.95) $599 case price special 4 cases available
Robert Parker 94 points 
“The opaque ruby/purple-colored 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz is a blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah from one of the appellation’s more obscure lieu-dits. This stunning 2009 offers copious floral notes intermixed with crushed rock, wet stone, kirsch and black currant characteristics.”RP

Case-12 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge 2009 ($519.95) $359 case price special 4 cases available
Wine Spectator 91 points
 “This is focused on its graphite and slate flavors, with crisp accents of dried raspberry and cherry in the background. Cream and cocoa powder notes linger on the refined finish, supported by medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2018.” WS

Case- 12 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge 2010 ($519.95) $349 case price special 4 cases available
Wine Spectator 90 points
 “Notes of sanguine and rosemary line the core of taut cherry preserves and red currant paste. A singed alder hint flitters through the finish, showing good persistence. Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan. Drink now through 2020.” WS

Case-6 Leoville Barton Saint Julien 2009 ($999.95) $699 half-case price special 6 half-cases available
Wine Spectator 95 points #6 Top 100 in 2012
 “This is powerful Cabernet, with gutsy weight, but also polished feel to the fresh plum, warm blackberry sauce, bittersweet ganache and roasted apple wood notes. Long and tarry through the finish, but still invigorating despite its heft. Needs some time to round fully into form. Best from 2017 through 2035. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.”WS


Opus One
Arriving in October


Opus One Napa Valley Red 2011 ($259.95) $219 special 60 bottles available
Antonio Galloni (Vinous) 92+ points
 “The 2011 Opus One may turn out to be one of the surprises of the year. A brilliant, precise wine, the 2011 impresses for its energy. Sweet floral and spiced notes lead to expressive dark red berries, mocha, anise and new leather in a brilliant Opus One. Readers will note the lower than normal presence of Cabernet Sauvignon in the 2011, which is typical for a year in which blenders play an important role. The blend is 71% Cabernet, 11% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot/8% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec. Drink: 2016-2031. (Nov 2013)”
James Suckling 92 points “This is very aromatic and pretty with plum, cherry and currant aromas, plus hints of chocolate. It’s full-bodied, with soft, silky tannins and a clean, fresh finish. This is a subtly fruity, juicy red with a pretty texture. Drink or hold. For early drinking. 71% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot, 9% petit verdot, 8% cabernet franc and 1% malbec. (5/15/14)”

Subscriber Special Ending August 31st
Buy a case of 6 bottles get free UPS Ground shipping in the USA
Buy a case of 6 bottles get $40 UPS Air shipping to Hong Kong


Staff Picks

Chateau Lynch Bages Blanc De Lynch Bages 2012 ($69.95) $59 staff pick special
“The blend is 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 27% Semillon and 13% Muscadelle.  The wine opens with bright grassy, white grapefruit and purple gooseberry notes.  On the palate, it is chalky with lime, white floral and sweet honey notes.  The light barrel aging has mellowed the acidity and added a hint of sweet vanilla on the finish.  Try it with shellfish or on its own.”



Gerard & Pierre Morin Sancerre Le Chene Marchand 2011 ($29.95) $24 staff pick special
“A classic Sancerre and an enjoyable white wine. Extremely well balanced and nuanced; what starts out tropical, with notes of honey and ripe melon, finishes with minerality and bright citrus. Not lacking in complexity the ripe body of this Sauvignon Blanc is countered by pitch perfect acidity.”


Domaine Des Nugues Fleurie 2010 ($24.95) $16 staff pick special
“This litle gem is a wonderful representation of the incredible value coming out of the Beaujolais Cru’s.  Dried cherries, lavender, clove, a slight gamey note and great granitic minerality.  Surprisingly good structure from this Fleurie, with just enough acid and depth of fruit to carry it along.  Burgers on the BBQ  will pair nicely with this wine (put a bit of a chill on it!) and really let it shine.”



Bordeaux Wines
Arriving in September

Chateau Troplong Mondot, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 ($249.95) $219 special
Robert Parker 99 points
 “It boasts an inky/purple color along with a gorgeous bouquet of mocha, chocolate, blackberry and cassis fruit, an unctuous texture, a full-bodied, viscous mouthfeel and a skyscraper-like, multilayered finish. This spectacular wine is nearly overwhelming in its richness, thickness and intensity. Once all its baby fat falls away, the terroir characteristics and additional nuances will emerge. This blockbuster, fabulous Troplong Mondot will benefit from 10-15 years of cellaring and keep for three decades or more. It is not shy either, bouncing over the palate with 15.5% natural alcohol. The 2009 Troplong Mondot will provide plenty of competition for the 2010, 2005 and 2000. It comes closest in style to the prodigious 1990 that proprietress Christine Valette produced 22 years ago. A phenomenal effort, it unquestionably justifies its relatively new Premier Grand Cru St.-Emilion status. Readers should keep in mind that the 1990, which probably has lower acidity and not the level of concentration found in the 2009, is drinking incredibly well at age 22 and reveals no signs of falling apart.”

Chateau Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol 2010 ($119.95) $99 special
Robert Parker 95 points
 “Michel and Dany Rolland’s flagship estate, Bon Pasteur, turned out an atypically powerful wine in 2010. It boasts a dense ruby/purple color, great fruit on the attack, mid-palate and finish, super freshness for its size, full-bodied power and lots of mulberry, caramel, mocha, earth and graphite characteristics. Give this beauty 5-7 years of cellaring (unusual for a Bon Pasteur) and drink it over the following 25 years.” WA

Chateau Gruaud-Larose, Saint-Julien 2010 ($119.95) $99 special
James Suckling 96 points
 “Ripe raspberries and blueberries with hints of fresh flowers. Deep nose of dark fruits. Full body, with silky tannins and a beautifully integrated tannin structure. It’s long and very refined. Better than 2009. Try in 2018.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “For anybody looking for classic Bordeaux, this is the bottle to seek. “Classic” here means a wine with a tannic structure that also relies on a black currant flavor, with acidity providing freshness but not losing any concentration or aging potential. Keep for many years.”

Chateau Malartic Lagraviere, Pessac-Leognan 2010 ($89.95) $79 special
Robert Parker 94 points
 “Lead pencil shavings, soy and barbecue smoke as well as red and black currants characterize this brilliant effort, which has an expansive, full-bodied mouthfeel yet a sublime elegance and lightness of being. Dense ruby/purple, gorgeous purity and a long, long finish of close to 50 seconds characterize another brilliant effort from this classified growth in Pessac-Leognan. It should drink nicely for 25-30 years yet is surprisingly accessible even today.” RP

Chateau Larcis Ducasse, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2010 ($149.95) $119 special
Robert Parker 98+ points 
“The wine boasts 14.6% natural alcohol and is a final blend of roughly three-fourths Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, cropped at a ridiculously low 19 hectoliters per hectare. Notes of licorice, garrigue, incense, smoked meats, espresso, creme de cassis and blackberry liqueur jump from the glass of this unbelievably intense wine. Remarkably full, with compelling freshness and precision, this is a fabulous effort in 2010. It will probably close down over the next several years, and not re-emerge for at least a decade, something that often happens with the bigger, richer, more muscular St.-Emilions from the limestone hillsides and plateaux. This is one of the superstars of the vintage and a profound wine. Drink it between 2020 and 2045” RP

Chateau Saint-Pierre, Saint-Julien 2005 ($119.95) $99 special
Robert Parker 93 points
 “Smart consumers should be checking out this estate whose wines have been superb over recent vintages. Under the same ownership as Gloria, it is a classic St.-Julien with sensational concentration and intensity, but more powerful, thick, and muscular than wines such as Ducru Beaucaillou or Beychevelle. The 2005 possesses the vintage’s structured, tannic mouthfeel as well as enormous concentration and massive extract. It exhibits plenty of earthy creme de cassis intermixed with notes of forest floor, licorice, and roasted meats. Backward with huge tannin, full body, and the potential for 3-4 decades of aging, this superb St.-Julien will get even better over the next 10-15 years. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040.” RP

Chateau Cantemerle, Haut-Medoc 2010 ($69.95) $59 special
Robert Parker 94+ points
 “The wine needs a good 7-10 years of cellaring and should keep for 30 more years, but this is the finest Cantemerle I have encountered in my professional career of tasting young vintages (dating back 34 years now). Stunningly deep ruby/purple, with a beautiful nose of spring flowers intermixed with perfumed raspberry and blueberry notes, it exhibits a sort of cool-climate character. Broad, rich and intense on the palate, the wine has plenty of tannins, but they are sweet and well-integrated. Everything is delicately entwined into this beautiful, medium to full-bodied, dense purple wine, which shows stunning character and a prodigious potential for development. This is definitely a major sleeper of the vintage and even better than I thought from barrel. With its 2010, this classified growth located in the southern end of the Medoc may well have made a modern-day version of their legendary 1949.” RP

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Last Call

Petrolo Torrione Toscana 2009 ($39.95) $25.70 last chance special
James Suckling 94 points
 “Aromas of lightly stewed fruit, with hints of fresh herbs and spices. Full bodied, with soft tannins and a fruity finish. This is balanced and long, with a caressing finish. Best ever. Mostly Sangiovese, with a hint of Merlot. Better after 2013”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA! 

Order now!
 Last Call Pricing ends 8/31
As of September 1st, the price will go to $33 / bottle