Monday Bonus Newsletter 12-13-21

In This Newsletter:

New Arrivals from Around the World!


Wine & Spirits’ 2021 Best Buy Wines by Category

IWSC’s Club Oenologique
2021 Champagnes of the Year 

New Releases from Cantina del Pino


New Arrivals from Around the World!


Mellen Meyer Brut Sparkling Willamette Valley NV 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Winery note:
60% Pinot Noir & 40% Charodonnay. Disgorged March 20, 2021. Aged 30 months on the lees. Produced from non-irrigated vines.
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Mellen Meyer Whistling Ridge Blanc de Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($69.95) $53.50 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Winery note:
100% Pinot Noir form the North Block of Whistling Ridge Vineyard, Ribbon Ridge. Aged 34 months on the lees. Disgorged November 18th, 2020. Produced from non-irrigated vines.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

St. Innocent Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($47.95) $35.50 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Vivid red. Powerful, smoke- and mineral-accented red fruit preserve, exotic spice and potpourri aromas show superb clarity and lift. Sweet and energetic on the palate, offering vibrant black raspberry, cherry liqueur, spicecake and floral pastille flavors that show outstanding definition and back-end thrust. Weighty yet elegant as well, closing extremely long and appealingly sweet, with powerful, mineral thrust and slinky, slow-building tannins that fade steadily away.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

St. Innocent Justice Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“2017, after three very warm and early harvests, brought a welcome change with cooler temperatures during the summer and a normal harvest window. All of the Pinot noir was picked in a two-week window beginning on 9/26 with continued pleasant temperatures and no rain. The wines have more aromatic and flavor nuances with balanced acidity and moderate alcohols.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Shea Vineyard Pinot noirs emphasize weight with good acidity, layered flavors, concentrated fruit, and terroir specific flavors. The Shea Pinot noirs Mark has produced consistently out-age wines from other sites. He also considers them to be the most complex and detailed wines he makes. The best wines of Burgundy are exceptionally detailed wines that age very well. If we apply that standard to Oregon, Shea is a great vineyard. Shea is actually two vineyards separated by a steep ravine. Both of the blocks used for St. Innocent are located in the East Field. Block 6 was planted in 1998 with Dijon clone 115 and a small amount of Pommard (11 rows). It lies on a long SE slope at about 600′ in elevation. The Terrace Block faces SW, is planted with the Pommard clone, and gets its name from the terraces carved into its steep slope.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Winery cellared release!
(Domaine de la Terre Rouge) Easton Rinaldi Vineyard Old Vine Zinfandel, Fiddletown 2014 750ML ($39.95) $30.90 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“#10 Top 100 in 2017. Editor’s Choice. A gorgeous aroma like roses and blackberries meets richly concentrated and ripe black-fruit flavors in this full-bodied, luxuriously textured wine. While extremely ripe and bold, the wine is also smooth and voluptuous, balanced out by silky tannins that keep the mouthfeel lively and fresh sip after sip. -Jim Gordon”

France – Champagne

The Remy heritage began as grower in Bouzy in the Montagne de Reims since 1829. Beginning in 2014, with holdings expanded into Ambonnay, Louvois, and Tauxieres, Georges Remy began diverting a selection of his vines into the production of his namesake Champagnes. Meticulously vinified and with low dosage, these bottlings are pure and bright. If you’ve enjoyed the Champagnes from Georges’ colleagues in Bouzy, (Paillard and Lahaye) you will be pleased to have added Remy to your Champagne experiences.

Georges Remy Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs, Champagne 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Georges Remy ‘Le Mont de Tauxieres’ Grand Cru Brut Nature, Champagne 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 9 bottles in stock now 
Georges Remy ‘Les Muits’ Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut Nature, Champagne 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Georges Remy ‘Les Quatre Terroirs’ Premier Cru, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 9 bottles in stock now

These are the lowest listed prices in the USA today!

Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Cuvee Fleuron Premier Cru Brut 2014 750ML ($79.95) $66 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2014 Brut Blanc de Blancs Fleuron is rich and effusive in the glass. Freshly cut flowers, mint, citrus confit and white pepper soar with notable intensity as the Fleuron shows off its alluring, inviting personality. The Fleuron is one of the most elegant and refined wines I have ever tasted from Gimonnet. Cut like a diamond, the Fleuron dazzles from start to finish.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points “To be released this year, Gimonnet’s 2014 Brut Blanc de Blancs Cuvée Fleuron derives from lieux-dits in Cramant and Chouilly that produce more reserved wines, and there are no vins clairs from Oger in the blend. It’s showing brilliantly, unwinding in the glass with aromas of crisp green orchard fruit, lemon oil, freshly baked sourdough and pastry cream, followed by a medium to full-bodied, layered and textural but tensile palate, built around an incisive spine of acidity and concluding with a long, mineral finish.”

Nicolas Maillart Platine Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $38.50 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“Golden in colour with a fine, lingering bead Nose: Intense with notes of fruit and hazelnuts and a slight toastiness Palate: The initial impact is wonderfully fresh and vinous, followed by great finesse. Slow, gentle pressing using gravity-flow techniques. Vinification in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and a period in the barrel for a certain volume of reserve wines. Average two-year maturing period in the bottle. Disgorged by hand and laid down for at least three months before sale.”

France – Alsace

Schoffit Chasselas Vieilles Vignes, Alsace 2019 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 24 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 91 points 
Wine Spectator 89 points
“A lovely, lithe white, with a delicate spine of lightly mouthwatering acidity and a pretty range ripe apricot, ruby red grapefruit sorbet, pickled ginger and almond blossom, followed by a stony finish. Drink now. 100 cases imported.  –AN”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Schoffit Pinot Blanc Auxerrois Vieilles Vignes, Alsace 2019 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 24 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 91 points 
Importer note
“A well-balanced, old vines Pinot Blanc blend generally offering, depending on the vintage, around 5g/L residual sugar and 6g/L natural acidity.  Entirely hand-harvested, fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Schoffit Pinot Gris Cuvee Tradition, Alsace 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“Grown in the vineyards of Colmar, the capital of Alsatian wines, the Pinot Gris is a grape varietal with a thousand facets that gives drastically different wines depending on the conditions in which it grows and the hand of the winemaker. In this case, Schoffit made a choice to create a dry, gastronomic Pinot Gris that has as little as 3g/L residual sugar and high 8g/L acidity for the 2014 vintage. Those who prefer a more velvety touch will still enjoy this dry-styled Pinot Gris in other vintages that usually contain around 12g/L residual sugar for about 6g/L natural acidity.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Schoffit Riesling Rangen de Thann Clos Saint-Theobald, Alsace Grand Cru 2019 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 12 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 93 points 
Importer note
“Known all over Europe at least since the 12th century, the Rangen vineyard was first exploited by the monks of the church of Saint-Théobald, an important place of pilgrimage at that time.  Rangen is a mountain of volcanic schiste, ideal for Riesling.  Its stunning volcanic terroir, unique in Alsace, makes it a magical Grand Cru. But, among all of the Alsatian Grands Crus, it is also the southern most, has the highest elevation (culminating at 450m), is the steepest (up to 55 degrees), and everything contributes to heighten its powerful and mysterious aura. Incredibly hard to work, it is a very demanding terroir that has to be earned all year long. But when it receives the appropriate level of affection, it gives as a reward some of the top Riesling of the world: smoky, stony, mineral. Depending on the vintage, the final balance is usually around 7g/L residual sugar and 7g/L acidity, but its unique personality is always captivating.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Portugal – Port

Cockburn’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2015 750ML ($89.95) $49 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 92 points
“Distinctive, with mint and blueberry notes leading the way before plum, pastis and blackberry cobbler flavors fill in behind them. Rounded and open in feel, with modest grip, putting this on course to come around a little sooner than the rest of the pack. Shows a light woodsy echo on the finish. Best from 2025 through 2035. — JM”
Mark Squires-Wine Advocate 91+ points “The 2015 Vintage Port is mostly a (Douro Superior) blend of Touriga Franca 41% and Touriga Nacional 37%, with old vines, Sousão and Alicante Bouschet making up the rest. It comes in at 104 grams per liter of residual sugar. This is the Bicentenary Edition of this old house. Focused and tight—probably the tightest of the Symington 2015s—it is hard-edged and precise, but it does seem to have streaks of alcohol and baked, slightly roasted fruit. This is the one in the Symington 2015 stable that most obviously fits the old Port stereotype—massive and impenetrable when young. It easily needs the most time. Big, deep and a bit harsh and astringent just now, it is a little hard to evaluate fully. It may well improve with cellaring, but it will likely be the least attractive to drink young. It was also, to me, the least convincing for the moment, but it certainly has some upside potential. If it comes around well and integrates its parts, it should easily age gracefully for several more decades. This has been released.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $82
(No, really!!)


Don’t miss our December Burgundy sales:

Pierre Gelin

Pierre Bouree &

Francois Gay

Shop the sales on our web store!



#22 Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2021
Arterberry Maresh Old Vines Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2018 750ML ($47.95) $37 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“Pale ruby-purple, the 2018 Pinot Noir Old Vines has an alluring perfume of blueberries, violets and dark cherries with accents of earth and amaro. The medium-bodied palate offers intense, broody fruits framed by muscular tannins and bright freshness, and it finishes long and full of flavor. It’s still youthfully coiled and may improve with another year or two in bottle.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Structured yet elegantly layered, with pretty violet, raspberry and spiced tea accents that build tension and toward polished, medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2029. —T.F.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Forbes placed the estate’s Carte d’Or, as the #3 “Best Champagne You’ve Never Heard Of” for good reason.  Drappier makes big, flamboyantly rich Champagne that is always a crowd pleaser—at prices that mean you can actually pour it for crowds.
Drappier Carte d’Or Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $38 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Drappier Carte d’Or Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91 points
“Disgorged in April 2021, Drappier’s new NV Brut Carte d’Or delivers attractive aromas of golden orchard fruit, stone fruit, honeycomb and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping, it’s charming and elegantly vinous, with a flavorful core of fruit, lively acids and a chalky finish.” 
Wine Spectator 90 points “Racy acidity enlivens this crisp and lacy Champagne. Well-knit, with the delicate mix of ripe white cherry, blanched almond, yellow plum and grated ginger flavors. Drink now. 3,000 cases imported. — AN”

The 2018 Freemark Abbey Napa Chardonnay is a prime example of the new era. It’s full-bodied, rich and textural—a monument to Napa’s original glory days.
Freemark Abbey Chardonnay Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($34.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($199.95) $123 special (that’s only $20.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($299.95) $236 special (that’s only $19.67/bottle!)

Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2018 Chardonnay is a very pretty, nuanced wine that deftly balances textural richness and vibrancy. Lemon peel, orchard fruit, mint and bright floral notes are finely sculpted in this classy, wonderfully polished Chardonnay from Freemark Abbey.”

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

Vineyard sources for the Sandhi lineup include the legendary cool climate Bien Nacido, best known by the single vineyard bottlings produced by the Bien Nacido estate, Au Bon Climat, and Qupe Winery.
Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($34.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($399.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!) 
Winery note
“If you’ve ever sat at San Francisco’s iconic Zuni Café with a plate of oysters in front of you while you wait for the iconic whole roast chicken, you may have had a glass or two of this collaboration between longtime friends Rajat Parr of Sandhi and Zuni wine director Thierry Lovato.  The wine is a barrel selection from some of Sandhi’s iconic Sta. Rita Hills sites, (think Mt. Carmel, Sanford & Benedict) with enough own-rooted, 1973 Wente selection Bien Nacido Chardonnay blended in to warrant a Santa Barbara County designation.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!



Wine & Spirits’

2021 Best Buy Wines by Category

Best Rioja Wine of 2021:

Also named #1 Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator in 2020!
Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($249.95) $219 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Wine & Spirits 96 points
“The city of Logroño is surrounded by several high mesas, pieces of the original plateau that still stand above the cliffs and the Ebro River valley below. The Pago La Plana is one of them, a flat mesa at an elevation of 1,590 feet, with close to 100 acres of vines at the top of Finca Ygay. On the north side of the plateau, the soil is limestone that hits solid rock five feet below, limiting the penetration of water; the soil shifts to round river stones to the southwest, where the tempranillo and mazuelo vines, planted in 1950, have been the exclusive source for Castillo Ygay since 2001 (prior to that, the wine included other parcels on the 740-acre estate). Great vintages of this wine can thrive for more than 50 years, and this vintage appears to be pretty great. It’s grand and dynamic, a youthful ten-year-old. Initially austere, gripped by bitter plum-skin tannins and mouthwatering strawberry acidity, the wine opens with exposure to air and the fruit begins to blossom with an energy that defines what is great about Rioja.”

Best California Sparkling Buy of 2021: 

True to Roederer’s house style the Brut Excellence is mostly Chardonnay with enough Pinot Noir to contribute red fruited character. Scharffenberger’s Brut Excellence undergoes complete malolactic fermentation, contributing a fuller and creamier texture.
Scharffenberger Cellars Brut Mendocino County NV 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 special, 36+ bottles in stock now 
Case- 12 Scharffenberger Cellars Brut Excellence Mendocino County NV 750ML ($249.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!) ***In-store pick up only available for the case special 
Wine & Spirits 91 points
“This is clean and crisp with rich undertones of brioche and lemon custard. It offers a balance of the soft and the lively, a refreshing sparkling wine to kick off a dinner party. —J.G.”

Best Spanish Sparkling Buy of 2021:

Sourced from 40+ year old vines, biodynamically farmed from the creator of the appellation. It’s refreshingly pretty. And, while you could compare it to Champagne for its quality, lees character, and length, its aromatics are decidedly Spanish: leaning more towards floral and spice than Champagne.

Staff favorite!
Raventos I Blanc ‘Blanc de Blancs’ Espumoso Conca del Riu de Arnoia, Catalonia 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Wine & Spirits 94 points
“Pepe Raventós adds depth and a touch of color to this estate-grown sparkler with fruit from monastrell vines planted in 1974. That addition lays a smoky note and red-fruit hints over a base of xarel-lo, macabeo and parellada. You could contemplate the narcissus scents, the peach fuzz, the brisk clarity of flavor for hours if you had some oysters, and if you didn’t immediately race through the bottle, as its elegance is hard to resist.”


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IWSC’s Club Oenologique

2021 Champagnes of the Year

Reviewed by Essi Avellan MW
In our search for top notch publications specializing in fine wines, we stumbled across the London-base Club Oenologique, a sister publication for the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC). Launched in 2018, their mission is to explore and promote fine wines as a lifestyle magazine authored by some of the UK’s top wine professionals (and those from around the world, too!). In their latest issue, they wrote up the top Champagnes in 2021. Here are two of Essie Avellan’s, Master of Wine & Champagne expert, top picks in stock now:

Krug Grande Cuvee 169th Edition Brut, Champagne 750ML ($249.95) $199 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Essi Avellan MW-Club Oenologique 96 points
“Based on the 2013 vintage, the 169th Grande Cuvée really wears the year’s signature in its radiant and racy fruit profile and amplified, saline length. The fine base year is supported by 40% of reserve wines from 10 different vintages all the way down to 2000. The expressive, stylishly oak-lined nose comes with a delicious fresh, fruity profile; complex and overt already. The palate is tighter, with real vibrancy to it. Pure fruitiness and firm structure of tension, this edition is a keeper.”

Louis Roederer Cristal Millesime Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($319.95) $289 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Essi Avellan MW-Club Oenologique 96 points
“The 2013 vintage was sculpted by its late season, with grapes finally harvested in October. But ripe they became, with heaps of delicious cool and crunchy fruit. The Cristal Blanc is racy and pure, with huge, salty mineral tanginess to the fore. Look beyond that, and you’ll be dazzled by its fruity power. Lemon, lime, white currant and Granny Smith apple, with chalky tones and gunpowder whiffs arising over time. Focused and saline on the mouthwateringly zingy palate.”

Shop our complete selection of Champagnes in stock now and arriving soon on our web store!



New Releases from Cantina del Pino

Arriving Friday, December 17th

Though Cantina Del Pino has only been producing since 1997, the Vacca family and their estate vineyard have been a part of Italian winemaking for over 100 years. Domizio Cavazzo established the vineyard in 1894, becoming one of the first winemakers to produce Nebbiolo under the name Barbaresco. Keep in mind this was 72 years before the creation of the official appellation in 1966. An advocate for Langhe farmers, Cavazzo’s vineyard was well known, recognizable by the large Mediterranean pine tree he planted on the day his first son was born. In 1912, the Vacca family took over the estate and have worked the land for four generations, becoming known for world class wines from the historic vineyard. They use the pine tree as inspiration for their label, giving the vineyard the name Cantina Del Pino, or ‘winery of the pine’. Like Wine Advocate will tell you, year after year “Cantina del Pino is a great source for top-notch wines from Barbaresco.” 2016 is no different, with critics and growers alike both waxing poetically at length about the vintage’s perfection. 

Marked by a perfect confluence of timely rain, consistently low humidity, and no heat spikes, this is a vintage for the history books on its meteorological factors alone. When one considers the exacting practices in both the vineyard and cellar, this is a staple for anyone’s cellar. The most standout feature of this wine is the exceptionally developed fruit character, which ordinarily plays second fiddle to the tannins (especially when young). Serving heaps of black and sour cherries, black and red raspberries that finish with a beautifully long finish implicative of Piedmontese black truffle. The tannins are subtle and ambrosial in how they gently balance and emphasize the fruit while still making their presence known.

Cantina del Pino Wines Arriving Friday, December 17th:

Cantina del Pino Ovello, Barbaresco DOCG 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“Considering the untimely passing of Renato Vacca in March of 2020, there is a lot of emotion coming back to this wine: It has always been an expression of Barbaresco nostalgia and romanticism, even when its creator was alive and well, working in these vines located directly under his family house. The Cantina del Pino 2017 Barbaresco Ovello bears his winemaking imprint with balance and elegance that never misses a beat. This vintage offers more density and concentration for sure, and the positioning of the Ovello cru overlooking the Tanaro River Valley sets the wine up for open-knit characteristics and suave softness. Those impressions are amplified in this vintage but are not overblown.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $64

Cantina del Pino Albesani, Barbaresco DOCG 2017 750ML ($69.95) $55 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Fruit from Albesani shows nice sharpness and a compact or complete profile that is typical of Nebbiolo. This site has fared well in this hot and dry vintage with intact aromas of wild berry, mineral and blue violets. The Cantina del Pino 2017 Barbaresco Albesani turns in a strong showing in terms of aromas but tapers out a bit in the palate. In this release of 3,000 bottles, the wine is driven largely by the textural and structural power of the vintage, and the fruit is a bit leaner on the finish right now. It will likely flesh out with time.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $60

Shop wines in stock now from Cantina del Pino on our web store!

Vinopolis is an independent wine shop located in Portland, Oregon that opened in 2004. Our goal has always been to offer the finest, broadest, and largest selection of wines at the best prices to our customers in Portland, in Oregon, across the West Coast, and throughout the United States.

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