Monday Newsletter 1-13-20

In This Newsletter:

Piaggia: Newly Arrived
Centuries before ‘Super Tuscan,’ there was Carmingano…

Evening Land:
Fabled Beginning, Fantastic New Releases 

Collector’s Corner:
Elite and Ancient Sherry

New Grapelive Reviews

Clos Apalta:
Chilean Grand Cru

Reichsrat von Buhl:
Champagne Bollinger Winemaker Producing ‘Striking Successes’ in Germany!

Rosé of the Day

Top Value Tipple from Tuscany

The Vineyard That Made Bernkastel Famous

Piaggia: Newly Arrived

Centuries before ‘Super Tuscan,’ there was Carmingano…

“If there is one estate that embodies the potential of Carmignano, Piaggia just might be it.” – Antonio Galloni

What is Carmingano? One of the greatest regions in Tuscany that no one’s ever heard of. This classic appellation was growing international varieties such as Cab Sauv way back before the signing of the Declaration of Independence—basically making their wines the original Super Tuscans. In modern times, it was lumped into the Chianti region for decades until local wine-makers successfully petitioned the government to create a separate DOC. In 1990, it was elevated to DOCG. The wines are a minimum of 50% Sangiovese, with Canaiolo Nero, Cab Sauv, Merlot and Cab Franc allowed, too.

There’s no better producer than Piaggia, founded by the legendary Mauro Vannucci. The estate  produces intense, rich reds with an Italian soul and international class and style.  They have been one of our most popular Tuscan wineries for good reason. Newly arrived, these are selling quickly, so lock down your bottles now! 

Newly Arrived:

Carmignano the OG Super-Tuscan.  This wine has a beautiful blend of power and elegance.
Piaggia Il Sasso Carmignano, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($37.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Dedicated to the estate’s paternal figure Mauro Vannucci, the 2016 Carmignano Il Sasso (with 40,000 bottles produced) is a compelling blend of 70% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. This vintage delivers ample power, yet the wine remains smooth and elegant from a tactile point of view. Sangiovese’s identity emerges with aromas of wild berry, tilled earth and rose hip. The two international grapes serve to shape the firmness and structure of the mouthfeel. This wine is fermented in oak and later aged in medium-toast neutral barrique for 12 months.-ML”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2016 Carmignano Il Sasso is a veritable explosion of aromas, flavors and textures. A rush of dark red and purplish berry fruit makes a strong opening statement. The interplay of rich fruit, expressive aromatics and brightness makes for a wonderfully complete, vibrant Carmignano that will be impossible to resist upon release. The 2016 is a wine of pure and total pleasure.”

This is a beautiful, powerful wine that is everything we love about ’16 in Tuscany.
Piaggia Carmignano Riserva, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Importer Note
 “The Carmignano Riserva is the flagship wine of Piaggia, first made by Mauro Vannucci in 1991. All of the grapes are from the family’s 50 year old vines in 2.5 hectares in the Piaggia cru near Pogetto, over clay and galestro soils on a south-west facing exposure at 250 meters above sea level. Made from 70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc (the French varieties were propagated from cuttings made at Chateau Lafite Rothschild in Pauillac). Fermentation on the skins lasts up to 4 weeks with indigenous yeasts. Aging occurs in French oak (no more than 10% new) for 24 months. The wine is racked occasionally during aging but is otherwise unfined and unfiltered prior to bottling. The wine rests six months in bottle before release. Approximately 2500 cases produced annually.”
Winery Note “Carmignano Riserva Piaggia, the winery’s standard-bearer, is the result of rigorous selection in an old vineyard near Poggetto, where the grapes make high quality wines that enhance the characteristics of the appellation to the full. The Riserva Piaggia is our modern interpretation of Carmignano, a wine that is made giving special attention to the finest detail: nothing is left to chance, either in the vineyard or in the cellar, because we believe our grapes deserve particular care and attention and because we want to offer the consumer a thrill that tells of the beauty of our vineyards and the aromas of our land. The Piaggia Riserva is a wine that can be aged for many years while maintaining its organoleptic qualities intact and can liven up the tables of the most demanding consumers all over the world.”

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

This would give a lot of great, twice as expensive, right-bank Bordeaux a run for the money.
Piaggia Poggio de Colli Cabernet Franc Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($59.95) $59 special, 25 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2015 Cabernet Franc Poggio de’ Colli is another compelling wine from Piaggia. Silky, aromatically precise and wonderfully nuanced, the 2015 has it all. Lavender, blueberry jam and spice are some of the many notes that develop with time in the glass. This powerful, resonant Franc from Piaggia is deeply satisfying from the very first taste.”

Shop our entire selection of 115 in-stock Tuscan wines on our web store!
Evening Land:

Fabled Beginning, Fantastic New Releases 

Evening Land was founded by an all-star team, headlined by Dominique Lafon, who secured a long term lease on the fabled Seven Springs vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills.  Running it as an estate property, Evening Land has elevated the historic site, modernizing some of the viticulture and replanting diseased blocks.

The current team, led by Sashi Moorman and Raj Parr, has taken the label and the vineyard to new heights, with the wines displaying previously unseen levels of fineness and elegance.

Newly Arrived:

Evening Land’s 2017’s are special and the Chard is bright, piercing and mineral.
Evening Land ‘Seven Springs Vineyard’ Chardonnay, Eola-Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“In a world dominated by Pinot Noir, the Chardonnays of Evening Land have quietly earned a loyal following. The bright, clean, and lively Seven Springs Chardonnay grows in the rockier areas of the vineyard’s mid-slope, offering a precise wine of clarity and finesse.”

This is classical Seven Springs—black cherry fruit with earthy, savory notes overlayed.
Evening Land ‘Seven Springs Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“Of all our bottlings, the Seven Springs Pinot Noir tells the story of our vineyard. Built around a core of own-rooted, Pommard and Wädenswil vines planted in 1984, this bottling is a hearkens back Oregon’s winegrowing infancy, when savoriness, smokiness, and nuance brought curious and adventurous Burgundy lovers to our region in droves.”

The number of great Gamays coming out of the WV continues to astonish.  This is great.
Evening Land ‘Seven Springs Vineyard’ Gamay Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“We’re proud to farm some of the oldest Gamay vines in North America. The combination of our volcanic soils and the Gamay grape matched with a traditional Beaujolaise approach in the cellar make this wine our most drinkable bottling from the entire vineyard.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Collector’s Corner

Elite and Ancient Sherry

The thrill of celebrating with a truly old bottle of wine is unmatched in the world of wine.  There’s something so magical about drinking wine that has aged for as long as or longer than you. It’s a feeling that’s impossible to get any other way—you know that this bottle has wine in it that’s been around through war and peace, good times and bad and now, finally, it’s going to get opened.  

Bodegas Toro Albalá had its start in 1844 at the helm of Antonio Sánchez Prieto. Winemaking began in a small village called La Noria, with a focus on fino sherries, and moved to an out-of-commission electric power station in 1922. Since its founding, the Bodegas has produced Pedro Ximenez, and now focuses almost exclusively on this treasured dessert wine. There is still a cask from 1844 sitting in the cellar, though we doubt it will ever get past the Albalá family’s dinner table. Even so, we’re fortunate to possess some vintage Pedro Ximénez from Toro Albalá with quite a bit of age. These dark, unctuous sherries are released in tiny quantities, and we rounded out our collection of vintage and aged elite sherries with bottlings pre-dating the Spanish Civil War. Browse our Toro Albala on hand below, and shop our entire selection of elite sherries on our web store!

In stock now:

Bodegas Toro Albala Don PX Convento Seleccion, Montilla-Moriles 1929 750ML ($459.95) $299 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The extreme 1929 Don PX Convento Selección is a thick, dense and unusual, rare sweet beast. It is very dark with a green border, dense, oily and serious full-bodied palate with the profile of a PX from Jerez. With 500 grams of residual sugar per liter, it is a little monolithic, a little heavy and not so easy to drink. Still it is an impressive, very sweet wine that is really unique”

This spent 84 years in barrel. It’s an incredible bottle for so many reasons—taste first among them.
Bodegas Toro Albala Don PX Convento Seleccion, Montilla-Moriles 1931 750ML ($399.95) $279 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points
“If someone told you they kept a wine for 84 years in barrel before bottling, you’d think they are nuts, right? Well, that’s what the folks at Toro Albalá in Aguilar de la Frontera – in the province of Cordoba, part of the Montilla Moriles appellation – did with their 1931 Don PX Convento Selección. This is part of what they call ‘vinos olvidados,’ which means ‘forgotten wines.’ The border is amber, with green tints that denote very old age. Such old age provides an array of unusual aromas and flavors, including iodine and salt that compensate the sweetness (403 grams) and even the alcohol (18%). It’s terribly balsamic, with notes of dry herbs and spices, cigar ash, carob beans (algarrobas), incense and noble woods. The palate is very, very sweet and concentrated, unctuous, dense, with a chewy texture. This goes beyond a glass of wine, a drop of it is like having a piece of cake. I don’t think this reaches the complexity and depth of the 1946, which remains the benchmark for these old sweet PX, but it’s truly terrific!… bottles were filled in June 2015.”

Bodegas Toro Albala Don PX Convento Seleccion, Montilla-Moriles 1955 750ML ($379.95) $299 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points
“One more single-harvest, old sweet wine, the 1955 Don PX Convento Selección was bottled in September 2014 and it had been aged slowly in very old American oak barrels and getting thick and concentrated through evaporation. Its 320 grams of sugar are (partially) compensated by 6.5 grams of acidity. It has a nose and palate of chocolate-covered candied orange, spices, molasses. I’d say the dominant aromas in the nose are dark chocolate. It’s very dense, developing notes of very concentrated licorice and balsamic, mint, camphor and evolving notes of petrol with time. Complex, rare and unique.” 

Bonus Elite PX Sherries In Stock Now:

Incredibly rare and opulent dessert sherry. A Vinopolis exclusive.
Bodegas Tradicion VORS 30 Years Old Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Andalucia NV 750ML ($179.95) $119 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96 points
“This is a new, sweet Pedro Ximénez, older than the VOS released previously, average aged 30-40 years. Up to now they have only bottled a younger and fresher PX, but as the solera has grown to include a few barrels that are considerably older it is now bottled for the first time and released as NV Pedro Ximénez VORS. With 409 grams of sugar it is incredibly dark and dense, almost black, with a bright amber, green border and a nose of caramel, a little burnt note, cigar ash, a touch of rusticity and flavors of toffee that are quite sweet but that shows a surprising high acidity. It is a beast. Only 300 bottles were filled in October 2014.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

A.R. Valdespino Ninos Pedro Ximenez VORS Sherry, Andalucia 375ML ($219.95) $179 special, 1 half-bottle in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The NV Ninos Pedro Ximenez 30 Anos VORS is again a monumental wine, redolent of its sibling, Moscatel Toneles, as often the extremely old wines have so many similarities that even the grape and the origin is diminished. This beast of a wine has 470 grams of sugar. It’s believed to average 50 years of age, and shows a dark mahogany, almost black color. Being extremely concentrated, is not just power, it has finesses and balance. Curry, spices, coconut, balsamic notes (eucalyptus), tar, Cuban cigar, and nutmeg can be identified in its nose. The palate is velvety, dense, thick, long, and intense, with pungent acidity but at the same time it feels smooth. Again, choosing between Ninos and Toneles might be purely academic. Drink 2013-2035.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Shop our selection of 21 in-stock sherries, including wines from Equipo Navazos, Valdespino and Osbourne, on our web store!
New Grapelive Reviews

The Terry Theise German wines will be arriving in the next couple of weeks. Get a sneak preview on some standouts recently reviewed by Kerry Winslow of Grapelive.

Kruger-Rumpf Dorsheimer Burgberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special, ETA January
Grapelive 94+ points
“Coming from a tiny incredibly steep Grand Cru site, the Burgberg Vineyard, that is set on volcanic and quartz soils near Munster in the village of Dorsheim. The Kruger Rumpf Burgberg GG is one of the most exciting wines of vintage at this small winery… It is fantastically mineral-driven dry Riesling. This latest set of wines, especially the Rieslings, from Georg Rumpf and his family are some of the best yet from this estate. The GG’s and the Premier Cru Trockens are gorgeous wines. No one is going to want to miss these 2018 Nahe offerings, especially the Pitterberg GG, the Abtei Erste Lage 1937 old vine, one of my secret favorites, and this beautifully detailed Burgberg GG. Rumpf has turned to mostly all organic practices, and the Burgberg parcel is farmed organic. [He] prefers to do natural fermentations, or Sponti, with his Cru wines with the GG’s getting less aging in large cask, Stuckfass, to allow less reduction and enhance generosity, while retraining freshness and vitality in the wines. [It] shows here in this barrel sample of Burgberg… These Kruger-Rumpf GG’s are some of the best values out there, they really deserve much more attention, as do the lesser bottlings and their wildly tasty Scheurebe, which is one of the best examples in Germany. The Kruger-Rumpf winery, which dates back to the 1790’s, is focused on purity and the expression of the distinctive terroirs in the family’s holdings, but only began making estate labeled wines in 1984 when Georg’s dad Stefan began crafting small production bottlings. Now, mostly retired Stefan has turned things over to his sons Georg and Philipp, who are continuing the traditions here with a renewed energy and technical skill. [Their work] impresses Terry Theise, their importer, who considers Kruger-Rumpf one of best under the radar estates in the region. [Theise] notes that Kruger-Rumpf is innovative and is always striving to reach new levels of quality. I visited Kruger-Rumpf in the fall of 2016 at harvest time and was thrilled with the stylish wines I found and was blown away with the individual vineyards they farm and the hard work they have been putting in the restore the Abtei site. The iron rich volcanic and quartz influenced 2018 Burgberg GG starts with white flowers, stone fruits and vibrant citrus before expansion on the medium full palate with layers of lime/tangerine, apricot, green apple, papaya, bitter pit white peach and white cherry fruits along with steely form, spearmint, verbena, mouthwatering saline, exotic spices and subtle leesy elements. This is going to be a legendary wine and is already showing Georg’s signature finesse and vinous personality. It has masses of potential and its delicacy is utterly delicious! There’s a lot to admire at Kruger-Rumpf these days and this crisp 2018 Burgberg is a stunning effort that gains with air in the glass and will more so with a few years in bottle.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Carl Loewen Longuicher Maximin Herrenberg “1896” Riesling Feinherb, Mosel 2018 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special, ETA January
Grapelive 97+ points
“One of the wine world’s great unicorn wines, the Carl Loewen 1896 Feinherb is from the oldest Riesling vines in Germany and from a Grand Cru steep Mosel vineyard that transmit absolute purity of terroir. There may not be a more authentic and pleasing Riesling than this, especially in a vintage such as 2018… Since the first time I tried this wine, I knew it was something extraordinary and special. It is brave example of letting a wine make itself, with vigneron Christopher Loewen picking the grapes at perfect ripeness and allowing the fermentation to go as nature demands, which in this case comes in just above (outside) the legal limit to be called a Trocken… The glorious detail and layers in this 2018 Maximin Herrenberg 1896 are mesmerizing with flinty/smoking mineral leading the way on the nose before lime blossom, rose petal and white orchard (stone) fruits lift from the glass. The revelation is on the medium bodied palate with its incredible play between hedonistic pleasures and chiseled and steely precision with layers of vivid citrus, apricot, delicate tropical notes and white cherry fruits as well as spiced/crystalized ginger, wet shale, citron and saline, where all these flavors combine and flow with a graceful crispness and a (light residual sugar) lingering creaminess. This 1896 Feinerb, dressed up in its special label and dark red wax capsule, is a profound example of Riesling and one of the absolute best, one of the top wines I’ve tasted this year.

“The Carl Loewen estate, originally founded by the Catholic followers of the Maximin order was privately established during Napoleonic times around 1803. The Loewen family purchased the famous Maximin Klosterlay in 1805, after which the family continued to pick up steep parcels in the area, including the second steepest site in Germany. Christopher Loewen has taken over in the cellar and has set the world on fire with his wines since about the 2014 vintage… The Maximin Herrenberg 1896 Feinherb, as the name suggests comes from ungrafted vines planted back in 1896 on pure red slate closer to the Mosel River where it gets the reflection effect, meaning it has riper fruit. The iron rich broken slate soils influence the Riesling in the grandest way possible, with Loewen very careful picking only grapes that are non-botrytis for his drier wines, which takes extreme attention to detail. This is a masterpiece in excellence, and while not easy to get, it is worth almost any price to get your hands on it… Be sure to check out any and all of the Loewen 2018 offerings, they all are classy wines and great values in the more basic range, savvy choices are their Alte Reben (old vine) Trocken, the Premier Cru (Erste Lage) Maximin Klostelay Trocken, the Herrenberg Kabinett and the super tasty Estate Riesling.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $92.99

Von Winning Ungeheuer Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 96 points
“[The Von Winning Ungeheuer] truly was one of the best and most majestic of the vintage in the dry Grand Cru class. It certainly is on par with top white Burgundy, if not better! [The estate is] based in the Pfalz and with a no-compromise sense of purpose in everything wine they do, from their basic state Riesling to their Grosses Gewachs, like this gorgeous and textural Ungeheuer GG. It’s worth noting they also make one of the world’s great Sauvignon Blancs along with a sublime collection of Pinot Noir and sparkling Sekt(s)! Vigneron and cellar master Stephan Attmann has put tremendous effort and focus into the vines here with the Von Winning Riesling vines trained in the same way as you’d find in Meursault or Montrachet. He admits he is heavily influenced by the Cote d’Or and the great wines of Burgundy and his winemaking is inspired by the fabled French region with barrel fermentation and lees aging with a very dry focus. Von Winning has a fantastic collection of Cru sites to craft their wines, mostly Grosse Lage and they use extreme care with the vineyard sites, working with organic methods and high density plantings, all of which has made this winery one of the world’s elite labels. Beautiful in detail and rich in character the 2017 Ungeheuer GG starts with a heady perfume of white flowers and rosewater, liquid mineral a touch of Asian spice and stone fruits before opening up to a dense, ripe vintage, full bodied palate that shows lemon curd, apricot, white peach and mango fruits as well as wet stones, saline, spearmint, yeasty notes and hazelnut, all of which are in line with Riesling purity, but the elegance, flinty/steely elements and racy mouth feel scream Grand Cru Chablis, it has the same presence as Raveneau’s classic Les Clos! Attmann, who has said his winemaking technique is not doing the wrong things at the wrong time, uses a gentle touch in the cellar… Still a baby, this 2017 Von Winning Ungeheuer really takes off when allowed to breathe, and I think it has huge potential for even more magic in the coming decade. It gains a firm structure and intensity with the extended time in the glass, making it very clear you are drinking something extraordinary. This is a dry Riesling that will get your full attention and keep it!”

Clos Apalta:

Chilean Grand Cru

The Lapostolle family is synonymous with quality in Chile.  Perhaps no other family has produced so many great wines from Chilean soil, year in and out.  No matter the grape or the vintage, it seems like everything they put out is a winner—especially their flagship, Clos Apalta.  It’s regularly considered one of the top two wines in Chile, a Bordeaux styled blend that combines rich, opulent fruit and the structure to age for a long time.  

Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle and her husband Cyril de Bournet founded Lapostolle in 1994. The Marnier Lapostolle family, known for founding Grand Marnier liqueur, drew on long, long roots in wine and spirits within France. Their project in Chile, under the name Lapostolle, delivers world-class wines across every tier.  Their flagship wine, the Clos Apalta, is a wine spared no expense (as you’d expect given the names involved).  This Bordeaux-style blend combines rich, opulent fruit and the structure to age for a long time, and it’s regularly considered one of the top two wines in Chile. Try finding a First Growth Bordeaux for around $100/bottle these days…

In Stock Now

Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta, Apalta 2015 750ML ($149.95) $128 special, 15 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 100 points
“There is a subtle complexity on the nose with currant, berry, fresh herb and wet earth aromas. Cut fresh flowers, too. Full body, dense and powerful. Incredible character here with such purity and polish. It goes on for minutes. Formed, sculptured yet soulful. A monumental wine for Chile. Unbelievable. More powerful than the 2014 which was 100 points. A blend of 46% carmenere, 30% cabernet sauvignon, 19% merlot and 5% cabernet franc. Made from biodynamically grown grapes. Better in 2022”

Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta, Apalta 2014 750ML ($159.95) $119 special, 10 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 100 points
“An extremely aromatic and focused Clos Apalta with blackberry, blueberry, floral and hot stone character. Full body, very linear and ultra-fine tannins. Focused and tight. Precise and long. This is the most polished and beautiful definition of this wine ever. You want to drink it now but better in 2020. A blend of carmenere, cabernet sauvignon and merlot.”


Reichsrat von Buhl 

Champagne Bollinger Winemaker Crafting
‘Striking Successes’ in Germany!

“Former Bollinger chef de cave Matthieu Kauffmann (now once again resident in his nearby homeland, Alsace) and co-director Richard Grosche continue to score striking successes here, based (among other things) on harvest early even by prevailing 21st-century standards and on wines finished at vanishingly low levels of residual sugar and given extended, largely sulfur-free élevage, sometimes in tank but increasingly in large Stückfässer or 500-liter barrels. ‘I’m convinced,’ asserted Grosche, ‘that when we work without any residual sugar, the differences from one site to the next come out more strongly.'” — David Schildknecht, August 2017

Von Buhl has been one of the top wineries in the Pfalz for a long, long time (the winery was founded in 1849).  The latest generation has seen a shift towards focusing on dry wines and they’re pretty spectacular. Most top-end dry German Rieslings start around $60/bottle, but you can buy these in magnum for $59. 

All Vinopolis exclusives!

In Stock Now:

Reichsrat von Buhl Deidesheimer Leinhohle Riesling, Pfalz 2015 1.5L ($79.95) $59 special, 8 magnums in stock now
Wine Advocate 91 points
“The golden/yellow-colored 2015 Deidesheimer Leinhöhle Riesling (AP 1416) has an intense nose with pretty ripe, but also refreshing and slightly greenish fruit aromas with sur-lie characteristics. Round and elegant on the palate, this is a balanced, fruit-intense and well-structured Riesling with nice concentration and a long, intense finish. Pretty accessible already, but also with tension. This is a very well-made Riesling from a warmer terroir in a warm vintage. The acidity is ripe and well integrated, and the creamy texture and long lees aging make this a pretty Burgundian Riesling, with 13.5% alcohol.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Reichsrat von Buhl Deidesheimer Maushohle Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2015 1.5L ($89.95) $59 special, 10 magnums in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2015 Deidesheimer Mäusehöhle Riesling (AP 2216) opens with a pure and refreshing, rather coolish aroma (compared to the Leinshöhle) of ripe yellow fruits intertwined with stony aromas. Round, fresh and elegant on the palate, this full-bodied and well-balanced Riesling is tightly woven, but fine and very mineral. It displays ripe yellow apple flavors in the finish, as well as nice and stimulating grip. The finish is pure and salty, really vitalizing in its freshness and clarity. According to the label, this is 12.5% alcohol.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Reichsrat von Buhl Forster Musenhang Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2015 1.5L ($79.95) $59 special, 10 magnums in stock now
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The intensely citrus-yellow 2015 Forster Musenhang Riesling (AP 2416) shows a clear, aromatic, and slightly flinty nose with ripe pip fruit and refreshing lemon; there are even green paprika and apple flavors on the intense and elegant nose. This Musenhang is medium-bodied, clear, fresh and racy on the palate. It is a straight and mineral, edgy and merciless Riesling with no ornaments, no meat and no charm. But it does have a lot of freshness, raciness and character. This is probably not a wine for the U.S. market, whereas Wikings would probably die for it. Great finesse and purity here, this is an old-school Riesling from the pre-global warming area. Some would say it is unripe, while other would say it’s just ripe. I’d say: the ripeness is at maximum, but I like it due to its refreshing and mineral expression. This Riesling is 12.5% alcohol.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
We’ll admit: we carry a ridiculous amount of German magnums in stock & available now.

Choose from our 28 options on our web store (that’s 149 magnums in total).

That’s quite possibly the largest in-stock selection in the country of German magnums!

Rosé of the Day

The Saint-Ser rosé, from Provence, has been a Vinopolis favorite for several years.  It’s classically Provencal, with a bright, crisp disposition that only grows in complexity over the course of the winter. While nicoise salad is the classic pairing, Saint Ser is sure to enliven your winter shellfish dishes and herby roast chicken. Even better, grab a case to sip when asparagus season begins. 

In Stock Now

Domaine de Saint Ser Cotes de Provence Tradition Rose 2018 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
“A unique blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, and a touch of Rolle grapes give this wine an unusually complex aroma. Each grape variety contributes its own note: a red-berry aroma from the Grenache, the finesse of the Cinsault, the intensity of the Syrah, and a hint of citrus from the Rolle.”–Winery Notes

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Want to see all 60+ in stock rosé options?
Just head to our web store for the full list!


Top Value Tipple from Tuscany

Querciabella is one of the landmark estates in Tuscany—a producer that makes noteworthy wines in both Chianti and Maremma.  All are done in a plush, approachable style with good complexity and excellent value.  These are brilliant wines for the price, full of texture and fruit that are sure to satisfy lovers of Chianti and Super Tuscans.

In Stock Now:

Querciabella Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($35.95) $26 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 92 points
“Rich, round and expressive, featuring black cherry, black currant, earth and iron aromas and flavors. The pure fruit notes are offset by distinctly Tuscan accents, with a hint of herbs on the finish. Fine balance. Best from 2020 through 2032. 8,333 cases made, 2,250 cases imported.”
James Suckling 92 points “What a sexy nose of red cherries, black fruit, minerals, slate, dried herbs, orange rind and hints of cedar. Full body, fine tannins and a dusty finish. So succulent. Drink now and enjoy. Made from organic grapes.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $31

Querciabella Mongrana Maremma Toscana, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Querciabella Mongrana Maremma Toscana, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $19.92/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points
“Love the aromas of plums, cherries and currants with hints of flowers and undertones of dried flowers. Full body, round and silky tannins and fresh and bright finish. A blend of sangiovese, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Needs two or three years to come together, but already beautiful. From biodynamically grown grapes and vegan.”

The Vineyard That Made Bernkastel Famous

Doctor + Badstube From Thanisch

It can be easy to forget why the vineyards around the town of Bernkastel are so famous—there are very few producers today whose wines are “relevant” that make wines from Doctor or Lay.  Historically, though, the Bernkasteler Doctor is one of the two or three most important vineyards in the Mosel, named for its supposed life-giving properties to a 13th century Archbishop.  The vineyard is only 8.1 acres (a little less than 1/10th the size of Beaux Freres, to put that into local perspective). The wines from these vines are exceptionally prized in Germany, so it’s always tough for us to acquire any.

The challenge is worth it, though, as the best wines from the Doctor, including these from Thanisch (Dr. H. Thanisch Erben Thanisch, specifically), are spectacular indeed.  Every year we fight and scrap to secure as much as we can from Thanisch, who’s turned into a cult classic producer.  They make bottlings from two vineyards. One is from the Doctor and the other from the Badstube, which incorporates a few different vineyards in and around Bernkastel.  These wines are the essence of thrilling Mosel wines, with a richness and stature that only the Doctor can bring.   We have an assortment of 2015, 2015 and 2017 vintages in stock now. Browse a curated list below or shop the entire selection on our webstore!

Highlights In Stock Now from Dr. H Thanisch Erben Thanisch

Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Kabinett 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2017 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett is fine and intense on the clear, elegant and floral-flinty nose. Lush and salty-piquant on the crystalline palate, this is a mouth-filling and textured Kabinett that probably includes some percentage of botrytis berries, which give it juicy, charming and mouth-filling character. The sweetness is round and fruity rather than sweet. It’s lovely to enjoy today, yet I’d recommend cellaring the 2017 for another 5-10 years. Tasted from AP 13 18 in March 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $28

Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2016 Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett has a lovely clear and aromatic stone fruit bouquet with coolish, flinty slate aromas. Lush, round and highly attractive on the palate, this is a very elegant and charming Doctor with a seriously mineral, stimulatingly salty finish. Tasted March 2018.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2017 Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett is clear, bright, fresh and still reductive on the flinty, coolish-crunchy nose that evokes crushed rocks. Silky textured and highly elegant, this is a gorgeously lush and finessed Doctor Kabinett with a long, salty and stimulatingly piquant but beautifully balanced finish. This is a noble Riesling with clear fruit and terroir expression. The sweetness is discreet, but the fruit is piquant and salty, the structure highly finessed and the whole architecture crystalline like a Gothic chapel. Highly recommended! Tasted from AP 2 18.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $43

Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92+ points
“The 2016 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spätlese offers a clear, elegant nose with bright fruit, green asparagus and flinty aromas. Racy and lush on the palate, this is a refreshing, elegant but still pretty sweet Spätlese with crystalline, piquant acidity and structure. The finish is long and complex, but the wine needs a decade to integrate all its components into a fine and elegant Spätlese. Tasted March 2018.”

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

Dr. H. Thanisch Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2017 750ML ($54.95) $46 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 95+ points
“The coolish, precise and elegant 2017 Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Spätlese (AP 3 18) opens to very fine tropical fruit aromas intermixed with the smoky scents of crushed black rocks. Lush and finessed on the palate, this is a firmly structured, very elegant and persistently mineral Doctor Spätlese whose salty-piquant finish and fine, crystalline structure develops enormous length and tension but also finesse and a highly elaborate style. Highly stimulating. Tasted in March 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $68

Additional Highlights In Stock Now from Bernkasteler:

Joh. Jos. Prum Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Auslese Long Gold Capsel (LGK), Mosel 2017 750ML ($199.95) $189 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Joh. Jos. Prum Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Auslese Long Gold Capsel (LGK), Mosel 2017 375ML ($119.95) $99 special, 12 half-bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 97 points
“The 2017 Bernkasteler Lay Auslese (Long Gold Capsule), AP 18 18, is very clear, intense and generous but precise on the nose, with lots of mango, ripe peach, mirabelle and honey aromas. On the palate, this is a generously rich but refined, finessed and lush Auslese with a salty-piquant finish that is intense, complex and long. Honey-sweet but still crystalline, transparent and really kicking, this is another gorgeous 2017 Auslese from the Prüm family. Tasted in March 2019.”

Markus Molitor Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spatlese Green Capsule Feinherb, Mosel 2016 750ML ($31.95) $26 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Molitor’s 2016 Riesling Bernkasteler Badstube Spätlese (Green Capsule) is ripe, intense and still yeasty on the deep and complex nose (bottled in July 2017). The wine is piquant, pure and lush on the palate, with remarkable finesse and mineral tension providing this elegant, refreshing, straightforward Spätlese a pretty dry and food-friendly style. There is beautiful grip and mineral tension in the aftertaste.”
Stuart Pigott 93 points “Fine peachy fruit and delicate herbal notes. There is a great balance of fruit and freshness here. An earthy note at the long finish that makes this wine very distinctive. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $29

Selbach-Oster Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2014 750ML ($34.95) $24 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“BERNKASTELER BADSTUBE is a small Grosslage; the component single-sites are distinct from one another, but one can organize them thus: LAY stands alone. DOKTOR-GRABEN (at least the good parts of Graben!) stand together, and MATHEISBILDCHEN-BRATENHÖFCHEN stand together, and give us what we see now; heavier understructure, not quite as tensile, due to richer soil, and signature flavors of kirsch and almost Pouilly-Fumé flint; the piquant exotics of the Mosel. Typically, they are medium in body.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Browse our complete list of German Rieslings on our web store!

Thank you for reading!