Monday Newsletter 10-25-20

In This Newsletter:

The Best Produttori Barbaresco Yet?
Antonio Galloni Says “Don’t Miss It!”

New Arrivals and Reviews
For Oregon Favorites

Bow & Arrow and Hundred Suns

New Week – New Arrivals
Including Gaston Chiquet, Vilmart,
Mousse, Cameron Chardonnay, Mt. Eden,
Joseph Phelps and More!

Trending Wines

Paolo’ Bea’s Iconic Wines
New Releases from the Umbrian Master

Collector’s Corner:
Royal Tokaji – Hungary’s Top Sweet Wines

The Best Produttori Barbaresco Yet?

Antonio Galloni Says “Don’t Miss It!”

The Produttori del Barbaresco normale is one of the finest values in the world of wine. The Produttori needs very little introduction as a producer of some of the finest wines in Italy, and their entry level Barbaresco delivers grace, power and complexity with a price-tag that’s still easy to swallow. What’s better, their 2017 may be the best edition ever.

Antonio Galloni says “Don’t miss it!” while awarding it a 94-point rating—a tie for the highest ever score he’s given to the bottling. It’s got the same fantastic vineyard sources as usual (this year’s edition is based on Pora, Ovello, Montestefano, Muncagot and Rio Sordo) and the same fantastic commitment to quality, but the slightly warmer ’17 vintage allowed for even more richness and texture.  It’s a miracle that these wines are still affordable and available, especially when compared to the skyrocketing prices of Barolo, and we’ve got the best price in the country—even moreso by the case.

Arriving ETA January:

Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG ‘2017 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG ‘2017 2017 750ML ($599.95) $459 pre-arrival special (that’s only $38.25/bottle!)
Case-6 Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG ‘2017 2017 750ML ($299.95) $239 pre-arrival special (that’s only $39.83/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2017 Barbaresco shows just how appealing this vintage can be. In 2017, the warm, dry growing season gave the Barbaresco an extra kick of richness that fills out its frame and adds so much immediacy. Sweet red berry fruit, cinnamon, rose petal and mint are open in the glass, but it is the wine’s seductive radiance that wins the day. Pora, Ovello, Montestefano, Muncagota and Rio Sordo are the main vineyards used for the straight Barbaresco. The 2017 is such an inviting and expressive wine. Don’t miss it!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

New Arrivals and Reviews

For Oregon Favorites

Bow & Arrow 

We can’t say enough good things about Bow & Arrow and the wines they make.  Scott Frank seems to have cracked the code to do two things that are nearly impossible for other Oregon wineries.  First, he makes wines that are vibrant, fresh and delicious in a truly old-world fashion.  The wines are awesome. There’s a liveliness that we find in the Bow & Arrow wines that can often be lacking from lots of other wines from this state—a zippiness, if you will.  As a result, the wines (especially the wines we’re featuring today) can be compulsively drinkable. We may have mentioned this already, but the wines are great.

The other major puzzle that Scott seems to have cracked is affordability.  We often see wines from the US marketed as ‘daily drinkers’ in style but the wines are priced at $30++, well north of a comparable wine from Europe.  With Bow & Arrow, though, we’re pleased as punch that a delicious local wine is cheaper than most of the competition from Europe. The new releases are absolutely fantastic, highlighted by new vintages of Air Guitar and Rhinestones–possibly the best yet.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Only 84 cases produced…
Bow & Arrow Chenin Blanc, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Winery note
“10 years in the making…. Chenin was part of the original varietal trifecta for Bow & Arrow when I began in 2010. But all the Chenin in the Willamette Valley has been torn out or grafted as far as I was able to tell. (There were always rumors…). While readily available in Washington or Southern Oregon I was committed to only doing it with WV fruit. It had to be cool climate character or nothing. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, y’all. All those trips to the Loire paid off. As well as that training wheels vintage (2017) that had to get blended. (This shit is hard to ripen)  I didn’t know what to expect from the finished wine but I’m relieved to share it came out tasting like only Chenin can.  84 cases produced!”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Bow & Arrow Le Chenaie Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
Winery note
“Proof that Sauvignon Blanc made the right way can be terroir wine, the short distance between Union School and La Chenaie belies the profoundly different ways in which the two sites express themselves. We make the two wines exactly the same way but the Eola-Amity Hills highlights wholly different attributes in Sauvignon Blanc.  This expression is more sophisticated than it’s southern brother and incorporates a savory aspect we find fascinating.  Texturally is carries more weight and depth without being ponderous.  Reminiscent of stone fruit, guava, mint and a whiff of Rum Agricole.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $28.99

Bow & Arrow Rhinestone Red, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($29.95) $20.90 special
Case-12 Bow & Arrow Rhinestone Red, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($319.95) $228 special (that’s only $19/bottle!)
Winery note
“To understand Rhinestones we have to talk about the Cheverny region of France’s Loire Valley where, by law, the red wines must be a blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir.  We follow this stricture with all the Pinot and Gamay fruit we source from Johan Vineyard.  The blend is determined by nature and vintage.  Aged in a mixture of concrete and old barriques, this wine is the flagship of the Bow & Arrow operation and communicates what we’re about as much as anything we make.  Effortlessly drinkable but rewards detective work if you’re in the mood.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bow & Arrow Air Guitar, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24.40 special
Winery note
“Like Rhinestones, the name Air Guitar is a self deprecating poke at attempting French style wines in America.  The “least likely to exist” of all of our Willamette Valley sourced wines, this is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from Borgo Pass Vineyard and Cabernet Franc from Johan Vineyard.  Don’t let the playful nature of the wine’s label fool you -this is our most profound expression of red wine from this region and the one that rewards the most patience.  Aged 10 to 12 months in puncheon.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $27.99

Also In Stock from Bow & Arrow:

Bow & Arrow Melon Johan Vineyard, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Winery note
“Muscadet is often considered the biggest underdog in the world of wine. Another way to say it is Melon, the grape that makes Muscadet, is the poor man’s White Burgundy. Made in a similar fashion but in humbler vessels, Melon expresses terroir in a subtle and complex way just like it’s famous friend. It has an affinity for granite, and Johan is the only vineyard in the Willamette Valley with both. So drink your young Burgundies if you like and age your Melon. You will be rewarded with one of the biggest transformations you’re likely to experience in a cellared white wine. The 2019 vintage is a standout in the lineage of Johan Melon; not surprising as all the wines emerging from the cellar are benchmark in our opinion. Drink now or hold up to 15 years!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bow & Arrow Melon, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Winery Note
“Better known as Muscadet, this is the grape responsible for the classic French wine famous for its versatility with all things Ocean born.  Sourced from multiple vineyards and aged in vat for 6 – 8 months our version treads the same ground as the wines that inspired it.  Briney, crystalline, and quenching this wine is made for summer feasts as well as winter seafood sessions.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bow & Arrow Gamay Noir, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Bow & Arrow Gamay Noir, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $19.92\/bottle!)
: This is a beautifully crisp and crunchy red from the 2019 vintage. We love it with a light chill all on its own, or enjoy with cheeses, salads, or roast chicken. Buy a case or two to carry you through the fall (and to be prepared for Thanksgiving!)
Winery note “This release is a bit of a change from the past as it no longer is a multi AVA blend but is entirely from Eola-Amity Hills AVA fruit.  I think this may be the best AVA for Gamay in the WV.  This is sourced exclusively this year from Jubilee Vineyard which I’m happy to say we lured into transitioning into organic farming.  There’s more fruit and less savory/sappy/barky vibes.  It’s still made using a traditional semi-carbonic maceration in concrete vats.  It lives there for eight months before bottling.  Again, no nothing until the devil’s piss at bottling – 25ppm. This is probably the best expression of Gamay I’ve produced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Hundred Suns

Grant Coulter is one of the hottest names in the Willamette Valley. The former assistant winemaker at Beaux Freres (under tutelage of the legendary Mike Etzel), Grant’s made a name for himself as the winemaker of rising star Flaneur, as well as with his own label: Hundred Suns.

Named for the number of days between flowering and harvest, the Hundred Suns Pinots drink like a love letter to wine in the Northwest.  They’ve added an awesome Grenache from Yakima Valley and a delicious little Gamay to their awesome lineup of Pinot and Chardonnay and we’ve just received some of their new bottlings.

Anyone who’s loved the Beaux Freres or Flaneur wines in the past needs to be paying attention to what Grant is doing at Hundred Suns.  His project represents one of the most exciting new labels in the Willamette Valley and Pinot lovers ought to buy in now, before they become hard to find.

Hundred Suns ‘Tualatin Estate’ Gamay Noir, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Winery note
“Vintage & Vinification: A cool and  lengthy growing season gave us wines of modest alcohol and incredible flavor.  Once harvested our Gamay was divided into three lots.  The first 100% de-stemmed, the second 50% whole cluster and the third 100% whole cluster Carbonic.  Aged in a combination of Amphora and neutral oak for 11 months.  This bottling is filled with juicy red fruit, crunchy textures and refined acidity.  Bottled Unfined and Unfiltered. Vineyard: This historic estate was established in the early 1970s by pioneer Bill Fuller. Our parcel of Gamay (in fact, the only gamay planted at the site) came from a hidden corner of the vineyard and was uncovered by our friend, Evan Martin, who offered us a one-acre piece of this amazing site  planted on marine sedimentary soils.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Hundred Suns ‘Elephant Mtn. Vineyard’ Grenache, Yakima Valley 2018 750ML ($49.95) $35 special
Winery note
“The Grenache was left 100% whole cluster in a sealed tank for 20 days. Once opened, the fully intact grapes were pressed and fermentation was completed with native yeast. The wine then aged in a terracotta amphora for 12 months until it was transferred to neutral oak, where it aged for five additional months. This yielded a wine with layers of decadent strawberry and raspberry fruit accented with cinnamon. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Hundred Suns Old Eight Cut Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Winery note
“This bottling is Hundred Suns Wine’s first vintage producing Chardonnay.  Grapes were sourced from two organically farmed vineyards in the Eola-Hills. Bracken Vineyard sits between 630-730 feet on volcanic soils (Nekia, Ritner, Witzel and Jory) of varying depths. Koosah is a stunning high-elevation site perched at 1,000 feet. Both lots were whole cluster pressed in to 500 liter neutral puncheons.  Slow natural fermentations and 11 months sur lee aging produced a wine with bright acid, stone fruit, and floral aromatics.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Also In Stock from Hundred Suns:

Hundred Suns ‘Breaker Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2018 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
James Suckling 95 points
“A unique wine that has a very striking, blueberry and violet nose with an iodine-like, savory edge and some darker-fruit and fresh-herb notes. The palate has such an intense, powerful feel with concentrated blueberries and an assertive frame of fluffy, succulent, fresh and long tannins. Drinkable now, but best from 2023.”

Hundred Suns ‘Bednarik Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 94 points
“Rich aromas of crushed violets and blueberries with a deeply spicy edge, as well as cocoa powder, dark chocolate and darker cherries, berries and plums. There’s striking purity here with more red fruit on the palate. Very plush, concentrated and balanced. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Hundred Suns Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 95 points
“This has a very fresh, attractive nose with roses and violets, as well as boysenberries, red cherries and a savory, stony edge. Some sappy nuances, too. The palate is very succulent and has strikingly fresh red berries and cherries, underscored with vibrant acidity and a very uplifting, dynamic finish. A richer vintage, made in a fresher style, works very well here. Drink or hold.”
Grapelive 95 points “Grant Coulter, who has worked with the famed Shea Vineyard for more than a decade, most of that time while he was a winemaker at Beaux Freres, makes a tiny single vineyard bottling from this amazing site and this 2018, which starts slowly, is a gorgeous and dark Pinot Noir with incredible texture and smooth layering that expands in the glass….This warm site, Coulter notes, in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA is planted on sedimentary soil and is one of the most coveted set of vines in the the Willamette Valley. This 2018, as mentioned, takes a awhile to really unwind and goes from a brooding and shy wine to a hyper expressive and rock star bottling, it transforms in the glass with air, in fact it was like turning on a light switch after 20 minutes, so patience will be greatly rewarded here! There’s plenty of classic character and flavors that unfold along with exotic elements too with a medium bodied palate of black raspberry, cherry, plum and pomegranate fruits at its core as well as hints of orange tea, rose hips, guava and red peach flesh. The satiny texture that develops is welcomed after a tight first impression and the length is absolute stunning, it lingers with floral and fruit echos, baking spices along with sticky lavender, cinnamon and very little traces of oak. Coulter, who along with Renée Saint-Amour started their own label Hundred Suns in 2015, says the 2018 vintage gave them lower yields than normal, but the generous sunshine perfectly and evenly ripened their small block of Shea. When the grapes came in they were separated in the cellar into two lots, one 50% whole bunch and the other completely de-stemmed, so Coulter ending up fermenting the 2018 Shea Vineyard Pinot with about 25% whole cluster with 100% indigenous yeasts with both lots done and then blended with the wine being aged for 10 months in well seasoned neutral French oak. Coulter is always very complimentary about the iconic Shea Vineyard which is all dry farmed and meticulously maintained for quality and this vineyard, which I was lucky enough to visit and tour at harvest time back in 2008 is nothing short of a Grand Cru and a wonderfully picturesque place, the view from the upper blocks is spectacular looking down over the whole Willamette Valley….These last three vintages have been awesome, this small Oregon micro batch winery is crafting some special stuff, I highly recommend getting these 2018s while you can!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bonus: New Wine Enthusiast Review

For Evesham Wood’s 2018 Willamette Pinot

Evesham Wood Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
“Editor’s Choice. Even in a Pinot portfolio packed with value, this may top them all. Pinpoint balance spotlights spicy berry fruit, ripe and well managed tannins, and surprising length. The herbal highlights are properly constrained, and the finish suggests that it could even age further for up to five years.”

New Week – New Arrivals


An outstanding value, this is absolutely classic—especially for the price.
Boizel Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $36 special
Case-6 Boizel Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($269.95) $199 special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
Decanter World Wine Awards 97 points
“55% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier. Liquorice aromatic notes with resonant plum and red apple. Deep, exuberant, mouth-filling, vigorous and long, this is an exuberant, vinous Champagne with plenty of richly-textured aromatic lift. Crowd-pleasing but connoisseur-pleasing too.”

Chiquet remains one of our favorite growers and the 2008 vintage will go down in legend. Buy accordingly.
Gaston Chiquet Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs d’Ay Vintage Brut 2008 1.5L ($179.95) $138 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2008 Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ, in the magnum late-release, is an absolutely gorgeous wine that brings together the natural richness of Aÿ with plenty of vintage 2008 vibrancy. Dried pear, crushed flowers, mint and spice infuse the 2008 with striking layers of nuance. Aÿ is, of course, best known for Pinot, but in a few choice spots Chardonnay shines, as it does here. Chiquet’s Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ is once again one of the most singular wines in all of Champagne. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.”

Vilmart nails it once again. Is there a winemaker in Champagne who makes more legendary wines in “tough” years?
Vilmart & Cie ‘Coeur de Cuvee’ Premier Cru Brut 2011 750ML ($159.95) $119 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Disgorged in May 2018 with seven grams per liter dosage, Vilmart’s new 2011 Brut Coeur de Cuvée is showing beautifully, offering up an expressive bouquet of crisp green pear, yellow apple, dried white flowers, English walnuts and spices. Medium to full-bodied, elegantly fleshy and nicely concentrated, it’s a fine-boned, precise rendition of this cuvée, built around ripe but racy acids and complemented by a pinpoint mousse. Vilmart is the sort of grower that succeeds in vintages such as 2011, and this wine met my expectations.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2011 Coeur de Cuvée is gorgeous, especially within the context of the year. Translucent and airy, the 2011 is a Champagne of real elegance. Sage, mint, dried flowers, orchard fruit and lemon peel all grace this super-expressive and pretty Champagne. These 60-year-old vines handled the challenges of 2011 well. Harvest took place in August, which after 2003 and 2007, is not as freakishly unusual as it would have been a generation ago. The 2011 is undoubtedly terrific. Even so, I would not push my luck on aging given the inherent fragility of the year. Dosage is 7 grams per liter.”

Still one of the best ~$60 champagnes out there—baby Krug.
Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier Premier Cru Brut NV 750ML ($89.95) $59 special
2015 base
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Cuvée Grand Cellier (base 2015) is striking. Hints of lemon peel, crushed rocks and mint are framed by a kiss of new oak, with a hint of reduction that adds a further note of complexity. The Grand Cellier is based on 2015, with 25% 2014 and 25% 2013 reserve wines, aged exclusively in foudre. It is another stellar wine in the entry-level portion of the Vilmart range. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.”

Wow. Hebrart has been on a roll in recent vintages and the RG/RD is their new flagship. Hebrart for U. Collin fans.
Marc Hebrart Rive Gauche Rive Droite Grand Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($149.95) $125 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2013 Rive Gauche Rive Droite is a blend of Pinot Noir from Aÿ and Chardonnay from Oiry, Chouilly and Avize, all Grand Crus. Resonant and expansive on the palate, it possesses tremendous richness and depth from start to finish. Dried pear, pastry, dried herbs and crushed flowers give the stunningly beautifully, expressive Champagne with tons of complexity. Disgorged: December 19, 2018” [Disgorgement date may vary.]

One of the better entry level bottlings we’ve tasted, but you shouldn’t be surprised, given who makes it.
Mousse Fils L’Or d’Eugene Perpetuelle Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“A blend of 80% Pinot Meunier and 20% Pinot Noir drawn from a solera established in 2003, the latest rendition of Moussé’s NV Brut Blanc de Noirs L’Or d’Eugène was disgorged in June 2019 with four grams per liter dosage. Wafting from the glass with a deep and complex bouquet of golden orchard fruit, honeycomb, mirabelle plum, candied peel and fresh pastry, it’s medium to full-bodied, satiny and layered, with a rich and sapid core of fruit, lively acids and a delicate pinpoint mousse.”

Mousse is making some of the most exciting Meunier that’s not Prevost. Then again, perhaps we should just remove the qualifier.
Mousse Fils Terre d’Illite Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne 2014 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points
“Disgorged in July 2019 with just two grams per liter dosage, the just-released 2014 Extra-Brut Blanc de Noirs Terre d’Illite is showing beautifully, mingling aromas of yellow orchard fruit and clear honey with hints of beeswax, cherries and mirabelle plums. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping, it’s textural and elegantly muscular, built around ripe but racy acids and complemented by a pinpoint mousse.” [Disgorgement date may vary]


It’s back and as good as it’s ever been. One of the killer deals in Oregon white wine.
Cameron Dundee Hills Chardonnay 2019 750ML ($21.95) $19.90 special
One of the greatest bargains in Oregon Chardonnay out there. Barrel-fermented, which imparts a kiss of vanilla and new oak to the apple- and green pear-driven palate. A refreshing mineral note on the finish keeps you coming back for more.


There’s an ocean of mediocre, $100, Napa Cabernet out there. And then there’s this—which is top-class, special stuff.
Mount Eden Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 98 points
“Mount Eden’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon represents the essence of what Cabernet Sauvignon is all about in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Deep, powerful and explosive, the 2016 simply has it all. A wine of tremendous depth and intensity. Readers, take note. This is world class Cabernet Sauvignon that in any other region would cost 2-3 times as much. Savory and expansive, with tons of mountain character and remarkable richness from low yields in 2016, the Cabernet Sauvignon is simply off the charts. It’s another utterly breathtaking wine from Mount Eden.”

A great price on one of Napa’s most consistent flagship bottlings.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($79.95) $56.50 special
James Suckling 94 points “This has very bright and juicy, brambly dark berries with a wealth of attractive and juicy dark-fruit presence. This has depth, detail and long, layered dark-fruit flavors. Impressively chiseled finish. Drink or hold.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is made up of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc aged for 18 months in 48% new French and American oak and bottled in May/June of 2018. Deep garnet-purple colored, it sings of crushed blackcurrants, blackberry pie and blueberry compote with suggestions of cigar box, menthol, rose hip tea and baking spices. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with vibrant black fruit laced with plenty of spicy sparks, framed by grainy tannins and oodles of freshness and finishing long with a menthol kick. 36,000 cases produced.”
Virginie Boone-Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Editor’s Choice. This lovely wine shows exceptional quality and complexity within a bold, expansive package of thick, grippy tannin and layered flavors of blackberry, tobacco and smoked meat. It is blended with 7% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 2% each of Malbec and Petit Verdot.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is once again a huge overachiever. Plum, black cherry, spice, mocha and new leather are front and center. Pliant and giving, with striking purity of fruit and remarkable balance, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is a winner from Phelps. This Napa Valley Cabernet is a remarkable wine for many reasons, most notably the quality Phelps achieves with estate fruit and a production of 36,000 cases.”


Ratti always manages to over-deliver for the price and in a vintage like ’16, even more than usual.
Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($59.95) $53.50 special
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 97 points
“Editor’s Choice. Iris, rose, botanical herb and dark spice aromas lead the way in this fragrant red, along with an enticing whiff of graphite. Elegantly structured and boasting youthful tension, the vibrant palate delivers juicy Morello cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and star anise framed in taut, refined tannins. It’s balanced and focused, with bright acidity. Drink 2024–2036.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points “This is one of the most versatile, accessible and inviting wines to be found anywhere in the Barolo appellation. That is the legacy of this wine, and the Renato Ratti 2016 Barolo Marcenasco proudly carries forward in this tradition. Indeed, it takes it a big step forward, as this is my favorite edition tasted in years. Fruit comes from a single vineyard located just outside the winery door. Marcenasco was farmed by Renato Ratti and his son Piero, and it remains the flagship of this estate. This vintage is beautifully perfumed and vibrant, and the wine tastes terrific just out of the gate. The finish is delicate, tightly knit and feathery light on the palate.”


A delicious bubbly from the closest winery to Barcelona.
AA Alta Alella Mirgin Reserva Brut Nature Cava NV 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points
“Light, bright yellow-gold. Displays pungent, mineral-accented aromas of dried pear, lemon pith, fennel and chamomile that show very good clarity and spicy lift. Weighty, focused and dry on the palate, which displays refreshingly bitter citrus pith, pear skin and quinine flavors and a hint of peachiness. Manages to come off hefty as well as graceful and finishes long and taut, with resonating stoniness and a touch of spicy ginger. (disgorged after 15 months on its lees).”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

“Bright intensity…with balance and elegance”
La Cana Albariño, Rias Baixas 2019 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
James Suckling 93 points
“A very precise and well-made white with cooked apple, spicy pear and some crushed-cement character. Medium to full body with tangy acidity that gives tension to the pretty fruit. Drink or hold.”
Decanter 90 points “Dry-farmed, hand-harvested and with 25% of the blend fermented with wild yeast, this is a showcase of citrus fruit, where grapefruit, lime and lemon zest mingle on a creamy-textured palate thanks to eight months of lees ageing. The bright intensity carries through the finish with balance and elegance.”


Freshly restocked on the (first ever Pinot Noir) Les Barres—and it’s flying out the door.
Chartogne-Taillet Les Barres Pinot Noir Extra Brut, Champagne (2015) NV 750ML ($149.95) $99 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“From a climat Chartonge made famous for its Pinot Meunier growing in chalky soils, the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Barres (Pinot Noir) derives from a westerly exposed parcel of Pinot Noir growing in sand—and hails entirely from the 2015 vintage. It’s showing very well, exhibiting attractive aromas of mirabelle plums, raspberries, anise, pastry cream and yellow chartreuse. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, ample and muscular, with tangy acids, excellent concentration and a long, chalky finish.”
Importer note “We are very excited to announce the release of a new parcellaire wine from Alexandre Chartogne. Lovers of grower champagne are familiar with Chartogne-Taillet’s Les Barres, the single parcel, un-grafted Meunier wine, released first in the 2006 vintage. This was the first wine that Alexandre produced after returning home to his family domaine, from working with Anselme Selosse, his mentor. Over a short period of time, Les Barres has become a cult wine and we have very small amounts to offer each year. The vineyard Les Barres and the wine Alexandre produces from it has been linked to a single grape variety – Meunier. Alexandre feels that the variety is simply the conduit, a transmission of place and identity. He feels that while it’s not irrelevant ‘Each place itself confers a different texture, a feeling in the mouth, which doesn’t change, even as the aromas and structure shifts with ageing.’… Alexandre showed us a new wine from Les Barres: ‘In the parcel Les Barres there are not just Meunier vines, but also a small amount of Pinot Noir.  The Pinot would not be enough to make a single harvest wine, so, I produced this wine from the vintages 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. It is Les Barres Pinot Noir, and the first time I have made it.’  The wine is exquisite, with remarkable length and depth, even in its youth. For fans of Les Barres, this is an incredible opportunity to taste other expressions of this outstanding site.  It’s a wine, which, like Les Barres Meunier, has a long life ahead of it.”

One of Comando G’s winemakers—this side project’s entry level bottle is stunning.
Daniel Gomez Jimenez-Landi ‘Las Uvas de la Ira’ Garnacha 2018 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points
“The red 2018 Las Uvas de la Ira has been produced with Garnacha from the same five vineyards since the initial vintage (2012) in the village of El Real de San Vicente, which is one of the villages from Méntrida (Toledo) that are part of the Gredos Mountains. The vines range between 40 and 65 years of age, and they are located at around 750 meters in altitude on sandy granite soils with lots of silt. The different vineyards are fermented separately in oak vats with indigenous yeasts and a very gentle vinification, one-third with very long macerations to provide structure and depth, one-third with a very short maceration to provide fragrance, and the remaining third finished the fermentation without skins (like a white) to add juiciness. The élevage is in oak foudres of different sizes, from 1,500 to 4,000 liters. This is a little less aromatic and more austere but very focused and bright, from a village where the wines are serious and have a chalky texture, less floral but more citrus, a bit more backward. It has a compact palate, with very fine tannins and a more chalky finish. It’s interesting to taste it next to wines from other villages, as you clearly see the difference. 18,700 bottles produced. It was bottled in August 2019.”

A staff pick that shines for the price.
Malat Grüner Veltliner, Kremstal 2018 750ML ($21.95) $19 special
Falstaff Magazine 90 points
“[Translated & edited for clarity] Light yellow-green with silver reflections. Notes of delicate candied orange zest, hints of tobacco underlain with yellow tropical fruit and some pineapple. An inviting bouquet. Juicy, elegant texture, with notes of white apple. Freshly structured in an easy drinking style. This makes you want a second glass.”
James Suckling 90 points “Quite spicy and stony aromas with notes of grassy limes. The palate has a juicy and fleshy feel with limes and green papaya to close. Drink now. Screw cap.”

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This is always our best-selling Rioja and has a massive fan base at the shop
Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($34.95) $23.50 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“One of the flagship cuvées from this estate that’s produced in every vintage, the 2015 Reserva is a blend of 70% Tempranillo and the rest Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano that spent 24 months in used French and American oak. Blackberries, currants, cigar wrapper, cedar box, and hints of vanilla all flow to a medium-bodied, concentrated, beautiful Rioja that has ripe tannins, beautiful balance, and a great finish. You couldn’t go wrong with a case of this.”
James Suckling 94 points “Complex nose with ripe black cherries, deeply integrated cedary oak, baking spices, dried flowers, leather, fresh tobacco and earthy notes. This is silky and mellow with long, laid-back tannins that deliver ripe dark plum flavors into a spicy and earthy finish. Drink or hold.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 92 points “…This was a very long harvest (similar to 2016). They started at the end of August with the Cava, and they finished at the end of October with very healthy grapes, good yields and very good quality. The wine shows very good ripeness but without any excess. It has incipient complexity, still young and undeveloped but with very good balance between power and elegance, with fine-grained tannins and integrated acidity. This has to be one of the best recent vintages of this popular bottling. There are around one million bottles of it.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Earthy black fruit aromas are warm and ripe. Befitting a reserva from a hot year like 2015, this is big-bodied and flush, with flavors of toasty oak, chocolate and mixed berry fruits. Ripeness is not lost on a finish with mild heat. Drink through 2023.”

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The average price is $28

Seehof ‘Elektrisch’ Riesling Kabinett, Germany 2019 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Importer note
“This gorgeous Rheinhessen sipper is finally back!  “Elektrisch” translates to, yup you guessed it, electric – and that’s how we like our Kabinetts. Which is to say, lighter, more delicate, less sweet and more acid-driven than a lot of the Kabinetts on the market, which are really little more than de-classified Spätlese. The 2019 is, as one might gather from the vintage of which Keller has written, “…one of the best vintages of the last 20 years,” AWESOME. It is electric with vivid and mouth watering granny smith apple and citrus and a live-wire of minerality and acidity nearly pulsating through it. For those of you who like the numbers: the mere 36 grams of residual sugar is easily countered and lifted by 7.4 grams of acidity. This is not only a true Kabinett, it is an “electric Kabinett.””

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Paolo’ Bea’s Iconic Wines

New Releases from the Umbrian Master

Paolo Bea is an iconic producer—a virtual one-winery symbol of Umbrian wine and it’s potential.  No winery in the region produces wines as profound, interesting and delicious as the Italian masters (son Giampero is the winemaker these days).

If you’ve had these before, keep scrolling to check out the new releases—if not, pay attention.  These are wines that capture the wildness of Umbrian wine and its signature grape, Sagrantino, in a way that captivates even the most jaded palates.  They’re naturally made, but have classical proportions, with an almost savage ferocity to the flavors (and in the Sagrantino, the tannins as well).  They’ve become quite hard to acquire in recent years (we guess the word’s gotten out), but we have some of the new wines arriving next month.

Arriving ETA November:

Only twelve bottles available
Paolo Bea Cerrete, Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG 2012 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Importer Note
“It is difficult to believe that Montefalco Sagrantino can get any more profound than Bea’s beloved “Pagliaro,” but indeed it can. The family has owned a parcel in Cerrete, the highest-altitude vineyard in Montefalco, for some time, but it wasn’t until the 2007 vintage that Giampiero deemed the vines old enough to do justice to the cru’s potential. With its poor, mineral-rich soils and its acidity-preserving altitude (450 to 500 meters), Cerrete yields a wine not more powerful than “Pagliaro”—in fact, it comes across as lighter on its feet—but with greater nuance, as if the settings on a microscope were dialed up to render even more detail. In acknowledgment of its stature, Giampiero gives it an additional year in large Slavonian oak, making for an astonishing five-year elevage before the requisite long resting period in Bea’s dark, cool bottle cellar. “

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Paolo Bea Pipparello Montefalco Rosso Riserva 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Importer Note
“The Pipparello vineyard is a hilltop site in Montefalco at 1300 feet above sea level. The soil is clay and gravel. The vines in the Pipparello vineyard are a minimum of 20 years old. Harvest takes place normally during the middle of October. The ultimate wine is a blend of roughly 60% Sangiovese, 25% Montepulciano and 15% Sagrantino. The cuvaison extends for a period between 40 to 50 days. After the alcoholic fermentation this wine spends a year in stainless steel tanks and then two years in large oak barrels and is released after an additional year of bottle-aging.”

Paolo Bea San Valentino Rosso Umbria IGT 2015 750ML ($64.95) $52.50 pre-arrival special
Importer Note
“This wine is sourced from the San Valentino vineyard in Montefalco the soil of which is dominated by clay. The vineyard is at 1300 feet altitude. The composition of the Montefalco Rosso is 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and 15% Montepulciano, all from a 50-year old vineyard containing the constituent grapes. Harvest usually occurs in the final ten days of October. Bea puts all the dry reds through extensive cuvaison. In this instance, the wine usually macerates for approximately 30 days before being racked and prepared for the malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for 3 years in stainless steel and an additional 4 to 12 months in bottle before release.”

Can’t Wait? We’ve got a few bottles from the Umbrian master in stock now:

Paolo Bea ‘Lapideus’ Bianco Umbria IGT 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Importer Note
“Giampiero acquired a parcel of 80-year-old Trebbiano Spoletino in the town of Pigge di Trevi several years back, and 2016 marks just the third vintage of this exciting new addition to the Bea lineup. Arising from a cooler microclimate than the “Arboreus” above, “Lapideus” spent a month on it skins after pressing, followed by over 200 additional days on the gross lees—a similar vinification to “Arboreus,” yet one that yielded markedly different results. “Lapideus” has a leaner, racier carriage than the broad-shouldered “Arboreus,” with a more precise sense of acidity; it emphasizes drive over density, and its underlying salinity is not a far cry from the spellbinding wines we import from Paolo Vodopivec in the Carso—incidentally, a dear friend of Giampiero and a fellow ViniVeri administrator. A subtle note of honeyed sweetness at the wine’s core speaks of its warm-climate origins, and Bea’s propensity for wildness reveals itself in a fascinating but ephemeral cheese-rind whisper in its aromatics. Only 745 bottles were produced, the vast majority of which are destined for the US market.”

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Paolo Bea Rosso de Veo Umbria IGT 2015 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Importer Note
“Since the 2005 vintage, Bea’s “Rosso de Veo” (“Veo” is the way the family’s name is pronounced in the old Umbrian dialect) is pure Sagrantino sourced from younger vines around the property and from parcels that do not quite make Giampiero’s rigorous cut for “Pagliaro,” “Pipparello,” and “Cerrete.” This 2015 is Mike Tyson in his prime: potent, assertive, brazen, and making no concessions to polite society. Monstrous in its tannins, it nonetheless presents them in such a multifaceted way as to almost transcend their viselike grip; the tannins themselves have layers, offering classic sandalwood spice on one level, mineral-saturated depth-charge stoniness on another, and—most thrillingly—a direct, naked evocation of crunching into dripping-ripe berries. Four years of élévage did nothing to blunt this astonishing wine’s unmitigated expression of freshly plucked grapes, and this is a monumental “Rosso de Veo” that should live for a very, very long time.”

Paolo Bea Pagliaro Secco, Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2015 750ML ($149.95) $99 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Importer Note
“Bea produces perhaps his most renowned wine from pure Sagrantino grown on the prized hilltop site of Pagliaro, situated at 1300 feet above sea level in Montefalco proper. Following the example of the “Rosso de Veo” above, this 2015 is absolutely jaw-dropping in its intensity and presence. Bea’s wines at their best offer a panoply of spices so intoxicating, so far-reaching, and so evocative, as to nearly defy belief. The only wines that approach Bea’s in that regard are perhaps the most un-sculpted Syrah-based wines of the Northern Rhône, but even those feel as if they have governors on their accelerators in comparison to top vintages of “Pagliaro.” Similarly large in scale to the “Rosso de Veo,” this actually presents with greater precision and nuance, its overall attack more subtle but ultimately no less impactful—direct evidence of a great terroir translated with consummate skill.”

Collector’s Corner

Royal Tokaji

Hungary’s Top Sweet Wines

Tokaji is one of the world’s greatest sweet wines. Written about in reverential tones throughout history, they nonetheless fell out of the focus of collectors in the last half century, as communist rule severely impacted the quality and availability of the wines.

The Royal Tokaji Company has been the vanguard producer at Tokaji’s renaissance. In addition to their maniacal focus on quality, the company has also been reviving the single-vineyards that were once synonymous with the best Hungarian bottlings. We’ve got very limited quantities of some of their top single-vineyard bottlings arriving next month, perfect for a long sleep in the cellar or an after holiday-dinner nightcap.

Arriving ETA November

Royal Tokaji ‘Betsek’ Single Vineyard 6 Puttonyos Tokaji Aszu, Tokaj-Hegyalja 2016 500ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin-Vinous 96 points
“The 2016 Betsek First Growth Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos contains the most residual sugar this vintage, at 185.8g/L. The clean, pure bouquet offers dried honey, a light adhesive note, lanolin and candle wax, very complex and mercurial in the glass. The elegant, well-balanced palate features apricot, quince, marmalade and a touch of ginger. What I adore is the manner in which this Betsek builds in the mouth and fans out like a great Tokaji ought to. Another outstanding single-vineyard offering from the Royal Tokaji Company. “

Royal Tokaji ‘Nyulaszo’ Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos, Tokaj-Hegyalja 2016 500ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin-Vinous 95 points
“The 2016 Nyulászó First Growth Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos, which delivers 180g/L residual sugar, has a deep, honeyed, slightly more introverted bouquet compared to the Ste. Tamás. It gradually reveals scents of manuka honey, orange pith and quince jus, yet it clearly deserves several years to really open. The palate is very well balanced, harmonious and brimming with tension. Pears, Seville orange marmalade, hints of mandarin and fresh figs vie for attention. This is a powerful, intense Tokaji, but razor-sharp, delivering real precision and “bite” toward the finish. Outstanding.”

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Stay safe, be well & drink well.