Monday Newsletter 11-23-2020

In This Newsletter:

Domaine Drouhin Oregon

New Week – New Arrivals

New Offer from Biggio Hamina!

New Champagne Reviews
From Antonio Galloni

Chateau Mangot
more new Bordeaux offers arriving in December

Please note:

Vinopolis Wine Shop

Will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 26th

We will reopen for our regularly scheduled hours

10 am – 6 pm

Friday, November 27th

This shop never closes:

Domaine Drouhin Oregon

Domaine Drouhin Oregon is one of the landmark names in Willamette Pinot.  They were the original “French import,” long before Meo-Camuzet, Jadot or Liger-Belair thought the region was worth investing in and they’ve been an important player ever since.  While they’re best known for their bottlings off of their original vineyard in the Dundee Hills, their “RoseRock” estate in the Eola-Hills has quietly been making some of the best wines in the DDO portfolio over the last few years.

The top wine that Drouhin Oregon makes under the RoseRock label is called Zephrine and it’s a monument to everything we love about Willamette Valley Pinot, especially from the Eola-Amity Hills.  Dark fruited, with beautiful floral and spice accents, it’s a wonderful wine that’s only going to get better in your cellar. 

Back In Stock:

Domaine Drouhin Roserock Zephirine Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($64.95) $52.50 special, 34 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points
“This has a very impressive sense of density and power with such immaculate detail and definition, in terms of tannin and fruit. The aromas are in the spicy and floral zone with blue-fruit and leafy nuances. Deceptively elegant and convincingly excellent pinot noir. Drink across the next decade.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Limpid ruby-red. Highly perfumed, mineral- and spice-accented red fruit liqueur, incense and potpourri scents show fine definition and assertive lift. Appealingly sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering vibrant raspberry, cherry, red currant and blood orange flavors that deepen and take on spicecake and floral pastille nuances on the back half. Shows outstanding focus and solid thrust on a long, floral-tinged finish shaped by subtle, polished tannins.”
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2017 Zéphirine Pinot Noir is a selection of the best barrels from the Roserock vineyard. Pale to medium ruby-purple, it’s scented of crushed boysenberries, blackberries, cranberries, bergamot and forest floor with touches of dried rose petals and violets. Medium-bodied and über silky, it offers great intensity and flavor layers, grainy and fresh with a long, layered finish.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “A dynamic wine, showing both grace and structure, this opens like a flower bloom, revealing notes of raspberry, crushed stone, fresh violet and savory tea. Builds richness and tension toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2027. 1,830 cases made.” 

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $58

Arriving Tuesday, November 24th from Domaine Drouhin:

Domaine Drouhin Arthur Chardonnay, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($34.95) $29.90 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 93 points
“This has a lightly spiced, fresh pear and lime edge with a sense of restraint and freshness. The palate has a lightly creamy feel with fresh, driving clarity of pears and light peaches. Lemons to close. Some stainless and some oak here, keeping it fresh. Drink in the next five years.”
Wine Advocate 92+ points “The 2017 Chardonnay Arthur was aged 10 months in about 15% new oak and has pure aromas of golden apples, quince, toast, honey, almonds and notions of elderflower, hay and chamomile. The light to medium-bodied palate is silky and delicate with mouthwatering acidity and a long, lively finish. This restrained, elegant Chardonnay will benefit from another year in bottle.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “This cuvée is sourced from the Dundee Hills estate vineyard. It’s a pretty wine with pleasing flavors of apple, spice, toast and sandalwood. All Dijon clones, it’s not quite as ripe as recent vintages, but nicely focused and balanced through the long finish.”

Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($44.95) $38.90 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Deep scarlet. Highly fragrant red and dark berries, baking spices, vanilla and candied flowers on the seductively perfumed nose. A smoky mineral accent adds definition and lift to sappy, alluringly sweet cherry cola, black raspberry and spicecake flavors that show very good depth and fine definition. Smooth and seamless in texture, finishing with impressive power, a hint of smokiness and discreet, well-knit tannins.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2017 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir has lovely, layered aromatics of crushed boysenberries, red currant jelly, cinnamon stick, autumn leaves, violets, orange peel and amaro. It’s light to medium-bodied with a silky texture, oodles of spice, a grainy frame and seamless freshness, finishing spicy.”

Domaine Drouhin Laurene Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points
“Shimmering ruby-red. High-pitched red fruit, floral and exotic spice aromas are complemented by suave incense and vanilla flourishes. Sweet, seamless and penetrating on the palate, offering vibrant raspberry, boysenberry, cherry preserve and spicecake flavors that convey a deft blend of power and delicacy. Finishes extremely long and precise, with resonating floral character and well-judged, polished tannins that sneak in late.”
James Suckling 95 points “A selection of around 100 barrels from the Dundee Hills estate pinot, this has a deeply grounded and confidently defined feel on the palate with density of tannin and a strong, noble core that carries long and builds so convincingly. Long, sustained, seamless quality to the finish. Drink over the next decade.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2017 Pinot Noir Laurene is a selection of the best barrels from Domaine Drouhin fruit. Pale to medium ruby, it has an open-knit nose of crushed blackberries, spiced cranberry sauce, forest floor, allspice, citrus peel and tree bark. It’s medium bodied with intense, spicy fruits, a grainy frame and seamless freshness, finishing very long.”

New Week – New Arrivals

Championship Bottle ‘Gravity’s Pull’ Dion Vineyard Chardonnay, Chehalem Mountains 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Winery note
“This is a realized vision of Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley—exactly how we want our wines from this grape to taste. Showing exceptional cut and drive, with a flinty nose and a palate of minerality etched with citrus zest and patina-ed with orchard fruit, we think Gravity’s Pull is a prime example of why serious drinkers should be looking for Chardonnay from this part of Oregon. We sourced the fruit for this wine from the thirty-year-old, ungrafted vines of the Dion vineyard in the cool northwest corner of the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Dion is a hidden gem in the Willamette Valley, giving wines that balance the bright freshness of its climate with the power inherent in its unique loess soils and old vines. Inspired by Burgundy and the great Chardonnay of the Colli Orientali del Friuli, this wine was fermented with its native yeasts in older oak barrels. It matured there undisturbed for eleven months until we racked it into stainless steel for a final six months of elevage before bottling. This is a wine to drink now, certainly, but will also gain complexity and texture in the cellar. 2018 was a hugely successful vintage for us and this wine is one of the shining stars of the set.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Loop de Loop Four Winds Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($34.95) $27 special
Winery note
“This vineyard is nestled into the far Western edge of the Willamette Valley – where it rises up into the coast range. At 800 ft in elevation, it was planted in 1991 and is sustainably farm; 100% Pommard Clone of Pinot Noir – this wine was minimally touched in the cellar. 100% destemmed this year, with a 10-day cold soak/spontaneous fermentation, no additions were made except a 20ppm SO2 four months prior to bottling. It was aged in neutral oak, on the lees for 1 year.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Loop De Loop Syrah, Columbia Gorge 2019 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Winery note
“Benefiting NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Intensely aromatic, this is a special clone of Northern Rhone Syrah. 100% whole cluster and co-fermented with our Riesling instead of the traditional co-fermentation with viognier. We expect this will not last long as it has generated a very excited response from our friends who have barrel tasted it with us. We wish we had more of it.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


“These are vibrant, forward and intensely expressive wines from their two estate vineyards in Walla Walla: In The Rocks Vineyard and Foothills in the Sun. Each of these beautiful wines benefit from the same vineyards, viticulture and vinification techniques that are used in their highly allocated Syrahs: Organic farming, native yeast fermentation and Taransaud French Oak barrel. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.” –Winery note 

Reynvaan Unnamed Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note
“75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc. Notes of cassis, roasted vegetables, beef stew, and Asian five spice, with a great minerality. The wine is medium to full bodied and incredibly balanced and has elegant mouthfeel with a long and pure finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Reynvaan Unnamed Series Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note
“100% Syrah. Dark plum, red currant and a wonderful salinity will continue to excite through the entire bottle. Multi layered and complex, this has a long mouthfeel, is very balanced, and is perfect to pair with a variety of fall dishes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Reynvaan Unnamed Series ‘Christmas Cuvee’ Red, Walla Walla Valley 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note
“It may not be Christmas all year but when you open this gift from us, it will be. This wine has so much to offer and barely missed the cut of the main Reynvaan wine blend. Huge notes of creme brulee, black pepper, smoked meats, and barbecue pit, with notes of apricot, raspberry and warm blackberry. 90% Syrah 6% Marsanne 4% Viognier.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

France – Champagne

Lilbert-Fils Perle Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
45% 2015, 45% 2014, 10% Reserve wine. Disgorged in autumn 2018
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “The Perle style is a comparative rarity in Champagne, bottling the wine at a lower than usual pressure. This dry Champagne is therefore softly textured with an open mousse. It does however have all the fine, tight minerality of great Chardonnay in Champagne and will surely develop further. Drink from 2021.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points “The latest release of the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Perle was disgorged in fall 2018 with five grams per liter dosage, and it’s a blend of equal parts 2015 and 2014, complemented by some 10% reserve wines. Offering up a lovely bouquet of fresh peach, lemon oil, white flowers and hints of the elegantly nutty complexity to come, the wine is medium to full-bodied and textural but incisive, with a creamy low-pressure mousse, a tight-knit core that needs a little time on cork to unwind and an elegantly chalky finish.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “Ripe pineapple and white cherry fruit flavors are accented by honeysuckle and spice notes in this appealing blanc de blancs Champagne, which is lithe and harmonious, with a fresh, lightly chalky finish. Disgorged autumn 2018. Drink now through 2023. 200 cases made, 40 cases imported.”

Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle Alexandra Rose, Champagne 1988 750ML ($599.95) $499 special, only 3 bottles available

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Brut Rose, Champagne 1993 750ML ($499.95) $399 special, only 3 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“[Reviewed July 2014] A stunning, totally drop-dead gorgeous wine, the 1993 Comtes de Champagne Rosé is intense and deep to the core. Even at 21 years of age, the 1993 possesses stunning richness and tons of pure resonance. Blood orange, spices, dried flowers and anise blossom from the glass in an effortless, totally gracious Champagne. The 1993 won’t live forever, but it is striking now and should continue to deliver the goods for another 5-10 years. Hints of truffle, dried cherry and spice linger on the exquisite finish.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “This is an explosion of chocolate and cherries, lifted gloriously on an ocean of tiny bubbles. Copper colored and Pinot-scented, its rich fruit tastes like ripe cherries rolled in milk chocolate, decadent and elegant at the same time. Exceptional length and depth of flavor.”

France – Bordeaux

Chateau Malescot St-Exupery, Margaux 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
James Suckling 97 points
“Some very rich and ripe red and dark berries here make for an impressive, engaging nose that has charming violet undertones. The palate is velvety and supple, while super smooth tannins deliver a long and plush, plum-soaked finish. Great wine and already drinking well. Try from 2023.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “One of the highlights of the vintage, the 2015 Malescot Saint Exupéry is superb. Grilled herbs, smoke, black cherry, lavender, menthol and graphite literally explode from this glass. Huge swaths of tannin give the wine its shape and big, ample frame. Iron, smoke, graphite, grilled herbs and licorice punctuate the huge, powerful finish. Readers should be in no rush to open the 2015, as it is likely to require at least a handful of years to become approachable.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Lovely steeped plum, fig and blackberry fruit is melded thoroughly with notes of alder, lilac and warm tar, giving this both treble and bass, while velvety tannins carry the finish with ease. Offers a long sanguine detail through the finish. Best from 2022 through 2040. 8,871 cases made.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 94+ points “Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Malescot St. Exupery is scented of chocolate-covered cherries, cassis and red plums with touches of earth and bay leaves. Medium to full-bodied with ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of expressive fruit, it finishes long and pure.”

Chateau Larcis Ducasse, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2008 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“[March 2017] One of my absolute favorite wines in this vertical is the 2008 Larcis Ducasse. Black cherry, plum, smoke, licorice, graphite and incense wrap around the palate in a deep, unctuous Saint-Émilion endowed with remarkable depth and pure sensuality. The tannins have softened enough that the 2008 can be enjoyed relatively soon, but it also has the depth to age. This is a superb showing.”

Chateau Larcis Ducasse, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
James Suckling 99 points
“The aromas here are so spellbinding with shitake mushrooms, wet earth and moss, as well as tree bark and, finally, dark fruit. The palate is incredible as it builds and grows with full body, but always tight and reserved. It shows so much depth and complexity. Please try not to touch this until 2025.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Larcis Ducasse sashays gracefully out of the glass with beautiful Black Forest cake, red cherry compote, raspberry preserves and blackberry pie scents plus hints of cigar box, Ceylon tea, dried lavender and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers gorgeous red and black fruit preserves flavors with a wonderfully plush texture and very long, perfumed finish.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 94 points “The 2016 Larcis-Ducasse, matured in 50% new oak, has an intense, flamboyant bouquet of black cherry, soy and hoisin aromas that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with dense tannin, and quite masculine, having firmed up since en primeur. The finish is precise. This is a sophisticated Larcis Ducasse that may surprise some people with its restraint, yet Nicolas Thienpont and his team have retained the intensity that has become the signature of this Saint-Émilion.”

Chateau Clos de Sarpe, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points
“Showing even better now than on release, the 2015 Château Clos de Sarpe might be one of the greatest wines to ever emerge from this tiny vineyard just outside of Saint Emilion. Dense purple/plum-hued, with an enormous bouquet of blueberries, blackberries, white truffles, violets, and spring flowers, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, an incredible sense of opulence, and silky, polished tannins. It’s absorbed just about every trace of its oak élevage, and while it’s an incredible drink today, it’s going to evolve for 30+ years or more.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 95 points “The 2015 Clos de Sarpe boasts off-the-charts richness. Full-throttle and unapologetically opulent, Clos de Sarpe is probably the most exotic of the more modern, sumptuous Saint-Émilions. Super-ripe black cherry, chocolate, leather, spice and new French oak are all pushed forward. Ripeness and unctuousness are taken to the edge in this exotic beauty.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $94

Chateau Clos de Sarpe, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points
“An off-the-hook Saint-Emilion, the inky colored 2016 Château Clos de Sarpe is mostly Merlot but includes 15% Cabernet Franc. A beautiful, floral character gives way to more blueberry, raspberry, spice, and cedar notes, and it’s medium to full-bodied, fresh, and elegant on the palate, with thrilling purity of fruit. It’s still tight and reserved at the moment, with a focused feel on the palate, but has tons of potential. Give bottles 5-7 years of bottle age and enjoy over the following 15+.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Clos de Sarpe (composed of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc) is a little closed to begin, opening out to reveal provocative Black Forest cake, Chinese five spice and cigar box notes with nuances of sandalwood, kirsch, rose hip tea and pencil shavings. Full-bodied, rich and opulent in the mouth, the palate is oh-so-seductive with a beautiful velvety texture and tons of freshness lifting the decadent fruit to a long spicy finish.”

Portugal – Port

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 2017 1.5L ($249.95) $199 special
Neal Martin-Vinous 98 points
“The 2017 Taylor’s Vintage Port comes from their three quintas: Vargellas, de Terra Feita and do Junco, picking commencing at Vargellas on September 1, the earliest since 1945. Now this boasts a bold and more flamboyant bouquet vis-à-vis the Croft with layers of blackcurrant, blueberries, violet and allspice. Wonderful definition here and as it ratchets up through the gears with aeration manages to maintain impressive delineation. The palate is medium, rather full-bodied. The first impression is one of freshness, completely disguising that summer’s dryness and warmth, a disarming finesse built around the frame of tannins that would have been impossible years ago. It is a silky-smooth Taylor’s, one of the most polished 2017 Vintage Ports with energy and tension flooding through the finish. Aristocratic as ever, totally Taylor’s, yet still translating the growing season with aplomb. Total production is 11,500 cases.”
Mark Squires-Wine Advocate 98-100 points “The 2017 Vintage Port, not quite bottled when seen but the final blend, is a field blend aged for approximately 20 months in wood. It comes in with 100 grams of residual sugar. A step up (or two) on the 2016, this shows fine depth, more focus, vivid fruit and serious power. It’s not particularly thick, austere or astringent, but this is built for the long haul. It is potentially a great Taylor’s, effortlessly combining brilliant fruit and structure. It tastes great now (today, it is far more vivid than its Vinha Velha sibling), but the power makes this hard to drink today. So, have some patience. It will need some time, probably a lot more than indicated, and will likely last longer than indicated as well. As noted in the accompanying article, I don’t see much point to impossibly long drinking windows. At some point, reevaluation is required.”
Decanter 97 points “A blend from predominantly north-facing Quinta de Vargellas in the Douro Superior and quintas Terras Feita and Junco in the Pinhão valley. This has lovely ripe mulberry fruit on the floral nose, also showing lovely concentration. It’s dense and fleshy initially on the palate, displaying silky-velvety damson fruit and broad, fine-grained tannins which rise in the mouth and lead to a big peacock’s tail of a finish. It’s a bold wine with great finesse, already beautifully integrated. 11,500 cases produced (nearly double that of 2016).”
Wine & Spirits 96 points “This 2017 has all the markers of a legendary Taylor Port – scents of green fig, the complex tannic impact of schist, the consternating sense of elegance in the face of massive structural power. David Guimaraens bases this wine on fruit from the Quinta de Vargellas, an estate on the south bank of the river in the arid Douro Superior. In our tastings, it came after several 2017s that were sourced from vineyards on the north bank, closer to Pinhao, and, while it would be simplistic to consider this a definitive difference (there are many exposures in each quinta, and other quinta parcels in the blends), there was a stark shift from the blackness of those wines to the sour-cherry impression of this wine, and its floral fraise des bois notes. Those flavors keep pushing up against the dark shadows of the wine’s schist tannins, an undulating wake of red fruit and minerals that carries the wine’s muscular power into memory.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Dow’s Vintage Port 2017 1.5L ($249.95) $219 special
James Suckling 98 points
“Pure grape aromas that remind me of fermenting must but then goes to stems and dried flowers. Full-bodied, medium sweet with fine-grained tannins that coat your palate. Powerful and muscular yet remains agile and beautiful. Grows on your palate. Wonderful ripe fruit in the middle palate. Try after 2030.”
Decanter 97 points “Based on fruit from the predominantly south-facing Quinta do Bomfim in the Cima Corgo and Quinta Senhora da Ribeira in the Douro Superior, with Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca making up 80% of the blend. This is opaque and closed in but powerfully ripe with underlying pure berry fruit. It’s seemingly quite introverted compared to some of its peers at this stage, but it’s still full, rich and opulent on the palate. It also shows the latent power of the vintage, made as it is in a slightly drier style (3.4 Baumé), with lovely minty fruit and full, ripe sinewy tannins all the way through the finish. Long and lithe, and very fine.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “A dense, thickly textured version, dripping with warm salted licorice, tar and açaí paste notes, while plum and blueberry pâte de fruit, chai spice and chocolate elements fill in behind. Lots of brambly grip flows underneath. Shows a very sappy feel on the finish. Best from 2035 through 2055.”
Wine & Spirits 95 points “This wine seems more accessible than young Dow vintages of the past, perfumed with purple-fruit freshness that’s completely integrated into the wine’s dark tannins. The structural power of those tannins grows more apparent as you spend time with the wine. Though they seem articulate, spicy and grand from the start, they continue to give fruit flavor after the bottle has been open for three days. The details range from cinnamon bark to mincemeat, plum skins and minerals, all of it surrounding the healthy purple-red fruit at the center of this wine. A beautiful and satistfying vintage from Dow, this will develop for decades.”
Mark Squires-Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Opening with dramatic color, this adds violets on the nose. It retains elegance while seeming subtly concentrated rather than jammy. Then, it finishes with pop and controlled power. For those who remember the powerhouse Dows in the past, that’s not quite this for the most part. It is an accessible and elegant Dow, relatively speaking. Charles Symington said that the higher proportion of Touriga Franca compared to some years contributed to that. That said, this still has the structure to age and develop. It seems wonderfully fresh and lifted all the while, but it’s neither rich, nor intense nor austere. This is a Dow that still needs some time to become more expressive and complex, though. There were 5,250 cases produced. The 2017 Vintage Port, bottled in May for release in the third quarter of 2019, is mostly a 42/38 blend of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca with old vines and miscellaneous others (including about 8% Alicante Bouschet) for the rest. It was bottled about a month before this tasting after 18 months in seasoned vats, but the just-bottled sample was not actually used for fear it might be in shock. This, accordingly, was actually a pre-bottling sample. It comes in with 106 grams of residual sugar.”
Jancis Robinson 18/20 “Black core with purple rim. Very different from the Stone Terraces just tasted, sweet and somehow more lifted as if more volatile. Hedgerow fruits on the nose, floral too, and again that real sweetness of fruit on the palate. Intense, firmly built but very generous in its sweet fruit character even if not analytically sweeter. Fine-grained but still grainy tannins with some hints of dried fruits on the finish. When I tasted this a second time on a different occasion, it seemed much fresher and more vibrant so I increased my score and lengthened the drinking window.”


Terrazas de Los Andes Cheval des Andes, Mendoza 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, only 5 bottles available!
James Suckling 99 points
“Super refined and beautiful with flowers, spices, dried fruit and hints of stones. Medium to full body with very fine tannins and a gorgeous finish. Shows great finesse and depth. Savory character, as always, but in check. Drink in 2022.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 97+ points “I also tasted the 2015 and 2016 next to the newly released 2017 to give it some context and to see the evolution and changes implemented in the last few years. The 2016 Cheval des Andes is probably the freshest wine produced to date and the first vintage when they used 100% own grapes. Of the trio of vintages tasted together—2015, 2016 and 2017—this is the one with less alcohol and more freshness, and it remains a more austere expression, reflecting a cooler and wetter year that resulted in a less exuberant wine, a benchmark for freshness. I’m looking forward to 2018 to see where they go in the next cool vintage after this 2016… They produced 60,000 bottles and 2,400 magnums. It was bottled in December 2017.”
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 95 points “Bright, dark red-ruby. Wild, musky scents and flavors of black raspberry, black pepper, olive tapenade, licorice and rocky salinity. Plush, savory and seamless; a mouthcoating Malbec-based blend with superb depth and palate presence. As concentrated as this wine is, it’s medium-bodied in the style of this cooler year but also remarkably nuanced and harmonious from the start, communicating an impression of restrained sweetness. Finishes extremely long and edge-free, with noble tannins and palate-saturating breadth. Incidentally, with this 2016, Cheval des Andes is now made entirely with estate fruit, from their properties in La Compuertas and Altamira. (aged in 70% new oak).”

New Offer from Biggio Hamina!

Arriving December 4th

Biggio Hamina Noel Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2017 750ML ($49.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Biggio Hamina Noel Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2017 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Limpid ruby-red. An expansive, spice-accented bouquet evokes fresh red/blue fruits, vanilla and cola. A floral note builds as the wine stretches out. Sweet and seamless in the mouth, the Noel Vineyard shows very good depth and sharp delineation to its raspberry, boysenberry and cherry flavors. A hint of smokiness emerges on a very long, penetrating finish that’s framed by smooth, even tannins. Made with 50% whole clusters.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

In Stock Now from Biggio Hamina

The quality to price ratio is out of control.
Biggio Hamina Claygate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
Case-6 Biggio Hamina Claygate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($199.95) $159 special (that’s only $26.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Biggio Hamina Claygate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($399.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Bright red. An exotically perfumed bouquet displays intense red fruit, potpourri and incense qualities. Spice and savory herb nuances build as the wine opens up. Bright and energetic in the mouth, offering densely packed and appealingly sweet raspberry liqueur, cherry and spicecake flavors that pick up a smoky mineral note on the back half. Plays power off of finesse deftly and finishes extremely long and floral, with sneaky, fine-grained tannins and a touch of exotic spices.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $34.50

You’d be hard-pressed to find a better Oregon Pinot at this price. This wine leans toward the savory-side with delicate notes of raspberries, wet leaves and herbs. Perfumed and light-bodied. A knockout at the table.
Biggio Hamina ‘Biha’ Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir 2017 750ML ($29.95) $14 special
Case-6 Biggio Hamina ‘Biha’ Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir 2017 750ML ($119.95) $75 special (that’s only $12.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Biggio Hamina ‘Biha’ Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir 2017 750ML (199.95) $139 special (that’s only $11.58/bottle!)

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Love Oregon Pinots?

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New Champagne Reviews

From Antonio Galloni

“It takes a bit of work, but it is possible to find compelling Champagnes that deliver superb quality, value, and often a good deal of artisan craftsmanship, too. These are some of my favorite affordable Champagnes. They are among my go-to wines, the bottles I order in restaurants and Champagnes that will elevate any occasion. Most of them retail in the $50/bottle range.” –Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, writing generally on recently reviewed grower Champagnes

Newly Reviewed Wines In Stock Now:

Aubry ‘Ivoire et Ebene’ Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($59.95) $45 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2013 Brut Ivoire et Ebène is a striking Champagne that shows just how compelling the year is. Rich, creamy and expansive, yet also light on its feet, the 2013 has so much to offer. Lemon oil, almond, marzipan, white flowers and chalk are some of the many notes that are laced together. Ivoire et Ebène is a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Meunier. Chardonnay dominates the flavor profile, while the red grapes are mostly felt in the wine’s structural presence and body. Disgorged: November, 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Marc Hebrart ‘Noces de Craie’ Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne 2015 750ML ($149.95) $109 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2015 Extra Brut Noces de Craie is fabulous. Rich, powerful and explosive, the 2015 exudes Pinot intensity, with layers of chalky, saline notes that run through a deep core of fruit. This is a decidedly virile style. The 2015 finishes with tremendous vinosity and all of the textural resonance that is typical of Champagnes from Aÿ. Dosage is 5 grams per liter. Disgorged: August, 2019.” 

Marc Hebrart ‘Rive Gauche Rive Droite’ Grand Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($149.95) $125 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2013 Brut Rive Gauche-Rive Droite Grand Cru is another superb wine in this range from Hébrart. Ample and creamy, the 2013 possesses tremendous depth from start to finish. The first signs of aromatic nuance are starting to appear, which makes this Brut Rive Gauche-Rive Droite Grand Cru a very complete Champagne to enjoy now and over the next handful of years. Rive Gauche-Rive Droite is a blend of equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Unlike the other wines in the range, it is vinified in oak, which adds quite a bit of texture. Dosage is 4.5 grams per liter.” 

Newly Reviewed & Arriving ETA November:

Marc Hebrart Premier Cru Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The NV Brut Mes Favorites Villes Vignes is a blend of several lieux-dits in Mareuil, 60% 2014, 20% 2013 and 20% 2012. A gorgeous wine, the Favorites wraps around the palate with sumptuous depth as it reveals its considerable charms and allure. Readers will find a Champagne of wonderful immediacy that is easy to drink and enjoy with minimal fanfare. Kirsch, plum, spice and hazelnut accents linger with effortless grace. Dosage is 6.5 grams per liter. Disgorged: January 17, 2019.” 

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Marc Hebrart Cuvee Rose Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The NV Brut Rosé is flat-out delicious. The word ‘balance’ is so overused in wine, but I really can’t think of a better way to describe the Brut Rosé. It is not nervy nor overly rich, but just impeccable in its poise and overall harmony. A healthy amount of Pinot lends volume and intensity to this Chardonnay-based Rosé. This is the sort of wine that is opened and disappears within a few minutes. This release is a blend of vintages 2017 and 2016. Disgorged: August, 2019.”

A. Margaine Special Club Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2013 Spécial Club offers a striking expression of Chardonnay. Rich and creamy in the glass, the Spécial Club is so alluring. Partial vinification in oak adds texture and a hint of oakiness, but is not obtrusive at all. Lemon confit, marzipan, white flowers and a touch of spice fill out the layers nicely. I would give it at least a year or two in bottle to soften, as the finish is just a bit tight today. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.”

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The average price is $102

A. Margaine Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $54.50 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The NV Brut Rosé is positively stellar. The blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir (including 5% still Pinot) works so well here in giving the wine a real sense of proportion that is impossible to miss. In tasting, the Brut Rosé is crisp and taut, but also has more than enough depth to balance things out. Bright red berry fruit and perfumed floral notes race out of the glass, with beams of saline intensity that lend shape through to the salivating finish. Dosage is 9 grams per liter. Disgorged: June, 2020.”

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The average price nationally is $60

A. Margaine ‘Le Brut’ Premier Cru NV 750ML ($54.95) $45 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The NV Brut Le Brut is another absolutely compelling wine in this range. Le Brut is 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, based on 2017 with 60% reserve wines from 2016-2011. What stands out most, though, is the wine’s total translucence and finesse. Citrus, floral and spice nuances seem to hover on the palate. The 8 grams of dosage is not at all evident. This is such a pretty and harmonious wine. Disgorged: October, 2019.”

Please note that disgorgement dates may not exactly match reviews, but base years, vintages, and/or blends are the same.

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Arriving in Early December

A “Natural Bordeaux Frontrunner!” 

Chateau Mangot

“This strict organic + bio-focused property with gifted terroir produces pure, precise and expressive wines.  Their commitment to natural viticulture and winemaking began in the 1990s and grew over time.  They’ve attained multiple certifications thanks to strictly organic vineyard practices – organic fertilizer, zero pesticides, bio diversity (legumes and other crops planted alongside vines) as well as very minimal winemaking – completely natural fermentation, native yeasts and minimal sulphur (‘no more than 30-50mg/L’ fyi that’s about half the normally permitted level, even according to the ‘natural wine’ purists).  Plus they also age their wines 5+ years in bottle following 12+ months in barrel prior to release.  Why?:  ‘All this rigor and precision reduces yields but rewards us year after year with grapes possessing a genuine identity that are characteristic of their terroir.’

“Located in eastern Saint-Emilion, in the commune of Saint Etienne de Lisse, the chateau dates back to the mid-1500s (pretty old even by Bordeaux standards) and remains family-owned by Jean-Guy and Anne-Marie Todeschini, whose parents purchased the property in the mid-1980s (and also own Ch. La Brande). Their 35ha of strictly sustainably-farmed vineyards feature 40 year-old average vines (some Merlot vines up to 60 years old) planted on clay and limestone soil atop very diverse terrain in the far eastern and cooler Saint Emilion, right before Cotes Castillon and near Ch. Faugeres, Fleur Cardinale and Valandraud, to name a few.  Interestingly, 15% of their non-vineyard property surface is dedicated to ecological reserves (hedges, woods, wild grass, embankments) making biodiversity a real asset of their land and terroir.  South facing vineyards occupy the highest elevation of this appellation (35-86m above sea level) and contain incredibly diverse terrain.  Vineyards are divided into 21 parcels, and each parcel is hand-harvested and vinified separately, the diversity of these terroirs adding incredible interest to the final blend while also preserving the identity of their unique terroir.  From a geological point of view, mostly clay and limestone soil rests on a bed of limestone molasse (soft rock), with outcrops on their slopes and around the plateau.  This increased presence of limestone gives Mangot density and richness while preserving real freshness, tension and minerality.” –Importer note 

Chateau Mangot, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($37.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Chateau Mangot, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($419.95) $315 pre-arrival special (that’s only $26.25/bottle!)
James Suckling 93 points
“A dense and rich red with driedberry and plum character. Full body, round and chewy tanninsand a flavorful finish. Lots of intensity. Drink in 2020.”

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The average price is $35

Also Arriving Early December from Bordeaux

Chateau Rauzan-Segla, Margaux 2010 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special, only 24 bottles available!
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points
“A wine that could easily be mistaken for a First Growth, the 2010 Rauzan-Ségla is an incredibly powerful, full-bodied wine by this estate’s standards, yet it nevertheless holds onto a terrific sense of elegance as well as perfect balance. A huge nose of blackcurrants, smoked earth, tobacco, lead pencil, and spice give way to a concentrated, blockbuster styled Margaux that has thrilling depth of fruit, masses of ripe tannins, and great length and finesse on the finish. This brilliant wine is just now seemingly on the edge of its drink window and offers immense pleasure, yet it has another 30-40 years of life ahead of it. Along with the 2015 and 2016, it’s the greatest wine made at this estate in the past two decades.”
James Suckling 98 points “Beautiful clarity of fruit with raspberries and currants on the nose. Roses and other flowers too. It’s almost hard to describe, but there’s a real purity. Full body, with fabulous balance and depth. It has everything in the right place. Best ever? Try it in 2018.”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “One of the top Margaux wines, this is in top form, finely balanced and as elegant as it is powerful. It is darkly structured, dense yet balancing tannins with ripe black plums. It expresses the complexity of the vintage. A wine for serious, long-term aging.
Wine Advocate 95+ points “To reiterate, the 2010 Rauzan Segla is like a super-duper version of the 1986. Displaying fabulous density, an inky purple color and a superb nose of forest floor with a hint of menthol as well as loads of creme de cassis, mocha and touches of chocolate and subtle oak, this full-bodied, deep, concentrated wine represents only 45% of the estate’s production. It is certainly not for those who can’t wait a few years for it to round into shape, as I suspect it needs at least 5-8 years of bottle-age, but it should last for half a century or more…a timeless classic from the appellation of Margaux.” 
Neal Martin-Vinous 95 points “The 2010 Rauzan-Ségla is simply one of the finest releases in recent years. It has a heavenly bouquet with wild strawberry, subtle floral notes and great precision. The palate is nothing powerful, less flamboyant than the 2010 Palmer, yet endowed with incredible precision and length. All you could really want from a Margaux. Tasted from an ex-château bottle at the BI Wines & Spirits 10-Year On tasting.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Flashy style of Margaux, with alluring warm cocoa and black tea aromatics followed by cashmere-textured plum sauce, steeped fig and blackberry confiture notes. The well-integrated structure makes this seem almost accessible now, but the ample length and a smoldering tobacco note make a case for cellaring. Best from 2014 through 2030.”

Chateau Palmer Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux 2015 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special, only 24 bottles available!
James Suckling 96 points
“This is sensational, characterized by such purity and beauty and with aromas of blackberries, dark chocolate, walnuts, cedar and lavender. Full-bodied, tight and focused – in part thanks to sensational tannin tension that is intense yet polished. Needs five to six years of bottle age to come together. Great second wine of Palmer.”
Wine Cellar Insider 94 points “Rocks, stones, flowers, wet earth and inky, dark cherry, plum and even darker chocolate notes are all over the place. From the nose to the palate, you find the same expressions and complexities. The wine is richly textured, sensuous, silky and sweet. There is length and purity, This is better than any vintage of Palmer from the 70’s, most of the 80’s and the 90’s! This is the best vintage of Alter Ego ever produced.”

Chateau Tour De Pez, Saint-Estephe 2016 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Chateau Tour De Pez, Saint-Estephe 2016 750ML ($399.95) $299 pre-arrival special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)

“The 2016 Tour de Pez is a tasty, mid-weight Saint Estèphe. Nothing in particular stands out, as all the elements are very nicely balanced. Sweet red cherry, smoke, plum, and white pepper all grace this impeccable balanced wine” -Antonio Galloni, Vinous
“The 2016 Tour de Pez comes sprinting out of the blocks on the nose with precocious black cherries and blueberry fruit, violets and iris following just behind. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, quite tensile in the mouth with good acidity, flecks of brown spice and meat juices imparting a savory vein on the finish. There is plenty of character to this Saint Estèphe and it should age with style.” -Neal Martin, Wine Advocate

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