Monday Newsletter 11-29-21

In This Newsletter:

Arriving Friday:
Drappier’s Best Buy,
A Spectator Top 100,
New Bereche Releases & more!

Staff Picks: Top 10 of 2021

Von Winning

Gaston Chiquet New Arrivals

Sweet Temptations:
Italian Dessert Wines

Arriving Friday:

Drappier’s Best Buy,

A Spectator Top 100,

New Bereche Releases & more!


Drappier might sound like a Grande Marque, but they’re really a grower producer at heart.  They own 53 hectares of vines in the Aube (where they were the first to plant Pinot Noir) and make forward thinking wines at a very friendly price-point.  A carbon-neutral house, they place as much care in the cellar as they do in the vineyards—and the wines show it.

Forbes placed the estate’s Carte d’Or, as the #3 “Best Champagne You’ve Never Heard Of” for good reason.  Drappier makes big, flamboyantly rich Champagne that is always a crowd pleaser—at prices that mean you can actually pour it for crowds.  It’s hard to find better bubbly under $40/btl, so if you’re a Champagne drinker you should stock up now.

Arriving Friday:

Drappier Carte d’Or Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $38 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Drappier Carte d’Or Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91 points
“Disgorged in April 2021, Drappier’s new NV Brut Carte d’Or delivers attractive aromas of golden orchard fruit, stone fruit, honeycomb and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping, it’s charming and elegantly vinous, with a flavorful core of fruit, lively acids and a chalky finish.” 
Wine Spectator 90 points “Racy acidity enlivens this crisp and lacy Champagne. Well-knit, with the delicate mix of ripe white cherry, blanched almond, yellow plum and grated ginger flavors. Drink now. 3,000 cases imported. — AN”
[Disgorgement date may vary from reviews]

Other Top Picks Arriving Friday:

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

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“Few growers can match Raphaël Bérêche’s enthusiasm. That energy comes through in wines that faithfully capture the purest essence of vintage, variety and site…” Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Bereche et Fils Campania Remensis Extra Brut Rose NV (2017), Champagne 750ML ($119.95) $109 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available!
Bereche et Fils Campania Remensis Extra Brut Rose NV (2017), Champagne 1.5L (299.95) $219 pre-arrival special, only 3 magnums available!
Importer note
“The Bérêche rosé, Campania Remensis, uses the Roman name for the countryside around Reims. It also comes from a single terroir, the village of Ormes, just west of Reims in the Petite Montagne. It is two-thirds Pinot Noir—including a small percentage of still wine for color—with the balance Chardonnay. It is, like all the domaine’s wines, a Champagne of unusual originality and elegance thanks to its unique site and the approach of its makers.”

Bereche et Fils ‘Rilly-La-Montagne’ Premier Cru Extra Brut NV (2017), Champagne 750ML ($119.95) $109 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available!
Importer note
“With the 2013 vintage, the brothers began to expand on the idea of single-village wines with the release of two more dazzling wines. Rilly-la-Montagne, a pure Pinot Noir blanc de noirs from the premier cru village of the same name, is sourced from a half-hectare of 36-year-old vines in the Les Sablons lieu-dit.”

There’s a reason that Quilceda Creek is the number one name in Washington Cabernet—the standard by which all others are judged. Simply put, no other winery has been making wines that score as highly as consistently (and for so long). 2018 is going down as a standout vintage in Washington State for its near perfect wines. A long growing season combined with a leisurely paced harvest allowed for perfectly healthy fruit to be brought in at ideal ripeness. After 40 vintages working with the Champoux vineyard, Quilceda Creek has wrangled in the sites 5th 100 point score in its planted history. Bold, rich, and powerful, it’s destined to be one of the greatest wines ever produced in Washington. The only catch is that the quantities are extremely limited.

Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2018 750ML ($219.95) $179 re-arrival special, only 12 bottles available!
Decanter 100 points
“This is as good as it gets for Washington Cabernet Sauvignon. Right away the gorgeous crème de violette and crème de cassis tones join blackberry cordial, exotic spices and dark chocolate shavings. The combination of finesse and texture is downright scintillating. Sweet pipe tobacco is woven together with Black Forest cake, and fresh blueberries and graphite with shades of tar take shape on the palate. Truly sensational even at the three year mark, this will provide drinking enjoyment over the next 20 plus years. Drinking Window 2021 – 2040.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98+ points “Another magical Cabernet Sauvignon from this team, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley comes from a blend of sites and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon brought up mostly in new French oak. This vivid purple-hued beauty offers a kaleidoscope-like array of red and black currants, spice box, lead pencil shavings, crushed stone, and assorted tobacco and leafy herb nuances. These carry to full-bodied Cabernet with incredibly purity of fruit, building tannins and structure, flawless balance, and a monster of a finish that won’t quit. It should keep for 20-25 years with no issues. This is unquestionably another brilliant set of releases from Quilceda, and these 2018s show the classic opulence this estate is known for backed up by beautiful purity and lots of underlying structure.”
Anthony Mueller-Wine Advocate 98 points “The capsule of the 2018 celebrates the 40th vintage, otherwise unnoted specifically to keep the consistency of the label. The nose is soft and delineated with lifted dark red and black fruit essences that waft with a delicate floral lift. Showing a softer and compact frame that delivers fine and focused aromas, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon packs complex layers in the nose, with a fresh bouquet of red and purple flowers, violets, lilac and sakura before overflowing with a fruit bowl of aromatics, including black raspberry, black cherry and juicy plum with blackberry nuances, all shining through with a thoughtful frame of French oak tones. Medium to full-bodied at 14.8% alcohol, the palate bursts with precision and finesse and there’s an elegant frame that offers lively acidity and succulent, fine-grained tannins. The 40th vintage marks a brilliant success for Quilceda Creek, attaining a lighter chassis that captures the same magic without being overly generous. The 2018’s tighter frame has allowed the wine to express layers of beautiful dark red fruit flavors and supple oak spices that make the wine slightly spicy with cinnamon essence while offering the same precision without any sacrifices to the overall experience. Ultimately, the wine glides to a remarkably long and textured finish that will last for a couple of decades. Bravo! This is another successful vintage for Quilceda Creek. Run, don’t walk to get this into your cellar!”
Wine Enthusiast 98 points “Cellar Selection. Aromas of black raspberry, dried herb, cherry, incense, cranberry and spice explode from the glass. The flavors undulate across the palate, creamy in feel, with layer upon layer of fruit and barrel flavors. It is completely seamless, with outrageous balance—the quintessential hammer in a velvet glove. The finish carries off into the distance. Best after 2032. -Sean P. Sullivan”

Staff Picks: Top 10 of 2021

The staff at Vinopolis is curating their top 10 lists of wine in 2021. We’re selecting our favorite wines of 2021, no ties to points, price or prestige, but rather wines we simply enjoyed the most this year. 


Michael Etzel is the founder of Beaux Freres and more recently his neighboring Sequitur. How has he over the span of decades consistently made the Willamette Valley’s finest Pinot Noirs? ‘tis simple, he loves his vines and the vines love him. 
Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($119.95) $79 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points
“Glimmering red. A hugely aromatic bouquet evokes fresh red fruits, Asian spices and potpourri, along with a bright mineral overtone and a touch of smokiness. Juicy, seamless and precise on the palate, offering potent, mineral-laced raspberry preserve, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out steadily on the back half. Delivers a compelling blend of power and finesse and finishes with silky tannins, outstanding clarity and floral- and mineral-driven persistence.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a lovely, open nose of black and red cherries and blackberries with notions of wood smoke, turned earth, autumn leaves, cardamom and potpourri. Medium-bodied, it floods the mouth with ripe black and red fruits with wonderful earthy/spicy accents, very fine, grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long with spice and floral layers. 480 cases produced.”

Nobody in Piedmont produces a broader range of wines than Vajra. And every wine he makes represents the vineyards and grape varietals very well. The Albe Barolo was chosen from Vajra’s mid-range; a wine for any occasion.
G.D. Vajra Albe, Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($41.95) $33 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points
“This is one of the most accessible and trustworthy wines you can buy from Piedmont. Keeping in line with past vintages, the G.D. Vajra 2017 Barolo Albe opens to medium concentration and a very expressive or fruit-forward bouquet. This hot-climate 2017 edition shows a little more ripeness and roundness as is to be expected, but these results are a safe bet nonetheless. Cherry and raspberry aromas are followed by blue flower and pressed violets. Set this bottle aside for medium or long-term drinking. Production is an ample 40,000 bottles.”
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Editor’s Choice. Red berry, rose and camphor aromas waft out of the glass. Tangy and delicious, the smooth, full-bodied palate doles out ripe Marasca cherry, fleshy raspberry and hints of ground baking spice framed in taut, polished tannins. It’s already accessible but also has good midterm aging potential. Drink 2022–2029.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “The 2017 Barolo Albe has generous aromas of fresh black cherry, dried roses, baking spice, and tar. The palate has concentration of fruit that remains fresh with tension, noted by dried cranberry, orange zest, and cocoa. Once again, this wine proves a great value that well over-delivers for an entry Barolo. Drink 2021-2036.”

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We do all we can do to present the broadest and best selection of Produttori del Barbaresco on our planet. Which is the best of the best today? My nomination is the 2013 Montefico which is just beginning to enter the years of its prime time.
Produttori del Barbaresco Montefico, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 97 points– Cellar Selection
“Still young but already boasting extraordinary pedigree, this fantastic wine opens with hallmark scents of wild berry, new leather, chopped herb, tilled soil and a whiff of violet. The polished, full-bodied palate delivers juicy wild cherry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and licorice while youthfully assertive, noble tannins and bright acidity provide age-worthy structure. A pipe tobacco note lingers on the finish. Drink 2023–2038.”
Antonio Galloni 96+ points “The Barbaresco Riserva Montefico shows all the energy and focus that is typical of this great site, but there is so much depth to the fruit that some of the more angular contours have been softened. Bright saline-infused notes lead to wild flowers and an exotic melange of red fruits in this beautifully delineated, vivid Barbaresco. All the elements are simply in the right place.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96+ points “I am absolutely impressed by the stunning 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Montefico. The Montefico growing site is very small and only 13,000 bottles are produced as a result. There are just three farmers who tend to this vineyard cru, and because their respective plots are very small, they rely on the Produttori del Barbaresco co-operative model for survival. This wine shows amazing depth and enlarged dimension. Aromas of black fruit, spice, tar and crushed mineral contribute to the considerable volume and power of the wine. That precise and focused mineral definition is outstanding, recalling brimstone and pencil shavings. Montefico can underperform in the hot vintages, but it hits all the high notes in the cooler 2013.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This beefy red evokes cherry, licorice, herb, mineral and tobacco aromas and flavors. Rich and densely structured, with iron, tobacco and cherry notes lingering on the long finish. Best from 2023 through 2035.”

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Marietta! To my mind the silent leader of more for less. More better viticulture and oenology for less money.
Marietta Cellars Arme Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast 2018 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2018 Armé Cabernet Sauvignon is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 7% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot. Medium ruby-purple, it has pure, classic aromas of cassis, graphite, violets, loamy earth and tobacco. The intensely flavored palate is light on its feet with loads of juicy lift and a soft tannic frame, and it finishes long and floral. It’s an incredibly elegant style, particularly at this price point!”
James Suckling 93 points “Round-textured and fruity with balance and softness, yet freshness at the same time. Medium-bodied. Attractive berry, currant and sweet green-tobacco undertones. 85% cabernet sauvignon, 7% merlot and 4% malbec and 4% petit verdot. Drink now.”

Chenin Blanc is perhaps the most fickle wine grape of them all. Paraphrasing the nursery rhyme- “when it is good it is very, very good and when it is bad it is horrid”. Huet’s wines are not only always very, very good, and they also defeat the notion that sweeter wines are desert wines. Try a demi-sec with anything cream sauced, detectably salted, or hot spiced. And of course – cheese.
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Demi-Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($59.94) $41.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
#6 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 2017
Wine Spectator 95 points
“This tilts toward the flattering side of off-dry, showing a plump feel to the core of creamed pear, white peach and yellow apple fruit. Lovely verbena, honeysuckle and mineral accents keep this balanced and driven, with a long finish that lets the fruit echo. Drink now through 2032.”

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For me, and a trending population of consumers, quality rose is a wine that fits all seasons. Nothing better to accompany many of the cuisines of seafoods and white meats. And of course the greater trend to no meats! There are many terrific rose wines but today all praises for Peyrassol.
Peyrassol ‘Chateau Peyrassol’ Cotes de Provence Rosé 2020 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Peyrassol ‘Chateau Peyrassol’ Cotes de Provence Rosé 2020 750ML ($479.95) $369 special (that’s only $30.75/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points
“Light, brilliant orange-pink. Highly perfumed, mineral-accented red berry and pit fruit aromas are complemented by a floral note that builds in the glass. Juicy and sharply focused in the mouth, offering vibrant strawberry, blood orange and white peach flavors and a suave touch of honeysuckle. Concentrated yet lithe in style, finishing with intense mineral- and floral-driven thrust.”

The hidden gem from Sicily. Little known, relatively inexpensive, and always delicious.
Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria, Sicily 2017 375ML ($49.95) $39 special, 15 half-bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points
“Pale golden-amber color. A full-bodied, sweet white with evolving layers of honey, lilies, candied ginger, peaches, kumquats and lychees. So luscious, complex and balanced. Incredibly long finish. Drink or hold.”

Once upon a time, many years ago, Portland had an ab fab Lebanese restaurant, and there I became addicted to the amazing Chateau Musar. Once upon a time, many years ago, Portland had an ab fab Lebanese restaurant, and there I became addicted to the amazing Chateau Musar. Wines made mostly throughout war and oppression. And yet, possessing quality and character sufficient to stand alongside highly regarded European wines from famed appellations.
Musar Chateau Musar Red Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 2013 750ML ($69.95) $51.90 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2013 Chateau Musar is bold, punchy and intensely perfumed. Rose petal, ripe red fruit, sage, mint, cinnamon and sweet tobacco give the 2013 a very strong aromatic presence that continues to build. Medium in body, with lovely red fruit character, the 2013 Musar could use a few years in bottle to fully come together. I expect it will always have a strong pungent signature.”
Decanter 92 points “This wine needs vigorous decanting otherwise it appears reduced. It shows evidence of French oak ageing: notes of vanilla with a cedar touch along with the plum fruit. Slightly meaty flavours suggest development. Amazingly balanced, with some volatile acidity providing additional freshness. With time it picks up hints of liquorice like an old Hermitage. Impressive volume yet a suave touch – a classic Musar!”

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A Bordeaux that is not commonly available but consistently amazing. At VWS we load up at every opportunity in the best vintages
Chateau Clos de Sarpe, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 24 bottles in stock now
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.”

A winemaker can be taken out of France, but you can’t take the France out of the winemaker. Christophe Baron is best known for his Cornas-ian Syrahs. But I am opting for his Grenache. Why? Because Rayas in Chateauneuf is no longer the Rayas that we knew, but Monsieur Baron is one of a very few who are gowing and vinifying a Grenache that will bring back memories of Rayas.
Cayuse Vineyards God Only Knows Armada Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla Valley 2018 750ML ($199.95) $179 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points
“Gorgeous rose petals, wildflowers, cured meats, wild strawberries, and framboise-like notes emerge from the 2018 Grenache God Only Knows, another ethereal, sensationally complex, nuanced, medium-bodied Grenache that’s as unique and singular as they come. Blossoming with time in the glass, it has ripe, present tannins, a layered, building mouthfeel, and a gorgeous, smoky, meaty finish. It needs 3-5 years in the cellar (it’s far from unapproachable today) to integrate its tannins and structure and will deliver the goods over the following 10-15 years.”
Anthony Mueller-Wine Advocate 96 points “Erupting from the glass with spiced cherry and smoked plum tones, the 2018 Grenache God Only Knows Armada Vineyard offers up notions of dusty roses, red peppercorn and dried potpourri. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is balanced with energetic acidity, a spicy, red-fruited expression and fine-grained, succulent tannins. The wine concludes with a dusty essence and a lingering flavor of red pepper skin. The wine rested for 22 months in neutral French demi-muids and foudre. It’s stunningly good, and I have no choice but to finish the glass. Just over 6,200 bottles produced.”

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Von Winning

Von Winning makes some of the most profound white wines on the planet. The combination of incredible vineyard sites, meticulous winemaking and a commitment to producing only the finest wines yields exactly what you’d hope: white wines of depth and complexity, with grace and mineral power. The Rieslings are dry, but unlike some of their neighbors, powerful fruit isn’t the goal here. No, the Von Winning’s Rieslings offer floral and mineral flavors that are both intense and furtive.

But what really separates Von Winning from their peers in Germany are their Sauvignon Blancs. Germany is of course not where you’d expect to find some of the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world, but the wines will make a believer out of anyone. These are rich, textural examples that move beyond varietal characteristics and into unique territory. Their closest comparison is probably the top Sauvignon of Friuli (eg, Miani, Ronco del Gnemiz), or the very best estates in Austria.

“The fact that this estate is crafting some of the very best dry wines in Germany is no fluke, rather a result of nearly obsessive winemaker Stephan Attman’s commitment to both dedicated cultivation of Deidesheim and Forst’s best sites and meticulous work in the cellar. Von Winning maintains some of the oldest parcels in Grosses Gewächs vineyards smattered across Forst, Deidesheim, and Ruppertsberg. Attman’s every decision is informed by great enthusiasm and experiences at estates in the Cote d’Or and abroad.” – Skurnik Wines

Arriving in December from Von Winning:

Von Winning Deidesheimer Kalkofen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2019 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special, only 5 bottles available!
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93-94 points
“From calcareous soils, the Deidesheimer Riesling 2019 Kalkofen GG offers a clear, intense and aromatic bouquet with very fine aromas of lanolin, clove and vanilla from the oak vats. Full-bodied and enormously juicy on the palate, this is a generous and hedonistic but nevertheless subtle and refined Riesling that reveals ripe peach aromas and a fine, harmonious texture with a quiet, subtly juicy flow. The acidity is delicate and stimulatingly salty on the finish. A gorgeous wine tasted as a sample in May 2020.”

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Von Winning Ungeheuer Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2019 750ML ($89.95) $68 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available!
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95-96 points
“The 2019 Ungeheuer GG is deep, intense and flinty-mineral on the refined and elegant nose. Full-bodied and creamy on the still yeasty palate, this is a powerful, elegant and refined, complex and sustainable Riesling with iodine flavors on the salty and lemon-fresh finish. This is a great Ungeheuer, and it will age for more than 10 years. Tasted as a sample in May 2020.”

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Von Winning ‘Ozyetra’ Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2019 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special, only 5 bottles available!
No scores for the 2019 vintage. 2018 review provides information on the 2019 and is below:
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97-99 points
“Named after the caviar from Ossetra, the 2018 Ozyetra is a selection of the best barrels of the Forster Pechstein (don’t ask me why Attmann started this with the 2017 vintage except for hedonistic and monetary reasons) that ages on the lees for two years… Stephan Attmann has bottled a terrific selection of 2019 Rieslings, and I am sure it is the best series he has ever presented since his beginning here in 2008. Kirchenstück, Pechstein, Jesuitengarten and Ungeheuer are highlights in this lineup but are also some of the finest Rieslings produced in all Germany last year. However, there is one wine outshining all the others: Ozyetra, the very best part of the Pechstein GG.”
Skurnik Imports note “Ozyetra is a selection of spectacular barrels from the Pechstein. Similar to MarMar, this wine is incredibly complex and concentrated, with great tension and length. Noble reduction, grilled lemons, fine wood. Fermentation & Elevage: Spontanenous fermentation in 500L barrels, left on the gross lees for 24 months. Pechstein (Forst) Vineyard.”

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Von Winning Estate Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2020 750ML ($24.95) $19.50 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote: Dry and minerally, with nectarine, peach, and citrus notes.

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Von Winning Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2020 750ML ($41.95) $33 pre-arrival special

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Von Winning Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad Riesling, Pfalz 2020 750ML ($44.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Skurnik Imports note
“The name derives from ancient Romans who with their legions and cavalry passed through this area (Reiter = rider; Pfad = path) Soil: top soil: sandy to sandy loam, subsoil:mostly detritus, sandstone and new red sandstone, in between zones of marl lime and loessial loam.”

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Von Winning Sauvignon Blanc ‘II’ Trocken, Pfalz 2020 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 pre-arrival special

Von Winning Sauvignon Blanc ‘500’ Trocken, Pfalz 2019 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Skurnik Imports note
“Selection of the best 500 liter barrels and sourced from vineyards with a vine density of 9,500 plants per hectare.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Shop our complete selection of 500+ German Rieslings in stock now and arriving soon on our web store!

Gaston Chiquet

New Arrivals

One of the most undervalued producers in a champagne village famous for its values, Gaston Chiquet make a whole line of champagnes that punch far above their weight class. Producing the only Blanc de blanc style in the entire village of Aÿ, and one of a handful even growing Chardonnay they are not afraid to buck tradition. Producing virtually every conceivable style, including a vintage “Special club” this is a producer to try at least once!   

In Stock Now: 

Gaston Chiquet Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs d’Ay Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“One of the hidden gems in this range, the Brut Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ is striking. It is also pretty tightly wound, so a year or two of cellaring is absolutely essential. Citrus peel, white flowers, mint and crushed rocks abound. I have to say, I am pretty surprised how taut the Blanc de Blancs is. Time in the glass releases attractive tropical accents that add character and also provide some hints as to where the wine is headed. More than anything else, the texture and persistence are so alluring. As always, the NV Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ, is in reality a vintage wine, in this case 2014. Disgorged: November, 2019.” 
Disgorged February 2021

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Gaston Chiquet Cuvee de Reserve Premier Cru Brut NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 21 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points
“Disgorged in February 2019 after 84 months sur lattes, the NV Brut Cuvée de Réserve from Gaston Chiquet is showing well, offering up a classy bouquet yellow orchard fruit, warm biscuits, hazelnuts and peach. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and charming, it’s deep and layered, with a sweet core of fruit and an ultra-refined mousse. While it’s hard to resist today, such is the wine’s inherent generosity, a few more years on cork will be rewarded with even greater complexity.” 
Disgorged October 2020

Gaston Chiquet Special Club Grand Cru Brut Millesime 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2013 Brut Spécial Club is another superb wine in this range. All of the breadth and pedigree of this great vintage comes through. Dried pear, ginger, spice and dried flowers are all amplified in this creamy, expansive Champagne. The 2013 is off the charts gorgeous. Disgorged: February, 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $92

Arriving Friday:

Gaston Chiquet Premier Cru Brut Tradition NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points
“Disgorged in November 2019, the latest release of Chiquet’s supremely dependable NV Brut Premier Cru Tradition reveals an inviting bouquet of crisp yellow orchard fruit, fresh peach, honeycomb, citrus oil and warm biscuits. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, fleshy and charming, with a classy mousse, a succulent core of fruit and ripe but racy balancing acids. It’s already drinking well.” 
Wine Spectator 90 points “A bright, snappy Champagne, mineral-driven and crisp in texture, displaying a range of tangy apple and kumquat fruit with hints of smoked almond, biscuit and lemon thyme. Disgorged November 2019. Drink now.”

Shop our complete selection of 200+ Champagnes in stock now and arriving soon on our web store!

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Sweet Temptations:

Italian Dessert Wines

Much like olive oil and wine production, dessert wine is one of the great “unifiers” of Italian culture, with examples seen from Sicily to the northern reaches of the Veneto. Traditionally sourced from local varietals, there are a number of techniques that have been developed over the centuries to make these wines. 

The main styles are Passito, Recioto and Vin Santo with the latter being first mentioned by Ancient Roman writer Pliny the Elder. There is a dizzying assortment of producers, sweetness levels, and varietals used with only a handful making it to the United States. Most examples feature medium-to-high levels of residual sugar, with a medium of acidity and an incredibly full body that can be almost syrupy. The time needed to late harvest, dry the grapes, slowly press and ferment make these some of the most labor intensive dessert wines in the entire world. We carry an incredible assortment in store.

Highlights in Stock Now:

Avignonesi is widely considered to be the top producer of Vin Santo and every time we get to taste these wines, we know we’re drinking something truly magical.

Avignonesi Vin Santo di Montepulciano, Tuscany 2001 375ML ($219.95) Was $189, Now $169 Super Subscriber Special, 24 half-bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The 2001 Vin Santo di Montepulciano (375 milliliters) is a divine and superbly delicious sweet blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia and Grechetto. The results are super concentrated and simmered down to a virtual reduction sauce of deliciousness. There are so many aromas to name, but some of the most evident highlights include candied orange peel, almond marzipan, caramel, toasted coffee bean, vanilla stick, mocha, dark honey and fragrant yellow rose. The mouthfeel is creamy, rich and deeply layered. I’m suggesting a slightly shorter drinking window here compared to the Occhio di Pernice. But, the truth is: I have no idea. I’m pretty sure these wines will outlive anyone of legal drinking age.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $229.90

Rocca di Montegrossi Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2006 375ML ($149.95) $119 special, 4 half-bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“Rocca di Montegrossi often makes one of the richest Vin Santos in Chianti Classico. The 2006 is a bit less opulent than is often the case, but that just means the Vin Santo is not a blockbuster. Voluptuous and beautifully layered throughout, the 2006 offers an attractive infusion of dried herbs, wild flowers, coconut, mint and leather, all wrapped around a core of dark, deeply spiced fruit.”

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Rocca di Montegrossi Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2009 375ML ($99.95) $89 special, 24 half-bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2009 Vin Santo is a rich, exotic wine, as it always is. Readers will find one of the richest most intense Vin Santos being made today. Plush, tropical and ample in feel, Rocca di Montegrossi’s Vin Santo is bold and racy to the core. The 350 grams of residual sugar leave the wine with tremendous textural plushness.”

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Arnaldo-Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito DOCG 2016 375ML ($69.95) $59 special, 10 half-bottles in stock now
Wilson Daniels tasting note
“AROMA: The sweetness arrives first to the nose with scents of blackberry and strawberry jam, revealing vanilla and cinnamon. TASTE: warm and sweet, soft and intense. The tannins work to balance the sugars and leave the palate cleansed, ready for another taste.”

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Buglioni ‘Il Recioto’ Recioto della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2019 500ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 11 500ml-bottles in stock now
Wilson Daniels tasting note
“Dark ruby red colour. Intense and elegant aromas of ripe fruit, raisins, black Cherries and plums in alcohol; spicy scents of cocoa, vanilla and tobacco. Sweet and warm aroma, velvety and round.”

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Castello di Volpaia Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Tuscany 2015 375ML ($69.95) $59 special, 16 half-bottles in stock now
Wilson Daniels tasting note
“Scintillating amber. It is a full, balanced wine with intense flavors of cane sugar, apricot jam and sultan grapes. Warm and luscious with an almond finish.”
Feudo Montoni Passito Rosso, Sicily NV 375ML ($39.95) $33 special, 26 half-bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 94 points
“Bright deep red with an orange rim. The nose really opens with aeration to offer sweet red plum, dehydrated red cherry, cinnamon and raisins. Then similar flavors to the aromas lifted by juicy, harmonious acidity. Finishes very long and suave with saline nuances and repeating notes of raisins. Lovely, light on its feet dessert wine that seems less sweet than it really is thanks to its piercing acidity. One of the best sweet wines I have tasted so far this year. This is a blend of air-dried Nero d’Avola and Perricone aged in wood barrels for seven months and then twelve months in bottle prior to going on sale.”
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Thank you from the team at Vinopolis!

Be well & drink well.