A New Gran Reserva from Remelluri
Sicilian Star: Gulfi
Exploring the Lost Regions of Spain
Trending Wines of the Weekend
Cantina del Pino
The Scarce Wines of Clos Rougeard
Featured New Arrival
A New Gran Reserva from Remelluri
Remelluri eschews American oak, finding it too overblown, and instead works with only the highest quality French cooperage. No expense is spared, up and down the line, and these wines are special as a result of that. We will receive our allocation in November of this fantastic 2012 Rioja Gran Reserva—a wine that somehow manages the magic trick of being impressive today and capable of aging for decades. This is one of the landmark wines of Spain and deserves a prominent place in any cellar.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Remelluri Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Case-6 Remelluri Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($599.95) $499 special (that’s only $83.17/bottle!)
James Suckling 96 points “The DNA of Remelluri is here. Wild mountain herb character, structured and firm, these tannins are succulent and deeply expressive. Powerful and assertive red plums, wild cherries and roasting herbs with the oak sitting well. Power and balance. Try from 2021.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94+ points “A blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano, the 2012 Granja Remelluri Gran Reserva represents what they are aiming for with this wine, a classical expression of the place, the quintessence of the vineyards. The select their oldest vineyards and age the wine for a long time, coming back to those early years of a modern Rioja that has now turned into a classic. It has some dusty tannins, with good grip and length. It was bottled in 24,238 bottles after an élevage of 26 months. It has been in bottle since May 2015.”
It’s always hard to see magazines recommend Beaujolais as an alternative to Burgundy—while I love Bojo, Gamay fermented carbonically has such a distinct personality that the swap never holds to my thinking. I get it (geography, climate, etc) but it’s a bit like someone recommending After Hours when you were in the mood for Raging Bull—sure they’re both Scorsese movies, but there are probably better tonal fits.
All of this extended intro is to say that Mee Godard’s Morgon Cote du Py is a very, very Burgundian bottle of Beaujolais (the Taxi Driver in this now very forced analogy?). It’s made with a long, fully crushed and non-carbonic maceration and aged in an assortment of older barrels before release and the winemaking has yielded a very structured, complex bottle of wine. The extra few years of bottle age on it have helped, but it still needs an hour-plus open (or, better yet, another few in a cool, dark place). The resulting wine is fantastic—perfumed, complex and one of the better deals out there. It was a pleasure with a white bean and chanterelle dish the other night—this wine rocks with food. We have roughly two cases left of this after I restocked, so go for it.
In Stock Now:
Domaine Mee Godard Morgon Cote de Py, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Bright ruby-red. Heady, mineral-accented aromas of ripe cherry and red berries, with a peppery nuance adding vivacity. At once concentrated and lively, offering intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a sneaky suggestion of spicecake. Picks up a sexy lavender pastille quality on the incisive, sharply focused finish, which hangs on with outstanding tenacity and building minerality.”
Gulfi first came to prominence as a champion of Nero D’Avola—the rich dark grape that they proved could be a transparent expression of terroir. The single vineyards Nero’s that Gulfi made changed perceptions of the grape and has helped lead to the current renaissance of Sicilian viticulture. These are wines that are intense, powerful, yet graceful.
Gulfi’s Nero d’Avola is typically extracted and rich, with subtle nuances reflecting the vineyard locations spread around the southeastern corner of the island. Variations in altitude and proximity to the sea influence the delicate aromatics, as ripeness is certainly not the issue. Salinity and sea breeze influences are present and add nuance to the ripe, roasty, smoky characteristics. Drink them if you like California Cabernet or Brunello or Syrah from the Northern Rhone or anywhere in between.
We’re highlighting three wines from a pair of vineyards today. The Neromaccarj (pronounce the “j” as an “i” with the Gulfi names) is a vineyard that sits almost at sea level, and the wines from the vineyard are the biggest, richest and darkest fruited of the lot. By contrast, the Nerosanlore is a higher altitude site with a stronger marine influence and so the wines temper Nero d’Avola’s natural richness with higher acidity, redder fruits and grippier tannins. They often take an extra year or so to show well, which is why it’s extremely exciting to offer the 2011 alongside the current-release ’13.
In Stock Now:
Gulfi Neromaccarj Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
James Suckling 95 points “The complex, plum-cake and spice nose leads into a rich and sophisticated red, in which the tannins and fruit are already perfectly integrated. Long, complex, herbal and spicy finish. From organically grown grapes.”
Wine Advocate 92+ points “The 2013 Sicilia Neromàccarj bursts open with dark fruit intensity, including dried cherry and blackberry confit. Like the other wines in this series of single-vineyard Nero d’Avola wines, this expression produces above-average density, darkness and richness. But the Neromàccarj also offers an elegant side that comes forth, thanks to the contained intensity and the firm delineation of its aromas. Smoke, tar and black olive appear on the close. The Maccari vineyard site is almost at sea level and has limestone, clay and rocky soils that are rich with organic matter. Only 3,200 bottles were made.”-ML
The next best price is $44.99
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2013 Sicilia Nerosanloré is a rich and plush red wine with a mid-weight approach backed by lots of rich fiber and fruity thickness. The house style at Gulfi always prizes ripeness and higher-than-average concentration. Blackberry preserves and cherry confit are backed by spice, sweet tobacco and sticky tar. The San Lorenzo vineyard site enjoys the highest altitude of all these cru sites. It is located at 600 meters above sea level and has red sandy soils. Only 3,800 bottles were produced.”-ML
James Suckling 93 points “I love the intense herb-liqueur and balsamic-vinegar character on the nose, also because its married to delicious richness. Still very lively for a five-year-old red and the balance of ripeness and rather supple tannins is impressive. Long finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”
Gulfi Nerosanlore Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2011 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 94 points “Fully saturated ruby-red. Super-ripe aromas of black cherry, raspberry jelly, incense and coriander are very typical of the Sanloré site. Then surprisingly light on its feet, offering vibrant flavors of red and black cherry, tar, licorice and pomegranate liqueur. The finish is bright and juicy and features a lingering saline nuance. Knockout Sanloré that manages to be at once powerful and graceful, the latter a quality not always evident in wines from this site, which are usually known for their richness and size.”
Check out all 37 of our in-stock & on the way Sicilian wines from Occhipinti, COS, Terre Nere, & more on our web store!
Ladeiras do Xil makes the defining wines of the appellation, focusing on restoring these historic vineyards on impossibly steep, often terraced, sites. Founded by two giants of Spanish wine, Pablo Eguzkiza and Telmo Rodríguez, the winery is now helmed by the young, driven Jorge Saa, who has been working to restore the vineyards to prestige and condition of their ancient roots. The work is very hard and the production levels tiny (less than 250 cases are made of each red we’re offering today) but the results speak for themselves—this is an estate producing wines that are unique and compelling.
Ladeiras do Xil Branco de Santa Cruz, Valdeorras 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Branco de Santa Cruz was produced with the grapes from the white vines in the different vineyards in Valdeorras, with mixed varieties like Godello, Treixadura, Doña Branca, Palomino… It fermented and matured in oak foudre and 600-liter oak barrels. 2016 was a fresh year, with quite a lot of mildew, so harvesting the grapes from the individual plants was quite a lot of work, and they produced less of this wine. It’s open and expressive, with white flowers and a touch of honeycomb. The palate revealed marked flavors, a little medicinal, with very good intensity, clean and pure. 4,644 bottles were filled in May 2017.”
Importer note “The wines of Ladeiras do Xil are strictly produced by natural principles. Viticulture is EU organic, and indigenous yeasts begin a spontaneous fermentation once the grapes are hand-harvested. Minimal intervention in the winery is evident in the haunting elegance of the wines. Branco de Santa Cruz is fermented and matured in large oak foudres and 600-liter oak barrels. The wine is open and expressive, with white flowers and a touch of honeycomb. It exhibits exceptional intensity and purity. Production of this authentic white wine is very limited, with less than 5,000 bottles produced.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2.5 hectares of north- and west-facing terraces planted with old vines produced the 2016 As Caborcas, a wine of unusual intensity, elegance and balance in 2016. The cooler year seems to have worked wonders for the reds here, and the wine is expressive and open, floral and aromatic, developing nuances of moss and fern, with a textured palate where the tannins have the granite mark of stony austerity that is then coated by the glycerin and the fruit, making a wine that is both elegant and powerful, with a very Galician feeling to it. 2,619 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2017.”
Importer note “As Caborcas is a unique vineyard, full of different varieties, of different ages, from different strains, growing at different altitudes and exposures. Among the native grapes planted are mencía, merenzao, sousón, godello, and brancellao. Indigenous yeasts cause spontaneous fermentation in small wooden barrels of various sizes, with light foudre aging for 12 months to preserve the “Atlantic” delicacy of this wine of inland Galicia. True to the origins, As Caborcas could be made nowhere else. As Caborcas is extremely limited, with less than 3,000 bottles produced in a good year.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points “Falcoeira was the first of their Valdeorras vineyards to be harvested in 2016, starting on September 16th. The 2.75 hectares of this young south-facing vineyard produced 2,635 bottles of the 2016 Falcoeira A Capilla, always a richer wine compared with its siblings. It’s a historical vineyard that was abandoned, but its almost 100 ancient terraces were replanted with a field blend of Mencía, Merenzao, Sousón, Godello, Garnacha…and other grapes that would have been there in the past. Winemaking is simple, the grapes fermented in small wooden and stainless steel tanks, and the wine aged in French oak foudres. 2016 seems like a great vintage for the reds here, and Falcoeira kept the freshness and poise within its riper character. The palate is delineated and with a marked stony feeling to it. With time in the glass, the wine became finer and more elegant, and that extra touch of ripeness seemed to disappear. A great year for this wine.”
Importer note “The soils here are coarsely-textured, decomposed granites. It is an intense and profound wine, like the place it comes from. Indigenous yeasts begin a spontaneous fermentation in small wooden barrels of various sizes, the wine is then aged in foudres for 12 months. Falcoeira keeps freshness and poise within its riper character; with a delineated palate and a wild, stony feeling echoing the granitic slopes. With time in the glass, Falcoeira unfolds and displays the power, finesse, and elegance, which makes it one of the most exciting wines in the world. Falcoeira is extremely limited, with less than 3,000 bottles produced in a good year.”
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Trending Wines of the Weekend
“It is the most exciting 2008 Champagne I have tasted thus far” –Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate
“A stunning Champagne with a long future ahead of it” –Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($339.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML (1999.95) $1,439 pre-arrival special (that’s only $239.83/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 100 points “Top Cellar Selection. This latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002…”
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “The 2008 Cristal is a perfect wine, and Champagne simple does not get any better… Haut Couture at its finest and this majestic, profound, legendary Cristal can be drunk anytime over the coming 2-3 decades.”
James Suckling 100 points “…This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach, lemon and yellow grapefruit, and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas… This is an ultra precise Cristal, finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Impressive on release, this will be at its best drinking from 2025.”
Antonio Galloni 98+ points “The 2008 Cristal is a wine that takes over all the senses and never lets up… The 2008 is a regal, towering Champagne from Roederer. That’s all there is to it.”
Decanter 98 points “Cristal 2008 is on a roll to yet higher levels of exquisite purity and precision of fruit in a paradoxical balance of weightlessness and depth of flavour, permeated with minerals and a salinity reflecting the greatest terroirs of the Roederer estate. Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon believes that 2008 is his best effort to date, and it’s easy to see why…”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97+ points ” …This is the finest you can get from Champagne. The palate is pure, lean, fresh and filigreed but concentrated, highly complex, full of tension and enormously vibrant. This is a great vin de terroir, a dense and elegant Super-Cristal that goes straight and precise as a laser beam over the palate but also has texture in the form of sensually fleshy fruit… The endless and highly tensioned finish is complex, citrusy fresh, full of chalk and crystalline finesse. The 2008 Cristal is a vitalizing drug, “the Chevalier Montrachet of Champagne,” as Jean-Baptise Lécaillon puts it. It is the most exciting 2008 Champagne I have tasted thus far (May 2018).”
Wine Spectator 97 points “…A stunning Champagne with a long future ahead of it…”
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($179.95) $139 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($999.95) $799 pre-arrival special (that’s only $133.17/bottle!)
Decanter 97 points “A classic, slow-maturing year picked into October. It’s a pale, pristine hue – a beautifully assembled mix of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Aÿ, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzy, Verzenay and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, combining saline-wrapped orchard fruits with great Pinot Noir subtlety yet strength. THE aperitif Champagne, but also try with sea trout. Drinking Window 2020 – 2030.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “An elegant Champagne, powered by a sculpted frame of acidity and minerality, this wears the refined, lacy mousse and well-meshed flavors of black currant, lemon curd, toast and marzipan like finely tailored clothing. Fresh and lasting, with hints of spice and smoke on the finish. Disgorged August 2016. Drink now through 2033.”
No reviews for this disgorgement. Review for May 2018 disgorgement:
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is especially bright and tense in this release, whereas it has previously been a bit more creamy. No matter, this Coutier’s 100% Chardonnay from vineyards in Ambonnay remains one of the best wines in the range, as well as a hidden gem in Champagne. Lemon peel, mint and freshy cut white flowers add energy to a gorgeous Champagne loaded with both character and distinction. This release is 60% 2013 and 40% reserve wines. Dosage is 6 grams per liter. Disgorged: May 2018.”
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2017 1.5L ($169.95) $149 special, 7 magnums in stock now
Stuart Pigott-Jamessuckling 99 points “Most people who drink wine know what a ripe peach tastes like. However, this wine gives you a completely new appreciation of the meaning of the word “peach”. Beyond that, it possesses subtlety that is extremely rare anywhere in the world of food and wine. From organically grown grapes. Fair’n Green certification. Absolutely delicious now, but could be held for decades.”
David Schildknecht – Vinous 95 points “Lily perfume on the nose of this Hermannshöhle reminds me both of the corresponding 2016 and of this year’s Kirschheck. That is accompanied by ripe, fresh and high-toned, distillate-like notes of pear and quince. The glossy palate is lusciously fruited, billowingly perfumed, as well as seductively glossy and creamy in texture. Piquancy of pear pip and hints of anise add counterpoint, while fresh grapefruit and white peach contribute welcomed bright juiciness en route to a ravishingly-sustained, impeccably-balanced finish. The covering term “mineral” will for now have to serve the strikingly transparent finish, which becomes more intriguing the longer the wine takes on air.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “The 2017 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese combines ripe and noble fruit with delicate crystalline and flinty aromas. Very precise and stimulating. This is significantly finer than the Brücke; it’s singing and interwoven with very delicate slate and flinty notes, and it is still fresh and cool despite its ripeness. On the palate, this is a deep, dense and complex, very mineral and tensioned yet always refined and salty-piquant Spätlese with terroir expression and a promising, complex and stimulating finish. Great and sustainable. Tasted in July 2019.”
Domaine D’Henri 821 Chardonnay Brut Nature, Burgundy 2017 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
VinopolNote “Domaine d’Henri has emerged as one of our favorite Chablis producers, so when we heard they (now) made bubbles, we had to get some. It lives up to expectations, too. This is Blanc de Blancs done in a Brut Nature style, with great minerality and distinct Chablis chalk in its veins.”
Cameron Winery Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($44.95) $36 special
VinopolNote “The 2017 Reserve is mostly composed of Abbey Ridge fruit and the bottling reflects the cooler nature of the site and the year quite beautifully. There’s a brightness and energy to the wine that couples with Abbey’s floral and black-cherry nature in a beautiful way.”
Chateau Meyney, Saint-Estephe 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
James Suckling 96 points “Wild nose. Impressive, deep hue and a wealth of fresh, violet-like aromas, as well as cassis, graphite and dark cherries. The palate has a very sleek, fine, powerful core of tannins that bring a lot of depth and deliver rich dark-fruit flavor. A classic Meyney. Best since 1961! Try from 2023.”
Decanter 94 points “Rich and full, this is very St-Estèphe: round through the mid-palate, with an amazingly tasty balance of richness and freshness leading to salinity and minerality on the finish. It will need another five to eight years before being ready to drink, but it has to be one of the value picks of the vintage.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2016 Meyney is a bold, powerful wine. Tobacco, menthol, chocolate, spice and torrefaction notes all add shades of darkness. Meyney is potent and quite broad in feel, and yet everything is very nicely balanced. Although not especially subtle, Meyney delivers the goods, and then some.”
Dry, minerally and delicious
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($47.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Green plum and verbena notes lead the way for now, with a flash of quinine on the finish. This is juicy, but still a bit compact overall, with the core of ample pear, quince and ginger flavors in reserve. Just wait for everything to knit together and stretch out, as the purity and length are there. Best from 2018 through 2028.”
Domaine Les Pallieres Gigondas Terrasses du Diable, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “The 2015s are also brilliant, and if not for the 2016s, I’d say best yet. The 2015 Gigondas Terrasses du Diable sports a ruby color as well as considerable polish and elegance in its blackberry, black cherry, garrigue and mineral-drenched style. Full-bodied, concentrated, loaded with spice, and beautifully textured, it’s a knockout 2015 to drink over the coming decade.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Dark and focused, with cassis, blackberry and black currant fruit flavors spliced together, racing along atop mouthwatering bramble, lavender and rosemary accents. A bright iron streak pierces the finish, adding lift and range. Best from 2019 through 2027. 2,600 cases made.”
Josh Raynolds 92-94 points “Bright violet. Heady aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, potpourri and licorice are complemented by smoky mineral and spice nuances that emerge with air. Juicy, expansive black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors become sweeter and put on weight with aeration while retaining a graceful touch. Velvety tannins lend subtle grip to an impressively long, mineral-laced finish that echoes the floral note.”
(No case buy necessary for this price!)
“Among the Best Values in Barbaresco” –Antonio Galloni
The three crus that the Cantina is famous for are Ovello, Albesani and Gallina (of which only Ovello is made by the Produttori) and all show the brilliant fruit, dazzling complexity and polish that the Cantina del Pino is famous for. Ovello is the leanest and most elegant of the bunch, with wiry tannins allowing it to age seemingly forever. Gallina and Albesani have more power and richness, with Albesani being the most complete wine, but requiring significantly more age to come around.
We have the 2015 cru wines arriving next week, plus we still have back vintages available of these fantastic wines—including some from the legendary 2013 vintage. These are stunning Piemontese cru. Anyone who loves classically built, top-tier Nebbiolo ought to be jumping all over these.
Arriving November 8th:
Cantina del Pino Albesani, Barbaresco DOCG 2015 750ML ($69.95) $55 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “Of the single-vineyard Barbarescos presented by Cantina del Pino, the 2015 Barbaresco Albesani shows the darkest color and richest appearance. The wine is svelte and tight with dark fruit nuances of wild blueberry, spice, tobacco and moist earth or black truffle. This is a beautiful, solid and tight wine that will open nicely with a few more years of cellar age. Only 3,000 bottles were made.”
Cantina del Pino Ovello, Barbaresco DOCG 2015 750ML ($59.95) $55 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2015 Barbaresco Ovello is a polished and silky expression that reveals strong intensity and a deep sense of varietal identity. This is a very focused Barbaresco that opens beautifully to show a degree of mineral definition that lingers long on the palate, adding to the linear and direct personality of the wine. When you dig deeper, you do recognize that this is a warmer vintage, thanks to its textural richness and loose fiber. This will only improve in the future. Only 5,000 bottles were created.”
Cantina del Pino Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2015 Barbaresco by Cantina del Pino starts off gently with delicate notes of wild berry, red rose, toasted spice, licorice and camphor ash. The wine offers all the complexity and elegance you get with Nebbiolo but presented on a slightly lower intensity scale. This wine is geared for near- or medium-term drinking.”
The average price is $43
Antonio Galloni 95 points “Usually a rich, bombastic wine, the 2013 Barbaresco Albesani shows more finesse than I remember seeing in the past. There is plenty of the power that is so typical of this site, but at the same time, the 2013 is translucent, super-elegant and refined. Another few years in bottle will do wonders for the Albesani, which, despite its obvious appeal, is very tightly wound at this stage. A persistent, striking finish rounds things out in style. At this stage the Albesani is the most complete wine in the range.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2013 Barbaresco Albesani offers a delicate approach with a silky texture and seamless flavors of wild berry, rose hip, spice and cured leather. The bouquet offers complexity and finesse, showing the best side of the Barbaresco appellation in a slightly cooler vintage. Some 3,000 bottles were produced.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points “Renato Vacca’s 2013 Barbaresco Gallina shows a bright and luminous personality. This is a sharp and focused expression of Nebbiolo with linear aromas of wild berry, blue flower and licorice. The wine ages in oak for two years and sees another 18 months in bottle. I loved the silky and enduring nature of the finish.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “A generous, powerful wine, the 2013 Barbaresco Gallina exudes power and volume. Dark cherry, plum, spice, leather, smoke and licorice run through this decidedly ample Barbaresco. Gallina, a south-facing site in Neive, tends to naturally produce rich, generous wines. That is exactly what comes through here. The rich, unctuous style will appeal most to readers who appreciate bold, flamboyant wines. Ripeness feels like it is pushed to the limit.”
The average price nationally is $57
Wine Advocate 94 points “No one farms the Ovello cru like Renato Vacca. The 2012 Barbaresco Ovello is elegant and poised, unlike some of other expressions from this vineyard that taste very ripe in this vintage. His interpretation brings out the subtle nuances and the evident power of Nebbiolo from this sun-drenched hillside facing the Barbaresco church steeple. Dark fruit segues to spice, balsam herb and polished mineral.”
The next best price is $57.50
The Scarce Wines of Clos Rougeard
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