Monday Newsletter 11-6-17

New Weekend – New Arrivals; Trending New Arrivals: Gassier’s Bargain Rhones; Drink like a Local: With the Ultimate Thanksgiving Day Wine; Linne Calodo; 2014 Produttori Barbaresco Normale; Gaja in Tuscany


New Week – New Arrivals


Back in stock!
Bergstrom ‘Old Stones’ Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($37.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2014 Chardonnay Old Stones opens with notes of grapefruit, white peaches and lemon curd with hints of struck match, baking bread, ginger and orange blossoms. Medium-bodied, the palate hits the nail on the head with that combo of intensity versus energy, with tons of freshness contrasted by a silky texture, finishing long and minerally.” -LPB
Wine Enthusiast 93 points –Editors’ Choice– “This cuvée, says winemaker Josh Bergström, is crafted to compete with village Burgundies. Principally Temperance Hill fruit, it more than does the job, with great mouthfeel, and a succulent tangy ripe mix of citrus and stone fruits. There’s a lick of caramel apple coming through also, and the wine is bursting with bright flavors across the board.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Back in stock!
Bergstrom ‘Cumberland Reserve’ Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2015 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Burghound 91 points “(Willamette Valley, a blend of five estate-farmed vineyards, 13.6%). Here there is no reduction to speak of as the pretty and well-layered nose offers up perfumed aromas of black raspberry, violet and Asian style tea. There is good richness and solid mid-palate volume to the delicious middle weight flavors that possess a relatively suave mouth feel that contrasts markedly with the firm, intense and firmly structured (though not hard or particularly austere) finale. This will need at least a few years to unwind as it’s fairly tightly wound today. 91/2023+”
Wine Advocate 90 points “Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir Cumberland Reserve has an open, expressive nose of crushed raspberries, Bing cherries and cranberries with hints of violets, chocolate box and dried herbs. The medium to full-bodied palate is rich and opulent, with tons of baking spice and red berry layers supported by fine-grained tannins and a racy backbone, finishing long.” –LPB

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $43

Back in stock!
Bergstrom Silice Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2015 Pinot Noir Silice Vineyard has an animal/meaty nose with savory notes of baking bread and Marmite over a core of kirsch, bay leaves, pepper, black raspberries and red currant preserves. Medium to full-bodied, it has a firm frame of chewy tannins and just enough freshness to support the muscular fruit, finishing long.” -LPB
Burghound 90 points “An interesting nose combines notes of maraschino cherry with those of spice, menthol and a range of both red and darker fruit elements. The intense and solidly delineated medium-bodied flavors possess good mid-palate volume and punch while delivering sneaky good length on the slightly warm if sneaky long finale. While this is not, at least not at present, a standout in terms of its level of complexity, it could very well surprise to the upside if given a few years of cellaring. 90/2022+”
Winery note “To gaze across the 21 rolling acres of the Silice Vineyard is to look back through Oregon’s rich and storied geological history. At one time, this land lay entirely under the ocean’s waves. Millions of years ago the same violent volcanic and tectonic activity that formed the Oregon Coast Range thrust these sea beds upwards and slowly carved out and created our beautiful landscape. What remains today are gentle rolling hills of sandy soils resting atop layers of sandstone and shale. Sweet baking spices such as cinnamon, clove and star anise along with fresh, savory garden herbs are the hallmark aromas and flavors of the Silice Vineyard. Natural acidity by virtue of the site’s special terroir adds brightness, while the vineyard’s unique soils bless its wines with incredibly intense fruit flavors. Marionberry, huckleberry, blueberry and dark, tart cherry are customarily found in the Pinot Noirs.”

Back in stock!
Bergstrom Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Sleek and polished, with lovely raspberry and fresh violet aromas that open to harmonious dark cherry, stony mineral and black tea flavors. Drink now through 2022.”
Burghound 93 points “There is a whiff of menthol to the ripe blend of plum, violet, briar and dark cherry-scented nose. The sleek, intense and moderately powerful flavors also possess plenty of sappy and tannin-buffering dry extract that helps materially in maintaining the balance on the comparatively robust, persistent and driving finish. Good stuff but note well that this is very much built-to-age. 93/2025+”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2015 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard has a vibrant pale to medium ruby-purple color and delivers notes of strawberry tart, raspberry preserves and mulberries with hints of garrigue, dried lavender and cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied, rich, soft, rounded and plush in the mouth, it fills the palate with spice-laced voluptuous fruit and finishes with great persistence.” -LPB
Winery note “The 2015 vintage marks 12 years of Bergström Wines working with Shea Vineyard. Of the 140 acres planted in this world class vineyard site, 15 acres of fruit comes to our winery, making us the largest producing client of the 22 wineries working with the Sheas. These steep and shallow marine sedimentary soils give way to powerfully tannic wines that are blessed with a sweet berry perfume. The 2015 Shea Pinot Noir has a dark, red ruby color. The aromas are bright red fruited, primarily rhubarb and strawberry with a sweet toasted oak, brown sugar and hint of baking spices. Vibrant and juicy with great texture, this wine showcases the ripe vintage but maintains freshness with lush cherry flavor.”
New York – Finger Lakes

Forge Cellars Riesling Classique, Finger Lakes 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Weighty for a Riesling, with a rounded feel and layers of creamed yellow apple, white peach and persimmon flavors. Delivers energy and cut throughout, with lemon pith, citrus oil and chamomile accents filling in. Shows length and range through the finish. Drink now through 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Forge Cellars Leidenfrost Vineyard Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Wine Spectator 91 points “On the richer side, with a mix of nectarine, tangerine and peach flavors that are broad but still have ample cut thanks to quinine, orange zest and honeysuckle notes zipping through the finish. Distinctive. Drink now through 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Forge Cellars ‘Les Allies’ Riesling, Finger Lakes 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery notes: “Every year Les Alliés evolves naturally by “uncovering” itself. Our indigenous yeast fermentations proceed very slowly. It’s not in spring, but in the summer after the vintage that we are finally able to move toward bottling the wines. Once fermentations are complete, our team begins diligently tasting through each of our 70 barrels and two tanks, giving each a detailed rating and review, and writing personal tasting notes.  When we talk about small batch and individualized fermentations, we really mean it — 70 separate, small French barriques from 10 individual vineyards, each with its own story and personality. Along the way, we decide that some very special barrels are stand-outs, and by consensus, the most exceptional of our Rieslings and Pinots.  This is the consensus that makes up Les Alliés — the allies, the partners, the united ones. We don’t “make” Les Alliés, we discover it together, and it’s an easy decision because it tells us what it wants to be.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Forge Cellars ‘Les Allies’ Pinot Noir, Finger Lakes 2014 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Wine Spectator 89 points “Focused, with a mix of dried cherry, damson plum, cinnamon, black tea and anise notes forming the core. The finish has a light earthy twinge for added range, while staying silky in feel. Nicely done. Drink now through 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!


Cadence Winery Bel Canto Cara Mia Vineyard Red 2014 750ML ($67.95) $55 special
Wine Advocate 95+ points “Made from 50% Cabernet Franc, 38% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot, the 2014 Bel Canto sports a deep ruby color as well as sensational notes of graphite, leafy herbs, flowers, currants and dried soil. Elegant, seamless, silky and pure, with building, polished tannin, it’s another wine that’s the best to date from this terrific estate.”
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 93+ points “(a Right Bank blend): Bright dark red. Inviting aromas of dark fruits and chocolate are lifted by a floral high note and complicated by a medicinal iodiney suggestion. Quite suave on entry, then a bit tight in the middle palate, conveying excellent energy and medicinal reserve to its dark berry and violet flavors. The dusty tannins give this wine a tighter mouth feel as well as a slightly tougher finish than the Camerata, so patience will be required.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Cadence Winery Camerata Cara Mia Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain 2014 750ML ($67.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “I loved the 2014 Camerata, and this Red Mountain blend is a blockbuster that readers should snatch up. Mulled currants, baking spice, dried earth and dried flower notes all emerge from this full-bodied, gorgeously pure and seamless red that has building tannin and a great, great finish. Give bottles 2-3 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following two decades.”
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 94 points “(this wine and the Bel Canto were aged in 50% new oak, while the Tapteil and Ciel du Cheval wines got 40% and the Coda 45%): Full medium-dark red. Showing a more obvious element of sexy oak on the nose than the Tapteil, along with aromas of black raspberry, black olive and menthol. Very suave, silky wine with lovely density leavened by a surprising spine of acidity. This captivating, juicy Cabernet finishes with a slowly building whiplash of subtle fruit sweetness and tannins that are serious but not dry. A beauty in the making but lay it down for at least a few years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Cadence Winery Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red, Columbia Valley 2014 750ML ($47.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Toasted spice, graphite, dried flowers and mulled black fruits all emerge from the 2014 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, which is a blend of one-third each of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, with 25% Merlot and 9% Petit Verdot. It’s medium to full-bodied, elegant and complex on the palate, with sweet tannin and a beautiful finish.”
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92+ points “Bright, dark red. Sexy scents of plum, black cherry, blueberry and graphite lifted by a floral topnote, with a slightly roasted quality adding complexity. Very intense if slightly medicinal flavors of dark fruits, spices and herbs are distinctly Bordeaux-like in a rather muscular style for Red Mountain. Dense, aromatic and long, finishing with broad, fine-grained tannins and lovely claret-like perfume.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Cadence Winery Tapteil Vineyard Red, Columbia Valley 2014 750ML ($47.95) $36 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 93+ points “Bright ruby-red. Sexy aromas of plum, cassis and graphite communicate a decadent hint of sweetness. Plush, fine-grained and sappy, conveying a restrained sweetness to its flavors of dark fruits, espresso and bitter chocolate; an element of dusty stone adds another dimension. This very long, structured wine finishes with broad tannins that saturate the mouth and teeth. As Smith is always an early harvester, the pH here is a moderate 3.68. (Smith also opened a bottle of the 1998 Tapteil wine, which was the first wine he and his wife Gaye McNutt made–along with a blend from Spring Valley vineyard. The wine still had a sound medium red color and its aromas of plum, currant and spices showed good energy and lift along with a hint of decadence. This plush wine boasts fine-grained flavors of plum, earth and graphite and finishes with substantial dusty, ripe tannins.)”
Wine Advocate 92+ points “Another wine that has plenty of upside, the 2014 Tapteil Vineyard (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet France and 25% Merlot) has a darker style with lots of purple fruits, violets and sappy herb aromas and flavors. Concentrated, medium to full-bodied and tannic, it needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will drink beautifully for a decade or more.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Michael Mondavi Family ‘Animo’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2011 750ML ($89.95) $49 special
Winery note “The Animo Vineyard in the Foss Valley subzone of the Atlas Peak AVA is situated in the southeastern quadrant of Napa Valley.  The 15-acre vineyard rises from an elevation of 1,270 to 1,350 feet and features rolling hills and varied exposures. Atlas Peak’s stony, volcanic terroir supplies structured Cabernet Sauvignon from a temperate, high elevation zone of Napa Valley that soars above the fog that regularly blankets the southern reaches of the valley. The Animo Vineyard provides fruit for the Animo Cabernet Sauvignon. Our vineyard’s soils and altitude offer a complexity of layered dark fruit and bountiful aromatics. The aromatics of tart boysenberry, fine cassis, warm winter spice and cigar box perfume the glass. The layered body of the wine mirrors the aromatics and provides a pleasant freshness of acidity allowing for the richness of the cabernet to balance providing complexity and profound depth of character to the wine.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $80
The average price is $83

France – Champagne

Piper-Heidsieck Brut Cuvee 1785, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “A mouthwatering Champagne, with a fine mousse, this offers juicy flavors of plum, candied grapefruit zest, ground ginger and pastry. Vibrant and expressive. Drink now through 2020.”[Reviewed April 30th, 2017]

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

Champagne Nicolas Maillart Marie Hanze Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($41.95) $34.50 special
Wine Spectator 90 points “Steely acidity frames this austere style, but the spiced flavors of guava, fresh-cut apple, spring blossom and kumquat are sufficiently expressive and fleshy for balance. Tightly knit in texture and lightly creamy on the finish.”

Champagne Nicolas Maillart Marie Hanze Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($54.95) $41.90 special
Wine Spectator 91 points “This elegant version is fine and silky in texture, with delicate acidity and a subtle, spiced thread of star anise and ground ginger winding through flavors of damson plum, white raspberry, almond skin, clover honey and fleur de sel.”
France – Burgundy

Domaine Servin Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 94 points “(bottled in April): Bright, light yellow-green. Ineffable scents of lime, white peach, fresh apricot, white pepper and crushed stone. Surprisingly intense and sweet on the palate, with lovely supporting minerality and acidity to frame the seamless orchard fruit and spice flavors. Not an austere Clos–in fact almost friendly–but beautifully balanced. Its tight, very long finish suggests that it will evolve gracefully in bottle.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2015 Chablis Grand Cru les Clos has a very composed bouquet with white citrus fruit, orange blossom, limestone and a touch of flint. It is harmonious and detailed, shrugging off the warmth of the growing season. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity. There is fine focus here, good body and depth with a hint of fresh fig interlacing the citrus fruit on the saline finish. This is a classy offering from Domaine Servin and winemaker Marc Cameron.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

France – Alsace

Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Steingrubler, Alsace Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Very ripe but precise and intense, with classic Gewurz flavors on the nose opens the 2015 Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Steingrubler, a powerful yet vital, precise and elegant wine full of tension and grip. Very stimulating its its purity and tension. The wine finished at 13.% alcohol and 37 grams of residual sugar, but you almost don’t taste it!”

This is the only listing in the USA today for the 2015!
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today for any vintage!

Albert Mann Pinot Gris Hengst, Alsace Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2014 Pinot Gris Grand Cru Hengst displays a clear, deep, elegant and slightly smoky bouquet of fully ripe golden delicious apples, as well as crushed stone flavors. Full-bodied and elegant, the 2014 Hengst is rich, round and lush on the palate, but also finessed, well structured and salty in the still dry, long and persistent finish. This is probably one of the finest 2014 Pinot Gris I have tasted in the more southern part of Alsace from that vintage.”

Albert Mann Riesling Furstentum, Alsace Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($41.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points “The 2015 Grand Cru Furstentum Riesling is very pure and spicy on the smoky, quite elegant nose. Rich, ripe and concentrated on the palate, with stewed fruit flavors and 26 grams of unfermented sugar, the finish is lingeringly salty and very stimulating.”


Trending New Arrivals:

Gassier’s Bargain Rhones

Your favorite pop & pour producer from Rhone is back!

Michel Gassier Cotes du Rhone Villages Visan Cercius, Rhone 2015 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Wine Advocate 90 points “A blend of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah that’s brought up all in concrete tanks, the 2015 Côtes du Rhône Cercius is a gorgeous, sexy and seamless Southern Rhone that offers loads of sweet cherry, black raspberries, lavender, licorice and Provencal herbs in its medium to full-bodied. hard to resist style. It goes down way too easy, and is a total steal at the price. Buy a case and drink bottles over the coming 2-3 years.”

Michel Gassier Costieres de Nimes Nostre Pais Rouge, Rhone 2014 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “One of the bigger, richer versions of this cuvee, the 2014 Nostre Païs Costières de Nîmes (35% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 20% Syrah and the rest Mourvèdre and Cinsault) was fermented with one-third whole clusters and aged in equal parts 500-liter barrels and concrete tanks. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by terrific notes of blackberries, blackcurrants, roasted herbs and licorice. It has serious mid-palate depth, integrated acidity and present, yet ripe tannin, all suggesting it will evolve gracefully for at least 4-6 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $17

Also Trending Now:

Charles Smith Substance Cs Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2015 750ML ($19.95) $14.80 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “One of the best values I’ve tasted in a long time, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon from the team at K Vintners was hand-harvested, natively fermented and aged all in French oak. Smoking good notes of cassis, black currants and hints of plum all emerge from this rich, beautifully textured, layered beauty that has solid tannic grip, a silky, elegant texture and a great finish. It has real elegance and finesse and is a dark fruited, unctuous beauty to drink over the coming 3-4 years.”


Drink like a Local

(A Chilean Local)

With the Ultimate Thanksgiving Day Wine

The Pais grape, which is a descendant of Mission, is widely planted (and widely consumed) in Chile, yet virtually unknown here. It’s the primary grape of Pipiño, the classic wine of Southern Chile, which is unfortunately almost entirely consumed domestically.  David Marcel, originally from France, fell in love with these wines while working in Chile and started making a version for his label, Maitia.  The resulting wine, from 120 year old País vines with some Carignan blended in, is fermented in traditional concrete tanks with native yeasts and is bright and fresh.  Serve it with a little chill alongside everything from fresh salads to grilled pork.

In Stock Now:

Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley, Chile 2016 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special
Case-12 Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley, Chile 2016 750ML ($149.95) $128 special (that’s only $10.66/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92 points “The super-tasty and gulpable 2016 Aupa Pipeño is a blend of País with some 30% Carignan (and whatever is found in the old vineyards) from a slightly cooler year. It keeps the style of previous vintages with the bright red fruit and the freshness of short macerations. In the dry-farming part of Maule they only saw 30 to 50 millimeters of rain when in the central valley they got 200! These grapes were harvested before the rain anyway, but the wine retains the freshness of a cooler year, fresher than 2015, more in line with the 2014 and 2013” –LG
Wine and Spirits 92 points “David Marcel, from France’s Basque country, was working in Maule as a bulk wine broker while building his own project, Maitía, back in 2012. That’s when he fell in love with the refreshing pipeños, the traditional wines of Chile’s south, usually made from país… The result is a lovely, refreshing and red-fruited pipeño, with vivid, shining acidity. It’s the kind of wine you won’t stop drinking.”

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

See the complete list of Thanksgiving Day Sale Wines below:

Thanksgiving day sales spread sheet


Linne Calodo

Paso Robles Fine(st?) Wines

“Matt Trevisan told me that he made about 40% of his “normal” production in 2015…. Here’s another winemaker whose wines has evolved toward a more elegant style over the last decade. The winery now houses an intriguing array of concrete tanks and wooden vats of varying size and shape….” Josh Raynolds- Vinous Media

Arriving Friday:

Linne Calodo Rising Tides Red, Paso Robles 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points “Vivid ruby. Intense red fruit liqueur, spicecake and floral pastille aromas develop suggestions of licorice and smoky minerals in the glass. Sappy and deeply concentrated yet impressively energetic as well, offering palate-staining raspberry and cherry compote flavors given lift and spine by a core of juicy acidity. Shows a striking combination of richness and elegance and finishes extremely long and seamless; supple tannins sneak in slowly to add shape and grip.”

Linne Calodo ‘Problem Child’, Paso Robles 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94+ points “A blend of 74% Zinfandel, 19% Mourvèdre and 7% Syrah, the 2015 Problem Child has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of blueberry preserves, dried mulberries and preserved plums with touches of baking spices, violets and raspberry leaves. Full-bodied and full-on rich and seductive, it has lovely spicy and berry preserves palate with plush tannins and a long, peppery finish.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94 points “Dark purple. Deeply perfumed, spice- and mineral-accented cherry liqueur, boysenberry and black currant aromas are complemented by a sexy floral nuance. Shows impressive depth as well as nerve to the sweet black and blue fruit liqueur and floral pastille flavors, which are sharpened by a jolt of juicy acidity. Supple, harmonious tannins sneak in steadily, adding focus and shape to an impressively long, mineral-laced finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Linne Calodo ‘Perfectionist’, Paso Robles 2014 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points “Deep ruby. A highly complex, spice-laced bouquet evokes black and blue fruit preserves, incense and Moroccan spices, and a smoky mineral quality adds lift. Stains the palate with concentrated, sharply delineated boysenberry and cassis liqueur flavors that are energized by a spine of juicy acidity. Definitely rich, but shows outstanding energy and clarity as well. Finishes sweet, velvety and extremely long, leaving notes of candied flowers and spicecake behind.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Also Arriving Friday:

Corison Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($119.95) $91.90 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is dark and powerful, with serious intensity. Cathy Corison’s wines usually take a long time to come together, but the 2014 is surprisingly approachable. The effects of the drought are felt in the wine’s concentration, and yet all the elements are in the right place. Dark red cherry, plum, licorice and menthol infuse the creamy, voluptuous finish. Deceptively medium in body, the 2014 packs a serious punch. Even so, it will drink well with minimal cellaring.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Michael Mondavi Family ‘Animo’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 750Ml ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points “Aromas of blackberries, walnuts and light chocolate. Full-bodied, tight and beautiful. Fine and polished tannins. Fabulous length and beauty. Impressive fruit but there’s tension and firmness. Better in 2021, but already enticing to taste.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $85


2014 Produttori Barbaresco Normale

With the 2013 Crus trending like crazy, don’t overlook the 2014 Normale: a blend of all the 9 Crus from the equally exciting 2014 vintage!

Arriving November 17th

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2014 1.5L ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2014 3L ($199.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2014 Barbaresco is a beautiful wine that encompasses the important qualities that we look for in fine Nebbiolo. Ultimately, this is the kind of vintage that transfers best to the delicate grape. It saw a long growing season (Nebbiolo loves a late harvest) and steep diurnal temperature shifts to lock in the freshness of aromas. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner in texture, but it delivers plenty of beautiful length and endurance instead. It offers crisp tones of cherry fruit with licorice, wet earth and blue flowers. The line of Barbaresco Riserva wines from the various single vineyards will be made in 2014 (and will be released in early 2018).”


Gaja in Tuscany

The Gaja family has a few centuries of history in Piedmont, and, in the hands of Angelo Gaja for now a half-century, their Nebbiolo wines are nothing less than icons of that region. And Angelo? Well, a textbook iconoclast.

Gaja’s presence in Tuscany is comparatively short, only a couple decades. There are actually two Gaja Estates in Tuscany. The Pieve di Santa Restituta estate in Montalcino, and the Ca’ Marcanda estate in Bolgheri. From Santa Restituta come the famed and acclaimed Brunellos, from Bolgheri the acclaimed and famed Super-Tuscans in the form of Bordeaux varietal blends. And Angelo in Tuscany? The same, climbing the ladder from better to best. And never quite reaching best because he knows there is always room for better.

We were astonished to capture the offers below. They have nothing to do with Gaja nor the wines. Just an importer-distributor decision on relatively small quantities. We’ve only a couple cases each wine  remaining unsold, and suggest that the odds are not good in respect to any of us ever seeing a better priced comprehensive offer of Angelo Gaja’s wines.

Arriving November 17th:

Tuscan Wines:

Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Rennina, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008 750ML ($179.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “In a vintage where so many wines already appear tired, Gaja’s 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina jumps from the glass with vibrant aromas and flavors. Violets, black cherries, tobacco, licorice and menthol all appear later, adding further shades of complexity. The tannins are firm yet beautifully integrated. Pieve Santa Restituta fans know than Rennina can be deceptively medium in body, yet it has a great track record for aging. Today, the wine is simply gorgeous. This is one of the few 2008s I would buy to cellar. There is little doubt the Rennina is one of the standouts in 2008.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $119
The average price is $147

Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Rennina, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($149.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is made from a blend of fruit from three different vineyard parcels. The sites total 25 hectares, with 15 located next to the church, or the Pieve, after which this estate is named. The sites have southwest exposures and different soil types. That flexibility explains the smooth and seamless bouquet offered by this wine. Compared to the single vineyard Sugarille expression, Rennina is more open and immediate. The wine presents fleshy and beautifully plump aromas of red cherry, dried blackberry and exotic spice with tobacco and chocolate at the back.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 93 points “The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Rennina is strikingly beautiful. Rich, open-knit and alluring, the Rennina captures all the best qualities of the year. Sweet red cherry, plum, tobacco and spice notes are all supported by ripe, silky tannins that give the wine much of its sensual personality. The intensity of the year is very much in evidence, yet the Rennina also retains striking freshness. Historically, the Rennina has aged quite well, but it will be hard to resist, as it is already quite delicious.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $119.95
The average price is $149

Gaja Ca’Marcanda ‘Camarcanda’ Bolgheri, Tuscany 2011 750ML ($179.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2011 Bolgheri Camarcanda opens to plump berry notes with apparent ripeness in the form of sun-drenched blackberry and plum. The fruit element in this Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon-Cabernet Franc blend is dark and compelling, and the mouthfeel follows suit with soft tannins and dark concentration. The 2011 vintage is also characterized by a more evident tannic bite that should soften with time.”
James Suckling 94 points “Very attractive raspberry, currant and chocolate character with hints of nuts. Full body, silky tannins and a juicy finish. This needs time to soften. So gorgeous now, but better in 2016.”
Falstaff Magazine 95 points “Rich, deep dark ruby with a lot of purple. Exciting and dark nose with lots of ripe plums, cassis, blackberry leading into licorice and spice in the background. Wonderfully juicy fruit (blackberry and blackcurrant) on the compact palate that opens with a powerful, velvety core of tannins. Very long, reverberating finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $102.74
The average price is $147

Piedmont Wines:

Gaja Sori San Lorenzo Langhe-Barbaresco, Piedmont 2009 750ML ($449.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points “Gaja’s 2009 Sori San Lorenzo, on the other hand, is much more typical in its expression. Layers of juicy dark cherries, menthol, spices, tar, licorice and graphite flow across the palate as this powerful, masculine wine opens up in the glass. Balsamic infused aromas and flavors develop in the glass, adding considerable complexity and the signature of this great terroir, indisputably one of Piemonte’s very finest. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2039.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 95 points “Silky and gracious on the palate, the 2009 Sorì San Lorenzo looks to be a wine that will drink well with just a few years of cellaring. This is a decidedly floral, lifted yet radiant wine with terrific balance and plenty of the sexiness that defines the very best wines of the year.”
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 95 points “Good full red. Pungent aromas of maraschino cherry, minerals, smoke and camphor; the most Barolo-like of Gaja’s 2009s from the Barbaresco zone. The thickest and most concentrated too, sweet and mouthfilling but very backward. The combination of sheer stuffing and medicinal reserve along with fine-grained, dusty tannins and outstanding persistence suggests that this plump but youthful wine will age slowly and well.”
Falstaff Magazine 97 points “[Translated] Deeply colored, sparkling ruby with a light garnet border. Precise and tight nose showing adundant ripe wild black raspberries, some plum, truffles and spice in the background. Earth and substantial tannin unfolds.”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “There’s always something magical about Gaja’s Sorì San Lorenzo. It’s the intensity and fullness of the wine that penetrates to the back of the palate and offers many long minutes of persistency on the finish. The bouquet is redolent of black fruit, leather, spice, tar, licorice and dried herb.”
VinopolNote: Depending upon the vintage, this wine is classified either as a Langhe Rosso or as a Barbaresco. From 1996-2012, Gaja decided to blend in a small portion of Barbera into the wines, deliberately eschewing the Barbaresco DOCG.  Beginning in 2013, however, the winery is returning to producing the wine from 100% Nebbiolo.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $328
The average price is $426

Gaja Sori Tildin Langhe-Barbaresco, Piedmont 2008 750ML ($499.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2008 Sori Tildin is impressive. I confess I wasn’t quite prepared for the assault of fruit and tannins here. Sori Tildin is so often a graceful, elegant wine, but that is not the case in 2008. That’s not to say elegance is missing, but this is a big, big wine with tons of intensity and richness, all woven together beautifully. It’s tough to find a comparison with a previous vintage, as this is a singular Tildin. The flavors are familiar if a touch on the dark side, but the structure is closer than that of Sori San Lorenzo. Flowers, tar, leather and licorice wrap around the palate. This is a fabulous showing and a great wine in the making. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033.”
Falstaff Magazine 97 points “[Translated] Bright, intense ruby-garnet. A playful and multi-layered nose shows notes of ripe cherries, some orange peel, cardamom and fresh plums. Presents on the palate as a unified whole showing lots of tightly packed tannins and a rich depth. Builds in many layers. Has plenty of elegance and suppleness on the finish.”
VinopolNote: Depending upon the vintage, this wine is classified either as a Langhe Rosso or as a Barbaresco. From 1996-2012, Gaja decided to blend in a small portion of Barbera into the wines, deliberately eschewing the Barbaresco DOCG.  Beginning in 2013, however, the winery is returning to producing the wine from 100% Nebbiolo.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $345
The average price is $401


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