In Today’s Newsletter
Featured New Arrival
New Wines from Kelley Fox
Six Pack Sale Extended
Newly Arrived Elite Bordeaux
Featured New Arrival
We’ve been on a high since we secured parcel of great value Bordeaux: 2016 Ch. Puygueraud. It’s a new favorite in the category. The 94 point score made us sit up and pay attention and should make you put a case in your cart—this is an insane value for the price. We’ve bought up all we could get our hands on and are excited that it finally arrived.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Chateau Puygueraud, Cotes de Francs 2016 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Case-6 Chateau Puygueraud, Cotes de Francs 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 special (that’s only $19.83/bottle!)
Case-12 Chateau Puygueraud, Cotes de Francs 2016 750ML ($299.95) $228 special (that’s only $19/bottle!)
James Suckling 94 points “This is so good! I want to drink it now. Iodine, mushrooms, dark fruit and orange peel on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, yet polished and fresh. Lovely tension. A blend of 80 per cent merlot, 15 per cent cabernet franc and five per cent malbec.”
Cameron Winery Clos Electrique Blanc Chardonnay, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
VinopolNote: The Clos Electrique is Cameron’s estate vineyard, named after the electric deer fence that surrounds it. This is planted to a mix of clones and is vinified traditionally—no racking and all in older barrels. This is crisp and coiled, with distinct minerality and a lot of power in a lithe frame. Like most vintages of the Electrique Blanc, this is quite good now but will be stellar in a few years.Deutz produced a stunning Champagne in 2008, which often goes overlooked next to more expensive tete de cuvees
Deutz Amour de Deutz Blanc de Blancs Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($199.95) $159 special
Decanter 97 points “Amour was created by Deutz’s long-standing managing director, Fabrice Rosset. It’s a prestige blanc de blancs which is only made in the best years, so there was little surprise when Deutz produced an Amour from the highly acclaimed 2008 vintage. This really has it all: freshness, extract, power, balance and concentration. Already, the primary nose shows chamomile and iris, while the palate is crammed with white fruits, nougat, chamomile, candied fruit and minerals. Deutz’s signature spine-tingling acidity balances out the weight and creamy texture of this generous, well structured fizz. It’s fabulous as an aperitif now but it will also develop well into old age as a gastronomic wine with delicate seafood dishes. 40,000 bottles produced.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The citrus-colored 2008 Amour de Deutz Brut Millésime is still yeasty on the nose, but very clear and elegant on the palate. This is a super pure and mineral, well-balanced Millésime with a long, intense and persistent finish. This is full of tension and finesse. A great wine.”
Who doesn’t love a winter-weight rosé? A perfect aperitif for cozying up by the fire.
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 1.5L ($79.95) $69 special
Neal Rosenthal note “Pradeaux’s iconic Bandol Rosé really shines in 2018, with even greater complexity and length than usual. As mentioned above, a third of the wine was fermented in a single 50-hectoliter foudre (but moved immediately to tank following the fermentation), which contributes a subtle granular cling on the palate and opens up the wine a bit aromatically. While never a simple sipping wine, the 2018 is particularly vinous, offering real density and richness, yet retaining a freshness of spirit at the same time. The final blend comprises 80% Mourvèdre and 20% Cinsault.”
Masi ‘Masianco’ Pinot Grigio – Verduzzo delle Venezie 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Masi ‘Masianco’ Pinot Grigio – Verduzzo delle Venezie 2017 750ML ($219.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle and the lowest listed price on the West Coast!)
“A light, tangy white, with a hint of smoke underscoring melon and star fruit notes. Drink now. 70,000 cases made, 16,000 cases imported.” -Wine Enthusiast
One of Chianti’s greatest wines, despite forgoing the “Chianti” designation
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The flagship 2014 Le Pergole Torte possesses striking depth, nuance and pliancy, all in the midweight, slightly slender style of the vintage. Sweet red cherry, plum, cinnamon, dried flowers, mint, cinnamon and pomegranate infuse this super-expressive, sexy Pergole Torte.”
James Suckling 96 points “A transparent wine with flowers, dark fruit and citrus fruit on the nose. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a bright and fresh finish. I love the dynamic cherry and vivid floral character. Mineral, too. Bright acidity. This is one of the best wines of the 2014 vintage in Tuscany. Auguri. Drink or hold.”
Lisini Ugolaia, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “A bright and elegant yet taut and structured version, this red features buried cherry, plum, earth, iron and tobacco flavors. Dynamic despite the firm grip of tannins, this should come around in a few years. Licorice and ripe cherry notes mark the finish. Best from 2020 through 2038.”
The average price is $105
Markus Molitor Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese *** Feinherb (Green Capsule), Mosel 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2016 Riesling Graacher Himmelreich Auslese *** (Green Capsule) is deep and complex on the nose, though discreet in its fruit expression straight from the bottle. However, the fruit is beautifully flinty, fresh and really fine. Lush and round on the palate, this is a full-bodied, ripe and intense yet well-balanced and elegant Himmelreich whose sweetness of roughly 30 grams per liter is still prominent at this young age. However, the wine is intense, long, firmly structured, very mineral and provided with serious tannins and a lot of stones. I am tasting it far too early (and straight after the three-starred Rosenberg Auslese), but it’s a highly promising Riesling from a great vintage for the Mosel. Bottled in September 2017; tasted March 2018.”
Chateau Raymond-Lafon, Sauternes 2006 375ML ($29.95) $19 special
Neal Martin 92 points “Tasted at the Chateau. This is a superb Sauternes from Pierre Meslier. It has a fragrant bouquet with touches of Seville orange marmalade, green lemon and orange-blossom, all very well-defined. The palate is medium-bodied with a good level of botrytis, tangy tangerine and citrus fruits. This ’06 is fizzing with energy: great tension and vibrancy on the finish with just a hint of lemon curd on the aftertaste. Moderate length. Well-made 2006 that should offer splendid drinking over the decade. Drink now-2020. Tasted April 2009.”
The average price for the 750ml is $47
Edmond Vatan Sancerre Clos la Neore, Loire 2017 750ML ($299.95) $249 special
Importer note “Some winemakers are producers. A few are truly artisans. And then there are that handful who could perhaps be best described as monastic in their approach-making wine, as their duty, in complete harmony with their creator. With Vatan, I find it preposterous to “judge” vintages. Literally, no matter what the conditions of the year, whatever this domaine creates is remarkable, with amazing consistency from vintage to vintage. When once I asked Monsieur Vatan how he could do this, he replied that it is so simple a matter that it needs no explanation — if you plant low-yielding vines on only the steepest, perfectly exposed slopes, prune severely, provide only necessary and natural treatments, (and as little as possible, forcing the vine down for strength and character), harvesting after all the rest have finished (no problem finding pickers then!) and vinifying according only to the traditional (actually ancient) methods — it becomes a question of comparing the personality of each vintage, not which is “better.” What is this word “ancient” I use? Vinification in old, old barrels — a natural vessel – – but not of new oak, which would interfere with the natural fruit of the Sauvignon and terroir of Chavignol; one racking, and then bottling with no fining or filtration when the conditions are perfect in nature. If this sounds too out-moded to be true, you are in for an experience with your first taste. A unique wine which is unequalled, and only approached in Sancerre by the Cotat Domaine, which is enormous in comparison to Vatan (total production 500 cases, of which we in America get 125). Since the 2008 vintage, Edmond’s daughter, Anne Vatan-Foucault has taken over wine-making and administration of the domaine, and the results continue to be spectacular.”
The average price is $262
Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
92 Decanter points “Vieille Vigne (always singular at Fourrier) is sourced from 12 different parcels, most of them on the better, western side of the route nationale. This is always a pleasure to drink, and the 2017 is no exception, with supple, scented, alluring red berry notes, some vanilla oak and a zesty finish.”We have a hard time keeping this in stock…
Bereche et Fils Brut Reserve, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $40.90 special
2017 base. Disgorged July 2019. No reviews available. Review is for the 2016 base.
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Brut Réserve (2016 base, disgorged December 2018) is especially finessed on this release, with a bit more floral lift from the Chardonnay than is often the case, and also slightly higher dosage, all of which works very well. Lemon confit, white flowers and mint add to the wine’s decidedly bright profile. This is a fabulous edition of the Brut Réserve. Dosage is 7 grams per liter. Disgorged: December, 2018.”
The average price is $55
New Wines from Kelley Fox
Kelley Fox makes some of the prettiest and most captivating wines in all of the Willamette Valley—fresh and delicate with a palate-pleasing intricacy. Her hands-on approach to farming and use of whole-cluster fermentations mean that the wines have a dialectic of fresh and savoriness coupled with an energy that has vaulted her into the stratosphere of Willamette Valley producers.
The vineyard that she’s best known for is Maresh—a top site in the Dundee Hills. We’ve secured some of her Maresh Vineyard bottling as well as a case of the hyper-rare “Red Barn Blocks”—the top wine she makes from the vineyard. We’ve also secured a case of the final release of the “TIR”—a block designated wine from the Momtazi vineyard that’s held back an extra year before release.
These are true Willamette treasures: hard to find and worth the hunt.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Kelley Fox Wines Maresh Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2018 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Winemaker’s note “The Maresh bottling is one I feel very deeply bonded with each year, and more so with each vintage. These vines planted on their own roots in 1970 in both the Long Rows and my half of the Old Block I have worked in since 2008. This time spent each year working in these blocks has changed me. I have the utmost love and respect for these vines, and the 2018 from them is something to behold. The Maresh 2018 is a medium, youthful and noble blue-red that is full of light and gorgeous transparency. It is certainly deeper in colour than my 2017. It’s my Maresh. Of course the nose is full of Hood strawberries warmed in the sun with the freshness of rain and the Pacific Ocean in the spring air, along with spices and other delicious notes that are difficult to articulate. The texture and length are also classic Maresh: silky and drapey without heaviness and more of the wind for its heft. As I write these notes, I find that this bottling is more coiled than the Red Barn Blocks 2018. It is both haunting and elusive.”
The next best price is $74.89
Winemaker’s note “2018 is my last bottling of the Red Barn Blocks. I am deeply thankful for the gift of being able to produce wines from these blocks over the years. To be released later, most likely in early 2020, is the Maresh Vineyard Royal Ann Block, and I’ll write about that when the time comes. I’ll say now that I couldn’t be more happy about that block and the 2018. I worked with that block for ten years as the winemaker for Scott Paul Wines. The 2018 Red Barn Blocks is almost identical in appearance to the Maresh 2018, except it is slightly deeper. It, too, has the classic Maresh nose of Hood strawberries and some spice (perhaps from the 50% whole cluster). But the nose is a bit more open and has the freshness that evokes the ozone-filled air after a spring thunderstorm. The mouth is juicy and mouth-watering, This wine has splendour, and is a real beauty.”Kelley Fox Wines Momtazi Vineyard ‘Tir’ Pinot Noir, McMinnville 2017 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Winemaker’s note “This Tir is my last, and it has been such a pleasure to produce wine from this very special acre of field blend clones surrounded by Oregon oak trees and a few native madrones. Only four barrels comprised this Demeter-certified biodynamic wine. The 2017 is a transparent, medium red that is significantly deeper than that of my Maresh bottlings, with hints of youthful purple and blue. I love watching how the light plays in this wine, making it look different from every angle. The Tir is transparent and yet, mysterious and impenetrable. The nose has exotic notes that hint of sandalwood and dark berries and spices. There is the tiniest bit of salinity in both the nose and mouth, along with minerals, in a way that evokes the ocean air of the Pacific not far from there. The Tir is coiling, winding, serpentine if not sea-dragon-like in its nature, and full of delicious blue fruits in the mouth, all delivered with a velvety texture.”
It’s hard to think of anything an Oregon wine lover would want more.
A case of three 750ml bottles: one bottle each 2015, 2016, and 2017 Sequitur Pinot Noir
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points “Deep brilliant red. A strikingly complex bouquet evokes ripe, mineral-accented red berries, cherry cola, vanilla, five-spice powder and sandalwood. Alluringly sweet, seamless and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, cherry liqueur, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Delivers a compelling blend of power and delicacy and finishes extremely long and smooth; rounded tannins frame the lingering red fruit preserve notes.”
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.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94-95 points “Lurid red. Spice-tinged blackberry and cherry aromas are complicated by suggestions of cola, incense and smoky minerals. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated dark berry and spicecake flavors and suggestions of rose pastille and mocha that build with air. Concentrated but also vibrant and precise in style, delivering superb finishing cut, well-knit tannins and impressive, fruit-driven persistence. (30% new French oak).”
The next best price is $250
Cayuse Vineyards God Only Knows Armada Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($179.95) $169 special
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The 2016 God Only Knows saw a fair amount of stems (60-80%) and was brought up in neutral demi-muids and foudre. It’s incredibly complex, offering blackberry, smoked earth, Iberico ham, white pepper, spring flowers, and violets. It’s seamless, ultra-pure, medium-bodied, and just glides across the palate and has a Burgundian weight and richness. 535 cases.”
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 94 points “Bright medium red. Knockout nose combines red cherry, pomegranate, mocha, white pepper and a sexy high-toned floral element. At once salty and juicy on the palate, savory but not particularly meaty, with a dominant flavor of crushed red cherry complicated by notes of garrigue and truffle. Finishes very long and subtly palate-staining, with terrific floral complexity. This wine struck me as a little darker in character than the No Girls Grenache made by Elizabeth Bourcier at Cayuse. And it’s still tightly wound. (13.6% alcohol; vinified with 75% whole clusters; from a crop level of just 1.5 tons per acre)”Armada is planted incredibly densely, resulting in Syrah that’s always more structured. One bottle available.
Cayuse Vineyards Armada Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($199.95) $169 special
Jeb Dunnuck 98+ points “A wine that’s held back three months in barrel and then held a year in bottle (as is the GOK), the 2016 Syrah Armada Vineyard saw 70-80% stems and 15% new oak (both demi-muids and foudre). Slightly deeper ruby in color, it has a mix of both red and blue fruits, salt, violets, damp earth, and smoked earth. Deep, tight, backward, but just loaded with potential, it needs 3-5 years of bottle age and will be very long lived.”
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 95 points “Healthy medium red, with moderate saturation. Musky black raspberry, red cherry, game and red licorice on the nose, lifted by a floral topnote; more red fruit in character than the Bionic Frog. Intensely flavored and energetic, displaying a penetrating spicy quality to its flavors of red cherry, raspberry and wild herbs. For all its verve, this ripe but classically dry Syrah is also wonderfully silky. Large-scaled but still tightly wound, finishing with fine-grained tannins, terrific rising floral length and late notes of wet soil and bacon. The Armada vineyard is located next to La Paciencia. (from vines planted in 2001 at 6 by 4 spacing; 10% new oak)”
The OG “Rocks District” wine, it’s the face that launched a thousand ships. One bottle available.
Cayuse Vineyards Cailloux Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($149.95) $128 special
Winery Note “Cailloux Vineyard—Christophe’s first Walla Walla Valley vineyard, this 10-acre plot was our first vineyard planted in the stones of Milton Freewater in 1997, and produces the flagship Cailloux Syrah.”
Cayuse Vineyards En Cerise Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($149.95) $128 special
Winery Note “En Cerise Vineyard—Literally translated, it means cherry—appropriate since this 10-acre vineyard planted in 1998 was a cherry orchard in its former life. En Cerise Vineyard Syrah and grapes for the Flying Pig and Camaspelo Bordeaux blends are grown here.”
The average price is $146
Cayuse Vineyards En Chamberlin Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Winery Note “En Chamberlin Vineyard—2000 saw the planting of 10 more stony acres. Grafted on phyloxera resistant rootstock, it’s another first for our region. This vineyard produces The Widowmaker Cabernet-Sauvignon, Impulsivo Tempranillo and En Chamberlin Syrah.”
Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder 2015 750ML ($299.95) $219 special
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “Another stellar wine from Mayacamas, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon continues to be quite reticent, which is probably a very good thing for its long-term prospects. Even so, the 2015 is dense, powerful and super-concentrated, with a level of finesse in its tannins that separates it from so many wines in this challenging vintage. Time in the glass brings out graphite, menthol, licorice, sage and spice notes that add a sense of gravitas. I would prefer to cellar the 2015 for at least a few years to allow some of the baby fat to melt away. I expect the 2015 will always remain an exotic, full-throttle wine relative to the norm here. I can’t wait to see how it ages.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Youthfully compact, with tightly wound black currant, bitter plum and dark blueberry notes, this needs time to meld with the charcoal, bay leaf and tar streaks, but the mouthwatering cut on the finish suggests that won’t be a problem. Offers a long echo of juniper at the end. Best from 2023 through 2040. 2,250 cases made. — JM”
Salon Cuvee ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs (2017 Disgorgement), Champagne 750ML ($999.95) $899 special
No reviews for the 2017 disgorgement. Review is for the 2018 disgorgement.
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “Disgorged earlier this year (2018), the Salon 1997 Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil Brut opens with a deep, intense and concentrated yet pure, fine and complex bouquet of chalk intertwined with ripe yellow-fleshed fruit, brioche and hazelnut notes. This is a bright, perfectly matured Champagne from Mesnil-sur-Oger with hints of caramel, white mushrooms, parsley root and a beautiful varnish on the nevertheless fresh nose with its characteristic chalky Mesnil expressions. The palate is full and intense, almost rich in the first moment compared the the 2007, but then the 1997 proceeds as pure, elegant and fresh as a Salon should be. Yes, there are some similarities to the 2007 in terms of finesse, with the linear, mineral and vinous style fortified by the complexity of 21 years of age. This is a really fine Champagne but not as ripe as the 2007. The rigid taster will find some drying green apple phenolics in the aftertaste, but the hedonist (who doesn’t look at the price) won’t get that. So enjoy! The late disgorgement of the 1997 Salon (which spent nearly 20 years on the lees) combines the elegance and finesse of the house style with the vinous complexity of a matured Champagne. There is just one dilemma: the price.”Pierre Paillard ‘Les Maillerettes’ Blanc de Noirs Bouzy Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
The average price is $65
Hebrart ‘Noces de Craie’ Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne 2015 750ML ($149.95) $109 special
Terry Theise note “…this preview bottle was extraordinary, following on the heels of the masterly 2012. It’s 100% Aÿ PN, from Cheuzelles, Longchamp, Pierre Robert, Pruche and Chauffour. Another Coeur de Cuvée, massale selection, deg 9/2018. Our “marriage of chalk” is surprisingly lapidary and ready. More seductive than the “Favorites” and also fruitier. It has a huge adamant length you did not expect—all the power is in the back, it only seems to yield. Like a sweet-natured person who always seems to prevail, or a sideways strength you don’t feel being used. A wonderful, surprising work of genius.”As you might expect in a great year like ’14, Vilmart excelled.
Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier d’Or Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2014 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Grapelive 95 points “The thrilling 2014 vintage Brut Grand Cellier d’Or by Laurent Champs of Champagne Vilmart & Cie is a gorgeous wine that proves this is going to be a much better year for top bubbly than people may have thought, it shows bright intensity, fine detail, mineral tones and vinous grace on the palate. This latest collection of Vilmart is simply gorgeous stuff with amazingly pure flavors and delicacy along with lively freshness, especially this stunning 2014 vintage Grand Cellier d’Or Brut with its vivid apple and lemon fruits and subtlety divine leesy character and ultra-fine mousse. This beauty gains with air and fill out richly on the palate and the beading bubbles are invigorating and creamy helping with the impression of energy and luxuriousness, while liquid mineral, brioche, hazelnut and white flowers all add to the depth and complexity. This one, with its vitality and wet stones or chalky finesse was my favorite of the main line of this set of bottlings ….Laurent Champs is an absolute master at his craft and his Champagne is one of the world’s great wines, it was a great pleasure and honor to have tasted with him on many occasions, including as recently as last month when I sampled his current releases, and as mentioned they are all delicious, elegant and sophisticated sparklers that offer terroir driven brilliance and stylish opulence. The Vilmart Champagnes are true grower producer wines and this one comes from estate grown organic vines from a single Lieu-Dit “Blances Voies” in the Premier Cru Rilly-la-Montagne area. Laurent…used 65 year old ungrafted Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to craft this cuvee, fermenting and aging the grapes in a combination of wood vessels including large foudre, demi -muids and some barriques. Champs chose 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir and allowed it to age on the lees for 48 months and used zero malo to preserve its laser like freshness, while being wonderfully pleasing, exotic and deep, it should age incredible well, this is special stuff. Enjoy this with your favorite people and or family for any celebration, it is a thrilling and rewarding vintage Champagne.”
The average price is $100
Aubry Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Aubry Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 1.5L ($119.95) $99 special
Importer Note “(+) Meunier expresses here as barley, rusks, crackers, and so the wine tastes rusky, coppery-saline, iodé, mineral and appetizing. It’s beautifully expressive of a corner of Champagne and tastes as though it were fined with sel gris.We’re up to a 2016-base now, though it’s just 45% of that base, with 55% the perpetual reserve. Deg 1/2019, 30% Meunier, 30% PN, 35% CH and 5% “other” by which I infer whatever didn’t fit in the tanks of other cuvées. I’m starting to really like ’16 in the NV blends; this is an excellent edition, classically coppery and salty but with unusual elegance. Last year and this one seem to herald a new era at Aubry—at least for this calling-card wine.”
Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle, Rhone 2016 750ML ($269.95) $225 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “The 2016 Hermitage La Chapelle is slightly denser than the 2017 and is a bigger, richer, more structured wine than the La Maison Bleue. Crème de cassis, blackberries, crushed rocks, ozone, scorched earth, and violet notes all emerge from this beautifully classic, elegant, seamless wine that carries full-bodied richness, building tannins, and a big finish, all while staying in the classic, elegant, balanced style of the vintage. It has plenty of tannins and is a quintessential La Chapelle that will have three decades of longevity.”
James Suckling 97-98 points “Very spicy and peppery with blue-granite aromas plus hints of grilled and smoked meat. Cloves and nutmeg. Full body, round and juicy tannins and a super spicy finish that almost burns with so much character yet turns fine and focused at the end. A beauty.”
Josh Raynolds 96-98 points “(raised in 20% new oak) Dark purple. A highly expressive, mineral-accented bouquet evokes fresh blackberry and blueberry, candied flowers, incense and exotic spices. Sweet, palate-staining black and blue fruit liqueur and violet pastille flavors are complicated by suggestions of cracked pepper and bitter chocolate; a spicecake nuance gains strength with aeration. Steadily building tannins add shape and grip to the extremely long, incisive finish, which emphatically repeats the floral and mineral notes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this wine turn out as well as the amazing 2015 version.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Sourced from the granitic western portion of the appellation, the 2016 Hermitage La Chapelle features mouthwatering aromas of black olives and charred beef. It’s full-bodied and creamy-velvety in texture, incredibly lush without being overtly fruity. In fact, it’s largely savory, with elegant shadings of leather and spice on the long, silky finish. Yet despite being delicious now, this still has the granite backbone to age through 2040.-JC”One of the bestselling CdP’s in Vinopolis History returns with a bang in the ’16 vintage.
Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Case-6 Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($299.95) $189 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The young estate has turned out some crazy good 2016s, including the “basic” 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape, a blend of 90% Grenache and the rest Mourvèdre and Syrah, all from the lieu-dit of Grand Pierre. Aged in concrete and neutral barrels, it shows terrific balance, matching black cherries and raspberries with hints of garrigue, and ample weight and richness on the palate with fine, silky tannins. Concentrated, flavorful and long, this should be available for around $50, making it a relative bargain.”
Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2017 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Case-6 Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2017 750ML ($699.95) $479 special (that’s only $79.83/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a bigger, richer, more opulent wine. Beautiful notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, graphite, and crushed violets, all flow to a full-bodied, Châteauneuf Du Pape that has a voluptuous, sexy texture, brilliant depth of fruit, fine tannins, and a purity of fruit that’s hard to find in this vintage. It’s a thrill a minute, and while it’s approachable today, it will keep for 15-20 years. 416 cases.”
Wine & Spirits 96 points “The Jaume family has been growing grapes in Chateauneuf-du-Pape since 1826; they now own four Rhone wineries, including Domaine Grand Veneur, established in 1976. This wine comes off the estate’s oldest vines, a blend of half Grenache, the rest mourvedre, syrah and small bits of other varieties, all the parcels farmed organically. It’s a stunning wine, exuberantly fresh in its red-berry flavors while sophisticated in its detail, weaving in notes of licorice and pepper, flowers and wood spice. Even after the bottle has been open for a couple of days, the wine’s freshness doesn’t flag, the smooth, fine tannins holding it steady. This should age well for a decade at least.”
Decanter 96 points “Grown on galets, the fruit for this wine is all destemmed and fermented in stainless steel before being aged for 16 months, half in concrete and half in new barriques. The strong Mourvèdre component comes through as deep, ripe dark fruits and violets. It’s full-bodied and dense with soft, lush tannins, and is held together by a beam of strong acidity, finishing long. A lithe, muscular, impressive wine that will last the course. Just 5,000 bottles made.”
Gaja Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($289.95) $189 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points “Gaja’s 2016 Barbaresco is positively stellar. A wine of poise and grace, the 2016 has so much to offer. Expressive spice and floral notes open up first, but what really stands out is the wine’s nuance and delineation. There is a sense of translucency to the 2016 that is impossible to miss. Sweet red cherry, mint, cinnamon and rose petal develop in the glass, adding further shades of nuance. Quite simply, the 2016 is one of the very finest Gaja Barbarescos in recent memory. This is such a gorgeous wine. Don’t miss it.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “I tasted this wine over two sittings, one at the winery and one at my home office a few weeks later. Although I can’t claim any extraordinary differences between the two sessions, I noticed a few minimal shifts that are essential to understanding the wine’s future aging ability. The 2016 Barbaresco starts off slow at first, showing a small margin of aromatic evolution in the glass. But come back two hours later, and you can almost hear the soft sounds of the symphony playing just below the surface. The 2016 vintage is characterized by the solid intensity and firmness of its aromas, which transcend fruit and veer toward balsamic herb, licorice, tar and smoke instead. The tannins offer a moment of sweetness and softness, before you are aware of their undeniable firmness. In all, there is a certain glossiness or satiny quality to the mouthfeel that underlines the wine’s carefully crafted integration. I would describe this as a classic and also a somewhat austere Barbaresco that fully deserves extra cellar time to stretch those tight muscles and grow in volume. This wine will award those who wait.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “This gorgeous red evokes rose, strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit, shaded by tobacco, tar and wild thyme notes. Pure, sleek and intense, with a firm base of tannins and vibrant acidity for support. This should evolve beautifully. Be patient. Best from 2022 through 2043. 1,800 cases imported.”
The average price is $265
Gaja Sperss Langhe – Barolo, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($319.95) $219 special
James Suckling 95 points “More forward and in a more earthly realm than the dizzying heights of the Conteisa this vintage, but it’s so endearing and immediately delights. The aromas range from elderberries and black cherries to brambleberries and Chinese spices. Full-bodied and structured with powerful tannins that encase bright and forthright blue fruit, which is polished over by a sheen of glimmering acidity. Long finish. Delicious now, but better in 2022.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Underbrush, tobacco, toasted hazelnut, menthol and grilled herb aromas slowly take shape on this focused red. On the structured elegant palate, taut refined tannins and fresh acidity provide an ageworthy framework for raspberry compote, juicy Marasca cherry, orange zest, white pepper and star anise. It already has layers of depth and loads of finesse, but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2022–2030.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “This is a slightly more subdued vintage of this legendary wine, albeit just as sophisticated as past editions. The 2014 Barolo Sperss opens to gorgeous aromas of dark fruit, wet earth and white truffle. The vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba produced much less fruit than average and suffered from bouts of downy mildew during the rainy seasons. But Serralunga d’Alba fruit is also harvested late, and that extra time was important for achieving grape ripeness targets. The wine presents depth and complexity within the context of a thinner vintage. Having said that, the bouquet is spectacular.”
Decanter 94 points “Sperss comes from two crus in Serralunga, and like Gaja’s Barbarescos it’s aged in a combination of barriques and large barrels. As so often is the case, it’s a wine that combines power and finesse. It has a subdued cherry nose with a touch of oak, leading to a palate which is rich, powerful and tannic, but not too assertive. It’s well balanced and fleshy, with lots of velvety texture and grain, and there’s still an underlying freshness and finesse. Very long finish.”
The average price nationally is $293
Marques de Murrieta Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Marques de Murrieta Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($299.95) $235 special (that’s only $19.58/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “The red blend 2015 Rioja Reserva is 80% Tempranillo with 12% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo and 2% Garnacha, a little more Graciano and Mazuelo, something logical in ripe and warm years like 2015. It’s produced with grapes from a diversity of the 30 different plots within the estate, to represent the character of if. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in American oak barrels for 18 months. It’s spicy and somewhat balsamic, with some dusty tannins. It’s a ripe and powerful vintage that only suffers next to the 2016 I tasted next to it when there’s a jump in precision and finesse.-LG”
Six Pack Sale Extended
We think a six bottle case is a perfect quantity of wine for serious bottles. It’s large enough that you can get into a bottle or two early while having enough wine around to age. Unlike a twelve bottle case, it’s small enough to be affordable and ensure the diversity of your cellar. We’ve got a ton of great case-6 specials (you can see them all in our web store or in the spreadsheet below) but we’ve got a few highlights for you, as well.
A killer Gigondas with big fruit and big personality.
Case-6 Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($199.95) $144 special (that’s only $24/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Domaine des Bosquets Gigondas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points “Leading off the wines from bottle, the 2016 Gigondas is a classic wine from this estate, offering a deeper ruby/purple color as well as tons of garrigue, peppery spice, and earth intermixed with ample red and black fruits. Polished, rounded and sexy, with sweet tannin, it has a modern style that won’t appeal to traditionalists yet is beautifully done. The blend is 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and the rest Cinsault.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Vivid ruby-red. Lively, expansive red berry, floral pastille and white pepper scents, along with suggestions of garrigue and smoky minerals. Sweet, focused and seamless in the mouth, offering juicy raspberry, spicecake and lavender flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. Clings with very good authority on the gently tannic finish and leaves succulent floral and herb notes behind.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 92 points “Hints of garrigue accent raspberries and Rainier cherries in the 2016 Gigondas. This blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault is full-bodied and supple, with no hard edges, just lovely fruit. Long, seamless and delicious for drinking over the next 6-7 years, it’s a terrific introduction to the fruit-forward style at this estate. Tasted twice with consistent notes.”
Case-6 Domaine de la Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Dame Voyageuse, Rhone 2016 750ML ($399.95) $276 special (that’s only $46/bottle!)
Domaine de la Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Dame Voyageuse, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The new entry-level release from this estate is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Dame Voyageuse, a more Grenache-dominated blend of 90% Grenache, 4% each of Mourvèdre and Syrah, and the balance Counoise and Vaccarèse. Aged mostly in tank, with 15% in old barrels, it boasts a deep violet/purple color as well as a full-bodied, voluptuous style in its blueberry and cherry fruits, violets, damp earth, and spice-laced aromas and flavors. This cuvée is always more upfront and sexier compared to the more structured La Reine des Bois cuvée, and it’s already drinking brilliantly today. Nevertheless, it will keep for a good 10-15 years if you’re so inclined.”
Case-6 M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages R.I. Rectificando Invenies 2015 750ML ($799.95) $534 special (that’s only $89/bottle!)
M. Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages R.I. Rectificando Invenies 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Advocate 98 points “As always, the 100% Syrah 2015 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde Rectificando Invenies (Ri) shows more minerality than the VIT release and offers blockbuster styled aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, crushed rocks, toasted bread and chocolate. Made in a voluptuous, pedal-to-the-metal style, with huge fruit and texture, it has building tannin and an uber sexy, incredibly layered and decadent palate. Drink it anytime over the coming decade. This cuvee was completely destemmed and aged 18 months in demi-muids.”Grimaldi has emerged as a star Barolo producer and we offer incredible pricing.
Case-6 Bruna Grimaldi Bricco Ambrogio, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($299.95) $216 special (that’s only $36/bottle–the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Bruna Grimaldi Bricco Ambrogio, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92+ points “($80) From the less-traveled Roddi township, the 2015 Barolo Bricco Ambrogio is a balanced and pretty expression that shows floral aromas of wild rose and pressed violets, followed by wild berry and blackcurrant. The wine is simple and straightforward in delivery with a clean and accessible personality. Bruna and Franco Grimaldi purchased this vineyard site in 2006, and this wine has improved in complexity and depth with each vintage that I taste. Some 6,000 bottles are made.”
Bruna Grimaldi Badarina Vigna Regnola, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93+ points “($90) This wine has already evolved to show some tar and savory aromas. The 2015 Barolo Badarina offers pretty color saturation with linear and fresh lines of plum, black fruit, dark spice and tilled earth. The wine delivers much of the heft and power promised by this Badarina cru in Serralunga d’Alba. If you’re looking for a Barolo vintage to pair with a rich meat like liver or game, this could be the one. This is Bruna Grimaldi’s flagship Barolo, as her mother was born in Badarina and this site has always had special meaning to her family. Some 8,000 bottles were produced.”
Case-6 Chateau Coutet, Barsac 2014 750ML ($399.95) $294 special (that’s only $49/bottle!)
Chateau Coutet, Barsac 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “This shows the vivid, racy side of Barsac, with streaming flavors of pineapple, yellow apple, green plum and white ginger, displaying lovely energy from start to finish. Ends with enough honeysuckle and orange blossom notes to balance the richness. Best from 2020 through 2035. 4,000 cases made.”The classic, now $3 off per bottle by the six-pack!
Case-6 Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG’, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($299.95) $216 special (that’s only $36/bottle!)
Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG’, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Charming aromas of cherry, strawberry and rose are inviting in this red, with flavors to match, showing ripeness and focus. Earth and mineral elements chime in as this firms up, but the harmony is there and this should really sing in about five years. Best from 2022 through 2040. 23,333 cases made.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points “I tasted this wine after bottling but before its commercial release. The 2015 Barbaresco will hit the market on September 1st. It was scheduled to be released in October, but because Produttori del Barbaresco is already out of stock of the ’14 Barbaresco, they decided to move this release up and shorten waiting times. I mention that because you definitely don’t want to pop the cork too early. The 2015 vintage opens to a visibly darker color and thicker concentration compared to recent past vintages. Next to the upcoming 2016 and 2017 editions, we can expect 2015 to be the most fruit-forward of the three. You get dark tones of plum and blackberry with dry tannins at the rear.”
Case-6 Chateau Lilian Ladouys, Saint-Estephe 2016 750ML ($279.95) $180 special (that’s only $30/bottle!)
Chateau Lilian Ladouys, Saint-Estephe 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
James Suckling 93 points “The blueberry and blackberry aromas are certainly attractive here. Full-bodied and dense with a very velvety texture and a long, generous finish of ripe fruit and spice. Drink from 2022.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points “A perennial overachiever, the 2016 Château Lilian Ladouys brings the goods in 2016 and has a complex, medium to full-bodied, character-filled style to go with loads of blue fruits, incense, dried herbs, and a hint of violets. A blend of 62% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 6% Petit Verdot all raised in 30% new barrels, this charming, front end-loaded effort is well worth seeking out. It should keep for 10-15 years.”
Neal Martin – Vinous 92 points “This is the third time I have tasted the 2016 Lilian Ladouys in bottle. It retains a very intense blackberry and boysenberry bouquet laced with minerals, but displays a little more amplitude than it did in August. The tightly knit palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin and still shows the graphite seam that I remarked upon previously. There is a little more persistence now, hence the slightly higher score. Good potential.”Truly baby Brunello in a vintage like ’16.
Case-6 Azienda Agricola La Torre Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($289.95) $174 special (that’s only $29/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Azienda Agricola La Torre Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Grapelive 95 points “The 2016 is going to be legendary in Tuscany. We are seeing the top wines already getting unbelievably good press, but there are also some killer deals on lesser known wines, especially wines like this gorgeous deep fruited and elegant La Torre Rosso di Montalcino. [Such wines] are incredible and offer a wonderful value for much less than their Brunello version. Lighter on its feet than the Brunello(s) the Rosso [shows] style and grace, it shows a complex array of flavors and a sense of never-ending length with a beautiful rose petal perfume and exotic spices. This La Torre has, what it is cliche to say, Burgundy class in the glass with ripe tannins and a gorgeous garnet/ruby hue that seduces the senses with layers of black cherry, raspberry, strawberry and plum fruits to begin on its open and generous palate with gains structure with air as well as highlighting the background elements, mineral notes and light earthiness. Additionally there is classic anise, fine cigar tobacco wrapper, sandalwood and lingering dried flowers and cranberry/currant, making for a lovely Sangiovese wine that gets even better with food, bringing out more depth and fruit intensity. There is almost nothing to fault here and the detailing and mouth feel is exceptional in this remarkable Rosso di Montalcino. This is a wine that needs to be taken out of the “Baby Brunello” box; it is really next level stuff on its own. The La Torre winery was founded not all that long ago by Italian standards back in 1976 by Giuseppe Ananìa, who purchased the La Torre estate from the famous Ciacci family of Montalcino. Now Luigi Anania, Giuseppe’s son, is the present owner and producer of the wines of La Torre. The estate is located in the commune of La Sesta, approximately 8 kilometers south of Montalcino, which is in the highest altitude section of the Brunello appellation. La Torre make four main wines, all from organic vines: Brunello di Montalcino (with a Riserva in the best years as well), Rosso di Montalcino, with the Brunello and Rosso being exclusively Sangiovese Grosso (Brunello Clone) by law, as well as a Rosso di Toscano and a Rosso di Toscano “Ampelio” which have touches of Ciliegiolo and Alicante added to a mainline of Sangiovese. The wines are all made from all grapes that are de-stemmed prior to fermentations and only indigenous yeasts are used before an extended 20 maceration on the skins. Ferments are done in a combination of steel and oak with an 18 month elevage being in large oak casks of French origin, with only about 10% of the ultimate cuvée being aged in small French barrels. Made for more early drinking pleasure and a sublime vintage really show here and I absolute love this stuff. Judging it purely on its intent and delivery it is fantastic, drink this brilliantly crafted beauty over the next 3 to 5 years.”
Newly Arrived Elite Bordeaux
2014 and 2015 remain two of our favorite recent vintages in Bordeaux, for different reasons. 2015 is a legend in the making, but ’14 is no slouch and is now underrated—with pricing to match. If you’re looking for the cream of the crop—truly epic wines with the ability to age for decades and be remembered as some of the best of their kind—then you should be all over 2015. The wines are big, rich and lush—surprisingly delicious now but with the bones to go the distance.
2014, by contrast, is a more classical vintage. The wines all drink like excellent examples of their respective estates, but in 30 years no one will argue that ’14 was the best vintage of Chateau X ever (like they will with ’15). What makes it special, though, is the pricing. With two fantastic years behind it (’15 and ’16), Chateaus and brokers have cut prices on the ’14 to the point that these wines are now undervalued. It’s a vintage we’re stocking up on as a result and you should, too. These wines are 25%-40% less expensive than their 2015 counterparts and not as far off in quality as the pricing suggests. It’s a drinker’s vintage, not a collector’s year.
We’re grabbing everything we can, including some big guns from both the right and left banks. Some are in stock now and some are arriving tomorrow, all with limited stock. Grab some now and your future self will thank you.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Gaffeliere has been on a hot streak over the last few years and this is the best yet.
Chateau Canon la Gaffeliere, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($159.95) $138 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2015 Canon La Gaffelière is deep, powerful and explosive. Seamless and captivating in the glass, it possesses magnificent richness, volume and intensity in every dimension. The Cabernet Franc, usually such a strong signature, is nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the Merlot fruit. Espresso, mocha, licorice and plum infuse the racy finish. The 2015 is going to need the better part of a decade to be expressive. Tasted two times.”
Wine Advocate 97 points “Composed of 55% Merlot, 38% Cabernet Franc and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in French oak, 55% new, for 17 months, the 2015 Canon la Gaffeliere features a deep garnet-purple color and a cedar-laced nose to begin, giving way to fragrant underlying scents of roses and violets with a core of crushed black currants, blackberries and Bing cherries plus hints of fallen leaves and dusty earth. Medium to full-bodied, the seductively perfumed red and black fruit fills the mouth, framed with plush tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing very long and minerally.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Still youthfully tight and backward, with a well-roasted frame of alder and juniper holding sway for now, but the core of cassis, blackberry and plum fruit waits in reserve, showing prodigious depth. When the toast and fruit melds, the backdrop of tobacco, singed iron and chalky minerality will get a turn to show. There’s a lot here. Built for the cellar. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2025 through 2040. 6,250 cases made.”
James Suckling 96 points “The aromas of violets and rose petals are prevalent here with blue fruits as well. Full body, integrated and firm tannins and a long finish. Structured yet fine and shows such finesse. Give it five or six years to come together.”
Mouton, it will always be.
Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac 2014 750ML ($799.95) $649 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points “An exciting, beautifully layered wine, the 2014 Mouton Rothschild is one of the clear highlights of the vintage. A stunning interplay of crème de cassis, graphite, menthol, sage, mocha, dark chocolate and leather takes of all the senses. The 2014 is dark, voluptuous racy. Above all else, it speaks to a total sense of balance. The blend is 81 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 16 % Merlot and 3 % Cabernet Franc.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 94-96 points “The Château Mouton-Rothschild 2014 contains more tannin than the 2010 according to winemaker Philippe Dhalluin, although he stressed that this does not imply that they were finer tannin. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 3% Cabernet Franc and it will of course, be matured in 100% new oak. The alcohol level just tops 13%, the first time since 2010. It has a classic Mouton nose, the slightly higher percentage of Merlot lending a little flamboyance and flair with scents of blackberry, warm gravel and cigar box scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, armed with powerful core of quite rich black fruit interlaced with tobacco and allspice. There is very good structure here, a fine edginess towards the white pepper infused finish. There is almost a nuttiness to this wine, to wit, a fascinating maze-like Mouton in the making and perhaps a more cerebral Mouton compared to recent vintages.”
James Suckling 96-97 points “This is incredibly minerally with a maritime character as well as red iodine, algae, currants and great intensity. Some saltiness. Almost like a pearl in an oyster shell. This is a true wine of the soil for Mouton. Full body, racy tannins and lingering. Excellent. Unique. 81% cabernet sauvignon, 16% merlot and 4% cabernet franc.”
Triple 100-point scores—and they’re very well deserved.
Chateau Canon, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($399.95) $349 special
#1 Wine of the Year – James Suckling
Antonio Galloni 100 points “From the very beginning, the 2015 Canon has made an eloquent case for itself as one of the wines of the vintage. Multiple tastings from bottle only confirm what several early tastings hinted at: the 2015 Canon is simply extraordinary in every way. Sumptuous and exotic, with no hard edges and exceptional balance, the 2015 grabs hold of all the senses and never lets up. A rush of red fruit intermingled with floral notes, spice and smoke notes effortlessly runs up the wine’s vertical structure as the 2015 thrills with every twist and turn. The 2015 Canon is a rare wine that is both hedonistic and intellectual – well, maybe it is a bit more hedonistic-leaning. It doesn’t matter. Don’t miss it. This 2015 is masterpiece from General Manager Nicolas Auderbert and his team at Canon.”
Neal Martin 100 points “The 2015 Canon was a benchmark wine that seemed to revitalize this historic estate. I was crossing my fingers that it would not disappoint in bottle and I am glad to say that it delivers the goods. It has a very intense bouquet (just as it showed out of barrel) with laser-like precision offering wild strawberry, raspberry preserve, wet limestone and hints of truffle. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, clean and fresh with pure black and red fruit whose every atom appears infused with minerals. The mouth is tingling long after the wine has exited and your brain is thinking…when is the next sip coming? It is frankly heads and shoulders above almost every Saint Émilion this vintage, to reaffirm, a benchmark for this historic estate that will give pleasure to many over the coming years. Astonishing.”
James Suckling 100 points “Seductive. The nose draws you in deep: It’s like staring into a well of pristine dark cherries, dark plums, blackberries and mulberries. All the oak is perfectly subsumed. The palate’s flawless with immense depth and power and it’s so balanced as to appear to float. Immaculate fresh dark-berry and plum flavors. Silky and deep, ribbon-like finish. Perfect. Best from 2022.”
This is a prime example of how 2014 Bordeaux can be exceptional deals.
Chateau Canon, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($159.95) $135 special
James Suckling 96 points “Intense aromas of minerals, chalk, bright cherries and stones. Full-bodied, tight and silky; very linear. Like a straight shot. Give it three to four years to soften. Vibrant is the word.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 95 points “The 2014 Canon has an intense bouquet with blackberry, raspberry, briary and light tobacco scents, gradually gaining more precision with aeration yet remaining classic in style. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity, harmonious and poised with a structured yet precise finish that is pure class. Perhaps you might argue that it lacks some charm at this early stage but at the same time, I am fascinated to see how it will age. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “A fresh, pure style, with lots of floral and black tea notes out front, followed by a tightly focused beam of red currant, plum and raspberry coulis flavors. The finish sports a mouthwatering chalky spine and lovely perfume that should develop more with time. For fans of minerality. Best from 2022 through 2032. 6,665 cases made.”
Modern and in a drink-now style, this is one for the table, not the cellar.
Angelique de Monbousquet, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “A plush, voluptuous wine, the 2015 Angélique de Monbousquet shows quite a bit better from bottle than it did from barrel. Espresso, mocha, plum, chocolate, licorice and dried herbs emerge from this racy, opulent Saint-Émilion. The 2015 is not especially complex, but it is flat-out delicious and also a terrific choice for drinking over the next handful of years.”
James Suckling 93 points “Spices and dark fruit with decadent earth and white-truffle aromas. Full body, round and velvety tannins and a fruity finish. So velvety and delicious. Second wine of Monbousquet. Drink in 2020.”
Chateau Canon la Gaffeliere, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “One of the wines of the vintage, the 2014 Canon La Gaffelière is explosive, lifted and aristocratic in its breeding. Bright Cabernet Franc aromatics give the wine its signature lift and precision. Raspberry jam, rose petal, mint, blood orange, tobacco and pomegranate build slowly on the palate, leading to a super-expressive, finely knit finish. Powerful yet also impeccably refined, the 2014 has it all. The 2014 is 55 % Merlot, 37 % Cabernet Franc and 8 % Cabernet Sauvignon. Don’t miss it. Tasted two times.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This cuts a wide swath, with mouthwatering tobacco and warm ganache notes leading the way, followed by a wave of fig, blackberry and black currant preserves. Shows remarkable definition already, even though the structure is strident. Tempting now, but just put this in the back of the cellar. Best from 2020 through 2035. 4,083 cases made.”Big, bold and powerful—this is a blockbuster wine.
Le Dome, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Advocate 98+ points “Composed of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Le Dome has a drop dead gorgeous perfume of violets, black forest cake, rose hip and red jelly with touches of lavender, spice cake and earth. The palate is medium to full-bodied and super intense with super ripe, super fine-grained tannins, wonderful freshness and a very long perfumed, mineral-laced finish.”
Thank you for reading!