Monday Newsletter 12-17-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

Subscriber-Only Loire Valley Flash Sale 
New Week – New Arrivals:
Champagnes / Hot Oregon Picks & more!

Rare & Cherished Ridge Monte Bello
Mee Godard
Trending Case Deals
2015 Tua Rita Redigaffi
The Ultimate Classic Dessert Wine of the Holidays:
Taylor Fladgate Port

Subscriber-Only Loire Valley Flash Sale 

Ends Monday, December 17th @ 10 AM!

10% Off Displayed Prices

10% off in-stock wines from the Loire
Sale Ends on Monday (12/17) at 10 AM Pacific
Does not apply to pre-arrival wines
Discount will not appear online, we will manually apply before finalizing your order.

Whether you’re after racy whites and sparklers, sumptuous rosés, bright and fresh reds or richer, more powerful versions of both colors (plus some excellent rosé) the Loire Valley is a source of a laundry list of notable wines at prices you aren’t going to be able to pass up.  Stock up quickly, though, these sale prices end when we open for business (10 AM Pacific) on Monday (12/17).

You can see our highlights below or shop all 81 in stock Loire wines by clicking here!
In Stock & On Sale Now:

Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($34.95) Displayed price: $29, Now $26.10 Loire Valley Super Special
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2017 1.5L ($79.95) Displayed price: $61.90, Now $55.71 Loire Valley Super Special
Importer note “Always among our most coveted rosés (and for very good reason), Gilles Crochet’s 2017 Sancerre Rosé (100% direct-press Pinot Noir) is wonderfully classic in character, with tangy strawberries and punchy chalk on the nose, and a soft, mellow, pale pink color in the glass. The fruit is very cool and pure this vintage, with great drive and persistence on the acid-driven yet scrumptious palate. While Sancerre overall experienced around 15% losses due to frost in 2017, Crochet was thankfully spared completely.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today for the 750ML and the lowest listed price in the USA for the magnum!
The average price nationally is $32

Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($24.95) Displayed price: $21.90, Now $19.71 Loire Valley Super Special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91 points “Light bright pink. Racy and focused on the nose, displaying mineral-accented red berry, orange zest and floral scents and a subtle herbal undertone. Dry and nervy in style, offering juicy red currant and bitter cherry flavors that deepen and become sweeter with air. Clings with impressive authority on the finish, leaving candied rose and chalky mineral notes behind.”
Importer note “100% Cabernet Franc from 37 year old vines grown in shallow soils of grey schist and rhyolite (volcanic soil) and sand. Indigenous yeast fermentation with no malo. Aged 4-6 months stainless steel.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Bruno Cormerais Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie Vieilles Vignes, Loire 2015 750ML ($19.95) Displayed price: $16, Now $14.40 Loire Valley Super Special 
VinopolNote: The “basic” bottling, this nevertheless comes from 40+ year old vines and rests sur lie for 15 months before bottling, aging and release.  It’s a classic Muscadet, crisp and bright, but with extra power.  This is as food friendly as they come and an excellent deal.

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!

Didier Dagueneau Blanc Fume de Pouilly, Loire 2015 750ML ($89.95) Displayed price: $79, Now $71.10 Loire Valley Super Special

Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($47.95) Displayed price: $39, Now $35.10 Loire Valley Super Special
Case-6 Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($269.95) Displayed price: $219, Now $197.10 Loire Valley Super Special (that’s only $32.85/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Bright and pure, with delightful pear, green almond and green plum notes laced with a fennel streak, ending with finely beaded acidity and a mineral echo through the finish. Very refined. Drink now through 2027.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “Huet’s 2016 Vouvray Clos du Bourg Sec is clear, pure, fine and fresh on the chalky-mineral, delicately fruity nose. Medium-bodied, round and fruity with good mineral grip and tension but also a charming sweet creaminess, the 2016 is a very elegant and pretty complex Chenin Blanc from the chalky soils of the Clos de Bourg. The salty, persistent finish is aromatic, lush and well structured, indicating a certain sweetness, good grip and very promising aging potential. Tasted February 2018.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!

Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux, Loire 2015 750ML ($79.95) Displayed price: $66, Now $59.40 Loire Valley Super Special
Neal Rosenthal tasting note “The 2015 Moelleux is really a step up in concentration and complexity from the Sec and Demi-Sec.  It is at this level where the ultimate potential of Vouvray begins to reveal itself. The dense aromas lean bitter, with notes of pear, pit fruits, and fresh honey.  On the palate, the fruit is warm and leans toward plum and quince, with an undercurrent of sea foam and Indian spices.  Wearing 70 grams of sugar, this wine’s intense minerality keeps it fresh and structured, which adds to its incredible persistence and surprisingly dry finish.”

10% off in-stock wines from the Loire
Sale Ends on Monday (12/17) at 10 AM Pacific
Does not apply to pre-arrival wines
Discount will not appear online, we will manually apply before finalizing your order.

You shop all 81 in stock Loire wines, including wines from Plouzeau, Baudry, Dagueneau, & Guiberteau, not to mention the 24 additional Huet bottlingss by clicking here!

New Week – New Arrivals
Best value in Champagne? How about the M&C Imperial – at 2/3s the national average!
Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial With Diamond Suit Gold, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Wine Spectator 91 points “Bright and balanced, featuring a fine, lively bead, mouthwatering acidity and a lightly toasty profile of poached pear and black currant flavors, with rich hints of lemon curd and pastry cream. Drink now through 2020. [Reviewed Nov 2018]”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $48
Louis Roederer et Philippe Starck Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne 2009 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Roederer’s 2009 Brut Nature is compelling. Powerful, ample and creamy, the 2009 has more than enough natural richness and texture to carry the wine with no dosage. The Brut Nature emerges from vineyards in Cumieres, where the wines are naturally tense, which creates a fascinating push and pull with the ripeness of 2009 and no dosage approach. Of all the grand marque Chefs de Caves, Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon is the closest to his vineyards and the most artisan in spirit. That comes through loud and clear in this fabulous Champagne. The Brut Nature is also the single best value within the Roederer range today.”

Louis Roederer Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “An elegant Champagne in an aperitif style, with flavors of crushed blackberry, biscuit, spring blossom and Meyer lemon zest riding the finely detailed bead, underscored by a streak of salinity that emerges on the fresh finish. Drink now through 2022.”

Moet & Chandon Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 94 points “A sleek, creamy Champagne, with an expressive range of toast, apricot, candied Meyer lemon zest, cassis and pastry cream set in a tightly knit and racy frame. This offers personality now, but the focus and concentration recommends it to the cellar as well. Disgorged February 2017. Drink now through 2030.”

Back in stock!
Dom Perignon Rose, Champagne 2005 750ML ($379.95) $259 special
James Suckling 99 points “A mind-blowing wine. This is super subtle and intense with aromas of peaches, light strawberry and cream. Also shows rose petal and cooked peaches. Medium to full body, with ultra-fine tannins that feel like fine silk. The finish goes on for mintutes. It floats across the palate. The winemaker says the closet vintage to this is the 1990, but I think this is better.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2005 Dom Pérignon Rosé is intriguing, complex and multi-faceted. Brisk and refreshing, with a slightly herbal (but not unpleasant character), the 2005 is superb today. Over time, the wine has acquired a bit more depth and body than it showed at the outset. Even with all of its depth, though, I would not suggest cellaring the 2005 too long given the challenges of the year. Hints of blood orange, mint, sage and dried flowers add the closing shades of nuance.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This rosé Champagne is rich and vinous, offering smoky minerality up front, expanding to show dried raspberry, mandarin orange zest, brioche and espresso crème flavors that ride the fine, lacy mousse. Spice and mineral details persist on the racy finish. Drink now through 2027.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “This Champagne is beautifully mature, its ripe fruit and soft texture magnified by toast and yeast. Rich and full bodied, its fine acidity keeps it in great condition. With a crisp aftertaste that gives it a delicious lift, it’s ready to drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $329
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($89.95) $76 special
Decanter 96 points “It is quite something to be invited to the launch of Champagne Veuve Clicquot 2008 at Clos des Lambrays, one of the finest grands crus of Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits and acquired by LVMH in April 2014. It was rumoured to have paid close to €100m. The Veuve Clicquot 2008 is VC Chef de Caves Dominique Demarville’s first solo vintage. What fascinated him at Lambrays was winemaker Thierry Brouin’s consummate talent in capturing from the red iron-rich soil a wonderfully bright character in the wine- so fresh, rich yet elegant, density and delicacy in magical harmony. The same can be said for my two coups de coeur in Clicquot 2008. — Veuve Clicquot 2008 (Magnum) — Shimmering green-gold. Easily up several notches from the bottle. Perfect balance of freshness, ripe acidity and complex vinosity to come. Near perfect wine, patina of seasoned spice of subtle oak. — Elegant and complex Champagne with plenty of fine mousse and flavours of toast, smoke and roasted fruit notes to balance the fresh acidity. A refined and refreshing fullbodied wine in a gastronomic style with the potential to drink well for many years.”

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Rose, Champagne 2008 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Gilbert & Gaillard 97 points “Coppery orange-pink. The nose is shy on first pour then delivers delicate red fruit, dried fruit and mild spice notes after swirling. Fleshy attack, fine bubbles and superb freshness. A tense, elegant rose. Hugely successful, almost a foregone conclusion.”

Marie Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Grapelive 94 points “The vital and elegantly lifted Courtin Extra Brut Resonance is a 100% Pinot Noir Blanc de Noirs that was fermented and lees aged in stainless steel with no dosage which gives this beautiful Champagne an intense and structured feel and crisp restrained nature, making it wonderfully pure and deliciously entertaining. Dominique Moreau, winemaker/cellar master at Champagne Marie Courtin, is crafting all biodynamic/organic grower fizz from a single vineyard in the Cote de Bars zone of the southern most part of the region, not too far away Chablis, set on the same Kimmeridgian (limestone) soils using a massale selection of old vine grapes that were planted in the 1970s. This warmer area allows for ripe fruit, light or non dosage and add to the textural pleasures of these sparkling wines made by Moreau, and while the domaine is rather new with the first release coming in 2005 this tiny estate is already highly regarded and sought after, with her offerings joining the likes of Mousse, Cedric Bouchard and Jerome Prevost as a rising star(s) in region doing an extremely dry racy style of mineral driven and terroir bubbly. Glorious with food, in particular briny oysters, seafood, caviar and or creamy cheeses like Epoisses! Briskly focused the 2014 Resonance has tight layers of citrusy fruits with lemon/lime, white peach/cherry, chalky details, steely mineral notes and with a vibrant mousse along with a slow reveal of richness and leesy nutty brioche. This very exciting stuff, more delicate than overt, with good acidity keeps things laser sharp and brilliantly vivid on the zesty palate, if you like more opulent/fleshy or generous Champagnes this might be a shock to your system, but there is no denying it’s class and quality, it’s a style I find thrilling and this Marie Courtin is one of my favorites.”

Gaston Chiquet Carte d’Or Premier Cru Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Bright and lacy, this harmonious Champagne offers a minerally, chalk-tinged underpinning and a delicate bead, with a crowd-pleasing array of nectarine, lemon sorbet, ground ginger and spun honey flavors. Drink now through 2028. 150 cases imported.”
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The 2008 Brut Vintage Or is relatively open and accessible wine for the year. There is good depth to the dried pear, candied citrus and floral notes, but it is without question the resonance of Ay that carries the wine. Hints of graphite, smoke and slate add lovely underpinnings of minerality. The Vintage is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Dosage is 8 grams per liter. Disgorged: July 2017.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $64
Deutz Rose, Champagne NV 375ML ($29.95) $24 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “[Reviewed Nov 2018] Apple blossom and apricot notes are fresh and aromatic in this elegant rosé Champagne, which offers a light plushness to the fine mousse, mouthwatering acidity and accents of candied ginger, lemon biscuit and mineral. Drink now through 2021. 500 cases imported.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price for the half-bottle is $29.45
Staff pick!
Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Noirs Cote de Val Vilaine, Champagne NV (2016) 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2016 Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine is gorgeous in this vintage. Ample and creamy on the palate, with tremendous textural richness, the 2016 dazzles from start to finish. I can’t remember a vintage of the Val Vilaine that was this complete and harmonious. Moreover, the Val Vilaine is a terrific introduction to Cédric Bouchard and his wines, especially for readers who can’t find some of the more smaller-production cuvées. Non-dosé. Disgorged: April 2018.”
Peter Liem note “The entry point into the range is a blanc de noirs that was previously called Inflorescence—since the 2012 vintage, however, it’s labeled under the name of the vineyard site, Côte de Val Vilaine. This is a south-facing, 1.49-hectare parcel of pinot noir in the village of Polisy, planted in 1974. It previously belonged to Bouchard’s father, although Cédric worked the vines and made the wine himself. His intention was to make Inflorescence a slightly more approachable wine… This all changed as of the 2012 harvest—in that year, he acquired ownership of the parcel from his father, and he has incorporated Val Vilaine into the Roses de Jeanne lineup, reducing the yields to correspond with the other wines in the range.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $79.99
The average price is $84
Bergstrom ‘Old Stones’ Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine & Spirits 92 points “Scents of preserved lemon and grapefruit peel are framed by a fine autolytic nuttiness. The flavors are no less complex, but the texture is bracing and lean, with a lemony bite and crisp, crunchy mouthfeel that makes you hungry for seafood, like salt-baked prawns.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Bergstrom ‘Cumberland Reserve’ Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2016 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 91 points “Floral and expressive raspberry and violet aromas open to polished and delicately layered pomegranate, anise and spice flavors that finish with refined tannins. Drink now through 2023.”

Bethel Heights Vineyard ‘Aeolian’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Expressive and powerfully built, with vibrant black raspberry and orange peel aromas that open to a vibrant core of tannins and acidity, wrapped in dynamic cherry and spice flavors. Best from 2020 through 2025.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Elevee ‘Elevee Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Brilliant red. Expressive, mineral-accented red fruit and floral pastille scents, along with hints of five-spice powder and licorice. Sappy, penetrating raspberry and boysenberry flavors smoothly blend depth and nerviness thanks to a core of zesty acidity. The mineral note repeats strongly on the long, appealingly sweet finish, which features fine-grained tannins and an echo of juicy red fruit.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Back in stock & going fast! 
Kelley Fox Wines ‘Momtazi Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, McMinnville 2016 750ML ($37.95) $33 special
Grapelive 95+ points “The gorgeously expressive 2016 Momtazi Pinot is spicy, vibrant and perfumed with a beautiful crimson/ruby hue in the glass. As in 2015, Fox notes, this bottling is again 100% whole cluster, and it clearly shows in this wines intensity and tension. Kelley Fox has made another awesome wine, and while the vintage was ripe this bottling is fresh and precise in detail making it a stunning effort that is absolutely thrilling, especially if you like stem inclusion. It’s a wine that should only get better and better over the next decade! The all-biodynamic Momtazi Vineyard always shows mineral and exotic spices resting on basalt from volcanoes this site has cooling breezes, dramatically set west of McMinnville with some east facing slopes. Fox likes to highlight the terroir here, so she used no new wood at all, just neutral Burgundy barrels, native yeasts and this vintage came in at 13% natural alcohol, allowing the vitality and energy to flow freely in a pure, richly textured and balanced wine. The nose is explosive with wild flowers, dark berries, minty herbs (stems) and red peppery spices which leads to a medium full palate of black cherry, strawberry jam, plum and tangy currant/berry fruits along with star anise, cinnamon and liquid violets adding a hint of green tea, blood orange and pomegranate with just a kiss of earthy chard and subtle oak. I cannot believe how great this wine is, after falling so hard for the 2015, it was with incredibly high expectations I tried this vintage 2016. It floored me, and I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite, but after time in the glass this 2016 even seduced me further still. It’s tightly wound personality and the stemmy drive might not be for everyone, but for me it’s a total thrill and the potential here is off the carts. I’m putting a bottle away for 5 to 10 years. Kelley Fox has mastered her craft and style to near perfection. This latest set of wines is simply awesome, it particular her Freedom Hill Pinot Blanc and the 2015 and 2016 Momtazi Pinot Noir(s). These are do not miss wines from Oregon. This again is an impressive lineup from a huge talent.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Kelley Fox Wines ‘Maresh Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $74.89
Cameron Winery ‘Abbey Ridge’ Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 1.5L ($189.95) $159 special
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Vivid red. Intensely perfumed, musky aromas of raspberry, cherry cola and woodsmoke are enhanced by a subtle lavender nuance that builds with aeration. Broad, densely packed red and dark berry flavors are given spine and lift by a core of minerality that adds refreshing back-end cut. Repeats the floral note on the long, sappy finish, where dusty tannins add shape and grip.”
VinopolNote: Abbey Ridge is one of the most hallowed sites in the Willamette Valley.  Planted in 1975, the Pinot Noir here is own rooted and at one of the highest elevations in the Dundee Hills.  The elevation and classic Jory soils give the wine an intense personality—high toned, elegant and tensile, with good power and a strong voice.  This bottling has been one of the defining Oregon Pinots since John Paul started making it.
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Cameron Winery Clos Electrique Rouge, Dundee Hills 2015 1.5L ($189.95) $159 special
VinopolNote: Named after the electrified deer fence surrounding the vineyard, the Clos Electrique is the estate vineyard surrounding Cameron’s winery.  Located just up the road from Maresh vineyard, on Worden Hill Road, it’s in the promised land of the Dundee Hills and the wines deliver.  This is always the meatiest, most primal Pinot of the Cameron lineup.  We love it for its intense savoriness and quiet power—every year this is an absolute treat to drink.
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine A. & P. de Villaine Bouzeron, Cote Chalonnaise 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Winery note “Our Bouzeron comes from vines situated on the best slopes of the appellations. We have planted to Bouzeron the golden Aligoté doré grape, which gives lowers yield and more aromatic wines than its cousin, the Aligoté vert. True to its varietal nature, our Bouzeron is a liveley, fruity wine, but it also has a finesse and roundness that spring from the essential nature of the terroir. These qualities lend it great versatility. To best appreciate the freshness and fruit, our Bouzeron would be drunk young, within two or three years. To allow the wine to fully develop fullness and “fatness”, age it for up to ten years. This Bouzeron 2016 is more floral than fruity but remains very fresh, thanks to the acidity present. This liveliness, as always, is generated by the particular marl-limestone soils of Bouzeron. Rich, round and lively at the same time, the mouth feel oscillates between richness of the fruit, roundness generated by a good maturity and a saline presence, a palatability that makes the wine extremely digestible.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “Just sensational, and one of the best examples of this cuvée out there, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc boasts phenomenal notes of orange blossom, salty minerality, caramelized peach, and spice. Rich, full-bodied, unctuous and yet always pure and elegant, it’s one of the finest wines coming from this hallowed appellation.”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Light brilliant yellow. A highly complex bouquet evokes ripe citrus and orchard fruits, white flowers and smoky minerals, and an exotic saffron nuance emerges as the wine opens up. Sappy and penetrating on the palate, offering concentrated Meyer lemon, pear nectar, candied ginger and toasted brioche flavors that become more lively on the back half. Distinctly powerful yet lithe as well, finishing with noteworthy energy and lingering floral and mineral flourishes.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The family is a great believer in Roussanne as the white grape of the Southern Rhône, and the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc includes 80% of that variety. Waves of honeyed pineapple and tangerine sorbet flood the senses. This is really lush, yet it’s underscored by a briny sense of freshness that prolongs and lingers on the finish. It may be drunk young or aged several years.”

So nice, it ranked twice…
#18 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2018
#19 Wine of the Year – James Suckling Top 100 in 2018

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
James Suckling 99 points “This is a stunning Beaucastel. A classic! Has a superb array of fruit, ranging from red, through to blue, darker purple and black. Nuances of dark, stony minerals, spices, wild flowers and herbs. So fleshy. This has impeccable balance, super-silky tannins and an extraordinarily long finish. This has decades ahead of it. Drink or hold.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “A stunner from the get-go, with waves of thoroughly seductive boysenberry, plum, blueberry and raspberry reduction forming the core, while roasted apple wood, rooibos tea, bergamot, and anise notes flash throughout. This has plenty of bass, with a Turkish coffee accent and a hint of alder driving underneath. Everything moves in lockstep through the seriously long finish. Best from 2020 through 2045. 12,500 cases made.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 97 points “Bottled only a week before my visit, I was blown away by how well Beaucastel’s 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape was showing. It’s full-bodied, creamy, lush and rich, with layers of raspberry fruit, garrigue and spice that unfold across a seamless palate. No doubt it will go through cycles of being open and closed throughout its lifespan, but it would be a mistake to simply order a case, put it into storage and forget about it without trying one first and swooning over the sheer lusciousness and youthful complexity.”

Alto Adige

Putzenhof Bozner Leiten Sudtirol Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto Adige 2016 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Ian d’Agata-Vinous 93 points “Bright red. Perfumed herbs complement strawberry and violet on the enticing nose. Then light and lively, but with precise flavors of strawberry and red cherries complicated by flint, lavender and herbs. The 2016 Bozner Leiten finishes long with a hint of mineral dust and repeating notes of flowers. This overtly fruity wine features sneaky concentration. Very well done. The Bozner Leiten denomination is German for Colli di Bolzano, or “hills of Bolzano”. These wines are made with a minimum 85% Schiava varieties. Putzenhof’s version is roughly 85% Schiavas and 15% Pinot Nero and Lagrein.”

Terrazas de los Andes Reserva Malbec, Mendoza 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
James Suckling 92 points “This is a fresh and delicately fruity red with dark berry and hints of fresh herb. Medium body, fine tannins and a clean, bright and crisp finish. Drink now.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2016 Reserva Malbec was produced with estate vineyard grapes from Altamira and Las Compuertas. It fermented in stainless steel with selected yeasts and matured in French oak barrels for 12 to 14 months. The nose is perfumed, floral, fruit-driven, clean and ripe without excess. The juicy palate has a lot of tasty fruit, good acidity and round tannins. It’s fruity and easy to drink. 800,000 bottles produced.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Rare & Cherished Ridge Monte Bello

“The 1995 is striking today” –Antonio Galloni writing in 2016

Straight from the winery’s cellar…

Profound & profoundly age-worthy!

Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello, Santa Cruz Mountains 1995 1.5L ($799.95) $699 special, 2 magnums in stock now
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“[Tasted in July 2016] The 1995 Monte Bello is powerful, bright and incisive. At twenty years of age, the 1995 retains gorgeous, refreshing acidity that gives the wine lift and energy. The 1995 is a brooding Monte Bello, with darker tonalities of fruit and accompanying notes of smoke, licorice, spice, menthol, tobacco and cedar. Although the 1995 is striking today, it could also use more time in bottle, as it remains a touch compact and austere, especially next to the 2012 and 2002 tasted alongside it. Readers who enjoy cool, mineral and savory inflected Cabernets will adore the 1995, a wine that will drink well for another 20 years. Vineyard manager David Gates describes 1995 as a cool, relaxed, late ripening season that yielded small berries with elevated tannins. A second recent bottle was a bit more open and ample. Either way, the 1995 Monte Bello is a remarkably vivid, expressive wine that has a long life ahead of it.”
James Suckling 97 points “[Tasted in 2012] Amazing flowers and lavender and blackberries. Love the nose. Tobacco and cigar box. Full-bodied, with firm and round tannins. Then there’s rosemary and berry on the finish. Give it time.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points “[Tasted in 2018] The product of a late-October harvest, the 1995 vintage was Eric Baugher’s first vintage as Ridge’s winemaker alongside Paul Draper, and I remember him telling me in 2012 that he was afraid extraction had been pushed too far and that the wine might always be somewhat monolithic. In the last three years, however, the 1995 Monte Bello has began to shed some of its formidable tannins, and it’s clear that those fears were unfounded. The nose offers up rich aromas of cassis and red plums that mingle with nuances of sweet, loamy soil, cigar box and subtle leather. On the palate, the 1995 is full-bodied, deep and super concentrated, with its powerful core of fruit framed by melting tannins and underpinned by tangy acids, concluding with a long and distinctly stony finish. Today, the 1995 ranks as one of the highlights of the decade. Think of it as a somewhat more rustic cousin of the 2005. It’s a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc that attained 12.5% natural alcohol.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Mee Godard

& the Beauty of 2014 Beaujolais

Mee Godard started her domaine in 2013, after years working in cellars around Burgundy and Champagne and a degree from Oregon State.  The most notable place she worked was with Lafon and that vin de garde style informs her approach to Gamay.  They still have the bright freshness we expect from the grape and the terroir, but have the intensity and structure to age for a good while longer.  She seems to be a consensus star on the rise and although the wines are more expensive than some, they’re a deal compared to the stalwarts of Morgon (and for the quality of the wines).  We’re a little afraid these are going to go full Balagny with regards to pricing and availability, so they’re definitely wines to stock up on while you can.

In Stock Now from Domaine Mee Godard:

Domaine Mee Godard Morgon Cote de Py, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($37.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Bright ruby-red. Heady, mineral-accented aromas of ripe cherry and red berries, with a peppery nuance adding vivacity. At once concentrated and lively, offering intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a sneaky suggestion of spicecake. Picks up a sexy lavender pastille quality on the incisive, sharply focused finish, which hangs on with outstanding tenacity and building minerality.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Trending Case Deals

High quality, bargain grower bubbles in a wide range of sizes!
Case-12 R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $319 special (that’s only $26.58/bottle!)
R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95)
$29 special
R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 375ML ($24.95) $18 special
R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 1.5L ($89.95) $66 special
R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 3L ($249.95) $199 special
R. Dumont & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 6L ($499.95) $389 special
Importer note “The Dumont Brut NV is a blend of 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay. The grapes from their vineyard have qualities that seem less aggressive and more sumptuous than those from the northern districts. In addition, vinification of whole berries at low temperatures enhances this quality of soft elegance. The NV is a blend of vintages typically between two and five years old. It is aged for two years on the lees before disgorgement. Dosage is 9 grams.”

These are the lowest listed prices on the West Coast today!

New Arrival!
Case-12 Pago Casa Gran ‘Casa Benasal’ Elegant, Valencia 2016 750ML ($199.95) $138 special (that’s only $11.50/bottle!)
Pago Casa Gran ‘Casa Benasal’ Elegant, Valencia 2016 750ML ($19.95)
$14 special
James Suckling 94 points “Really impressive elegance and concentration make for a compelling, medium-weight red. Plenty of red and dark plums and cherries and deeply flavorsome, succulent tannins. This has real appeal. Drink now through to 2025 and beyond.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

“All the pieces of the Chablis puzzle are in place here”-Decanter
Case-6 La Chablisienne Vaulorent, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($219.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
La Chablisienne Vaulorent, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Decanter 95 points “An exuberant, complex nose packed full of exotic fruits, asparagus and elderflower with well integrated oak. The palate has a very strong fruity expression with an oily depth and harmony and very impressive length. All the pieces of the Chablis puzzle are in place here.”
Burghound 92 points “Outstanding. As is usually the case this is more elegant, particularly on the floral and white orchard fruit suffused nose that is nuanced by plenty of classic Chablis elements and in particular mineral reduction. There is also a bit more volume to the caressing, intense and voluminous flavors that drip with minerality on the refined but powerful finale where a discreet touch of wood arises. This offers ample development potential and should be lovely with time. Drink: 2021+”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Sometimes blended with grapes from the Fourchaume Premier Cru, this Vaulorent bottled on its own is a bit crisp–bright with citrus and toasty from wood aging. It will develop slowly over several years, so drink from 2019.”

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

Bold, powerful, stunning, serious—and the best price in the country.
Case-6 Numanthia, Toro 2011 750ML ($379.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)

Numanthia, Toro 2011 750ML ($69.95) $33 special
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Intense aromas of charred, smoky, lemony oak add depth and masculinity to ripe black-fruit scents. Although tough and tannic, this is built like a fortress. Flavors of black pepper, dark chocolate and blackberry finish with complex notes of cocoa and herbs. Drink this currently young and tannic Toro through 2030.”
James Suckling 93 points “Very pretty, balanced red with lead-pencil, berry and floral character on the nose and palate. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Refined and clean. Drink now.” JS
Wine Spectator 92 points “Cola and balsamic notes accent plum, sanguine, tobacco and licorice flavors in this savory red. Dense, with muscular tannins and balsamic acidity, but the floral and spicy finish shows some grace. Drink now through 2025. 6,500 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $54

Top Rioja Reserva of the vintage
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2013 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2013 750ML ($27.95)
$21.90 special
James Suckling 92 points “This is an excellent 2013 with such purity and finesse. Cherry, stone and light cedar aromas follow through to a full body, very fine tannins and a fresh and clean finish. Hints of cedar. It shows a focused energy. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $27
Speaking of trending case deals…

Don’t forget – all Domaine Huet Case-6 Specials are 10% until Monday, December 17th at 10 AM Pacific!

2015 Tua Rita Redigaffi

The top wine from Tua Rita, Redigaffi, stands toe to toe with Masseto, Petrus and Le Pin at a price that makes it a bargain.  Redigaffi is one of the iconic wines of Italy, a truly breathtaking red and one that belongs in the cellar of any serious collector.

“Best Redigaffi ever. Hard not to drink now but a wine for decades.”
Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($249.95) $228 special 
James Suckling 100 points “This is an extraordinary merlot with such purity and focus. Flowers such as violets and hints of orange peel. It is full-bodied yet incredibly energetic and structured. The finish goes on for minutes. Seamless texture. Fresh yet dense. Contrasty. Best Redigaffi ever. Hard not to drink now but a wine for decades.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Lush and polished, featuring a cashmere texture caressing vanilla, chocolate, black cherry and plum flavors. Well-balanced, with a persistent finish. The harmony hides a solid structure. Decant now. Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2032.”

The Ultimate Classic Dessert Wine of the Holidays:

Taylor Fladgate Port 

Taylor Fladgate is a premier name in the world of Port.  In most declared vintages, the Fladgate offering is the top, especially for lovers of elegant, rich port with sublime aromatics.  They’ve always been innovators (basically inventing LBV port) but we love them for their classical vintage ports.

Founded in 1692, Taylor Fladgate sources their wines from a variety of vineyards, but the vintage ports lean heavily on Vargellas, Terra Feita and Junco, three quintas that are some of the finest few vineyards in the Douro.  The resulting vintage Port that is produced is something that demonstrates the Taylor Fladgate commitment to excellence from vineyards all the way to bottle.

Unlike the sometimes showier Fonseca’s (their only real competitor for top old-school port house), these are wines that often take some time to mature and show their full stuff. When they do, though, these are wines that dreams are made of (and wines you should plan meals around).  Luckily, we’re able to save you the trouble and are able to offer this fine collection of already aged treasures, perfect for holiday drinking.

In Stock Now:

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 1970 750ML ($499.95) $399 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 98 points
“Clearly lives up to Taylor’s superb reputation. Deep ruby, with intense violet and chocolate aromas, full-bodied, with gorgeous fruit flavors, full but well-integrated tannins and an extremely long finish. Amazing balance and finesse. Still needs time.”

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 1977 750ML ($349.95) $299 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Note on condition of bottles: labels and bottles show wear and tear of 40 years in cellar.
Wine Spectator 97 points “Good ruby color still. The nose is fresh, with lots of crushed berry and plum, with a hint of piecrust. Full-bodied, with firm tannins and a caressing texture. This delivers loads of complex fruit and spiciness. Medium-sweet. A beauty. Will improve for decades, but why wait? ’77/’85/’97 blind Port retrospective. Drink now.”
Robert Parker 96 points “This house must certainly be the Latour of Portugal. Their ports are remarkably backward yet still impressive when young. Of all the vintage ports, those of Taylor need the longest time to mature and even when fully mature seem to have an inner strength and firmness that keep them going for decades. Their tawnys are also among the very best, though somewhat expensive. The 1977 has consistently been at the top of my list of vintage ports in this great vintage, although the Dow, Graham, and Fonseca are equally splendid. It is a mammoth, opaque, statuesque vintage port of remarkable depth and power, but is should not be touched before 2000.”

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 1985 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Jancis Robinson 18/20 points
“Still going very strong from a bottle via a decanter. (The Robertsons served Fonseca 1985 at their dinner that night to celebrate Fonseca’s bicentenary.) Lovely hazelnuts nose and soft, spicy and sweet on the palate. Tannins fully resolved but still vigorous too.”    (6/2015)
Neal Martin’s Wine Journal 95 points “A very youthful deep garnet core with ruby rim. This has a much more precocious nose than the -83 with ripe blackberry, raspberry coulis, black olives and a certain minerality to it. Very fresh and well defined, the palate is full-bodied, certainly more structured and complex than the previous two declarations. Notes of black cherry, fig, raisin with a hint of savoury fruit towards the finish that has great length and refinement. Still in its youth, this has great potential…” (05/2008)
Wine Spectator 93 points “Medium ruby. Beautiful aromas of flowers and fresh plum, with hints of stems. Full-bodied and medium-sweet, with gorgeous silky tannins and a long, long finish. This is just starting to come around and offers wonderful flavors. Long life ahead, but ready to try.”

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 1994 750ML ($249.95) $219 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 100 points
“In a word, superb. It’s full-bodied, moderately sweet and incredibly tannic, but there’s amazing finesse and refinement to the texture, not to mention fabulous, concentrated aromas of raspberries, violets and other flowers. Perhaps the greatest Taylor ever, it’s better than either the ’92 or the ’70, though it’s very like the ’70 in structure.”

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2003 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2003 1.5L ($299.95)
$249 special, 6 magnums in stock now
Robert Parker – Hedonist’s Gazette 100 points
“I noticed the Chinese love to have both a sweet wine and a vintage port at the end of a meal, which is pretty much over-kill for me. However, I was blown away by the 2003 Taylors vintage port. The Great Wall of China, Black Tie Dinner.”
Pierre Ravoni – Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2003 Taylor’s has a lovely ripe, primal bouquet of blackberry, raspberry, vanilla and marmalade that shows slightly better delineation than the Fonseca. The palate is medium-bodied with very composed, refined tannins that belie the heat of that summer. There is wonderful focus here and fine tension, the finish offering precise notes of black cherries, mulberry, cloves and white pepper. This is one of the finest Ports of a precocious vintage. Tasted May 2013.”

Colheita Port AKA Vintage Tawny

Colheita port is almost a lost art. Once more common, these single vintage tawny wines represent the pinnacle of the tawny genre. Like their cousins, vintage ports, these are only made in great years and are often aged for extended periods of time before release. This ’68, 50 years old and from Taylor Fladgate, is among the greatest made and is a must-buy for anyone who loves Tawny port.

The 1968 edition turns fifty this year and is perfect as a special treat. It’s hard to find wines with this much age, much less that are drinking as spectacularly and aren’t thousands of dollars. This represents a rare opportunity.

Taylor Fladgate Very Old Single Harvest Tawny Port 1968 750ML ($299.95) $219 special, only 4 bottles remaining!
Wine Spectator 98 points
“Pretty gorgeous from the get go, with toasted sesame, green tea, walnut husk, pistachio cream and peanut toffee notes seamlessly layered atop each other, framed by a subtle singed alder hint. Everything glides with grace through the finish, like a gently wafting plume of white smoke off of burning incense. Drink now.”

Re-Arriving in March 2019

#4 Wine of the Year – James Suckling Top 100 in 2018
#23 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2018

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 100 points “OMG. This is really the most amazing young Taylor’s I have ever tasted. Full-bodied and lightly sweet with super power and intensity. So racy and focused. Yet this has such muscle and intensity. Needs at least eight years to show you everything it has to offer. Drink in 2025.”
Wine Spectator 98 points “This is packed with raspberry, blackberry and blueberry fruit flavors that play off one another, melding with anise, fruitcake and ganache notes. A warm tarry edge coats the finish, revealing an echo of bramble. A seriously grippy, strapping Port, this revels in its power. Best from 2032 through 2055.”
Wine Enthusiast 98 points “Ripe, structured while also fruity, this intense, perfumed Port is opulent while also elegant. Its tannins and great fruit are finely integrated and are rich with potential. Black fruits, berries and a juicy aftertaste add freshness to the wine. Drink from 2028.”
Neal Martin – Vinous 97 points “In 2016 Taylor’s began picking in Vargellas on 17 September, followed by Pinhão Valley estate on 23 and 26 September. The 2016 Vintage Port has an aristocratic bouquet with tight wound aromas of blackberry, bilberry, crushed stone, black olive and a light, marine-tinged element, perhaps almost peat-like. The palate is just beautiful with fine, chiseled tannins and a perfect line of acidity. There is that almost “arching” structure one always seeks in a great Taylor’s with a gentle but insistent grip towards the finish. It is everything you really want from a Vintage Port. Production is 6,200 cases.”

Thank you for reading!