Monday Newsletter 12-28-20

In This Newsletter:

New Week – New Arrivals

Fizzy Lifting Reviews:
New Grapelive Reviews for Sparkling Wines


Vaglio Temple Malbec:
Arriving Tuesday

New Week – New Arrivals

Large formats, very hush, hush! The 3L & 5L cannot be listed online. To order, reply to this email, call, or stop in!
Beaux Frères ‘The Beaux Frères Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2018 1.5L ($199.95) $179 special, 6 magnums in stock now
Beaux Frères ‘The Beaux Frères Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2018 3L ($399.95)
$379 special, 2 double-magnums available
Beaux Frères ‘The Beaux Frères Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2018 5L ($699.95)
$619 special, 1 five-liter bottle available ***Shipping not available on the 5L***
#9 in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 2020
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points
“Brilliant ruby. Intense red and blue fruit, floral and spice qualities on the highly perfumed nose, along with hints of cola and licorice. Juicy and precise, offering concentrated raspberry, boysenberry and floral pastille flavors that take on a five-spice-powder nuance with air. Plays power off delicacy with a sure hand and finishes extremely long and silky, with polished tannins framing lingering red fruit and candied rose notes. 45% new oak.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “A wine of presence and expression, impeccably structured yet elegantly layered, with evocative raspberry, rose petal and brown baking spice notes that pick up richness and tension toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2029. 3,088 cases made.”
James Suckling 96 points “This is a trademark, deeply rich impression with an unctuous, violet-flower layer, together with blueberries, cherries and sweetly toasty woody spices, as well as forest wood and fresh, leafy and sappy nuances. The palate has a very succulent, fresh and lithe, almost tangy feel, delivering such succulent, mouthwatering energy at the finish. Ready now, but better from 2024.”

This is the only listing in the USA today for the large formats!

Vermont (Home of wicked good ciders!)

Very light & elegant
Eden Specialty Ciders Brut Nature Cider, Vermont NV 750ML ($19.95) $12.50 special
Eden Specialty Ciders Brut Nature Cider, Vermont NV 375ML ($9.95) $6.50 special
Cidery note
“PROFILE: Bubbly, very dry, balanced flavors. APPLE VARIETIES: Kingston Black • Roxbury Russet • Esopus Spitzenburg • McIntosh • Dabinett • Yarlington Mill • Calville Blanc • Hudson’s Golden Gem • Orleans Reinette • Empire • Black Oxford • Blue Pearmain • Rhode Island Greening • Baldwin. GROWN BY: Scott Farm, Poverty Lane Orchards, Sunrise Orchards, Eden Orchards. METHOD: Champagne style – secondary fermentation, rested on lees at least 18 months, hand-disgorged, naturally sparkling and clean. TASTING NOTES: dried apples, biscuit, citrus, green hay. PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Extremely versatile dinner cider, goes well with everything from oysters to steak-frites. Gluten free, vegan friendly.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $16

Eden Specialty Ciders Imperial 11 Rose Cider, Vermont NV 750ML ($17.95) $11.90 special
Cidery note
“PROFILE: Superbly juicy without being sweet, just off-dry and gently fizzy, with bright acidity and chewy tannic structure. APPLE VARIETIES: Esopus Spitzenberg, Calville Blanc, Hudson’s Golden Gem, Roxbury Russet, Blue Pearmain, Baldwin, Mcintosh, Empire, Ashmead’s Kernel, Black Oxford, Reine de Reinette, Orleans Reinette. GROWN BY: Scott Farms, Sunrise Orchards, Yates Family Orchard and Poverty Lane Orchard. METHOD: Naturally cold-concentrated before fermentation, infused with red currant and blended with a touch of ice cider. Filtered and carbonated. TASTING NOTES: Roses, strawberry, watermelon, citrus, slate. Gluten free, vegan friendly.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $15

Eden Specialty Ciders Orleans Bitter Cider, Vermont NV 750ML ($34.95) $16 special
Cidery note
“A classic aperitif or digestif, we like bitter in a spritz or a Negroni. Our Bitter is comprised of a complex combination of healthful tinctures and botanicals…”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $33.50
That’s less than half off!

A VinopolPick Staff Favorite!
Eden Specialty Ciders Orleans Herbal Cider, Vermont NV 750ML ($39.95) $14 special
Cidery note
“Perfect over ice by itself, or split 50/50 with your favorite sparkling white wine with a squeeze of lime, this bright and perfumed aperitif is defined by the apples and herbs that make it. Basil is a classic culinary herb from the family of Lamiceae, or mint, and originally from the tropical regions of central Africa to Southeast Asia. Sometimes, the leaves so pungent with essential oils, are reminiscent of the sweet smell of anise. In folk medicine, basil is thought to be useful for digestive health and to ease headaches and anxiety. Agastache foeniculum, commonly called Anise Hyssop is also in the mint family. The plant is native to much of north-central and northern America. It is tolerant of deer and drought, and also is a beacon to hummingbirds, butterflies, bumblebees, honeybees, and night flying moths. Anise Hyssop is in the same family as Hyssop, but not closely related. Hyssop hails from the Mediterranean. Anise Hyssop was used medicinally by American Indian tribes for coughs, fever and wounds, as well as digestion. The leaves can be used as a tea or in salad. The purple flower is attractive to honeybees who make a fragrant honey from the nectar. Winner: 2017 GLINTCAP First in Class + Gold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $28
That’s less than half off!

France – Champagne

“Grower-Producers, the Nicaise family have been making champagne for 4 generations from their 9 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards, all in Hautvillers [a village made famous by Dom Perignon], but it is only very recently that the quality took a big jump up after the arrival at the domaine in 2007 of the new generation represented by Laure Nicaise-Préaux and her husband, then 25 year old Clement Préaux. Clémént apprenticed at Anselme Selosse and work at the co-op of Mailly before becoming part of the Louis Nicaise family. As his father-in-law has given him more control, Clémént has reduced the dosages on the wines and pushed the quality upwards.” -Distributor note

Louis Nicaise Premier Cru Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 1.5L ($149.95) $139 special, only 3 magnums available

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Louis Nicaise Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Louis Nicaise Premier Cru Brut Millesime, Champagne 2012 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Louis Nicaise Cuvee Louis par Laure Brut, Champagne 2014 750ML ($69.95) $52.50 special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Marc Hebrart Premier Cru Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Disgorged May 2020, L MF 15. 
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points “The NV Brut Premier Cru Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes is a new cuvée for Hébrart that’s well worth seeking out, derived from superior, south-facing sites in Mareuil-sur-Ay that also inform his Special Club bottling. The inaugural released, based on the 2014 vintage, is showing very well, wafting from the glass with aromas of apples, pears, tangerine, white flowers, spice and pastry cream. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, concentrated and nicely structured, with good cut and dry extract, as well as all the charm that defines the house style.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The NV Brut Mes Favorites Villes Vignes is a blend of several lieux-dits in Mareuil, 60% 2014, 20% 2013 and 20% 2012. A gorgeous wine, the Favorites wraps around the palate with sumptuous depth as it reveals its considerable charms and allure. Readers will find a Champagne of wonderful immediacy that is easy to drink and enjoy with minimal fanfare. Kirsch, plum, spice and hazelnut accents linger with effortless grace. Dosage is 6.5 grams per liter. Disgorged: January 17, 2019.”
[Disgorgement date and base year may vary from reviews]

Hebrart Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Disgorged Nov 18, 2019
Antonio Galloni 89 points “The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs is bright and finely cut, with tons of energy and acids driving citrus, mineral and floral notes. This is an especially nervy style. I would prefer to see a bit more mid palate and overall body, but the Blanc de Blancs is a very pretty wine nonetheless. White pepper and crushed rocks add to the wine’s bright upper register. This release is based on 2016, with reserve wines from 2015 and 2014. Dosage is 8 grams per liter. Disgorged: November 18, 2019.”
Importer note “60% 2015, 25% 2014, 15% 2013.”

Pierre Paillard ‘Les Maillerettes’ Blanc de Noirs Bouzy Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2014 750ML ($79.95) $64.50 special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $74

Savart offers up some of the most impressive, compelling wines in Champagne every year. There’s a house style to them (vinous, textural, mineral) that’s immediately recognizable as Savart wines, but the bottlings show vivid uniqueness that allows for easy differentiation.  We’re pleased to offer a broad selection of the Savart wines, from the (delicious) entry-level L’Overture to the profound single vineyard wines—and all at fantastic pricing. These are some of the most stunning wines we offer every year and they always move quickly (especially the single-parcel offerings).

Savart Bulle de Rosé Premier Cru Brut Rosé, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Disgorged September 2020

Savart L’Accomplie Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Disgorged September 2020

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Savart L’Ouverture Blanc de Noirs Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $44.50 special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

A. Margaine Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $54.50 special
Disgorged 09/2020
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Brut Rosé is positively stellar. The blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir (including 5% still Pinot) works so well here in giving the wine a real sense of proportion that is impossible to miss. In tasting, the Brut Rosé is crisp and taut, but also has more than enough depth to balance things out. Bright red berry fruit and perfumed floral notes race out of the glass, with beams of saline intensity that lend shape through to the salivating finish. Dosage is 9 grams per liter. Disgorged: June, 2020.” 

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $59

A. Margaine ‘Le Brut’ Premier Cru NV 750ML ($54.95) $45 special
Disgorged 10/2019
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Brut Le Brut is another absolutely compelling wine in this range. Le Brut is 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, based on 2017 with 60% reserve wines from 2016-2011. What stands out most, though, is the wine’s total translucence and finesse. Citrus, floral and spice nuances seem to hover on the palate. The 8 grams of dosage is not at all evident. This is such a pretty and harmonious wine. Disgorged: October, 2019.”

Aubry Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Disgorged October 2020, prior review provided for reference.
Wine Spectator 91 points “A creamy viscosity complements the texture of this harmonious version. An accessible crowd-pleaser, with lightly juicy acidity and delicate flavors of chopped almond, baked pear, saline and citrus. Disgorged January 2019. Drink now through 2022.”

Bereche et Fils Les Beaux Regards Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV (2016) 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points 
“The 2016 Les Beaux Regards (Chardonnay) is a punchy, bold wine. Lemon confit, dried herbs, marzipan, spice, chamomile and a touch of reduction give the Beaux Regards a good deal of nuance. Even so, the 2016 comes across as a bit disjointed and lacking the finesse of the very best editions. Aeration helps, especially with the reductive notes (which I don’t find objectionable), so I would either open the 2016 in advance or give it time in bottle. Dosage is 3 grams per liter. Disgorged: February, 2020.”
Importer note “Les Beaux Regards is the blanc de blancs, sourced primarily from Ludes vines planted in 1902 by Raphaël’s great-grandfather in the Les Beauxregards lieu-dit, and les Clos (planted in 1970 with massale sélection). These ancient vines give Les Beaux Regards its deep concentration and intensely chalky minerality.”

Bereche et Fils Reflet d’Antan Brut, Champagne (2015) NV 750ML ($179.95) $125 special
Bereche et Fils Reflet d’Antan Brut, Champagne (2015) NV 1.5L ($399.95) $319 special

No reviews for the current release. Most recent review provided for reference.
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The NV Reflet d’Antan is weightless, airy and gracious. Graphite, crushed rocks, petrol, smoke and licorice infuse this super-refined, polished Champagne. Intensely mineral, chalky and savory, Reflet d’Antan is a model of total precision. The current release is based on the 2013 vintage, with 30% perpetual reserve wines. Reflet d’Antan is 35% Pinot Noir, 35% Meunier and 30% Chardonnay. I tasted two bottles of the same wine; the first aged on crown seal and the second (the commercial release) aged on cork. The version aged on cork was noticeably more complex, and that is for a wine that had just been disgorged about a month before this tasting. Disgorged February 2018. Dosage is 6 grams per liter.”
Peter Liem note “Perhaps the most unusual wine in the cellar is the Reflet d’Antan, composed of equal parts of all three varieties and made by a perpetual blending system. Started in 1985, this is stored in 600-liter demi-muids, with two-thirds of the wine removed each year and replaced with wine from the new harvest—in effect, a sort of “solera”, without criaderas. Historically, the Reflet d’Antan has shown a more ample, more richly burnished style than the other wines in the range, veering towards an oxidative character from its long aging in barrel. However, in recent years Bérêche has sought to bring more freshness and energy to this cuvée, slightly increasing the emphasis on the younger wine, and while it still retains its mature, compellingly anachronistic character, it now feels noticeably more lively and refined.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $160

Doyard ‘Revolution’ Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Non-Dose, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Disgorged in September 2019, the NV Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Non Dosé Révolution is based on the 2012 vintage—and it’s the same blend as the 2012-base Cuvée Vendémiaire but sees two additional years sur lattes. Revealing aromas of confit citrus, warm brioche, almond paste and peach, the wine is full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a concentrated but incisive profile. It’s showing beautifully and is well worth seeking out.”
John Gilman 92 points “The current release of Champagne Doyard’s Révolution Brut Nature is from the fine base year of 2012, with fifty percent of the blend made up of reserve wines from 2011 and 2010. Half of the vins clairs are raised in older Burgundy casks and half in stainless steel, with only fifteen percent of the blend undergoing malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged fully seven years sur latte prior to disgorgement. It offers up an excellent bouquet of apple, pear, fresh-baked bread, hazelnut, chalky minerality and a discreetly smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is bright, fullbodied, focused and complex, with a fine core, good mineral drive, elegant mousse and a long, beautifully-balanced finish. This is my idea of first class non-dosé, as the wine has been given plenty of time aging in the cellars to allow the acidity to back off and the wine to drink with generosity today, rather than some of the younger non-dosé bottlings out there that are really structured for a sword swallower when they are first released. This is superb. 2020-2035+.”
Importer note “50% 2012, 25% 2011, 25% 2010. Village/vyd 45+ year old vines. 70% Avize Grand Cru, 10% Oger Grand Cru, 10% Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Grand Cru, 10% Cramant Grand Cru.”

A classic, and a staff favorite!
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Blanc de Blancs Cuis Premier Cru Brut, Champagne (2016-base) NV 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Blanc de Blancs Cuis Premier Cru Brut, Champagne (2017-base) NV 375ML ($34.95) $29 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91 points
“Disgorged in July 2019 with six grams per liter dosage, the latest rendition of Gimonnet’s NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Cuis is based on the 2016 vintage, complemented by some 30% reserve wines matured in magnum. Offering up aromas of citrus oil, fresh peach, clear honey, white flowers and oyster shell, it’s medium to full-bodied, pillowy and elegantly fleshy, with crisp acids, elegant mousse and chalky back-end grip. Amounting to some 130,000 bottles per annum, this is Gimonnet’s largest cuvée by some margin.”
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Blanc de Blancs Cuis 1er Cru is such a classic Gimonnet wine. Light on its feet and gracious, with soaring aromatics and tons of nuance, the 1er Cru is a winner. Bright floral overtones, citrus, brioche and apple are some of the many notes that are delineated in the glass. Among the entry-level wines in this range, the Cuis 1er Cru offers the best expression of the Gimonnet style at an affordable price. I loved it. Disgorged: March 16, 2019.”
John Gilman 90+ points “The current offering of the Gimonnet Cuis Premier Cru non-vintage Blanc de Blancs is from the base year of 2016, with thirty percent of the cuvée made up reserve wines from the vintages of 2012 through 2015. The wine spent nearly three years aging sur latte prior to disgorgement in December of 2019, with a finishing dosage of six grams per liter. It offers up a very expressive bouquet of apple, pear, hazelnut, chalky soil tones and a topnote of brioche. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied and focused, with a fine core of fruit, good mineral drive and bounce, slightly large bubbles and a long, complex and snappy finish. This is still a young wine and it will really hit its stride with two or three more years in the cellar, though it is already quite tasty. 2020-2040.”
[Disgorgment and base year may vary from reviews.]

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $55

Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Rose de Blancs Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Disgorged October 2019
Importer note “2017 base, reserves from 2010-2016. Village/vyd 39% Chouilly Grand Cru (Montaigu, Ronds Buissons), 12.5% Oger Grand Cru (Champs Nérons, Terres de Noël), 9.5% Cramant Grand Cru (Bateau), 23% Cuis 1er Cru (Croix Blanche), 8.5 % Vertus 1er cru (Faucherets, Justices), 7.5% Bouzy and Cumières rouge.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Please note that disgorgement dates may not exactly match reviews, but base years, vintages, and/or blends are the same unless noted.

France – Loire

Francois Plouzeau has emerged as one of the top natural producers in the Loire, synthesizing properly ripe, rich fruit with bright tangy acidity and a vibrancy that only comes from wines that are minimally “made.”  These are wines made in an old-school Loire fashion, with low yields from cool sites and biodynamically farmed vineyards. In both red and white, they manage to combine a surprising seriousness with a purity and deliciousness that marks them as truly top class Loire wines—they’re natural, sure, but are cleanly made and classically proportioned.

Domaine de la Garreliere Milliard d’Etoiles, Loire NV 750ML ($31.95) $28 special
Cabernet Franc & Chenin Blanc. Methode ancestrale

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Domaine de la Garreliere Touraine ‘Le Blanc de la Mariee’, Loire 2019 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
100% Sauvignon blanc

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine de la Garreliere Touraine Cendrillon, Loire 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Importer note
“This takes the domain’s best Sauvignon from tank and pairs it with 10-15% Chardonnay from barrel along with some 5% of Sauvignon from barrel. The wood is a minimum of three years old. Cendrillon is French for Cinderella, the folk tale of the oppressed girl who rose from ashes (cinders) to become a figure of beauty and grace in glass slippers. The label for this cuvée comes from a painting done by a friend of the Plouzeau family. Note that the label for this wine indicates the domain as ‘Domaine de la Garrelière’.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine de la Garreliere Touraine Chenin de la Colline, Loire 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery Note
“100% Chenin Blanc. Age of vines: 25 – 30 years. Terroir: Aeolian sand on flint clay.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


A flagship Rioja from a great vintage at a winning price.
Marqués de Murrieta Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
Wine Spectator Top 100 In 2019
Luis Gutierrez-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. This is by far the largest volume produced at Murrieta, with almost one million bottles.”
James Suckling 93 points “So fresh and elegant with more than enough concentration and structure, this is a fine example of a 2015 Reserva. Ripe-blackberry, licorice, smoke and bourbon notes. I love the velvety texture of the long, intense finish. Better from 2019 and with long aging potential.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Cedar, tobacco, dried cherry and spice flavors mingle in this red. Features a polished texture, with well-integrated tannins and orange peel acidity. Supple, harmonious and graceful. Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha. Drink now through 2025. 100,000 cases made, 9,067 cases imported.”

Atance Bobal, Valencia 2019 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Atance Bobal, Valencia 2019 750ML ($199.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Importer note
“Organic viticulture and hand picked grapes from bush vines in Requena, specifically the Casa Segura estate vineyards with well drained, sandy soils.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Fizzy Lifting Reviews

New Grapelive Reviews for Sparkling Wines

R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-6 R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $36.50/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Grapelive 93 points
“The Coutier family [has] been a fixture in the famous village of Ambonnay since 1619, with fifth generation vigneron Antoine Coutier, who is working under his father Rene, now leading this artisan estate and making wonderfully distinctive bubblies. The Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut is a lively, but richly-flavored grower fizz with racy citrus and pure apple fruits driving the profile here along with subtle leesy brioche and hazelnut notes adding a sense of luxurious feel to go with the creamy mousse. There is an impression of power and electric energy, which almost gives you reason to think this is an Extra Brut or a non dosage, though when it opens it gets denser and more complex, it fills out to what you’d expect from a top notch Grand Cru 100% Chardonnay Champagne and is sublime with food. This Blanc de Blancs Brut was mostly based the 2016 vintage at close to 60%, a very nice year and with about 40% reserve wines, seeing a low dosage, at just 6.5 grams of sugar per liter and it was disgorged this last February of 2020. I was highly entertained and impressed by this edition of Coutier’s Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs and it was delicious with the Christmas meal and graceful on its own by the fire. The Coutier team hand farms nine hectares, all in Grand Cru vineyards, all sustainably with mostly organic methods, but keep their own production very small. In fact they sell close to 80% of their fruit to the local cooperative, while only selecting the very best grape bunches to craft a maximum of 2,000 cases for their own label. R.H. Coutier is a real grower Champagne house that focuses on freshness of character with almost all of the wines here fermented and aged in stainless with edgy acidity playing a key role with only about half of the Coutier juice going through malolactic fermentation, depending on the vintage and as mentioned a low dosage is used to keep all the vitality in the bottle. While this is beautiful terroir-driven Chardonnay, interesting as Coutier was the first to plant it in the village, has a spectacular set of Pinot Noir vines, for which Ambonnay is most famous for, as well… The more clay based limestone soils and warm exposure give these Champagnes an appealing ripe nature and depth, which comes through here, this is a great value and its very expressive. I highly recommend this elegant stuff for any celebration and what’s left of the holiday meals.”

The average price is $46

A staff favorite!
Weingut Von Winning, Riesling Sekt Extra Brut, Pfalz, Germany NV 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Grapelive 92 points
“I’m lucky to have enjoyed this exciting Riesling Sparkler on a few occasions now. I love its intensity, crisp detail and briskly dry profile that make it celebratory but sublime with meals especially first courses or as an aperitif to whet the palate. German bubbles are incredible and this one is a classy example at a reasonable price, not to be outdone by Prosecco, the Cremants of Alsace, the Loire and Burgundy, and Champagne even, these modern Sekt(s) are stylish, elegant and full of personality. This one [is] in the mold of one of my favorite small Champagne house, Agrapart, with its cool invigorating mineral tones and extreme dry flavors. Von Winning is one of Germany’s top wineries, based in the chalky sandstone soiled Pfalz region, with an exceptional range of wines, especially their absolutely awesome series of Grosses Gewachs (Grand Cru) Rieslings, though there is excellence throughout the collection here and as I have noted in my prior reviews, Von Winning does one of the finest Sauvignon Blanc(s) in the world, too. The Extra Brut Riesling Sekt is vibrant and steely from the start with a mix of zesty citrus and peachy fruits, a hint of wet stones, leesy/yeasty notes and a faint floral element all of which folds together nicely and vigorously on the energy driven light to medium bodied palate that gains texture with air, but stays firmly taut with an expressive, subtly luxurious small bubbled mousse. This is delicious stuff, I’m so happy after a lengthy wait that the Von Winning sparkling Riesling is more readily available in the States. The Von Winning estate, founded in 1849 [and] located in Deidesheim, owns and farms, all organically, some of the oldest plots in the best Grosses Gewächs vineyards in the region, with their historic parcels divided in the Forst, Deidesheim, and Ruppertsberg zones of the Pfalz. [They] have the talents of Stephan Attmann in the cellar, who is inspired by the great wines of Burgundy and has put in place many tried and true Cote d’Or practices in place here, both in the vineyard with high density and Burgundy style pruning as well as winemaking techniques in the winery. These methods, which include small barrels in the elevage and all gravity flow (gentle) handling of the wines have led to worldwide acclaim. As mentioned their dry Rieslings are unique, richly flavored and are as beautifully compelling as any top white Burgundy, including the best from Meursault, Corton-Charlemagne and even the fabled Le Montrachet. Anyone who’s had Von Winning’s Kirchenstück, Kalkofen, Ungeheuer and or Pechstein GG’s will instantly recognize the greatness in the glass. Trust me these are outrageously good wines. Back to the sparkler, I highly recommend grabbing some of this fine bubbly and celebrate any of life’s happier moments and, wallet allowing, add a few of the single vineyard Trockens, especially those GG’s, as well as the Paradiesgarten, which is an awesome value. The Von Winning Sekt is crafted in the classic methode champenoise style with 100% Riesling being used, sourced from, as the winery notes, a selection of different vineyards close to Deidesheim on loess-clay and red sandstone soils with a lengthy period on the lees. There’s a lot to explore here at Von Winning and I suggest sampling any and all of their offerings.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $27


Louis de Grenelle Brut ‘Louise’ Crémant de Loire NV 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Wine Enthusiast 90 points
“Produced from organic grapes, this is a smooth, lightly toasty wine. It has ripe apple and a crisp tight, mineral texture that adds to the refreshing character of the wine. The aftertaste is all fresh fruit. –Roger Voss”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Cascina delle Rose Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
“Here is a comparably food-friendly red wine to pair with simple roast meats or risotto with wild mushrooms. The Cascina delle Rose 2018 Barbera d’Alba is an easier wine when contrasted with the Barbera d’Alba Superiore Donna Elena from 2017 that I also tasted in this report. Yet this wine does not show that jammy ripeness that you get in the Superiore and ultimately shows more balance as a result. There is some softness with dried blackberry and Morello cherry, but the cooler 2018 vintage manages those aromas with more precision and a softer touch. Some 4,500 bottles were released.” -Monica Larner, Wine Advocate

This is the only listing in the USA today!

La Fortuna is one of the top producers of Brunello, having turned their small (11 hectare) estate into one of the most consistently excellent in all of Tuscany. The winery leans modern, with rich, ripe fruit and plush textures, but the wines all maintain an earthiness that keeps them grounded and allows them to age beautifully.
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($59.95) $45 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($719.95) $489 special (that’s only $40.75/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points
“The sliced plums and peaches are plentiful here on the nose. Full-bodied and dense with round and rich tannins and a long, long finish. Shows structure and intensity. Serious Brunello. Better after 2022.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “This is round and full of sweet, ripe cherry, strawberry, graphite and earth flavors. Firms up as the finish plays out, echoing an essence of fruit. Best from 2022 through 2039. —B.S.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $64.99

Terre Nere Prephylloxera Etna Rosso 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points
“A graceful, medium-bodied version, with silky tannins and a pleasing juiciness to the array of plumped cherry, stemmy herb and tangy mineral flavors, accented by fragrant graphite, sandalwood and ground pink pepper notes. Finely knit and focused, with the tannins firming up on the long, spicy finish. Drink now through 2032. 400 cases made, 300 cases imported.”
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 93+ points “Bright red. Pungent flinty and floral nuances to the red cherry and raspberry jam aromas on the inviting nose. Enters rich, dense and almost sweet, with very precise sweet spice and red fruit flavors lingering nicely. An underlying green note remains in the background and adds complexity. Finishes with noteworthy but balanced tannic bite and plenty of freshness on the long juicy finish. A very complex wine with a beautiful nose; the tannins though are on the tough side as in many of these Terre Nere 2017 reds. A very good wine of noteworthy promise, my suggestion is to cellar this for another 4-6 years for full enjoyment.”

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Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($69.95) $46.50 special
James Suckling 97 points
“Wonderful aromos of flowers, plums, terracotta and white pepper. Intense, yet ever so subtle. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins, and a long and intense finish. Shows excellent length. Drink after 2021.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Good deep red. Complex aromas of redcurrant, raspberry, graphite, mocha, and mint. Focused and suave with very attractive sweetness and standout purity to its flavors of red berries and candied flowers. Finishes with polished tannins and outstanding length.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $59

A steal of a price on one of Spain’s hidden gem sweeties.
Telmo Rodriguez ‘Molino Real,’ Malaga 2009 500ML ($59.95) $21.90 special
Case-6 Telmo Rodriguez ‘Molino Real,’ Malaga 2009 500ML ($349.95) $119 special (that’s only $19.83/bottle!)

No reviews available for the 2009 vintage.  Review of the 2010 provided for reference.
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2010 Molino Real is the flagship and initial wine produced here, a sweet Moscatel from the schist slopes of Málaga at altitudes over 550 meters high, fermented with indigenous yeasts in 225-liter French oak barrels where the wine matures for 20 months. The grapes are dried in the sun for two weeks to get more concentration. The nose is extremely aromatic with notes of condensed milk, a touch of volatility and bay leaf; it is extremely complex, attractive and extremely young with the giveaway note of syrup that denotes youth. The wine has 13.5% alcohol and 127 grams of residual sugar. It was a relatively late harvest and the growing season was cooler and warmer than the average. The palate is extremely balanced with perfect harmony between sweetness and acidity leaving the palate with a fresh, minty sensation, rich, intense, with the spiciness of the grape, fine and elegant. I tasted 2009 and 2007 for context, and they are both young, as these are wines thought for the long haul. 7,8824 half-liter bottles were produced. ($75)”

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Top class Chardonnay for the price
Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay, Kumeu 2018 750ML ($37.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 93 points
“This has attractive fresh peaches and grilled pears with intensity and focus, as well as gently complex, spice and flinty nuances. The palate delivers so much supple and vibrant stone-fruit flavor. Drink now. Screw cap.”

Vaglio Temple Malbec

Arriving Tuesday, December 29th

“José Lovaglio, the son of famous Argentine winemaker Susana Balbo, earned his enology degree at UC Davis in 2008 and in recent years has made the Bodini and Crios de Susana Balbo wines at the Dominio del Plata winery. The objective of his own project, Vaglio, launched in 2014, is to showcase a range of different Malbec terroirs; he takes the same approach to extraction with all of these wines and, except for the limited Miperal bottling, they all carry the same gentle price tag. Lovaglio makes his wines in a refurbished dairy in El Peral in the northwest corner of Uco Valley. Thanks to his use of concrete vats and the facility’s thick walls, he is able to ferment his wines without refrigeration.” — Stephen Tanzer, Vinous Media

Vaglio Malbec Lujan de Cuyo Anchoris Temple 2018 750ml ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Vaglio Malbec Lujan de Cuyo Anchoris Temple 2018 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
James Suckling 93 points
“This is always a delicious red with lots of crushed-berry and walnut character. Full-bodied, dense and juicy. Lots of old-vine character. Succulent. Drink now.”

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The next best price is $20

Thank you from the team at Vinopolis!

Be well & drink well.