Monday Newsletter 12-7-2020

In This Newsletter:

Domaine de la Romanee Conti
Additional Inventory Arriving Friday!

Ending Soon!
New Lower Prices on Two Cristom Favorites

New Week – New Arrivals

New Arrival from Muga

Alain Graillot

Domaine de la Romanee Conti

Additional Inventory Arriving Friday!
To say DRC is the finest example of Burgundy is an understatement. These are the finest wines produced in the world. Iconic and highly sought after, these are devoted followed and drunk in ecstasy. These arrive next month directly from the national importer, Wilson Daniels, through our local distributor. 

“The Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s 2017s are showing brilliantly from bottle, and this tasting with Bertrand de Villaine was one of the absolute high points of my two months of visits along the Côte d’Or… spending an hour or two with full glasses of wines such as these is not merely of immense professional interest but, I admit, a source of great personal pleasure… it is clear that this is a vintage that will give immense pleasure to anyone able to secure a few bottles. Hauntingly aromatic, structurally supple and pungently intense, this vintage will drink well younger than both its 2016 and 2015 predecessors, but it is much closer in quality to those two vintages than I perceived 12 months ago. At the end of our tasting, the group spent some time discussing possible analogies, and the comparison I found the most compelling is with the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s 1985 vintage. Indeed, I had drunk a superb 1985 Grands-Echézeaux from the domaine over dinner with a good friend a few days before my visit, and the similarities in overall balance between the two vintages were strikingly apparent as I tasted through the young 2017s. The domaine’s 2017 Montrachet also merits special comment, as it is a magical wine built for the ages.” William Kelley, Wine Advocate

Arriving Friday

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Corton Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune 2017 750ML ($1999.95) $1,499 pre-arrival special, only 4 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2017 Corton Grand Cru is performing beautifully from bottle, bursting from the glass with a captivating bouquet of peonies, rose hips, sweet red berries, orange rind, spices and subtle soil tones. On the palate, the wine medium to full-bodied, supple and velvety, with succulent acids, good concentration and a long, exquisitely perfumed finish. Indeed, it’s only by comparison with the domaine’s utterly suave wines from Vosne-Romanée later in the tasting that this Corton’s tannins seem comparatively coarse-grained. Picked on September 4th, it is showing appreciably better than it did when I tasted it from tank before bottling last year.”
Allen Meadows-Burghound 93 points “A ripe, fresh and layered nose combines notes of plum, spice, earth and plenty of floral influences. There is fine richness to the relatively supple middle weight flavors that possess a velvety mid-palate mouthfeel along with reasonable if not special density, all wrapped in a youthfully austere, balanced and sneaky long finish where a hints of warmth and sweetness eventually emerge. This minerally effort needs to develop better depth but the potential appears to be present for that to occur.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $1,734

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2017 750ML ($2,499.95) $1,799 pre-arrival special, only 1 bottle available
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2017 Grands-Echézeaux Grand Cru is a pretty big step up in this range, both in terms of depth, power and energy. Here the flavors are dark, while there is quite a bit of tannin lurking beneath. Black cherry, graphite, leather, smoke, spice and menthol infuse the 2017 with tons of virile, somber character. Readers will have to be very patient. A whole range of sepia-toned aromas and flavors shrouded in tannin add depth to an imposing Grands-Echézeaux built for cellaring. Harvest was on September 12.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94+ points “More brooding and reserved than the Échézeaux that preceded it in the tasting, the 2017 Grands Échézeaux Grand Cru unwinds in the glass with an enticing bouquet of cassis, blackberries, blood orange, exotic spices and musk. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with a more introverted, structured profile than the Échézeaux, its considerable reserves of concentrated fruit framed by an abundance of powdery tannin and succulent acids. Long and penetrating, this will reward sustained bottle age. The Grands Échézeaux was picked on September 12.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 94 points “The 2017 Grands Echézeaux Grand Cru was picked at 41hl/ha on September 12 and bottled on May 21 and 23, 2019. Given 10–15 minutes to open, it is clearly richer on the nose compared to its petit frère, revealing hints of kirsch, red currant and orange pith and subtle loamy aromas. The palate is medium-bodied, with suppler tannins than the Echézeaux and hints of wild mint, freshly rolled tobacco and a touch of spice toward the harmonious finish, which fans out effortlessly; it is perhaps less grippy than the 2015. This is an open “G.E.” since it can often be difficult to read just after bottling. It will give enormous pleasure over the next two decades. 1,290 cases produced.”
Allen Meadows-Burghound 94 points “A cooler, more elegant and equally spicy nose of mostly red fruits and Asian-style tea is wonderfully fresh if notably more restrained. As is typically the case there is more size and weight to the broad-shouldered flavors that are shaped by firmer and slightly less fine-grained tannins on the impressively persistent finish. This is not as concentrated or powerful as it usually is but even so, it is going to require at least 10 years or so of patience and should amply reward 15 to 18.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $1,894.99
The average price is $2404

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Richebourg Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2017 750ML ($3,199.95) $2,399 pre-arrival special, only 4 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2017 Richebourg Grand Cru offers up generous aromas of ripe strawberries, raspberries, cinnamon and coniferous forest floor, framed by a lavish application of creamy new oak that’s less immediately integrated than in the Domaine’s other wines at this early stage. On the palate, the Richebourg is full-bodied, rich and multidimensional, with a lavishly enveloping attack and supple structuring tannins that are almost entirely concealed by its deep core of fruit. Long and sapid, this is a spectacular wine in the making.”
Allen Meadows-Burghound 95 points “A discreet application of wood frames the even more complex and spicier nose of relatively high-toned, cool and airy aromas of red berries, violet, rose petal, orange pekoe tea and a hint of leather. The sleek, intense and sophisticated middle weight plus flavors brim with both minerality and dry extract that buffers the slightly firmer tannic spine shaping the hugely long, powerful and beautifully harmonious finale. It would be fair to observe that this isn’t the most concentrated Richebourg the Domaine has ever produced but it is one that should age effortlessly on its balance. In sum, this is a highly refined and elegant Riche with a positively gorgeous mouthfeel.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2017 Richebourg Grand Cru is a Burgundy of Cistercian austerity. Searing tannins give the Richebourg its trademark sense of energy and vibrancy. White pepper, mint, dried flowers and bright red berry fruit are all beautifully delineated, with underlying beams of minerality and salinity that lend dimension. Richebourg is very rarely finessed, but is more typically a wine of brawn and pure power, as it is here. A range of bright, floral/savory accents suggest a bit more elegance may lie ahead. We will see. My colleagues appreciate the Richebourg more than I do. Harvest began the afternoon of September 8, after Romanée-Conti. Rain on the 9th caused a break in picking for the day. The last of the Richebourg came in on the 10th.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $2,840

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2017 750ML ($2,999.95) $2,499 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 98 points
“A total stunner, the 2017 Romanée St. Vivant Grand Cru is the most expressive wine in the lineup today. Rich, creamy and so wonderfully textured, the RSV simply has it all. The tannins are present, but they are also matched by tremendous fruit density and pure power. Floral and savory overtones grace the lifted, saline finish. Leaving price aside, if I could only have one wine in this range, it would unquestionably be the RSV. The 2017 is a total knock-out. That’s all there is to it. This fruit was picked on September 10 and 11.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2017 Romanée-St-Vivant Grand Cru was also showing very well indeed, soaring from the glass with scents of cassis, violets, blood orange, cinnamon and espresso roast that are complemented by carnal nuances of smoked duck and musk. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, multidimensional and enveloping, with terrific concentration, rich and powdery structuring tannins and a long, saline finish. This is a dramatic, head-turning Romanée-St-Vivant in the making, and it is showing even better in bottle than it did from barrel.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 95 points “The 2017 Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru was picked on September 10 and 11 at 36hl/ha and bottled between April 26 and May 21. It initially has a more reticent bouquet compared to the Richebourg and requests more time in the glass. Eventually it evolves wonderful, almost pixelated scents of red berry fruit, wild hedgerow and crushed stone. Although it is less intense than the previous two vintages, I discern a touch more precision and focus than in the Richebourg. The palate is medium-bodied with lithe tannins. There is a little more body and depth than in the aforementioned Grand Cru; more energy, perhaps. A mixture of red and black fruit emerges toward the finish, the latter becoming more prominent with aeration. This is a delicious Romanée-Saint-Vivant. Beautiful. 1,693 cases produced…”
Allen Meadows-Burghound 94 points “A markedly floral and very finely nuanced nose almost timidly reflects notes of rose petal, violet, red currant, sandalwood, tangerine peel and a whisper of anise. The sleek and strikingly refined medium-bodied flavors culminate in a sneaky long if decidedly compact and quite serious finish that is presently on the youthfully austere side. This is an exercise in lace and grace though not one without plenty of punch.”

In Stock Now

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Richebourg Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2002 750ML ($4,199.95) $3,799 special, 1 bottle available
[Back label significantly stained]
Wine Spectator 95 points
“The most forward of the ’02s in both barrel and bottle, this floral- and cherry-scented red verges on opulent, yet remains fresh, pure and succulent. There’s a more decadent feel to this Richebourg.–Non-blind 2002 DRC tasting (February 2005). Best from 2014 through 2032.”
Burghound 95 points “(fashioned with <70% whole clusters). I had not tried the ’02 Riche in several years so it was interesting to see how it’s progressing. The expressive though very cool nose is finally beginning to display the initial hints of maturity with the classic dried rose petal and spice nuances adding both elegance and breadth to the pretty mix of red fruit and plum scents. There is a beguiling mouth feel to the intensely mineral-driven broad-shouldered flavors that are at once powerful but sleek, all wrapped in a muscular and palate staining finish. The refined palate impression is considerably enhanced by the dense but extremely fine tannins, in fact so much so that while this is still very clearly on the way up it could actually be drunk now with pleasure. That said I would still strongly advise holding this strikingly pretty effort for another 6 to 10 years first. I should note that while I have had relatively consistent notes over the years, occasionally I land on a bottle that seems herbaceous and almost vegetal; why this variation occurs isn’t clear but nonetheless it does happen.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Shop our entire selection of red Cote de Beaune & Cote de Nuits on our web store,
including selections from Rousseau, Gouges, Hudelot-Noellat, Millot, J Chezeaux and more!

Weekend Subscriber Special

New Lower Prices on Two Cristom Favorites

Ends Monday AM!

Cristom is one of the Hallowed Names in Oregon.  They’ve been a top name since their inception in 1993 and make reference point wines from their beautiful estate vineyards in the Eola-Amity Hills.  Much of the credit for their success goes to their vineyards—located just below Bethel Heights and Temperance Hill, truly Cristom is one of the Grand Cru sites of Oregon.  The rest of the credit goes to Steve Doerner, their winemaker since the beginning, who made a name for Calera in the 80’s before
moving to Oregon and becoming a local legend.

These are wines that have powerful personalities allied to a Burgundian sense of proportion and savor.  Doerner loves to use a lot of whole clusters in fermentations and so the wines always have a grip and earthiness that grounds their deep fruit and rich textures. 2017 was a bit of a return to older school Oregon, as vintages go, warmer than historical averages but much cooler than the heat years of ’14-’16.  We’ve been thrilled with many of the wines we’ve tasted from the year and Cristom is no exception—these are some stunning wines, beautiful and nuanced already.

Subscriber Special Pricing Valid Until Monday, December 7th at 10AM

Cristom ‘Louise Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($79.95) Was $59, Now $49 Subscriber Special
Case-6 Cristom ‘Louise Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($419.95) Was $336, Now $279 Subscriber Special (that’s only $46.50/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points
“This cuvée has a very energetic and intense feel with a wealth of fresh and attractive red cherries and raspberries, plenty of florals and subtle herbal, forest-wood and light-chocolate notes. There’s a very keenly articulated feel to the palate with a plush, very fleshy and assertively long, detailed finish. Deep fruit presence here. Drink across the next decade.”
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Vivid red. Expansive aromas of ripe red berries, candied flowers and baking spices, with a smoky mineral topnote that gains strength as the wine opens up. Coats the palate with appealing sweet raspberry and cherry liqueur flavors that tighten up and become spicier on the back half. Shows excellent clarity and floral lift on an impressively long finish that’s shaped by fine-grained, even tannins.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $57.94

Cristom ‘Marjorie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($79.95) Was $66, Now $59 Subscriber Special
Case-6 Cristom ‘Marjorie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($479.95) Was $376, Now $339 Subscriber Special (that’s only $56/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 95 points
“Translucent red. A wild, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red fruits, exotic spices and candied flowers, with smoky mineral and incense notes that acquire strength as this youthful wine gains its footing. Stains the palate with vibrant raspberry, bitter cherry, star anise and rose pastille flavors that show a compelling blend of depth and litheness. Fine-grained tannins build slowly on a strikingly long, finely etched finish that features baking spice, floral and subtle earth notes.”
James Suckling 95 points “An earthy thread here with more savory, herbal and gently spicy notes, as well as graphite. Latent red cherries, too. The palate has a very sleek and succulent feel with evenly cast, sturdy tannins that harness great length and depth. Powerful yet measured and all about the earth. Try from 2023.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $71
Subscriber Special Pricing Valid Until Monday, December 7th at 10AM

New Week – New Arrivals

Ross & Bee Maloof Beckenridge Vineyard Gewurztraminer, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($34.95) $26 special
Winery note
“Black tea, rose petals, and sea salt.  Fermented until dry on the skins (20 days) before being pressed off into neutral French oak to rest through the winter. Serve chilled or at cellar temp with bitter greens and alpine cheeses.  Or with pizza, serve all our wines with pizza. 100% Gewürztraminer from Beckenridge Vineyard, Willamette Valley AVA. Alcohol 12.5% Crushed and destemmed, fermented with daily pigeage for 20 days. Pressed off into neutral oak barrels. Aged on the lees for 10 months. 145 Cases.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Staff pick!
Timothy Malone Method Ancestral Sparkling Rose, Oregon 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Distributor note
“All from Mosier in the Gorge, mostly Grenache with a little Syrah. Light and bright, so good, people have been digging this a ton.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Biggio Hamina Noel Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2017 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Case-6 Biggio Hamina Noel Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2017 750ML ($219.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Limpid ruby-red. An expansive, spice-accented bouquet evokes fresh red/blue fruits, vanilla and cola. A floral note builds as the wine stretches out. Sweet and seamless in the mouth, the Noel Vineyard shows very good depth and sharp delineation to its raspberry, boysenberry and cherry flavors. A hint of smokiness emerges on a very long, penetrating finish that’s framed by smooth, even tannins. Made with 50% whole clusters.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Back in stock. The Oregon case buy of the year!
Biggio Hamina Claygate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
Case-6 Biggio Hamina Claygate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($199.95) $159 special (that’s only $26.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Biggio Hamina Claygate Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($399.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Bright red. An exotically perfumed bouquet displays intense red fruit, potpourri and incense qualities. Spice and savory herb nuances build as the wine opens up. Bright and energetic in the mouth, offering densely packed and appealingly sweet raspberry liqueur, cherry and spicecake flavors that pick up a smoky mineral note on the back half. Plays power off of finesse deftly and finishes extremely long and floral, with sneaky, fine-grained tannins and a touch of exotic spices.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $34.50

Patricia Green Cellars Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($36.95) $29 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Vivid ruby. Expressive boysenberry, cherry liqueur, musky earth and floral scents are energized by a building mineral quality. Sweet and penetrating in the mouth, offering concentrated red and blue fruit, spicecake, lavender pastille and licorice flavors that become livelier with aeration. Gently chewy tannins frame a long, juicy finish that repeats the floral and blue fruit notes. 15% new oak.”
Paul Gregutt-Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Editor’s Choice. One of the winery’s biggest production Pinots, this deftly expresses its core of blueberry, blackberry and black cherry fruit, in a textured, mineral-soaked framework. Light scents and streaks of cola and tobacco contribute more detail and depth. An early release, this should continue to develop and drink well over the next five to eight years.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “A quietly brooding red, featuring a structured backbone that’s paired with deep blueberry and cherry flavors, accented by stony mineral and herb tea details. Drink now through 2028. 1,160 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($36.95) $33 special
James Suckling 94 points
“A blend of all five Eyrie sites, this gives a gauge on the 2017 harvest here, as one that delivered fresh and complex style. Red-cherry, raspberry, blueberry and leafy aromas with gently earthy and spicy tones in equal measure. The palate has a very smooth core of fleshy red-cherry flavors and carries a velvety tannin texture long and fresh. Seriously complex pinot. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!


Opus One Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($399.95) $349 special, only 4 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95+ points
“A remarkable wine for the year, the 2017 Opus One is a dense, full-throttle beauty. Plush fruit and soft, silky contours give the 2017 its racy personality. Exotic, beautifully perfumed and impeccable in its balance, Opus One is one of the most complete wines of the vintage. In 2017, Opus One has a distinctly red-toned fruit profile that distinguishes it from the surrounding vintages.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Opus One had picked 91% of their fruit before the fires started in 2017, and only two lots were eliminated from consideration. The 2017 Opus One, bottled in July 2019, is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4.5% Merlot and 1% Malbec. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it slowly grows on the nose, revealing compelling notes of baked black cherries, mulberries, black raspberries, warm cassis and blackberry pie with nuances of spice cake, yeast extract, tapenade, licorice and dusty soil with a waft of wild sage. Medium-bodied, the palate has a lively skip in its step, featuring bags of juicy raspberry and cassis-laced fruit and a refreshing line, supported by ripe, plush tannins, finishing long and graceful.-LPB”
James Suckling 95 points “Lots of currant and floral notes on the nose. Hints of mint and spice. Medium-to full-bodied, round and savory with creamy, juicy tannins. Hints of citrus underneath. Bright, fresh and delicious. Drink or hold.”

France – Champagne

Lombard & Cie Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne  NV 750ML ($49.95) $36 special
Lombard & Cie Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne NV 375ML ($29.95) $19.90 special
Roger Voss-Wine Enthusiast 89 points
“With its high proportion of Pinot Meunier, this wine is soft and has developed quickly and attractively in bottle. It is dry but the fruitiness balances that taut, mineral texture with a ripe, full aftertaste. Drink now.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “[Review for prior disgorgement.] A vibrant, balanced version, with a detailed mousse the texture of raw silk and finely meshed flavors of ripe cherry, lemon zest, chalky mineral and toast point. Disgorged February 2018. Drink now. 10,000 cases made, 1,000 cases imported.”
30% Pinot Noir (Sermier and Villedommange), 30% Pinot Meunier (Coulommes-la-Montagne), 40% Chardonnay (Cote des Blancs villages of Grauves & Vertus). Disgorged 12/2/2019. 4 g/L dosage. Aged for 3-4 years sur lattes.

Roger Coulon Reserve de L’Hommee Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
Neil Rosenthal note
“Eric and Isabelle Coulon are the representatives of the eighth generation of the Coulon family to be engaged as récoltant-manipulants, producing Champagne from Vrigny and the surrounding villages in the northwest corner of the Montagne de Reims. Since 1806, this family has gradually increased its holdings so that there are now 10 hectares under vines, almost all located within the 1er Cru rated villages of Vrigny, Coulommes and Pargny, about 10 kilometers distance from Reims. In terms of their rigorous vineyard management and cellar practices, eighth-generation Eric and, as of late, his bright son Edgar occupy a tiny fringe within a region still largely mired in chemical farming and dominated by the ultra-powerful Grandes Marques: organic viticulture, spontaneous fermen- tations, low sulfur, and no fining or filtration all allow this estate’s terroirs to speak clearly of the magic that one can encounter on the slopes surrounding Reims. Coulon is one of only 6 growers in the élite Trait d’Union, an association committed to expressing terroir and working as naturally as possible. The other members, Egly-Ouriet, Larmandier-Bernier, Sélosse, Prévost, and Jacquesson, are lofty company indeed, with prices far higher than Coulon’s. Eric and Edgar’s wines strike an uncanny balance between precision and richness, combining pene- trating minerality with the boldness and power these red-grape-dominated terroirs deliver at their best.”

Bonnet-Ponson ‘Cuvee Perpetuelle’ Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $46 special
Wine Spectator 91 points
“A fresh, aperitif-style Champagne, featuring chalk and pastry notes layered with flavors of poached pear, lemon zest, smoked almond and fleur de sel, all riding the airy mousse.” [Review is for prior disgorgement]
Winery note “Full bodied and aromatically intense, our signature cuvee draws its identity from the calcareous clay and sandy terroirs of the “petite montagne”. 40% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 30% Meunier. 40% of reserve wines (perpetual blending) from the previous harvests.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $52

Chartogne-Taillet Les Couarres Extra Brut, Champagne 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, only 15 bottles available!
John Gilman 92+ points
“Alexandre Chartogne’s 2015 Les Couarres is composed entirely of pinot noir. He barrel ferments the vins clairs for this wine and gave them a bit of extra aging in the cellar prior to bottling them up for secondary fermentation in July of 2016. It aged four years sur latte prior to disgorgement in June of 2020 and finished with a dosage of “approximately” six grams per liter. The wine delivers a superb bouquet of apple, white peach, a touch of hazelnut, fresh-baked bread, a fine base of soil tones and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and complex, with a bit of oak influence showing up on the backend, a fine core, lovely soil signature, refined mousse and a long, classy finish. This is certainly quite drinkable today, but the bit of palate oakiness it shows today might be a good reason to give it a few years in the cellar, just to allow this element to integrate as well on the palate as it already has on the nose. 2023-2055.”

The Pierre Peters Champagne bottlings are regularly rated by critics as “outstanding” and Rodolphe Peters is universally considered one of the top growers in Champagne. The top wine of Pierre Peters is the “Les Chetillons” (or Cuvée Spéciale) considered to be one of the best single-vineyard champagnes of the Côte des Blancs, alongside Salon and Krug’s Clos du Mesnil (though it is not a rival in price). It comes from three small parcels in the vineyard of Les Chetillons that were acquired by the family in 1930. One of the most highly-regarded sites within Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, these vines in the oldest plot of 80 acres are 68 years old, with the rest of the vines averaging 50 years old. Each parcel is vinified separately and blended to produce a single vineyard vintage. Chétillons offers a chance to witness one of Champagne’s best growers working in one of the greatest sites for Chardonnay. The results are gorgeous, as noted wine writer Peter Liem states, “there’s no denying this wines’ quality.”

“The 2013s at Pierre Péters are strikingly beautiful. I tasted a handful of finished blends for the entry-level Champagnes, plus the Chetillons in two separate lots and a composed blend of that wine. Today, the 2013 Chetillons comes across as a synthesis of 2002 and 2004. Needless to say, that is a pretty exciting combination.” –Antonio Galloni (no scored review published… yet)

Pierre Peters Cuvee Speciale ‘Les Chetillons’ Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($179.95) $159 special
Wine Spectator 94 points
“A harmonious Champagne that dances across the palate, with a fine, lacy mousse carrying a delicate mesh of Gala apple, yellow plum, tangerine and anise flavors. Sleek and mouthwatering, with a chalky underpinning and hints of blanched almond and biscuit on the creamy finish. Drink now through 2030.”

Pierre Peters L’Esprit de 2015 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut Vintage, Champagne 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, only 5 bottles available


“Year after year, Vie di Romans makes some of my favorite Italian Chardonnays… Gianfranco Gallo’s Vie di Romans is one of the most accomplished, quality-minded estates in Italy. I am always impressed by their offerings” –Monica Larner, Wine Advocate

Vie di Romans Vieris Sauvignon Friuli Isonzo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
James Suckling 95 points
“Extremely fresh and intense with waxy and lemony character, as well as candied apples. Full body. Lots of fruit and flavor. Layered and powerful. Excellent depth and flavor intensity. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Vie di Romans Chardonnay Friuli Isonzo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29.50 special

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

A perfect example of why they’re called “Super” Tuscans
Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($99.95) $69 special
Wine Enthusiast 98 points
“Sunbaked earth, mature black-plum, fragrant blue-flower and leather aromas mingle with balsamic whiffs of camphor on this full-bodied, delicious red. Made with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 5% Sangiovese, the creamy palate is earthy and full of flavor, boasting juicy blackberry, raspberry, dried mint, cocoa and licorice. Taut velvety tannins provide plenty of support and finesse. Drink through 2035.”
James Suckling 98 points “I love the meatiness to this wine, but also the purity of fruit; think charcuterie, prosciutto, bay leaf, capsicum, blueberries, blackcurrants and crushed stones. You just can’t get over the way this manages to deliver a powerful, muscular package with stunning finesse and poise. The tapestry of intricate texture and detail is wrought in a flashy but sincere and heartwarming style. The balance takes your breath away. Best ever from here. Impossible to resist now, but better from 2025.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2015 Sammarco (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese) shines the brightest spotlight onto the Cabernet Sauvignon element, and you can immediately make out the distinctive sharpness and structure of that variety. The bouquet offers notes of black fruit, toasted spice and grilled herb, along with wild flower, terracotta and tilled earth. There is some spice on the close, and the tannins do leave their mark with youthful astringency. Give the wine some time in the cellar, and one day it will be fantastic with a tagliatelle and porcini.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2015 Sammarco is a wine of exquisite and total finesse. Understated and nuanced, as few wines are in 2015, Sammarco is sublime. Wild flowers, cedar, spice, leather and mint give the 2015 striking aromatic dimension. On the palate, the 2015 is subtle and classy. In 2015, the Merlot crop was a bit higher than normal as newer plantings entered production, and that is reflected in the blend here as well. Because of that, the 2015 is an unusually open, forthcoming Sammarco. In fact, I can’t remember tasting a young Sammarco with this much early appeal. I can’t wait to see how it ages. The 2015 is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 5% Sangiovese, with the Cabernet and Merlot aged in concrete and tonneaux, and the Sangiovese exclusively in cask.”

Last call…
G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 98 points
“From the Bricco delle Viole cru, or the vineyard most strongly associated with this historic estate, this is a versatile or “evergreen” wine that always delivers consistent results. The G.D. Vajra 2016 Barolo Bricco delle Viole sees fruit from a seven-hectare vineyard with high exposures positioned at 400 to 480 meters above sea level. This site shows characteristic Tortonian-era soils classified as Sant’Agata marl with fossils. These soils have an enormous capacity to regulate the ripening process, resulting in the longer growing seasons relished by the Nebbiolo grape. In a word, the profile here is classic. You get delicate fruit tones and wild rose with camphor ash, licorice and tar. The wine is beautifully harmonious and ethereal. Some 15,000 bottles are hitting the market now.
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2016 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is going to need a few years to emerge, but it has all the qualities to develop into a truly special wine. Dark red/purplish fruit, hard candy, mint, lavender and sweet spice give the 2016 striking inner perfume. On the palate, the 2016 is a tightly wound, classically austere Barolo that will especially delight readers with traditionally leaning palates. In this late-ripening vintage, there is a great balance of structure, aromatics and mid-palate sweetness. I absolutely loved it.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Mint and cut grass aromas give way to cherry, black currant and raspberry fruit in this juicy red. Tar, tobacco and eucalyptus accents add depth as this builds to a long, gripping finish. Shows fine balance and length. Best from 2023 through 2046.”

Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2016 1.5L ($99.95) $88 special, 9 magnums in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2016 Barbaresco is a tight and beautiful wine that will require more time to unwind and soften. This beautifully balanced vintage is characterized by a tight inner core of fruit that underlines the graceful aging capacity of these wines. The 2016 is shaping up to be one destined for long cellar aging. Now in its youth, the wine offers wild berry, rose and licorice aromas.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Cellar Selection. Enticing aromas of violet, woodland berry, loose vineyard soil, wild mint and a hint of spearmint shape the intensely fragrant nose. The tense, young palate is still nervous but already boasts finesse, showing wild raspberry, crunchy red cherry, white pepper and star anise. Firm, refined tannins and racy acidity give it a linear, almost austere elegance, while bright acidity keeps it focused and balanced. Drink 2026-2036.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2016 Barbaresco is a stunning wine with tremendous richness for this bottling. Ample, deep and powerful, the 2016 exudes pedigree and class from start to finish. I can’t remember a straight Barbaresco here with this much fruit density and unctuous richness, and yet there is more than enough tannin and overall structure to give the wine its classically leaning feel. A blast of sweet red cherry fruit, tobacco, menthol licorice and smoke hits the potent finish. What a wine!”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!


Finca Decero Remolinos Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo, Argentina 2013 750ML ($21.95) $16 special
Case-12 Finca Decero Remolinos Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo, Argentina 2013 750ML ($249.95) $169 special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
James Suckling 92 points
“A full-bodied wine with ultra-fine tannin and a caressing finish. Lots of fruit yet reserved, balanced and stylish. Well-made cabernet sauvignon. Drink or hold.”
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “Mellow earthy aromas of mossy black fruits, vanilla and licorice feed into a smooth palate with moderate depth and layering. Blackened flavors of coffee and dark chocolate accent black-fruit and mushroom notes, while this finishes with prune, pepper and toasty flavors along with a glassy feel. Drink through 2019.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Muga is considered one of the finest old producers of Rioja, combining a traditionalist approach with modern cellar techniques.  Up and down the line, their wines offer tremendous value—these are wines that will age into dynamic, complex beauties, but are delicious today.

Newly Arrived from Bodegas Muga

Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2016 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
James Suckling 95 points
“This is really tight and powerful with gorgeous tannins and solid fruit. Full body. Tight and composed. Wet earth, smoked meat and hints of black truffles. Very long and powerful. Wonderful length. Real Rioja. One of the top best-value, high-quality reds in Spain. Drink or hold.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “The largest volume of the Muga winery is for the red blend 2016 Reserva, a wine that is sold as 2016 Crianza in Spain (for commercial reasons). This has the Muga style and the imprint of the cool and fresh 2016 vintage, one of the best vintages of recent years. 2016 is also a year of harmony and freshness that reminds me a little of the 2010. But the Muga family thinks it’s somewhere between 2010 and 2011, because for them 2011 is not so warm, even if it generally produced quite ripe wines. It has a mixture of red and black fruit with sweet spices that are very integrated and in harmony. The palate is silky and clean, and the tannins are round and gentle. A delicious Reserva/Crianza. They produced around one million bottles of this. It was bottled in January 2019. They like to bottle the wine in winter, perhaps in a couple of months.”

Also In Stock Now from Bodegas Muga

“This full-bodied, rich, powerful wine has an incredible sense of elegance and finesse”
Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($49.95) $36 special
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($549.95) $399 special (that’s only $33.25/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
James Suckling 96 points
“The balance and purity to this wine is really impressive with blackberries, black truffles and dark fruit. Wet earth. Full body. Tight and compact. Structured, long and powerful. Superb length. Compressed and polished texture. Drink in 2022.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Selección Especial checks in as 70% Tempranillo and the balance Garnacha, Mazuelo, and Graciano that’s an old vine and terroir selection. Aged 6 months in new oak followed by 24 months in 90% French oak and 10% American oak, it has a beautiful bouquet of blueberries, black raspberries, crushed violets, incense, and cedar. This gives way to a full-bodied, rich, powerful wine that has an incredible sense of elegance and finesse on the palate. It’s a brilliant Rioja that can be drunk today or cellared for 10-15 years or more.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points “The very perfumed, expressive and floral 2015 Selección Especial is a lot fresher than the stereotype of the vintage I had before I tasted 2015 widely. It’s a year that has turned out fresher than what the weather during the growing season pointed at. It was a dry and warm year, but the wines have very good freshness, which in this case feels exceptional. My first surprise was how aromatic and open the wine is for such a young age, with aromas of lavender and other Mediterranean herbs jumping from the glass. I expected that from the 2016s, but I thought the 2015 was going to be more closed and reticent. The palate is medium to full-bodied with fine-grained tannins, balanced, fresh and very clean. This combines energy and elegance with classical Rioja character. 220,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2017.”

The average price is $42

Also Newly Arrived from Spain

“Born to a family of musicians, Agustí Torelló Mata founded his winery in 1950, supporting this venture by constructing Penedès’ first dedicated wine laboratory. The winery now manages 100 hectares of organically farmed old vines, the youngest being 30 years. They are dedicated to producing only Reserva and Gran Reserva cavas from the traditional indigenous grape varieties (Macabeo from the coast, Xarel·lo from the central area and Parellada from the pre-coastal mountain range, together with the red Trepat and white Malvasia/Subirat Parent varieties).” –Importer note 

Agusti Torello Mata “Kripta” Gran Reserva Cava, Catalonia 2011 750ML ($99.95) $75 special
The top bottling from Torello Mata.
“It’s a blend of the thee classical Cava grapes—Macabeo, Xarello and Parellada—from three old vineyards in the Penedès, in the villages of Sant Pau d’Ordal, Sant Sadurni d’Anoia and Sant Joan de Mediona; it aged in contact with the lees in bottle for seven years.” -Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate, writing on the 2009 bottling

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Agusti Torello Mata Brut Reserva Cava, Catalonia 2016 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Importer note
“A blend of 48% Macabeu, 33% Parellada and 19% Xarel-lo, the vintage-dated 2016 Brut Reserva was disgorged in January of 2019, having spent three years on the lees. The resulting wine is an excellent example of what Cava can be. The nose is clean and fruity with hints of apple, caramel and fresh herbs. The palate is elegant and balanced with well-integrated bubbles and excellent balance. Four grams dosage, 5.9 acidity and only 11.5% alcohol. Yum!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Agusti Torello Mata Trepat Rosat Brut Cava, Catalonia 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Alain Graillot

Arriving in January

“Maxime Graillot (Alain’s son) manages this superb domaine, located on the broad plains of les Chassis. Unfortunately, Graillot estimates they lost 50% of their crop in 2019 because of hail damage. Thankfully, the domaine is looking at two very good years in 2017 and 2018. “In 2018, we had exactly the same year we had in ’17—the big difference was yield.” While yields in ’17 were 42-43 hectoliters per hectare, in 2018 they were only 34 hectoliters per hectare. “Twenty percent less—and everything has changed,” said Graillot. “If you have good yields, it can mitigate the sun’s effects.” He describes ’15 and ’18 as more sunny, while ’16 and ’17 are more terroir driven. The Alain Graillot reds are always made with 100% whole clusters, so when young, they often show herbal, tea-like and even ashy notes from the stems. Those same stems also impart a texture that I find compelling in these wines, particularly with a few years of age.” –Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate

Alain Graillot Wines Arriving in January

Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, Rhone 2019 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
No review for the 2019. 2018 review provided for reference.
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“Pale straw-gold. Fresh orange, yellow plum and melon aromas are sharpened by suggestions of dusty minerals and white pepper. Fleshy and broad on entry, then more taut in the mid-palate, offering energetic orchard and pit fruit flavors and an emerging suggestion of fennel. Nicely concentrated but energetic as well, finishing with solid, mineral punch and strong, floral-driven persistence.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2018 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Inky ruby. Mineral- and spice-accented aromas of ripe dark berries and candied violet show outstanding clarity and lift. At once rich and energetic in the mouth, offering juicy blackberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors that slowly turn sweeter on the back half. Shows outstanding clarity on the long, penetrating finish, which features well-judged tannins and lingering floral and spice notes.”
Wine Advocate 91-93 points “Maxime Graillot was confident that he will bottle a La Guiraude from 2018, but the selection hadn’t yet been made at the time of my visit. This barrel of 2018 Crozes Hermitage shows superb aromatics, with hints of black tea accenting cassis and blueberry fruit. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it reveals some chocolaty notes yet remains remarkably fresh on the finish.”

Domaine Alain Graillot Saint-Joseph Rouge, Rhone 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Opaque violet color. Displays powerful aromas of spice-accented dark berry and cherry preserves and incense, with a smoky nuance that builds as the wine stretches out. Fleshy and broad in the mouth but surprisingly lithe as well, offering intense blackberry and boysenberry flavors and a hint of candied flowers. Finishes youthfully chewy and impressively long, with repeating florality and building tannins that add shape and firming grip.”
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The stunning 2018 Saint Joseph boasts fabulous floral aromas, alongside notes of cassis and blueberries. It’s medium to full-bodied, silky and fine, without any suggestion of over-ripeness or jamminess. It should drink well on release and for at least a decade thereafter.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $54

(Graillot) Domaine des Lises Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“Opaque ruby. Smoke- and spice-accented dark berries and a hint of licorice on the lively nose. Subtly sweet blackberry and cherry flavors show very good clarity and energy and pick up a suave floral quality with aeration. Displays fine definition and strong, spicy lift on the persistent, gently tannic finish, which leaves lingering cherry and exotic spice notes behind. 30% whole clusters.” 

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

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