Monday Newsletter: 2-17-2020

In This Newsletter:

Subscriber Special:
10% Off Vincent Paris

Trending Estate at Fantastic Pricing!
Marques Murrieta

Trending Six Packs

Rosé of the Day

Staff Pick

The Weightless Concentration of Hebrart

New Grapelive Review

Collector’s Corner
Dagueneau and Vatan
Subscriber Special:

10% Off Vincent Paris

It’s pretty clear that Vincent Paris is the next “it” winemaker in the Northern Rhone.  Working primarily in Cornas, the wines have everything we love about Northern Rhone Syrah packaged in a clean, direct style.  He has the benefit of incredible vineyard material, too, as he now works the vineyards that his uncle, Robert Michel, made famous.  Stylistically, there’s definitely some of that old-school Michel rusticity, but overall, his wines are far more polished and in line with what we think of as good modern Cornas. Don’t look for new oak here, though there is an elegance about them that has always impressed us.

He makes several wines from Cornas and we’re pleased we get to offer the range.  From top to bottom, these are wines that you should be buying in quantity for your table and cellar. To make that a bit easier on your wallet, we’re offering you an extra 10% off our already great prices on any in stock Vincent Paris wine until Tuesday at 6PM.

Whether you’re looking at the approachable and bistro-styled Granit 30 or the more powerful Granit 60 and La Geynale bottlings, these wines are even better deals than they already were.  Plus, the Subscriber Special discount extends to his often-overlooked St. Joseph, Crozes and VdP Syrah.  These wines are some of our favorites and historically have been yours, as well.  

Subscriber-Only Special: 
10% Off All In Stock Vincent Paris Wines
Subscriber-Only Special pricing will not display online or in your cart.
We will manually adjust pricing before finalizing your order.
Sale valid until Tuesday, February 18th at 6PM

In Stock Now:

The Granit 30 manages the neat trick of tasting entirely like Cornas and being delicious right now.
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 Displayed Price, $29.70 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points
“(no new oak) Opaque ruby. Potent, mineral-accented dark berry scents are complicated by floral oil and peppery spice nuances. Smooth and seamless on the palate, offering gently sweet black raspberry, blueberry and violet pastille flavors that become livelier with air. Sappy and open-knit, closing with solid thrust, silky, even tannins and strong persistence.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points “The 2016 Cornas Granit 30 is another winner from this estate. Ultra-pure notes of cassis, blackberries, leafy herbs, liquid violets and pepper all emerge from the glass. It’s balanced, medium to full-bodied, and textured on the palate, with the balance and purity that this estate has become known for front and center.”
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2016 Cornas Granit 30 had been blended and was in tank awaiting bottling during my visit. Medium to full-bodied, it’s already almost drinkable, showing attractive and classic notes of crushed stone, blood and cherries, reasonably supple tannins and charming blueberries on the finish.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The average price is $39

Of the two vintages, the ’17 shows more fruit and roundness and the ’16 is more restrained and floral.
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 Displayed Price, $35.10 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points
“Bright purple. Highly perfumed blue fruit, violet and candied licorice aromas show excellent clarity and pick up hints of woodsmoke and menthol as the wine opens up. Juicy and appealingly sweet, offering sappy boysenberry, cherry and spicecake flavors and a touch of smoky bacon. A sexy floral note emerges on the gently tannic finish, which hangs on with strong, spice-tinged persistence.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points “The 2017 Cornas Granit 30 shows a fresher, elegant, polished style as well as perfumed notes of black raspberries, crème de cassis, crushed violets, and hints of bouquet garni. Floral, elegant, and medium-bodied, it’s just a pretty, elegant, juicy wine that’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and drink nicely for a decade.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

It’s with the 60 that we start to move to Serious Cornas territory.  The 2016 is one for the cellar, but is going to be a stunner when it comes around.
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $55 Displayed Price, $49.50 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 95+ points
“The 2016 Cornas Granit 60 is more backward and reticent, with smoky dark fruits, earthy minerality, pepper, and bouquet garni aromas and flavors. Deep, pure, and concentrated, it’s a big, rich wine, yet it stays polished and elegant on the palate, with a straight, focused style that builds with time in the glass. Just a brilliant wine, it can be drunk today with incredible pleasure or cellared for 10-15 years. Bravo!”
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Tasted from tank prior to bottling, the 2016 Cornas Granit 60 has the potential to eclipse the 2015. The nose is an exciting blend of flowers, minerals and fruit, while the palate is full-bodied and generous without the hardness or austerity of the 2015. This standout 2016 finishes long, plush and bright. With only about 5,000 bottles made, shrewd buyers will snap it up on release.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93-95 points “(no new oak) Inky ruby. Smoke-accented black and blue fruits, licorice and olive on the intensely perfumed nose. Plush, sweet and broad on the palate, offering sweet blackberry, cassis and spicecake flavors that are energized by a vein of juicy acidity. Shows excellent depth as well as energy and finishes extremely long and smooth; rounded tannins build steadily and add shape and gentle grip to the lush, creamy dark fruit.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $57

The ’17 Granit 60 is much more approachable than the ’16, but should cellar effortlessly for a decade+.
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60, Rhone 2017 750ML ($69.95) $55 Displayed Price, $49.50 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 93 points
“Inky ruby. Smoke-accented dark berries and cherry liqueur on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy and seamless in texture, offering appealingly sweet blackberry and boysenberry flavors underscored by a smoky mineral quality. Fine-grained tannins build steadily on a long, floral-tinged finish that leaves a salty olive note behind.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93-95+ points “Similar colored, the 2017 Cornas Granit 60 comes from further up the slope and older vines. It offers a deeper, richer bouquet of black and blue fruits, smoked earth, violets, and ground pepper. Deep, full-bodied, thrillingly pure and elegant, yet still with classic Cornas density, power, and length, it’s another gem of a wine from this incredibly talented winemaker.”

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

The “La Geynale” bottling hails from his uncle’s (Robert Michel) most prized parcel of old vines. 
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas La Geynale, Rhone 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 Displayed Price, $62.10 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points
“The 2017 Cornas Geynale is the only wine in the lineup to not be destemmed and it comes all from the La Geynale lieu-dit. Deep saturated purple-colored, with beautiful notes of blackcurrants, smoked herbs, earth, pepper, and tons of meatiness, it’s certainly the most classic in style, as well as structured and tannic. Give this full-bodied beauty 2-4 years of bottle age and it’s going to drink nicely for 10-15 years or more. It’s an awesome wine for the true Cornas lovers out there.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94 points “Opaque ruby. A deeply perfumed bouquet evokes ripe cherry and black currant, along with suggestions of smoky bacon, tobacco and incense. Seamless and broad on the palate, offering sweet black and blue fruit preserve and floral pastille flavors given spine by a core of juicy acidity. Rich yet energetic in style, displaying youthfully gripping tannins and impressive finishing clarity and persistence. This is the only wine from the Paris cellar to be made entirely with whole clusters”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $72

A charming, delicious, yet somewhat serious bottle of St. Joseph that always over-delivers for the price.
Domaine Vincent Paris Saint-Joseph Les Cotes, Rhone 2017 750ML ($37.95) $28 Displayed Price, $25.20 Subscriber Special, 33 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 93 points
“Vincent Paris, whose first vintage was 1997, is one of the Northern Rhone’s great young winemakers. [He] is co-president of the Cornas appellation, where he is based. His small-lot collection of Syrah(s) include Cornas, for which obviously he most famous for, and a selection of Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph bottlings like this gorgeous version. Vincent’s uncle is the legendary and now retired Robert Michel, one of Cornas’ finest ever growers. [Michel] mentored him and helped make his first few vintages, before he stepped out on his own… Vincent’s total rented and owned holdings amounting to a mere 8 hectares… This is such a satisfying Northern Rhone that is high-toned and pure. It has potential to get even better, making it a great buy for the price, even though it is not as thrilling as the more whole-cluster driven Cornas, but still a wonderful wine. Farming all organic and tending steep granite soil sites, Paris crafts bold and expressive wines. [He ferments] in tiny batches and with this Les Cotes Saint-Joseph he uses native yeast and ferments in a combination of steel and wood at low temps to preserve the beautiful aromatics, with this wine seeing a year in barrel. With the Saint-Joesph he uses less whole cluster to focus on elegance and refinement, which this vintage shows especially, but with the vintage’s depth and concentration this is an awesome mouthful of Syrah. After fabulous stuff in 2015 and 2016, these 2017 had a lot to do to match and excite the Rhone enthusiasts’ cravings and it does and then some! This 2017 Saint-Joseph is freshly detailed with classic elements. It’s impressive in the glass with a deep garnet/purple color and layers of blackberry, currant, boysenberry and blueberry fruits along with graphite, anise, cedar and pepper, adding density with air and gaining hints of subtle florals including violets.”
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “Don’t overlook Paris’s outstanding 2017 Saint Joseph Les Cotes. It combines blueberries, espresso and pepper in a medium to full-bodied format that’s supported by silky, fine-grained tannins and plenty of length. Like previous vintages, it’s approachable young, but it should have the stuffing to age up to a decade.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Those were just some of the highlights from Vincent Paris—head to our online store to see all 13 available bottlings!

Subscriber-Only Special: 
10% Off All In Stock Vincent Paris Wines
Subscriber-Only Special pricing will not display online or in your cart.
We will manually adjust pricing before finalizing your order.
Sale valid until Tuesday, February 18th at 6PM

Trending Estate at Fantastic Pricing!

Marques Murrieta

Marques Murrieta is one of the great pillars of classical Rioja—a titan of the region that’s responsible for some of the greatest wines ever produced in Spain.  They resemble a more polished, powerful version of Lopez de Heredia, in some ways, sharing an age-worthiness but offering up a distinctly more fruit driven profile in youth.  Their two new releases are some of the most stunning wines they’ve ever made and they arrive on Friday.

The first of the two is their flagship, the always impressive Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial.  It has a long name but an even longer lifespan and bottles from the ’60’s and ’70’s are (right now) some of the finest wines you can drink, holding their own with old DRC, Rousseau and top Bordeaux.  The 2009 is a fantastic iteration that needs to be cellared for at least another half decade, but looks to be one of the most important wines released from Rioja in the last few years.  Their Dalmau Reserva, on the other hand, is approachable now even as it’s five years younger.  Big, dark and rich, this is another wine that radically outperforms its price point.  

In Stock Now

“This is a great classical Rioja for the long haul”
Marques Murrieta Ygay Gran Reserva, Rioja 2009 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96 points
“Marqués de Murrieta didn’t produce their top red in 2008, so I tasted the 2009 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial. In 2009, the final blend was Tempranillo with 19% Mazuelo (or Cariñena), one of the highest percentages of Mazuelo ever. The grapes are now sourced from the La Plana vineyard within the Ygay estate, one of the higher-altitude plots at 485 meters. The grapes fermented and aged separately, the Tempranillo in American oak barrels and the Mazuelo in French barriques for 26 months, given its power. It has that seriousness, character and somehow rusticity of the Mazuelo, austere,  harmonious and still young. It has good depth and concentration, still young and lively with fine tannins and a backbone of freshness that lifts it up. It will develop for a very long time in bottle. This is a great classical Rioja for the long haul. 109,000 bottles and some larger formats were produced. It was bottled in October 2014. The prices are increasing but so is the quality. The following vintages will be 2010, 2011 and possibly 2012. I cannot wait to taste them…”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “(aged in new American and French oak barrels for 28 months) Vivid ruby-red. A highly perfumed, expansive bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, cherry liqueur, coconut and cigar box, along with a sexy floral nuance that emerges slowly. Plush and seamless on the palate, offering sweet, deeply concentrated blackberry, cherry-vanilla and mocha flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Rich yet energetic in style, displaying superb finishing clarity, even tannins and a lingering spicecake note. The Tempranillo saw only American oak while the Mazuelo component saw only French.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $122.99

“How much better can Dalmau get?”
Marques de Murrieta ‘Dalmau’ Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2014 750ML ($99.95) $88 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Decanter 98 points
“How much better can Dalmau get? It’s exceptionally finely balanced, a perfect expression of a single vineyard within the estate, resoundingly full of black fruit, dark chocolate, liquorice. A powerful wine, but never overbearing, even in its youth. Wonderful to enjoy now, but will seriously reward cellaring.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Marques de Murrieta Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Marques de Murrieta Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($299.95) $235 special (that’s only $19.58/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The red blend 2015 Rioja Reserva is 80% Tempranillo with 12% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo and 2% Garnacha, a little more Graciano and Mazuelo, something logical in ripe and warm years like 2015. It’s produced with grapes from a diversity of the 30 different plots within the estate, to represent the character of if. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in American oak barrels for 18 months. It’s spicy and somewhat balsamic, with some dusty tannins. It’s a ripe and powerful vintage that only suffers next to the 2016 I tasted next to it when there’s a jump in precision and finesse.-LG”

Trending Six Packs

Telmo Rondriguez is one of the most talented winemakers in Spain.  Internationally trained, he returned to the family estate, Remelluri, and has taken it to new heights.  Remelluri is in Rioja Alavesa—the smallest part of Rioja which is known for intense, powerful wines and these are no exception.  The soils in their vineyards are exceptionally shallow, creating small berries and greater concentration in the wines and their organic farming and careful cellar work keeps a sense of brightness and energy even in warm vintages. The Lindes de Remelluri (“Borders of Remelluri”) is made from grapes traditionally sold to the estate and sourced from village vineyards in San Vicente de La Sonsierra surrounding the estate.  This “second wine” is an absolute steal of a bottling and a wine to buy with abandon.

Case-6 Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Vinedos de San Vicente, Rioja 2014 750ML ($179.95) $128 special (that’s only $21.33/bottle!)
Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Vinedos de San Vicente, Rioja 2014 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points
“Some richer, darker and deeper fruit character with plums, blackberries and a dark, earthy streak. The tannins are more upright, more elevated, and the fruit is richer and darker than in the Labastida. This has real presence, grip and energy. Try from 2021.”
Grapelive 94 points “Telmo Rodriguez, one of the most iconic and best winemakers of his generation…. has accomplished himself as a champion of terroir over varietal and employs artisan craftsmanship in the cellar, with his wines hardly ever showing overt oak or aggressive alcohol, they always show distinctive purity and a sense of place, and these secondary wines known as Lindes de Remmelluri are magnificent expressions of Rioja, they are richly flavored and soulful wines crafted from old vine purchased fruit from vineyards that prior had got into the family’s main wine. These two vineyard select wines, Labastida and this San Vincente, coming from vineyards that used to go into the Remelluri Reserva are now separated into these two new single vineyard bottlings that are absolutely stunning values, especially in this 2014 vintage….The beautiful and deep Lindes de Remelluri Viñedos de San Vicente 2014, a field blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Garnacha, was fermented using all native yeasts in cool stainless steel tanks and then raised in barrel, 100% French oak, for 12 months before bottling where it is rested a good amount of time as well. San Vincente in the Rioja Alta just to the east of Haro is at about 50 meters up, but hotter than the higher sites at Labastida and at the main Remelluri estate located in Rioja Alavesa which are much cooler, making this wine seem more lush, riper in satiny tannin and with a softer acidity. Grown on hardened clay and calcareous limestone over a firm core of bedrock from organic vines that average at least 40 years of age this wine shows warm dark fruits, blackberry, cherry and plum lead the way along with hints of earthy mulberry and cranberry along with lilacs, cedar/sandalwood, a touch of vanilla and a subtle array of spices. 2014 was a slightly cooler year and that really helps this wine feel alive on the opulent and full bodied palate and it lingers on and on with a echoing aftertaste that is highly impressive. Telmo’s wines are always polished and textural, but distinctly authentic with terruño character and delivering substance along with some flair, which this one shows, it should age well too, I can imagine at least another decade plus with this 2014 San Vincente.”

Finding great value Bordeaux is one of the best feelings as a wine merchant and we’ve been on a high ever since we secured a lot of the 2016 Ch. Puygueraud—a new favorite in the category.  The Cote de Francs is a hotbed for top value Bordeaux and Puygeraud is at the top of the class.  Rich, dense and powerful with enough polish to make it immediately accessible, this is a top flight bottling that takes full advantage of a great year like 2016.  The 94 point score made us sit up and pay attention and should make you put a case in your cart—this is an insane value for the price.

Case-6 Chateau Puygueraud, Cotes de Francs 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 special (that’s only $19.83/bottle!)
Chateau Puygueraud, Cotes de Francs 2016 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Chateau Puygueraud, Cotes de Francs 2016 750ML ($299.95) $228 special (that’s only $19/bottle!)
James Suckling 94 points
“This is so good! I want to drink it now. Iodine, mushrooms, dark fruit and orange peel on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, yet polished and fresh. Lovely tension. A blend of 80 per cent merlot, 15 per cent cabernet franc and five per cent malbec.”
We’re huge fans of value Bordeaux. Don’t miss our recent top picks & staff picks including L’Hetre and Chateau Meyney. Shop our entire selection of red Bordeaux on our web store.

Nikolaihof is a giant of Austrian wine—a producer whose history and quality are unrivaled even in a country full of great producers.  The estate dates back to Roman times and the Saahs family has run the property for over a century and a quarter. They produce wines of deep resonant flavors that have fresh brightness but standout for an undercurrent of vinousity.

They’re bright, precise and mineral-drenched with the power and density of the Wachau, their nook on the Danube.  More importantly, though, the estate maintains a sense of restlessness and invention about them—which is remarkable given how old the winery is.  Whether that’s using a centuries old wooden press or reimagining what wine from the Wachau can be through extended cask aging, they take very traditional techniques to occasionally give us a beautifully refracted image of Austrian wine. 

Case-6 Nikolaihof Steiner Hund Reserve Riesling, Wachau 2014 750ML ($479.95) $319 special (that’s only $53.17/bottle!)
Nikolaihof Steiner Hund Reserve Riesling, Wachau 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points
“A huge dried apricot nose. In spite of the power this is super-elegant with a very long, radically mineral character that makes the wine swell in your mouth at the amazing finish. It may be too dry for some, but I find this spectacular. Drink or hold as long as you dare!”
David Schildknecht 96 points “Like its remarkable Vom Stein counterpart, I tasted this wine after it had been racked to tank, a few months before its December 2017 bottling, then again from bottle in the course of 2018. The penetrating nose is dominated by white peach, white currant and lime, anticipating the brightly juicy palate impression. But suggestions of crushed stone, bittersweet iris, clam stock, radish, kelp and smoky black tea add increasing intrigue as the wine opens to the air and is worked over in the mouth. There is underlying firmness but also a suggestion of silkiness born of lengthy lees exposure in cask, and the sense of levity, remarkably, is that of a typical Nikolaihof Federspiel more than of a Smaragd. The vibrant finishing influx of alkali, crushed stone, iodine, mineral salts, mustard seed and white pepper is almost savagely intense, practically stinging – taking matters in an at once mouthwatering and invigorating but also slightly austere direction. Here’s further proof for any who remain skeptics that the 2014 vintage – its challenges and vicissitudes notwithstanding – has at its very best delivered some of the Wachau’s and neighboring Lower Austria’s most exciting and potentially ageworthy wines of the past two decades. Tasting the outstanding 2013 alongside, this 2014 came nipping right at its heels: attention au chien!”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar Selection. The beeswax, wet stone, hayflower and dried lemon notes on the nose of this wine suggest development. Its dry, slender yet concentrated palate has a weightless fluidity that echoes with eloquent beeswax and citrus oil flavors. The combination of lightness and beautiful depth make it so intriguing and moreish. Subtle, lovely, taut and fresh, it’s nowhere near its peak. The finish reveals a brilliant dash of mandarin. Drink 2028–2040.”

“This reference point estate continues to achieve incredible quality in just about every vintage.” – Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

Perrin is a legendary family in the wine world.  They’re best known for their stewardship of Chateau Beaucastel, that benchmark of Chateauneuf du Pape, but they also make wines from other properties in the area.  The Vinsobres Les Hautes de Julien is from more mountainous terroirs than Chateauneuf.  It is a fascinating region, in the northern part of the Southern Rhone, which is Syrah based.

Case-6 Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Hauts de Julien, Rhone 2015 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Hauts de Julien, Rhone VV 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points
“The 2015 Vinsobres Les Hauts De Julien comes from the Vinsobres region, which is a cooler terroir located in the northern part of the southern Rhône. Based largely on very old vine Syrah blended with Grenache, it offers a vibrant purple color as well as a sensational bouquet of blueberries, cracked pepper, violets, lavender, and exotic spices. Incredibly textured, full-bodied, deep, and opulent, with awesome purity of fruit, it’s another sensational vintage for this cuvée that would pass undetected in a blind lineup of top Cornas. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $44.99

The Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG is one of our favorite appellations in Italy, marrying the dark fruit and earth of Nero d’Avola with the pretty, red-toned flavors of Frappato.  The resulting wines are a cross between high and low, bright and rich, savory and fruity, and those traits mean that winemakers have a lot of influence over the style of the final wines. The Cerasuolo from Planeta is made in a juicy, drink now style.  It’s a perfect wine to have on hand in bulk, seemingly going with everything.

Case-6 Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, Sicily 2015 750ML ($149.95) $99 special (that’s only $16.50/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG, Sicily 2015 750ML ($24.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 92 points
“Good full ruby-red. Perfumed aromas of raspberry, cherry cola and flowers, along with a spicy nuance. Fresh and fruity on entry, then smooth but slightly tighter in the midpalate, offering bright strawberry and violet pastille flavors. Finishes very long with dusty tannins and lingering salinity. Even more delicate and fragrant than usual this year. A blend of 60 percent Nero d’Avola and 40 percent Frappato that sees no oak.”
James Suckling 92 points “A delicious Cerasuolo with all the cherry and orange peel character you could hope for. Medium body, round and light tannins and a tangy finish. A wine that really makes you want to drink it!”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $21

Shop all of our six pack specials on our web store!

Rosé of the Day

Cuilleron is a master in the Northern Rhone and he brings all of his white winemaking skill to bear on this bright, crisp rose.  Made from Syrah, this nevertheless displays none of the grapes potential heaviness–it’s bright, fresh and slightly peppery on the finish.  If you’re looking for a delicious dry rose for chilly nights, this would be perfect.

In Stock Now

Yves Cuilleron ‘Sybel’ Syrah Rose, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“This Rosé is sourced 100% from Syrah grown within the confines of the village of Chavanay. It is produced by the “saignée” method after a brief maceration of several hours. The fermentations are in stainless steel and the elevage continues for about six months before bottling in the spring following harvest.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $16.99

Staff Pick

I had the fantastic opportunity to taste through several of wines from Pierre Gerbais, a new Champagne producer for us. He is located in the Aube region of Champagne, a southern outcrop close to Chablis. The current owner and winemaker, Aurelien Gerbais, is a young and passionate producer who took over his family’s estate after studying in the Beaune. His wines are delightful and a bit off the beaten path, but in a good way. Like Aubry in the Montagne de Reims, Gerbais works to highlight the lesser known varietals permitted in Champagne – Pinot Blanc in Aurelien’s case. 

Grains de Celles: Opens with a delightfully rich, yeasty aroma. The Grains de Celles is an unusual blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. It offers a savory pop of yeast with moderate length. On the palate, it’s tart yet rich and very well balanced with aromas of preserved lemons, marshmallows and orchard fruit. 

Pierre Gerbais Grains de Celles Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 20 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 93 points
“Bread, white peaches and nectarines with a neat, grilled hazelnut and pastry edge. The palate has attractive depth. Really crisp and juicy with plenty of punchy fruit. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $43

L’Audance: Golden in color, the L’Audace bottling offers more powerful aromatics over a salty, savory oxidative hint. It has a blend of aromatics with notes of straw, tarragon, pasta water, raw walnuts and ripe red and yellow apples. Delightfully impactful with no added sulfur. 

Pierre Gerbais L’Audace Brut Nature, Champagne NV (2013) 750ML ($69.95) $57 special, 8 bottles in stock now
No reviews for the 2013-base. Reviews are for reference.
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2014 Brut Nature L’Audace is 100% Pinot Noir from vines planted mostly in 1960. Rich, ample and creamy, L’Audace captures plenty of old-vine intensity in its textural resonance and overall feel. Dried flowers, mint and spice notes add character to a core of Pinot fruit in this super-expressive, inviting Champagne. Disgorged: May, 2018.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “With no dosage and no added sulfur dioxide, this wine is bright and tightly crisp, but the ripe Pinot Noir from this southern region of Champagne gives richness. With this good balance, the wine is fresh and generous at the same time. Because it is so dry, a few more months bottle age will make it even better, so wait to drink until 2017.”
Stephen Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points “[Review is for prior disgorgement] The NV L’Audace Brut Nature is 100% unsulfured Pinot Noir from 75- to 80-year-old vines that are always the last to be picked at Pierre Gerbais. It opens pure, deep, fresh and mineral on the nose, and indicates a remarkable complexity of flavors. Full-bodied, very pure and salty on the palate, this is a refreshing and very persistent Pinot Champagne with a great purity and tension. It’s ready to be drunk, but can also age for several years. It is salty and complex in the finish. This wine was disgorged in July 2015. This is only the second vintage of this wine.”
Importer note “2013 base. Disgorged November 2017. Zero dosage. 100% Pinot Noir. Vine Age: Majority planted in 1960. Terroir: Majority from lieu-dit Sainte-Marie, facing north, Kimmeridgian bedrock. Viticulture: Certified sustainable (Ampelos) since 1996. Vinification: Indigenous yeast fermentation in stainless steel tanks, aged on fine lees. 30 months sur lattes with organic yeast. No dosage or added sulfur (about 8 mg/L total sulfur produced naturally).”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $66

L’Unique: Subtly aromatic with a sneaky sweetness. Technically this wine is Doux, the sweetest classification of Champagne, but the bright acidity and citrus aromas make it taste more akin to your typical Kabinett Riesling than a syrupy Moscato d’Asti. It opens with notes of papaya, white chocolate, lemon verbena, lime zest and yellow apples. There’s a note of fresh whipped cream and green herbs on the finish. It’s bright and refreshingly light for a sweet Champagne. 

Pierre Gerbais L’Unique Doux Pinot Blanc, Champagne NV (2013) 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Dessert style Champagne (Doux).
Importer note
“2015. 100% Pinot Blanc. Vine Age: Majority planted in 1904. Terroir: Kimmeridgian, mostly from lieu-dit Les Proies (marl and limestone soils, 10,000 vines per hectare plantation density). Viticulture: Certified sustainable (Ampelos) since 1996. 62 g/L dosage, 3 years on the lees.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $105

The Weightless Concentration of Hebrart

“an utter masterpiece of weightless concentration, as huge and yet as penetrable as a cumulous cloud.” – Terry Theise

Jean Paul Hebrart has transformed his family domain from a reliable producer of tasty Champagne to a true powerhouse in the very top tier of quality in the region.  They manage to have intensity, generosity and length while presenting as finessed from the first sip. The high end bottlings, particularly the Rive Gauche/Rive Droite and the new Noces de Craie, are have an innate power, with enough elegance and classicism to provide tension and keep the wines absolutely thrilling. From the bottom to the top, Hebrart makes wines worthy of extra attention and we’ve loaded up to give you an excellent selection.

“Again and again I confront these Champagnes, tasting them there with him, tasting them elsewhere with you, drinking them at home, and every time I’ve had them in my glass for the past several years I’ve found myself thinking ‘Does Champagne really get any better than this?’”– Terry Theise

Arriving Next Week from Marc Hebrart

Only 24 bottles available
Marc Hebrart Premier Cru Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $61.90 re-arrival special
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.”
Terry Theise Note “[+++]The facts first—It is 75% PN from Mareuil, 25% Chard also from Mareuil. Old vines, massale selection. Deg 4/2018. 60% 2014, 20% 2013, 20% 2012. It’s from his favorite parcels in Mareuil, and is intended as a tribute to its terroir. It has a truly noble PN fragrance, leading to an utter masterpiece of weightless concentration, as huge and yet as penetrable as a cumulous cloud. Mareuil is clearly great but it’s also somewhat inscrutable; it has some of the malt of Aÿ, some mirabelle confiture, an almost gingery spice and top notes of chalk. This wine has great, gossamer opulence.

Only 18 bottles available
Marc Hebrart ‘Noces de Craie’ Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne 2015 750ML ($149.95) $109 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note
“…this preview bottle was extraordinary, following on the heels of the masterly 2012. It’s 100% Aÿ PN, from Cheuzelles, Longchamp, Pierre Robert, Pruche and Chauffour. Another Coeur de Cuvée, massale selection, deg 9/2018. Our “marriage of chalk” is surprisingly lapidary and ready. More seductive than the “Favorites” and also fruitier. It has a huge adamant length you did not expect—all the power is in the back, it only seems to yield. Like a sweet-natured person who always seems to prevail, or a sideways strength you don’t feel being used. A wonderful, surprising work of genius.”

Only 24 bottles available
Marc Hebrart Rive Gauche Rive Droite Grand Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($149.95) $125 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2013 Rive Gauche Rive Droite is a blend of Pinot Noir from Aÿ and Chardonnay from Oiry, Chouilly and Avize, all Grand Crus. Resonant and expansive on the palate, it possesses tremendous richness and depth from start to finish. Dried pear, pastry, dried herbs and crushed flowers give the stunningly beautifully, expressive Champagne with tons of complexity. Disgorged: December 19, 2018” [Disgorgement date may vary.]

New Grapelive Review

Weingut Leo Alzinger Loibner Steinertal Gruner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau 2018 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 95 points
“One of the most complex and serious Gruners I’ve tried in ages, the Alzinger Smaragd Ried Steinertal is one of Austria’s Grand Cru wines…[W]inemaker Leo Alzinger is getting a lot of attention and acclaim, and this wine especially shows why with its depth and richness of body and its long dry finish…. A fanatic about pristine fruit quality and severe selections in the vineyards, Leo’s wines deliver this commitment to quality in the bottle and shine in the glass with sublime detail, energy and glorious elegance, while still having a powerful presence on the palate and charming concentration. This 2018 has a full body and generously viscous with layers of lemon/lime, white peach, quince and spiced Asian pear fruits along with saline infused rock, delicate mineral tones, rosewater and a play between leesy texture and a bit of bitter almond.…The Ried Steinertal is in a hidden cool climate zone set between steep hills and holds on with the use of majestic terraces, it is a site that develops incredibly slowly and the hang time is extremely long allowing superior ripening without high sugars making for a good retention of natural acidity and gives this Smaragd a fine balance and extra level of class…2018 is an absolutely stunning Gruner that has a unique character, inner beauty and certainly looks like a classic example. “

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Collector’s Corner

Dagueneau and Vatan


“Tasting a Dagueneau wine for the first time was a revelation. His Sauvignon Blancs had an unexpected purity and clarity to them. The flavors were intense but nuanced. It wasn’t the fruit that was piercing, as in so many Sauvignon Blancs, but the freshness and the focus. As powerful a personality as he was, his wines did not exalt the stature of the winemaker so much as the beauty of the terroir.” – Eric Asimov, New York Times

2016 was an unqualified success in the Loire–a vintage that combines the classicism of ’14 with a hint of ’15’s richness.  For the Didier Dagueneau estate (now helmed by son Louis-Benjamin), these are some of the best wines they’ve produced, which is a testament to how Louis-Benjamin has grown into his role as winemaker after his father’s death.

These wines still have the richness and texture that made the estate famous, but with a laser-beam of minerality and cut that makes the wines truly memorable and a level of refinement that’s reached a new level under the son’s stewardship.  The Silex is especially noteworthy this year, a monument to Sauvignon Blanc grown on flint.  It’s hard to think, much less suggest, that the wines are better than they were under Didier, but the 2016’s raise that as a very real possibility.

In Stock Now:

Didier Dagueneau Blanc Fume de Pouilly, Loire 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 25 bottles in stock now
“When his father died in September of 2008, Louis Benjamin was only 26 years old. While some things have changed since then, much remains the same. The dogs are gone, and the house has a different flair, but the meticulous attention to detail in the vineyards and the precision in the cellar have, if anything, become even more perfectionist under his direction. With a hired hand for each of his 12 hectares, few vineyards in Pouilly are as well kept and he is the only one I know here who still harvests by hand.After a cold soak at 7 degrees C for three days, his sauvignon blancs are fermented with his own yeasts in small oak casks and kept on their lees for one year before being assembled and matured in stainless steel, where they remain for another six to eight months until bottling. It is an almost Burgundian style of winemaking, but then, as he says, Pouilly is technically a part of Burgundy even though it lies along the Loire. I have often heard the criticism that the hand of the winemaker is more evident here than that of the site, but time does allow the individual wines to show their true colors. It is merely that most of the bottles are consumed long before that day arrives.”-Joel Payne, Vinous

Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fume Silex, Loire 2016 750ML ($159.95) $125 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Minerally and intense, showing plump notes of yellow apple and peach, while ruby grapefruit and sea salt accents add to the vibrancy. Features a beautiful silky texture and focused acidity that proves the pedigree, adding to the charm and overall harmony. Drink now through 2031.—A.Z.”


Clos Neore, the parcel in Chavignol that the Vatan family owns, may produce the finest Sauvignon Blanc in the world.  The wine is spectacular, life-changingly mineral and capable of aging for a long time.  

Vatan Sancerre Clos la Neore 2017 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“Some winemakers are producers. A few are truly artisans. And then there are that handful who could perhaps be best described as monastic in their approach-making wine, as their duty, in complete harmony with their creator. With Vatan, I find it preposterous to “judge” vintages. Literally, no matter what the conditions of the year, whatever this domaine creates is remarkable, with amazing consistency from vintage to vintage. When once I asked Monsieur Vatan how he could do this, he replied that it is so simple a matter that it needs no explanation — if you plant low-yielding vines on only the steepest, perfectly exposed slopes, prune severely, provide only necessary and natural treatments, (and as little as possible, forcing the vine down for strength and character), harvesting after all the rest have finished (no problem finding pickers then!) and vinifying according only to the traditional (actually ancient) methods — it becomes a question of comparing the personality of each vintage, not which is “better.” What is this word “ancient” I use? Vinification in old, old barrels — a natural vessel – – but not of new oak, which would interfere with the natural fruit of the Sauvignon and terroir of Chavignol; one racking, and then bottling with no fining or filtration when the conditions are perfect in nature. If this sounds too out-moded to be true, you are in for an experience with your first taste. A unique wine which is unequalled, and only approached in Sancerre by the Cotat Domaine, which is enormous in comparison to Vatan (total production 500 cases, of which we in America get 125). Since the 2008 vintage, Edmond’s daughter, Anne Vatan-Foucault has taken over wine-making and administration of the domaine, and the results continue to be spectacular.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $269

Thank you for reading!