In Today’s Newsletter:
New Wines for the March Clearance Sale
Trendin’ Here & Nearly There
Staff Pick: 2016 Lapierre
St Damien Gigondas
A Lionnet Vertical: Secret Cornas Star
Raymond Usseglio’s Girard
New Wines for the March Clearance Sale
We’ve got some new wines for the March Clearance Sale! We could just rest on our laurels/prices, but that wouldn’t be like us—so here are a few new deals. You can view all of our March Clearance Sale wines on our website (click here), as well!New Sale Wines:
Agathe Bursin Sylvaner Eminence Zinnkoepfle, Alsace Grand Cru 2013 750ML ($31.95) Was $28, Now $24 special
Ian D’agata–Vinous 92 points “Gold-tinged straw. Delicate aromas of peach, apricot and poached apple. Rich and dense on the palate, with lively acidity lifting the sweet flavors of orchard and tropical fruits. Finishes very long, with impeccable balance. These Sylvaner vines grow in the grand cru Zinnkoepflé, the soils of which are marked by calcaires à entroques. Planted in 1930 with a southeast exposure, these vines give the description vieilles vignes real meaning, but Bursin doesn’t care to use this wording on the label since she believes the term has been reduced to mainly marketing purposes. “In France, vieille vigne wines are made with vines ranging anywhere from as little as 20 years to as much as 100 years of age, so what‘s the point?” she asks.”
Wine Spectator 94 points –#9 Wine Spectator S 2015 Top 100–“Gorgeous, with a pure, unadorned violet aroma giving way to very ripe and stylish plum, boysenberry and blackberry fruit. Offers a suave mouthfeel, with anise and tobacco hints filling the background. A finely stitched chalk note extends the finish. Not shy on depth, and sneakily long.”
Robert Parker 95 points “Having just had the 2003 and 2005 from my cellar, I can attest to the magnificent turnaround in quality this famous estate on the eastern side of St.-Emilion has achieved. All of it is attributable to its dynamic proprietor, Philippe Cuvelier. The 2012 Clos Fourtet (usually 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc) has beautiful blackberry and blueberry fruit and an inky purple color. With flawless integration of acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol, a full-bodied mouthfeel and stunning richness, this is impressive and certainly one of the vintage’s top wines. It should evolve beautifully for 15-20 years, and be drinkable in 3-4. Yields were a modest 32 hectoliters per hectare with the alcohol at 14%.” RP
James Suckling 97 points “Fantastic aromas of blueberries, plums, bark and wet earth follow through to a full body, velvety and polished tannins and a wonderful finish. Refined and persistent on the finish. Drink in 2019 and onwards.”
Wine Enthusiast 97 points – Cellar Selection – Top 20 Brunello “Balancing power and grace, this wine delivers alluring aromas and flavors of ripe black cherry, raspberry compote, grilled herb, licorice and tar. Vibrant acidity and firm, velvety tannins provide freshness and structure, while a hint of pipe tobacco closes the lingering finish. Drink 2020–2032.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This finds good equilibrium between the ripe berry, cherry, tobacco, iron and tea notes. Firm and chewy, with hints of leather and under-brush on the long aftertaste. Best from 2021 through 2035.”
The average price is $94
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “The 2010 Barbaresco Sorì Paitin Vigne Vecchie hits the palate with fabulous depth and intensity. Savory herbs, smoke, tobacco, incense, menthol and licorice race out of the glass in an intense, structured Barbaresco loaded with class, energy and pure power. There is plenty to look forward to, once the tannins soften a bit. The 2010 has closed down pretty dramatically since the last time I tasted it, about a year ago. Readers will have to be patient. The 2010 spent a total of 30 months in cask.”
The next best price is $67.94
The average price is $77
100% Grand Cru, 100% Pinot Noir, no dosage
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Brut Nature Silver is naturally a very focused, driven wine given the no-dosage style. This shows wonderful nuance and depth all the way through to the long finish, with bright aromas and flavors but less of the toastiness than some of the house’s other wines. The mousse and finish are both utterly impeccable in their elegance.” AG
The average price is $46
James Suckling 97 points “Pure roses on the nose. Hints of raspberries and lemon rind. So pure. Full body and ultra-fine tannins. Powerful yet so ethereal and soul-touching. A fabulously crafted Cannubi. Better in 2020.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2012 Barolo Cannubi is super-finessed, open-knit and gracious, with striking aromatic lift and plenty of precision. Bright red stone fruit, chalk and white pepper give the 2012 its distinctive aromatic signatures. Soft tannins and exceptional balance add to the wine’s considerable appeal. The 2012 is a bit more buttoned up than it was last year, but every bit as beautiful. This is a gorgeous Barolo from Chiara Boschis.”
The average price is $94
Wine Spectator 94 points “Elegant, leading off with perfumed aromas of rose, cherry, strawberry and white pepper. The profile is sleek, with a solid base of acidity and tannins. Shows terrific length, evoking fruit and mineral on the aftertaste. Best from 2019 through 2033.”
The average price nationally is $26
Wine Spectator 90 points “An accessible version, with juicy acidity and refined tannins, this features a smoky minerality underscoring the subtle flavors of plum sauce, black licorice drop, bacon fat and black cherry coulis. Finely balanced and silky, presenting a lasting finish of ripe fruit and herb. Nerello Mascalese. Drink now through 2021. 240 cases made.”
Stephen Tanzer 89+ points “Medium red. Musky raspberry, redcurrant, minerals, white flowers and a whiff of cough syrup on the nose. Minerally, serious and tightly structured, with a restrained sweetness to the vibrant red fruit and herbal flavors. The saline finish displays excellent length, serious tannins and a hint of orange peel. The name refers to the Chiappemacine area of Etna; the vines here are 80 years old.”
The next best price is $64.99
Auction Wine 2016
Mosel Fine Wines 89+ points “The bright-white colored wine offers a piquant nose of lime, white minerals, aniseed seeds and herbs. The wine is fruity and focused on the palate and the finish is rather sharp. This slender expression of Spätlese will need time to develop harmony and blossom aromatically. 2025-2040”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Belle Pente is one of our core Oregon wineries, and when Brian O’Donnell poured us the 2014 Estate Reserve, we knew we had something special. With a 95 score to cement the wine’s epic status – we’ve been flying through it. He’s a small production winery, so this won’t be around forever!
Belle Pente Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Belle Pente Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2014 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special
Josh Raynolds 95 points “Limpid ruby-red. Powerful blue fruit liqueur, violet pastille, incense and smoky mineral aromas, along with hints of cola and exotic spices. Appealingly sweet and expansive on the palate, offering densely packed black raspberry, boysenberry, mocha and floral pastille flavors and a strong spicecake note. Supple, well-knit tannins give shape to the intensely fruit-driven finish, which lingers with outstanding persistence and building sweetness.”
Winery note “This terrific young wine was a star of the show at the International Pinot Noir Celebration last summer, and is just reaching the beginning of what will surely be a long drinking window. True to its Yamhill-Carlton appellation, the wine shows concentrated, dark fruit flavors and aromas accented with notes of fresh herbs and flowers. It is one of those rare vintages that offers early appeal as well as the potential for 10-20 years in the cellar. So put a case (or two!) away and drink a bottle every year until it’s gone. You’ll be glad you did!”
The loamy and clayey soils of the Woolsey Road Vineyard offered up a charmingly intense and concentrated Chard in the 2014 vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Join the ranks of our readers that have purchased a few bottles: some to pop now for sheer hedonistic pleasure and some to cellar as advised by Antonio Galloni.
Ramey Woolsey Road Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2014 Chardonnay Woolsey Road Vineyard is a powerful, intense wine with real phenolic intensity. This is an especially rich, deep and layered wine with exquisite finesse and pedigree. Readers should be prepared to cellar the 2014 for at least a few years. This is a special Chardonnay in the making.”
Wine Advocate 93 points ‘The 2014 Chardonnay Woolsey Road Vineyard has exotic jasmine, pineapple and guava notes with hints of crème brulee and croissant. Medium-bodied with plenty of finesse in the mouth, it gives a nice balance between the fruit and savory flavors, with a silken texture and finishing long and toasty.”
Don’t miss the boat on the finest Burgundy vintage since 2005 – here’s out top seller from our recent alert. Act fast – these are our last few bottles!
Domaine Faiveley Lavaux Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Burghound 92-94 points ” A distinctly earthy, cool and ripe nose flashes notes of red and black cherries nuanced by hints of smoke, the sauvage and crushed herb. Interestingly, the powerful and very serious middle weight flavors are relatively refined thanks to the dense but fine-grained tannins that shape the punchy, intense and stony finish that is presently youthfully austere. This is also built-to-age and is going to need it.”
The next best price is $129
Case-12 Domaine Lafage Novellum Chardonnay, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2016 750ML ($179.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck – Wine Advocate 92 points “A sensational wine that will compete with wines five times the price, the 2016 Novellum Chardonnay is the real deal and actually reminded me of a Chardonnay from Mark Aubert in California’s Sonoma County. White peach, crushed rocks, spice and brioche notes all emerge from this medium to full-bodied Chardonnay that has depth, layered texture and length. Buy it.“
Trendin’ & Pre-Arrival
Our three hottest soon-to-be-landing offers!
Case-6 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($519.95) $336 pre-arrival special, ETA June (that’s only $56/bottle!)
Case-12 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($959.95) $636 pre-arrival special, ETA June (that’s only $53/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95+ points “Il Poggione is a Brunello superstar and a vintage like this reveals every reason why that affirmation is true. From the second the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino pours into the glass, you know you are in for something special. The wine is darkly saturated and rich in appearance. Absent are those slightly amber or browning hues you often get with Sangiovese in a hot vintage. Nor does the wine show flat or tired characteristics. Instead, the quality of fruit is vibrant and rich. This is a healthy, generous and exuberant Brunello with dark density and succulent fruit flavors that are followed by integrated spice and tobacco. The balance is impressive and one thing you get here is fresh acidity. This is not to be underestimated, because the acidity quota in the 2012 vintage across the appellation is not as high or evident as usual. This is one of the year’s best Brunellos.”
The average price nationally is $73
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino lives up to the impeccable reputation garnered by this estate over the years. This is a profound and beautifully rendered Sangiovese that delivers bold and luscious fruit quality with black cherry and spicy plum at the start. The bouquet follows through with mild oak notes of smoke, tar and toasted nut. There is another aromatic component that includes crushed stone and dried herb or mint. This Brunello shows elegant evolution in the glass and promises a very long aging future ahead. Some 200,000 bottles were made, so it should be easy to locate this excellent wine.”
The average price nationally is $72
Bodegas Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special, ETA May
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 97 points “I was really looking forward to the 2010 Prado Enea Gran Reserva, as I’ve seen a very good improvement in this cuvée in the last few vintages, and 2010 is one of the more-balanced vintages of recent times. This is the most classical among the wines in the portfolio, the one with the longer élevage, a little bit like the wines from yesteryear but with today’s knowledge about vineyards and vinification/élevage. This has settled to a blend of approximately 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the remaining 10% between Mazuelo and Graciano, from the cooler, higher-altitude vineyards, which means they only bottle it every two or three years. In recent years, 2007 and 2008 were not bottled. It ferments in small oak vats built by their own tonneliers, and they like to delay malolactic until the spring by opening the windows so the cold from outside comes into the winery. For the aging, each variety goes into separate barrels racked from newer to older barrels to complete some 36 months or three years. It has very healthy and balanced parameters, and that’s what the wine feels like. It’s still young. It’s never a dark wine, more of a ruby or bright color, and it has a nose of youth, subtle and elegant. But the quality shows in the unbelievable elegance and harmony on the palate, where the tannins are very fine, the flavors are subtle but deep and the length is just phenomenal. This is only medium-bodied, with perfect ripeness and integrated acidity. This should have a very long life in bottle, especially as I had the chance to check the evolution of the 2004 next to this. 90,000 bottles were produced from 2010. The following vintages will be 2011, 2014 (a small bottling) and 2015.”
James Suckling 99 points “The wonderfully silky texture with an added juiciness is what makes this wine so very special. The flawless and seamless nature to the wine is so impressive that it takes your breath away. Plenty of beautiful fruit but what mouthfeel. Drink now and forever.”
Decanter 96 points “Only made in the best vintages, and they don’t get any better than 2010, this is a brooding, ageworthy blend of mostly Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha and 10% Mazuelo. It’s rich, dark and complex with stylish tannins and scented oak.”
The next best price is $64.99
Classic Wine/Classic Vintage
If there’s one wine that represents Beaujolais, to me, it’s Lapierre Morgon, especially in classic years. It has everything I want in Gamay—freshness, elegance and perfume allied to a mineral backbone. There’s power, thought the wine isn’t big—more free safety than defensive lineman. The 2016 version of this is a return to form after the outsized 2015 (which was delicious, just not particularly classic). I never buy enough of this wine, to the point that I’m not sure that it’s possible for me to buy enough of it—it goes with everything, ages well (and gets more Burgundy-inflected as it ages) and is affordable enough that you don’t feel much guilt if you decide to open one just because. Having said that, it’s clear that I need to buy more, so by the time you read this, they’ll be six fewer bottles (and possibly one less magnum) in inventory, but don’t worry, we still have plenty—for now.Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon, Beaujolais 2016 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special
James Suckling 93-94 points “This barrel sample from one of the masters in Beaujolais shows such a balance and focus already. Juicy and fruity with lots of plummy fruit and spice character. Fine tannins and a crisp finish. Clear and ethereal.”
St Damien Gigondas
Old Vines, Modern Personality
“At Domaine Saint Damien, there are four Gigondas cuvées, although the Clovis Saurel isn’t bottled every year. It’s a small, family domaine with the magnificently mustachioed Joël Saurel at the helm, although son Romain is increasingly confident in the winery. This is a reference point for traditional Gigondas, but the family also owns a small portion of Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu. We finished up with a handful of older wines, which I noted for readers who may have cellared them.” –Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate
Gigondas has become the shooting star of the Southern Rhone—occupying the space that Chateauneuf du-Pape did during the 90’s and early 00’s. This is a region that’s producing electric, thrilling wines at prices that despite recent increases are some of the best deals in the world of the highest quality wines. Saint Damien has emerged as one of the best producers and the recent scores from the Wine Advocate only highlight the quality emerging from their cellar. These are some of the top wines coming out of the Rhone and at prices that make other top producers blush.
Newly Reviewed & On Our March Clearance Sale:
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($37.95) Was $28, Now $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Grapelive 91 points “This is an old school comfort wine. Its deep layers of Grenache-based goodness caresses the palate along with an array of earth, spice and chalky stones, making it a joyous Rhone red from a historic area. It’s nearly perfect in its terroir and charms. Of course it has a touch of animal/funk, or barnyard as we say, which is this Domaine Saint Damien’s richly flavored Gigondas old vine’s only and main flaw. Otherwise it’s gorgeously textured, full of life and extremely pretty on the palate. This is classic old World meets a great vintage. This wine has an eternal feel, ancient even, but new and vibrant. It’s a wine with an old soul showing a little bret on the nose, as well as floral tones and savory elements to go with an explosion of boysenberry, wild plum, dusty black cherry and currant/cassis fruit. It picks up black pepper, tangy lavender, backyard strawberry, crushed rock, leather, dried blood/iron, anise and framboise. This really gets interesting with air as it opens, though it never quite loses its slightly dirty nature. It’s a blend that is mostly Grenache, 80%, but with surprisingly 20% Mourvedre, which adds a meatiness and a good dose of structural tannins. It was aged exclusively in old foudres, as traditional as can be. While not as finessed as Saint Cosme or as beautiful as Domaine d’Ourea, this is a top notch dense (full bodied) Gigondas that reminds me of wines from my youth. [It is] brilliant with robust country influenced cuisine. It should prove long lived too, even though I would drink it over the next 3 to 5 years with its expressive and impressive youthful sweet fruit.”
Also in stock now from Saint Damien:
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas La Louisiane Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “My pick of the cuvées in 2015 is the 2015 Gigondas La Louisiane, a blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and the rest Cinsault and Syrah. From south-facing slopes of red clay and sand, this shows incredible detail in its aromas of garrigue and raspberries, then folds in richer notes of dark chocolate. This is full-bodied and velvety in feel, with just a hint of warmth on the finish. It should drink well for a decade, possibly longer.”
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas ‘Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes’, Rhone 2015 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “Like the La Louisiane, the 2015 Gigondas les Souteyrades spent a year in foudres prior to bottling. It a similar blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre, but grown on north-facing gray clays. There’s more pepper and herb here, still wonderfully ripe raspberries but less chocolate. Full-bodied, it’s still silky and refined, with tremendous length on the finish.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points “Full ruby. Ripe black raspberry, violet, incense and peppery spices on the highly fragrant nose. Palate-staining red and blue fruit and floral pastille flavors show impressive energy, and a minerally topnote gains intensity as the wine opens up. Rich yet energetic in style, showing serious closing thrust, harmonious tannins and a suave, lingering floral quality.”
A Lionnet Vertical
Multiple Vintages of the Secret Star of Cornas
Arriving March 30th
There’s no two ways around it—Cornas has become the hot AOC in the Northern Rhone, perhaps in France. Allemand, Clape, Ooka, Paris, etc—prices have been going up, demand has been going up, wines are in stock for shorter and shorter periods of time. Against that backdrop, we were offered a vertical of Domaine Lionnet’s Cornas and couldn’t say yes fast enough. The wines are through Rosenthal, the official importer and are in great condition. For some of you, we’ve already said enough—you can find the wines on our website, here. If you want a little more info on the domaine, no fear, read on.
Lionnet is basically the Levet of Cornas—the heir to Robert Michel, stylistically. In fact, it was Levet that referred Lionnet to Neal Rosenthal, which tells you all you need to know. These are old-school Cornas, made with 100% whole clusters, fermented in cement vats and then aged in older, large barrels. No new wood, no pretension, and just one wine—the domaine only owns 2.2 hectares! We’re beyond excited to have these in the shop (if they don’t sell out before they arrive), though quantities are limited. If you’d like to purchase these wines (and secure what you want while we still have multiple vintages/2015 available), just click here to see them on our website or reply to this email.
Arriving March 30th:
Domaine Lionnet Cornas Terre Brulee, Rhone 2015 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Domaine Lionnet Cornas Terre Brulee, Rhone 2015 1.5L ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Cornas Terre Brûlée comes from a total of seven different lieux-dits throughout the appellation (all are granite soils) and was vinified in concrete tanks before spending 18 months in older demi-muids. It offers a classic, traditional feel in its blackberry, peppery herbs, bouquet garni and violets aromas and flavors. With full-bodied richness, nicely integrated acidity and superb concentration, it’s just another sensational Cornas from this vintage. Bravo to Corinne Lionnet and Ludovic Izerable!”
Grapelive 95+ points “One of my favorite wines and producers, Domaine Lionnet makes an incredible and authentic Cornas that never disappoints this Syrah geek. It’s always a nervy, stemmy wine, but with gracious fruit and textures to balance everything out. I find these wines to have a raw sex appeal and with a dark earthy seduction. In terms of pure Syrah it rarely gets much better than this! Corinne Lionnet’s family has been here and wine growing since 1575. [Lionnet and her husband, Ludovic Izerable] have run this winery now for about fifteen years since she took the estate over in 2003. This is a small label. They only produce two bottlings, mainly this Terre Brûlée Cornas, though they have added a Saint-Joseph Rouge called the Terre Neuve, but have not exported yet to my knowledge. Ludovic’s style is all about nature, with 100% whole cluster, 100% stems and all organic farming. He ferments native and uses long maceration (three weeks) in cement vats before malos in large cask, all well used and never new, with lengthy elevate/aging. There are never any additions or adjustments with just a tiny amount of sulfur. Each parcel is between 40 and 100 years old, including four great lieu-dit sites: Chaillot, Combes, Brugeres and Mazards. [Each is] hand-picked and fermented individually. Each of these Crus add to the whole and give this wine its special personality and chemistry. Domaine Lionnet’s attention to detail really shows in the bottle. These are electric and thrilling wines, which I was reminded of recently at Rosenthal’s Rhone and Bordeaux Tasting in San Francisco, where I got to meet Ludovic and Corinne and taste through a mini vertical of their glorious Cornas from 2012 to 2015, the just released version. Each vintage has its own charm and all are fantastic, but as I’ve sampled the 2012 through 2014 previously, I was focused on the 2015 which promises great rewards. Though a bit taught at this point, it’s a star in progress. The 2012 is drinking great right now, and the 2013 is just getting itself together, while the 2014 is heavenly beautiful and more delicate than the rest, with this 2015 showing the full force of vintage and youth, it was the densest and exploding with fruit. A touch of air sets this 100% Syrah alive and releasing an inner perfume of violets, while a meaty wave flows underneath before reaching a climax of earth, spice and a core of black and blue fruit on the full bodied palate showing layers of boysenberry, cassis, blueberry, damson plum and kirsch along with vibrant peppercorns, dried basil, salted black licorice, bacon fat and truffle. This deep garnet hued Cornas lingers on and on recalling the violet and edgy stems for minutes in the aftertaste. This is a ridiculously great terroir-driven wine with stellar potential in 3 to 5 years. If you love Jamet or Allemand you’ll want this wine, and at almost half their price this wine is a rockstar value.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “A terrific wine, the 2015 Cornas Terre Brulee combines smoky notes of grilled plums and meat in a full-bodied format. It’s richly tannic and velvety at the same time, with a finish that’s simultaneously drying (from tannins) and mouthwatering (from juicy fruit). Farmed organically, vinified with stems in concrete and aged in used, large-format oak, Cornas doesn’t get more authentic (or better) than this!”
The average price is $70
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Inky ruby. Mineral-accented black raspberry, violet and a hint of game on the high-toned nose. Takes a darker turn in the mouth, offering boysenberry and cherry flavors along with smoky bacon and cracked pepper nuances. Finishes sweet, smoky and very long, displaying repeating mineral and spice qualities and youthful tannic grip.”
The average price is $55
Wine Spectator 92 points “Dark in profile, with a tarry edge to the core of steeped black currant and fig fruit, along with smoldering tobacco, licorice root and singed alder on the finish. Maintains ample grip and drive throughout. Best from 2018 through 2028. 200 cases imported.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Made by Ludovic Izerable and crazy good, the 2012 Cornas Terre Brûlée is a stunning Cornas that spent 18 months in 2- to 8-year-old barrels and demi-muid. Offering up notes of black raspberry, cassis, currants, ground herbs, spice and insane minerality, it hits the palate with a full-bodied, rich, yet taunt and pure texture that carries vibrant acidity and length. Still reserved and backwards, give this beauty another 3-4 years and enjoy bottles through 2027+.”
Raymond Usseglio’s Girard
A Top Value in Chateauneuf
Now in its third generation of family winegrowers, Domaine Raymond Usseglio has earned a prestigious reputation in Châteauneuf du Pape. Founded in 1948, the Usseglio family now farms its 60 acres biodynamically, which ensures a healthy crop of grapes and a close relationship between grower and vine. This devoted attention in the vineyard carries through to the winery, as the quality of the wines testifies.
The Cuvée Girard is their “drink now” wine. It’s made of 90% Grenache (the Usseglio’s oldest vines go back to 1901), with Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, and Counoise blended in. The goal for this wine is to offer power and richness with a plush texture and open aromatics. It may not age for 25 years, like their top wine, but it will be fantastic on your table tonight, and at a price that’s hard to beat. This wine arrives Friday and won’t last long, so snag some now if you love Rhone wines.
Arriving Friday, March 16th:
Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Girard, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points “The stunning 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Girard is blended exclusively for the American importer, Peter Weygandt, and bottled unfiltered. It’s about 85% Grenache, with the balance made up of Mourvèdre, Counoise and Cinsault. What makes it so compelling is the combination of fragrant raspberries, sinewy tannins and silky finish, all of which suggest it will age well for 20 years after the vintage. It’s powerful, concentrated and yet feels fresh and lively.”
Arriving March 23rd
Jean-Louis Dutraive is one of the hottest names in the world of Natural Wine. His Domaine de la Grand’Cour is turning out some of the most impressive wines in Beaujolais, with big, rich textures and really vivacious personalities. We were able to source a small parcel last year and it sold out within a month of arrival—demand was strong. We’ve got a little more coming in a few weeks and are anticipating it will sell out quickly, as well.
Pure Beaujolais comes from vignerons like Jean-Louis Dutraive. His father bought the Domaine de la Grand’ Cour in 1969, and Jean-Louis took over eight years later, with great success. Both the winegrowing and winemaking remain in the tradition of Fleurie, where the family owns 22 of its 26 acres (the rest lying in Brouilly). Organic viticulture has kept the vines in healthy shape for decades now, and vine age hovers around fifty years old, with some over seventy. Harvesting by hand, low-temp carbonic maceration with only indigenous yeast, and no fining or filtering round out the prized recipe. These Beaujolais offer substance, and can age for a long while. We suggest you get them in your cellar now, before everyone else does.
Jean-Louis Dutraive Wines Arriving March 23rd:
Jean-Louis Dutraive Domaine de la Grand’Cour Brouilly Vieilles Vignes, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Lurid ruby. Powerful aromas of ripe red berries, blood orange, succulent herbs and lavender take on a smoky mineral nuance as the wine opens up. Plump and broad on the palate, offering sweet, mineral-tinged black raspberry and cherry flavors and a hint of spicecake. Shows excellent clarity and solid punch on the dark-berry-dominated finish, which is framed by supple, harmonious tannins.”
Jean-Louis Dutraive Domaine de la Grand’Cour Fleurie ‘Chapelle des Bois’, Beaujolais 2015 1.5L ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Bright violet. A suave, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red fruits, Asian spices and smoky minerals, along with a sexy lavender overtone. Sweet raspberry, floral pastille and spicecake flavors show impressive depth as well as vivacity. In a distinctly elegant, seamless style, especially for the vintage, but there’s also good structure here thanks to a core of juicy acidity. The very long, floral-dominated finish is given shape by smooth tannins that fold quickly into the plush, appealingly sweet fruit.”
They’re selling fast and we can’t keep up with supply – act now on Walla Walla’s southern-most gem!
Thank you for reading!