Monday Newsletter 3-22-21

In This Newsletter:

Arnaud Lambert 
Saumur Dreams

New Week – New Arrivals

New Review for Saint Damien’s 2018 Gigondas Louisiane

Spanish Red Wine Roundup
$30 – $33


Luigi Giordano

Arnaud Lambert 

Saumur Dreams

Arnaud Lambert is one of the most important producers in Brézé and Saint-Cyr-En-Bourg, two of the most coveted neighborhoods in Saumur. Clos Rougeard’s famous (and famously expensive) blanc comes from Brézé, but Lambert offers the chance to taste what makes the area special without the $150+ price-tags. The area is geologically diverse, but characterized by the airy limestone that dots the finest vineyards in this part of the Loire. The wines, therefore, have a mineral-edge and delicate tone to them that’s unique.

By contrast, Saint-Cyr has more clay in the topsoil, which produces wines of more overt power and structure. Both the reds and whites here seem to have an earthiness and weight about them that sets them apart from their Brézé neighbors. 

No matter which bottling you pick, the wines are standouts—especially as you move up the range. Lambert is a master at letting the terroir shine through. The whites have elegance, texture and poise that puts them at home with any dry Chenin from the region, at significant discounts to big names like Guiberteau, while the reds offer that classic combination of Saumur weight and polish. We’ve finally secured an allocation of these gems, but quantities on each wine are limited.

“While this property has long belonged to the Counts of Colbert, it was only with the arrival of Arnaud Lambert that the reputation of Château de Brézé began to rise again. After studying in both Bordeaux and Burgundy, Lambert returned in 2006 to Domaine de Saint Just, which his father had purchased ten years earlier. When the two took control of the Château de Brézé in January of 2009, the vineyards were in a disastrous state, but the progression since the 2010 vintage—the first Arnaud calls truly his own—has been impressive. Little by little he has turned the 25 hectares of vineyards over to organic farming and begun separating each of the eight parcels to highlight their individual character. Long known as the estate with the best potential for dry white Saumur, Château de Brézé also makes red wine from cabernet franc…” -Joel B. Payne,Vinous Media December 2014

Newly Arrived from Chateau de Breze  / Arnaud Lambert

Arnaud Lambert Clos de Midi Saumur Blanc 2019 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“This offers an expressive mix of yellow apple, persimmon and Meyer lemon flavors infused with light notes of hazelnut and hints of smoke. The acidity is electric, giving this plenty of verve and carrying all the elements to the long and seductive, lightly floral finish. Best from 2022 through 2034. 3,750 cases made, 627 cases imported. — AZ”
Importer note “Size: 3.5 ha (8.65 ac). Variety: Chenin Blanc. Vine Age: Planted in 1985. Terroir: Facing southeast, 70 cm of silty/ sandy clay soil on softer Turonian limestone rock. Viticulture: Organic (certified). Vinification: Indigenous yeast fermentation, 50% in stainless steel tanks, 50% in older Burgundian barrels. Aged for 12 months.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Although the following offerings have yet to have their current vintages reviewed, past notes point to high expectations for these beautiful wines.

Arnaud Lambert Clos David Saumur Blanc 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
No reviews available for 2017 vintage. Recent review provided for reference.
Wine Spectator 93 points “[2015 vintage] High-pitched, leading off with green almond, white peach and honeysuckle notes. Bright, detailed and pure, with lemon peel, quinine and star fruit elements racing through the finish. Shows no signs of maturity despite the late release. Drink now through 2025. 584 cases made, 95 cases imported.  –JM”
Importer note “Size: 1.3 ha (3.21 ac). Variety: Chenin. Vine Age: Planted in 1965. Terroir: Northeast-facing, 70 cm lightly silty sandy soil on softer Turonian limestone bedrock. Viticulture: Organic (certified), Guyot Poussard pruning. Vinification: Indigenous yeast fermentation, 50% in older foudres and 50% in barrel (15% new oak). Aged for 12 months in barrel, an additional 6 months blending and aging in tank.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $39

Arnaud Lambert Clos Mazurique Saumur Rouge 2019 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
No reviews available for 2019 vintage. Recent review provided for reference.
Wine Spectator 92 points “[2018 vintage] This red flows like velvet, loaded with cranberry sauce, blackberry and juniper, while hints of charcoal and cedar add to the complexity. Very harmonious from start to finish, with a long aftertaste infused with mineral and thyme. Drink now through 2030. 1,666 cases made, 786 cases imported.  –AZ”
Importer note “Size: 3.7 ha (9.12 ac). Variety: Cabernet Franc. Vine Age: Planted in 1990. Terroir: Facing west, silty sand soil on Turonian limestone bedrock. Viticulture: Organic (certified, methods since 2009). Vinification: 100% de-stemmed, indigenous yeast fermentation in concrete tanks, no pump-overs. Aged for 5 months in concrete tank (15mg/L total SO2).”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $19.50

Arnaud Lambert Clos du Tue-Loup Saumur Rouge 2018 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
No reviews available for 2018 vintage. Recent review provided for reference.
Wine Spectator 93 points “[2016 vintage] Bold, with iron and maple aromas, followed by flavors of blackberry, violet and sage, this red is smooth, with a juicy core that gives it allure. Very friendly without sacrificing complexity, this is equally made for wine geeks and casual drinkers. Ends with a long, multilayered finish. Drink now through 2029. 542 cases made, 110 cases imported.  –AZ”
Importer note “Size: 2 ha (4.94 ac). Variety: Cabernet Franc. Vine age: Planted in 1995. Terroir: Sand and limestone soil. Viticulture: Organic (certified). Vinification: 100% de-stemmed, 10-15 days maceration, indigenous yeast fermentation: ½ in 2 to 3-year-old barrels and ½ in raw concrete tanks for 8 months. They are then assembled and aged for 6 months in stainless steel tanks before bottling where they are aged for 6-12 months in bottle before release (35mg/L total SO2).”

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The next best price is $28

Arnaud Lambert Domaine de Saint-Just Cremant De Loire Blanc NV 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special
Importer note
“Varieties: Chenin Blanc (75%), Chardonnay (25%). Vine Age: Planted in 1990. Terroir: From the Clos of the Château, 60 cm deep silt and clay sand soil on a soft Turonian limestone bedrock. Viticulture: Organic (certified). Vinification: Indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged for 24 months.”

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New Week – New Arrivals

Willamette Valley

Back in stock (for now!) from Cameron:

New bottlings from Cameron are always exciting.  Springtime always brings the Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir—an outstanding value in the Cameron lineup.  The Ribbon Ridge is always the darkest and richest of his Pinots and one of the best for drinking young.  It’s sourced from the White Oak Vineyard at Foster Farm, also home to much of his prized Nebbiolo vines. The Pinot was planted in 2006 with recent additions of Martin Ray clones, much of why the bottling gets more and more exciting every year. 2019 is a beautiful wine with power and grip and splits the difference between the bolder 2018 and the more elegant 2017. 

Cameron Winery Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note
“We proudly introduce 2019 release of Ribbon Ridge Pinot noir, this year for the first time exclusively from White Oak Vineyard. It presents with deep aromas of cocoa nib, caramel, black currant, and red raspberry and a palate packed with bing cherry, baking spices, cedar and mushroom. The tannins are persistent, but not aggressive.  We imagine it pairing well with savory meals such as game birds or Middle Eastern spiced lamb.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Cameron Winery ‘Giovanni’ Pinot Blanc, Dundee Hill 2020 750ML ($21.95) $17 special
Winery note
“Our 2020 Giovanni Pinot blanc is an indicator of what an incredible vintage 2020 is going to be.  It’s really really good this year and at $18 bottle, we may just drink it all ourselves.  With fruit from the fabulous Abbey Ridge and Bellevue Cross Vineyards, Giovanni opens with aromas of lychee, Anjou pear, lemon curd and citrus blossom.  Elements of peaches and cream are center stage on the palate, with yellow grapefruit and a briny minerality in the wings.  Its piquant acidity makes it pair with almost anything.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

France – Rhone

Domaine Lionnet Cornas Terre Brûlée, Rhône 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“Brilliant violet. Suave, expansive aromas of fresh blueberry, blackberry, incense and candied flowers. Juicy, seamless and concentrated, offering intense, smoke-tinged dark fruit preserve, violet and olive flavors and suggestions of licorice and spicecake that build on the back half. In a generous, fruit-forward style; sneaky tannins frame the energetic dark fruit on a very long, floral-tinged finish.”
Importer note “Very old plantings (40 to 100 years old) in several notable Cornas vineyards, which are all blended into their single Cuvée ‘Terre Brûlée’: Mazards, with 50-year-old vines in granite-inflected soils of clay limestone, is dark and powerful; Chaillot contributes classic granitic heft and dusty spice; clay limestone Pied de la Vigne, which flanks Chaillot’s eastern edge, provides structural rigor; and Combe, the southernmost lieu-dit in the appellation, comprises sandy granite soils which give rounder, more voluptuous fruit and overtly floral aromas. Aged entirely in well-used 600-liter demi-muids, ‘Terre Brûlée’ is a Cornas of immense concentration, deep, meaty aromatics, intense effusive spiciness, and a bristling tension that beckons for a bit of patience but is thrilling in its vibrancy. All whole cluster. Certified organic.”


Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2019 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Mosel Fine Wines 94 points
“The 2019er Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett was fermented down to sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a delicately creamy nose made of yellow peach, white peach, mango, apricot blossom, cream, and spices. The wine starts off with the creamy presence of a Spätlese on the palate but reveals a gorgeously zesty character in the long and vibrant finish. A touch of sweetness still needs to integrate in the aftertaste, something which will happen easily after a decade of maturation. One will then be rewarded with mouthwatering Maximin Grünhaus minty fruitiness! 2029-2049.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93-94 points “The 2019 Maximin Grünhaus Riesling Herrenberg Kabinett is bright and clear on the delicate, precise and flinty, super finessed nose. Round and juicy on the palate, this is a delicate, piquant and sensual Kabinett with a filigreed structure and a long, intense, stimulatingly salty finish. After 2018, this is another great (or even greater) Kabinett from Maximin von Grünhaus, even though it drinks rather like a feinherb Spätlese in the classic, quaffable style. Tasted as a sample in April 2020.”

New Review for Saint Damien’s 2018 Gigondas Louisiane

In the difficult vintage of 2018 Joel Saurel and son Romain, who recently took over the winemaking, made the tough decision to take the hit financially and still create the best wine they can; just less of it. They produced only two of their Gigondas cuvées: the base AOC Gigondas Vieilles Vignes and the La Louisiane. Old-vine Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Syrah combine for the most pleasantly fragrant vintage from this lovely domaine. Humbly priced, incredibly well made, and there is good supply on hand for the time being.
The standard 2018 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes shows increased depth of flavor, but has brighter, black raspberry-tinged aromas that are more upfront with less decanting than in previous vintages. Still thick with herb and anise notes that add a pleasant dimension to the glass, the wildness seems a little in check this year. Instead, there are lovely floral notes that seem to come from a well-tended garden rather than from some scrubby little bushes overlooking a windswept plateau. It is graceful and lovely, yet still has a wonderful depth to the finish.
And now, for La Louisiane: the wine that puts Saint Damien in the same conversation as Santa Duc and Saint Cosme as far as being the best producer from Gigondas. The vines from the red sandy soil of La Louisiane fared the best from the attack of powdery mildew that assaulted Gigondas in the spring. The rest of the growing season treated Gigondas quite well, and the resulting fruit was delightful. The firm cherry core was accented with freshly cracked spices, cassis, smoky tea and herbs, crunchy with mineral notes. The color is intense but clear and shimmers with brightness. One of my favorite aspects of this wine is the balance between the intensity of the sweet delicious fruit and the alcohol, which at 15% is definitely present but not overpowering. While alcohol is simply an act of natural processes, this balance seems to be assembled deliberately and perfectly. While recent vintages like 2016 and 2017 may call for longer durations in the cellar, this wine could be accessed earlier. Five years will undoubtedly help it along the way, but if you’re pulling corks early, decant the wine vigorously. Air will only jumpstart all that is promised within.
Newly Reviewed and In Stock Now:

Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas La Louisiane Vieilles Vignes, Rhône 2018 750ML ($41.95) $36 special, 20 bottles in stock now 
Case-6 Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas La Louisiane Vieilles Vignes, Rhône 2018 750ML ($239.95) $199 pre-arrival special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!), Arriving Friday!
Grapelive 96 points
“The Domaine Saint-Damien, founded back 1821, is a small family winery in the southern Rhone based in the famed Gigondas AOC and is run by Joel and Amie Saurel with their son Romain who is the current winemaker. This is one of the Rhone’s great properties and treasures, especially for me. These wines are some of my personal favorites like this fantastic and nearly perfect 2018 old vine La Louisiane… This vintage has more vitality and fresh detail than the warmer and more lavish 2017s, which don’t get me wrong were incredible wines too, it is just that extra sense of purity and the mineral notes really stand out here and there is excellent fruit dimension and definition that is fully on display here. These old vines give outstanding concentration without overt jamminess or heat of alcohol. In fact this 2018 delivers a performance that would rival the best from either Burgundy or Bordeaux for elegance, presence and complexity, while still be a soulful and ultra pleasure filled wine. Influenced by its terroir in the des Dentelles de Montmirail, the Domaine Saint-Damien, named for the Christian martyr, has vines set in the rocky hillsides on marls, a mix of limestone and hardened clay soils, in terraced vineyards that get plenty of warm sunshine through the days and high elevation coolness at night that allows for perfect ripening of the grapes, which include mainly Grenache of course as well as Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah. This wine is beautifully proportioned and divinely textural revealing succulent layers of black raspberry, plum, pomegranate and a deep sense of creme de cassis along with violets, peppercorns, dried herbs, a hint of baked earth, cedar and anise accents that dance on the full bodied palate. This is riveting stuff that is surprisingly well integrated at this point, which makes it drink stylishly and with subtle rustic notes and this Gigondas should prove to be a stunning age worthy wine with its velvet covered muscles and underlying structure, depth and energy… I really am taken with this 2018 Saint-Damien and the mineral tone it has, as well as the opulent mouth feel and its lively pop of spice and lingering kirsch note, don’t pass up a chance to try this opaque purple/garnet hued and top notch Gigondas!”

Also In Stock Now from Saint Damien:
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, Rhône 2018 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, Rhône 2018 750ML ($219.95) $159 special (that’s only $26.50/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92-94 points
“The 2018 Gigondas Classique Vieilles Vignes shows impressive levels of black cherry fruit, joined by hints of garrigue and licorice. It’s full-bodied, silky and easy to drink, finishing long, briny and savory.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 points “The base Gigondas, the 2018 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes is a blend from both the La Louisiane and Pigière lieux-dits near the estate (due to the dismal yields, there’s no Souteyrade cuvée in 2018) and is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah brought up in foudre. It has a wonderful flowery incense and blue fruit quality as well as medium to full body, a ripe, rounded mid-palate, and a great texture. It’s a more forward, charming, sexy wine that’s going to drink nicely in its youth yet also evolve gracefully.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $31
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas ‘Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes’, Rhône 2015 1.5L ($109.95) $89 special, 6 magnums in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points
“The most opulent and voluptuous of the 2015s, the 2015 Gigondas Les Souteyrades is heavenly juice that, again, drinks well past its humble price point. Just loaded with notions of strawberries, framboise, spring flowers, dried orange peels and spice, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a thick, unctuous texture, sweet tannin and a great, great finish. This cuvée is the normal 80/20 split of Grenache and Mourvèdre, aged all in foudre, and there’s just 750 cases made.”
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.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Additional Souteyrades Re-Arriving This Week:
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas ‘Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes’, Rhone 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points
“A blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, the 2017 Gigondas les Souteyrades—from a clay-based, north-facing site—is rich and earthy, with cinnamon and cola notes accenting dark plums and black cherries. It’s full-bodied and velvety, adding hints of chocolate on the long finish.-JC”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Black cherries, garrigue, leather, and a kiss of spice emerge from the 2017 Gigondas Les Souteyrades, which is Grenache and Mourvèdre brought up in foudre. It’s medium to full-bodied, has light tannins, beautiful balance, and a charming, elegant style. As with the other releases here in 2017, it’s a seamless, layered, complex wine that relies more on elegance and complexity than overt power and richness.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 93 points “Deep magenta. Deeply pitched aromas of red and blue fruit preserves, candied flowers and allspice show excellent clarity and mineral lift. Seamless and alluringly sweet, offering palate-staining cherry, blueberry and spicecake flavors that show noteworthy depth and back-end thrust. Finishes very long and smooth, with fine-grained tannins and resonating cherry and floral character.”
Love Rhône reds?
We have 170 red wines from the Rhône Valley in stock now.
Shop the entire selection, including famous names like Château de Vaudieu, Saint Cosme, Vieux Télégraphe and more, on our web store!

Spanish Red Wine Roundup

$30 – $33

Daterra Viticultores ‘Camino de la Frontera’ Tinto, Castilla y Leon 2018 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 94 points
“The unique and outstandingly expressive Camino de la Frontera, made from incredibly rare local varietals including Juan Garcia, Tinta Madrid and Rufete from a high elevation vineyard in Fermoselle is crazy delicious with deep layers of blueberry, pomegranate, açaí and earthy currant fruits, but with racy acidity, a nice umami crunchiness, spicy notes and mineral elements in a wonderfully soulful and balanced wine. To explain this exotic field blend red wine from Arribes del Duero, you’d have to imagine some amazingly different wines blended together, I am seeing elements of classic Northern Rhones, along with characteristics you find in the red wines of the Alto Adige, as well as something like the Frappato and Nero d’Avola blends in Southern Sicily in the Vittoria region! Laura Lorenzo is one of the most heroic and iconic winemakers in Spain these days and her Daterra Viticultores label is one of the most intriguing in the wine world… This is compelling stuff and perfectly delivers everything I love about these Daterra Viticultores wines, which are sultry, earthy seductive and celebrate a sense of wildness that captures the essence of this region and the Galician cool Atlantic climate and rugged charms. “
Daniel Gomez Jimenez-Landi ‘Las Uvas de la Ira’ Garnacha, Mentrida 2018 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points
“The red 2018 Las Uvas de la Ira has been produced with Garnacha from the same five vineyards since the initial vintage (2012) in the village of El Real de San Vicente, which is one of the villages from Méntrida (Toledo) that are part of the Gredos Mountains. The vines range between 40 and 65 years of age, and they are located at around 750 meters in altitude on sandy granite soils with lots of silt. The different vineyards are fermented separately in oak vats with indigenous yeasts and a very gentle vinification, one-third with very long macerations to provide structure and depth, one-third with a very short maceration to provide fragrance, and the remaining third finished the fermentation without skins (like a white) to add juiciness. The élevage is in oak foudres of different sizes, from 1,500 to 4,000 liters. This is a little less aromatic and more austere but very focused and bright, from a village where the wines are serious and have a chalky texture, less floral but more citrus, a bit more backward. It has a compact palate, with very fine tannins and a more chalky finish. It’s interesting to taste it next to wines from other villages, as you clearly see the difference. 18,700 bottles produced. It was bottled in August 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $34

Casa Castillo Las Gravas, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($37.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Casa Castillo Las Gravas, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($419.95) $369 special (that’s only $30.75/bottle)
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2017 Las Gravas is surprisingly floral and ethereal, perfumed and elegant. Syrah has disappeared from the blend of this wine—it now has 20% Garnacha to complement the Monastrell—and they think this is going to be the blend that stays in this wine, which has seen more changes in its life than the rest of the portfolio. This is for sure the most elegant vintage for this bottling; the wine matured in 500-liter barrels and then spent four months in 5,000-liter vats after the blend was done. There are no aromas of oak whatsoever, and the wine is surprisingly fresh, as if the Garnacha helps to contain the power of Monastrell on the gravel soils, adding texture and perfume. This is beautiful. 26,500 bottles were filled in March 2019.” 

This is the only listing in the USA today!

(Raul Perez) La Vizcaina ‘El Rapolao’ Lomas de Valtuille, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95+ points
“The cool and elegant character of the El Rapolao plot seems to have been amplified by the weather conditions in the 2016 La Vizcaína El Rapolao. Pérez does not own all the vineyards, so sourcing can sometimes vary within the same vineyard, and since 2016 it comes from two old plots where the Mencía is mixed with other varieties; the wine seems to have gained in depth and complexity as a result. In 2016 he did a slightly shorter maceration and matured the wine in 500-liter oak barrels for a little over 12 months. The vineyard yields well, and the wine is always expressive, balanced and elegant. It seems like slightly higher yields suit it better, and the wines have good tension and an herbal twist that adds to the complexity and freshness. 5,000 bottles produced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $47
Nanclares y Prieto ‘A Senda Vermella’ Tinto, Galicia NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 92 points
“Their first red from Rías Baixas is the NV A Senda Vermella, an unusual blend of 80% wine from 2018 and 20% from 2017 (the cork reads 17/18), which is 60% Caíño and 40% Mencía from different parts of the Salnés, but it’s sold without appellation of origin. There’s only 10.9% alcohol, and it has a very clear green strike and pungent herbal flavors that somehow give it a strong umami sensation. It’s definitely green in the best possible sense, and light to medium-bodied with very fine tannins. It fermented with 100% foot-trodden clusters for some 20 days, mostly in used barrels but with 20% of the volume in stainless steel. The 2017 part was in stainless steel and oak for 22 months, and the 2018 part aged exclusively in tank for 10 months. Very unusual, a red of strong character. It’s a red that grows on you, better the second and third time, and always better with food. 3,883 bottles were filled in August 2019.”
Grapelive 90 points “This unique non-vintage, ultra low alcohol crisp red, A Senda Vermella…is a blend of 60% Caiño Tinto and 40% MencÌa from different organic parcels in the Rias Baixas. This purple/garnet hued A Senda Vermella is brightly fresh, bone dry and tangy, it comes in at under 11% natural alcohol and shows crunchy layers of briar laced black raspberry, plum, cranberry and sour cherry fruits along with zippy acidity, saline, wild herbs, earth, citrus rind and hints of herbal tea, all of which make for a lighter red wine that is great with mussels in tomato broth, grilled octopus and or selection of hard cheeses. I enjoyed it contently with a Monterey style Paella with a wide array of goodies in it, the racy nature of the A Senda Vermella perfectly matched up with the flavorful bounty on the plate, making for a joyous experience on the light to medium bodied, low tannin, palate. The A Senda Vermella (’17/’18) was hand crafted by Alberto Nanclares and Silvia Prieto using traditional methods and low sulfur with 100% whole cluster fermentation with foot-trodden grapes and a longish maceration that lasted close to 20 days. Then the dry wine was pressed and racked mainly used barrels, though about 20% of the vintage was rested in stainless steel tanks. The notes that the 2017 part was in oak and stainless for 22 months, and the 2018 part was aged exclusively in tank for 10 months, before being blend together. This non vintage red gets more depth and complex with air with more dark fruit coming forward as well as its savory kick with a little bite of bitterness in what is otherwise a smooth, simple pleasing and transparently quaffable wine. Interestingly, this wine was blended from both the 2017 and 2018 vintages and therefor is sort a Spanish version of a Vin de France, that cannot be labeled with a D.O. and has just Vino Tinto by Nanclares y Prieto on the label.”

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Compania de Vinos Telmo Rodríguez ‘Pegaso Barrancos de Pizarra’ Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon 2013 750ML ($44.95) Was $36, Now $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Compania de Vinos Telmo Rodríguez ‘Pegaso Barrancos de Pizarra’ Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon 2013 750ML ($259.95) Was $199, Now $182.50 special (that’s only $30.42/bottle!)
James Sucking 96 points
“Exuberant red berries and cherries with a fine, rose-like edge and some coal smoke. Very juicy, fleshy, rich and ripe mid-palate with a dense, long and showy, glossy black-cherry finish. Drink or hold.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Cropped from a cooler and late ripening vintage, the 2013 Pegaso Barrancos de Pizarra resulted in fresh wines and certainly worked well with the slate soils of these old Garnacha vines in Cebreros. This has a very good balance between ripeness and freshness, power and elegance, with the character of the soils slowly coming through in the shape of fresh meat and beef blood, with the iron-like notes still pretty shy. This should develop nicely in bottle. 8,931 bottles produced.” 

(Maurodos) Bodegas San Román, Toro 2013 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 93 points
“(aged for two years in 75 percent French and 25 percent American oak barrels, half of them new) Inky purple. Heady cherry, dark berry, vanilla and violet pastille qualities on the oak-accented nose. At once rich and energetic; a firm spine of acidity provides lift to sweet cassis, blueberry and vanilla flavors. Closes with youthful tannic grip and impressive persistence, leaving dark berry and licorice candy notes behind.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2013 San Román was produced with fruit from older vineyards in Toro. In 2012 they started reducing the amount of the new oak in this wine and the change is quite noticeable. There is something leafy and floral showing elegance within the power that the place provides naturally. 2013 was quite different in Toro from Ribera del Duero, here the cooler years are a plus, as they balance the extra ripeness the place provides. In 2013 there was no rain during the harvest and the grapes were very healthy. There are some fine tannins and the profile of a more austere and transparent vintage, a mineral year. But it does have the smokey and slightly wild character of Toro. 87,000 bottles produced.” 

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $60 (ouch!)

“Five vineyards… coming together to make a singular wine of Oregon”
Ovum ‘Old Love’ White Blend, Oregon 2019 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“It’s golden hue is the first thing you’ll notice (thanks amphora), and without putting your nose to the glass you’ll start getting wafts of salted lemon, fresh peeled orange and aloe vera. The aromas are multiple layers deep where you’ll find verbena, straw, key lime, sea spray, river rock. The palate shows the sensual texture of cask fighting with the rawness of amphora, and yet it finishes with bright minerality. Bitter orange marmalade lingers on the fingers, echoing the initial top notes of wine. 2019 OLD LOVE comes from FIVE vineyards planted throughout Oregon: Willamette, Eola-Amity, Columbia Gorge, Southern OR. The sites are focused on sustainable farming practices – dry farming, organic and minimal additions. Some are not certified organic, but are in the process of converting. Each site is chosen for its unique qualities that it will lend to the final wine. 2019 is primarily Riesling, but OLD LOVE is not about a single grape – it is about the vineyards coming together to make a singular wine of Oregon.”

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A top, classic name in Napa Cabernet, especially with a decade of age.
Beringer Vineyards Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2009 750ML ($159.95) $99 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 93 points
“Full, bright ruby. Pungent scents of blackberry, cassis, licorice and bitter chocolate are complemented by a note of crystallized berries. Juicy, savory and intense, conveying a strong impression of spine without any obvious dryness. The wine’s dark berry and licorice flavors show a sexy subtle sweetness, along with salty minerality and an element of peppery lift. This classically dry, sharply delineated, penetrating wine finishes with firm but refined tannins and lovely rising violet perfume. Youthful and gripping, it displays the energy of the vintage’s better examples and should go on in a cool cellar for another two decades. (14.4% alcohol) [Reviewed July ’19]”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is a beautifully balanced wine. Firm yet well-integrated tannins frame a core of dark red berries, flowers, mint, spices and licorice. The Reserve shows lovely inner perfume and mid-palate juiciness. It should drink well with a minimum of cellaring. The main vineyards in the 2009 are Home (37%), Lampyridae (23%), Vogt (14%), Chabot (11%) and Rancho del Oso (9%). Each lot was aged separately for about two years before the final blend was assembled.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $112

Boscarelli’s 2016 Vino Nobile, the product of that legendary vintage, is drinking beautifully today, even as it sheds its baby fat.  But the wine is also structured and complex, a sure sign that it will age beautifully.
Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Boscarelli Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($519.95) $419 special (that’s only $34.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Expressive and harmonious, this red exhibits cherry, blackberry, violet and mineral aromas and flavors. Pure and elegant, with an underlying tension and intensity that drives the lingering aftertaste of fruit, stone and earth, showing a hint of wild herbs. Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Mammolo and Colorino. Best from 2022 through 2038. 4,200 cases made, 800 cases imported.”
Decanter 94 points “Niccolò and Luca De Ferrari assemble their Riserva from the estate’s oldest vines, essentially 3 or 4 parcels that are more than 20 years old. For ageing, they have moved to slightly larger and used casks in order to preserve freshness and grace. The 2016 is indeed deftly proportioned and refined, though with a firm and muscular backbone. It opens with balsamic notes of cedar and rosemary on a backdrop of strawberry. Nuances of mint and leather chime in on the palate, which is layered with succulent fruit. Full, without being heavy, this will take time to reveal all of its charms.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Editor’s Choice. Wild berry, blue flower, crushed herb, camphor and a whiff of tobacco mingle together on this vibrant red. Made with 85% Sangiovese as well as Canaiolo, Colorino and Mammolo, the radiant palate is loaded with finesse, delivering raspberry compote, Marasca cherry, licorice and Asian spice. Elegant, fine-grained tannins provide the framework while bright acidity keeps it balanced. Drink 2021–2031.”

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No winery symbolizes the modern quality of Tuscany like Isole e Olena. Since the arrival of Paolo de Marchi in 1976, Isole e Olena has been a quality leader in the region. Stylistically, Isole e Olena occupies a place that is at once traditional and modern. Their Chianti Classico and flagship Cepparello are both firmly rooted in the primacy of Sangiovese and the idea of Tuscan typicity. Elegance wedded to power, both wines show the nuance and bright fruit you’d expect from a classic wine of the region combined with the density and complexity of top tier, noble wines.
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 1.5L ($199.95) $169 special, 23 magnums in stock now
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 3L ($419.95) $379 special, 3 double-magnums in stock now
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The 2017 Cepparello is another in a series of stunningly beautiful Cepparellos from Paolo de Marchi. Bright and beautifully focused in the glass, with tremendous depth, the 2017 is positively stellar from the very first taste. Succulent dark cherry, plum, licorice, spice, menthol and coffee all open up with a bit of air. Here, too, Paolo De Marchi has done a tremendous job in preserving freshness in the wine. Readers who can muster the patience will be rewarded with a spectacular wine.”
James Suckling 95 points “A beautifully linear and refined sangiovese with polished tannins and super tight fruit. Yet, it shows subtle complexity of blackberries, black cherries and dark chocolate. Some hazelnuts. Intense, vibrant finish with a creamy texture. Extremely well done for this hot, dry vintage. Drink after 2023.”

Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2017 750ML ($49.95) $45 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Offers mulled plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit mixed in with steeped black tea, sandalwood and tobacco leaf notes. A mineral edge adds cut and drive to the finish, while the black tea note smolders seductively. Built for the cellar. Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. Best from 2022 through 2036.”
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Still awaiting bottling during my June visit, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape features bold notes of black cherries, cassis and spice cake. Owner Barruol says the Christmas cake is typical of La Crau. Full-bodied and voluptuous, with a long, fine and silky finish, this great effort provides one intense ride from start to finish.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $61

Arriving Friday

Luigi Giordano

A small family winery producing elegant and ultra-classic wines from Barbaresco.

Importer note “A stone’s throw from Barbaresco’s village centre, the winery and its vineyards were founded by Giovanni Giordano in the 1930s during a time of profound crisis in the Italian wine world. After a period of growing and selling grapes, Giovanni’s son, Luigi, made the bold decision to vinify his own grapes in 1960. Luigi Giordano is now a fourth-generation winery whose vineyards are planted in some of Barbaresco’s most prestigious crus, including Asili and Montestefano. One particular Barbaresco bottling from the cru of Cavanna showcases the winery’s elegant, hands-off style of winemaking and currently represents the only single-vineyard cru of its kind on the market.”

Arriving Friday from Luiigi Giordano:

Luigi Giordano Asili, Barbaresco DOCG 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Decanter 92 points
“From vines planted in 2000, this has a red fruit nose that’s not very expressive presently, but the palate is fresh and limpid with very ripe fruits but with no sweetness showing, thanks to the lively acidity. It has some tension, persistence and style, with a long finish. “
Importer Note “Definite garnet red colour enriched with delicate orange highlights on ageing; ample and intense perfume with good floral and fruit jammy notes plus ethereal hints ofspices. The flavour is dry, full, elegant and aristocratic. Traditional red wine maceration for 12-15 days with ferment-ation in temperature controlled stainless steel vats using frequent pumping-over. The wine is aged for at least 18-24 months in large (30-50 hectolitre) barrels of Slavonian oak, then refined in horizont-ally-placed bottles for another 6 months.”

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

Luigi Giordano Asili, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 750ML ($79.95) $64.50 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“This red finds a nice equilibrium between sappy berry, cherry and licorice flavors and balsamic notes of eucalyptus, juniper and wild rosemary. It’s harmonious, with a ripe core and long, gripping finish. Best from 2023 through 2040. 400 cases made, 100 cases imported. — BS”

Luigi Giordano Cavana, Barbaresco DOCG 2017 750ML ($44.95) $37.50 pre-arrival special
Importer Note
“Brilliant garnet red colour with orange highlights developing with age; ample and intense perfume with fruity, jammy and spicy notes; dry, full and aristocratic flavour. Traditional red wine maceration for 15-20 days with temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel vats and frequent pumping-over. This wine is left to age for at least 18-24 months in large (30-50hectolitre) barrels of Slavonian oak and is then refined in horizontally-placed bottles for at least 6 months.”

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Luigi Giordano Montestefano, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“A beam of cherry, strawberry and rose aromas and flavors permeates this vibrant red. Hints of thyme, menthol and tar add depth as this builds to a long, resonant finish. Shows fine energy and intensity on a slim frame. Best from 2023 through 2042. 500 cases made, 150 cases imported. — BS”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2016 Barbaresco Montestefano offers all of the breadth that distinguishes this site while retaining its classic, mid-weight feel. Darker shades of Nebbiolo emerge in the black cherry, plum, lavender, licorice, sage and spice flavors. Like all of these Barbarescos, the Montestefano is super intriguing. The potential here is evident.”

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Luigi Giordano ‘Vigneto Buschet’ Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Importer Note
“The BUSCHET vineyard situated within the Barbaresco zone. Barbera is a vigorous, bigyielding varietal. Intense purple-red colour and ample, vinous perfume pleasantly fruited with notes of plum and blackberry; the flavour is dry, harmonious and warm, perfectly complementing the wine’s robust structure. Traditional crushing with de-stalking followed by controlled-temperature fermentation and frequent pumping-over. Maceration lasts from 8 to10 days.”

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Luigi Giordano Brut Metodo Classico Nebbiolo Brut Nature, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Importer Note
“After soft pressing, rosé maceration is performed for two hours, followed by cold draining of the must. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. The Champagne method (‘metodo classico’) is used, with the second fermentation occurring in the bottle. Abundant, rose-tinted effervescence with a fine andpersistent perlage. The wine is rose to cherry-pink in colour with salmon highlights. The perfume is intense and ample with notes of raspberry, red berries, citrus fruits and a hint of wilted roses. The flavour is fresh and full-bodied with a soft,clean aftertaste and a slightly tannic finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Luigi Giordano Vino Rosato Nebbiolo DOC, Piedmont 2020 750ML ($24.95) $19 pre-arrival special
Importer note
“100 % Nebbiolo from family parcels inside Barbaresco crus of Ovello, Ronchi & Cars. Hand-picked in September. Soft pressing followed by 3-hour maceration. 2,400-bottle production.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Thank you from the team at Vinopolis!

Be well & drink well.