Monday Newsletter 3-29-21

In This Newsletter:

New Review:
Jaboulet’s 2018 Crozes-Hermitage

New Week – New Arrivals

Thibaud Boudignon:
Superior Savennières

Tenuta Marsiliana

Top 10 Spanish Wines:

New Grapelive Review:

Jaboulet’s 2018 Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage

Paul Jaboulet Aîné Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône 2018 750ML ($37.95) $29.90 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 95 points
“After a fabulous series of successful vintages for this Domaine de Thalabert Crozes, Caroline Frey’s Domaine Jaboulet has raised the game again with this 2018 version, helped by the year’s deep fruit characteristics and striking freshness energy with its natural acidity making everything pop perfectly on the medium/full palate along with an exceptional long aftertaste. As with the last five vintages I’ve tasted…, this Domaine Paul Jaboulet Anie Crozes-Hermintage Rouge “Domaine de Thalabert” is a northern Rhone, 100% Syrah, classic with a heightened aromatic perfume and an inviting deep inky color that leads to a remarkably pure cascade of flavors in the mouth. It shows notable layers of boysenberry, damson plum, kirsch, blueberry compote and creme de cassis as well as gorgeous crushed violets, delicate anise, earthy camphor, peppercorns, fig paste and black olives. The finish brings elegant echoes of the core elements that are accented by subtle oak usage, nice mineral tones and graceful weightlessness with everything here seeming to be just that bit more lifted and thrilling to experience. This Syrah would be a great one to watch over the next decade… The famous Thalabert parcel, as I’ve noted in past reviews, is located in Croze’s pebble-strewn granite soiled lieu-dit of Les Chassis. [It] has been owned by Jaboulet since its founding back in 1834 and is regarded as maybe the greatest set of vines in the Crores-Hermitage AOC, all organic and biodynamic. Frey uses partial whole bunches and well-judged use of new wood, really putting the focus on the vintage and trying for transparency and luxurious texture in her recent releases…   Caroline, who studied in Bordeaux, is one of France’s rising stars and has her hand in many projects… The Jaboulet lineup is full of quality efforts, but without question this one is a standout that is nearly impossible to resist. I know I’m hooked!”

Additional highlights in stock now from Jaboulet:

Paul Jaboulet Aîné Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône 2016 750ML ($47.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Paul Jaboulet Aîné Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône 2016 750ML ($279.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The 2016 Crozes Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert offers a rocking (and classic) bouquet of ripe black fruits intermixed with notions new saddle leather, pepper, garrigue, and hints of bacon fat. This ripe, medium to full-bodied, silky wine has remarkable purity, is already complex, and finishes with serious length. Drink it over the coming 10-15 years.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The classically styled 2016 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert boasts savory scents of black olive and leather. Medium to full-bodied, it’s plummy and rich, creamy and ripe but savory and earthy, not jammy at all, with a lingering, velvety-textured finish. It drinks well now, but it should continue to evolve and drink well through 2035.-JC”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92-94 points “(20% new oak) Bright violet. Highly perfumed, mineral-accented dark berries, cherry liqueur and candied violet on the nose. At once rich and energetic, offering juicy, focused black raspberry and cherry cola flavors along with a hint of smokiness. Turns sweeter on the lively, penetrating finish, which features sneaky tannins and a strong echo of smoky minerality.”
James Suckling 92-93 points “This shows pretty dark fruit along with cloves, dark berries and hints of black pepper. Medium to full body and a juicy finish.”

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

Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle, Rhône 2017 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The 2017 Hermitage La Chapelle comes from the firm’s vineyards on the western half of the Hermitage slope, primarily Le Méal, but with substantial contributions from Les Rocoules and Les Bessards. Classic notes of cassis, black olives, mocha and roasted meat are joined by hints of baking spices in a wine that’s full-bodied, deep, dense and rich, with a velvety texture and a lingering finish. It’s lower in alcohol than the 2018, less voluptuous and maybe just a step behind that monumental wine, but it’s still a serious collectible with three decades of evolution ahead of it.-JC”
James Suckling 98 points “The icon is in dangerously seductive form. Such pristine dark cherries, blackberries and dark plums, dark chocolate, finely crushed spices and plenty of crushed dark stones on offer. The palate is very intense, very slick and fine tannins deliver an almost playfully soft impression. The oak is super integrated. Like La Maison Bleue, this approachability is an aberration, as it has immense power, concentration and length with such regal and alluring swagger at the finish. But there is so much more to come. Try from 2024, better after 2030.”

Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Maison Bleue, Rhône 2018 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points
“The 2,000-case 2018 Hermitage Maison Bleue comes from the eastern side of the appellation and is a much more fleshy, opulent wine compared to the more mineral-laced La Chapelle. Jammy blackberry and cassis fruit, notes of ground herbs, graphite, and violets, full-bodied richness, beautiful concentration, and a great finish all make for a compelling Hermitage. It’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age.”
Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2018 Hermitage La Maison Bleue offers up aromas of mocha, raspberries and a hint of black olive. It’s full-bodied, velvety and plush, with a finish that’s marked by hints of maple syrup and a slightly open-knit quality. It should drink well for at least a decade after release.”
Shop the full lineup of Jaboulet wines on our web store!

New Week – New Arrivals


We’re digging the energy in 2019 Willamette Valley wines. The latest releases from Crowley, the 2019 Willamette Valley Chard & Pinot, capture the vibrancy in spades. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again now: Tyson Crowley somehow manages to make his already profound wines better and better every year. We adore these releases and know you will, too.

Crowley Wines Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note
“Vineyard info: Four Winds was planted in 1993 to Wente clone Chardonnay (1.5 acres) and Dijon clone Chardonnay (.75 acres), and beginning in 2017 (2.5 acres) of Draper clone. Elevation is 825 feet and south facing. Own rooted and dry farmed. Tasting Note: 2019 was year 2 of absorbing the grafted Draper clone into the cellar and we’re beginning to see our Chardonnay’s take shape in the best way possible. More austerity, saltiness, minerality and piercing electricity. Un-fined and unfiltered, this 2019 Willamette Valley Chardonnay compromises nothing of mouthfeel to match the high acidity and 12.5% alcohol. Opening with spice, lemon zest and crème brulee on the nose you know you’re in for a taut and rich experience. Aged in oak and finished in steel the wine displays warmth and expanse of barrel aging with the linearity of steel. High energy in all aspects, the mouth begins with typical purity and sense of place, doubles down on the citrus elements, and gracefully expands into peach, orange, clove, and cinder and closes with delicate lees roundness.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Crowley Wines Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note
“Vineyard info: Blend of Tuckwilla Vineyard (15%) Four Winds Vineyard (37%) La Colina Vineyard (30%) Oracle Vineyard (18%) All vineyards dry farmed. Tasting Note: Bright ruby red color mixed with garnet shows right away we’re in the classic Pinot realm. The stature is light and fresh and energetic. The nose follows suit with high tone cherry and strawberry, driving distinctly light red. Serious notes begin to emerge…graphite, pepper, anise, and mushroom. The mouth is acid driven and shiny to start, reluctant to reveal its fruit core without air. Crunchy cranberry, citrus notes, pomegranate, and dark cherry emerge beneath a candied shell, while the delicate tannin produces tension. Ultimately deft and buoyant this wine is pure pleasure and displays the distinction of 2019 perfectly.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Day Wines Belle Pente Vineyard Chardonnay, Yamhill-Carlton District 2018 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“Editor’s Choice. This astonishing wine does for Oregon Chardonnay what Cayuse has done for Oregon Syrah—utterly reinvented it. Thick with flavors of mashed pears, peaches and sweet lemons, it’s big but still nuanced. Scents and streaks of flower pollen, lemon meringue, baking spices and more make this compelling wine both fascinating and challenging. Winemaker Brianne Day ferments with native yeast in one-third new puncheon and two-thirds neutral barrels. This is simply stunning. -Paul Gregutt”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Lingua Franca Estate Chardonnay, Eola-Amity Hills 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Decanter 96 points
“Lovely, expressive notes of juicy grapefruit and ripe pear, toast and oak spice make an appearance but the cask ageing is very well integrated. The overall impression is of a consummate balance between richness and freshness, with another layer of firm underlying acidity too, and the wine lingers enticingly. As consultant Dominique Lafon notes: ‘Our better wines are not the bigger. Our selection is on refinement.’”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “This sleek yet rich wine is packed with ripe citrus, Honeycrisp apple, peach and pineapple tones. Barrel fermented and aged in 40% new oak, it showcases spectacular fruit on the palate that is softened by creamy, lightly toasty barrel flavors. -Paul Gregutt”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Pale yellow. Mineral-accented nectarine, orange, Anjou pear, iodine and white flowers on the intensely perfumed nose. Smooth, fleshy and dry in the mouth, offering concentrated orchard and pit fruit flavors complemented by suggestions of fennel, sweet butter and candied lemon peel. Shows excellent depth as well as energy and finishes minerally, smoky and impressively long, featuring lingering citrus and pit fruit notes. 40% new oak.”
Wine & Spirits 94 points “A young-vine blend of Montrachet clone and Clone 76 chardonnay planted on this estate vineyard’s shallowest soils, this wine changes dramatically as it takes on air: At first it’s leesy and drawn, then limey, delicate and floral, continuing to unveil a panoply of flavors—pineapple, honey, lemon curd, lees, gunflint—that speak to its complexity and sunny presence. (1,000 cases)”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Ansel Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($19.95) $17 special
Winery note
“A crisp Chardonnay from the Chehalem Mountains AVA. A classic balance of fruit and acid to make it perfect for every occasion.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Ansel Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($21.95) $19 special
Michael Alberty, The Oregonian/OregonLive
“This wine has a secret. I can tell you it is made by Graham Markel of Buona Notte Wines and experienced wine hand Jeremy Byrd. I can tell you they purchased barrels of pinot noir from a handful of well-known Willamette Valley wineries to make the Ansel. I can’t, however, tell you which wineries as Markel and Byrd are sworn to secrecy… It smells like cherries and carnations, with a whiff of a grape popsicle in the background. Flavors of bittersweet dark chocolate and wild strawberries positively glide over taste buds like Yuzuru Hanyu on open ice. The Ansel makes it way too easy to pour a second glass. If you do, make sure something from The Bar-Kays is on the turntable.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

France – Champagne

Champagne Georges Laval is one of the stars of the grower movement—a cult winery whose wines appear in miniscule quantities here in the states. Vincent Laval makes wines that are rigid in their structure and impressive in their complexity—serious wines for studied drinking. 

Georges Laval Garennes Demi-Sec, Champagne NV (2018) 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Importer note
“40 g/L RS, 100% Pinot Meunier”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Georges Laval Cumières Les Hautes Chèvres Blanc de Noirs Premier Cru Brut Nature Millésime, Champagne 2015 750ML ($289.95) $249 special
John Gilman 96 points
“The 2015 les Haut Chèvres from Vincent Laval is flat out brilliant young wine. As readers will recall, after the 2009 vintage, this single vineyard bottling changed cépages, as Vincent had to replant his parcel of pinot noir vines planted in 1930, so this switched over to a pure pinot meunier cuvée from the same lieu à dit, with the vines having been planted in 1931 and 1947. The 2015 version was disgorged at the end of February of 2020 and is beautifully expressive aromatically today, wafting from the glass in a blend of white peach, beautiful, gently musky meunier floral tones, a complex base of chalky soil elements, a bit of buttery oak, a touch of fresh nutmeg and lemon blossoms. On the palate the wine is precise, pure and full-bodied, with a great core of fruit, even better mineral drive, bright, buried acids and stunning length and grip on the complex and vibrant finish. As this is non-dosé, it is still a very youthful wine, but it is so beautifully balanced that it is not all that hard to drink in its youth. But, it is really built for the cellar and I would not venture to touch a bottle until it has seen a full decade’s worth of bottle age, as there is so much more here to unfold with the passage of time! 2030-2065+.”
Importer note “100% Pinot Noir. Premier Cru.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Only one bottles available!
Georges Laval ‘Les Longues Violes’ Brut Nature, Champagne 2013 750ML ($899.95) $779 special
No reviews available for the 2013 vintage. 2012 reviews provided for reference.
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2012 Brut Nature Les Longues Violes is one of the most distinctive wines in Champagne. Weightless and perfumed in the glass, the Longues Violes possesses unreal finesse and stunning beauty. Floral, citrus and orchard fruit notes are all finely sketched in this a Champagne that sizzles with tension. This is a fabulous showing. Les Longues Violes is 90% Pinot Noir planted in 1964 and 1974 and 10% Meunier planted in 1947.”
John Gilman 96 points “The 2012 is the first release of les Longues Violes from Vincent Laval. This is a single vineyard bottling of pinot noir and pinot meunier that Monsieur Laval just started producing when he had to replant a parcel of very old pinot noir from his neighboring lieu à dit of les Hauts Chèvres, as those 1931 vines finally gave up the ghost after the 2009 harvest. However, in this adjoining vineyard, Vincent wanted to wait until the youngest vines (planted in 1984) were sufficiently mature to go into a single vineyard cuvée. The meunier here dates back to 1947 and most of the Lavals’ pinot noir in les Longues Violes was planted in 1964 for this bottling. The vins clairs were barrel-fermented (as is the case for all of Vincent’s wines) and aged until August of 2013 prior to bottling up for secondary fermentation; the wine was disgorged at the end of May of 2019. It delivers a marvelously pure and youthful bouquet of white peach, apple, hazelnut, a touch of buttery oak, lovely soil tones, warm bread and just a touch of upper register smokiness. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused, complex and perfectly balanced, with excellent mid-palate depth, elegant mousse, bright, buried acids and outstanding length and grip on the complex and utterly refined finish. This is gorgeous young wine, but like all of Vincent’s cuvées, it really needs some cellaring to blossom. 2028-2075.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Savart L’Accomplie Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 1.5L ($149.95) $124 special
Disgorged July 2020, LB10

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

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

Vilmart & Cie ‘Cuvee Rubis’ Brut Rose NV 750ML ($99.95) Was $79, Now $75 special
Disgorged October 2019. Disgorgement date may vary from reviews.
Wine Spectator 93 points “Lovely aromas of lilac and star anise waft from the glass of this graceful rosé Champagne, but there’s a pleasing tautness imparted by the backbone of fresh acidity, well-meshed with flavors of ripe and fleshy white cherry and apricot fruit, pink grapefruit sorbet and pickled ginger. Fine, satiny finish. Disgorged June 2019. Drink now through 2025.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points “Generous and expressive, the latest rendition of Vilmart’s NV Brut Premier Cru Cuvée Rubis is showing very well, bursting with aromas of red berries, plums, blood orange and dried flowers. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping, with a sapid core of fruit, a pillowy mousse and a lively, delicately phenolic finish, it’s already drinking well. This is based on the 2017 vintage, with reserve wines from the 2016 and 2015 vintages, and it was disgorged with nine grams per liter dosage.”

A pink Champagne that will charm the socks off you. Juicy, exuberant, grapefruity and fun.
Noel Bazin ‘La Pimpante’ Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special
Winery note
“[Translated] The wine is pink, with very fine and delicate bubbles that persist in the glass. The nose is playful and refined. The base of Chardonnay adds nuance to the pretty cherry notes. The palate is perfumed and graceful. A beautiful cherry note dominates with pastry aromas. The finish is superbly aromatic and lively.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Noel Bazin L’Unanime Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $44 special
Importer note
“The L’Unanime returns! “The unanimous” is the Bazin’s entry level cuvee, an assemblage of 50% 2017, 50% solera. Up to 50 year old vines in the Premier Cru Villers-Marmery. Crisp and light, a slight oxidative note and stirn chalky minerality. Perfect champagne for any occasion and appeasing to all!”
Winery note “[Translated and edited for clarity] 100% Montagne de Reims Chardonnay (a rarity). The wine is 50% 2017, 40% reserve wine from Solera, and 10% reserve wine raised in oak. The nose is floral. Acacia and Granny Smith apple notes give a beautiful impression of finesse and freshness. The palate is fresh, fruity and delicious with great elegance due to the Chardonnay from the village of Villers-Marmery.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

France – Other

Domaine Matrot Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy 2018 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
“Outstanding Top Value. Touches of straw, petrol and citrus add breadth to the notes of poached pear. The sleek, intense and delicious middle weight flavors possess a lovely sense of underlying tension. This isn’t especially complex but I very much like the clean, dry and wonderfully refreshing finish. Worth a look as this is well-made in the context of the genre.” – Allen Meadows, Burghound

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Pignier Cremant De Jura Brut Nature NV (2018) 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Demeter certified biodynamic. 85% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir.

No reviews available for the current vintage. 
Decanter 91 points “(2015) A handsome Chardonnay-Pinot Noir blend from a top biodynamic producer. Fragrant nose of acacia blossom and almond kernels, with a supple body and richness. Very classy.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Italy – Friuli

Marco Sara ‘El Re Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso’ Colli Orientali del Friuli 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note
“Tradition and austerity. Grape variety: Redfosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. Area: 0.5 Ha. Average age of the vines: 20 to 60 years. Soil: marl and sandstone flysch of Eocene origin. Vinification: grapes maceration for 20/25 days in steel or cement. Fermentation: indigenous yeasts in barrel (10-15 hectolitres) or barrique; spontaneous malolactic fermentation.” 
VinopolNote: Refosco is a group of ancient grape varieties grown in Friuli, Slovenia and Croatia. Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso is the pinnacle of the group, showing depth of flavor, minerality, and acidity.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Marco Sara Schioppettino Colli Orientali del Friuli 2018 750ML ($34.95) $27 special
Eric Guido-Vinous 92 points
“The 2018 Schioppettino is unbelievably elegant, just shy of glossy, yet coloring perfectly within the lines. Black cherries, plum, lavender and bergamot show upfront, complemented by peppery florals. It’s deep, savory and wonderfully textural, contrasted by tarry red/blue fruits with zesty spices and balancing acidity to create a wholly satisfying impression. Cherry pits, herbal tea and a hint of lemon zest linger, adding further intrigue as fine tannins make themselves known. This beautiful expression of Schioppettino was refined for twelve months in a combination of barriques and twenty-hectoliter botti.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Marques de Legarda Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2005 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
James Suckling 93 points
“Plenty of dried-berry and chocolate character with loads of cigar-box and walnut flavors underneath. Traditional style, yet remains fresh and sweet-fruited. Flavorful finish. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

La Vizcaína (Raul Perez) ‘La Vitoriana’ Lomas de Valtuille, Bierzo 2018 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 97 points
“This 2018 La Vizcaína La Vitoriana includes vines that were replanted in 2014/2015 with Bastardo (Merenzao or Trousseau), so the wine is more aromatic, more ethereal, perfumed and elegant, really impressive. This is the most aromatic and impressive; there is a conjunction of everything, the north-facing vineyards. It has impressive depth and expressiveness; it’s wild but refined, explosive and more Burgundian than any of the  la Vizcaína wines. This has character and attitude, light, power, energy, freshness and symmetry; it has a fine thread, lace-like, really impressive. In my head, Tom Jones started singing his famous song “Sex bomb, sex bomb…” This is an incredible wine at an incredible price point. 5,800 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2020, only five weeks before I tasted it, and the wine felt relaxed and expressive. Things can only get better with a little more time in bottle. This could very well be the finest vineyard from the project. It’s a small paraje, and there are only six owners (Castro Ventosa, Vinos Valtuille and two or three small grape growers); there is a part that is abandoned, and part of it is also south facing. The whole cru could be between three and four hectares.”

Thibaud Boudignon

Superior Savennières

Arriving in June

Thibaud Boudignon is a breakout star of Loire Valley.  The Savennières-based producer has rare gift of taking all of Chenin’s energetic richness and compressing it into a linear beam of mineral electricity. He’s captured the attention and love of several reviewers and wine writers, so we’ll hand off the mike for now: 

“One of the most exciting up-and-coming producers in the Loire, Thibaud Boudignon already has a fervent following in America. A Bordeaux native and former judo champion, Boudignon began making his own wine in 2009 and now has seven hectares, farmed biodynamically, in Anjou and Savennières.” -Jason Wilson, Vinous Media

“Thibaud Boudignon is a recent entry to Savennières, having started his project in 2009, but oh, my, the purity of his wines is impeccable. The three Savennières – La Vigne Cendrée, Clos de Fremine and Clos de la Hutte – have their own personalities. The transparency and harnessed power of these wines offer a contrast to the bigger, bolder Savennières styles. It may only be a young domaine, but the clarity of the wines made from these young vines is truly exciting. I look forward to the vines maturing further.” -Rebecca Gibb MW, March 2021

“Thibaud Boudignon is unquestionably one of the most exciting figures in wine today. Originally from Bordeaux, he honed his winemaking craft while working at Philipe Charlopin in Gevrey-Chambertin during the early 2000s. He was shortly thereafter hired by Savennières producer Chateau Soucherie to be their winemaker in the late 2000s. His first and most important contribution to the estate was the introduction of strict organic practices in the vineyards which, along with his immense winemaking skills, elevated this already historic domaine to new heights. It was in 2009 that he began to make wine under his own name from a scant 3.5 ha in the heart of Anjou and Savennieres. Knowing that the quality of his fruit was of most importance, he committed himself absolutely to the health of his vines, choosing to farm organically and spend the majority of his time in the vineyards. His devotion paid off quickly, for in just a few vintages, his name began to circulate among Loire growers, eventually to top restaurants in Paris, and finally overseas. The speed at which he has garnered so much praise speaks to the remarkable quality of his wines.

“It is wines like these that make us remember why we love this business. Just when you think you’ve had the best a region has to offer, a new discovery comes along to rock your world. Boudignon is such a discovery, with wines that speak so clearly of their place of origin. It is in this writer’s humble opinion, that there is no greater dry Chenin Blanc being made in the world today. Period.” –Skurnik Imports

Arriving ETA June from Thibaud Boudginon:

Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc, Loire 2019 750ML ($47.95) $44 pre-arrival special
Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc, Loire 2019 1.5L ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special, only 6 magnums available!

No reviews for the 2019 vintage. 2018 review provided for reference.
Jason Wilson-Vinous 92 points “Quiet, elegant nose of beeswax, ripe pear and smoke. Rambunctious, lively and textured in the mouth, bursting with grilled lemon and green apple plus notes of salt and smoke, all underpinned by smooth stoniness. A cool, youthful wine that is full of energy.”
Importer note “With a tight core of saline terroir enveloped within ripe medium bodied fruit, this chenin blanc delivers a focused example of Thibaud’s style of ripe fruit matched with elegance and precision.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc ‘a Francoise…’ Loire 2019 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Importer note
“Cut like a diamond with clean lines and explosive fruit. Long detailed finish that fans out with a touch of creaminess. Still evolving and will reward the one who has patience. A worthy homage to his mother and grandfather.”
Importer note “Made from his finest plots in Anjou. The wine is named after his late mother, who tragically passed away from cancer when Thibaud was 17 years old. He makes this wine in her honor, without any compromise. If he feels the wine does not live up to his mother’s name, he won’t make it.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Thibaud Boudignon Savennieres Clos de la Hutte, Loire 2019 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available!
Rebecca Gibb MW-Vinous 97 points
“The 2019 Clos de la Hutte is the site that spoke to Boudignon when he arrived in Savennières. Once the site of a monastery, it’s not yet a religious experience drinking this, but it’s not got far to go: there’s a sense of expansion in the mouth, followed by impressive structure, showing its serious intentions and a sense that it’s good enough to eat. There’s an intriguing white floral note alongside pear, followed up with energetic acidity. Excellent texture and sapidity on the finish, providing length and structure. This wine has it all: delicacy and power, structure and refinement. Unfortunately, frosts in 2019 were not kind so there is very little of it to go around.”
Importer note “Just across from Thibaud’s winery in Poissonnière, this true clos is the crown jewel of the domaine. Just like many of the finest vineyards in Savennières, this was an abandoned historic site that was the former home of an abbey. The monks always were able to find the best pieces of dirt for viticulture and this schist-laden terroir allows Thibaud to make an explosively mineral and textured Chenin.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Thibaud Boudignon Savennieres Clos de Fremine, Loire 2019 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Rebecca Gibb MW-Vinous 95 points
“An elegant and pure style that offers a delightful silken texture. The 2019 Clos de Fremine floats delicately, almost as if you are tasting a cloud, despite containing plenty of intensity in its focused core of fruit. There’s a burst of fresh acidity and a bristle of fine-grained texture; whether that’s the tannin or the soil, it’s there on the finish. I could tell you it tastes of apples and citrus, but this is a wine that seems to care less about fruit descriptors and more about the essence of its place.”
Importer note “Just across a small road from Clos de la Hutte, in the hamlet of Poissonnière, Clos Frémine is an exciting addition to Thibaud’s stunning Savennières lineup. Just like it’s famed neighbor, the vineyard sits on pure schist that is found only 20cm below the surface. There is a bit more sand at the base of this site, which provides the wine with a delicate lift and added layer of elegance.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Thibaud Boudignon Rose de Loire 2020 750ML ($27.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Importer note
“While Thibaud has (rightly) become a superstar for his world-class Chenin Blancs, many insiders have discovered one of his best kept-secrets: rosé. Made from a plot of Cabernet Franc and Grolleau in Anjou that he simply could not pass up the opportunity to work with, this is one of the most saline and mineral rosés we have ever come across. 80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Grolleau. Shallow soils of grey schist and rhyolite (volcanic soil) and clay. Indigenous yeast fermentation. No malo. Direct press rosé. Aged in stainless steel. A noble, supremely saline rosé. Delicate texture. Made like a white wine to preserve salinity and structure.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

In Stock Now from Thibaud Boudignon:

Thibaud Boudignon Savennieres Clos de la Hutte, Loire 2018 750ML ($119.95) $95 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“[A new] addition to Thibaud’s range of Chenin Blanc comes from a half hectare plot within the Clos de la Hutte (1.5ha) lieu-dit. The vines are young but the wine is profound.  There is a long history to this site and Thibaud is channeling every bit of it here.  The volumes are miniscule –  1000 bottles released.”
Importer note “Clos de la Hutte is situated in the commune of La Poissonnière; the Clos de la Hutte is an ancient religious site of 7 hectares, of which 2.6 are planted with vines. At the heart of this ancient monastery are vines produced from a massal selection of Chenin Blanc coming from the best domaines of the Loire. 5 different varieties of Chenin were planted together so as to best express the intensity and singularity of this special place. 50% vinified in oval demi muid, 25% in 320 liter cigars, and 25% in 500 liter. The ageing last one year in wood and a minimum of 3 months in stainless steel. The Clos de la Hutte seduces with its aromatic finesse and the intense minerality in the mouth.”

Loire Valley wines rock! Shop our selection on our web store.

Arriving ETA Fall 2021

Tenuta Marsiliana

“I tasted these wines with Duccio Corsini at his beautiful Villa Le Corti estate in San Casciano Val di Pesa in the Chianti Classico appellation. Prince Corsini has a large land holding in Maremma (mostly used as a hunting reserve), extending over 2,800 hectares with 20 hectares of vines. Those vines are approximately 12 kilometers inland from the sea and were planted in 1996.” –Monica Larner, Wine Advocate

Principe Corsini Marsiliana Maremma Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($47.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Principe Corsini Marsiliana Maremma Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($269.95) $199 pre-arrival special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points
“Described as the “grand vin” of this estate, the 2015 Marsiliana is remarkable for its precision and definition. This limited-release Tuscan red is a well-structured blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. The forest and floral notes are some of the fine details mirroring the vineyards of limestone earth nestled among the Maremma pines. Black fruit is matched seamlessly to savory nuances. The vintage is still young, as this wine is built for the long haul.”
James Suckling 94 points “Beautiful clarity on the nose with tangerine peel, citrus, licorice, herbs and Chinese spices. Full-bodied and tight. Yet, there are caressing tannins and a mineral finish which carries itself long and succulent. Drink in 2020.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Top 10 Spanish Wines


The master of Mencia delivers a single-vineyard masterpiece—a testament to Bierzo.
Raúl Pérez Ultreia de Paluezas, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($79.95) Was $59, Now $54.50 Super Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96 points
“One of the few vineyards in Bierzo where the soils have a significant content of limestone is San Juan de Paluezas, in a different valley looking into Las Médulas goldmines. They produce three barrels of the 2016 Ultreia de Paluezas from this vineyard. This year it had a shorter élevage, only around 12 months, as they saw it was ready and was racked out of the wood. Limestone soils always deliver dry, chalk-like tannins and a special tastiness that often translates in an almost salty feeling. It has more bones than flesh; it’s austere and should develop slowly in bottle. In fact, they are now releasing the 2015, as they feel it benefits from some more time in bottle. I like the austerity here. 850 bottles produced from a small plot with very low yields.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $62.99

Raúl Pérez Ultreia de Valtuille, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96+ points
“There are only 1,000 bottles of the 2016 Ultreia Valtuille (the new name, as all labels have been simplified and cleaned up, and some of the names have even been shortened). The crop was greatly reduced because of mildew, and the grapes are a lot more concentrated, with more tannin and structure, and they had to do a much longer élevage, up to 24 months in barrique. Despite its concentration and power, it has great freshness and perfume. You don’t find excess tannin, and it seems like the time in barrel has really polished the edges. It’s really outstanding.”     

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $69.95

Daterra Viticultores ‘Azos do Pobo’, Galicia 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 3 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 93 points
“Laura Lorenzo’s Azos De Pobo is made from a field blend from an extremely old vineyard (somewhere from eighty to one hundred and twenty years of age- no one is quite sure when it was planted!) and composed of a blend of probably fifty percent Gran Negro and Garnacha Tintorera, and the other half a mix of Mencía, Mouraton, Merenzao and whatever else might have been available in the first quarter of the twentieth century in Ribeira Sacra. The grapes are destemmed and foot-trodden, barrel-fermented and raised in old Burgundy casks for eleven months prior to bottling. The 2017 version comes in at a cool 12.5 percent octane and offers up a beautifully complex nose of cassis, smoked meats, wild fennel, espresso, complex soil tones, lovely botanicals (that will get autumnal like Burgundy with bottle age) and a topnote of cigar smoke. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and beautifully transparent in personality, with a lovely core of fruit, ripe, moderately chewy tannins and superb focus and grip on the long and very complex finish. This is a superb wine that combines great, traditional country rusticity in its cépages with the most refined winemaking sensibilities. 2025-2055. 93.”

Olivier Riviere Ganko, Rioja DOCa 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2016 Ganko is a 50/50 blend of Mazuelo and Garnacha matured in a 3,000-liter oak foudre. It has a very low pH and high acidity and is quite tannic and with great complexity, which might make it the most complete, perfumed elegant and at the same time serious and sharp Ganko. It has notes of violets, wild flowers, berries and a spicy twist. The palate shows fine-grained tannins and great freshness with a long, tasty and dry finish. Superb, serious and elegant Rioja fermented with full clusters. 4,000 bottles produced.”

Goyo Garcia Viadero Finca El Peruco, Ribera del Duero 2014 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 6 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 95 points
“Readers may recall that Goyo Garcia’s Finca el Peruco bottling hails from an eighty-five year-old vineyard that includes fifteen percent of the white grape of Albillo co-planted with the Tempranillo. The 2014 vintage of this fine single vineyard bottling tips the scales at 13.5 percent alcohol and delivers a fine young aromatic constellation of red plums, cherries, gentle spice tones of nutmeg and cinnamon, chalky soil tones, a bit of cocoa powder and a very discreet base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and nicely tangy (from the inclusion of the Albillo?), with excellent transparency, a fine core of fruit, suave, ripe tannins and lovely focus and grip on the long, nascently complex and vibrant finish. This is tightly-knit out of the blocks and will need five to seven years to blossom, but this is going to be brilliant Ribera del Duero once it has blossomed! 2024-2065”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Goyo Garcia Viadero Finca Vinas de Arcilla, Ribera del Duero 2014 750ML ($79.95) $66 special, 19 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 93+ points
“The 2014 Finca Vinas de Arcilla from Goyo Garci´a is a tad riper than his other two single vineyard wines in 2014, coming in at an even fourteen percent, but offering the same classic balance and sense of classical restraint that defines all of Sen~or Garci´a’s wines. The bouquet wafts from the glass in more black fruity blend of cassis, black cherries, cigar smoke, lovely soil tones (there is more clay here than in el Peruco or Valdeolmos), chocolate and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, ripe and beautifully balanced, with a rock solid core, still very good acidity, ripe, well-integrated tannins and a very long, still fairly primary finish. There is terrific backend energy here, but the wine is properly structured and will need some cellaring before it is ready for primetime drinking. 2025-2065.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Goyo Garcia Viadero Finca Valdeolmos, Ribera del Duero 2014 750ML ($89.95) $66 special, 13 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 93+ points
“The 2014 vintage of Finca Valdeolmos from Goyo Garci´a is the new release of this single vineyard bottling. Readers may recall that these vines are well over eighty years of age, with the soils here a red sand topsoil over a hard base of limestone. The 2014 version of Finca Valdeolmos is a beautiful young wine, coming in at 13.5 percent octane and offering up stunning purity on both the nose and palate. The bouquet is still fairly primary, offering up a lovely blend of black cherries, plums, raw cocoa, a bit of lead pencil, a touch of clove, lovely, chalky soil tones and a hint of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, focused and beautifully balanced, with an excellent core of fruit, fine soil signature, ripe, well-integrated tannins and a long, nascently complex and very, very promising finish. As always, this is a supremely elegant example of Ribera del Duero that will age very long and gracefully, but really deserves some time in the cellar to stretch its wings and start to blossom. 2023-2065”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

CVNE CUNE ‘Imperial’ Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The wine that represents the traditional and serious reds from Haro, the 2012 Imperial Gran Reserva is a classical blend of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo that matured in barrel for two years. It has a textbook serious Haro nose, with dark spices, ripe fruit, something balsamic and a round, full-bodied palate within the straight and serious style of the wine. 2012 was a warm year, but the wines are fresher than those from 2011. This has fine, slightly grainy tannins with good grip. A textbook Imperial Gran Reserva. 50,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2015.”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “(raised in new and used French and American oak barrels for two years) Vivid ruby-red. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe raspberry, cherry-cola, potpourri and exotic spices, with a suave vanilla topnote and a smoky mineral flourish. Sweet and broad in the mouth, offering lush red fruit, spicecake, mocha and coconut flavors that steadily tighten up on the back half. Finishes extremely long and spicy, with a resonating floral quality, well-knit tannins and lingering oak spice notes. This one is still quite young.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Ladeiras do Xil (Telmo Rodrigez) ‘Falcoeira’ A Capilla, Valdeorras 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Falcoeira was the first of their Valdeorras vineyards to be harvested in 2016, starting on September 16th. The 2.75 hectares of this young south-facing vineyard produced 2,635 bottles of the 2016 Falcoeira A Capilla, always a richer wine compared with its siblings. It’s a historical vineyard that was abandoned, but its almost 100 ancient terraces were replanted with a field blend of Mencía, Merenzao, Sousón, Godello, Garnacha…and other grapes that would have been there in the past. Winemaking is simple, the grapes fermented in small wooden and stainless steel tanks, and the wine aged in French oak foudres. 2016 seems like a great vintage for the reds here, and Falcoeira kept the freshness and poise within its riper character. The palate is delineated and with a marked stony feeling to it. With time in the glass, the wine became finer and more elegant, and that extra touch of ripeness seemed to disappear. A great year for this wine.” 

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Guimaro Finca Pombeiras, Ribeira Sacra 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95+ points
“There was no 2016 as the vineyards were hit by a terrible hailstorm the 15th of August 2016, so I only tasted the 2017 Finca Pombeiras. This is always more powerful and has a little more tannin than Finca Capeliños. This is from a south-facing plot on mainly schist soils (but there’s also a little granite), and it was fermented with 100% full clusters, which usually lends to a more powerful wine. In 2017, the character of the vineyard clearly comes through. It’s always a wine that takes longer than Capeliños to open up. They have been fine-tuning these single-plot wines, especially after 2013; they’ve been harvesting earlier, trying to get more freshness and improve the drinkability of the wines. This is still extremely young, primary and undeveloped and should blossom with one more year in bottle, but it’s not harsh at all and could be enjoyed young with powerful food. Some 800 bottles produced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bonus White Wine!

Familia Nin-Ortiz ‘Planetes de Nin’ Blanc, Priorat DOCa 2018 750ML ($99.95) Was $75, Now $69 super subscriber special, 17 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Cariñena Blanca has finally been added to the registry of varieties in Spain, which means it should soon be allowed by the Priorat appellation, so they could start putting it on the labels of the 2018 Planetes de Nin Carinyena Blanca. This fermented and matured in used 300-liter oak barrels for seven months. It’s 13% alcohol and has a pH of 3.2 with 6.5 grams of acidity (tartaric); they struggled to get the minimum 13% alcohol required by the appellation, as the year was very cold and they lost a lot of grapes waiting for the alcohol level. It’s a year with lots of freshness, and the wine, which feels really young and undeveloped, needs some time in the glass to open up. This is an exceptional year that is going to develop slowly in bottle. The palate is vibrant, focused and dry, with citrus freshness and a mineral finish. 1,948 bottles were filled in April 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Love Spanish reds?
We have over 120 different options in stock now.
Shop the entire selection, including favorites like Muga, Casa Castillo, Commando G, and more, on our web store.

Thank you from the team at Vinopolis!

Be well & drink well.