Monday Newsletter 4-20-2020

In This Newsletter:

California Cabernet Subscriber Sale
Starts Now/Ends Wednesday

Force Majeure Subscriber Sale:
Ends Tonight!


New Arrivals

New Review from Grapelive

Staff Pick

Collector’s Corner
New Wines from Champagne Marguet

California Cabernet Subscriber Sale

Stock up on top names now!

Subscriber Special Pricing Valid Until Wednesday, April 22nd at 6 PM PT

Anakota Helena Montana Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley 2014 750ML ($119.95) Was $99, Now $89 Subscriber Special, 12 bottles in stock now 
Robert Parker 93+ points
“The 2014s are 30-year wines, even in such a supple, easygoing and charming vintage. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana has an opaque purple color, a beautiful nose of graphite, creosote, incense, blackberry and licorice, and maybe a touch of charcoal and earth. The tannins are soft, and there is enormous fruit as well as a deep, full-bodied mouthfeel and some coffee in the finish. It should drink well for 25-30 years.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Anakota’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana has turned out beautifully. Dark, sumptuous and beautifully resonant in the glass, the 2014 exudes richness. Red cherry jam, raspberry, mint and licorice abound. Flamboyant and opulent, with soft contours and good structure, the 2014 hits all the right notes.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The average price is $114

Beringer Vineyards Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2009 750ML ($159.95) Was $99, Now $89 Subscriber Special, 19 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 was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The average price is $135

Bevan Cellars Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville 2016 750ML ($249.95) Was $199, Now $179 Subscriber Special, 14 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 97+ points
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard is very deep purple-black in color with an earthy, meaty, broody nose with notes of mocha over baked plums and crème de cassis plus wafts of spice box and mincemeat. The palate is full-bodied, concentrated, rich and earthy with great vibrancy on the finish. 839 cases produced.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “From a steep hillside in Oakville, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Tench Vineyard offers a more savory, masculine, layered style as well as a huge nose of red and black fruits, dried herbs, chocolate, and earth. It hits the palate with a full-bodied, mouthfilling style that carries plenty of tannins, a deep, concentrated mid-palate, and a great finish. I like it today, yet it’s going to continue drinking brilliantly for two decades.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $248

Bevan Cellars ‘EE – Double E’ Tench Vineyard Red, Oakville 2016 750ML ($279.95) Was $199, Now $179 Subscriber Special, 14 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points
“A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Proprietary Red EE Tench Vineyard is scented of pure plums and ripe blueberries with redcurrants and touches of lavender, roses, bay leaves and dusty earth. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm, fine-grained, vibrant and refreshing, finishing long and perfumed. 1,403 cases produced.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “The 2016 Tench Vineyard EE Red Wine checks in as a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Merlot, which is the smallest amount of Cabernet Franc to date. Brought up in new barrels, it has gorgeous blue fruits, violets, spring flowers, and damp earth. Medium to full-bodied, elegant, and just about as seamless and silky as it gets, this is a magical wine to drink over the coming 15 years or more.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $194
The average price is $250

Clos du Val Hirondelle Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District 2014 750ML ($149.95) Was $119, Now $99 Subscriber Special, 6 bottles in stock now
Clos du Val Hirondelle Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District 2014 1.5L ($299.95) Was $219, Now $199 Subscriber Special, 1 magnum in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“Deep, inky and enveloping, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Hirondelle Estate Vineyard captures all the elements that make Stags Leaps Cabernets so compelling. A host of lavender, mint, sage, graphite and crème de cassis notes flesh out in an effortless, noble Cabernet Sauvignon endowed with notable depth and intensity.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $123
This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!

Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($249.95) Was $219, Now $169 Subscriber Special, 6 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points
“The aromas of mint, blueberries and blackberries are very intense. Full-bodied, layered and softly textured; yet it delivers a firm and lightly chewy finish. Hot stones, too. This is a wine that will improve with three to four years of bottle aging.”
Grapelive 96 points “Diamond Creek, one of the first single vineyard wines and a California legend, still makes one of the best Cabernet Sauvignons in the state. This latest Gravelly Meadow is a gorgeous wine with a deep purple/crimson color and ripe tannin. It’s a wine that is packed with fruit and should age, like all Diamond Creeks, for another two to three decades.  The winery began when Al Broustein bought about 70 acres on Napa’s Diamond Mountain in 1967, and he planted around 25 acres to Cabernet Sauvignon, along with a small amount of merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot on four distinct terroirs, incredibly all were within 60 feet of each other with Volcanic Hill, Red Rock Terrace, Gravelly Meadow and the tiny Lake cru all becoming prestigious sites and are always bottled and vinified separately. By the early to mid-seventies Diamond Creek was producing powerful mountain Cabernet Sauvignon that rivaled the best Bordeaux… and the current 2015 vintage is top notch, and for me, this Gravelly Meadow is Cabernet that lives up to the historic wines from their past with blackberry, plum, black currant and blueberry fruits on the full bodied palate along with touches of smoky wood, anise, minty sage, sweet tobacco leaf, violet florals and lingering creme de cassis all wrapped in a firm structure, though unlike the 1970s and 1980s, the tannins are lush and smooth, mostly from the vintage rather than any winemaking changes…. I love these wines and while not cheap, they are often better than wines twice or three times the price, and while in recent years the climate and warm years have made these wines beautiful in their youth, they still reward patience, making them attractive to collectors, and this 2015 looks set to be a classic.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Soy, tobacco and dried herb mark this appropriately named wine, which does indeed have a gravelly, chalky aspect to its texture and taste. From a five-acre vineyard block of the estate, it is endlessly complex and nuanced, despite its full-bodied richness and concentration.”
Winery notes “Our second coolest micro-climate is our five-acre Gravelly Meadow vineyard. Originally a pre-historic river bed, this stony, gravelly soil drains rapidly and the vines struggle for moisture. Gravelly Meadow is our lowest yielding vineyard. The wines are described as “earthy, cedary, jammy and ripe blackberry with a spicy expansive finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Eisele Vineyard (formerly Araujo) Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($599.95) Was $539, Now $479 Subscriber Special, 8 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 100 points
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep garnet-purple color. Its nose begins a little reserved, slowly revealing a quiet intensity of freshly crushed blackberries, chocolate-covered cherries, cassis and aniseed with compelling nuances of black tea, cigar box, truffles and charcuterie, plus, with coaxing, gentle wafts of red roses and crushed rocks emerge. The medium to full-bodied palate is simply arresting, offering a a myriad floral and earth sparks amidst a black fruit core and with seamless, firm, very fine-grained tannins. Well-knit freshness brings forth layer after layer of delicate nuances on the very long, mineral-laced finish. The team at Eisele, led by Frédéric Engerer (of Chateau Latour) and beautifully orchestrated by winemaker Hélène Mingot, have knocked it out of the park this vintage with this singular expression that both embraces the site’s heritage and reveals parts unknown.-LPB”
Decanter 100 points “One of the most legendary vineyards in the Napa Valley, the Eisele Vineyard was purchased by François Pinault of Château Latour in Pauillac in the Médoc, Bordeaux from the Araujo family which had owned it for 23 years (from 1990 to 2013). The winemaking is now in the hands of 41-year-old winemaker Hélène Mingot. For this vintage, Hélène used only rockiest blocks planted in shallow soils near Simmons Creek.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $565

Eisele Vineyard ‘Altagracia’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($169.95) Was $149, Now $119 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points
“Lots of violets and dark berries with sweet underbrush and fresh mushrooms, following through to a medium to full body, soft and silky tannins and a succulent and refined finish. It remains supple and beautiful. Hard not to drink now. Better after 2023.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The Altagracia is produced almost exclusively from estate fruit this year and was bottled at the end of June 2018. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia comes bursting forth with vivacious black cherries, blackberries, wild blueberries and cassis notes with touches of cinnamon stick, cloves, forest floor, violets and dusty earth with a waft of violets. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm and grainy with loads of iron and mineral accents, finishing long and perfumed.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $141

Forman Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($119.95) Was $99, Now $89 Subscriber Special, 24 bottles in stock now
Decanter 96 points
“A brooding and nuanced bouquet of red and black fruit, petroleum jelly, woodsmoke, bitter cocoa, truffle and violet leads into a supple, elegant palate with fine savoury tannins and juicy acidity. Balanced, sapid and sophisticated. (WK)  “
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Forman’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon offers lovely precision to match its mid-weight, gracious personality. The flavors are bright, floral and nicely focused. The 2014 is attractive, but it remains on the lighter side of things, even within the context of Ric Forman’s Cabernets. I imagine the 2014 will age well on its freshness. It will be interesting to see if the 2014 gains depth in bottle. What is clear, though, is that the 2014 has been more and more reticent each time I have tasted it. Readers will have to be patient.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The average price is $113

Subscriber Special Pricing Valid Until Wednesday, April 22nd at 6 PM PT

Shop the sale on our web site!

Weekend Subscriber Special Ends Tonight!

From Bryant Family to Red Mountain

The Exceptional Force Majeure

Force Majeure is a Washington State insider’s wine.  The name doesn’t come up as often as a winery like Cayuse, but these estate grown gems are typically completely sold out to a rabid mailing list.  It’s a tough winery to source—and for good reason. These are big, bold, dense wines with an elegance that keeps them in beautiful balance.  Winemaker Todd Alexander made his name at Bryant Family in Napa before being enticed to Washington and he’s making those epic cult wines for Force Majeure as well.

What really sets Force Majeure apart from many other top Washington producers, though, is their site. It’s relatively rare to have an estate vineyard in Washington (like in Napa, many producers buy grapes from a variety of sites).  To have an estate in the tiny Red Mountain AVA of this quality, though, is a truly special thing—a secret weapon in creating some of the finest wines in the state.

We dropped the prices on some of their best (and best value) wines until we close for business tonight, so lovers of Washington wine ought to take note.  These are some of the most stunning wines made in Washington State, at prices that are fantastically low.

Subscriber Special Pricing Valid Until Monday, April 20th at 6 PM PT

Force Majeure Vineyards Epinette, Red Mountain 2015 750ML ($99.95) Was $79, Now $69 Subscriber Special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“A Pomerol look-alike, the 2015 Epinette is mostly Merlot, yet includes 30% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet [Sauvignon] and 4% Petit Verdot. It’s another rich, mouthfilling effort and offers lots of darker, plummy fruits, chocolate, and scorched earth aromas and flavors. With building tannin and serious structure, it isn’t for those looking for instant gratification and is going to need a solid 3-5 years of bottle age.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!

Force Majeure Estate Syrah, Red Mountain 2015 750ML ($89.95) Was $75, Now $66 Subscriber Special, 4 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93-96 points
“It’s going to be interesting to see if the 2015 Estate Syrah matches the 2014, and they both showed similar from barrel. The 2015 is a big, full-bodied Syrah that has tons of chalky minerality in its classic Syrah notes of blackberries, licorice and smoked meats. With good acidity, fine tannin and terrific elegance and purity, it will keep for 15+ years. Led by winemaker Todd Alexander, Force Majeure has now officially moved away from their Collaboration Series releases and is focusing exclusively on their estate vineyards on Red Mountain. The lineup is stacked with incredible wines, and I expect the quality to only go up from here as their vineyards age and they fine-tune the winemaking. The 2015s were structured and tannic, and while they’ll certainly be more polished from bottle, I suspect short term cellaring will be your friend. These are great wines, and even at their prices, these represent killer values.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Force Majeure ‘Parvata’, Red Mountain 2015 750ML ($89.95) Was $75, Now $66 Subscriber Special, 8 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“Moving to the reds, the Mourvèdre-dominated 2015 Parvata GSM is a smoking effort loaded with deep, rich aromas and flavors of blackberries, currants, cured meats, and a hint of chocolate. It’s full-bodied, deep, concentrated, and perfectly balanced, and is a sensational wine.”
James Suckling 94 points “A fascinating nose of earth, brambles, forest floor, blackberries, herbs, black pepper, some animal and freshly cut herbs and tobacco. Full-bodied with firm, sturdy tannins, a wealth of bark and dark fruit, a lot of power, fresh acidity and an underbrush finish. Washington’s answer to the Southern Rhone! GSM blend. Drink in 2020.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Force Majeure Parabellum Rhone Style Red, Red Mountain 2014 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39 Subscriber Special, 7 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck-Wine Advocate 93 points
“Checking in as a blend of 61% Syrah and 39% Mourvedre, the 2014 Rhone Parabellum sports a vibrant purple, semi-opaque color to go with fabulous notes of black raspberries, cassis, cedary spice and hints of pepper. This is a rich, elegant, incredibly polished red that has terrific purity, ripe, sweet tannin, a graceful personality and a great finish. It’s an entry-level wine that surpasses most estates’ top cuvees.”

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

Force Majeure Parabellum Coulee, Red Mountain 2017 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39 Subscriber Special, 22 bottles in stock now
Washington Wine Blog 93 points
“The 2017 ‘Coulée’ Red Wine is a fantastic blend of 86% Syrah with the remainder Mourvèdre that was all sourced from the esteemed Force Majeure Vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA. Tobacco leaf and smoky undertones collide with suggestions of green peppercorns and smoked black olives that all take shape together in the glass. The soft texture entices as the black and blue fruits mingle with minerals, black tea and chocolate covered brandy soaked kirsch flavors. This is seriously good by superstar winemaker Todd Alexander.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Subscriber Special Pricing Valid Until Monday, April 20th at 6 PM PT


We can’t get enough of Marcus Goodfellow’s Willamette Valley Pinots. With restaurants only offering takeout for the foreseeable future, Marcus is letting us share his by-the-glass Pinot with you. It’s an insane value, especially at only $15.75/bottle by the full case. So secure your bottles and let us ship the restaurant experience to your home while you buckle down. 

Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($129.95) $99 special (that’s only $16.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($219.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Frog’s Leap is one of the last great old-school Napa producers.  Seemingly immune to trends, they’ve made classically proportioned wines since their founding and continue to today.  If you want Cabernet that has fruit but also structure and freshness, Frog’s Leap’s wines are right up your alley. 

Frog’s Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford 2016 750ML ($69.95) $45 special, 25 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown from Frog’s Leap is dark, bold and luscious, with generous dark cherry, plum spice, leather. Forward and supple, the 2016 will drink well right out of the gate, and yet it also has enough freshness to age nicely for a number of years. In 2016, the Cabernet has gorgeous depth to play off a classic, mid-weight sense of structure. This is a positively joyous Cabernet Sauvignon from Frog’s Leap.”
Decanter 92 points World Wine Awards ” 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot. Powerful and rich with luscious blackcurrant compote, wood smoke, cedar and leather. Grippy tannins and wonderfully balanced toasty oak leads to a delightful finish.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $60

The wines Philippe Gimel makes under the St. Jean du Barroux label are fantastic and unique.  He was able to buy a touch over 12 hectares of old, interesting vineyards in Ventoux—something he’d never to be able to afford in a more prestigious part of the Rhone. These old vines, combined with long elevage in neutral vessels, mean these read as very “old school” in tone, but with cleaner flavors and vivid aromatics.  

The 2015 arrived well before reviews will hit the shelves (Gimel releases his top cuvee later than most). We included notes from the prior vintage, which was a particularly challenging year. An Eric Solomon estate, you know this is excellent.

Saint Jean du Barroux La Pierre Noire, Ventoux 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
No reviews available for the 2015 vintage. Reviews for the 2014 are provided for reference.
Decanter 96 points “[2014 vintage] Lifted loganberry, leaf tea and tarragon. Beautifully mouthcoating, elegant and harmonious, long and svelte, with a tapered finish. Gently perfumed, beautifully balanced. It’s concentrated without over-extraction, combining the elegance of the northern Rhône with the generosity of the south. A beautiful wine.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “[2014 vintage] A total gem in the vintage, the 2014 La Pierre Noire is an insanely good wine made from 80/20 Grenache and Syrah that spent three years in concrete tanks. Black raspberries, kirsch, pepper, garrigue and liquid flowers notes all soar from the glass of this incredibly elegant, seamless, silky red that does everything right. With medium to full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannin, no hard edges and a seamless texture, it’s at the top of the heap in 2014. Don’t miss a chance to try this beauty!”
Importer Note “La Pierre Noire, or “the black stone,” is a cuvée made from Grenache and Syrah grown on clay limestone soils marked by abrupt appearance of black gravel. So sudden and noticeable is this change in the vineyard that Philippe has always known that this site was its own cuvée. At once more stern but contradictorily more elegant, La Pierre Noire is fermented and aged in concrete for at least 36 months before bottling and released only when Philippe feels it’s ready.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

If Ventoux has a Grand Name, it would be Chateau Pesquie. That’s quite a feat for a winery that was founded 31 years ago, but it speaks both to the quality of their wines and the emerging nature of Ventoux as an appellation.  These are bold wines that manage the trick of being rich, ripe and seductive without a veneer of new oak—they should please both classicists and modern drinkers alike.  We’re lucky enough to have built a vertical of Pesquie’s “Artemia,” a cuvee they only produce in absolutely top vintages.  The ’16 is a stunning wine that will blossom with more age.  

Chateau Pesquie Ventoux Artemia, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Chateau Pesquie Ventoux Artemia, Rhone 2016 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
Decanter-World Wine Awards 97 points
“This is stacked with the black fruits of the region, plus violets, thyme, lavender, dried herbs and tannins that are ripe and of the appropriate proportion. Still very youthful and will flourish with time in bottle. Modern and very classy indeed. Genius wine, very long and intense, its purity magnificent.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “Made from equal parts Syrah and Grenache, the 2016 Ventoux Cuvee Artemia is another terrific vintage for this cuvee. Still young, backward and unevolved, it has tons of potential in its blue fruits, graphite, crushed rock and violet-tinged aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, with terrific purity of fruit, and fine, building tannin, it needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for a decade or more.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “A 50-50 blend of Grenache and Syrah, aged in 50% new oak, the 2016 Ventoux Artemia is a tremendous effort. It combines blueberries and stone fruit with cedary notes and then underscores those attractive aromas and flavors with a full-bodied, velvety texture and a bright, crisp finish. Lovely stuff.”

Sette Ponti makes some of the finest Super Tuscans out there.  While they’re best known for Oreno, their top-end wine, the wine of note in most years is their value-priced Crognolo.  Made with every bit the same care as the flashier Oreno, Crognolo’s Sangiovese dominant blend provides a beautiful drink-now option at less than half the price of the flagship wine.  The 2017 just arrived and looks to be an absolute knockout—the warm year bestowed it with more fruit and softer tannins than usual, making this value an early drinker, as well.

Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($39.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Tenuta Sette Ponti Crognolo Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($249.95) $132 special (that’s only $22/bottle!)
James Suckling 94 points
“A balanced and fresh red for the hot 2017 vintage with medium body, fine tannins and plenty of currants, blackberries and blueberries on the finish. Drink or hold.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “A beam of pure blackberry runs through this otherwise dense and focused red. Shows elegance, with balance and complexity, but needs time to integrate and reveal all its facets. Offers fine, minerally length. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2021 through 2032. 7,500 cases made, 4,000 cases imported.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $31

Mauro Molino is a producer whose flagship Barolo, “Conca”, we carry every vintage if we can.  The 2015 is especially good—bold, rich, round and surprisingly accessible already.  We’re glad we have a track record with the wine, because given the price (under $60) and the score (94 points from the Wine Advocate) allocations tightened up this year.  

Mauro Molino Vigna Conca, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 23 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points
“The Mauro Molino 2015 Barolo Conca is the most impressive and firmly compact of the wines presented this year from this estate in the picturesque, hilltop village of La Morra. Indeed, this wine showcases the textbook La Morra characteristics of fine fruit, elegant tannins and an elongated, streamlined mouthfeel. This Barolo floats forward over the palate with the grace of a snowy egret. It shows a glossy and polished approach that merits pause and consideration. Fermentation is in stainless steel and aging takes place in barrique. A mere 3,068 bottles were released.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $73.99
The average price is $79

New Arrivals

New release of Ayres rosé is the harbinger of patio weather. 
Ayres Estate Rose of Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2019 750ML ($19.95) $17 special
Winery not
e “Bright & lively. Hints of melon & berry.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

A customer favorite that we have to keep restocking  
Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence Rose 2018 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence Rose 2018 1.5L ($34.95) $28 special
2019 Best in Show; 2019 Best Value – James Suckling
James Suckling 93 points
“The nose here is immediately captivating with its freshness, focus and interest. It suggests sea salt, thyme, freshly squeezed nectarines and a touch of well-executed, lifted citrus. The palate shows some good density and the fruit/acid balance is played out nicely. Medium-bodied and sleek and refreshing. Makes you come back for more. Routas on the money as always. Drink now.”


We offer 140+ wines from the Willamette Valley in stock now (that’s 2,000+ bottles in the shop). We aim to be the best price in the country, and are matchless in our depth and breadth of in-stock wines. We’re not brokers, we’re invested in our suppliers in that we actually purchase and carry large inventories here now. We put our money where our mouths (and hearts) are to offer you the greatest selection of local and international wines available.

The perfect pricing for sunshine
Ayres Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($19.95) $17 special
Winery note
“Clean, crisp, and refreshing.  Some things in life are just easy – like a perfectly chilled bottle of Pinot Blanc paired with abundant sunshine! Mineral tones and citrus highlights deliver an instantly refreshing sensation to your palate!”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Stylish and spicy
Ayres Lewis Rogers Lane Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($39.95) $36 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Bright magenta. Displays spice-accented aromas of black raspberry, cola, pungent flowers and incense, along with an energizing, spicy topnote. Sappy and expansive in the mouth, offering appealingly sweet dark berry and cherry liqueur, spicecake and floral pastille flavors that show impressive depth and an undercurrent of smoky minerality. Delivers a suave blend of power and vivacity and finishes very long and smooth, with repeating florality and velvety, slow-building tannins.”

Arterberry Maresh captured the beauty of the 2017 vintage with an ethereal delicacy that will leave you breathless
Arterberry Maresh Old Vines Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($49.95) $44 special
Winery note
“The 2017 Arterberry Maresh Old Vines Pinot noir is a blend of Maresh and Weber fruit. Maresh vineyard was the first to be planted on Worden Hill road in 1970 and 1974, followed by Weber in 1983. The 2017 vintage is a change of pace from the last three years of early picks in the heat. A cold spring pushed picking dates into a classic Oregon October allowing flavors to run far ahead of sugars. The ’17 Old Vines is ultra complex balancing waves of electric red fruit with a savory polish. The chemistry numbers look very much like the ’16, however, the fruit is redder and brighter, with finer tannins, giving the wine more length and succulence. Bottled in December 2018.”

Willamette Valley outside the box from one of our favorite up & coming winemakers
Championship Bottle Broken Radios Pinot Noir/Pinot Gris, Ribbon Ridge 2018 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special
Winery note
“Broken Radios is a red wine made from the Whistling Ridge vineyard in the Ribbon Ridge AVA of the Willamette Valley. A cofermentation of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris on their skins, it drinks like something in the world of Cru Beaujolais fan fiction while retaining a spice quality that lets you know it’s from Ribbon Ridge.  Whistling Ridge sits on the top of a hill in Ribbon Ridge, next to Beaux Freres and Patricia Green’s estate vineyard, yet the soils are much shallower than its neighbors and its place at the hilltop means the vineyard sees lots of wind.  The result is a wine that combines the structure and spice of marine-sedimentary soils with a cooler disposition than you’d expect for the neighborhood. This wine is vivid, with a floral quality overlayed onto slightly tangy red and black fruit flavors.  Like our other wines, this was fermented by native yeasts and we also decided to include about 25% whole clusters in the fermentation to give the wine a bit more savoriness and backbone.  It aged in neutral barrel for 10 months before being racked off of its lees into a stainless tank for a final 3 months.  Bottled unfined and unfiltered, 62 cases made.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Crowley Entre Nous Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
The 2017 Entre Nous is mostly fruit from La Colina vineyard, with a touch of Oracle and Four Winds. It spent 20 months in mostly old oak barrels. This vintage saw no whole cluster and is a blend of Wadensville and Pommard clones.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
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Fruit- and fun-forward
Cameron Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery Note
“Fruit for this wine is sourced from White Oak Vineyard in the Ribbon Ridge AVA.  White Oak Vineyard was planted in 2006 and is lovingly tended by famed cider apple grower Alan Foster. Fruit from Ribbon Ridge is always intense with loads of structure in the wine.  Part of this vineyard has now been planted with Martin Ray clones of Pinot noir, stay tuned for some incredible wines from this site.”

Cool climate, serious Syrah in the hands of a master
Goodfellow Family Cellars Deux Vert Reserve Syrah, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($47.95) $31.90 special
John Gilman 91+ points
“Marcus Goodfellow’s 2015 Deux Vert Vineyard (Reserve) bottling of Syrah includes five percent viognier, which grows alongside these syrah vines, which were the first to be planted in the Willamette Valley in 1994. The 2015 version comes in at 13.8 percent octane and delivers a refined and red fruity bouquet of raspberries, pepper, woodsmoke, roasted meats, lovely soil tones, plenty of spice elements and a nice framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, tangy and rock solid at the core, with excellent transparency and grip, ripe tannins and a long, focused and nascently complex finish. This will be a lovely bottle in due course, but it needs some time in the cellar to allow its backend tannins to resolve a bit. Fine juice. 2030- 2055+. 91+.”
VinopolNote: The Reserve bottling spent longer in barrel (over 30 months) and was selected for structure, savoriness and power. Like most of Marcus’ wines, there’s a lot of whole-cluster fermentation in this bottling and it definitely reads as more “serious” as a result.  While the wine is rich and intense, don’t expect over-the-top fruit here. This reminds us of high quality Northern Rhone wines, with dark, fresh fruits and a distinct meaty, savory overtone.  One for the table with some air or for the cellar.

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This might be the new value Cab king. Very impressive for under $20.
Luke Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
“Shows presence and polish, with expressive blackberry, smoked spice and dusty cedar notes that take on structure toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2025. 9,557 cases made.”
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The value-minded label from Woodward Canyon doesn’t skimp on quality
Woodward Canyon Nelms Road Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington 2017 750ML ($29.95) $19.90 special
Winery note
“In 1998, Woodward Canyon Winery began producing wines under its second label, Nelms Road. Nelms Road offers a red blend and cabernet sauvignon from Walla Walla Valley and Washington State grapes.  It was developed to produce delicious and affordable red wine from younger vineyards and surplus lots of Woodward Canyon production.  While these wines may be cellared for several years, they are truly ready for enjoyment now.”

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Some of the most striking wines in the DOCG
La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Case-12 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($719.95) $489 special (that’s only $40.75/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points
“The sliced plums and peaches are plentiful here on the nose. Full-bodied and dense with round and rich tannins and a long, long finish. Shows structure and intensity. Serious Brunello. Better after 2022.” 
Wine Spectator 94 points “This is round and full of sweet, ripe cherry, strawberry, graphite and earth flavors. Firms up as the finish plays out, echoing an essence of fruit. Best from 2022 through 2039. —B.S.”

New Review from Grapelive

“a wine to buy by the case.”-Jeb Dunnuck
Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-6 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!), re-arriving April 22nd
Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($89.95) $69 special
Grapelive 94 points
“The gorgeous 2016 Domaine du Grand Montmirail old vines Gigondas cuvee [is] typically a blend is 80% Grenache, 5% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre from 30-65 year-old vines. [It delivers] a full bodied and concentrated effort with a deep purple/crimson color, remarkable purity and transparency, showing loads of perfectly ripe dark fruit, floral tones, mineral notes and spiced nuances. This wine is sumptuous and comforting on the dense palate with lovely Grenache-led and terroir driven charm. I’ve been a longtime fan of this property over the years, but this 2016 really is something special with boysenberry, black plum, sweet currants and kirsch fruit along with lavender, chalky stones and licorice all merging in hedonistic joy. Yves Cheron [is] the vigneron at Domaine du Grand Montmirail, which was started originally by his father [Denis Cheron] who moved to the southern Rhone from Burgundy. One of Denis’ first client suppliers was the owner of the Domaine du Grand Montmirail, a wonderfully situated property in the southeastern part of Gigondas, that he later acquired, and the rest is history. Yves, a graduate in enological studies in Beaune, has the winery in league with the very best in the region, like the famous Saint Cosme. His Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre comes from vines planted exclusively on the hillsides and terraces, known locally as banquettes, with these vineyards being situated directly on the southern slope of the Dentelles de Montmirail. It is a superb area, with soft breezes, Mediterranean weather and a few natural springs to hydrate the vines, all combining for these warm, textural and flavorful wines. It is dominated by towering granite cliffs and an amazing view of the famous Mount Ventoux off in the distance. Based close to the small town of Suzette, Domaine du Grand Montmirail is a remote treasure isolated from the worries of the world, where the famous range Dentelles de Montmirail cast an impressive shadow above the winery and the scent of the garrigue (rosemary, thyme, sage) is ever present in the air.

“The winemaking at Domaine du Grand Montmirail is classically simple and guided by experience and traditions… The Domaine du Grand Montmirail harvest starts with their Syrah, the quickest grape, interestingly to ripen here, then the Grenache starts coming in next from in the highest sites and last, but not least the latest picks are of Mourvèdre with its later ripening characteristic giving richness and refined tannin. Tasting these wines over the years, I just get more and more impressed with these Grand Montmirail offerings, with the Cotes du Rhone(s) as well as the Vacqueyras being a wonderful bargains and this 2016 Vieilles Vignes Gigondas performing even better than expectations. It also is awesome with hearty cuisine and or simple country fare.”

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Staff Pick

Bobby Rowett crafts some of the most profound sparkling wines in the Willamette Valley. He’s an unassuming guy, and the wines speak with a quiet intensity of the beauty and possibility in domestic sparkling wine. It’s possible that the relatively low price tag makes these wines easy to pass by. At $28/bottle, Rowett’s latest release is line priced with generic Grand Marques NV bubbles that don’t exactly leave you entranced. But it would be a shame to skip, especially this latest release.

The February 2020 disgorgement of the non-vintage is a Brut Nature. Based on the cool-esque 2017 vintage, it’s leaner, drier and less fruit forward than last year’s release. It takes a little time to open up, but shows aromas and flavors of early summer: think irises, white roses, and green blueberries. There’s a hint of sweet corn and fresh butter that makes me think fondly of sunshine and picnics. Sourced from dry-farmed vineyards, this is a wonderful homage to grower Champagne with an Oregon soul.

Mellen Meyer Brut Nature Sparkling, Willamette Valley NV 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Based on the 2017 vintage, this is a leaner style of Champagne-method sparkling wine. Disgorged February 2020.

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Collector’s Corner

New Wines from Champagne Marguet

Arriving Early May!

“Benoît Marguet is a fast-rising star in the Montage de Reims if not in the entire Champagne region…” –Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate

Benoit Marguet is one of the hottest names in Champagne. A young grower who is one of the leading voices for organic and biodynamic farming (in a region that’s not exactly known for progressive attitudes towards agriculture), his single-parcel wines have attracted attention of Michelin starred restaurants across Europe.  These are wines that are rich across the palate yet incredibly mineral and precise in their flavors.

We’ve been able to secure small quantities of three of his most prized wines—the superlative Sapience as well as the compelling Crayeres and Avize & Cramant bottlings.  Across the board, these are some of the most exciting wines coming out of Champagne and we’re excited to offer them to you.

Arriving ETA Early May:

Marguet Pere & Fils Avize & Cramant Grand Cru, Champagne 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Peter Liem note
“[Writing on the 2011 release] This comes from two chardonnay vineyards, both farmed organically: Les Chantereines in Avize and Les Fourches du Levant in Cramant. It combines breadth and finesse in the inimitable style of the northern Côte des Blancs, with a pinpoint texture and a racy, elongated structure.”
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Marguet Pere & Fils ‘Les Crayeres’ Ambonnay Grand Cru, Champagne 2015 750ML ($119.95) $95 pre-arrival special
Peter Liem note
“The Lieux-Dits collection is designed to highlight Marguet’s most distinctive parcels in Ambonnay: the first release was the outstanding 2008 Les Crayères, a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay from a prized parcel of massale-selected vines on Ambonnay’s mid-slope, planted in 1970.”
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Marguet Pere & Fils ‘Sapience’ Premier Cru Extra-Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($269.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points
“A blend of 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, the golden-yellow 2009 Premier Cru Brut Nature displays a clear, deep and well-concentrated bouquet of ripe and spicy fruits with a touch of lemon juice and oak. Pure, fresh and fruity on the palate (sweet cherries, red berries and citrus fruits), this is a very elegant, perfectly round, complex, well-balanced though tightly structured and vibrantly mineral cuvée with a long, clear, pure and salty finish. This is remarkably finessed. Unfortunately, I tasted the 2009 three weeks after the 2007 and the 2008 rather than tasting all three side by side, but qualitatively, it’s much closer to the 2008 than to the 2007 and is doubtlessly an impressive Brut Nature. Sapience is the name of Marguet’s prestige cuvée that is produced every single year. Marguet calls it “a new expression of Champagne.” It is a Premier Cru Brut Nature whose grapes are sourced in old, organic or biodynamically farmed vineyards from three well-known champagne growers in Cumières (Georges Laval), Trépail (David Léclapart) and Bouzy (Benoît Lahaye), who all work the soil with horses or tractors and protect the vines with herbal infusions and essential oils. The resulting millésimes (I had 2007, 2008 and 2009 plus the 2006 Oenothéque) are pure and quiet (or subtle) beauties that taste unique in texture and flavors but will benefit significantly from further bottle aging. In their youth, they are full of energy and vitality but not too good to lose control or patience—which is true for all of the wines from Marguet. Keep them (at least) for three or more years after the disgorgement, and you will get the best of them.”
James Suckling 93 points “Very complete, multifaceted style with strong, pastry-like lees influence and grilled cashew nuts, as well as a lightly peppery, spicy edge. Yellow-plum and subtly toasty brown-mushroom and grilled-hazelnut finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”
Peter Liem “Since 2006, Marguet has been working with Hervé Jestin, the former chef de cave of Duval-Leroy who is now a consultant to many wine estates around Europe. Marguet has gradually integrated Jestin’s homeopathic and biodynamic practices into his own winemaking, and the two of them have collaborated to create a special, naturally grown champagne that encapsulates and expresses Jestin’s philosophies. The first vintage of this super-cuvée was 2006, released in 2013, and the production was divided: half of it was sold under the Jestin label, with the other half under the label Sapience, which Marguet has indicated is a separate brand from the Marguet label.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is almost a hundred dollars more: $274

Vinopolis is an independent wine shop in Portland that opened in 2004. Our goal has always been to offer the finest, broadest, and largest selection of wines at the best prices to our customers in Portland, in Oregon, across the West Coast, and throughout the United States. Thank you for reading and for continuing to support our team at Vinopolis!

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