Wednesday Newsletter 4-22-2020

In Today’s Newsletter:

Jump Start Offer:
Marques de Murrieta’s Near-Perfect 2010


Staff Pick

Wine Spectator Insider Reviews
April Reviews / Bring May Wines

Top Rioja Value
In Stock Now

Collector’s Corner
Mature and Rare Champagne from de Venoge


Marques de Murrieta

Arriving Mid-May

Marques de Murrieta is one of the great pillars of classical Rioja—a titan of the region that’s responsible for some of the greatest wines ever produced in Spain.  They resemble a more polished, powerful version of Lopez de Heredia, in some ways, sharing age-worthiness but offering up a distinctly more fruit driven profile in youth.  Their flagship, the always impressive Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, just garnered insanely positive press. We’re thrilled to be offering the 2009 and excited to announce that we’ll be receiving the 2010 in mid-May. It has a long name but an even longer lifespan and bottles from the ’60’s and ’70’s are (right now) some of the finest wines you can drink, holding their own with old DRC, Rousseau and top Bordeaux.

Arriving Mid-May:

Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, Rioja DOCa  2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, Rioja DOCa  2010 750ML ($899.95) $679 pre-arrival special (that’s only $113.17/bottle!)
James Suckling 99 points
“Marvelous aromas of crushed berries, tobacco, cedar and mushrooms. Some dried cheese. Then turns to flowers. Very complex. Full and intense with fantastic depth and power. It goes on for minutes. It is a wine that exudes tradition but gives a sense of modernity with precise winemaking. Two years in oak, one in concrete and three or four in bottle. Drink on release and age onwards.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 97 points “I had very high expectations for the 2010 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial, and the wine delivered as expected. 2010 was one of the finest vintages in Rioja in recent years, and this blend of Tempranillo with 15% Mazuelo (Cariñena) has to be one of the finest modern day Castillo de Ygays. The grapes come from a plot planted in 1966 at 485 meters in altitude, the highest in the estate, and the vines yielded 3,500 kilos per hectare. The two varieties fermented separately in stainless steel for 11 days, and the wine spent 26 months in a mixture of American and French oak barrels. I tasted the 2009 next to this 2010, and I had also had a bottle two nights before. So, I was able to compare this with the 2009, which was a very different year, as 2010 was a cooler year and a priori a more adequate year for long-aging wines like this Gran Reserva. The difference was the vegetative cycle, as the vinification and élevage was the same. This is sleeker and sharper, less developed and livelier than the 2009, which already shows some signs of “old wine” with aromas that remind me of the old classical Rioja reds. It has greatness and finesse and is a very attractive wine with all the stuffing and balance that is needed for a long (and positive) aging in bottle. This is one of the finest modern day vintages of Castillo Ygay. This is going to develop in the direction of the classical bottlings from yesteryear. 130,853 bottles produced. It was bottled in March 2015.”
Decanter 97 points “Ygay these days is a blend of Tempranilo and Mazuelo, the later making up 15% in this vintage. 2010 will be remembered in the great vineyards of Europe as a classic year, elegant restraint and wonderful harmonious balance, even in youth, its key characteristics. The Ygay fits this template perfectly; plums and sloes, hints of blueberry and cassis, then figs, cocoa and sousbois, a distinct balsamic note to underline provenance. The Mazuelo etches fresh acidity and a powerful finish, leaving the Tempranillo the opportunity to dance flamboyantly on the mid-palate, the bringer of joy and harmony.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $129.99
The average price is $136

In Stock Now from Marques de Murrieta

“This is a great classical Rioja for the long haul”
Marques Murrieta Ygay Gran Reserva, Rioja 2009 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96 points
“Marqués de Murrieta didn’t produce their top red in 2008, so I tasted the 2009 Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial. In 2009, the final blend was Tempranillo with 19% Mazuelo (or Cariñena), one of the highest percentages of Mazuelo ever. The grapes are now sourced from the La Plana vineyard within the Ygay estate, one of the higher-altitude plots at 485 meters. The grapes fermented and aged separately, the Tempranillo in American oak barrels and the Mazuelo in French barriques for 26 months, given its power. It has that seriousness, character and somehow rusticity of the Mazuelo, austere,  harmonious and still young. It has good depth and concentration, still young and lively with fine tannins and a backbone of freshness that lifts it up. It will develop for a very long time in bottle. This is a great classical Rioja for the long haul. 109,000 bottles and some larger formats were produced. It was bottled in October 2014. The prices are increasing but so is the quality. The following vintages will be 2010, 2011 and possibly 2012. I cannot wait to taste them…”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “(aged in new American and French oak barrels for 28 months) Vivid ruby-red. A highly perfumed, expansive bouquet evokes ripe red and dark berries, cherry liqueur, coconut and cigar box, along with a sexy floral nuance that emerges slowly. Plush and seamless on the palate, offering sweet, deeply concentrated blackberry, cherry-vanilla and mocha flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Rich yet energetic in style, displaying superb finishing clarity, even tannins and a lingering spicecake note. The Tempranillo saw only American oak while the Mazuelo component saw only French.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $122.99

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

#40 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator 2019
Marques de Murrieta Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Marques de Murrieta Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($299.95) $235 special (that’s only $19.58/bottle-the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The red blend 2015 Rioja Reserva is 80% Tempranillo with 12% Graciano, 6% Mazuelo and 2% Garnacha, a little more Graciano and Mazuelo, something logical in ripe and warm years like 2015. It’s produced with grapes from a diversity of the 30 different plots within the estate, to represent the character of if. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in American oak barrels for 18 months. It’s spicy and somewhat balsamic, with some dusty tannins. It’s a ripe and powerful vintage that only suffers next to the 2016 I tasted next to it when there’s a jump in precision and finesse.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Cedar, tobacco, dried cherry and spice flavors mingle in this red. Features a polished texture, with well-integrated tannins and orange peel acidity. Supple, harmonious and graceful. Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha. Drink now through 2025. 100,000 cases made, 9,067 cases imported.”


Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2015 750ML ($119.95) $79 special, 25 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points
“Deep brilliant red. A strikingly complex bouquet evokes ripe, mineral-accented red berries, cherry cola, vanilla, five-spice powder and sandalwood. Alluringly sweet, seamless and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, cherry liqueur, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Delivers a compelling blend of power and delicacy and finishes extremely long and smooth; rounded tannins frame the lingering red fruit preserve notes.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Pale to medium ruby purple in color, the 2015 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a very provocative nose of Bing cherries and cranberries over a core of red roses, game, yeast extract and underbrush. Medium-bodied, with wonderful energy and freshness, it has a lively backbone and long finish paved with very fine, ripe tannins.”
Winery note “Sequitur 2015 Pinot Noir “Two fold,” a collaboration between our Mother, the earth, those of us who “play” in the vineyard and winery, and you, the wine lover.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $100

Lilbert-Fils Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 92 points
“A fresh and elegant blanc de blancs Champagne, with juicy nectarine and mango fruit accented by hints of candied kumquat, spring blossom and salted almond. Long and creamy on the mouthwatering finish. Disgorged summer 2016. Drink now through 2022. 1,650 cases made, 100 cases imported. — AN”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Dolcetto doesn’t get much better than this “extraordinary & arresting beauty”
G.D. Vajra Coste & Fossati Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2017 Dolcetto d’Alba Coste & Fossati is a wine of extraordinary and arresting beauty. Intense and yet also remarkably delineated, the Coste & Fossati is a terrific example of the heights Dolcetto can reach in skilled hands. Readers will find a gorgeous, beautifully layered wine endowed with tremendous energy and focus. Dark plum, graphite, smoke, menthol and licorice all build in this super-expressive and nuanced wine from Vajra. I loved it.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $26

Casa Castillo Vino de Finca, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Casa Castillo Vino de Finca, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Luis Gutierrez 93+ points
“There is a big jump in depth, complexity and nuance between the Monastrell and the 2017 Vino de Finca, which is a blend of Monastrell with almost 25% Garnacha. This comes from four plots that were selected from what was previously used for the entry-level Monastrell; they aim was to find a wine with more finesse and elegance but with the inherent power of the zone. This is only the third vintage for this cuvée, and it feels quite established and different from the rest of the range; it has less varietal character and is more about the place, getting closer to the single-vineyard bottlings where they do not search for fruit character. The idea here is to ferment at temperatures that are quite so low and to stabilize the wine in oak barrels for a long-ish time (12 months in 500-liter barrels and 5,000-liter oak foudres). They are wines of sun and limestone. This is a good reflection of it with a perfumed and floral note on the finish (elegance!) that is quite remarkable. 31,000 bottles produced in 2017. It was bottled in November 2018.”


Staff Pick

While the CDC might not suggest having a well-stocked stash of emergency wine, we think it is a brilliant idea. For the everyday option, perhaps you don’t want to dip into your single vineyard bottles that might do better with a few years of cellaring. It also stands to reason that you could save some money by drinking the broad brush styles from our favorite producers. Here are three of my favorites that we have in stock currently. They’re all under $25 and will drink beautifully now or for a few years to come.

Whistling Ridge, Durant, Fir Crest & Bednarik” – this is the list of vineyards that comprise the 2016 WV from Marcus Goodfellow. All of these are vineyards that merit their own bottling. They are indeed bottled by Marcus and others around the valley, but no one seems to assemble such a lineup of all stars for their humble WV bottle. The results are amazing, year in year out. The 16 has all of the typical grace and balance of a Goodfellow wine, but there is substantial backbone to this wine that seems to defy a price point under $20. It warrants opening early, and the wine holds on for days. It will not disappoint.

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!

Julia Bailey has been making the Loop de Loop wines since 2012, starting small and taking the experience garnered every vintage into the next. Her wines have become steadily more graceful and distinctive accentuated by the hands-off technique in her winemaking; natural with a lowercase “n”. The current release of WV Pinot Noir has a freshness and brightness, but is decidedly more structured than years past. It comes off as a shade darker than the 2017 on the nose and in the glass with a finish that comes off as an exclamation point rather than an ellipse. Raspberry, tart cherry, and a light whiff of fresh herbs or forest floor. Over five years it will continue to develop the swirling aromatics and adding a little more unity and focus to the flavors.

Loop de Loop Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 6 bottles in stock now

This is the only listing in the USA today!

I laugh when I think about conversations with Chris Dickson. His expansive knowledge and honesty about his wines will give you all you ever want to know about the season, the winemaking, and his all too humble opinion of the wines. As “aw shucks” as he is when discussing this wine, there is something truly lovely about it. Balance is key – the aromatics are tea like and slightly floral with a wisp of smokiness. The flavor is richer than some 17s but not sappy or rich – just straightforward with incredible fruit and juicy acid. I do love the Twill wines, and I will always have some on hand around the house.

Twill Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 11 bottles in stock now


Wine Spectator Insider Reviews

April Reviews / Bring May Wines

Castello di Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($49.95) $38 pre-arrival special, ETA Mid-May
Case-6 Castello di Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750 ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!) 
Wine Spectator 93 points
“A focused, lively red, this exhibits cherry, strawberry, earth, mineral and Mediterranean herb flavors. Dense, staying fresh as this unwinds on the lingering aftertaste. Best from 2023 through 2042.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 pre-arrival special, ETA Mid-May
Case-12 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($799.95) $549 pre-arrival special (that’s only $45.75/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Tightly wound, with tart cherry, graphite, earth and cigar box flavors, aligned to an edge of firm tannins. Flirts with rusticity, yet remains tense and smoldering. Should gain more length as it opens. Best from 2023 through 2039.”

The average price nationally is $54

Weingut Clemens Busch Pundericher Marienberg Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2018 750ML ($49.95) $33 pre-arrival special, ETA May
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Rich and exotic, featuring mango, brown spice, slate, smoke and citrus notes. Open and fluid in style, crafted with precision and intensity. The submerged acidity reveals itself on the finish, along with a tactile sensation on the palate. Best from 2022 through 2038.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $42

Vinopolis Wine Shop Curbside Pick Up

Order Online / By Phone / By Email

When you’re ready to pick up, just park in our lot,
give us a call, & we’ll bring your order to your car.

(If another adult is picking up for you,
please let us know their name when placing your order.)



Telmo Rondriguez’s Top Rioja Value

Telmo Rondriguez is one of the most talented winemakers in Spain.  Internationally trained, he returned to the family estate, Remelluri, and has taken it to new heights.  Remelluri is in Rioja Alavesa—the smallest part of Rioja which is known for intense, powerful wines and these are no exception.  The soils in their vineyards are exceptionally shallow, creating small berries and greater concentration in the wines and their organic farming and careful cellar work keeps a sense of brightness and energy even in warm vintages. The combination has vaulted Remelluri to the upper echelons of Rioja producers.  Their wines are coveted in Spain and across the world

Remelluri only produces estate wines under their label, but if you know where to look, there are two wines made by the same talented team that cost much less.  These are the “Lindes de Remelluri” (borders of Remelluri) wines, made from old vines in specific terroirs in other parts of Rioja.  The San Vicente is made from grapes traditionally sold to the estate and sourced from village vineyards in San Vicente de La Sonsierra surrounding the estate.  This “second wine” is an absolute steal of a bottling and a wine to buy with abandon.

In Stock Now:

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

Collector’s Corner

Mature and Rare Champagne from de Venoge

De Venoge is one of the more overlooked old-school Champagne houses, a fact that means even their finest and rarest wines continue to be undervalued relative to their peers.  Case in point? The two prestige cuvees, the Louis d’Or and Louis XV bottlings, which are held back on the lees for exceedingly long periods of time and are true monuments of vintage bubbly.  We’ve secured a rare parcel of a few vintages of these wines, including the legendary ’96 and stellar 2006.  New wines just arrived and are in a perfect quarantine drinking window.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Only six bottles available
De Venoge Louis d’Or Brut, Champagne 1996 750ML ($299.95) $249 special
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 1996 Louis d’Or Brut Millésimé is a blend of 50% Pinot Noir from Verzenay, Ambonnay, Mailly and Bouzy and 50% Chardonnay from Avize, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Chouilly. Fermented in stainless steel, with malolactic, and it was disgorged in March 2016 with a dosage of six grams per liter. This luxurious, golden colored vintage Champagne offers a beautifully complex, matured and vinous bouquet with lovely brioche, mushroom and yeasty flavors. The visual CO2 is gone quickly, but on the palate it gives this lean and steely yet enormously complex Millésime a tight structure and enormous length. It is tastes bone dry so that you can fully concentrate on the very complex and mineral character and the lovely austere finish. This is great a Champagne for purists, and the finish is enormous, reminding me of matured dry Rieslings from the good old Rheingau. Many of our readers may eventually ask for more roundness and charm here… But first: this is 1996. And second: this is Louis d’Or, and there is no Champagne like this.-SR”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Only twenty four bottles available
De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Brut Millesime, Champagne 2006 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The assemblage of the 2006 Louis XV Brut Millésimé is about the same as the 1995 and 1996—composed of 50/50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, all from grand cru villages. The only difference is that the Chardonnay from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (10% of the assemblage) spent 12 months in oak barrels. Disgorged in January 2017 (dosage: six grams per liter), the 2006 has a golden color and opens with a deep, ripe, elegant and vinous bouquet with toasty and chalky lemon and fresh white fruit flavors. On the palate, this is an intense, round, fresh and complex Louis XV with great purity and finesse. The wine opens on the palate like a soufflé, coating the whole palate without any pressure or weight—gorgeous! This is a delicate and fresh yet well-structured and persistent Louis XV whose intense and long but weightless finish reveals lovely, almost juicy fruit concentration with perfectly integrated freshness and lasting minerality that seems to give additional structure. The 2006 shows a lot of Chardonnay features right now and drinks perfectly today; however, it can be kept under perfect conditions for decades. Just keep it in the box, because the bottle is white and nothing makes a Champagne age faster than exposure to daylight. (Tasted in November 2017 from Lot LL15067017BT.)-SR”

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

Also available from de Venoge:

In Stock Now:

Only ten bottles available
De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Extra Brut Rose Millesime, Champagne 2002 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Harmonious, with fine intensity, offering rich notes of spice cake, toasted almond, dried cherry, grilled plum and smoky mineral. Almost velvety in texture, with juicy acidity that brings you back for another sip. Delicious. Drink now through 2022. 54 cases made.”

Arriving ETA May:

De Venoge Louis XV Brut Millesime, Champagne 1996 750ML ($219.95) $189 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 96 points
“This is really complex, old Champagne with puff-pastry, dried-apple, spice and salted-nut aromas and flavors. Full body. Ultra fine bubbles with an extremely fine and creamy mouth feel. Extreme edge to it. This spent 21 years on the lees. Disgorged in 2018. Every year they disgorge 3,000 bottles”

De Venoge Louis XV Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($299.95) $249 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points
“This is really punchy and broad-shouldered with muscular structure and citrusy undertones. Full body. Lightly tannic and a fresh and vivid finish. This is the first vintage without malolactic fermentation ever. One for the cellar. Better in 2022.”
Wine Advocate 93+ points “The straw-yellow/white-golden colored 2008 Louis XV Brut Millésimé blends 50% Chardonnay (20 % from Avize, 15% from Oger and 15% from Mesnil) with 50% Pinot Noir (41.5% from Verzenay and 8.5% from Bouzy). Disgorged in January 2018 with a dosage of six grams per liter, the 2008 displays a clear, pure, fresh, chalky-tinged and vinous nose with lemon, white fruits, brioche, hazelnuts, white blossoms and some caramel notes. Pure, lean, fresh and elegant on the palate, with a lingering hazelnut flavor, this is a straight yet complex cuvée with grip and a long, well-structured and textured finish. This 2008 is still terribly fresh and should benefit from further bottle aging. For the moment, I am missing the mouth-filling generosity of the 2006 and 1995. Mind that this is the first vintage of de Venoge’s prestigious Louis XV where the base wines didn’t undergo malolactic fermentation! Total production: 10,326 bottles. Tasted October 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

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.

Stay safe, be well, & drink well.