Monday Newsletter 4-6-2020

In This Newsletter:

Subscriber Sale of the Day!

Weekend Subscriber Special Recap
Sale on 2015 Delas Ends Monday at 6 PM!


Staff Pick
Cheap & Cheerful New Arrivals

Collector’s Corner:
The Heights of Austrian Riesling
Be a Friend/Tell a Friend
Oregon Shipping Special

Now extended through April!
Free Oregon Ground Shipping on Orders Over $120

Looking for our great deals and shipping specials to continue?
Tell a friend who’s not on our email list to take advantage of this great offer and keep us busy in these unusual times!

Subscriber Sale of the Day!

Ends Wednesday, April 8th

Jean-Baptiste Adam Riesling Les Natures, Alsace 2016 750ML ($29.95) Was $18, Now $16 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Jean-Baptiste Adam Riesling Les Natures, Alsace 2016 750ML ($279.59) Was $199, Now $169 Subscriber Special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 90 points
“Bright straw. Aromas and flavors of yellow plums and white pepper are complemented by more luscious notes of lemon curd. Very fresh and clean, with a classically dry (2 g/L residual sugar) finish that is extended by laser-like acidity (7.2 g/L total acidity). Made from grapes grown in four plots located in the area of Ammerschwihr plus one plot in the Letzenberg (as the latter gives a wine that differs greatly from the other Letzenberg wines, Adam chooses to blend it in here to add a little more freshness to the finished wine). Lovely, very good entry-level wine that will also age well.” 

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $20.99

Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Terre de Maimbray Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($27.95) Was $24, Now $19.50 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points
“Pale, shimmering pink. Vibrant, mineral-accented red currant, strawberry and blood orange aromas are complemented by a suave floral nuance. Shows impressive energy and precision on the palate, which displays intense citrus fruit, red berry and floral pastille flavors supported a bracing spine of dusty minerality. The floral note comes back strong on the bright, focused finish, which leaves a building mineral note behind.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $25

Vignobles Prissette Villa Symposia Coteaux du Languedoc l’Origine 2013 750ML ($39.95) Was $33, Now $28 Subscriber Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The terrific 2013 Pézenas l’Origine shows the hallmark spice-laced perfume of this appellation. Lots of red fruits, crushed flowers, spice and violet nuances give way to a medium-bodied, elegant and sweetly fruited 2013 that has fine tannin and a seamless, sexy texture. Drink this beauty anytime over the coming 5-6 years.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

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Weekend Subscriber Special Recap

Sale on 2015 Delas Ends Monday at 6 PM!
Known for crafting some of the Northern Rhone’s most powerful wines, Delas is a signature producer in a region with no shortage of legendary names. It is thanks to their significant holdings throughout the region that allow Delas to not only produce some of the region’s finest expressions, including their Hermitage Les Bessards, but also some of its best values. Wines like the St Joseph Francois de Tournon and Chante Perdrix Cornas prove that world-class Northern Rhone wines don’t necessarily have to break the bank.

With consistently strong scores from some of the world’s most respected critics, including a perfect score on their 2015 Hermitage Les Bessards, Delas’ wines no longer fly under the radar. However, even with the recent acclaim, Delas has kept their pricing reasonable. So, for those looking to experience what ambition tastes like in the Northern Rhone today, without the sticker shock, look no further.

To make your buying decisions even easier, we dropped the price on some of Delas’ top 2015 bottlings, taking them from Great Buys to Must Buys.  These prices won’t last for long, so grab some now!

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

In Stock Now:

Delas Freres Cornas Chante Perdrix, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) Was $44, Now $39 Subscriber Special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Hot Wine! Offers a delicious core of gently mulled blueberry, blackberry and black currant fruit that is matched by a mix of floral, mineral and singed spice notes throughout. The long chalky spine is well-buried on the finish, letting all the elements play out suavely through the finish. Best from 2021 through 2036. 1,100 cases made.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2015 Cornas Chante Perdrix is a blend of several parcels, vinified in concrete and aged primarily in oak. It’s dark and concentrated, although admittedly not the most muscular Cornas. Black currant and cedar notes combine along with peppery hints of Montreal smoked meat to yield a savory impression. It’s all held together by fine-grained, dusty tannins, which leave a lingering soft texture on the long, licorice-tinged finish. Already enjoyable, it should develop well for 10-12 years or more.”
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Dark purple. Expansive aromas of black and blue fruit preserves, smoky Indian spices and olive, with a suave floral nuance that gains strength with air. Deeply concentrated but energetic as well, offering palate-staining blueberry and violet pastille flavors and building spiciness. Rounded tannins add gentle grip to a strikingly long penetrating finish that clings with strong tenacity.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $53

Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards, Rhone 2015 750ML ($249.95) Was $219, Now $199 Subscriber Special
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points
“The top cuvée from Delas is the 2015 Hermitage Les Bessards, and it’s always 100% Syrah from the steep, broken granite soils of the Bessards lieu-dit. Aged 18 months in 30% new barrels, its purple/plum color is followed by a huge nose of blackcurrants, graphite, toasted spice, crushed rocks and saddle leather. Powerful, massively concentrated, and tannic, it has a broad, expansive, heavenly texture, a thick mid-palate (you could almost use a fork for this beauty), and a great finish. Despite the richness level, it stays balanced and graceful on the palate, and is never over the top or heavy. It’s a perfect Hermitage that will start to shine with 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for three decades or more. Bravo!”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar Selection! There’s a striking balance here calibrating bold, almost muscular ripeness against an invigorating granite edge. This wine is plump and full bodied, full of supple blackberry and plum flavors balanced by pert acidity and taut, penetrating tannins. It should be in peak from 2020–2035 but hold further.”
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “The top cuvée is the 2015 Hermitage les Bessards, which comes from the middle to lower portion of the steep, granite hillside known as Bessards, unquestionably one of the best terroirs for Syrah in the world. Its inky purple color is followed by a full-bodied, rich, thrillingly concentrated red that has huge tannin, bright acidity and a solid mid-palate concentration. It still tastes like it just came from the press and will need to be forgotten for a decade. As normal, it’s completely destemmed and will see 18 months in 30% new oak.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points “Inky ruby. A highly aromatic bouquet evokes candied black and blue fruits, along with complicating suggestions of smoky minerals, candied flowers, olive and vanilla. Deep, chewy and expansive in the mouth, offering impressively concentrated dark berry liqueur, fruitcake and salty olive flavors that are complicated by a hint of smoky minerality and a building floral pastille note. Distinctly rich and powerful but surprisingly graceful as well, showing noteworthy clarity and mineral-driven thrust on the strikingly long finish.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $223

Delas Freres Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhone 2015 750ML ($44.95) Was $36, Now $31.90 Subscriber Special
Case-6 Delas Freres Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhone 2015 750ML ($249.95) Was $199, Now $179 Subscriber Special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Inky and concentrated, the 2015 Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon is no easy-drinking Saint-Joseph. It’s smoky, herbal and ashy all at once, yet it’s buoyed by ample black cherry fruit and vibrant acidity. This medium to full-bodied Syrah has plenty of tannins, but they’re ultimately silky and most apparent on the long, licorice-tinged finish. This is approachable now but should be even better in 3 years and should drink well for at least another 10 after that.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Both Saint Joseph releases are brilliant in 2015. The 2015 Saint Joseph François De Tournon comes vines around Tournon, Mauves, Saint-Jean-de-Muzols, and Vion, and is always destemmed and aged in 30% new barrels. This full-bodied, rounded, sexy beauty shows the power and fruit of the vintage. With classic notes of black and blue fruits, violets, incense and pepper, drink this textured, expansive, terrific Saint Joseph over the coming 10-15 years.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Dark ruby. High-pitched red and dark berry and violet aromas show excellent focus and pick up hints of cracked pepper and sandalwood with air. Sappy and seamless in texture, offering fresh black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a hint of candied licorice. Turns sweeter on the penetrating, impressively long finish, which features smooth, even tannins and lingering boysenberry and floral qualities. “
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $46

Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes-Marquise de la Tourette, Rhone 2015 750ML ($89.95) Was $59, Now $54.50 Subscriber Special
Falstaff 96 points
“[Translated] Very closed, blackberry jam, hints of balsamic spice. Creamy start, immediately present minerality, extremely high density with fine but not too silky tannins, an elegance at the maximum of what fits in 14 percent by volume, minerally seasoned, all components seamlessly integrated, ripe, well-bearing acidity, very expressive.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This is loaded with well-defined loganberry, blackberry and boysenberry pâte de fruit flavors, flecked with anise and black tea notes and carried by a fine iron streak that lingers wonderfully. A wine of cut, purity and precision. Best from 2020 through 2035. From France.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “A blend of Syrah grapes from several lieux-dits, including Les Bessards, the 2015 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes is aged in new and second use barrels. It’s a dark, concentrated wine, meaty, rich and tannic but with a bright beam of cassis fruit that lifts it and gives it great definition and shape on the palate. Give this medium to full-bodied wine at least 5 years in the cellar and drink it over the next 15.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “While the Les Bessards gets all the attention, the 2015 Hermitage Domaine Des Tourettes isn’t far behind and is unquestionably the value play. Beef blood, cassis, blackberry liqueur and loads of crushed rock nuances all emerge from this ripe, concentrated, full-bodied Hermitage that has a classic, structured profile. It’s well worth a case purchase and will keep for two to three decades. As always, this cuvée comes from two parcels, the lower part of the Bessards lieu-dit and the Les Grandes Vignes located at the highest point on Hermitage Hill. It’s completely destemmed and sees 16 months in 30% new French oak.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Enticing hints of sweet spice, black pepper and bacon fat seduce on the nose of this rich but balanced Hermitage. Blackberry and cherry flavors are fresh and juicy but structured by firm tannins and brisk acidity. A polished wine already, it should intensify its savory, smoky complexities well through 2030.”
Richard Hemming – Jancis Robinson 18/20 “Smokier and firmer than their Bessards Hermitage. Dense, furry tannins and loads of savoury liquorice flavour. This is classic Hermitage: burly, powerful, grainy and heady – superb clarity of fruit. Faultless balance.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $86
Subscriber Special Pricing Valid Until Monday, April 6th at 6 PM


Always the darkest and richest of his Pinots and one of the best for drinking young.  
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.”

Wonderful, balanced California Chard for a steal.
Varner El Camino Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Varner El Camino Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County 2016 750ML ($299.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“Bob and Jim Varner’s 2016 Chardonnay is terrific. Orchard fruit, white flowers, mint, tangerine oil and light tropical overtones infuse the 2016 with notable character. Los Alamos Chardonnays tend to be a bit more lifted, but there is plenty of depth here. Most of the wine was aged in large foudre, which further helps in retaining energy.”
Polaner Selections note “The wine was fermented 100% in stainless steel then aged in a combination of new Francois Freres puncheons (26%) for 6 months and the remainder (74%) in stainless steel on the lees with no malolactic fermentation.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $23

Domaine Bunan Moulin des Costes Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($27.95) Was $24, Now $21.90 special
“Hints of crushed stone and lime zest appear on the nose of the 2018 Bandol Rose Moulin des Costes, a blend of 50% Cinsault, 40% Mourvèdre and 10% Grenache. Although only light to medium-bodied, it’s pleasantly silky in texture, with ample length on the refined, elegant finish.” -Wine Advocate

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $27

Back in stock!
Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2018 750ML ($17.95) $13.50 special
James Suckling 91 points
“This is pure syrah from both sides of the southern Rhône and has very rich dark cherries and sweet ripeness to the palate. Good depth and detail here. Juicy and long. Quite plush, too. Drink now. “
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2018 Cotes du Rhone is 100% Syrah, sourced from the Gard (on the right bank of the Rhône) and Vinsobres (left bank, higher elevation). Violets, black olives and cassis and blueberry flavors provide terrific varietal expression in a medium to full-bodied package framed by silky tannins. Depending on your local pricing, it should be a terrific value.”
Wine Spectator 89 points “SMART BUY! Lively savory, lavender, cherry and black currant notes mix in this friendly, open-knit wine, which reveals a tug of dark earth at the end. Drink now through 2020. 30,000 cases made, 20,800 cases imported.”

Veglio Michelino & Figlio Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($39.95) Was $28, Now $24 Subscriber Special
James Suckling 92 points
“Some swanky, glossy oak adds toffee aromas to the ripe red cherries. Plenty of vanilla here, too. The palate delivers a fullish and round impression with plenty of oak again in the mix. Praline and ripe red cherries in abundance here. Try from 2022.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Staff Pick

Cheap & Cheerful New Arrivals

Fizz: a Capitol ideaI confess: fizzy wine makes me happy. Let me correct, good fizzy wine makes me happy. Whether it’s a noble Tete de Cuvee to a spritzy Vinho Verde, if it’s expertly crafted and sparkling, I’m there. 

We just had a few new inexpensive fizzy lifting drinks arrive on Friday. They come from a variety of places, but all share two things: they taste good and they’re sparkling.

OK, two more: they’re in stock now and we’re offering them all at the best price in the USA.

Local, from early picked grapes. Tart, zesty and limestone-y. Very refreshing. 
Illahe ‘Capitol Fizz’ Sparkling Wine, Willamette Valley NV 750ML ($21.95) $19 special
Winery note
“Capitol Fizz is a sparkling wine that gives a shout out to our beautiful art deco state capitol as well as the pioneering spirit has always been strong throughout the state of Oregon. This fizz is also our reaction to the single-serve market (in a bottle as an alternative to the canned wine craze) as well as people’s craving for everything bubbly. Capitol Fizz is a dry, pink bubbly bottle of refreshment for workers, picnickers, fishers, makers, singers, and watchers of the western sunset. Picked early at harvest, it has lively acid and a pretty aroma enhanced by its sparkle and joined together with the feeling of seeing a rainbow behind a waterfall. Capitol Fizz comes in two sizes–individual enjoyment, and friendly gathering. This is a sparkling wine that you can drink like a beer. Just pop the crown cap. No pontification required. Alcohol 11.00%.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Yeasty and floral, like a baked pear tart with a wildflower honey drizzle. Dry yet sleek.
Loredan Gasparini Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, Veneto NV 750ML ($17.95) $13.90 special
James Suckling 90 points
“Delicious combination of pear and biscuit on the palate with medium body, bright acidity and a fresh finish. Fresh and satisfying. A different style of Prosecco that you should check out.”
Decanter 89 points “Loredan Gasparini’s Asolo Prosecco Superiore is grown on mineral soils that give the wine structure. This wine uses wild yeasts, providing a beautiful range of flavours; elderflower and peaches are supported by a lovely, soft mousse.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Yes, I’m staff picking a wine under $9/bottle. It’s delicious. Like a richer version of the Ameztoi Rubentis: salty and tart, but with a fuller red berry profile.
Quinta das Arcas Arca Nova Espadeiro Rose, Vinho Verde, Portugal 2018 750ML ($14.95) $8.80 special
Winery note
“Produced from the Espadeiro variety, this wine defines a new concept rosé. The red fruit and berries aromas, blended with the freshness and lightness only possible in a Vinho Verde, make this a very special rosé.”
Importer note “Quinta das Arcas is a small family owned and operated estate.  All of their grapes are estate grown between their 4 estates in the Vinho Verde and Alentejo regions. Their vines are trellised so the clusters grow about 6 feet above the ground, which allows the wind to blow under the grapes to remove the humidity. This rose is very interesting because most people do not think of Rose from the Vinho Verde region. Tasting notes: Light pink salmon color. Crisp with a slight effervesce. Youthful and floral. Light intensity on the palate with lemon, green apple, and peach flavors and a medium finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $10.99

A savory, creamy Cava that pairs superbly with a vast range of foods.
Torre Oria Brut Reserva Cava, Requena, Spain NV 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special
Decanter World Wine Awards 89 points
“80% Macabeo, 20% Chardonnay. Fresh green apple with pear and apricot nose. Creamy mousse with tension on the palate.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Collector’s Corner


The Heights of Austrian Riesling

Nikolaihof is a giant of Austrian wine—a producer whose history and quality are unrivaled even in a country full of great producers.  The estate dates back to Roman times and the Saahs family has run the property for over a century and a quarter. They produce wines of deep resonant flavors, which have fresh brightness but standout for an undercurrent of vinosity. They’re bright, precise and mineral-drenched with the power and density of the Wachau. These are the heights of Austrian wine.

Top Selections In Stock Now:

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Vinothek Riesling, Wachau 2002 750ML ($219.95) $179 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 96 points
“From the Im Weingebirge single vineyard, the 2002 Riesling Vinothek has been aged… for 16 years in a 6,000-liter oak cask. Bottled in July 2018, the brilliantly white-golden colored wine is fascinatingly clear and bright on the elegant and aromatic nose. Highly elegant and beautifully balanced on the palate, with some bitterness in the finish, this is a concentrated Riesling whose fine acidity is completely integrated. The finish is tight, intense, very complex and terribly long. The acidity is completely interwoven with the stony character, which gives the 2002 great elegance and finesse. Tasted at the Nikolaihof in Mautern/Wachau, September 2018.”
Terry Theise “[++]This as you know is a concept whereby a Smaragd wine is left in (large) cask for fifteen years or longer, without sulfur. (There’s a parallel program called “Steinriesler” made from lighter material, but I wasn’t persuaded by the current vintage.) This is the best since the ’95; solid, powerful, smoky; strong but not heavy, an old iron stove of Riesling. The roast is reposing fragrantly, and the stove still smolders….”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Vinothek Riesling, Wachau 1997 750ML ($219.95) $149 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 97 points
“Aged for 17 years in a domestic 3,500-liter cask before it was bottled in August 2014, the 1997 Riesling Vinothek is the best part of the regular 1997 Riesling Smaragd Im Weingebirge, which was bottled and marketed in late 1998. The aged Vinothek version offers a fascinatingly clear, bright, deep and multi-layered nose with iodine and ripe as well as intense white-fleshed fruit aromas. Full-bodied, full of finesse and elegant, this dry, transparent and mineral Riesling develops a great intensity, complexity and power on the palate, but never leaves its silky road of purity, finesse and transparency. There is a lot of Spiel and tension here, but the most exciting characteristic trait is the intense and very mineral, almost endless finish. How youthful this wine is! And its further aging potential is still terrific. The wine reminds me of certain sherries, white Riojas and Jura wines, although it is not less oxidative. But it spent a long time in cask and has the freshness, complexity and thrilling taste of those. It’s a great, unique and stimulating wine that was bottled with 12.8% of alcohol, 6 grams of residual sugar and 6.5 grams of acidity.”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 97 points “This successor to the almost supernaturally ethereal and haunting 1995 also has to live up to the reputation of a vintage-of-the-half-century. It manages, though! The bouquet is unearthly in its complex amalgam of bittersweetly floral (iris, gentian, buddleia), pungently nutty, subtly smoky (black tea) and elusively mineral (sea breeze, wet stone, faint fusel oil) components. Considering the secondary development signaled on the nose, a surprising intensity of pure white peach, apple and grapefruit emerges sumptuously on the silky palate. The buoyant finish, more tightly clinging and less ethereal than that of the 1995, represents a long, harmoniously undulating interaction of liquid floral perfume, diverse minerality and succulent fresh fruits. I tasted this shortly before its mid-2014 bottling (a rare exception to the Nikolaihof rule against unveiling wines from cask) and did not review that note before tasting seven months later. My first spontaneous word each time was “unearthly.” And happily, my impressions that followed demonstrated that this wine’s amazing personality, including its aromas and textural allure, had made it to bottle scarcely altered. The source vineyard here, incidentally, is the Im Weingebirge whereas the 1995 was from Vom Stein.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $175

Nikolaihof Steiner Hund Riesling, Wachau 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Nikolaihof Steiner Hund Riesling, Wachau 2014 750ML ($479.95) $319 special (that’s only $53.17/bottle!)
James Suckling 98 points
“A huge dried apricot nose. In spite of the power this is super-elegant with a very long, radically mineral character that makes the wine swell in your mouth at the amazing finish. It may be too dry for some, but I find this spectacular. Drink or hold as long as you dare!”
David Schildknecht 96 points “Like its remarkable Vom Stein counterpart, I tasted this wine after it had been racked to tank, a few months before its December 2017 bottling, then again from bottle in the course of 2018. The penetrating nose is dominated by white peach, white currant and lime, anticipating the brightly juicy palate impression. But suggestions of crushed stone, bittersweet iris, clam stock, radish, kelp and smoky black tea add increasing intrigue as the wine opens to the air and is worked over in the mouth. There is underlying firmness but also a suggestion of silkiness born of lengthy lees exposure in cask, and the sense of levity, remarkably, is that of a typical Nikolaihof Federspiel more than of a Smaragd. The vibrant finishing influx of alkali, crushed stone, iodine, mineral salts, mustard seed and white pepper is almost savagely intense, practically stinging – taking matters in an at once mouthwatering and invigorating but also slightly austere direction. Here’s further proof for any who remain skeptics that the 2014 vintage – its challenges and vicissitudes notwithstanding – has at its very best delivered some of the Wachau’s and neighboring Lower Austria’s most exciting and potentially ageworthy wines of the past two decades. Tasting the outstanding 2013 alongside, this 2014 came nipping right at its heels: attention au chien!”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar Selection. The beeswax, wet stone, hayflower and dried lemon notes on the nose of this wine suggest development. Its dry, slender yet concentrated palate has a weightless fluidity that echoes with eloquent beeswax and citrus oil flavors. The combination of lightness and beautiful depth make it so intriguing and moreish. Subtle, lovely, taut and fresh, it’s nowhere near its peak. The finish reveals a brilliant dash of mandarin. Drink 2028–2040.”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Riesling vom Stein Smaragd, Wachau 2014 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht 97 points
“In a departure from usual Nikolaihof practice – given that it had by then been filtered and assembled into tank – I was offered my first taste of this wine shortly before the initial, December 2017 bottling. The wine was exciting then, and when re-tasted repeatedly in the course of 2018 had only gained in stature. Moss, lemon zest, peach kernel and toasted grain on the nose put me in mind of a relatively austere white Burgundy. But that sense of kinship dims with the emergence of high-toned hints of lavender and mint, mouthwatering ocean breeze and a sappy, juicy abundance of fresh lime and white peach juiciness on the silken palate. There are also faint hints of kirsch and mothball such as one can encounter from time to time at this address and to whose volatility some tasters might object. The finish is transparent to a veritable carpet of mineral matter – albeit a levitating, vibrantly undulating one! Crushed stone, alkali, mineral salts and iodine combine with herbal and protein-rich flavors for something approximating a blend of oyster liquor and clam stock that set my salivary glands to palpitating. And now for the astonishing kicker: This remarkable stuff filled the largest cask in the Nikolaihof cellar, with a capacity of 12,000 liters! Half was bottled in 2017 and 2018; the rest will be held back – let’s hope eventually to inform a Vinothek offering. “The only sense in which this wine needed to be bottled,” noted Saahs, “was in order to avoid Vom Stein Smaragd temporarily dropping from our price list and to make room in the cellar. It wasn’t the phases of the moon calling the shots,” he added with a sly grin. (Re-tasted alongside, the corresponding 2013 showed at the upper end of my earlier projection. But despite issuing from one of the two finest Wachau vintages that it has been my privilege to taste as young wines, that 2013 doesn’t quite reach the complexity nor exhibit the clarity and energy of this 2014 – not for now, at least.)”
James Suckling 95 points “An intensely minerally riesling that combines considerable power with a slim silhouette. Finely etched dried-pear and candied-lemon flavors echo through the long, subtle finish. From biodynamically grown grapes. Demeter certified. Drink or hold. Screw cap.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Shop our complete selection of 23 different Nikolaihof wines on our webstore – all in stock now!

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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