Monday Newsletter 5-27-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

The Sensational Von Winning Ungeheuer 2017
Decanter Magazine’s Best in Show

Force Majeure:
The Washington Insider’s Pick


New Arrival Feature Focus: Rosé
Perfect Pink Picks for You

New Week – New Arrivals

New Week – New Reviews!

Hubert Lignier New Releases
A Study in Profundity

May Sale Recap

VWS Will Be Open for Memorial Day

For our regularly scheduled hours

10 am – 6 pm daily

Germany’s Greatest Wine?


Decanter Awards Best in Show to Only One German Wine:

The Sensational Von Winning Ungeheuer 2017

Von Winning makes some of our favorite dry Riesling on the planet. No surprise then that Decanter Magazine awarded their Best in Show 2018 to only one wine from Germany: Von Winning’s Ungeheuer 2017.  We knew that the 2017 Von Winning Grosses Gewächs (ie: Grand Cru, if you’re unfamiliar with the classification) would be stunning.  ’17 is a year for powerful, intense wines across Germany and Von Winning’s late released offerings are everything you could ask for (and more).  This is a Riesling of depth and profundity, with grace and mineral power.  Across the board, their wines demand your attention, even when they speak under their breath. The Von Winning wines speak the language of the floral and mineral flavors that are both intense and furtive and also seemingly unable to be coaxed out of these vineyards by anyone else.

While the review won’t be published until awards are announced, Decanter gave its top honors to only one wine from Germany, which arrives in our store later this month.

Decanter Awards Best in Show from Germany:

Weingut von Winning, Ungeheuer, Grosses Gewächs, Pfalz, Germany 2017 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Best in Show 2018 – Decanter World Wine Awards

Terry Theise “is beautifully untamed, like a big man whose belly is all muscle”

Also Arriving from Von Winning:

Von Winning Kirchenstuck Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93-94 points
“Site-typically musky notes of narcissus mingle with anticipations of the bright lime and pure, luscious white peach that dominate a silken, subtly oily, expansive palate. The layering of inner-mouth floral perfume, high-toned green herbal essences and mouthwateringly scallop-like savor is hugely impressive, leading to a finish whose musky bittersweetness reminds me of sucking on the stem-end of honeysuckle blossoms; whose salinity tugs at the salivary glands; and whose effusive fruit is transparent to stony underpinnings.”
Terry Theise “(Forst) After being overtaken by Pechstein in 2016, this supernal vineyard reasserts itself, and creates a sublime dry riesling that stands with the greatest I’ve ever encountered. Sublime, the only word that suffices. Seizes you gently but doesn’t let go. Visits every cell in your mouth and leaves you coated with flowers and stones. Great wines take you into the ground, but you don’t have subterranean eyes, and so you are blind and blissful and still and surrounded, and all the world below is present for you.”

Von Winning Deidesheimer Langenmorgen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93-94 points
“Peach kernel as well as toasted nuts and rye are piquantly signaled on the nose, accompanied by pungent green herbs; the gripping palate adds cheek-tugging persimmon. Fortunately, these are joined by an almost pulpy evocation of mirabelle and white peach, to which it seems (the wine being analytically almost bone-dry) as though sheer extract has conveyed a suggestion of sweetness. Iodine and crushed stone add mineral mystery to a profoundly layered, prodigious finish. This already striking success is a prime candidate for unfiltered bottling.”
Terry Theise “is breathtaking, full of grip and this kind of salty rye-crust on a blistery pizza; no fruit or flower but everything else, every herb and every leaf and a precise peppery power”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $76.50
Von Winning Pechstein Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93-94 points
“A penetrating nose of peppermint and wintergreen anticipates the simultaneously cooling and glowing impression conveyed on an expansive and silken yet crushed-stone-suffused palate. Mirabelle provides a welcome midpalate suggestion of fruitiness. Like the corresponding Jesuitengarten, this finishes with tongue-tingling vibrancy and remarkable persistence. At the same time, lime-like juiciness refreshes, and strong salinity milks the salivary glands. Hopefully, this concentrated essence of its site will permit unfiltered bottling.”
Terry Theise “is the most beloved perhaps of all Pfalz vineyards, and ’17 is…well…stonier and spicier than 2016s masterpiece; more zing, with a voice that could shatter a glass.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Von Winning Deidesheim Grainhubel Riesling Grosses Gewachs Trocken, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($69.95) $53.50 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93-94 points
“A fascinating and alluring nose adds to high-toned sweet corn and herbs (in fresh and distilled form) a distinct, mouthwatering evocation of sweet-saline, mineral-laden raw scallop. A full, oily-rich palate is palpably lees-enriched and faintly marked by lanolin and resin from barrel, but chiefly informed by luscious sweet corn and a salivary-gland-milking reprise of scallop. Sizzle of corn shoot, ginger and lime zest invigorate on a gripping finish strikingly transparent to stony underpinnings. Let’s hope none of this is lost getting into bottle early in 2019!”
Terry Theise “is insane! A great vintage.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $64.99

Force Majeure

Featured New Arrival

The Washington Insider’s Pick

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 secured one case each of their high scoring, hard to get bottlings and are eager to share.

Newly Arrived

Force Majeure Parabellum Red Mountain, Washington 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
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 $53
Force Majeure Vineyards Estate Vineyard Syrah, Red Mountain 2015 750ML ($89.95) $75 special
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 Blend, Red Mountain 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
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!
The next best price is $89.97
Force Majeure Vineyards Epinette, Red Mountain 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“A Pomerol look-alike, the 2015 Epinette is mostly Merlot, yet includes 30% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Franc 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 is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $89.99


Restocked and loaded!
Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2017 750ML ($189.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Grapelive 92 points
“Saint Cosme’s Cotes-duRhone, grown on a mix of soils, including red clay, pebbles and limestone sands all hillside vines is partial whole cluster and all tank raised. Always a wine of value and purity it gives a ton of character, personality and never disappoints in any vintage, and this one is an exceptional year. In 2017, low yields produced wines with lots of intensity and depth with hedonistic density, but with vibrant fresh detail, with what Barruol notes, adds crunchiness and salinity to this beautiful red wine. This 2017, which is an amazing follow up to the great 2015 and 2016 versions that I loved, delivers boysenberry, sweet blueberry and plum fruit as well as savory spices, a touch of meat, black licorice and a inner perfume of violets and lavender. Rounded tannins give structure, making this wine perform at a higher level than one would expect and this vintage in particular will age well, maybe a decade or more, impressive for the price!”
James Suckling 91 points “Beautiful, garrigue herbs and flowers across fragrant, red berries. The palate has a very deep-set, plush and ripe core of dark-berry flavors, amid glossy, ripe tannins. Great value. Drink or hold.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 100% Syrah 2017 Cotes du Rhone is a bargain superstar, offering hints of smoke, cracked pepper, blueberries and black olives. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a long, supple finish. For the $20 (or less) I’ve seen it selling for, you’re not going to find a better Syrah.”

Old-school, 95 point Gigondas, Under $30!
Domaine de Cabasse Gigondas Jucunditas, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) $28 special
Wine Advocate 95 points
“A blend of 70% Grenache and 15% each Mourvèdre and Syrah grown at about 400 meters above sea level, the 2016 Gigondas Jucunditas is a silky, lush wine. Cherry, apricot and dark chocolate notes swirl about on the nose and palate of this full-bodied offering, which shows great length on the finish, picking up hints of licorice and cracked pepper. It’s a lovely expression of the appellation’s high-altitude terroir.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Such a beauty! And just entering its prime drinking window
Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Case-6 Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2010 750ML ($899.95) $679 special (that’s only $113.17/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 98 points
“A stunning red, featuring peony, strawberry, cherry and mineral flavors, accented by notes of wild herbs. Intense and deep, with great purity and elegance, a firmly wrought structure and a long finish. The harmony between fruit, tannins and acidity should allow this to age beautifully. Best from 2019 through 2036.”
James Suckling 97 points “Beautiful aromas of dark fruits and minerals. Full-bodied, succulent and chewy. It’s tight and stony. Lots of black olives and wet earth under the fruit. Bright and linear wine with beautiful layers…”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Montosoli enthusiasts will not be disappointed by the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli. This special single-vineyard expression shows a beautifully fragrant and floral bouquet that is exactly in line with what this firmly consistent producer strives to achieve. This wine represents one of the most distinctive expressions of varietal voice and that’s what makes it so precious and rare. Sangiovese sings loud with small berry nuances and loud floral impressions of rose, violet and lavender. Its underlying complexity is further enhanced by anise seed, cola and licorice stick. The wine’s texture is soothing soft and silky. This is one for your cellars to age ten years or more.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Case-6 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($249.95) $199 special (that’s only $33.17/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The red flagship 2006 Viña Tondonia Reserva was inspired by the vineyards of the Médoc but produced with local grapes, 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, which achieved 13% alcohol in 2006. It always matures in used American oak barriques for some six years. The oldest of all the reds I tasted, it was also the one with more freshness, which speaks to the quality of the vineyard. This takes the lion’s share of the 400,000 bottles the winery produces, with some 220,000 bottles filled over a period of 12 consecutive days in May 2014.”
James Suckling 94 points “This is a remarkably lively wine for a 12-year-old Rioja with notes of licorice and dried cherries and a very elegant tannin structure that runs through the medium to full body of this red like a silk thread. The dry finish is long and polished. Drink or hold.”
The average price is $44

New Arrival Feature Focus: Rosé

Perfect Pink Picks for You

No need to wait– 2018 rosés are here and delicious right out of the gate. Feeling a little overwhelmed by the 70 rosés we have on hand? No problem. We’ve made selecting easier by sorting the ten new pink arrivals for you! So select some old friends and try some new estates we know you’ll love.

Perfect Pink Picks for: _____

Patio / Camping

Yes, it’s in a can, but by golly it’s delicious. Staff favorite!
Cameron Winery Spritz Rose, Willamette Valley NV 250ML CAN ($9.95) $6.60 special
This is a Pinot Blanc-dominant blend with a touch of Pinot Noir and a gentle effervescence. This coppery-pink wine offers notes of juicy pear, white cherries and fresh flowers. Fun, fruity, and fabulous inside and out, this is hands down the finest thing in a can (and one of the finest Willamette Valley rosés released this year)!
This is the only listing in the USA today!
We suggest sipping as the sun sets over a tempestuous ocean, or other such evocative moments… this is a wine to drink on its own not because it’s frivolous, but to better focus your attention on its depth and beauty.
Twill Cellars Rose of Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($21.95) $17 special
A single-vineyard Pinot Noir rosé (with a dollop of Gamay) from Molly’s Vineyard in the Northeast Willamette Valley. Some of the barrels went through malolactic fermentation, offering a savory undertone to the elegant style. There are notes of red berries, rose petals and lemon zest. This is a superb release from the up-and-coming winery. Keep an eye on this estate!
This is the only listing in the USA today!
The red Miraflors may be all voluptuousness and silk, but the rosé is surprisingly refreshing and tart.
Domaine Lafage Cotes du Roussillon Miraflors Rose 2018 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points
“Light pink-colored, the 2018 Miraflors Rosé is another great vintage for this cuvée. It has beautiful white peach, orange zest, and salty sea breeze aromas and flavors in its vibrant, crisp profile. It’s as pure and vibrant as it gets, a classic, Provençal-style beauty to drink over the coming summer months.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Old vine rosé? No seriously. This cherry-colored rosé is the perfect example of the style and a fine wine to pair with Italian charcuterie and cheeses. 
Torre dei Beati ‘Rosa-ae’ Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 2018 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Ian D’Agata 91 points
“Bright dark pink. Delicate aromas of strawberry and rosehip on the inviting nose. Then richer and tactile on the palate, with juicy acidity lifting and focusing the peppery red fruit flavors on the long finish. The freshness and liveliness is typical of the 2018 vintage. The Montepulciano grapes used to make this wine were planted in 1972.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
A serious and seriously delicious rosé
Chateau Pradeaux Le Cotes de Provence Rose 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Neal Rosenthal note
“Comprising 75% Mourvèdre, 15% Cinsault, and 10% Grenache, with an average vine age of 40 years, the 2018 Côtes de Provence Rosé is even closer in character to its Bandol counterpart than it normally is. Serious and strapping, it offers a penetrating chalky minerality, robust red fruits, and a whisper of tannin that contributes to a particularly long and clinging impression on the palate.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Staff favorite!
M. Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 M. Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($199.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
We love the herby Cab Franc note that underscores the red berry and mineral notes. Season your palate with a glass or two on a sunny day.
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
And it’s even lower by the case
Grilling & Barbecue
Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cote du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cote du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2018 750ML ($189.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Spicy and citrusy, like a squeeze of lemon and spicy rub on your grilled fish & chicken. 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 7% Mourvèdre, 3% Counoise from 25 year old vines. Biodynamic.

Gives Tavel a run for its money
Chateau de Montfaucon Lirac Rose, Rhone 2018 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Winery note
“30% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 25% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignan, 10% Clairette. Chateau de Montfaucon is located in the heart of the Rhone Valley overlooking the river on the right bank. This complex rose from the great Lirac Cru terroirs combines intensity, gourmandize and finesse. Its red berry, almond and peach aromas along with its ample mouthfeel and fresh finish [indicate] a true gastromonie rose calling for audacious food pairings –Rodolphe de Pins.”
VinopolNote: One of the last truly old-school Southern Rhone producers (see Gour de Chaule in Gigondas, too). Long ignored due to its subtly, Chateau Montfaucon is seeing renewed interest in the US now that alcohol percentage is no longer the sole indicator of quality.

Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Les Griottes Rose, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
This Weygandt-Metzler import has upped its game in 2018. Sourced from the youngest vines that grow alongside Morello cherry (griotte) trees, this rosé reflects its companions with its bright cherry and floral notes. The crunchy acidity makes it a great wine to pair with tangy barbeque or fruit and veggie dishes.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Tempier gets all the fuss, but Pradeaux has all the power
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 1.5L ($79.95) $69 special
Neal Rosenthal note
“Pradeaux’s iconic Bandol Rosé really shines in 2018, with even greater complexity and length than usual. As mentioned above, a third of the wine was fermented in a single 50-hectoliter foudre (but moved immediately to tank following the fermentation), which contributes a subtle granular cling on the palate and opens up the wine a bit aromatically. While never a simple sipping wine, the 2018 is particularly vinous, offering real density and richness, yet retaining a freshness of spirit at the same time. The final blend comprises 80% Mourvèdre and 20% Cinsault.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast for the 750ml!
And the lowest listed price in the USA today for the magnum!
The average price nationally is $32 for the 750ml
New Week – New Arrivals

Top Trending Pick! 
Mayacamas Vineyards Chardonnay, Mount Veeder 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2016 Chardonnay is fabulous. A vivid, textured wine, the 2016 possesses remarkable finesse and intensity in all of its dimensions. Lemon oil and white flowers are amped up by the natural intensity of these old vines. The 2016 was fermented and aged in neutral oak, with no malolactic fermentation. Mayacamas is setting a new standard for what California Chardonnay can be. Don’t miss it.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Editor’s Choice. From the mighty dry-farmed site within the secluded appellation, this incredible wine is expressive in tones of flint, fig, pear and lemon peel, with lasting acidity that brightens and freshens the palate. Medium bodied, it’s soft in feel yet structured, balanced and complex.”

A true Napa First Growth
Mayacamas Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder 2014 750ML ($137.95) $119 special
Antonio Galloni 96+ points
“The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon shows the best qualities of the year to great effect. Powerful, incisive and tannic, yet also medium-bodied in structure, the 2014 is laser-focused and exceptionally beautiful. Precision and finely sculpted, the 2014 is going to need at least a few years to come into its own, but it is incredibly vivid and poised, even at this early stage. Red fruit, wild flowers, orange peel and chalk add brightness throughout.”
James Suckling 97 points “Aromas of blackcurrant, mushroom, wet earth and bark follow through to a full body, chewy tannins and a stone, berry, chili and spice aftertaste. Muscular and chunky. Very serious. Almost no new oak. This shows the Mayacamas DNA. October 2018 release.”

One of the greatest Syrahs from California at a 5th the price of SQN
[To order, reply to this email or call. We cannot list this wine online.]
Saxum Vineyards Broken Stones, Paso Robles 2016 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, only 6 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 96-100 points
“More Syrah dominated than normal, the 2016 Broken Stones is a big, badass wine that offers tons of black fruits, scorched earth, licorice and peppered meat. Thick, unctuous and seriously concentrated, it’s another tour de force from Justin that just might be the best yet.”
Josh Raynolds 95-97 points “Opaque purple. Expansive aromas of dark fruit liqueur, incense, vanilla, violet and spicecake are joined by olive and cola nuances that build in the background. Fleshy and broad in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated yet lively black and blue fruit preserve, star anise and violet pastille flavors brightened by a vibrant mineral flourish. Supple and appealingly sweet on the extremely long, floral-dominated finish, which is shaped by smooth, steadily building tannins.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94-96+ points “A blend of 52% Syrah, 18% Mataro, 10% Grenache, 10% Tempranillo, 8% Petite Sirah and 2% Roussanne, the 2016 Broken Stones (which will be bottled later this year) offers up brooding aromas of grilled meat and smoky black fruits. On the palate, it’s full-bodied and very powerful, with sweet tannins, considerable concentration and chewy extract, and there’s a long, stony finish. This cuvée used to see mainly new oak, but the 2016 is being matured in 51% new puncheons, 32% foudre and 13% amphora, with the balance in used wood. Perhaps that’s why this vintage has all the power and amplitude that readers will have come to expect from Broken Stones but also more tension and precision.”

Champagne Hebrart Cuvee Reserve Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points
“The NV Brut Cuvée de Reserve is gorgeous. Bright, energetic and focused, the Cuvee de Reserve offers a striking tension for a Pinot-based NV Champagne. There is level of translucent purity in the Brut Cuvée de Reserve that is striking, Lemon confit, wild flowers, mint and almond notes all develop in an effortless, gracious Champagne that will drink well right out of the gate. The blend is 45% 2015, 25% 2014, 20% 2013 and 10% 2012, mostly Pinot Noir, with 15% Chardonnay. Disgorged: December 6, 2017.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $51
A powerhouse in NSG
Domaine Henri Gouges Les Vaucrains, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $125 special
Burghound 94 points
“An exuberantly spicy nose offers up notes of cassis, various black fruit nuances and plenty of earth and game scents. The dense, powerful and brooding big-bodied flavors possess outstanding volume and mid-palate concentration where the abundant dry extract serves to buffer the very firm and imposing tannic spine on the hugely long finish. This is certainly a big wine, in fact it’s borderline massive and not surprisingly it’s going to need a very long time to arrive at its full potential. Recommended.”
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points “(aged in 25% new oak): Bright medium red. Subdued nose shows more red than black fruits, along with complicating notes of spices and red licorice. Wonderfully sweet, spicy and rich, with enough juiciness to give balance and early personality to the tactile, juicy flavors of raspberry, minerals and spices. Very sexy and suave on the long if somewhat youthfully imploded finish. This complete premier cru should last for a long time in a cool cellar. Despite the fact that the Gouges family picked very early in 2015, Antoine Gouges describes the wines as “very ripe but not quite candied or overripe, with the structure for a long life in bottle.” He added that the estate’s ’15s were bottled with around 13% alcohol.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $139
The average price is $145
In-store favorite is back in the newest vintage!
Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2016 750ML ($199.95) $156 special (that’s only $13/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
” A wine that almost always over-delivers, the 2016 Côtes du Roussillon Bastide Miraflors is, I suspect, the finest vintage for this cuvée to date (it’s in the same league as the off-the-charts 2015). A blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache from Lesquerde and Saint Martin de Fenouillet (both in the northern part of the Roussillon), aged all in older barrels and concrete tanks, it boasts rockstar notes of ripe blackberry fruits, spice, dried garrigue, and hints of chocolate. Possessing a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel, sweet tannins, and sensational purity, it’s another one of those values that almost seems too good to be true. Drink it any time over the coming 3-4 years.”

Eric Solomon imports some of our favorite big, bold Spanish & Rhone value reds
Chateau Pesquie Ventoux Terrasses, Rhone 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14.75 special
Case-12 Chateau Pesquie Ventoux Terrasses, Rhone 2016 750ML ($199.95) $156 special (that’s only $13/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points
“A year in, year out no-brainer is the Terrasses cuvee from this estate, and the 2016 Ventoux Terrasses is no exception. A blend of 70/30 Grenache and Syrah, it offers a terrific perfume of black cherries, wild herbs, dried flowers, and spice. This gives way to a plum, sexy, beautifully textured red that has surprising minerality, medium-bodied depth and richness and fine tannin. I finished a case of the 2005 just last year, and it was still going strong, so while there’s no need to cellar bottle, it will keep nicely for 7-8 years.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “A bit more “serious” than the Edition 1912M, the 2016 Ventoux Terrasses delivers what longtime admirers have come to expect from the estate: ample fruit, complexity, weight and charm. Peppered raspberries and hints of garrigue drive the wine from start to finish, bolstered by fine, silky tannins and balanced acids. This solid value blend of Grenache and Syrah should drink well for 4-5 years from vintage.”

“Beaurenard has excelled this vintage”
Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf-du-Pape Boisrenard, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $75 special
Case-6 Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf-du-Pape Boisrenard, Rhone 2016 750ML ($499.95) $419 special (that’s only $69.83/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points
“More complex and nuanced as well as powerful, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Boisrenard is a field blend (two-thirds Grenache and the rest a mix of varieties) that spent 18 months in a combination of older barrels, new barrels, and foudre. Its deep purple/ruby color is followed by a sensational perfume of blackberries, black raspberries, Asian spices, and graphite. With full-bodied richness, building tannin, remarkable purity, and a huge finish, it’s going to rival the 2001 as the best vintage to date. You should have this in your cellar.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Solidly built, with a sappy core of kirsch, blackberry paste and red licorice flavors tightly coiled together and backed by roasted apple wood, warm stone and tobacco leaf notes through the finish. The beautiful fruit should develop nicely with extended cellaring, as this has serious grip and drive. Best from 2020 through 2040. 800 cases made, 250 cases imported. — JM”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Just like the regular cuvée, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Boisrenard includes all 18 of the appellation’s permitted varieties, although it’s mostly (66%) Grenache Noir. Strawberries and raspberries shine on the nose, followed by a full-bodied palate that’s creamy-silky and lush but also bright, lively and long. It’s a super effort, at what should be a realistic price.(JC)”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Crazy-good value that over delivers
Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-12 Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($549.95) $419 special (that’s only $34.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Beaurenard has excelled this vintage. The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is no slouch, with ample richness, bold cherry and apricot fruit and attractive hints of dried spices and garrigue. Complex, full-bodied and supple, it finishes long and silky. It’s two-thirds Grenache Noir, with the rest composed of the 17 other permitted grape varieties.(JC)”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Nicely packed, with raspberry and plum compote flavors at the core, liberally lined with singed alder, tobacco and warm brick accents. The finish has a grippy edge, but this red stays fresh and driven overall. Best from 2020 through 2030. 6,000 cases made, 1,200 cases imported. — JM”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $47
Domaine Santa Duc Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Habemus Papam’, Rhone 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“From a domaine located in Gigondas, this is a profound Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Yes, there’s some toasty oak on the nose, but underneath is a big, sturdy core of dark cherries, bay leaf and garrigue. This is a structured wine that’s built for the cellar. Drink 2018-2030.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $57
Super-charged Brunello!
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 93 points
“Bright deep red. Perfumed nose of red cherry, Oriental spices, flint and graphite. Rich, dense and suave on entry, then lighter and more linear in the middle, but with a plush juicy mouthfeel that makes it hard to put the glass back down once you’ve started tasting it. Very pure black/red cherry and spice flavors linger impressively on the long, refreshing finish. A knockout 2014 Brunello that lacks the size of the bigger vintages (very appropriately, I may add, given what the 2014 growing season was like) but showcases enchanting purity and grace. Vey well done”
Wine Advocate 92 points “This is the white label Brunello from Giacomo Neri and his son Giovanni. The 2014 Brunello di Montalcino is faithful to the vintage with a compact and streamlined style that suggests a near or medium-term drinking window. In general, I am hesitant to recommend this vintage for any significant cellar aging, and one reason is because these wines perform nicely straight out of the gate. The same goes for this relatively easy expression that is redolent of wild berry, rose hip, blue flower and moist potting soil. Because the Brunelli Tenuta Nuova and Cerretalto were not made in this vintage, this wine represents a blend of fruit from across the estate. This is the first time this has happened at Casanova di Neri. Bottle production is 75,669 strong. -ML”
James Suckling 92 points “Wild red fruit and orange zest with cedar and wild herbs. The cherries here are fresh and lively and the tannins cut a sturdy, even frame around impressively long, fresh flavors. The only Brunello made here in 2014; there are no single vineyard bottlings. Drink or hold.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $65
Telmo Rodriguez is one of the most talented winemakers in Spain. Remelluri eschews American oak, finding it too overblown, and instead works with only the highest quality French cooperage.  No expense is spared, up and down the line, and these wines are special as a result of that.

Remelluri Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($44.95) $33 special
Case-12 Remelluri Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($479.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Deep ruby. Ripe red berries, dried flowers, illicit herb and smoky minerals on the exotically perfumed nose. The palate offers spicy, penetrating, concentrated flavors of black raspberry, cherry compote and floral pastilles, with a zesty mineral quality building in the glass. Shows excellent clarity and intensity on the very long, floral, gently tannic finish.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The flagship 2012 Reserva was cropped from a year when they started seeing the results of improvements made to the work in the vineyards that started in 2010. 2012 was not as warm and ripe as 2011, and the wine comes through as a nice balance between power and elegance, with some earthiness, good fruit and a fine palate. It has a personality between the Labastida and San Vicente bottlings of the Lindes bottlings. It matured in barrique for 18 months, but the wood feels very well integrated. 2012 was a shorter crop, and they produced some 281,000 bottles. It was bottled in April 2015.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $36.95
Remelluri ‘Lindes de Remelluri Vinedos de San Vicente’, Rioja DOCa 2014 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Case-6 Remelluri ‘Lindes de Remelluri Vinedos de San Vicente’, Rioja DOCa 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.”

Royal Tokaji Late Harvest, Tokaj-Hegyalja 2016 500ML ($24.95) $19 special
Wine Enthusiast 94 points
“This late harvest wine from Hungary is comprised of Furmint, Hárslevelu and Muscat. It has aromas of acacia flower and pear, with flavors of apricot, pear juice and dried rosemary. The finish is pleasantly sweet without being too cloying.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Graham’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
James Suckling 99 points
“Extremely complex aromas that show the classic Graham character of black-fruit marmalade and burnt oranges. Follows through to a full body with great grip at the finish. Lightly sweet. Chewy and powerful. Such a focus at the end.”
Wine Spectator 98 points “This offers a distilled plum and boysenberry essence, with a racy feel, as spearmint and graphite notes drive through. As the finish kicks in, this turns toward the dark side, with ganache, charcoal and tar elements. Has the showy ripeness of the vintage but is backed by a decidedly dry feel on the finish, imparting a sense of precision despite the heft. Best from 2030 through 2055.”
Wine Enthusiast 97 points “Cellar Selection. This finely structured wine is powered by fine tannins and rich fruits. A touch of acidity comes through the rich berry flavors and the concentration of the dark tannins. This wine will certainly age, don’t drink before 2028.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Vintage Port is a blend of 37% Touriga Nacional, 42% Touriga Franca and various others. It comes in with 115 grams of residual sugar. A bit bigger than Dow’s this year, this is more intense as well. The better wine of these two benchmarks seems to be this Graham’s. Tight on the finish, aromatic and very flavorful, this actually opens rather well and shows off its lovely fruit. The Dow’s will be approachable a bit earlier, perhaps, and this may reward aging even more. As always, Graham’s is wonderfully delicious. That’s one hallmark of the house. I’m not sure this is a truly great Graham’s, but at the moment, it is enticing, with plenty of potential for improvement. There were 6,325 cases produced, plus some bottles in other formats.”

Hubert Lignier

A Study in Profundity

“I have a long history with this domaine going back many years. In that time, their reputation has deservedly risen. Following the tumult of Romain’s untimely passing and the subsequent dispute with his widow, the ship has been steadied thanks to the solid father-and-son team of 82-year-old Hubert and his son Laurent Lignier. And these 2016s were nothing less than a joy to behold. They came away relatively unscathed by the frost and mildew, thanks to the location of their vines, although that did not stop a driver skidding off the road and destroying 25 ancient vines in their Charmes-Chambertin! ‘We lost around 25% overall,’ Laurent told me, ‘mostly in Chambolle and Nuits Saint-Georges, although our Bourgogne Pinot Noir was reduced from 35 barrels to just 11. We did find that the frosted vines were more susceptible to mildew, and we lost another 5% to 10% because of that.’ Though Burgundy lovers tend to hone in on specific vineyard sites, my picks would probably be the fabulous Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Vieilles Vignes, then if money is no object, quite simply the best Clos de la Roche that I tasted during my five weeks in Burgundy. This is a producer that is meticulous in the vineyard, also a dab hand in the winery. Everything here is simple and straightforward in terms of the running of the domaine, the complexity reserved for what is swishing around inside the bottle.” – Neal Martin, Wine Advocate

New Releases Arriving in Early June:

Domaine Hubert Lignier Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($699.95) $599 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Domaine Hubert Lignier Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2016 1.5L ($1499.95) $1199 pre-arrival special, only 1 magnum available
Neal Martin 97-99 points
“The 2016 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru is matured in 30% new oak with up to 30% whole cluster fruit, two-thirds from Montluisants and one-third Fremiers. It has an intoxicating bouquet that is extraordinarily complex: shimmering red berry fruit, blood orange, incense and a touch of crushed violet. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannin, wonderful depth and harmony, laser-like focus toward the finish that lingers in the mouth. Stunning mineralité here—the tongue feels as if it licked limestone 30 second after the wine has disappeared. If there is a better Clos de la Roche then I have not tasted it (yet).”
John Gilman 97 points “The 2016 Clos de la Roche from Laurent Lignier is an absolute classic in the making. The nose delivers a refined and nascently complex constellation of black plums, sweet dark berries, a touch of lavender, gamebird, a very complex base of soil, violets and nutty new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and full-bodied, with a sappy core, ripe tannins, fine backend mineral drive and a very long, complex and utterly complete finish. A brilliant example of Clos de la Roche! 2030-2090.”
William Kelley, Decanter 95 points “The Clos de la Roche is exceptional this year, opening in the glass with a complex bouquet of red plum, cassis, pencil lead, grilled meat, cinnamon and a subtle framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, supple and rich, with a layered, multidimensional mid-palate, fine-grained tannins, and a sapid, intense finish.”

Domaine Hubert Lignier Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($599.95) $499 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91-94 points
“(the Ligniers do not do the harvest here; made from 50-year-old vines; 100% destemmed): Healthy full red. Pungent aromas of purple fruits, menthol and crushed rock. Quite pliant on entry, then precise and perfumed in the middle palate, showing noteworthy energy and lift to its flavors of small wild red fruits, minerals and spices. Not a particularly tannic wine but juicy, refined and long.”
William Kelley-Decanter 92 points “This year’s Griotte is an elegant middle-weight, offering up notes of creamy red cherry and meaty soil tones, followed by a supple, reserved wine with nice detail and a chalky, mineral finish. A pretty wine but, like the Charmes, this very much plays second fiddle to the superb Clos de la Roche in 2016.”

This is the only listing on the West Coast!
Domaine Hubert Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2016 750ML ($199.95) $179 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 94-96 points
“The 2016 Morey St Denis 1er Cru Vieilles Vignes, which comes from vines planted as far back as the 1930s, suffered a lot of millerandage so that the yields was 25 hectoliters per hectare. It is matured one-third new oak and one-third whole bunch fruit. It has an introspective bouquet at first and then gradually unfolds to reveal enticing blackberry, briary and cold stone scents—all very sophisticated and poised. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannin, a disarming sense of symmetry and tension that impart weightlessness that run paradoxically to the intensity of fruit. This is just a magnificent Morey-Saint-Denis. Top of the class in grand cru territory.”
William Kelley-Decanter 93 points “Laurent Lignier’s old vine Pinot Fin excelled in 2016, producing only 25hl/ha in a year of generous yields in Morey. Notes of roast espresso, game bird, dark fruit and rich soil lead into a full-bodied, ample wine with excellent concentration, a deep core and a long, flavourful finish. One of the domaine’s emblematic cuvées.”
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points “(these old vines in Clos des Ormes, Les Faconnières and Les Millandes are situated about 80 meters lower than Les Chaffots): Bright red-ruby. Very ripe, soil-driven aromas of black raspberry, cherry, bitter chocolate and licorice. At once thick and juicy, showing terrific inner-mouth lift to its flavors of dark fruits, licorice and spices. Quite sharply delineated for such a big wine. Finishes classy and very long. A superb showing for this consistently topnotch cuvée.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $198
Domaine Hubert Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis Trilogie 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available
Neal Martin 91-93 points
“The 2016 Morey Saint Denis “Trilogie” comes from three parcels that conjoin premier crus and was cropped at 25 hectoliters per hectare from Chenevery, Clos Solon and Les Porroux. Blended with one-third whole bunch fruit, it offers intense blackberry, briary and light tobacco scents that blossom in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, pure and sorbet-fresh black fruit, a gentle grip in the mouth with superb tension on the crystalline finish. Superb, an outstanding Morey-Saint-Denis for its class.”
William Kelley-Decanter 90 points “The vines which produce the cuvée Triologie are between 60 and 80 years of age, and they routinely produce one of the best examples of Morey villages. The 2016 was cropped at 25hl/ha and was vinified with 30% whole cluster fruit. Aromas of plum, cassis, raw cocoa, rich soil, baking spice and candied peel precede a full-bodied, fine-grained wine with a supple attack, a sweet core of fruit, and nice energy and intensity.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $94
Hubert Lignier Morey St Denis Tres Girard 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 88-90 points
“The 2016 Morey-Saint-Denis Très Girard comes from purchased grapes that were completely destemmed. It has quite a spicy, lively bouquet that is simple but a bundle of joy. The palate is medium-bodied with fine but firm tannin, more saline than some of the village Gevreys with fine structure on the finish that just needs a touch more flesh to develop.”
Stephen Tanzer 88-90 points “(about 25% of the fruit was lost to frost): Bright, dark red with ruby tones. Quite open and aromatic on the nose, offering scents of black cherry and flowers. Nicely concentrated, sappy wine with a subtle sweetness to its flavors of cherry and black raspberry. This fruit was entirely destemmed but the wine finishes linear and firmly tannic, with good saline persistence.”

Domaine Hubert Lignier Gevrey-Chambertin Les Seuvrees 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special, only 5 bottles available
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 91-93 points
“The 2016 Gevrey-Chambertin les Seuvrées comes from 60- to 70-year-old vines and included 30% whole-bunch fruit. This has a more refined and precise bouquet than the la Justice thanks to the effortlessly pure red fruit intertwined with cold stone/limestone aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, a killer line of acidity and a brightness on the finish that is a pure joy. This is a superb village cru, one of the best that I encountered this vintage.”
William Kelley-Decanter 90 points “The Seuvrées is from vines planted in the 1950s and 1960s, vinified with 25% whole cluster fruit. It’s more serious than the elegant but easygoing La Justice, opening in the glass with notes of smoky dark fruit, meaty soil tones and a subtle framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, nicely concentrated and deep at the core, with good energy and a rich chassis of tannin.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $91
Domaine Hubert Lignier Chambolle-Musigny Les Bussieres 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special, only 1 bottle available
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 90-92 points
“From around 60-year-old vines on 0.5 hectares near the Morey border, the 2016 Chambolle-Musigny Les Bussières was reduced to three and a half barrels instead of the usual eight due to frost. The aromatics here were tight-lipped and offering just faint flora scents that demanded a lot of coaxing. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very fresh in the mouth although at the moment it become quite compact toward the sorbet-like finish. Good potential but it will require 3 or 4 years in bottle.”

Domaine Hubert Lignier Pommard En Brescul 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available

Domaine Hubert Lignier Bourgogne Passetoutgrains 2017 750ML ($29.95) $26 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Domaine Hubert Lignier Bourgogne Rouge Grand Chaliot 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $44

May Sale Recap 

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