Monday Newsletter 5-4-2020

In This Newsletter:


An Unspeakably Good Deal

Cantina del Pino

Daniel Bouland

Collector’s Corner


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Recently arrived trendy wine!
St. Innocent Zenith Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($39.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 St. Innocent Zenith Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($243.95) $166 special (that’s only $27.67/bottle!) – more stock arriving Tuesday, April 5th!
Josh Raynolds 93 points
“Deep, bright-hued red. Spice-accented cherry and black raspberry aromas are complemented by hints of woodsmoke, baking spices and pungent flowers. Densely packed and energetic on the palate, offering cherry, red berry and candied rose flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. Lingers with strong persistence and sneaky tannins, leaving behind sappy red fruit preserve and floral notes.”  
James Suckling 93 points “This has attractive aromas and flavors of fresh red cherries with very well defined style in every regard. The oak is subtly played and delivers a swirling, spicy thread. The tannins are smooth and fine and there’s a superb sense of freshness driving the finish. Drink or hold.”  
Wine Spectator 92 points “Polished and multilayered, with expressive raspberry, rose petal and spiced tea flavors that gather richness toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2028. 968 cases made.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
The average price across all vintages is $37

Ric Forman’s wines remain some of the most overlooked profound wines in Napa.
Forman Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95+ points
“A weightless, translucent wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon exudes class. Vibrant and finely sculpted, the 2014 possesses striking nuance from start to finish. Scents of lavender, rose petal, mint and sweet spice notes give the 2014 its brightness and sense of energy. Today, the 2014 is a bit compact relative to how it showed from barrel. I expect the wine will put on a bit more weight during its aging. Readers should plan on cellaring the 2014 at least a few years. Even today, though, the 2014 is a very pretty and pure wine.”

If there’s a better value in bubbly than Clouet’s Champagnes, we haven’t seen it.
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $36 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $399 special (that’s only $33.25/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
John Gilman 90 points
“I believe that this bottle of André Clouet “Silver” Blanc de Noirs non-vintage Brut Nature is from the base year of 2013, as it has a small code printed on the back of the neck label that says “LS13”. In any case, the wine is quite good, showing that lovely structural rounding from a bit of additional aging in the cellars. The bouquet offers up scents of apple, nectarine, bread dough, a good base of soil and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and nicely balanced, with refined mousse, bright, nicely-integrated acids and a long, complex finish. This is a quite good bottle of Brut Nature. 2019-2030+.”

A stunning prestige cuvee from a top Champagne house.
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne 2007 750ML ($179.95) $125 special, 30 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points
“This is a step up from the linear and fresh 2006. It shows subtle depth and power with a dense block of vivid fruit that’s highlighted with lemon zest, green apples and hints of white peaches. Just the right amount of praline and nuts on the nose. Fine and tight bead give the Champagne a luxurious mouthfeel. One for now or the cellar. Drink or hold.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “Taittinger’s 2007 Comtes de Champagne will be nearly impossible to resist upon release. Soaring aromatics, mid-weight structure and soft contours give the 2007 its alluring personality. Lemon oil, white flowers, mint, chamomile and green pear add brightness and freshness throughout, with a persistent, clean finish that makes it impossible to resist a second taste. Today, the 2007 comes across as a slightly more open version of the 2004, with freshness that makes that wine so appealing, and a touch of textural richness that recalls the 2002. Although the 2007 does not have the explosive energy or verticality of the profound 2006, it will drink better earlier. The 2007 has been positively brilliant on the three occasions I have tasted it so far.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Taittinger’s prestigious Comtes de Champagne is composed entirely of Chardonnay grapes from the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger (Côte des Blancs). The citrus-golden colored 2007 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the fourth in a row after the 2004 vintage (which will be followed by 2008 whereas there will be no Comtes from 2009, 2010 and 2011) and opens with a nobly intense yet nuanced bouquet of ripe fruits, chalk, iodine and a touch of brioche. The wine indicates a coolish and precise character on the clear, flinty nose that develops lemon, pastry and floral notes. On the palate, this is Taittinger at its best: clear, fresh, lush and elegant, offering both sensuality and noble elegance. The 2007 reveals great finesse and is a perfect expression of both the Taittinger style and the Côte de Blancs. The wine (of which 5% has spent four months in oak barrels to give roundness and a touch of toast) is tightly woven, well concentrated and even juicy yet always clear, fresh, pure, fine and elegant. The finish is intense, clean, vivacious and complex, with good grip and lingering salty minerals that indicate good aging potential. Disgorged in October 2017; tasted in May 2018.”

Tiberio Pecorino Colline Pescaresi IGT, Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 90 points
“Abruzzo’s Tiberio winery has quickly risen to the top of the hierarchy not just in Abruzzo’s but in all of Italy. What the talented Cristiana Tiberio has achieved in the very hot 2017 vintage with Pecorino (a variety that does not like heat) is a testament to her talent. The 2017 Tiberio Pecorino is by no means the best Pecorino she has ever made (and frankly, it would have been very strange if it was otherwise, given the year’s weather), but it offers lovely balance with pure sage and kiwi notes that mingle with ripe orchard fruit nuances complicated by a saline edge. Both these wines made for a wonderful start to my meal, but they would have paired very well with all the other dishes I chose to eat this evening.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $26.99

Sassicaia is the most famous wine from Tenuta San Guido, indeed one of the most famous wines in all of Italy.  Though very few people know it, the estate also makes lower tier wines that can be quite excellent, especially for their prices.  The wine we’re highlighting now is one such gem and is a blend of Cabernet and Sangiovese that shows San Guido’s practiced hand.  This is one to stock up on!
Tenuta San Guido Le Difese Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Tenuta San Guido Le Difese Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($199.95) $125 special (that’s only $20.83/bottle!)
James Suckling 92-93 points
“Very aromatic and bright with strawberry, cherry and currant character. Hints of oranges. Full-bodied, linear and tight, showing ultra-fine tannins. Potential here.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, the 2016 Le Difese shows a more evident touch of ripe fruit that you don’t perceive in the Guidalberto, which makes me think it comes from the Sangiovese component that is only used in this wine. The overall effect of that ripeness is that it downplays the wine’s inner complexity. But this entry-level red from Tenuta San Guido was never aiming for huge complexity to begin with. Dark cherry and cherry is followed by wild strawberry and tangy rose hip. This wine happily delivers on its promises of freshness and accessibility.”

Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2012 750ML ($59.95) $28 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2012 750ML ($359.95) $149 special (that’s only $24.83/bottle!)
James Suckling 92 points
“A wine with a wonderful depth of fruit but slightly marked by the new wood. Full body, round and silky tannins and a medium finish. This needs two or three years to come together in the bottle. A solid red.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Editor’s Choice. Baked plum, Asian spice, vanilla and menthol aromas carry the nose. The elegantly structured palate offers fleshy black cherry, licorice, mint and well-integrated French oak alongside fine-grained tannins that lend firm, polished support. A coffee note marks the finish.”
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The 2012 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Bellezza is plump, juicy and expressive. Succulent red cherries, plums, sweet spices, leather and smoke flesh out nicely in the glass. The aromatics are slightly forward, which leads me to believe the 2012 will not be a long-term ager. Still, today the Bellezza is attractive and immediate, both qualities that make it an excellent choice for near term drinking.”

A VinopolPick Staff favorite!
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.”

Telmo Rodriguez is one of the great masters of Rioja.
Remelluri Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Remelluri Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($599.95) $499 special (that’s only $83.17/bottle!)
James Suckling 96 points
“The DNA of Remelluri is here. Wild mountain herb character, structured and firm, these tannins are succulent and deeply expressive. Powerful and assertive red plums, wild cherries and roasting herbs with the oak sitting well. Power and balance. Try from 2021.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94+ points “A blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano, the 2012 Granja Remelluri Gran Reserva represents what they are aiming for with this wine, a classical expression of the place, the quintessence of the vineyards. The select their oldest vineyards and age the wine for a long time, coming back to those early years of a modern Rioja that has now turned into a classic. It has some dusty tannins, with good grip and length. It was bottled in 24,238 bottles after an élevage of 26 months. It has been in bottle since May 2015.”

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An Unspeakably Good Deal for the Times

Reynvaan is one of the top estates in Walla Walla, making wines in a style clearly influenced by former consulting winemaker Christophe Baron of Cayuse.  They’ve recently launched an entry-level tier of wines, which they call “the Unnamed Series.” These are delicious wines that are perfect for early drinking in quantity while waiting for the big boys to age (and certain crises to pass…). The winery is careful to note that these are wines that receive the same treatment as their main wines—organically farmed and hand harvested, with native fermentation and choice cooperage (often Taransaud).  In short, these are Tuesday night Reynvaans. So put down that questionable quarantini, stock up & save big.
In Stock Now:
Reynvaan Unnamed Series Cabernet, Walla Walla 2017 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc. Full body, pencil lead, graphite, cassis, licorice, acacia flower, ripe crushed berries, saddle leather on the nose and a palate full of integrated tannins, with a weighty and lush finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Reynvaan Unnamed Series Syrah, Walla Walla 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“Ripe blueberry, wet stone, dried cherry, Herbs de Provence, touch of leather, hint of licorice, cigar box, marionberry, dark chocolate with refreshing, smooth well integrated tannins, and a long finish of crushed rock.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Reynvaan Unnamed Series Christmas Cuvee Syrah, Walla Walla 2017 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“Black raspberry, saline, blueberry saltwater taffy, bloody and savory meat elements that combine fresh tannins with a long finish, beautiful balance, and flavors of cracked pepper and Herbs de Provence.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Cantina del Pino

Cantina del Pino produces wines that help define Barbaresco and are admired by reviewers – Antonio Galloni notes that “not only were the wines from Cantina del Pino among the standouts of my tastings they also happen to be among the best values in Barbaresco.”  Run by Renato Vacca until his recent passing (cousin to Aldo Vacca who runs the Produttori), the is a small producer solely focused on top-end quality from some of the most interesting vineyards in the village.

The three crus that the Cantina is famous for are Ovello, Albesani and Gallina (of which only Ovello is made by the Produttori) and all show the brilliant fruit, dazzling complexity and polish that the Cantina del Pino is famous for.  Ovello is the leanest and most elegant of the bunch, with wiry tannins allowing it to age seemingly forever.  Albesani has more power and richness, and is the most complete wine, but requiring significantly more age to come around. These are stunning Piemontese cru.  Anyone who loves classically built, top-tier Nebbiolo ought to be jumping all over these.

In Stock Now:

Cantina del Pino Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 26 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“Cantina del Pino’s 2015 Barbaresco is a very pretty entry-level wine in this range. Crushed flowers, tobacco, cedar, dried cherry, mint and chalk all pulse through this finely cut, rather nervous Barbaresco. The 2015 is a blend of mostly Ovello (from both its east-facing and westernmost sections), along with Starderi and Gallina. Even in this warm vintage, the straight Barbaresco offers terrific energy as well as cut.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2015 Barbaresco by Cantina del Pino starts off gently with delicate notes of wild berry, red rose, toasted spice, licorice and camphor ash. The wine offers all the complexity and elegance you get with Nebbiolo but presented on a slightly lower intensity scale. This wine is geared for near- or medium-term drinking.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $46

Cantina del Pino Albesani, Barbaresco DOCG 2015 750ML ($69.95) $55 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“One of the many highlights in this range, the Cantina del Pino’s 2015 Barbaresco Albesani is a wine of real gravitas and vertical power. A whole range of floral and savory notes develop in this statuesque, potent Barbaresco. Dried flowers, herbs, cedar, tobacco and mint add myriad shades of nuance. The Albesani is one of the most reticent wines in this lineup today, but it has an explosive energy that is just waiting to emerge. Time in the glass reveals a Barbaresco of exquisite beauty.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $61

Cantina del Pino Ovello, Barbaresco DOCG 2015 750ML ($59.95) $55 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“Deceptive in its light-bodied color, the 2015 Barbaresco Ovello packs a serious punch. Dried flowers, mint, pine, herbs, crushed berries and chalk add striking top notes. I very much like the wine’s sense of energy. In other words, this is classic Ovello Barbaresco built on laser-like focus and real nobility. It will appeal most to readers who enjoy structured wines that develop gradually with many years in bottle.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $60

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Daniel Bouland

Daniel Bouland makes gutsy wines from old vines in the heart of Beaujolais premier appellations.  You often hear that they’re traditionally made and, although that’s true, it doesn’t begin to describe what makes the wines unique.  These are wines that recall what Beaujolais would have been like before industrial farming and certainly before industrial winemaking.  They’re special, powerful and age-worthy.

From a winemaking perspective, the closest comparison to what Daniel Bouland is doing is probably Domaine Dujac.  The cross-regional comparison probably violates some sort of law of wine-writing, but when you look at what Bouland does with his grapes, it makes sense.  There’s almost exclusively whole cluster fermentation at both houses and Bouland’s wine show as muscular and robust—capable of very long aging and transformation into profound wines.

The difference, of course, is that working with Gamay, Bouland’s wines are more immediately drinkable than anything from Dujac (Bouland also doesn’t use new oak on his wines).  And the prices are far below what top Burgundy can command. Young, the Bouland bottles show both intense fruit and structure—you wouldn’t necessarily think to drink Beaujolais with steak, but these are incredible pairings with even very hearty foods (especially since Gamay has a zesty freshness to it that can lighten, nay elevate, any meal.

In Stock Now from Daniel Bouland:

Daniel Bouland Chiroubles ‘Chatenay’, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($29.95) $26 special, 23 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points
“Bouland’s 2018 Chiroubles bursts with aromas of ripe blackberries, red plums, violets and cracked black pepper. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, ample and layered, with a succulent core of fruit, fine concentration and a long, lip-smacking finish. An especially gourmand rendition of this cuvée, it hails from a steep hillside site and is matured in tank.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $29.98

Daniel Bouland Morgon Bellevue, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 29 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The 2018 Morgon Bellevue Sable comes from younger vines, planted on Viala rootstock in sandy soils—as the “sable” newly added to its label makes clear. Revealing aromas of blackberries, smoked meats, cracked pepper and violets, it’s medium to full-bodied, ample and muscular, with powdery structuring tannin, juicy acids and a blockier, more reserved profile than the Chiroubles and Brouilly that preceded it. This will demand a couple of years’ patience before it shows all its cards.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $29.98

Daniel Bouland Morgon Corcelette, Beaujolais 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 21 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“From vines planted in sand—which is now indicated on the label—in 1927, Bouland’s 2018 Morgon Corcelette Vieilles Vignes Sable unfurls in the glass with notions of ripe plums, red cherries, smokes meats, violets and black pepper. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, ample and multidimensional, with a broad attack, considerable depth and dimension at the core, juicy acids and a long, intense finish. Powerful and concentrated but framed by velvety tannins, this brilliant Morgon is the antithesis of facile, ephemeral Beaujolais nouveau!”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Collector’s Corner


The hill of Hermitage is both one of the most famous wine landmarks in the world and also so much more interesting than common lore purports it to be. The story goes that the hill of Hermitage was the home of a knight seeking solace from the horrors of the Crusades upon his return home. He planted the vineyards that would become Hermitage and then built a chapel to pray in and that building, the Chapel of Saint Christopher, is the defining marker of the hillside. The name, Hermitage, takes the name of the hermit’s refuge.

Jaboulet purchased the Chapel of Saint Christopher and the surrounding plot of land in 1919—possibly the choicest part of the whole appellation. This is the core of their blend for La Chapelle, which for many defines what Hermitage can be, though the entire line of wines Jaboulet makes from the AOC (and its neighbor) is exceptional.  These are big, dense wines, with loads of Hermitage character and those effortless Syrah flavors that just don’t quit on extremely long finishes.  Both 2017 (in stock now) and 2018 (arriving this fall) look to be incredible successes for the northern Rhone, with Jaboulet one of the standout producers.  

These are wines to stock up on and savor.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Jaboulet Aine Chevalier de Sterimberg Hermitage Blanc, Rhone 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94-97 points
“Jaboulet’s 2017 Hermitage Blanc Le Chevalier de Sterimberg is approximately two-thirds Marsanne and one-third Roussanne. Subtle notes of crushed stone and pencil shavings frame honey, pineapple and baking spices, all wrapped around a tensile core of tangerine and lime. In a year when no La Chapelle Blanc is being made, this is the top white Hermitage from Jaboulet, and it’s a beauty, with a silky texture and a long, mouthwatering finish.”

Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle, Rhone 2017 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 97-99 points
“In need of serious air to open up, the 2017 Hermitage La Chapelle became more and more impressive the longer I kept it in the glass. At first it seemed a bit simple, if admirably plummy and rich, but by the time ten minutes had elapsed, it was showing off elegant notes of crushed stone, pencil shavings and cassis, while remaining full-bodied, rich and concentrated. It’s velvety and long on the finish, but something left me wanting a bit more. It’s surely a great La Chapelle, but will it reach that elusive triple-digit score?”
James Suckling 98 points “The icon is in dangerously seductive form. Such pristine dark cherries, blackberries and dark plums, dark chocolate, finely crushed spices and plenty of crushed dark stones on offer. The palate is very intense, very slick and fine tannins deliver an almost playfully soft impression. The oak is super integrated. Like La Maison Bleue, this approachability is an aberration, as it has immense power, concentration and length with such regal and alluring swagger at the finish. But there is so much more to come. Try from 2024, better after 2030.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95-96 points “Brilliant magenta. A highly complex bouquet evokes ripe dark berries, cherry liqueur, incense and potpourri, while olive and exotic spice nuances build in the glass. Displays intense, alluringly sweet black/blue fruit, spicecake and violet pastille flavors that show sharp delineation and are braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Closes extremely long and precise, displaying a smoky, intensifying mineral quality and youthfully gripping tannins that build steadily.”

Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Maison Bleue, Rhone 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59.50 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94-96 points
“Full-bodied, creamy and supple, the 2017 Hermitage La Maison Bleue looks to be a thrilling Hermitage to drink over the next 10-15 years. It’s loaded with mixed blueberries and raspberries, adds subtle notes of mocha and baking spices and picks up a savory hint of black olives on the long, silky finish. Don’t make the mistake of thinking only the La Chapelle is worth drinking, this should be a real beauty when it’s released next year.”
James Suckling 94 points “This is utterly delicious and has a very plush and sweetly fruited core of flavor with a sweepingly fleshy, rich and quite plush feel. The tannins are very fine here; sleek and assertive, they seem to suggest early drinking. It’s so balanced, too. However, this deserves to be reserved for later, as there’s a lot more to come. Try from 2024.”

Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points
“From a scorcher of a vintage that had tiny yields, the 2017 Crozes Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert offers a deep purple color as well as a classic Thalabert bouquet of black fruits, black olive, iodine, and peppery herbs. It’s a rich, rounded, sumptuous beauty that has plenty of sweet fruit, moderate tannins, and a great finish. It’s not going to match the 2015, but it’s a rocking wine I’d be thrilled to drink.”

Arriving This Fall:

Paul Jaboulet Aine Chevalier de Sterimberg Hermitage Blanc, Rhone 2018 750ML ($79.95) $61.90 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 94 points
“This is two-thirds marsanne and one-third roussanne and it sees some demi-muid elevage. Very fresh, peach and pear aromas with a focused, ripe and juicy palate that wields glycerol and smooth fruit flesh. Long finish with pears, white peaches and melon. Very even. Drink or hold.”

Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine Mule Blanche Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, Rhone 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points
“Burgundian notes of crushed citrus, white flowers, salty minerality, orange pith, and honeysuckle all emerge from the 2018 Crozes-Hermitage Mule Blanc, and it’s fresh, medium to full-bodied, concentrated and elegant on the palate. Give it a year or two.”

Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2018 750ML ($37.95) $29.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
“Although the fruit sourcing has changed from the old days, the 2018 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert remains a solid offering in the Jaboulet lineup. Violets accent blackberries and plums on the nose, while the palate is full-bodied, lush and velvety, underscored by doses of salinity and licorice on the lengthy finish.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 points “The 2018 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert comes from deeper, pebbly soils and is a full-bodied, opulent wine. Notes of blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, ground pepper, and melted licorice all flow to a full-bodied wine that has tons of baby fat as well as sound underlying structure.”

Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle, Rhone 2018 750ML ($219.95) $189 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 98-100 points
“Jaboulet’s 2018 Hermitage La Chapelle features scents of crushed stone, violets and cassis. It’s a classic trio, backed by a wine that’s full-bodied, rich and powerful yet also airy, somehow carrying intense plum and black olive flavors without any sense of heaviness or excess weight. Then the wine finishes long and softly dusty, with tannins that accentuate its savory character, picking up delicious hints of licorice at the very end. The proportion of new oak has been trimmed back to a very reasonable 20% and is hardly noticeable in the wine.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97-99 points “A deep, powerful, primordial wine (which is exactly what you’d expect for a great vintage of this cuvée), the inky hued 2018 Hermitage La Chapelle offers tons of crème de cassis as well as a liquid rock-like minerality, peppery herbs, burning embers, and graphite aromas and flavors. The palate mirrors the intensity of the bouquet and is full-bodied, concentrated, and tight, yet still packs a huge amount of baby fat. The 2018 is a beautifully pure, balanced, massively endowed La Chapelle that will need a decade of cellaring and keep for 3-4 decades with no problems.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

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

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

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.
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