In Today’s Newsletter:
Dom Perignon 2008
St. Cosme’s Fantastic 2017’s
Staff Pick: The Dark Rosé “Controversy”
B. Leighton’s Under the Radar Reds
Case Deals + Summer Specials
June Sale Spotlight
The Outstanding 2014 Produttori Riservas
The Best Wines in Priorat?
Pure Magic: One of the Rarest Great Sherries
Five Times in Forty Years
Dry 2016 Markus Molitor Wines
Dom Perignon 2008
Back in Stock Friday!
A Legend in the Making
“The 2008 Champagnes that have been released so far capture all the potential I sensed when I first tasted the young vins clairs right after harvest. The 2008s are racy, energetic and tense, in the style of cool years like 1996, but with more fruit depth and less austerity. At the top end, the finest 2008 Champagnes are viscerally thrilling, chiseled wines that will soon be recognized as modern-day icons.…Of course wine is much more complex than numbers alone, but the first 2008s I have tasted point to an exceptional, and perhaps even legendary, vintage. 97+ points” – Antonio Galloni, on the 2008 Champagne Vintage
“Departing chef de caves Richard Geoffroy says that 2008 is his best DP vintage since 1990.” – Decanter
“The 2008 vintage of Dom Pérignon is an absolute classic in the making and this is destined to be one of the great recent years for this iconic cuvée.” – John Gilman, A View from the Cellar
#5 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2018
Dom Perignon Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($249.95) $189 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 98+ points “The 2008 Dom Pérignon is fabulous, but quite remarkably, it was even more open when I tasted it a year ago. Bright, focused and crystalline in its precision, the 2008 is going to need a number of years before it is at its best. Lemon peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper give the 2008 its chiseled, bright profile. Several recent bottles have all been magnificent. What I admire most about the 2008 is the way it shows all the focus, translucence and energy that is such a signature of the year, and yet it is also remarkably deep and vertical. In other words, the 2008 is a Champagne that plays in three dimensions.”
John Gilman 98 points “The 2008 vintage of Dom Pérignon is an absolute classic in the making and this is destined to be one of the great recent years for this iconic cuvée. It is far more classically structured out of the blocks than the relatively generous 2009 version, offering up a deep, complex and very youthful bouquet of menthol, green apple, a touch of tangerine, a very complex base of minerality and notes of dried flowers in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with precise mousse, brisk acids and stunning length and grip on the primary and laser-like finish. This will demand some cellaring to start to really stir and should prove to be an extremely long-lived vintage of DP. Stellar juice.”
James Suckling 98 points “The best Dom since 2002. A vintage with very restrained, powerful style that has been released non-sequentially after the 2009. This has a lighter stamp of highly curated, autolytic, toasty aromas than many recent releases. Instead, this delivers super fresh and intense aromas of lemons, grapefruit and blood-orange peel. Incredible freshness here. The palate has a very smoothly delivered, berry-pastry thread with light, sweet spices, stone fruit and fine citrus fruit. This really delivers. Drink now or hold.”
Decanter 96 points “Departing chef de caves Richard Geoffroy says that 2008 is his best DP vintage since 1990. The first half of the growing season was dull and sunless, but good weather returned in mid-September and led to one of the longest harvests, running into October. The summer provided ideal conditions for a classic, cool, maritime vintage of exceptional, subtle aromas with minerality and freshness. This has a vibrant but controlled acidity, and is above all a memorable symbiosis of mature fruit and salinity derived from top terroirs. The poised mouthfeel makes this a perfect gastronomic wine, strong enough for spicy Asian cuisine from the Pacific rim, but still compatible with classics such as roast turbot and lobster.””
Wine Spectator 96 points “There’s power to this graceful Champagne, with the vivid acidity swathed in a fine, creamy mousse and flavors of toasted brioche, kumquat, pastry cream, candied ginger and poached plum that dance across the palate. An underpinning of smoky mineral gains momentum on the lasting finish. Drink now through 2033.”
St. Cosme’s Fantastic 2017’s
“2017 will be another impressive vintage and should surpass 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015… Quantities are going to be limited as Grenache (and other varieties to a lesser extent) was hammered by a cold spell in April, causing massive and unprecedented grape shatter (or coulure in French). As to the wines, they show sunny, Provençal characters with more red fruit-driven aromatics and forward, expressive profiles. Tannin quality can be erratic, yet the top wines exude charm and sweet fruit. Very few of the wines have the mid-palate density and sheer grandeur of the 2016s, but there are some beautiful wines in this vintage, most of which will be approachable in their youth. There just won’t be much to go around.” – Jeb Dunnuck, on 2017 in the Southern Rhone
Saint Cosme is one of the notable estates of the Southern Rhone. Louis Barroul is a talented winemaker and is the 14th generation of his family to make wines in the domaine that was founded in the 1500’s. The wines he makes are rich and powerful, with undeniable terroir signatures. To highlight these varying terroirs, the estate bottles a handful of single vineyard Gigondas which are the most interesting and coveted wines in the portfolio.
The 2017’s are some of the best wines they’ve yet made. The Valbelle cuvee is gone—blended in to the base level Gigondas. The remaining single vineyards are stunning. From the “best of everything” Hominis Fides to the more elegant Le Claux or the richer, more powerful Le Poste, these are a world-beating set of wine—at fantastic, best in country pricing. If past is precedent, these will sell out quickly, so secure your wines immediately.
Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Le Poste Blanc, Rhone 2017 750ML ($69.95) $49 pre-arrival special
The next best price is $63.99
Jeb Dunnuck 96-99 points “My favorite of the single vineyard cuvées in 2017 is the Gigondas Hominis Fides, which comes from a vineyard just across the street from Le Claux. It has a killer nose of exotic flowers, freshly crushed rocks, new saddle leather, flowers, spice, and violets. Possessing full-bodied richness, an incredibly sexy, seamless, yet powerful style, and an awesome finish, it’s unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage.”
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Somehow managing to be rich, dense and chocolaty—almost fudge-like—yet remaining fresh and vivacious, it will be fascinating to see how the 2017 Gigondas Hominis Fides develops over the next year.(JC)”
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points “Notes of camphor, dried soil, crushed rocks, and loads of red and black fruits define the 2017 Gigondas Le Claux, which is 100% Grenache from a site just down the road from the estate. I always find a certain Burgundian character in this cuvée and it’s certainly present in the 2017. With medium to full body, a beautiful elegance and purity, and fine tannins, give bottles a few years and enjoy over the following decade or more.”
Decanter 93 points “Fermented in concrete with no destemming and indigenous yeasts, then 100% matured in barriques, one-third new, one-third second use and one-third third use. The wood gives it strong clove notes, joined on the silky palate by raspberry, strawberry coulis and strawberry eau-de-vie. A fine patina of wet-clay tannins coat your lips, slightly drying the palate and leading to a long finish. The St Cosme single-vineyard wines are undoubtedly impressive and strongly oak-influenced, displaying masterful work in the cellar – but they will be too oaky for some tastes, especially in their youth.”
The next best price is $109.99
The average listed price is $124
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “The 2017 Gigondas le Poste is just super: super purple, super concentrated and super tannic. Really intense, it’s not a wine for the shy, steamrollering along with dark fruit and powerful notes of licorice on the lengthy finish. (JC)”
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96+ points “More full-bodied, with incredible purity in its aromatics and fruit, the 2017 Gigondas Le Poste is another 100% Grenache cuvée that’s from a slightly higher elevation, terraced vineyard near the domaine. As with all the cuvées here, it’s not destemmed and is brought up mostly in used barrels. Offering lots of black currants, spice box, graphite, and licorice, it builds beautifully on the palate, has great concentration and intensity, and a blockbuster finish.”
The next best price is $118
The average listed price is $123
Case-12 Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone ($599.95) $419 pre-arrival special (that’s only $34.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 91-93 points “More concentrated and tannic than the 2016, the 2017 Gigondas shows outstanding potential. Marked by hints of charred wood and mocha, it’s nevertheless rich, ripe and fruity, with a long finish. (JC)”
Decanter 92 points “Whole-cluster fruit from limestone, marl and Miocene sand soils is fermented in concrete with indigenous yeasts. It’s then aged 70% in barrel, 20% new, with the remaining 30% in concrete. It has a very oaky aromatic profile at this early stage, but it’s joined by a lovely herbal aspect from the stems. Medium to full-bodied, the fruit has a vibrant freshness and the acidity is pretty marked, while the tannins are massy but ripe and harmonious. Long finish.”
The average listed price is $53
Staff Pick: The Dark Rosé “Controversy”
Let’s pour one out for darker rosé. Not five years ago, Tavel was the toast of the town—a serious pink wine for those who wanted a rosé with guts. Oh how times change. Now, anything darker than a very pale salmon seems to draw a critical eye. Of those rosés not blessed with a pale complexion, the skepticism ranges from “is that sweet?” (as if color, from the skins of grapes, and sweetness, from fermentation, are related) to a desire to only drink rosé that goes down like water.This is a shame—there’s a lot of delicious rosé out there that ranges from medium-pink to nearly red. At the table, the stuff is incredibly useful. It can fill the role of a red with foods off of the grill like burgers, chicken and lamb as well as well as being a slightly fruitier aperitif. The boldness of the wines better matches the garlicy, spicy flavors of southern Italian and Provencal cooking than its paler siblings, but somehow, still, it’s ignored.
The rosé we’re highlighting below is a way to shake that skepticism—it’s richer and fuller bodied but with a vivacity and brightness typical of Abruzzo, where it’s from. I think it’d be tops with some grilled sausage or pizza—dishes where you want to meet richness but keep the overall feel of the meal light and summery.
In Stock Now:
Torre Beati Cerasuolo Rose, Abruzzo 2018 750ML (21.95) $18 special, 31 bottles in stock now
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.”
B. Leighton’s Under the Radar Reds
While many think of Charles Smith as the sole voice and winemaker in the K Vintners operation, the day-to-day winemaker is Brennan Leighton. A super-talented voice in the world of Washington wine, Brennan also has his own label, B. Leighton, which is the focus today.
These are do-not-miss wines for anyone who loves the K wines and old school, Rhone inflected Washington State reds. Full of generous fruit and beautiful earthy and floral tones, these are wines that are powerful and delicious on release, but have the track record and pedigree to age.
In Stock Now:
B. Leighton Olsen’s Brothers Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) $45 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 B. Leighton Olsen’s Brothers Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($599.95) $479 special (that’s only $39.92/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The 2016 Syrah comes from a site in the Yakima Valley that was planted by Leighton. Its deep ruby/purple color is followed by classic Syrah notes of dark berry fruits, smoke tobacco, olive tapenade, and ground pepper. Medium to full-bodied, with both freshness and richness, it’s impeccably balanced, with beautiful fruit and a great finish. It’s another seriously good wine from Brennon that delivers the goods. Drink it over the coming 7-8 years.”
B. Leighton Olsen’s Brothers Vineyard Gratitude, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The Mourvèdre-dominated 2016 Gratitude Blend (there’s 25% Grenache and 5% Syrah) is a flat-out awesome wine as well as possibly the greatest expression of the variety to come out of Washington State. Beautiful notes of black and blue fruits, dried earth, peppery spice, and loads of floral and rose petal notes all flow to a full-bodied red that has an incredible sense of elegance and purity as well as richness and depth. It’s great today and will be great in a decade.”
Summer is almost here, so stock up on wines for outdoor parties, grilling, BBQ (and even hiking!) by shopping our curated list of case deals:
Casarena makes wine from the Lujan de Cuyo section of Mendoza—a section relatively unexplored in the modern wine industry, but possessing a wealth of old vines and interesting vineyards. The wine we’re highlighting today, from Owen’s Vineyard, is made from a block of 80+ year old, pergola trained Cabernet. That vineyard, combined with rigorous sorting and extended maceration, creates a Cab of high quality and obscene value.
Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo 2015 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Case-12 Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo 2015 750ML ($359.95) $279 special (that’s only $23.25/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 94 points “Tasted side by side with the 2014, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Owen’s Vineyard feels a lot fresher. This is an old, balanced, traditional vineyard that yields wines with very good depth and natural balance. There is perfect ripeness here and a notable absence of those green pepper aromas that often mask the personality of many Cabernets. These old vines yield very concentrated juice and it shows in the tannins and acidity, which show in perfect harmony. 30,000 bottles produced.”
Willamette Pinot may be the easiest wine to own a case of—it goes with everything. Burgers? Check. Salmon? Check. Pizza? Check. Hearty Salads? Check. All of this is to say that the deals on Scott Paul wines mean that you should be buying them by the case and drinking often and with everything.
Scott Paul Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($59.95) $24 special
Case-12 Scott Paul Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($299.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “The famous vineyard is showing well here. Winemaker Ian Burch has a fine ability to provide a distinct focus for each of the winery’s single vineyard selections. This bottling is refined, with an intriguing mix of flavors, from grapefruit and Bing cherry, to chicken broth and milk chocolate. As odd as it sounds, it all knits together quite well.”
Case-12 Scott Paul D122 Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ML ($299.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 90 points “Light-footed, with dark berry, cherry and floral flavors on a taut frame, finishing with presence and tension, revealing a hint of lemon peel. Drink now through 2021. 144 cases made.”
Winery note “$60. Intensely violet in color. The brooding nose is balanced between notes of strawberry jam, cranberries and dried herbs. The salinity on the palate gives way to a big, lush, long silkiness on the palate. Harvest 2014 was an Oregon winemaker’s dream vintage: almost too magical and perfect to be true. The warmer-than-normal start to the growing season persisted through the fall and ultimately led to an early harvest throughout the Willamette Valley. We began picking on September 18th at Nysa Vineyard and wrapped up on September 26th at Maresh vineyard. Thanks to the warm and dry fall, we had the luxury of picking our fruit at a leisurely pace. The first fruit arrived ripe and delicious, full of freshness, and with just the right amount of acidity. Each successive day brought us more of the same.”
Case-12 Thierry Germain Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny (Cuvee Domaine), Loire 2016 750ML ($319.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Kermit Lynch Note: “100% Cabernet Franc from 4 to 70 year old vines grown on sand, clay, and Tuffeau limestone.”
The next best price is $26.99
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2014 750ML ($319.95) $259 special (that’s only $21.58/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Josh Raynolds 92 points “(aged for two years in a combination of new and used French and American oak barrels) Bright ruby. Expressive aromas of ripe red fruits and candied flowers, along with allspice, vanilla and pipe tobacco topnotes. Juicy and appealingly sweet, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry-vanilla and mocha flavors and a spicy nuance that emerges as the wine opens up. Finishes sappy, penetrating and quite long, with smooth, slow-building tannins that fold smoothly into the wine’s sappy fruit.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points “The 2014 Muga Reserva checks in as a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the balance Mazuelo (aka Carignan) and Graciano. This deep ruby/purple-colored effort gives up textbook currants, smoked earth, leather, espresso, and graphite aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, ripe, voluptuous and sexy on the palate, with sweet tannin, it’s a charming, forward vintage of this cuvée that dishes out loads of pleasure.”
Wine Advocate 91 points “The Muga family thinks the rains of 2014 benefited many of their vineyards, which are in cooler places at higher altitudes and take longer to ripen. So, they are really happy with their 2014 Reserva, the flagship bottling which delivers the Muga style and the typicity of the Rioja Alta at a very attractive price and with good availability because they produced one million bottles of it! They select the gentler sites from within the cooler parts of Rioja where their vineyards are located, as this is their more approachable red. It fermented in oak vats with indigenous yeasts, matured in barriques for two winters and was bottled in its third year. It has the telltale aromas of spices and berry fruit, with the Muga signature and a medium-bodied palate with some dusty tannins that would welcome food. 950,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2016.”
Case-4 Broc Cellars Love Rose, Suisun Valley 2018 375ML CAN ($44.95) $37 special (that’s only $9.25/can!)
Half-bottle sized can.
80% Valdiguié, 14% Zinfandel, 6% Trousseau from the Solano Vineyard (Valdiguié), Arrowhead Mountain (Zinfandel), Wirth Vineyard (Trousseau). “The wine is not spritzy, just a little prickly” -Chris Brocway
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!
June Sale Spotlight
With Isole e Olena
For many, Chianti symbolizes Italian wine and no winery symbolizes the modern quality of the region like Isole e Olena. Since the arrival of Paolo de Marchi in 1976, Isole e Olena has been a leader in quality in Tuscany.
Stylistically, Isole e Olena occupies a place that is at once traditional and modern. Their Chianti Classico and their flagship Cepparello are both firmly rooted in the primacy of Sangiovese and the idea of Tuscan typicity. Elegance wedded to power, both of those wines show the nuance and bright fruit you expect from a classic wine of the region combined with the density and complexity of top tier, noble wines.
In a more modern sphere, de Marchi also produces mono-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Syrah. Elegant and polished they represent wines that are at the top of their class for each of the respective grape varieties, no matter the origin. We’re put a slew of Isole e Olena’s wines on sale to kick off June and lovers of Italian wines are going to want to act quickly while there’s still stock—once these sell out, the prices go, too.
The Outstanding 2014 Produttori Riservas
“one of the most consistently outstanding set of Riservas I can remember”–Antonio Galloni
Produttori del Barbaresco is revered for producing classically-styled Barbaresco and Riservas of uncompromising quality and transparency. It’s a miracle that these wines are still affordable and available, especially when compared to the skyrocketing prices of Barolo. You’d be hard-pressed to find such consistent quality and complexity out of such an extensive range of single-vineyard Nebbiolos anywhere else. We are pleased to present the 2014 Crus – a range already receiving rave reviews from Italian expert Antonio Galloni:
“Piedmont fans will want to be on the lookout for the 2014 Riservas from Produttori del Barbaresco when they are released later this year. I can’t think of too many wines that offer this level of quality for what remain incredibly fair prices. Managing Director Aldo Vacca told me the 2014 harvest stretched from October 8 to 24, which is very late by present day standards. The 2014 Riservas are dark, potent and built for aging… In many years, this range includes one or two slight underperformers, but in 2014, the wines are superb across the board. Some will drink well earlier than others, of course, but this is one of the most consistently outstanding set of Riservas I can remember tasting here.” –Antonio Galloni
Consider yourself warned: These are HIGHLY limited in comparison to prior vintages (Rabaja 750’s are already sold out). Shop the complete list on our web store or browse the list below!
The Best Wines in Priorat?
Terroir al Limit Makes Their Case
With 2x 98 Point Wines
“The goal at Terroir al Limit is the fostering of wines of infusion rather than extraction, and elegance rather than the typical heaviness of the Priorat. Currently the wines are primarily aged in foudres– Stockinger upright barrels from Austria to be exact– between 1,200 and 3,500 liters in size or in small concrete tanks. Each successive vintage is testament to their original vision for Terroir al Limit as well as winemaker Dominik Huber’s continued quest to make the most elegant and expressive wines in the Priorat.” –Importer note
In Stock Now:
“a tour de force Garnacha from… chalky soils in Priorat!”
Terroir Al Limit Soc. Lda. Les Manyes, Priorat DOCa 2014 750ML ($259.95) $219 special
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2014 Les Manyes was bottled a little earlier, in June 2016. In many wineries in Priorat, 2013 is clearly better than 2014, but it’s not that clear in the case here, and you have to take it wine by wine. In the case of this Les Manyes, I think 2014 was the big surprise, with a combination of depth, perfume, subtleness and power difficult to achieve. The clay and chalky soils provide for an extraordinary texture of tannins, a lot less coarse than those from slate soils. It distills all the Mediterranean herbs and flowers, the essence of ripe red cherries and wild strawberries with some chalky minerality in a nose and palate that is close to perfection. This is a tour de force Garnacha from… chalky soils in Priorat! There are 1,008 bottles produced.”
“This might very well be the best vintage of Les Tosses so far”
Terroir Al Limit Soc. Lda. Les Tosses, Priorat DOCa 2014 750ML ($259.95) $219 special
Wine Advocate 98 points “Already bottled in June 2016, slightly earlier as it usually spends two years in foudre to avoid excessive fatigue because of too much oxygen in the wine, the 2014 Les Tosses is pure Cariñena from an old vineyard on slate soils at some 650 meters altitude. There is none of the rusticity I often link to the grape, this is extremely floral and perfumed, with plenty of violets, a little earthy too. The palate is extremely balanced, and I don’t remember tannins as elegant as these in a Cariñena before. There is length, freshness and a very, very long finish. This might very well be the best vintage of Les Tosses so far. This wine feels very young and it’s a bit shy, but giving it time it is just amazing. It should be much better with a little more time in bottle. If you decide to pull the cork soon, make sure you give it some time to breathe. There are 1,946 bottles produced. The vineyard is almost two hectares, and Dominik Huber only used part of it for this bottling, and the rest goes to Torroja. But, his idea is to increase the volume so he’ll take longer to sell this vintage so he can keep the wine for one year longer in bottle before selling it. Smart thinking…”
Single vintage Sherries (Anada bottlings) are rare. Single vineyard Sherries are basically unheard of. What happens when a top producer (Valdespino) makes a single vintage, single vineyard Palo Cortado from a single, excellent cask and a great year? Pure magic.
Valdespino owns some of the best vineyard land in Jerez and Macharnudo Alto might be their crown jewel. It’s the highest vineyard in the region and has especially chalky soils. Wines from the site seem to have a vitality and energy that’s irreplaceable in other terroirs.
The wine we’re offering today, the Anada 2000 Palo Cortado, hails from this vineyard and indeed from a single barrel—only 500 half-bottles were made. If you love sherry, though, you should do whatever you can to get one, though—these have everything you’d want out of a special release from Valdespino. Our pricing is especially sharp, as well—the next best price in the country is over $30 more expensive.
In Stock Now:
Valdespino Macharnudo Alto Single Cask Palo Cortado Vintage Sherry, Jerez 2000 375ML ($159.95) $99 special, 7 half-bottles in stock now
Sherrynotes.com 4.5 Stars “A complex and aromatic nose, which presents itself in a very elegant, smooth way. There’s a Fino side to it (hay, minerals, bread crust) as well as Amontillado (soft beeswax, orange oil, apricots and other fruity echoes) and Palo Cortado (a little tobacco, hazelnuts, caramel)…Mouth: a gentle entry. I’m struck by the delicate glyceric / buttery touch, making it seem a little sweet (toffee, apricots again). However it becomes sharper and deeper over time, with a gentle saline tang and balanced acidity. Soft herbal notes. Some lemon and olive brine. Roasted almonds and walnuts. Hints of old polished wood. Very long finish with the toffee and praline notes lasting forever.An exciting hybrid wine again. It could be described as a particularly buttery Fino with subtle traces of Oloroso, but it’s more complex than that. Absolutely lovely: a rare gem – let’s hope there are more casks like this in the bodega.”
The next best price is $129.07
The average listed price is $259
Five Times in Forty Years
Heidsieck’s Blanc de Millenaires
Imagine there was a Champagne, produced by a top tier, historic house. Imagine that Champagne was a blanc de blancs, from some of the top Grand Cru villages and aged for an extended time on the lees before release. Further still, this mythical Champagne has only been released five times in the last forty years—truly, only the best vintages made the cut. You’d think this wine would be outlandishly expensive and impossible to acquire. You’d be wrong, though, because we’re offering Charles Heisieck’s Blanc de Millenaires for about the same price as a bottle of NV Krug. If you want great Champagne to taste like Grand Cru White Burgundy with fine bubbles, this is something you need to jump on.
Charles Heidsieck is one of the great, historic houses of Champagne, but because of their small size, they tend to be overlooked in conversations about elite wines in the region. That’s unfair on so many levels, from their excellent and inexpensive NV to this wine, the top-of-the-line Blanc des Millenaires, produced only in the (truly) best years. Millenaires is a white whale of the Champagne world. Even most “picky” houses declare 5-6 vintages a decade, but Heidsieck will only release this wine under the most perfect of circumstances (the last vintage released was the epic 1995). The resulting wine is powerful, intense but beyond elegant, as only Chardonnay given extended lees aging can provide. We’ve secured a small parcel arriving this summer and are excited to offer it at exceptional pricing. The winery has been mum on how long it will be until the next release, so this may be your best chance at this wine for some time.
Arriving ETA June:
Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires, Champagne 2004 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special
Decanter 97 points “It says much that Charles Heidsieck went for the 2004, not the richer 2002, as the long-awaited successor to the epic 1995 Millenaires – the ’04 has an admirable beauty and finesse in the classic mould that fits the style of this wine so well. It’s an intriguing blend of great Chardonnays from Oger, Mesnil, Avize and Cramant, but also from Vertus, a premier cru punching above its weight. Vanilla and butter flatter this wine famously, but there’s no oak. It has controlled richness, with precision and purity ruling over the green and tropical fruits. A magnificent champagne with impressively elegant acidity, a triumph now and for years to come. Disgorged in 2016. Drinking Window 2020 – 2035.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “A seamless Champagne, showing a texture of raw silk, this weaves vibrant acidity with an expressive range of glazed apple and poached white cherry fruit flavors, with pickled ginger and saffron spice details and rich notes of pastry cream, toast and coffee liqueur. More about finesse than power, this is long and creamy on the mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2028. [Reviewed Dec 2018]”
Dry 2016 Markus Molitor Wines
There may be no more ambitious winemaker in the world than Markus Molitor. His determination and drive to make the best possible wines has made him a towering figure in the Mosel, with an impressive, modern winery and holdings in almost every important vineyard in the region. This drive also means there are a lot of different bottlings—Molitor believes that every single sub-parcel and selective pick should be vinified to its utmost potential.
This is the essence of the brilliance of Markus Molitor. Most winemakers would pick once or twice (or three times) in a vineyard and vinify many lots together—it’s easier and the wines are good. Molitor, though, asks what each parcel and pick would be like on its own—treated as if it were a wine of distinction rather than a blending component. This is a lot of extra work and requires time and space that most winemakers would rather not spend, but the result is a dizzying number of bottlings that all strive toward perfection.
The critical praise backs this up— Markus Molitor’s wines are some of the most lauded in the world. Whether white capsule (dry), green capsule (off-dry), or gold capsule (fruity to nobly sweet), he manages to produce wines that captivate and astound. Today’s focus is on the dry wines, which show off the power, minerality and terroir essence-capturing ability of Riesling in spades. Browse some highlights below!
Dry 2016 Markus Molitor Highlights:
Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett ‘Fuder 6’ Trocken White Capsule, Mosel 2016 750ML ($37.95) $29 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Stuart Pigott – JamesSuckling 94 points “A stunning nectarine nose. Very elegant and delicate in spite of the touch of tannins that provides a firm base. A long, super clean and silky finish that pulls you back for more. Drink or hold.”
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Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Riesling Erdener Treppchen Spätlese (White Capsule) has a very clear and precise bouquet of ripe and concentrated yet fine and flinty Riesling expressions intermixed with yeasty notes from the long lees aging, which lasted until September 2017. On the palate this is a very elegant, lush and finessed Spätlese with crystalline acidity and beautiful Mosel elegance. The purity, finesse and terroir expression are really remarkable here. A great and promising Spätlese. Tasted March 2018.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Riesling Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Spätlese (White Capsule) is clear, fresh and precise on the nose where a ripe, concentrated and spicy white fruit aroma is displayed and intermixed with crystalline and crunchy slate flavors. On the palate, the Bockstein reveals lush, concentrated, very elegant and mineral structured fruit that is terribly precise and piquant. The finish is pure, clean, intense and persistently salty, again showing crunchy slate flavors. The wine was bottled in September 2017. Tasted in March 2018.”
Wine Advocate 98+ points “The 2016 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese *** (White Capsule) is terribly deep, complex and smoky on the nose, offering perfectly ripe but precise fruit aromas that are intermixed with crushed stones and bones as well as wet slate plates. Gosh, this is spectacular! Pure and silky on the palate, with generous and concentrated fruit and a juicy texture with firm tannins from the oak, this is a very rich and powerful but elegant and promising Riesling that is far too rich to enjoy its talents today. Keep it for at least 10 years. The grapes are sourced from a 1-hectare plot with over 100-year-old vines in the Schiesswingert where the grapes are as big as peas. The blue Devonian slate soil is very fine (weathered) and gives some of the finest Mosel Rieslings. The 2016 was fermented in a 1,150-liter oak vat as well as several grand cru barriques from Mercurey that were aged three years instead of only two and only slightly toasted. This is spectacular—but be patient! The wine is rich and structured not just by mineral complexity but also fine tannins. It’s richer and sweeter than the Himmelreich yet not as pure as the Doctor. I am curious to taste it again in ten years, and be sure, I will!”
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2016 Riesling Graacher Himmelreich Auslese *** (White Capsule) opens with very clear, super fine, precise and delicate yet deep, intense and concentrated fruit intertwined with just a hint of noble oak leaf notes. Full-bodied, fresh and very dense in its mineral structure, packed with mocha and nougat flavors, this is an elegant, highly vital and complex Himmelreich—by far the best dry Riesling I have ever tasted from this vineyard. Molitor’s parcel is the steep part behind the Josephshof where the vines were planted in 1990. The soil is pretty stony, but there is also fine earth. The 2016 was fermented in a 2,000-liter oak vat plus a 225-liter barrique. The wine reveals enormous finesse and salinity and is spectacular in its purity and refreshing tension. This is so saliva-inducing that I tried to spit it four times—and failed four times. I tasted the wine three times in 14 days from the same bottle in March 2018. The second and third encounter showed a much fruitier, more classic Himmelreich style. The wine is the perfect expression of ripeness, elegance, finesse and freshness. Its finish is much (!) longer, more tensioned, salty and vibrantly fresh than any other wine I have ever had from this steep grand cru between Wehlen and Graach. Molitor’s parcel is located pretty high (straight next to his Pinot Noir plot); the vines are “only” 26 years old, but the trunks are as big as if they were much older.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2016 Riesling Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese ** (White Capsule) has a clear and flinty-scented bouquet of great elegance. With ripe stone fruit aromas on the nose and a very delicate flinty character, this is a beautifully lush and elegant Auslese with enormous complexity, length and mineral tension. It’s crystalline and powerful yet always balanced, and the acidity is absolutely delicate and intertwines with finely grained tannins. The finish is dense and persistent. The wine was fermented and aged in a single 2,000-liter barrel. Bottled at the end of September 2017; tasted March 2018.”
See the complete list of 48 wines from Markus Molitor on our web store!
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