Monday Newsletter 7-13-2020

In This Newsletter:

Subscriber Special:
Emmanuel Darnaud

New Week – New Arrivals

New Review:
2007 Taittinger Comtes

Champagne Featurette:

Subscriber Special Recap
Gaja Sperss

Subscriber Special:

Emmanuel Darnaud

Purchase 6-11 bottles of Darnaud for 5% off
Purchase 12+ bottles of Darnaud for 10% off
Offer valid on stock on hand
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We will adjust your order manually before finalizing
Sale Ends Wednesday, July 15th at 10 AM

Emanuel Darnaud makes spectacular Crozes-Hermitage wines, which are some of the best deals we’ve tasted in the Northern Rhone.  From top to bottom, the Darnaud wines over performed, with density, power and drinkability.  They are Syrah with soul and immediate appeal.

A passionate advocate for terroir-specific wines, Emmanuel Darnaud has been crafting robust reds from individual parcels in the northern Rhone since 2001. His six parcels are spread over 15 hectares, where the grapes are hand harvested. Each is vinified separately with differing oak aging and maturation practices depending upon the wine. No matter which bottling, though, he manages to bring the best of the site to the wine. The 2016 versions are a worthy follow up to their breakthrough 2015’s.  These are wines that are a perfect thing to drink with end-of-summer barbeques or to hold onto for when the weather turns cooler.

In Stock & On Sale Now:

Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Au Fil du Temps, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) Displayed Price $39, that’s $37.05 at 5% off and $35.10 at 10% off, 36+ bottles in stock now
Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Au Fil du Temps, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($99.95) Displayed Price $89, that’s $84.55 at 5% off and $80.10 at 10% off, 3 magnums in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points
“The 2016 Crozes Hermitage Au Fil Du Temps comes from the alluvial soils in the southern part of the appellation and was brought up in 50% French oak. Sporting a saturated purple color, it offers impressive notes of crème de cassis, black raspberries, crushed pepper, and ample floral and incense notes. With medium to full body, solid elegance and balance, and moderate tannins, you can drink it today or cellar bottles for 7-8 years.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “A soft, fleshy, generous style, with dark tea, mulled blackberry and plum fruit and warmed anise notes. Offers a velvety feel through the finish. Will have lots of fans. Drink now through 2021. 257 cases made.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points “Inky ruby. Blueberry, cherry, olive, candied flowers and a hint of cracked pepper on the highly fragrant nose. Appealingly sweet and plush in the mouth, showing very good depth to the juicy, smoke-accented black and blue fruit and spicecake flavors. Shows a repeating floral quality and bright, spicy lift on the subtly tannic finish, which leaves behind sweet vanilla and dark fruit liqueur notes.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $54.99 for the 750ml
This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!

Emmanuel Darnaud Saint Joseph La Dardouille, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) Displayed Price $39, that’s $37.05 at 5% off and $35.10 at 10% off, 28 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The 2016 Saint Joseph Lieu Dit La Dardouille comes from a fabulous terroir (Jean-Louis Chave also works with this vineyard) and was brought up a mix of once- and twice-used demi-muids and barrels. It offers ripe, sexy notes of crème de cassis, violets, and graphite, with subtle new oak covered by beautifully pure fruit. With medium to full-bodied richness and depth, sweet tannins, and a great finish, it’s a gem of a Saint Joseph that will be better with 2-3 years of bottle age and cruise for a decade. Hats off to the young Emmanuel Darnaud for another beautiful wine.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “(no stems; raised in a combination of one- to three-year-old barriques and demi-muids) Brilliant violet. Potent, mineral-accented black and blue fruit, spicecake and floral pastille aromas show outstanding clarity and pick up a smoky mineral nuance with air. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering vibrant bitter cherry, blueberry and star anise flavors that deepen and spread out steadily on the back half. Finishes floral, sweet and impressively long, displaying repeating spiciness and well-knit tannins.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Sale Ends Wednesday, July 15th at 10 AM

New Week – New Arrivals


Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Rose of Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
Winery note
“The 2019 Seven Springs Rosé of Pinot Noir comes from young vines Pinot planted up on the vineyard’s East Ridge. These densely planted vines grow in well-draining soils and receive a full day of sunshine during the growing season. The gradual and even ripening that occurred during the 2019 growing season resulted in beautifully layered wines, with nuance and refinement. For the rosé, we were fortunate to realize a depth of flavor and aroma across the bright fruit and floral spectrum while still retaining mouthwatering acidity and freshness. The wine opens with a subtle whiff of reduction followed by under-ripe strawberries, white flowers, and dried apricots. The palate is lively and whimsical and begs for a dish like fritto misto or a salde nicoise.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $28

Domaine de Beaurenard ‘Biotiful Fox’ Rose, Vin de France 2019 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Importer note
“90% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Carignan. It all begins with a meticulous selection of grapes. In the cellar only the first juices, elegant and aromatic, are retained. Vinification is conducted with respect for the astral calendar, slow fermentation at a controlled temperature, followed by thoughtful blending and a period of rest in bottle. At each and every stage the Coulon family is attentive to the balance of the wine. BiotifulFOX carries their signature: an audacious triptych of fragrance, delicacy and minerality.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $19

Chateau Gassier Cotes de Provence ‘Esprit Gassier’ Rose 2019 750ML ($24.95) $20.90 special
Wine Advocate 89 points
“The cantaloupe and strawberry-scented 2019 Cotes de Provence Rose Esprit Gassier is another crowd-pleaser under this label. It’s medium-bodied and plump on the palate but underscored by enough zesty acidity to give it shape and structure, plus extend the finish.”
Wine Enthusiast 89 points “The entry-level wine from this estate, this is enticing, ripe and full of citrus flavors. It is all balanced, with a warm under-current of richness, spice and pepper. Drink the wine now.”

Restocked and already going fast…
Domaine de Triennes Rose, IGP Var 2019 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points
“Translucent onion skin. Orange zest, persimmon, red berries and a subtle floral nuance on the fragrant nose. Concentrated but lithe and seemingly weightless, offering tangy red currant, strawberry and blood orange flavors that pick up a spicy nuance on the back half. Finishes brisk and tight, with repeating spiciness and a sneaky floral quality. This wine has the depth of flavor to handle full-flavored foods, but there’s no excess fat here, either. A solid value.”

A cellar-worthy and majestic rosé 
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose, Provence 2019 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose, Provence 2019 1.5L ($79.95) $61.90 special
Importer note
“The Bandol Rosé from Pradeaux is perhaps the most serious wine in this category. Robust, rich, and complex with an ability to age gracefully, this wine is based on Cinsault (50%) and Mourvèdre (50%), taking its slight orange tint from the latter cépage. The younger vines of the domaine (average age: 25 years) are utilized to produce a rare rosé with staying power and exceptional complexity. The Rosé is vinified by a direct pressing for 24 hours followed by fermentation in cement tanks at a controlled temperature of 18 degrees Celsius for about 15 days; the malo-lactic fermentation is blocked and the wine is usually bottled in mid-April of the following year. We import approximately 600 cases (7200 bottles) annually of this exceptional wine.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $32

Chateau Pradeaux Le Cotes de Provence Rose 2019 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Importer note
“Made from 45% Cinsault and 40% Mourvedre, with the balance split among Grenache and Carignan, a core of sappy, glycerol red-cherry fruit anchors a firm, punchy minerality, and the finish is remarkably persistent. The vineyards that comprise this wine were, in fact, classified as Bandol AOC as recently as 2012, and this 2017 clearly distinguishes itself from among the vast ocean of Côtes de Provence rose by virtue of its terroir’s unique pedigree.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!


Juicy, fresh and full-flavored white for the summer
Trathen Hall Sauvignon Blanc Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note
“This release is a blend of two vineyards, La Chenaie Vineyard in the Eola-Amity AVA (40%) and Croft Vineyard in the Willamette Valley AVA (60%). Both farmed organically. Eight neutral French oak barrels and a stainless steel barrel. Eight months elevage. 13.2% alcohol.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Goodfellow Family Cellars Whistling Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge 2018 750ML ($39.95) $36 special
Winery note
“A beautiful, linear wine, compelling aromatically, and elegant and lively in the mouth. Sea shell, salt water, white flowers, linen, almond, lemon oil, lit match, and lime skin. White chalky minerality, crisp, and with length.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Restocked! One of the best under $30 Pinots from the Valley, year in/year out
Crowley Entre Nous Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
The 2017 Entre Nous is mostly fruit from La Colina vineyard, with a touch of Oracle and Four Winds. It spent 20 months in mostly old oak barrels. This vintage saw no whole cluster and is a blend of Wadensville and Pommard clones.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $32

A blend of Yamhill-Carlton and Dundee Hills. Floral, spicy, dark fruited, yet never bombastic. This is richness at its most refined.
Belle Pente Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($27.95) $24 special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $29.99

Kelley Fox makes some of the prettiest and most captivating wines in all of the Willamette Valley. 
Kelley Fox Wines Maresh Vineyard Star of Bethlehem Flower Block Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2018 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
John Gilman 95+ points
“The 2018 Star-Of-Bethlehem Flower Block pinot from Kelley Fox is another gorgeous example of the vintage. The wine shows lovely ripeness on both the nose and palate, without every losing that inimitable delicacy that I think of as the calling card for this cuvée. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a refined mix of cherries, wild strawberries, beetroot, a hint of raw cocoa, a refined base of soil, hints of hazelnut, gentle oak, peonies and rose petals. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, refined and elegant, with a superb core of fruit, lovely transparency and grip, suave tannins and a long, complex and light on its feet finish. Though the soil signatures are completely different, this is always the Kelley Fox bottling that strikes me as the most spiritually aligned with les Amoureuses in Chambolle-Musigny. It is a stunning young wine in 2018. 2026-2065+.”


Paul Hobbs Richard Dinner Vineyard Chardonnay, Sonoma Mountain 2018 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points
“Last of the Chardonnay and first made in 1991, the 2018 Chardonnay Richard Dinner Vineyard comes from a vineyard in the Sonoma Mountain AVA and spent 15 months in 53% new French oak. It’s certainly the most exotic Chardonnay in the lineup, with a complex bouquet of Meyer lemons, flower oil, toasted spice, candle wax, and honeyed citrus. Rich, full-bodied, and stacked on the palate, it has loads of fruit, vibrant acidity, and a great finish. It’s another powerful, concentrated Chardonnay.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2018 Chardonnay Richard Dinner Vineyard is quite floral and perfumed in this vintage. Jasmine, white pepper, mint and lemon peel give the 2018 a brilliant aromatic upper register. In most vintages the Richard Dinner Chardonnay is distinguished by more of a phenolic character, but the 2018 is all about lift and energy.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $87

Paul Hobbs Ellen Lane Estate Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2018 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“More tart citrus, caramelized pineapple, white flowers, and Meyer lemon notes emerge from the 2018 Chardonnay Ellen Lane Estate, another flawlessly balanced Chardonnay from Hobbs. Medium to full-bodied, with terrific acidity yet also terrific concentration, it’s drinking spot on already, with the more flattering, charming style of the 2018 vintage, yet is going to evolve for 5-7 years with no problems.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2018 Chardonnay Ellen Lane Estate is creamy, open-knit and sensual, with no hard edges and impeccable balance. Apricot and lemon confit give the Ellen Lane inner sweetness and perfume to match its gracious, mid-weight personality. This is very nicely done.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Paul Hobbs Goldrock Estate Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2017 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2017 Pinot Noir Goldrock Estate is even more impressive from bottle than it was from barrel. Gravel, graphite, smoke, leather, and whole range of dark fruit notes give the Goldrock Estate a decidedly somber feel that pairs well with its brooding structure. A Pinot of gravitas and power, the Goldrock needs time to fully come together, but it is super impressive today.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “Another Sonoma Coast release, the 2017 Pinot Noir Goldrock Estate saw a touch of stems as well as the standard 45-55% new barrels. Its ruby/purple hue gives way to notes of Caramelized black raspberries, candied cherries, crushed flowers, and exotic spices. Rich, powerful, medium to full-bodied, and nicely structured, it’s a big, mouthfilling 2017 that does everything right.”

Paul Hobbs Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir, Carneros 2018 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points
“From the Carneros region in the southern part of the valley, the 2018 Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard gives up a Burgundian bouquet of black cherries, mulberries, smoked earth, and candied violets. It shows more and more floral tones with time in the glass and is beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and has silky tannins. It’s terrific today, yet it has a solid spine of acidity that’s going to allow it to evolve gracefully for a solid decade or more. This cuvée was just about all destemmed (there are 8% stems) and spent 15 months in 53% new French oak.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2018 Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard is unusually refined this year. The savory, earthy notes typical of Hyde are present, and yet the wine has an extra kick of polish that helps to balance what are sometimes slightly rustic qualities. Elegant and polished, the 2018 is light on its feet and impeccable in its balance. It is also one of the finest Hyde Pinots I can remember tasting from Paul Hobbs.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $87


Nicolas Maillart Platine Premier Cru Brut, Champagne  NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-12 Nicolas Maillart Platine Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($599.95) $419 special (that’s only $34.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Importer note
“63% Pinot Noir, 23% Chardonnay, 14% Pinot Meunier. 50% 2015 and 50% 2014. Dosage 5.5 grams. 70% Villers Allerand, 20% Ecueil, 10% Bouzy.”
Winery Note “Golden in colour with a fine, lingering bead Nose: Intense with notes of fruit and hazelnuts and a slight toastiness Palate: The initial impact is wonderfully fresh and vinous, followed by great finesse. Slow, gentle pressing using gravity-flow techniques. Vinification in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats and a period in the barrel for a certain volume of reserve wines. Average two-year maturing period in the bottle. Disgorged by hand and laid down for at least three months before sale.”

Nicolas Maillart ‘Les Chaillots Gillis’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne 2012 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Winery Note
“Champagne from a specific area from old vines of Chardonnay.Produced only in great years, this Champagne is produced with limited quantity. A wine of Champagne before being a Champagne. Origin of the grapes: Ecueil 1er cru . Sourced from different parcels of old vines only, exposed on the south hills and different plots in the middle of the vineyard. Winemaking and aging: Slow, gentle pressing using gravity flow techniques. This wine is vinified exclusively in wooden vats . This Champagne has had a long maturation on wooden vats and no filtration took place before the bottling. Disgorged by hand and laid down at least six months before sale. Dosage : 0 g/L Tasting notes Eye : Golden yellow with a fine, lingering bead Nose : really delicate with notes of minerality and toasty notes. Palate: A lovely fresh, vinous attack. This is an intense Champagne that will do great justice to a meal.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy 2017 750ML ($89.95) Was $79, Now $75
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 88-90 points
“Aromas of waxy citrus rind, green apples and light reduction introduce the 2017 Bourgogne Blanc, a medium to full-bodied wine and elegantly glossy attack, a succulent core of fruit, and excellent cut and intensity for its level, concluding with a long finish. This is routinely one of the best generic bottlings to be found, and this year’s rendition is no exception.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $87

Domaine Leflaive Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais 2017 750ML ($99.95) Was $85, Now $75
Wine Advocate 91 points
“The 2017 Pouilly-Fuissé derives from multiple parcels in Soultré and which now sees the same élevage as the domaine’s wines from Puligny. It’s showing well, exhibiting aromas of ripe lemons, beeswax, dried white flowers and blanched almonds, followed by a medium to full-bodied, satiny-textured palate with more flesh, concentration and length than any of the Mâcon-Verzé bottlings.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $82

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge Cuvee La Tourtine, Provence 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
“The La Tourtine parcel lies at a slightly lower elevation, in the Castellet region, and is more homogeneously clay soils. This parcel yields a powerful, rich, concentrated and surprisingly polished Bandol that has the fruit and texture to impress in its youth, yet the concentration to age beautifully.” –Jeb Dunnuck [no reviews for the 2016 vintage]
Importer Note
“80% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache, 10% Cinsault from 40+ year old vines on clay and limestone soils.  Destemmed, fermented with indigenous yeasts and then aged 18-20 months in large oak foudres.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $78


Caprili Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Offering cherry, plum, iron, earth and floral aromas and flavors, this is vibrant and beautifully balanced. Well-structured, with the harmony and concentration to develop. Best from 2023 through 2043. 4,000 cases made, 3,000 cases imported.”
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 95 points “Vibrant red. Minerals and violet complement lively red cherry and raspberry aromas on the incisive nose. Then enticingly fresh and well-balanced, with captivating violet inner-mouth perfume to the steely red and black fruit flavors that linger impressively. The delicately peppery finish features polished if youthful tannins and noteworthy purity of fruit. Knockout 2015 Brunello, one of the top half dozen of the year.”
James Suckling 95 points “This is a very decadent Brunello with dried stems, charcuterie, bay leaf, Thai basil and earth. Full-bodied an0064 dense, the deeply interlocked layers of dark fruit nearly tripping over the ropey, chewy tannin structure. Drink from 2026.”

Tenuta Fanti Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
James Suckling 95 points
“There’s a beautiful interplay between bright, primary florals, such as rose petals and tulips and dust, hay bale and dried raspberries. The palate suggests a ripe, powerful persona with chewy, juicy tannins and a fine line of pretty acidity. Best ever. Drink in 2022.”

Tenuta Fanti Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2018 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Eric Guido-Vinous 89 points
“The extroverted 2018 Fanti Rosso di Montalcino is showing masses of ripe strawberry, sweet spices and exotic florals with grounding notes of worn leather and hints of undergrowth. Silky textures meld into tart red berries with a peppery-herbal twist, in a soft and easygoing effort that’s energized by bright acids that only come forward toward the finale. A mix of red fruits resonate on the finish, along with wild herbs and florals, punctuating the experience on a Rosso that is very easy to like.”


Bodegas Forjas del Salnes Leirana Albarino, Rias Baixas 2019 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
Case-12 Bodegas Forjas del Salnes Leirana Albarino, Rias Baixas 2019 750ML ($359.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 93 points
“The first Albariño to be bottled is the 2019 Leirana, which I was also able to compare with the 2018 vintage. It’s the one that represents the character of the Valle del Salnés, as it’s produced with grapes from different villages across the valley. This ferments in a combination of 60% stainless steel vats and 40% oak foudres, where the wine matures for six months. Contrary to what I’ve seen at other addresses, this 2019 is very closed and backward; it’s a vintage with very high acidity, citrus and salt. This is still a little too young. 30,000 bottles produced. The first lot of two was bottled in February 2020, when they used a little more wine from the foudre to make it more approachable, because the market demands the wines very early, and especially in 2019, the acidity is very sharp.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $29

Sierra Cantabria is one of the most important Rioja producers for the Spanish consumer, but flies under the radar on these shores.
Sierra Cantabria Finca El Bosque, Rioja DOCa 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points
“Another tiny production, single vineyard release that’s all Tempranillo, from vines planted in 1973, the 2016 Finca el Bosque was brought up mostly in French oak yet had 10% of the blend aged in Hungarian oak. It has a Pomerol-like bouquet of black and blue fruits, earth, graphite, and lead pencil that develops beautifully with time in the glass. Rich, full-bodied, powerful, and mouthfilling on the palate, it has rocking purity of fruit, sweet tannins, and a killer finish. It’s another rich yet elegant wine from this estate that’s going to keep for four decades or more. Bravo!”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Broad and elegant, with sinewy tannins framing the cherry reduction, steeped currant and violet notes, underscored by espresso, loamy earth and baking spice elements. Offers a long, smoky finish. Drink now through 2032. —T.M. ($150)”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $133


Weingut Josef Spreitzer Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Kabinett, Rheingau 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Grapelive 92 points
“This 2018 vintage is a beauty and a fabulous summer wine. One of the oldest family wineries in the Rheingau, Weingut Spreitzer…have really done an amazing job elevating this historic estate.…The Lenchen delivers a lovely concentration of flavors and the Kabinett with expressive fruity character drinks almost as impressively as a Spatlese with a serious palate impact and structure, while still feeling bright and brisk, not cloying or overtly sweet with apricot, apple, pineapple and racy citrus fruits along with touches of gingery spices, lemongrass, lime sorbet, wild mint tea and rosewater. This Kabinett has a sunny personality and makes you smile with comforting yellow fruits, but there is an underlying mineral focus and stoniness that reminds you that this terroir is very special….The vines are littered here with pebbles as well as heavy tertiary, iron-containing clay marl and quartzite that adds complexity to the profile that leans toward exotic in nature. The Spreitzer team used a combination of old fuder (German oak cask) and stainless steel tanks to ferment and age the Lench Kabinett to retain fresh detail as well as give texture, which this vintage manages to convey to near perfection, making for an ideal Kabinett Riesling that is both fun and quaffable along with having complexity to thrill the senses and goes brilliantly with food, classic German dishes and especially spicy Asian cuisines like Thai.”

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

Von Winning Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Stephen Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 90 points
“The 2018 Riesling Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten “VDP. Erste Lage” opens with a clear and fragrant bouquet of white and yellow-fleshed fruits and floral and delicate fresh oak aromas. On the palate, this is a medium-bodied, tight, fresh and lush dry Riesling with edges and a grippy character. Green apples on the aftertaste. Tasted in Deidesheim, December 2019.”
Terry Theise note “The best vintage I recall of this surprising wine; curvaceous and leafy, the often-noted caraway seed nuance, along with ‘18s beaming plum-blossom aromas and the fennel and mirabelle-drenched palate could hardly be more fetching. The salty finish also doesn’t hurt!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $34.99

A sublime and intriguing pink. 
Haden Fig Le Puits Sec Rosé, Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($21.95) $19.90 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Distributor note
“2 barrels of Pinot Gris and 2 barrels of Gewürztraminer from Le Puits Sec, both planted in 1986.  Destemmed and fermented on the skins in open top fermenters for 3 days then pressed and finished in neutral barrel.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Staff pick “a youthful wine with old world grace”
Biggio Hamina “Biha” Pinot Noir, Van Duzer 2017 750ML ($24.95) $17 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Biggio Hamina “Biha” Pinot Noir, Van Duzer 2017 750ML ($299.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
No reviews for the 2017 vintage. Review is for reference.
Josh Raynolds 91 points
“[2016 Vintage] Shimmering red. Vibrant, mineral- and spice-accented red fruit and floral scents, along with a savory herb nuance and a hint of smokiness. Appealingly sweet and sharply focused on the palate, offering lively redcurrant, raspberry and rose pastille flavors that deepen slowly on the back half. Silky tannins come on late and support a seamless, floral-driven finish that hangs on with strong tenacity.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Les Terrasses’, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Terrasses is a fine example of old-vine Grenache from a parcel of vines near La Nerthe. Rose petals and black tea accent pristine cherry and raspberry fruit in this full-bodied but silky-lacy, delicate wine. Long, briny and refreshing on the finish, it’s deceptively drinkable but undoubtedly packs a wallop.”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Brilliant violet. Lively, mineral-accented red and blue fruit aromas are complemented by suggestions of lavender and vanilla. Silky and energetic on the palate, offering concentrated raspberry and boysenberry flavors that deepen and become spicier as the wine opens up. Closes sweet, energetic and very long, displaying harmonious tannins and lingering smoke and red berry liqueur notes.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

A cellar-worthy vintage of the Crozes!
Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2016 750ML ($47.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2016 750ML ($279.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The 2016 Crozes Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert offers a rocking (and classic) bouquet of ripe black fruits intermixed with notions new saddle leather, pepper, garrigue, and hints of bacon fat. This ripe, medium to full-bodied, silky wine has remarkable purity, is already complex, and finishes with serious length. Drink it over the coming 10-15 years.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The classically styled 2016 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert boasts savory scents of black olive and leather. Medium to full-bodied, it’s plummy and rich, creamy and ripe but savory and earthy, not jammy at all, with a lingering, velvety-textured finish. It drinks well now, but it should continue to evolve and drink well through 2035.-JC”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92-94 points “(20% new oak) Bright violet. Highly perfumed, mineral-accented dark berries, cherry liqueur and candied violet on the nose. At once rich and energetic, offering juicy, focused black raspberry and cherry cola flavors along with a hint of smokiness. Turns sweeter on the lively, penetrating finish, which features sneaky tannins and a strong echo of smoky minerality.”
James Suckling 92-93 points “This shows pretty dark fruit along with cloves, dark berries and hints of black pepper. Medium to full body and a juicy finish.”

The average price is $39

Wine Spectator rated this vintage the best ever of this wine, even higher than their 2009 which was a Spectator Top 100!
Rocca di Frassinello ‘Le Sughere di Frassinello’ Maremma Toscana, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 93 points
“SMART BUY. Wild rosemary, thyme and camphor aromas lead off, with concentrated flavors of blackberry and black currant. An iron edge sinks in as this unfolds to the long, staining finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2020 through 2032. 11,000 cases made, 5,500 cases imported.”

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

Made from the younger vines in Castelnuovo, it’s basically a baby declassified Brunello. This wine spends 4 months in Slavonian botti.
La Gerla ‘Poggio gli Angeli’ Sangiovese Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 La Gerla ‘Poggio gli Angeli’ Sangiovese Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($249.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Eric Guido – Vinous 90 points
“La Gerla’s 2017 Poggio gli Angeli displays a mix of fresh, wild red berries, savory, spicy herbs and hints of cedar. On the palate, soft textures give way to crushed raspberry and cherry, with hints of sweet spice and sage. The finish is long and fresh, elevated by zesty acids, and showing hints of strawberry and inner floral notes.”

Vina Zorzal Malayeto, Navarra 2018 750ML ($29.95) $26 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 94 points
“The really impressive and mineral 2018 Malayeto was produced with Garnacha from a single vineyard that produces wine of unusual elegance and minerality. This was the first plot they bottled separately, and this 2018 is the sixth vintage they have produced. It’s a 2.9-hectare plot planted 40 years ago, on the same slope as Corral de los Altos but at a higher altitude and therefore with different soils, surprisingly deep but with lots of calcium carbonate and fine gravel. This fermented in a combination of stainless steel and concrete with indigenous yeasts and matured in a 4,000-liter oak foudre and nine used 500-liter oak barrels for nine months. This wine clearly transcends its price. It’s serious but started quite shy and needed time to open up (it’s extremely young and just bottled), but there is great purity and detail, and it’s elegant and balanced, extremely harmonious. The palate is incredibly elegant, seamless, balanced, with very fine tannins, great integration of the oak and very good freshness, with citrus-like freshness (think blood orange skin). Most of the time, this is my go-to wine in Zorzal’s portfolio, a wine of great finesse in its finest vintage to date.”

New Review

Taittinger Comtes

“Simply outstanding”

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne 2007 750ML ($179.95) $125 special, 23 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 96 points
“The new vintage of Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the 2007 and the wine is simply outstanding. The bouquet is deep, pure and very precise in its constellation of apple, pear, lemon zest, chalky minerality, incipient notes of crème patissière, a bit of fresh almond and a topnote of white lilies. On the palate the wine is brisk, youthful, full-bodied and laser-like in its focus, with a great core of fruit, superb mineral drive, utterly refined mousse, nascent complexity and stunning length and grip on the still very young finish. As is proper for the vintage differences, the 2007 Comtes is quite a bit more youthful out of the blocks than the very fine 2006 version was, but in the long run, this seems likely to be every bit as impressive with a bit more bottle age.”

Champagne Featurette:


Aubry is an interesting estate, in that stylistically (and from a zeitgeist perspective) they’re very much thought of as a “classical” producer, but when you look at the wines they make, they appear very avant-garde.  That’s largely due to a desire to work with what might be termed as “heirloom” varieties (Pinot Blanc, Arbanne, Petit Meslier) which goes back to time before that might have been seen as cool (and was instead thought of as crazy).  The winemaking, though, is classic.

Their “other” wines are what they’ve become known for recently—field blends that incorporate the old grapes that aren’t planted anymore.  The bubbles produced from these grapes are the opposite of their basic wines—you recognize them instantly as Champagne, but as though through a filter or mirror that subtly distorts what you expect to be there.  The wines are delicious and approachable but you leave with the impression that the world of Champagne has a few more layers than you’d previously assumed were there.

“…Finesse and understatement are two of the signatures that run through these brilliant Champagnes. As always, a number of the wines incorporate some or all of Champagne’s nearly forgotten heritage varities. Aubry’s Sablé series wines are bottled with 4 atmospheres of pressure as opposed to the more typical 6, an approach that seems add further textural delicacy.” -Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

“The essential point of Aubry is to limn the very fine line between a kind of country classicism and an absolute embrace of the avant-garde… When I first introduced the wines I was thrilled to highlight all the heirloom varieties, and the many ways Aubrys were true originals. I still am, and they still are.  But what’s striking me more and more of late is the dignity these wines have been showing. My marketing side—as pathetic as that is—keeps wanting to be playful about the novelties of the wines, but my human side keeps pausing before them, noticing their basic and unfussy truths.” –Terry Theise

In Stock Now from Aubry:

Aubry Cuvee ‘Aubry de Humbert’ Premier Cru Millesime, Champagne 2012 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 7 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Disgorged in December 2018, the 2012 Brut Aubry de Humbert opens in the glass with a lovely bouquet of lemon oil, orange zest, honeyed pears, fresh pastry and brioche. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, tensile and incisive, with a concentrated and tight-knit core, brisk acids and a delicate low-pressure mousse. Long and penetrating, this will really unwind with time on cork, even though it’s already approachable today.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2012 Aubry de Humbert is generous and radiant in the glass. Apricot, wild flowers, butter, pastry, mint and lemon confit are all wonderfully resonant in the glass. This blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Petit Meslier, Arbanne works really well in 2013, a year that seems to have brought out the best the wine has to offer. Powerful, resonant and super-expressive, the Aubry de Humbert is positively stellar. This is an especially structured style for Aubry. I would prefer to give the 2012 a good bit of air.”
Importer Note “Named for the Archbishop who laid the cornerstone for the Reims cathedral, this is Aubry at their most classical. Deg. 2/2019, it’s 60% PN and 20% each CH/M; potentially a fine vintage, with a lot of salt and mineral; it’s more elegant and less woody (because there’s less Chard, which they raise in wood), it has both the rustic profile of PN but also its unlikely focus and length. Can a wine be both rustic and polished? This one seems to be.” 

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Aubry Premier Cru Demi-Sec, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The NV Demi-Sec is an absolutely gorgeous wine in its peer group. Baked apple, pear, white flowers and pastry are some of the many nuances that run through this gorgeous and wonderfully inviting Demi-Sec. This is such an expressive and inviting wine. Disgorged: July 2018.”
Disgorged July 2018

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Aubry ‘Ivoire et Ebene’ Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 8 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points
“Offering up a lovely bouquet of blanched almonds, citrus oil, white flowers and subtle hints of peat, Aubry’s 2013 Brut Ivoire et Ebene is medium to full-bodied, taut and incisive, with racy acids, a vibrant core of fruit and a penetratingly saline finish. The wine’s delicate, low-pressure mousse sets off its racy profile to fine effect. This new release was disgorged in November 2018.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2013 Ivoire et Ebène is a blend of 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Meunier done in oak. Still very reticent, the 2013 needs time to soften. It is another wine in this range built on serious power and textural resonance, both of which make it a wine for the dinner table.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Arriving Late July from Aubry:

Champagne Aubry ‘Sable’ Premier Cru Brut Rose, Champagne 2014 750ML ($119.95) Was $99, Now $89 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2014 Rosé Sablé Nicolas Francois Aubry is a real pleasure to taste. It is also much more giving than the 2013 at this stage. Crushed flowers, cranberry and chalk all flesh out in a Rosé that offers terrific depth as well as energy. It is another classy, polished Champagne from the Aubry brothers.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points “Disgorged in October 2018, Aubry’s 2014 Brut Nature Rosé Sablé Premier Cru is showing very well, wafting from the glass with a complex bouquet of oatmeal, fresh peach, woodsmoke, orange oil and dried linden blossom. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, vinous and crisply textural, with racy acids, a delicate low-pressure mousse and a long, penetrating finish. While I found the 2013 rendition—reviewed last year—a little austere, the more generous 2014 vintage is more naturally giving and inviting in the wine’s chiseled, bone-dry register. A saignée of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier gives the wine its color and amounts to some 30% of the unusual blend, complemented by fully 20% Arbanne and 25% Petit Meslier, the balance coming from Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay.”
John Gilman 90 points “The 2014 Aubry “Sablé” Rosé Brut Nature Millésime is an exotic blend of thirty percent of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir (fermented together), ten percent Chardonnay, twenty percent Arbanne, twenty-five percent Petit Meslier, ten percent Pinot Blanc and five percent of still red wine, solely being Pinot Meunier. All of the vins clairs go through full malo. The wine was disgorged in October of 2018 and is a very pale copper color. The nose here is complex and quite unique, offering up scents of tart orange, bread dough, a good base of soil, spring flowers and fresh almond. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied and nicely balanced for a non-dosé, with good depth at the core, fine focus and grip, frothy mousse, snappy acids and a long, bonedry finish. This is quite good, but really built almost exclusively (at least at this young age) for specialists in Brut Nature. For my palate, I would have welcomed at least a couple of grams of dosage, but it is quite well done in its style and should age well. 2019-2040+.”

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Aubry Premier Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92+ points
“The latest release of Aubry’s NV Brut Rose Premier Cru was only disgorged in July 2018, but it’s already showing well, opening in the glass with scents of strawberries, red apples and potpourri. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, with an impressively deep, layered core of nicely concentrated fruit, ripe but tangy acids, a youthfully frothy mousse and a long, intense finish. This is a powerful, serious rosé that will work well at table or as an aperitif, especially after another year or two on cork.”
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Brut Rosé is absolutely gorgeous. Lifted, precise and sculpted, the Brut Rosé captures all the best qualities of the Aubry house style. Red berry and floral notes are finely cut in this super-expressive, alluring Rosé. Interestingly, the NV Brut Rosé is quite a bit drier and more taut in feel than the NV Brut, a style that works especially well here. This release is all 2015, 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 10% Meunier and, quite unusually, 10% still red Meunier. Disgorged: April 2018.”

Aubry Le Nombre D’Or Campanae Veteres Vites Brut, Champagne 2014 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Importer note
“Cépages: 25% Chardonnay, 25% Arbanne, 25% Petit Meslier, 25% Pinot Blanc. Vineyard/Village: Jouy-lès-Reims 1er Cru. Malo: yes. Elevage: Stainless steel. En Tirage Aging: 48 months.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Aubry Le Nombre d’Or Sable Blanc de Blancs Campanae Veteres Vites Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2013 Blanc des Blancs Sablé Le Nombre d’Or Sable is a Champagne of extraordinary precision and class. Bright, lifted and wonderfully nuanced, the 2013 toes the line between Champagne and wine because of the low pressure Aubry uses in bottling this cuvée. In a word: dazzling.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points “Disgorged in April 2019, Aubry’s 2013 Brut Nature Sablé Blanc de Blancs Le Nombre d’Or Campaniae Veteres Vites is showing well, opening in the glass with scents of grapefruit oil, white flowers, crisp green apple and rock salt. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, vinous and elegantly textural, with terrific tension at the minimalist but multidimensional core, ripe but racy acids and a mineral finish. As usual, this represents an unusual field blend of 25% Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc, 25% Petit Meslier, 20% Arbanne, 20% Pinot Noir and 10% Chardonnay.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Disgorgement dates may vary slightly from the reviews, but vintage or base years match review(s).

Subscriber Special Recap

Gaja Sperss

Gaja is one of the most respected names in the world of wine.  This weekend only, we’re offering subscriber special pricing on one of his rare bottlings from Barolo.  Unlike many other ultra-premium Barolos, Gaja’s 2014 Sperss is already drinking beautifully, even in its relative youth. Transcending the modernist versus traditionalist categories, Gaja is truly in a class of its own—and the 2014 Sperss is the perfect example.  Immediate yet complex, structured yet elegant, beautiful today yet undeniably cellar-able, this wine was deserving of your attention long before this weekend’s subscriber special. We were already the lowest price in the USA, but by the six-pack, this wine is almost half the average listed price.

Purchase 3-5 bottles of 2014 Gaja Sperss for 5% off
Purchase 6+ bottles of 2014 Gaja Sperss for 10% off
Offer valid on stock on hand
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Sale Ends Monday, July 13th at 10 AM

Gaja Sperss Barolo, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($319.95) Displayed price $179, that’s $170.05 at 5% off and $161.10 at 10% off!
James Suckling 95 points
“More forward and in a more earthly realm than the dizzying heights of the Conteisa this vintage, but it’s so endearing and immediately delights. The aromas range from elderberries and black cherries to brambleberries and Chinese spices. Full-bodied and structured with powerful tannins that encase bright and forthright blue fruit, which is polished over by a sheen of glimmering acidity. Long finish. Delicious now, but better in 2022.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Underbrush, tobacco, toasted hazelnut, menthol and grilled herb aromas slowly take shape on this focused red. On the structured elegant palate, taut refined tannins and fresh acidity provide an ageworthy framework for raspberry compote, juicy Marasca cherry, orange zest, white pepper and star anise. It already has layers of depth and loads of finesse, but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2022–2030.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “This is a slightly more subdued vintage of this legendary wine, albeit just as sophisticated as past editions. The 2014 Barolo Sperss opens to gorgeous aromas of dark fruit, wet earth and white truffle. The vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba produced much less fruit than average and suffered from bouts of downy mildew during the rainy seasons. But Serralunga d’Alba fruit is also harvested late, and that extra time was important for achieving grape ripeness targets. The wine presents depth and complexity within the context of a thinner vintage. Having said that, the bouquet is spectacular.”
Decanter 94 points “Sperss comes from two crus in Serralunga, and like Gaja’s Barbarescos it’s aged in a combination of barriques and large barrels. As so often is the case, it’s a wine that combines power and finesse. It has a subdued cherry nose with a touch of oak, leading to a palate which is rich, powerful and tannic, but not too assertive. It’s well balanced and fleshy, with lots of velvety texture and grain, and there’s still an underlying freshness and finesse. Very long finish.”
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $205
The average price is $292
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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