Monday Newsletter 7-19-21

In This Newsletter:

Jump Start Offer
Deutz: The Apotheosis of Aÿ

Maloof Wines:
Oregon Revolution

Shades of Summer Part 2


Staff Pick: 
G.D. Vajra Freisa

G.D. Vajra and Vajra’s Luigi Baudana 2017s

Contrade di Taurasi

We’re Open for In-Store Shopping!

10 AM – 6 PM Daily

Masks are required for those not fully vaccinated.
We also offer Curbside Pickup

Order Online / By Phone / By Email

Please note that we will not be shipping out of our facility from July 20th until the 29th.

Jump Start Offer Arriving Friday


The Apotheosis of Aÿ

Deutz is the sleeper House in Champagne, having quietly made brilliantly rich and concentrated wines their home village of Aÿ since 1838. According to their chef de cave in charge of blending, Michel Davesne, the house style is defined by “Elegance, finesse and vinosity”. This is a Champagne that far over delivers for the money, especially at our sharp pricing arriving this Friday. 

Deutz Brut Classic, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $34.50 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Deutz Brut Classic, Champagne NV 750ML ($299.95) $199 pre-arrival special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 91 points
“Apple blossom and graphite aromas lace flavors of Asian pear, blanched almond and lemon curd in this sleek Champagne. Fresh and linear, with a fine, creamy mousse. Drink now through 2023. 150,000 cases made, 184 cases imported. — AN”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points “Open and expressive, the latest NV Brut Classic from Deutz offers up aromas of green pear, peach, pastry cream and flowers. Medium to full-bodied and fleshy but precise, it’s elegant and charming, with a seamless profile and considerable immediate appeal.”
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “The elegance of this nonvintage cuvée sums up the style of the house, balancing acidity with a dosage that is just right. The white fruits and tangy edge are refreshing and intense. Drink the bottling now. -Roger Voss”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $47

Shop our entire selection of Champagnes in stock now & arriving soon on our web store now.

Maloof Wines:

Oregon Revolution

Oregon is in the midst of a winemaking revolution, with a new generation of talent flooding in from all parts of the world to put down roots in Oregon. Ross and Bee Maloof are certainly part of that generation, with a portfolio of entirely natural, organically produced wines from sites throughout the Willamette and Applegate Valley. Vineyard sources include Temperance Hill, Johan and Steelhead Run. These are the epitome of natural winemaking, with a precision not often seen among the vast majority. These wines are truly a benchmark for the style across the board. 

In Stock Now from Maloof Wines:

Ross & Bee Maloof Johan Vineyard Rouge de Gris Van Duzer Corridor 2020 750ML ($31.95) $26 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“70% Fermented on the skins with daily punch downs until fully dry (17 days). 10% Fermented carbonically for 17 days, before being pressed off with skin contact PG and moved to neutral oak. 40% Direct pressed, fermented and aged in neutral burgundy barrels for 8 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Vineyard History – Dag Sunby purchased the property in 2005, where he and his family continue to live. Dan Rinke joined Dag just two years later in 2007 to head up the farming. Dan began converting Johan into a biodynamic farm upon his arrival, and has aggressively grafted and replanted portions of the vineyard using lesser known varieties ever since. In 2020, Dan Stepped back from the day to day, leaving the farming rains to Elise Hansen, who has continued to do wonderful work growing grapes, and expanding the farming to include animal grazing, as well as beginning to farm vegetables for a Johan CSA. Morgan Beck heads up the cellar team and is producing some of our favorite wines in the area. The Johan crew continues to push the envelope in Oregon in both farming, and winemaking. It is a remarkably special place. Drink their wines!”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Ross & Bee Maloof L’Eau Epicee, Willamette Valley 2020 750ML ($33.95) $29 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Vineyard history – Small vineyard behind a residence in Sherwood, OR just north of the Chehalem Mountains. Farmed organically (without certification) by Onesimo Mora. This was an all but forgotten vineyard that Ony and his brother revived in 2006 and have been working to nurse it back to its full potential. Location – Sherwood, OR (Willamette Valley AVA). Vineyard stats- 3.5 acres, 300ft elevation. Farming – Own rooted, dry farmed, planted in the late 90s. Organic farming program (no certification). Soil – Jory. Production- 305 cases. Winemaking, fermentation and aging: 50% Riesling, 40% Gewurz, 10% Skin contact gewurz. We pressed the riesling and the gewurz separately to ferment in neutral oak, and a small portion of the Gewurz was fermented in open bins on the skins until dry, then pressed off into barrels. From there we essentially made still wine out of all of these individual lots. When we pressed the riesling, we took a bunch of the must and put into 5gallon buckets and threw them in our chest freezer. Just after the primary fermentation of the Riesling was complete, we racked the wine(s) into a single tank. From here, we thawed out a specific amount of the frozen must we held back at crush, threw it in the tank, stirred it all up real good, and bottled in the middle of the winter to lay down in tirage bins. Come spring and boom, bubbles! Some might even say “Bada Big Boom. Bubbles.””

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Ross & Bee Maloof Temperance Hill Vineyard Pinot Gris Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($39.95) $27 special, 9 bottles in stock now
No reviews available for the current vintage. 2017 review provided for reference.
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90 points
“Bright yellow. Lively, mineral-tinged melon, peach and tangerine scents show very good definition and pick up a subtle floral nuance as the wine stretches out. Silky and expansive on the palate, offering juicy tropical and pit fruit flavors and a refreshingly bracing jolt of bitter citrus zest. Lingers nicely on a seamless finish that leaves a sexy honeysuckle note behind.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Ross & Bee Maloof ‘Wax on Wax Soif’ Blanche Applegate Valley 2020 750ML ($26.95) $24 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Vineyard(s): Eevee’s Vineyard. Vineyard History – This is the second vineyard Herb Quady planted on his home property, just on the next slope from his Mae’s vineyard. Herb comes from a family of California winemakers, and has fully engaged himself in the southern Oregon wine industry. He farms his home site, as well as a slew of other organic vineyards in southern OR under his ‘Applegate Vineyard Management’ umbrella alongside his mother in law. He also owns and operates Quady North winery. Location – Applegate Valley AVA. Farming – Organic, certified by USDA. 30% Grenache Blanc, 30% Marsanne, 40% Viognier & 1% Magic (riesling), Direct press. Fermented and aged in neutral oak. Bottled unfined, unfiltered. 30ppm added sulfur. Additional notes – The Wax on, Wax soif wines are light hearted wines made from rhone varietals grown by Herb Quady all the way down in the Applegate Valley.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Ross & Bee Maloof White Blend Where Ya Pjs At 2020 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Winemaking – 50% Skin contact Pinot Gris (all from No Clos Radio), 30% Direct pressed, barrel fermented Pinot Gris (equal parts Oracle & Rudolfo), 20% Direct pressed, barrel fermented riesling (equal parts Beckenridge & Ony). The majority of the No Clos Radio gris was fermented in open top fermenters on the skins with daily punch downs until dry (20 days). 15% of the NCR gris was fermented carbonically in sealed containers for the same length of time. The two lots were pressed off together, and then moved into barrel. Both riesling lots were fermented dry in neutral oak barrels. All of the lots were blended in the late winter, and bottled unfined and unfiltered in March. 22ppm added sulfur. Additional Notes: This is sort of a “rosé” for us. As you’ll see on the back of the bottle it states “rose-ish”. We wanted to have the playfulness and functionality of a rosé without actually using any red fruit. Whether you call it white wine, orange wine, or rose, Where ya PJs at?!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Ross & Bee Maloof ‘Beckenridge Vineyard’ Gewurztraminer Willamette Valley 2020 750ML ($34.95) $26 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Own rooted, dry farmed, planted in 1976. Organic farming program, in 2nd ‘transition year’ for Organic certification through Oregon TILTH. Fermented until dry on the skins (16 days) in open top fermenters. Pressed off and moved into neutral burgundy barrels for 8 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Black tea, rose petals, and sea salt. Serve chilled or at cellar temp with bitter greens and alpine cheeses. Or with pizza, serve all our wines with pizza.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Browse classic Oregon and more off the beaten path picks on our web store now!


Shades of Summer Part 2

Simone is a rosé for all seasons, and ages into something profound 
Chateau Simone Palette Rosé Provence 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Rosenthal Wine note
“Chateau Simone Palette Rosé: The Château Simone Rosé is a wine that belies the notion that rosés are simple wines to be drunk up young. We have indulged ourselves with 10-year old Château Simone Rosé and have marveled at the tenacity, vibrancy and complexity of this very serious wine. The blend is identical to the rouge: 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, Castet, Manosquin, Carignan, Muscat Noir & Blanc. Aged in barrel, it is powerful and age-worthy with a steely character and a grey-tinted aura to the faded rose-petal robe. We import, on average, 1500 bottles per annum for the US market.”
Neal Rosenthal Note “The Rougiers’ justly legendary rosé—composed of the same field blend as the rouge, and produced by blending direct-press and free-run juice in equal proportions—may as well be from another planet as the sea of technologically produced pink concoctions flooding the market. Even serious growers often make rosé as an afterthought, using quick and inexpensive methods and rushing it into bottle to sell it before the first glimmer of spring warmth. At Château Simone, however, the rosé ferments spontaneously, and spends a full year in large oak foudres developing remarkable depth. Like all great wines, the best rosés require time—note that Simone is releasing their 2019 when almost every other producer is issuing their 2018—and a bit of risk in the cellar. And, whereas rosés fall apart within a year or two of being bottled, Simone’s is notorious for improving for over a decade, developing the savory notes and umami complexity of an aged red wine over time. The 2019 growing season dished out challenge after challenge—hail, frost, hydric stress, even hungry birds and pigs. Given that the rosé comprises only ten percent of the estate’s production to begin with, there is painfully little 2019 to go around. Those lucky enough to snare some, however, will encounter a wine of terrific expression, as those grapes that survived the season’s myriad challenges ended up remarkably healthy and concentrated. Amply fruited but with a core of lean minerality, the 2019 Palette Rosé offers excellent tension, and its flavors of juicy red apples, Provencal herbs, and softly smoky earth are particularly well delineated.”


With their first recorded harvest in the year 1256, Commanderie de Peyrassol has been making wine for a minute or two. Theorized to have been established for viticulture by the Knights Templar, the estate has been continuously producing wine for over 800 years. The current iteration however was founded much more recently, with Francois Rigord undergoing extensive renovations to the estate in 1970. These renovations were continued and improved on under new ownership in 2001, with the Astruy family assuming ownership. The vines planted are reflective of Provencal wine as a whole, including Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Tibouren (an ancient variety native to the area). Now certified organic, with both red and white old vines and a completely outfitted facility, Peyrassol is at the top of their game. Their rosé portfolio encapsulates the essence of the region, featuring both highly ageworthy and collectable examples to light and easy drinking.

Highlights in stock now from Peyrassol:

Peyrassol ‘Chateau Peyrassol’ Rose, Cotes de Provence 2020 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Peyrassol ‘Chateau Peyrassol’ Rose, Cotes de Provence 2020 750ML ($479.95) $369 special (that’s only $30.75/bottle!)
Vinous Josh Raynolds – 92 points
“Light, brilliant orange-pink. Highly perfumed, mineral-accented red berry and pit fruit aromas are complemented by a floral note that builds in the glass. Juicy and sharply focused in the mouth, offering vibrant strawberry, blood orange and white peach flavors and a suave touch of honeysuckle. Concentrated yet lithe in style, finishing with intense mineral- and floral-driven thrust.”

Peyrassol ‘Cuvee des Commandeurs’ Rose, Cotes de Provence 2020 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Peyrassol ‘Cuvee des Commandeurs’ Rose, Cotes de Provence 2020 750ML ($279.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds Vinous -91 points
“Bright onion skin. Incisive red berry, cherry and citrus fruit aromas are complemented by building mineral and floral accents. Silky and energetic on the palate, offering intense strawberry, blood orange and honeysuckle flavors braced by a spine of juicy acidity. Finishes long and gently chewy, repeating the orange and floral notes.”

Peyrassol ‘La Croix des Templiers’ Rose, IGP Mediterranee 2020 750ML ($19.95) $16 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Peyrassol ‘La Croix des Templiers’ Rose, IGP Mediterranee 2020 750ML ($199.95) $169 special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
Importer note
“Beautiful pale pink in color, with distinct bluish hues. This expressive blend opens immediately with notes of small red fruits carried on a savory undertone of garrigue. There is a refreshing touch of greenness on the palate which gives this fresh, lively wine its truly thirst-quenching character. An accessible blend in the true style of Provençal rosé: delicate with flavors of white fruit and a hint of minerality. Varietal Composition: 50% Grenache, 40% Cinsault, 10% Syrah. With a long history of producing Provençal wines, the Commanderie de Peyrassol has broadened its offering using fruit from its IGP classified vineyards around the Coudonnier area and completed with sourcings from local partnerships. The winery produces this rosé with the goal of creating a more accessible wine with a focus on quality and freshness.”

Peyrassol ‘Le Clos Peyrassol’ Rose, Cotes de Provence 2019 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Peyrassol ‘Le Clos Peyrassol’ Rose, Cotes de Provence 2019 1.5L ($149.95) $129 special, 12 magnums in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Predominantly Tibouren, with the balance of the blend being Grenache and Rolle, Peyrassol’s super pale 2019 Cotes de Provence Rose Le Clos Peyrassol offers up scents of crushed stone, garrigue, white peach and lime, all tinged with tart red berries. It’s medium-bodied on the palate, with a silky-wet stone feel and a lingering finish that seems to build in red fruit intensity while remaining citrusy and refreshing at the same time. One of the best wines in this year’s tasting, this is a limited-production cuvée from a walled vineyard located on the estate.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “The Knights Templar founded Commanderie in the 13th century and grapes have been grown here since. Philippe Austruy has owned the property since 2001. This wine is soft and ripe, with a smooth texture. Acidity comes from orange-peel and red-currant flavors that permeate the wine and give it a bright aftertaste. Drink now. Rosenthal Wine Merchant.”
Rosenthal Wine Merchant note “It is made from a single parcel which is equally planted to Cinsault and Tibouren (a touch of Rolle makes it into this cuvee as well). The soil is a mix of clay and limestone with a lot of large rocks on the surface. The site has a bit of depression which helps more even ripening, since the soil holds a little more water than other parcels.  The 2016 is the palest of the three roses, with a very silvery salmon hue.  At the moment of tasting the nose was a tad firm, showing flinty mineral notes. The palate is quite rich and dense with an almost white Burgundy presence. The fruits lean a little sweeter than the other cuvées, with hints of pear and passion fruit. Even so, the wine is completely dry and has a super-long mineral finish. It’s a great rosé that has the potential to age, and we hope some of you keep a few bottles to drink over the next several years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Don’t miss our extensive offer of large formats and back vintages on our webstore!


Aperitif-style Champagnes are perfect for summer sipping. 
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 1.5L ($119.95) $89 special, 30 magnums in stock now
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 3L ($349.95) $279 special, 22 double-magnums in stock now
Case-6 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($499.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92+ points
“Clouet’s NV Silver Brut Nature Grand Cru is a pure Bouzy Pinot Noir that was disgorged without any dosage. This disgorgement displays a medium intense golden color and a complex and refined bouquet of ripe and pureed apples and discreet chalky as well as brioche aromas. The palate is elegant, straight and fresh, very pure and salty on the finish. This is a challenging Brut Nature that needs to be aged for two or three years to gain complexity and finesse and to smooth its current edges. The finish is mineral, limestone and salty but also a bit drying at this moment.”
Grapelive 92 points “The beautiful “Silver” Andre Clouet 100% Pinot Noir non-vintage Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs is one of the best values in Champagne and this recent disgorgement is stunning and luxurious bubbly to enjoy almost guilt free.…”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $44

Sourced from one of the highest elevation vineyards in the world, this Malbec delivers vivacity and character far beyond its price point
Amalaya Malbec Salta, Argentina 2019 750ML ($17.95) $16 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Amalaya Malbec Salta, Argentina 2019 750ML ($199.95) $169 special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
Decanter WWA 2020 97 points
“Perfumed attractive nose with layers of spice, crunchy strawberries, ripe red plums and fresh violets. Vibrant on the palate with a lovely freshness in harmony with a dense chocolatey character, ending in an elegant spicy finish.”

Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($34.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($399.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Winery note
“If you’ve ever sat at San Francisco’s iconic Zuni Café with a plate of oysters in front of you while you wait for the iconic whole roast chicken, you may have had a glass or two of this collaboration between longtime friends Rajat Parr of Sandhi and Zuni wine director Thierry Lovato.  The wine is a barrel selection from some of Sandhi’s iconic Sta. Rita Hills sites, (think Mt. Carmel, Sanford & Benedict) with enough own-rooted, 1973 Wente selection Bien Nacido Chardonnay blended in to warrant a Santa Barbara County designation.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

One of the last vintages produced by the now (essentially) retired brothers. From old, ungrafted vines. Charming!
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett #13, Mosel 2018 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points
“The 2018er Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett was harvested from old un-grafted vines at 90° Oechsle in the part of the vineyard situated above the cellar of the Merkelbachs, just behind the village, and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (50 g/l). It offers a hugely aromatic nose of white peach, apricot, floral elements and spices. The wine is beautifully balanced on the palate and leaves a long and refined feel of herbs in the finish. 2028-2048.”
Terry Theise note “Of course this is a Spätlese but it was the only Fuder one could even think of declassifying; it’s on the strawberry side of UW, and ridiculously long. Würzgarten has two profiles, which normally overlap while emphasizing one side or another. You have strawberry of various types, and you have another face of kiwi and sassafras. And of course you have slate. These may be variations based on cadaster, as it stands to reason that steepness, altitude and soil-structure would all play roles. As a rule I’d say, if it looks rocky the wines will probably taste rocky.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $33

A top-tier collectible that remains affordable
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($89.95) $62.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($539.95) $359 special (that’s only $59.83/bottle!)
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 97 points
“The Il Poggione 2015 Brunello di Montalcino shows a darker and more concentrated appearance than many of its peers. The wine is beautifully abundant and fragrant in the most exuberant and expressive manner. You will recognize aromas of moist soil, tobacco and smoke. Candied cherry hovers over the entire bouquet. Fruit is sourced from older vines (all over 25 years old). Il Poggione occupies a special spot within the Montalcino appellation, and the area always produces slightly more concentrated and powerful wines. I find that to be particularly true in this gorgeous 2015 vintage. I am also very attracted to that almost dusty note of crushed mineral that rides long on the full-bodied finish. Il Poggione’s Brunello is also distinguished by firm, youthful tannin that need a few more years to unwind. Luckily, there are quite a few bottles to go around, with some 200,000 made.”
Eric Guido – Vinous 97 points “Il Poggione 2015 Brunello di Montalcino offers up a dark, earthy, almost animal-like expression, showing black soil and undergrowth, giving way to crushed black cherry, dusty spice, and dried florals which lift the experience. On the palate, soft, fleshy textures usher in fresh cherry and strawberry, as brisk acids add energy, with savory herbs and minerals saturating, as the 2015 Il Poggione’s fruit nearly masks its structural core. The finish is long yet fresh, with classic, fine tannins, dried red fruits and pretty inner floral tones lingering throughout this perfectly balanced expression. The 2015 s pure class and built for the cellar.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $81

Our favorite bistro-style Sauv blanc!
Domaine Girard Sancerre La Garenne, Loire 2019 750ML ($24.59) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Domaine Girard Sancerre La Garenne, Loire 2019 750ML ($249.95) $239 special (that’s only $19.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Importer note
“La Garenne comes from a 2.5-hectare vineyard of that name, a plot on a steep east-facing slope with a very rocky limestone soil. The chalky soil brings out the characteristic flinty, mineral and green notes of Sauvignon Blanc. On La Garenne’s well-drained, warm slopes the grapes achieve exceptional ripeness and fruit. Their is everything one hopes for when thinking about the region: it is bright, lively, pleasantly aromatic, has zippy but low astringency. It is a wonderful food wine that is as versatile as it is easy to drink.”

Saint Jean du Barroux Ventoux La Pierre Noire, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
No reviews available for the 2015. Reviews for 2014 vintage provided for reference.
Decanter 96 points
“[2014 vintage] Lifted loganberry, leaf tea and tarragon. Beautifully mouthcoating, elegant and harmonious, long and svelte, with a tapered finish. Gently perfumed, beautifully balanced. It’s concentrated without over-extraction, combining the elegance of the northern Rhône with the generosity of the south. A beautiful wine.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “[2014 vintage] A total gem in the vintage, the 2014 La Pierre Noire is an insanely good wine made from 80/20 Grenache and Syrah that spent three years in concrete tanks. Black raspberries, kirsch, pepper, garrigue and liquid flowers notes all soar from the glass of this incredibly elegant, seamless, silky red that does everything right. With medium to full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannin, no hard edges and a seamless texture, it’s at the top of the heap in 2014. Don’t miss a chance to try this beauty!”
Importer Note “La Pierre Noire, or “the black stone,” is a cuvée made from Grenache and Syrah grown on clay limestone soils marked by abrupt appearance of black gravel. So sudden and noticeable is this change in the vineyard that Philippe has always known that this site was its own cuvée. At once more stern but contradictorily more elegant, La Pierre Noire is fermented and aged in concrete for at least 36 months before bottling and released only when Philippe feels it’s ready.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Atance Bobal, Valencia 2019 750ML ($17.95) $14 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Atance Bobal, Valencia 2019 750ML ($199.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Importer note
“Organic viticulture and hand picked grapes from bush vines in Requena, specifically the Casa Segura estate vineyards with well drained, sandy soils.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Staff Pick: 

G.D. Vajra Freisa

Much like Cabernet Franc, Freisa is often passed over in favor of its child grape: Nebbiolo. Once widely planted throughout Piedmonte, Freisa is now only found in in 1000 hectares across the region. With that relative scarcity in mind, Kye is a unique find. Sourced from a single vineyard in Barolo at 1100 feet above sea level, Kye delivers rustic aromas of turned loam, hyssop and seco tobacco leaf. Flavor profile is similar to Nebbiolo but with more emphasis on botanical and spice elements. In addition to a lip smacking fruit component evocative of fresh cranberry and Bing cherries, there is an electrifying Szechuan pepper note that makes each taste mesmerizing. Acid and tannins are medium plus and perfectly harmonized after a handful of years in the bottle. There is plenty of room for Kye to continue evolving with more bottle aging, but provides immediate reward for the impatient. Given how this wine is sturdy without being overpowering, Kye is ready for a plethora of cuisine. Lebanese, Chinese or even pizza would be at home with this Northern Italian gem. 

G.D. Vajra Freisa ‘Kye’ Langhe Rosso 2015 70ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92+ points
“The 2015 Langhe Freisa Kyé is incredibly finessed. Once huge and bombastic, the Kyé has developed into a much more refined wine in recent vintages. The 2015 Kyé is dark and mysterious, not to mention quite closed in on itself. I won’t be surprised if there is more to this wine. Time will tell.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $45.99

G.D. Vajra and Vajra’s Luigi Baudana 2017s

The Critics Weigh In:

2017 Vajra is “Breathtaking”

New Reviews from Monica Larner (Wine Advocate), Kerin O’Keefe (Wine Enthusiast) & James Suckling
“The Vajra family produced a bevy of stellar wines from both their estates, G.D. Vajra in Barolo and Baudana in Serralunga. The 2017s are deep, fleshy and impeccably balanced. ” –Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Arriving ETA Late July:

G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Aromas of underbrush, pine forest, woodland berries and cedar form the enticing nose. Full-bodied and savory, the structured palate delivers ripe Morello cherry, raspberry compote, star anise and cinnamon before closing on pipe tobacco notes. Tightly knit but refined tannins provide the backbone, while surprisingly fresh acidity for the hot vintage keeps it balanced. Drink 2024–2032.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The 2017 Barolo Bricco Delle Viole is the darker fruited of the G.D. Vajra sites and has rounded floral aromatics of crushed roses, resin, and cranberry cocktail. The palate is ripe and inviting, with building structure and notes of fresh red cherry, blood orange, and clove. The warmth of the vintage is felt without sacrificing lift. Drink 2025-2050”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2017 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is classy and elegant to the core. Medium in body and wonderfully translucent, the 2017 captures all of the finesse of this site. Naturally, the 2017 also shows the ripeness of the year, but it retains its sublime sense of poise. The 2017 Bricco delle Viole is one of the clear stand outs of the year.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The G.D. Vajra 2017 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is packed with medium dark cherry fruit and plum. The wine also shows a savory side, with spice, hazelnut cream, licorice and lightly fragrant potting soil. This vintage sits solid on the palate, wrapping thickly over the senses, thanks to its creamy, fruit-driven consistency and well-managed tannins. These vines are high in elevation, ranging from 400 to 480 meters in altitude. Those higher elevations are key to interpreting a vintage that saw heat such as this. Production is 15,000 bottles.”
James Suckling 95 points “Aromas of ripe strawberries and flowers follow through to a full body with firm, chewy tannins that are silky and very polished. That palate is very clear and precise. Attractive, if chewy finish. Try after 2024.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

G.D. Vajra ‘Coste di Rose’ Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($ 69.95) $56.50 pre-arrival special    
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Wild berry, menthol and tilled earth aromas mingle with whiffs of dark spice. Linear and savory, the lithe palate is already immediate, featuring juicy raspberry, red cherry, crushed mint and star anise accompanied by taut, polished tannins. Tangy acidity keeps it fresh and bright.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “With fruit from higher-elevation vineyards in the village of Barolo, the 2017 Barolo Coste di Rose is quite elegantly downplayed and fragile. The wine reveals wild berry, cassis and lots of blue flower or lilac. A pretty mineral note recalls crushed limestone and is present through the long and polished mouthfeel. This wine overperforms, considering the challenges of this vintage that saw extreme weather, from spring frost to scorching summer temperatures. These vineyard sites performed better than most. Some 4,800 bottles were released.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “The 2017 Barolo Coste di Rose has bright aromatics of candied raspberry, apricot, anise, and dusty earth. The palate is medium-bodied, with fine tannins and notes of dried wild strawberry, fresh roses, and mineral-rich earth. This wine is open and inviting, while maintaining freshness and drive. Drink 2024-2040.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2017 Barolo Coste di Rose is pretty, supple and inviting. Some of the tannins need to resolve, but this is a young Barolo after all. The Coste di Rose doesn’t have the sensuality of the Albe or the pedigree of the Viole, but it nevertheless has so much to give. Crushed flowers, sweet red berry fruit, mint, crushed rocks and sage are some of the many notes that linger. I won’t be surprised if the 2017 is even better than this note suggests once it softens a bit.”

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“Today, it is just breathtaking.” –Antonio Galloni
G.D. Vajra Ravera Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 97 points
“From the township of Novello and from what is now widely recognized as one of the denomination’s top vineyard sites, this is just stunning, offering intense aromas of wild berries, new leather, floral notes, camphor and grilled herb. The delicious, structured palate shows finesse and power, featuring ripe red cherry, blood orange, cedar, licorice and mineral notes suggesting tangy iron. Noble tannins provide support. Reflecting the vintage, this won’t need years to come around but will also age well for at least another decade. Drink 2022–2032.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “Lifted and herbaceous, the 2017 Barolo Ravera is noted by aromas of fresh pine, ripe red cherry, licorice, and menthol. The palate has depth without weight and is noted by ripe raspberry fruit, apricot, and black tea. Drink 2024-2050.”
James Suckling 96 points “Very floral with pure fruit, such as cherries and raspberries. It’s full-bodied with ultra fine tannins that are energetic and focused. The center palate shows such wonderful fruit character, yet it’s weightless and energetic. Try after 2026.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2017 Barolo Ravera is gorgeous right out of the gate. I am so impressed with its depth and pedigree. Rose petal, sweet red berry fruit, lavender, spice and dried herbs are all finely delineated in a Barolo of tremendous presence. Orange peel, cinnamon and cedar develop later, adding shades of dimension. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s stature and power. The 2017 is going to be fascinating to follow. Today, it is just breathtaking. That’s all there is to it.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points “The G.D. Vajra 2017 Barolo Ravera shows solid build and consistency, with more rich and saturated fruit compared to the other Barolo releases from this historic estate. The Ravera cru offers broad shoulders with a tight textural fabric. That powerful approach makes a good sounding board for the wine’s dark cherry, plum, dark mineral and spice flavors. This is more of a red meat wine. 6,000 bottles were released.”

Luigi Baudana ‘Baudana’ Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Balsamic aromas of camphor and cedar mingle with rose and leather on this full-boded, savory red. Structured and delicious, the juicy palate is still youthfully austere, delivering ripe Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, baking spice and licorice framed in noble tannins before a black tea finish. Drink 2025–2037.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “The 2017 Barolo Baudana is such a gorgeous wine. It, too conveys the power of Serralunga, but with a bit less heft than is typically the case. Sweet dark cherry, iron, cedar, rose petal, mint and white pepper give the 2017 its effusive, inviting personality. This is such a tremendous showing.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2017 Barolo Baudana has more savory and forward notes of dried cranberry, leather, and orange peel on the nose, with tangy ripe fruit on the palate. It has a rather approachable style, with the generosity of the fruit up front and well-managed tannins. Drink 2021-2040.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points “From a historic vineyard in Serralunga d’Alba, the Luigi Baudana 2017 Barolo Baudana takes an extra minute to open and ultimately reveals a consistent and compact package of aromas centered on dark fruit, rusty earth and crushed flowers. It’s quite nice the way the wine holds its cards closer to its proverbial chest. It lets its guard down one little piece at a time. There is some sweetness, too, and the wine feels weighty and powerful. I’d definitely give it a few more years of cellar aging so that the wine finds time to focus and flesh out. Some 3,500 bottles were released.”

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Luigi Baudana Cerretta Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“A sweet perfume lifts from the 2017 Barolo Cerretta, with fresh violets, kirsch, cinnamon, and sage. The palate is energetic with forward fruit through the mid-palate with persistence, with tea leaf and present but well-integrated tannins. The Cerretta displays the elegance that is possible within the 2017 vintage. Drink 2022-2040.”
James Suckling 96 points “This is really perfumed and enticing, offering intense floral and citrus character with some cherry. It’s full-bodied, yet tight and very reserved, with a long, racy finish. Fantastic depth of fruit here. Outstanding purity, too. Better in 2025.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “A dark, somber wine, the 2017 Barolo Cerretta shows the more potent, brooding side of Serralunga. Black cherry, gravel, smoke, cured meats, cloves and menthol add to an impression of virile intensity and pure power. Readers will have to be patient here, but there is certainly a ton to look forward to. This is another impressive showing from Baudana and the Vajra family.”
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Forest floor, prune, leather and pipe tobacco aromas make their way to the forefront. Showing the heat of the vintage, it’s full-bodied and concentrated, offering cherry marinated in spirits, licorice and the warmth of evident alcohol. Tightly knit, enveloping tannins provide firm, velvety support. Drink 2025–2032.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points “A release of 3,000 bottles, the Luigi Baudana 2017 Barolo Cerretta is the most downplayed of these three wines and the least complicated from an aromatic point of view. A first wave of aromas is focused on wild rose and crushed flowers.  More robust tones of ripe cherry, rusty earth and dark spice follow in time. This edition of Cerretta is surprisingly delicate and fine, going against almost everything we know about robust fruit from Serralunga d’Alba and the powerful 2017 vintage. The wine is counterintuitive in a way only Nebbiolo can be.”

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Luigi Baudana Serralunga Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2017 Barolo del Comune di Serralunga d’Alba may very well turn out to be one of the best wines of the year in its peer group. Dark and wonderfully expressive, yet also light on its feet for a Serralunga Barolo, the 2017 has so much going on. Black cherry, plum, spice, gravel, cured meats, lavender and sage all meld together in this dark yet translucent Barolo.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “The 2017 Barolo Del Comune Di Serralunga d’Alba is resinous and assertive with aromas of tobacco, leather, dried cherry, and cedar. The palate is ripe with red plum, dried violet, and tar. The fruit dovetails to reveal its more powerful Serralunga structure, with building and firm tannins. Hold 2-4 years and drink 2023-2040.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92 points “The Luigi Baudana 2017 Barolo del Comune di Serralunga d’Alba reveals a robust and fruit-forward bouquet, with pressed blackberry and plum, followed by licorice, iron ore and some of the candied orange aromas that often come with fruit from Serralunga d’Alba. The wine is tight in terms of structure, and you feel its strength, but ultimately the sensations are polished and smooth. There are no rough edges to these well-managed tannins, and this is especially impressive in an unruly vintage such as 2017. About 8,000 bottles were made.”

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Contrade di Taurasi
Aglianico, also known as “The Nebbiolo of the south” has largely flown under the radar since ancient times. Thought to have been imported by Greek visitors to Campania, the Roman Empire used Aglianico to create Falernum, an exclusive wine consumed by Rome’s elite and mentioned by Pliny, Aurelius and Horace in literature (and can even be seen advertised in the ruins of Pompeii’s bars). 

Fast forward a few thousand years and we have Contrade di Taurasi, one of the best kept secrets of Campanian wine, known for their commitments to traditional varieties and farming practices. Owner and winemaker Sandro Lonardo crafts Taurasi from 35-81 year old Aglianico planted at 1300 feet above sea level, grown organically in a tall pergola in ancient volcanic ash with a base of limestone and clay. Even with these rigorous growing standards, Lonardo will only keep around 50% of his Aglianico for use in Taurasi, one of the most rigorous quality standards in the entire region.

This commitment is evident in the finished product, featuring aromatics of violets, pipe tobacco, cedar and Bing cherries that command your full attention. There’s a characteristic “Italian Rusticity” that is evocative of new leather and antique wood, not unlike high end cologne. On first taste there are extensive tannins that bring to mind Pu-erh, dark chocolate and blackberry seed, knit together with a lifted acidity. Primary flavors of roasted poblano, oregano oil, dried blueberry and fresh redcurrant contribute to an impressively long flavor presentation and finish. This is a wine made for anything roasted, braised or red sauce based. Peking duck, grilled cabbage, lasagna or miso black cod would all perform incredibly with this wine. Be sure to pick up multiple bottles, some for immediate consumption and more for longer aging. 

Contrade di Taurasi Wines In Stock Now:

Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo Taurasi DOCG, Campania 2013 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Eric Guido-Vinous 93 points
“This 2013 is a classic Taurasi, showing a mix of red and black fruits, offset by rosy florals, savory herbs, minerals, leather tones, and a hint of balsamic spice. On the palate, silky textures give way to spicy red fruits, energized by zesty acids with cool-toned sweet herbs and saturating minerality. The 2013 Contrade di Taurasi finishes long, with a twang of acid making the mouth water, as grippy tannins settle in and echoes of black berries linger on.”

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Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo Vigne d’Alto Taurasi DOCG 2012 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“Perfumed and loaded with finesse, this single-vineyard wine opens with enticing scents of violet, ripe black-skinned fruit, new leather and baking spice. Made with 60- to 100-year-old plants, the smooth, delicious palate delivers succulent Marasca cherry, plum, licorice and nutmeg framed in velvety tannins, making it one of the more elegant expressions of Taurasi out there. A mineral note energizes the lingering finish. Drink through 2032.”

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Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo Coste Taurasi DOCG 2012 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Kerin O’Keefe -Wine Enthusiast 94 points
“Cellar Selection. Aromas of spiced plum, truffle, iris, menthol and leather follow through to the juicy, concentrated palate along with fleshy blackberry, clove and licorice. Firm, velvety tannins provide support. Give this a few more years to fully unwind and develop even more complexity. Drink 2022–2035.”

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Cantine Lonardo Wines Arriving ETA Early August:

Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo ‘Grecomusc’ Campania IGT 2017 750ML ($34.59) $28 pre-arrival special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 90+ points
“Bright golden-yellow; this is much deeper in color than the 2016, perhaps a reflection of the hotter, drier 2017 vintage. Earthy nuances greet the nose and complement aromas of nectarine, jasmine and Asian pear. Then more Asian pear, yellow apple and ginger, complicated by a hint of grapefruit and repeating earth notes. Closes long and quite tactile, even youthfully chewy, with hints of chamomile and dried ginger. I find this 2017 to be made in a much riper style than usual, but it’s nowhere near being flat or over the top. Give it another year in bottle and it might develop further complexity; it seems to be in a slightly brooding stage right now.”

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Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo Aglianico Rosso Irpinia, Campania 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo Aglianico Rosso Irpinia, Campania 2016 750ML ($319.95) $259 pre-arrival special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Ian D’Agata- Vinous 92 points
“Deep ruby. Lively aromas of red fruits, minerals and herbs. Juicy and fruity in the mouth, showing hazelnutty nuances to the red fruit flavors. Finishes with good acid-fruit balance and nice tannins. A lovely wine that will age well, but provides irresistible drinking right now.”

Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo Coste Taurasi DOCG 2011 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Ian D’Agata- Vinous 94+ points
“Deep ruby. Floral nuances complicate the red and dark berry, ink, sweet spice and flinty aromas and flavors. Dense and seamless, showing a multilayered personality and remarkable complexity of flavor. Finishes very long and with repeating, lingering hints of ink and flint.”

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Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo Vigne d’Alto Taurasi DOCG 2011 750ML (89.95) $69 pre-arrival special 
Ian D’Agata –Vinous 94+ points
“Deep ruby with a purple tinge. Reticent nose at first, only hinting at dark cherry, sassafras and sandalwood. Then very concentrated and dense, displaying almost opulent, sweet nuances of oaky torrefaction to the coffee, cocoa and dark cherry flavors. This outstanding Taurasi finishes extremely long, rich and seamless. It’s virtually impossible to pick between Lonardo’s two crus in 2011, and both will have many admirers.”

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Thank you from the team at Vinopolis!

Be well & drink well.