Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge
“Knockout Frappato from Arianna Occhipinti”
New Favorite Spanish Arrivals
Hot off the Press!
New Terry Theise Offer
Kruger-Rumpf and Willi Schaefer
Isole e Olena
Bruna Grimaldi’s Top Value Barolo
Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge
Ends Monday at Midnight
Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2013 750ML ($79.95) Was $49, Now $39, 36+ bottles in stock now
Robert Parker 92+ points “The single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the highest elevation (400-1000 feet) is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Ridge. It displays blacker fruit, loads of plums, blueberry and blackberry, a deep, full-bodied, mouthfeel, rich, concentrated, moderately high tannin, a nice minerality and plenty of black fruits. These are all well-built and potentially very long-lived wines of 25-30 or more years. This wine needs a good 4-5 years of cellaring.”
Now it’s even lower!
The average price is $71
“Knockout Frappato from Arianna Occhipinti”
Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 95 points “Deep red. Pungent floral aromas of red rose, quinine, cinnamon, red cherry and minerals. Then juicy and fresh, with real floral lift to the sour red cherry and dried berry flavors. Finishes long with zingy acidity. Another knockout Frappato from Arianna Occhipinti.”
The average price nationally is $44
Made from a selection of top vineyards in and around the town of Corullon in Bierzo, this is a richer take on the Mencia grape. It’s a true crowd pleaser and one of our perennial best sellers by the case—which is the best way to buy it. Versatile enough to go with nearly anything on the table and satisfyingly rich enough to be delicious on its own, this would be a perfect house red for summer and fall.
“as food-flexible as any red wine gets” -JS
Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Petalos’, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Case-12 Descendientes de J. Palacios ‘Petalos’, Bierzo 2016 750ML ($279.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92+ points “I tasted two vintages of their entry-level wine because the 2016 Pétalos del Bierzo was sold out and the 2017 has already been released. Depending on the vintage, they use more or less white grapes in the fermentation, and in 2016 it was around 6%. It has an elegant profile, clean, floral and spicy, with a soft palate and subtle acidity that gives it a kick and makes it longer. This is one of the best value wines in Spain, and 2016 is not an exception. Perhaps it won’t be the longest-lived vintage, but it’s drinking beautifully and gives a lot of pleasure. It’s somehow reminiscent of 2013 or 2014, perhaps a tad warmer. There were a whopping 318,000 bottles and 3,000 magnums, which means they had 1,568 barrels of this wine.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Deep, lurid ruby. Powerful, mineral- and spice-accented cherry and dark berry aromas, along with a suave violet nuance that builds in the glass. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering intense black raspberry, cherry-cola and spicecake flavors and a deeper suggestion of candied licorice. Shows excellent clarity and mineral cut on a long, subtle tannic finish that leaves a bitter cherry note behind.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “This savory red offers notes of espresso, black olive and graphite framing a core of black cherry and licorice. Fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity keep this balanced. Harmonious and graceful. Drink now through 2024. 27,000 cases made.”
James Suckling 92 points “In spite of all the blackberry and violet aromas, this wine has great herbal freshness and enormous vitality on the sleek and positively dry palate, with a long and crisp mineral finish. About as food-flexible as any red wine gets.”
A go-to with anything off the grill, Muga’s Rioja Reserva is one of our go-to’s for delicious Rioja. Robust enough to handle steaks and chicken with some smokiness, it’s nevertheless smooth and easy enough to drink that you can enjoy it while you (or someone else) are cooking. This wine is a standout, especially for the price, and we’d be happy to go through a case while cooking out for a group of friends.
Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2014 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds 92 points “(aged for two years in a combination of new and used French and American oak barrels) Bright ruby. Expressive aromas of ripe red fruits and candied flowers, along with allspice, vanilla and pipe tobacco topnotes. Juicy and appealingly sweet, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry-vanilla and mocha flavors and a spicy nuance that emerges as the wine opens up. Finishes sappy, penetrating and quite long, with smooth, slow-building tannins that fold smoothly into the wine’s sappy fruit.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points “The 2014 Muga Reserva checks in as a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the balance Mazuelo (aka Carignan) and Graciano. This deep ruby/purple-colored effort gives up textbook currants, smoked earth, leather, espresso, and graphite aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, ripe, voluptuous and sexy on the palate, with sweet tannin, it’s a charming, forward vintage of this cuvée that dishes out loads of pleasure.”
Wine Advocate 91 points “The Muga family thinks the rains of 2014 benefited many of their vineyards, which are in cooler places at higher altitudes and take longer to ripen. So, they are really happy with their 2014 Reserva, the flagship bottling which delivers the Muga style and the typicity of the Rioja Alta at a very attractive price and with good availability because they produced one million bottles of it! They select the gentler sites from within the cooler parts of Rioja where their vineyards are located, as this is their more approachable red. It fermented in oak vats with indigenous yeasts, matured in barriques for two winters and was bottled in its third year. It has the telltale aromas of spices and berry fruit, with the Muga signature and a medium-bodied palate with some dusty tannins that would welcome food. 950,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in January 2016.”
The average price nationally is $28
Hot off the Press!
New Terry Theise Offers
Kruger-Rumpf is a storied estate in the Nahe, the region in Germany that Donnhoff hails from, which lies between the Mosel and the Rhine rivers—sort of a halfway point between both geographic and stylistic. Kruger-Rumpf sits close to the Rhine, geographically, than some of the other big names in the area and their wines have more intrinsic power to them as a result. These are some seriously good Rieslings, at prices considerably lower than what you’d pay from other name producers.
The top wine from the estate comes from the awkwardly named “Dautenpflanzer” from near the town of Munster, which means that the label reads “Munsterer Dautenpflanzer”—a stereotype of a German name if we ever saw one. In house, we often call it the “MD” if you aren’t feeling up to testing your pronunciation skills. The Dautenpflanzer is a premier Grand Cru site of the lower Nahe, a place that yields wine s of power and resonance, and Kruger-Rumpf is the primary (and best) landholder.
These are fantastic wines that are only getting better with each subsequent vintage. Hope on board the 2018 train and you’ll be glad you did. These will drink beautifully on release (the barrel samples were astounding), and will only increase in deliciousness as they age in your cellar.
Kruger-Rumpf Wines Arriving in December
Kruger-Rumpf (Binger Brucke Im Ruppertsberg) Abtei “1937” Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2018 750ML ($41.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 94-96 points “The 2018 barrel sample of Kruger-Rumpf’s Abtei 1937 was stunningly gorgeous with brilliant details, ripe extract density, vivid mineral tones and vibrant acidity showing a purity and vitality of youth, but with the complexity and length of its old vine material. Georg Rumpf has crafted a Trocken beauty here with layers of delicacy and substance. This juice is on par with almost any GG, making it an incredible value already. Be sure to book your allocation of this ultra-limited bottling from Terry These and importer Skurnik Wines. You will not be disappointed, I know I will be hustling to get some myself. The regular Abtei offering is one of my new favorite Nahe Rieslings and while I love all the latest Kruger-Rumpf wines, especially from the Grosse Lage: Münsterer Dautenpflänzer, Münsterer im Pitterberg and Dorsheimer Burgberg, as well as exotic Rumpf’s Scheurebe plus their off dry Kabinett, Feinherb and wonderfully balanced Spatlese(s) I have become obsessed with the Bingerbrücker Abtei im Ruppertsberg vineyard and wines. This ’18 starts with subtle aromatic charm with orange blossom, rosewater, flinty stones, salt lick and quinces before thrilling the palate with energy and white peach, tangerine, lime intensity, verbena, mint tea and tart green apple. This light/medium dry Riesling is brisk and racy, at first but gains depth and builds with air in the glass adding some leesy texture, it is totally thrilling and will only get better with bottle age…The impossibly steep Kruger-Rumpf Abtei Cru, the northern most vineyard in the Nahe, which is on the outskirts of Bingen, was once an Abbey owned plot, across the Rhein from Rudesheimer Berg and is almost a mirror image soil wise to Schlossberg with a beautiful southern exposure. While still just a Premier Cru, this might be the best kept secret of the Nahe, making for a wine with Grosses Gewachs intensity and quality. Rumpf put a lot of blood sweat and tears into working this amazing site set on phyllite, which is essentially mica slate, all with organic methods and only hand-working of the vines due to the severity of the slope. For the first time, Kruger-Rumpf is doing a single block wine from this vineyard from vines that date back to 1937, the vineyards oldest and steepest section, and it is an amazing wine from a vintage to looks to be one of best in years. The dry Abtei 1937 Riesling, coming from these 81 year old vines was all done with native yeasts or Sponti, spontanous fermentation in over 30 years old Stückfässern (German 1200L oak casks) with full yeast contact, lees aged, until the following June, nine months after harvest. After walking this site at harvest in 2016 and tasting the grapes here I was convinced Georg Rumpf had a magical piece of land for exceptional single vineyard dry Riesling, and this 2018 is the best yet. This is special stuff from a special terroir and years from now I believe people with talk about the wines from Abtei the same way as (we do of) other much more famous places, like Carl Loewen’s Maximin Herrenberg 1896, Johannes Leitz’s Kaisersteinfels Terraces, Wittmann’s Morstein and the Carl Von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg to name a few. There are some glorious wines coming from Germany’s 2018 vintage, with Spreitzer, Schlossgut Diel, Carl Loewen, Von Winning, Kunstler, Selbach-Oster and Georg Breuer all showing samples of greatness in a recent trade tasting in San Francisco, and along with them Kruger-Rumpf shined. Be sure to keep an eye out for them all, in particular this 2018 Abtei 1937 Trocken.”
Terry Theise note “A special lot aged in a Hösch 1200-liter cask, it comes from the best part of the site, planted in 1937 and shows a lovely old-school touch, from the bright silvery mineral and the warm breathy caskyness.”
Terry Theise note “Here’s how it goes. I taste through all the GGs and try to glean where they each will go, and which are likely to be best. Then a year or two later I drink them in their finished form and see how wrong I was. Or was I wrong? I make the best guess I can, with 30-some years behind me, knowing how wines generally behave and how they might surprise you, and to feign certainty under those circumstances is a knave’s game. But what else can I trust? I’m not always wrong; sometimes I’m right! Maybe even often. Just know, please, that this is educated guesswork—but with that out of the way, this is what I found on the day…. Pitterberg has what the Germans call “Fond,” which connotes a sort of concentrated stock, more than broth and less than demi-glace. It has density, and it seems to have been born balanced.”
Terry Theise note “Here’s how it goes. I taste through all the GGs and try to glean where they each will go, and which are likely to be best. Then a year or two later I drink them in their finished form and see how wrong I was. Or was I wrong? I make the best guess I can, with 30-some years behind me, knowing how wines generally behave and how they might surprise you, and to feign certainty under those circumstances is a knave’s game. But what else can I trust? I’m not always wrong; sometimes I’m right! Maybe even often. Just know, please, that this is educated guesswork—but with that out of the way, this is what I found on the day…. Burgberg demonstrates profundity or the strong potential thereof. It is resolutely un-trivial. It’s not “austere,” it simply has no time to suffer fripperie.”
Terry Theise note “More facets and more material than the regular est. Riesling; there’s more dialogue, more voices in the chord; strongly scented (mirabelles), saltier, and significantly more useful, with more verve than its drier twin, and while this finishes dry it is infinitely more savory. I’m not trying to slam the dry version; it’s as good as such a wine can be, and Rumpfs are properly proud of it. I am saying that this kind of wine is a better kind of wine. It’s a more helpful and precious genre.”
Terry Theise note “Our basic and faithful friend, this perennial and tasty Kabinett from the steep quartzite vineyard, and this ’18 is sleek and rippling and snappy and racy.”
Terry Theise note “Another forward-into-the-past bottling—in this case Georg wanted to make the kind of Kabinett his father made in the 80s, decidedly on the dry side, not very ripe (this has just 82º Oechsle), gentle and tertiary, and even on the dry side it shows Cox’s orange pippins and balsam and its genial Buddhist repose. Cask fermentations help to highlight the tertiary flavors.”
The average price is $24
Terry Theise note “Top-3 manglings of the word “Scheurebe:” Shuh-roob. Shooby-rooby. Sha-boomy. I made none of these up. In German the eu sound is always like this: OY. Like boy-toy. Here’s a nemonic: when you think of the EU, you want to say “Oy!” OK? For shit’s sake, if you can pronounce “Mourvédre” you can pronounce Scheurebe. This is all from the “GG” Dautenpflänzer (whose name can only be used for Riesling, thanks to the wisdom of the VDP trilateral commission poobahs), it has zero botrytis and was picked “extremely” late. It was the last wine we tasted, and my entire note, repeated here verbatim and pure, was “Oh for fuck’s sake!””
See the complete list of in-stock and pre-arrival wines from Kruger-Rumpf on our web store!
The Ne Plus Ultra of Mosel Wine
As with many things involving the wines of the Mosel, it’s best to let Terry Theise do the rest of the talking. He imports the wines from Willi Schaefer, but we don’t find his prose to be hyperbolic in the slightest. Ok, perhaps a touch, but seriously not by a lot—the wines are that good. Here’s what he has to say:
“For many tasters, these are the Ne Plus Ultra of Mosel wine, and they have attracted an almost religious following. Thus my most frustrating agency, as there is never enough wine. It is hard to put a finger on exactly what it is that makes these wines so precious. There is a candor about them that is quite disarming. They are polished too, but not brashly so. They are careful to delineate their vineyard characteristics, and they offer fruit of sublime purity. They are utterly soaring in flavor yet not without weight. What many of you seem to have warmed to is their clarity, precision and beauty of fruit, so maybe I’ll leave it at that!” –Terry Theise
These wines are known to be approachable when young with beautiful fruit components, while impressing us with their ability of maintaining their finesse 15+ years from now. There really is only one solution to this sort of ‘problem:’ drink some on release and lay the rest down.
These are all the only listings in the USA today!
Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2018 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 93 points
Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spatlese #10, Mosel 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 93+ points “The AP #10 Spätlese from the Domprobst vineyard is also superb in 2018. The bouquet is bright and beautifully expressive for a young Domprobst, wafting from the glass in a blend of pear, apple, violets, bee pollen, a lovely base of slate and a gentle topnote of wild yeasts. On the palate the wine is fullish and nicely succulent on the attack, with truly beautiful purity to the fruit, fine soil signature and a long, perfectly balanced and zesty. I love the backend slate-acid duality that defines the backend of this wine. This is a Domprobst Spätlese that will only need three or four years in the cellar to really start drinking with style and generosity. 2023-2075. 93+.”
Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 93+ points “The Himmelreich has produced a beautiful Spätlese as well in 2018, and this is destined to be a long-lived and superb bottle. The complex nose is vibrant and refined, offering up scents of lime, pear, a nice touch of orange zest, bee pollen, elder flowers, lovely minerality and a topnote of citrus blossoms. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and zesty, with lovely inner tension between its beautiful fruit tones and mineral undertow. The finish is long, focused and bouncy, with lovely lift, cut and grip. 2022-2075. 93+.”
Weingut Willi Schaefer Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2018 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 94 points “The 2018 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese from Christophe Schaefer is another absolutely stellar example of how strong this Prädikat level is in this vintage. The pure and utterly refined nose delivers an elegant aromatic constellation of white cherries, pears, a beautiful base of slate, a youthful hint of petrol, vanilla bean and a topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, medium-full, complex and still youthfully reticent, with lovely detail and depth, bright acids and a long, filigreed and dancing finish. Classic. 2023-2075. 94.”
Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spatlese #5, Mosel 2018 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 94+ points “The 2018 Domprobst Spätlese AP #5 is far more reserved out of the blocks than the AP #10 version, and this wine will demand some extended bottle age before it really starts to hit on all cylinders. However, the potential here is outstanding and all that is needed is some patience to outwait the inherent structural reserves of the Domprobst. The bouquet is a fine mix of pear, apple, salty slate minerality, bee pollen, petrol and spring flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish and very, very precise, with superb cut, a great core and a veritable slate bath of minerality on the long, tightly-knit and focused finish. This is going to be stellar. 2028-2075+. 94+.”
Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #11, Mosel 2018 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 95 points “According to Christophe Schaefer, the 2018 Domprobst Auslese AP #11 has just a tiny touch of botrytis in it, as it has almost exclusively been produced from golden berries. The wine is truly stunning on both the nose and palate, with the bouquet soaring from the glass in a blaze of pear, yellow plum, fresh pineapple, a gorgeous base of slate, citrus blossoms, bee pollen and lilacs. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and zesty, with a lovely core, great backend mineral drive and outstanding complexity and grip on the vibrant, snappy and electric finish. This is just beautiful Auslese! 2026-2085+. 95.”
Only twelve half-bottles available!
Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #14, Mosel 2018 375ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 96 points “The 2018 Domprobst Auslese AP #14 is also an outstanding wine in the making, with just a touch more fruit-driven personality than the AP #11 version. The bouquet is very expressive out of the blocks, offering up a gorgeous mix of pear, mirabelle, tangerine, slate, gentle notes of honeycomb and a topnote of citrus blossoms. On the palate the wine is pure, fullbodied and absolutely loaded with beautiful fruit on the attack and mid-palate, with a lovely undertow of slate, great focus and grip and a long, zesty and beautifully balanced finish. This is another breathtakingly beautiful Auslese from the estate in 2018! 2026-2085. 96.”
Only six half-bottles available!
Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Beerenauslese, Mosel 2018 375ML ($379.95) $299 pre-arrival special
In 1995, he opened Dominio de Pingus, and released the first vintage to rave reviews, making Pingus a true benchmark wine, known and admired wherever great wine is discussed. Peter’s tiny production of fewer than 500 cases of Pingus, which now sells for roughly $700/ bottle, comes from three parcels of ancient, head-pruned Tempranillo vines.
Fortunately for us, he also makes two other wines from these dramatic vineyards. The Flor de Pingus is sourced from a number of small parcels located in the La Horra zone, vines that are all over 35 years of age and have been farmed biodynamically since 2005. Likewise, similar care is taken with the Psi, his “drink now” wine—a perfect bottle for drinking while grilling. These wines are fermented in large wooden vats and, once in cask, mostly left alone until they are bottled without fining or filtration.
Over the past decade, Peter has continually refined his original vision. Since 2001, he has employed biodynamic viticulture to produce healthier vineyards, balancing decadent richness with a rare sense of elegance. Simple discussion of techniques cannot begin to explain the final product, a wine Robert Parker has called “extraordinary” and “one of the most outstanding wines produced in Spain.” We’re excited to feature the two more affordable wines from Pingus, the “Flor” and “PSI” bottlings—both made to the same exacting standards as the flagship wine, just less expensive.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
“This has all the signals to become one of the greatest vintages of Flor de Pingus.”-LG
Dominio de Pingus ‘Flor de Pingus’, Ribera del Duero 2016 750ML ($99.95) $85 special, 26 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points “Chalky and intense with so much blackberry character. Some smoke, too. Full body. Firm and chewy with lots of fruit, but a tight and linear finish. Chewy and intense. Needs a year or two to open, but already a joy. Better after 2021.”
Luis Gutierrez 93-95 points “I caught the 2016 Flor de Pingus days before it was due for bottling, so what I tasted was the final blend (done after the time in barrel was over) that was just settling in tank before being bottled. The paradox of 2016 is that it was a warm year, but the resulting wines have great freshness, which also happened in 1996 (one of my favorite old vintages of Pingus). The yields were higher, which brought more freshness to the wines; and the wines are airier and not as compact as, for example, 2015. In fact, what they have been doing for some time now is to work in viticulture—the pruning and what you do with the canopy—to achieve slightly higher yields and get the plants to balance, because as you increase the yields, the ripening takes longer. Even though it’s young, this shows amazing perfume that should bloom with a year in bottle. This has all the signals to become one of the greatest vintages of Flor de Pingus. They expect to fill some 105,000 bottles in June 2018. I already look forward to tasting this in my next round, after it has spent a year or more in bottle.”
The average price nationally is $95
James Suckling 94 points “The brightness and freshness to this are very enlightening. It’s mostly old-vine tempranillo with about 10% of garnacha. Medium body. Tight and linear with fine tannins. Firm and racy. Lots of bright cherries and berries. Always an excellent red with real character. Drink or hold.”
Luis Gutierrez 92-93 points “I tasted the 2015 in bottle and the 2016 PSI a few weeks before bottling, so I tasted the final blend in tank and ready to go into bottle. What came to mind when I smelled this sample was some of the old vintages of Pesquera. All the grapes come from the north and east of Aranda del Duero, from the cooler part of the appellation. The logistics of doing this volume is not easy, and in 2016 they were able to ferment 100% of the volume in their own winery, which gave them more control. The year was naturally fresher, mostly through higher yields, and they also managed the harvest date with more precision. All this translates into a fresher wine with more precision and elegance. They expect to reach 300,000 bottles of this 2016, which is also probably the finest vintage of PSI—finer, longer and sharply focused. According to Sisseck, this is the PSI he always dreamed about. It will be bottled in the summer of 2018.”
Let’s pour one out for darker rosé. Not five years ago, Tavel was the toast of the town—a serious pink wine for those who wanted rosé with guts. Oh how times change. Now, anything darker than a very pale salmon seems to draw a critical eye. Of those rosés not blessed with a pale complexion, the skepticism ranges from “is that sweet?” (as if color, from the skins of grapes, and sweetness, from fermentation, are related) to a desire to only drink rosé that goes down like water.
This is a shame—there’s a lot of delicious rosé out there that ranges from medium-pink to nearly red. At the table, the stuff is incredibly useful. It can fill the role of a red with foods off of the grill like burgers, chicken and lamb as well as well as being a slightly fruitier aperitif. The boldness of the wines better matches the garlicy, spicy flavors of southern Italian and Provencal cooking than its paler siblings, but somehow, still, it’s ignored.
I want to change that and so here are a few of my favorite rosés (and a few Italian rosatos) that are a bit gutsier than the current pale and light fashion. These are wines that are delicious at the table (and by themselves) but seem to be overlooked based on their color. Try a few!
In Stock Now:
This is certainly a darker edition of Crochet, but as always it has energy and character to spare. Wow.
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Importer Note “Indeed, the 2018 Sancerre Rosé—clocking in just shy of 14%–is deeper in color than usual, as well as more vinous and commanding on the palate. Pure Pinot Noir produced solely from direct-press juice and aged on its lees in stainless steel, this ’18 manages to carry its weight very well, with ultra-bracing acidity and a sense of lift on the nearly viscous palate. While this wine often drinks much like Crochet’s epic whites—steely and mineral, with enormous cut—one feels the Pinot Noir a bit more in this vintage, but it is ultimately a very interesting and delicious rosé”
Torre Beati Cerasuolo Rose, Abruzzo 2018 750ML (21.95) $18 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata 91 points “Bright dark pink. Delicate aromas of strawberry and rosehip on the inviting nose. Then richer and tactile on the palate, with juicy acidity lifting and focusing the peppery red fruit flavors on the long finish. The freshness and liveliness is typical of the 2018 vintage. The Montepulciano grapes used to make this wine were planted in 1972.”
Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($64.95) $51.90 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Chateau Simone Palette Rose, Provence 2017 1.5L ($139.95) $119 special, 6 magnums in stock now
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 Chateau 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 2017 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 2017 growing season dished out challenge after challenge—hail, frost, hydric stress, even hungry birds and pigs—with a subsequent 30-40% reduction in yields from 2016 (which was itself 15% down from 2015). Given that the rosé comprises only ten percent of the estate’s production to begin with, there is painfully little 2017 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 2017 Palette Rosé offers excellent tension, and its flavors of juicy red apples, Provencal herbs, and softly smoky earth are particularly well delineated.”
Cantalupo Il Mimo Nebbiolo Rosato Colline Novaresi 2018 750ML ($21.95) $17 special, 34 bottles in stock now
Importer Note “Estate-grown Nebbiolo fruit, crushed and left to macerate overnight, then pressed off and fermented at low temperature. This is the first rosè from Nebbiolo that I remember from northern Piedmont, maybe 15 years ago, and it’s just delicious: raspberries, strawberries, fresh acidity. Nice bright flavorful complement to all kinds of foods (salmon, roast chicken, pork, salumi…). Don’t hold the price against it!”
Isole e Olena
Stylistically, Isole e Olena occupies a place that is at once traditional and modern. Their Chianti Classico and their flagship Cepparello are both firmly rooted in the primacy of Sangiovese and the idea of Tuscan typicity. Elegance wedded to power, both of those wines show the nuance and bright fruit you expect from a classic wine of the region combined with the density and complexity of top tier, noble wines.
In a more modern sphere, de Marchi also produces mono-varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Syrah. Elegant and polished they represent wines that are at the top of their class for each of the respective grape varieties, no matter the origin.
Highlights from Isole e Olena In Stock Now:
Isole e Olena Collezione Privata Cabernet Sauvignon Toscana IGT 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione Privata is superb. A delicate, nuanced wine in this vintage, the Cabernet Sauvignon speaks in hushed tones. Silky tannins and highly expressive aromatics add to an impression of total finesse. In many vintages, the Cabernet can be quite big, but not in 2013. This is a brilliant showing from Isole and proprietor Paolo De Marchi.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “A regal wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione Privata from Isole e Olena soars out of the glass with tremendous aromatic and palate intensity. Deceptive in its mid-weight structure, the 2014 has so much to offer. Once again, De Marchi crafted a Cabernet Sauvignon that exudes character. Today, the 2014 is vivid but also intensely saline and clenched. Another few years in bottle should do the trick. This fruit was brought in during the last week of October and first week of November, quite late, even by the standards of the year.”
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special, 8 magnums in stock now
James Suckling 96 points “Shows lots of black cherries, cranberry tea, caramelized orange peel, roasted herbs and citrus peel. Full-bodied with ripe and quite round tannins that frame layers of cherries. Bright and fresh, yet rich and long at the same time. The sangiovese character really springs out of the glass. Drink in 2020.”
Shop the complete list of Isole and Olena wines on our web store!
Bruna Grimaldi’s Top Value Barolo
The Grimaldi wines are beautifully expressive, polished wines that combine the cleanliness and rich, round flavors of a modern producer with a more traditional sensibility when it comes to oak usage. The resulting wines honor their sites and yet offer an approachable, delicious persepective on Barolo. We’ve got these lovely wines arriving next month, perfect for a short sleep in your cellar.
Arriving ETA September:
Bruna Grimaldi Bricco Ambrogio, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92+ points “($80) From the less-traveled Roddi township, the 2015 Barolo Bricco Ambrogio is a balanced and pretty expression that shows floral aromas of wild rose and pressed violets, followed by wild berry and blackcurrant. The wine is simple and straightforward in delivery with a clean and accessible personality. Bruna and Franco Grimaldi purchased this vineyard site in 2006, and this wine has improved in complexity and depth with each vintage that I taste. Some 6,000 bottles are made.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93+ points “($90) This wine has already evolved to show some tar and savory aromas. The 2015 Barolo Badarina offers pretty color saturation with linear and fresh lines of plum, black fruit, dark spice and tilled earth. The wine delivers much of the heft and power promised by this Badarina cru in Serralunga d’Alba. If you’re looking for a Barolo vintage to pair with a rich meat like liver or game, this could be the one. This is Bruna Grimaldi’s flagship Barolo, as her mother was born in Badarina and this site has always had special meaning to her family. Some 8,000 bottles were produced.”
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