Monday Newsletter 8-21-17

Il Poggione 2011 – Best Price / Here Now; Staff Pick: Willi Schaefer; New Week – New Arrivals; ’12 Brunello Restock; New Wines from Gobelsburg; Trending; Arriving Friday; 2014 Opus One


Featured New Arrival

Best Price in the USA!

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2011 750ML ($79.95) $58.50 special
Case-6 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2011 750ML ($419.95) $319 special (that’s only $53.17/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95 points “Il Poggione has done a terrific job with its 2011 Brunello di Montalcino. The wine is soft, yielding and charged with a velvety and smooth texture. It is deeply redolent of dark berry, black cherry, spice, leather and tobacco. The wine’s sunny personality never feels flat or too dense. In fact, the wine offers a very tight and steely backbone that gives the wine stature and strength. This is one of my favorite Brunellos from the 2011 vintage.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “A dark, powerful wine, the 2011 Brunello di Montalcino offers notable depth and intensity. Il Poggione’s 2011 is one of the richest, most powerful wines of the year. Black cherry, plum, lavender, cloves and new leather are some of the first nuances that open up. With time in the glass, the 2011 becomes more lifted, as brighter red cherry and raspberry-infused flavors gradually release. This is a rare 2011 that demands at least a good few years in the cellar. In 2011, Il Poggione did not bottle a Riserva. All the juice went into the straight Brunello.”

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The average price is $75


Staff Pick

WILLI SCHAEFER IN MAGNUMS!!! I don’t think I should have to write anything else.  Do you know how hard it is to find Schaefer’s wines in large format? Last time I saw some in person was while I was in the Mosel.  Granted, Terry Theise has made it a point to bring in a few more in recent years, but man, these are not easy things to get ahold of.  They also look really cool, which, admittedly, is a poor standard for a staff pick. We just got some 2015’s in and they’ll age forever (and drink well along the way).  I can’t afford to buy them all, so we’ve got some left.  Go to town.

Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2015 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special, 5 magnums available
Grapelive 94-96 points “There is something everyone in the wine world agrees upon, and that is Willi Schaefer Riesling, and especially the Graacher wines, are some of the greatest wines on earth! From famed Riesling/German importer Terry Theise to Robert Parker, there is no question Shaefer is one of the top estates in the world. These wines have a cult, or religious like following. It is almost impossible to find them on the shelves of a wine merchant, in fact it is almost a rule of life if you ever see a bottle, you buy it, regardless of why you entered the shop in the first place. You never even look at the price, and walk away with a cat like grin on your face. These wines are treasures, no matter the vintage or vineyard, no matter the sweetness level. The 2015 is a vintage to cherish and covet, so being able to preview a Willi Schaefer Spatlese Gaacher Himmelreich was a prized treat and a rare gift, huge gratitude to Terry Theise and Wine Wise for having a sample of this glorious nectar. It is always a thrill to taste these wines and this Graacher Himmelrich did not disappoint! One of my most cherished wine moments is drinking a Shaefer Auslese: it was so amazingly poised it didn’t feel heavy and its silky complexity so divine you can’t imagine the joy. It almost brought tears to my eyes. This 2015 Spatlese has that kind of wow factor! From the steep slate of the Mosel this fine and delicate example hides its extract and power behind layers of lacy acidity, flinty mineral and heavenly creamy textures. This is a case where the must weight and sugar doesn’t translate into overt sweetness or density on the palate as such. This wine is purity and refinement with subtle richness and graceful lines. It is truly feminine and feline with exotic charms and velvet muscles supporting everything in sleek and beautiful fashion. The highlights are balanced savory notes against hedonistic and pleasing layers of rose petals, tangerine sorbet, fresh orchard picked apple and apricot, lime and delightful tropical array to contrast against cool wet shale/stones, minty herb, saline and tangy ginger. This wine seduces completely with youthful raw sexy appeal, but certainly she will age with glorious rewards. When something is this gorgeous it will be insanely difficult to wait, that is why patience is a virtue! There is much more to come in this stunning wine, no doubt it will become legendary, it is well advised to lock a few bottles up, I can imagine a window of 12 to 30 years of age to peak enjoyment for this traditional Mosel classic, best from 2025 to 2040!”
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “Shy on the nose (where it only hints at more than exhibits fresh fruity scents of grapefruit, tangerine and a touch of mango as well as mint) this Spätlese proves surprisingly open on the palate as smooth and ripe flavors of juicy fruits play havoc with one’s senses. The finish has great intensity and presence with more fresh ripe fruits. This is a superb Spätlese in the making. 2025-2040.”

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Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spatlese #10, Mosel 2015 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special, 5 magnums available
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “Scents of flowers and spontaneous fermentation quickly give way to riper and creamy fruits such as yellow peach, apricot and mango. The wine proves succulently light and fresh on the palate. This feeling of lightness carries nicely over into the juicy and smooth finish. One is left with a delicately creamy feel of herbs in the long after-taste. This proves plain gorgeous. 2025-2035.”
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “Drippingly luscious apple, pear and Persian melon dominate an alluringly scented bottling that combines intensity with delicacy and brightness. Musky, peony-like floral notes add to the almost decadent sense of ripeness, while fruit-skin tartness enhances the impression of invigoration and refreshment conveyed on a penetrating and lingering finish underlain with wet stone. “This is the classic Domprobst Spätlese,” suggested Willi Schaefer.”

Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese #4, Mosel 2015 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special, 6 magnums available
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points “This starts off on the toffee side before fresher scents grapefruit, orange, lime, smoke, incense and tar kick in. A superb streak of acidity cuts right through the palate into the very long, fresh and focused finish, providing a gorgeous balance to a powerful and delicately creamy structure. The finish is intense and very long. While amazing now, this Auslese Eiswein styled wine should prove stunning in a decade or two. 2025-2045”

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New Week – New Arrivals


Goodfellow Family Cellars Heritage #4 Whistling Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Winery notes: “Made with great thought, our reserve wine is crafted to stand strong for years to come. The genesis was a wine to age for our son to enjoy one day, who is presently a toddler. Thus, it seems more new oak and is made from our favorite parcel of the vintage. Lay down for as long as you can, as patience is to be rewarded. Whistling Ridge Vineyard Pinot from a 1990 planting aged for 20 months in French oak. Sedimentary soils with a South/Southeast exposure at 350-450’ elevation. Dry farmed.”

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Spain – Rioja

R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia Crianza Blanco, Rioja DOCa 2007 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 93 points “The cooler 2007 produced a superb 2007 Viña Gravonia Blanco from very old Viura vines on gravel soils; the wine fermented in ancient oak vats where they have never added any yeasts, and matured in oak barrels for four years, fined with egg whites and bottled in September 2012. The nose is unique, showing aromas of chamomile, beeswax, honey, mushroom and spices, with reminiscences of a white Graves or an aged white Hermitage, quite developed, showing it all and ready. The palate shows great acidity with some oaky hints, with a chalky sensation, deep flavors with persistence and superb length. This has to be one of the greatest bargains in white Rioja. It feels lively, approachable, but with enough of everything to provide pleasure for a long time. There are 21,500 bottles of this wine.”

R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva Blanco, Rioja DOCa 2003 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 93 points “(raised in American oak barrels for six years) Light bright yellow-gold. Dried citrus and pit fruits, white flowers, vanilla and a hint of beeswax on the highly perfumed nose. Concentrated but nervy as well, offering orange and pear nectar and toasted nut flavors; a gingery quality adds spiciness and lift. The floral note repeats emphatically on the impressively long, incisive finish, which features notes of chamomile and candied orange zest.”

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Spain – Castilla y Leon

Raul Perez Prieto Picudo Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon 2011 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Grapelive 96 points “The rare Prieto Picudo is an odd varietal with high acid, high tannin and slightly oval shaped with a pointy tip, it’s native and almost only found here in Tierra de Leon, the name means beaked, hence the name, Raul Perez’s is from a high elevation old vine site on sandy clay soils with river rocks, making for a unique wine that has an almost Nebbiolo or Ramisco like flavor profile. This extraordinary red, from vines planted in 1900 in the village of Pajares de los Oteros at about 900 feet above sea level, was fermented whole cluster in chestnut wood vats with a cool 60 day maceration and then raised for about 60 months in French barriques, this long elevage adding to the wine’s refinement and mature character. The 2011 Prieto Picudo, from 111 year old vines when harvested, is a brilliant ruby/dark red color with herb and floral notes on the nose with mineral tones as well as a slight earthy/spice and kirsch note before opening to a medium full palate of racy red fruits including brambly forest berry, cherry, plum and mulberry plus dried flowers, peppercorns, grilled fennel and light cedar. The texture is fantastic and mouth filling with satiny feel, this is mind-blowing stuff with great depth and layers of pleasure, but with firm tannins and glowing vibrancy making this wine really pop, lingering distilled strawberry, salty stones, sweet tobacco leaf and baking spice. This is one of the coolest wines I’ve tried this year, again it reminds me somewhat of Lessona DOC, Nebbiolo based reds that spend 4 to 5 years in cask, of the upper Piedmonte area. The fruit is ripe and polished, this is very much a classic Perez wine, it was great to taste it with the winemaker himself, you could see just how thrilled he was with this Prieto Picudo and his passion was thick in the air, and I think this wine has potential to age another decade, I hope to get a chance to see how it evolves. Wow.”

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The average price is $52

Spain – Canary Islands

Suertes del Marques La Solana, Valle de la Orotava 2011 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2011 La Solana is a single east-facing vineyard planted with the local red grape, 95% Listan Negro with the balance being a mix of different grapes, the norm in these 120-year-old vineyards. Listan Negro is supposedly a neutral grape, but not here, where the wine is very aromatic, perfumed, different and ever-changing. It really makes you smell it twice. The palate is fruity and feminine, it showing very fine minerality (all the Canary Islands are volcanic) with a medium-bodied, great length and some very fine and silky tannins.”
Jancis Robinson 17.5/20 “100% destemmed, concrete, etc. Paler than 2012. Mid ruby. Sour plum again and racy and elegant. Mineral finish. Long and very reverberant. All transparency and minerals.”

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’12 Brunello Restock

2012 is an ALL CAPS VINTAGE in Brunello.  The hype train started early, but reached bullet-train type speeds with the publication of Ian D’Agata’s reviews for Vinous in March.  All we know is that it’s been a while (2006?) since we’ve heard as much about the vintage on the whole as we have with 2012.   We always get asked about when wines are coming in, but this seems like a new level of excitement, which is probably justified. Take what D’Agata wrote for Vinous, for example:

“Every once in a while, when visiting a specific wine region, I taste so many good bottles that I find myself thinking I might just turn in my author’s pen and start making wine… Most recently, this happened during my tastings of the 2012 Brunellos, when I tried one delicious example after another. Even more impressive, the 2012 vintage for Brunello stands out for its consistently high quality. I found more good to outstanding examples than in any past vintage”

He goes on to say that “2012 Brunellos are characterized by impeccable balance, vibrant acidity and fine-grained tannins.” We just upped our stock of two top picks that sold out earlier this year.

Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($54.95) $39 special
James Suckling 96 points “This shows pure and fresh fruit that many others don’t have. Also, there are plenty of linear tannins. Precise and beautiful. Medium to full body. Persistent finish. Better in 2019.”

Altesino Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany  2012 750ML ($59.95) $46 special
Wine Spectator 96 points– Highly Recommended “Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points– Top 20 Brunello “Marking the winery’s 40th harvest, this vintage offers classic Sangiovese fragrance: wild berry, blue flower, baking spice and a whiff of new leather. The palate is sleek and elegant, doling out juicy red cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and star anise, framed by lithe, polished tannins and fresh acidity. It’s loaded with finesse and tempting now but will be even better with a few more years in bottle. Drink 2019–2026.”

’12 Brunello Arriving in October

Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ML ($99.95) $77 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 97 points “Fantastic aromas of blueberries, plums, bark and wet earth follow through to a full body, velvety and polished tannins and a wonderful finish. Refined and persistent on the finish. Drink in 2019 and onwards.”
Wine Enthusiast 97 points– Cellar Selection – Top 20 Brunello “Balancing power and grace, this wine delivers alluring aromas and flavors of ripe black cherry, raspberry compote, grilled herb, licorice and tar. Vibrant acidity and firm, velvety tannins provide freshness and structure, while a hint of pipe tobacco closes the lingering finish. Drink 2020–2032.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This finds good equilibrium between the ripe berry, cherry, tobacco, iron and tea notes. Firm and chewy, with hints of leather and under-brush on the long aftertaste. Best from 2021 through 2035.”


New Wines from Gobelsburg

At this point, it’s acknowledged that Schloss Gobelsburg is among the handful of top producers in Austria—we don’t need to go over that again.  What is of note, however, is two recent arrivals to Vinopolis from the hallowed estate.

The first their “Zobing” bottling, is a selection of parcels that functions as a village level wine.  This is an outstanding value—it’s under $30 and drinks like a much more expensive wine.  The other wine is a library release from the hallowed Heiligenstein vineyard.  From the 2010 vintage, it’s shed its baby fat and is turning into the coiled, energetic wine that we’ve been looking for.  Miles better than anything from Alsace in its price point, this is a wine to drink over the next 10+  years, starting now.

New Arrivals from Schloss Gobelsburg

Schloss Gobelsburg Gaisberg Riesling Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 7 bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points “Where its Heiligenstein counterpart was luscious, soothing and florally perfumed, this Gaisberg is sharply focused and transparent to invigorating impingements of lime zest, white pepper, and stone. Its concentration of floral and green herbal elements takes a high-toned and palate-penetrating Chartreuse-like form. A fundament of white peach and lime guarantees lusciousness as well as refreshing primary juiciness. The finish is unusually sharp and vibrant for the vintage, and it will be fascinating to follow this wine’s fortunes in bottle.”
Terry Theise: “Gaisberg to me is always a moonlight wine, and this one is cool, gauzy, sheer, ethereal and yet with a clearly visible dialogue (maybe even a dialectic) among minerals and blueberries; surpassingly refined and filigree, a Riesling-lover’s wine, yet for all its high frequencies it is not delicate.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Zobinger Heiligenstein Riesling Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2010 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points “Schloss Gobelsburg’s 2010 Riesling Heiligenstein presents a smokily aromatic as well as more incisive and phenolically gripping palate impression than that of the corresponding Gaisberg. At a place where intense spice; herbal pungency; and of what for want of words can only be called diverse “mineral” impingements all intersect, you have this wine’s vibratory, invigorating palate rub-down. A crunch of berry seeds and piquancy of apricot kernel add to the effect of this vinous sauna (minus the heat!) Hints of gooseberry point toward the coolness of the vintage, while lilac and elderflower perfume unmistakably point toward the face of this great site. Look for at least the better part of a decade of stimulation both mental and physical, and if at all possible have some Gaisberg on-hand for direct comparison.”
Terry Theise: “Michi wants to offer a couple wines with bottle-age, and this is a wonderfully curious way to begin. 2010, if you don’t remember, was a ripe, powerful vintage with markedly high acidity, and this wine is developing typically; the structure is dramatic and the fruit is already completely tertiary. It’s sturdy, with excellent length, and probably ready to drink. Paradoxically I am finding that extreme high-acid vintages actually should be drunk young, because wine does not really “age on its acidity.” Acidity ages on itself, which is to say it is frozen-in-place, and really doesn’t address the above-ground fruit at all.”

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Schloss Gobelsburg Tradition Riesling Reserve, Kamptal 2014 750ML ($59.95) $44 special, 10 bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points “White peach, kiwi, iris, honeysuckle, almond, hazelnut, moss and wet stone combine for an utterly engaging aromatic and palate performance. Piquancy of peach kernel and pink grapefruit peel cuts into the midpalate amplitude and fruitiness for an impression unexpected in a Gobelsburg Tradition bottling and indicative of this site’s 2014 brush with botrytis. The finish here is thus all the more remarkable for its combination of mouth-shaking vibrancy, bright retention of primary juiciness, and transparency to alkaline and crystalline stony notes. (I last tasted this shortly ahead of its midsummer bottling.)”
Terry Theise: “Made as always from Gaisberg old-vines, and in 2014 that wine had far more botrytis than I’m comfortable with. This wine has it also. It is highly atypical, so do not expect it to taste as it “usually” does, and if you’re averse to botrytis in dry Rieslings then you won’t be happy here.”

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Schloss Gobelsburg Zobing Riesling, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($34.95) $26 special, 12 bottles available
Wine & Spirits 93 points–Best Buy– “This is so friendly at first it would be easy to dismiss as a simple pleasure. Behind that initial tangy lemon-water freshness, though, there’s a structure as firm and fine as master filigree ironwork. The flavors build on it, still delicate but multifaceted – ginger and lime, chalk and pea shoots – and lasting.”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 91 points “Rendered out of the same motivations that I noted in my review of the corresponding “Langenlois” Grüner Veltliner bottling, this inaugural “village level” Gobelsburg Riesling delivers a complexity and refinement that reflect its origin in prime vineyard locations. White peach and lime are garlanded in honeysuckle and mint on a fetching nose and a silken-textured palate, with stony and peppery impingements providing invigorating counterpoint on a superbly sustained, irresistibly refreshing finish. No complaints about Moosbrugger’s perceived need to insert an extra classificatory/marketing tier into his line-up if the wine is going to be this good!”
Terry Theise: “Again, a village-wine as a bridge from the negoç wine to the Crus. There’s a spring-onion sweetness; intricate and sapid green and savory; exotic saltiness and a refined minty finale.”

Arriving in October from Schloss Gobelsburg:

Schloss Gobelsburg Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “Yup, a plus. It shouldn’t be this good, and yet! It’s a parfait of lilacs, wisteria and tarragon, it has energy, focus and flow, the wine is almost creamy yet it’s lavish and light, cheerful and accommodating, a wine in high spirits, up for anything. It is, honestly, impossible to imagine anything better for this price.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Tradition Gruner Veltliner Reserve, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “After the Lamm this takes us back to a contralto murmur, a mellow bronze roastiness, and a kind of limitless friendliness. Possibly the outer limits of complexity are embedded in here somewhere, but right now my heart is melted by the enveloping embrace. As the wine exhales in the glass it gets saltier and grainier, but it never stops glowing. You never knew that affirmation could be so tender, or tenderness be so affirming.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Langenlois Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($31.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “I was wary. Yet another wine? Sure, I understand this is a “village” wine to lead in to the Crus coming up, and I appreciate how Michi didn’t want to jump from the negoç wine directly to Steinsetz. But whew, we got a lot of skus as it is…The first sip demolished my concerns. It contains young-vines juice from the sites Redling, Thal, Lamm (!), Renner and Grub, which makes those wines even better. This is more “physical” and earthy than the above—“like an AOC chicken” I wrote—plus wild lavender and other dark flavors, boxwood, balsam, Timut peppers and guava. Yet as it feints toward sternness it finishes with a giggle of freshness (and a chortle of charm); a perfect mid-weight GV prototype.”

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Schloss Gobelsburg Lamm Gruner Veltliner Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “Lamm as a rule is buckwheat-y, rusky, savory but not thick, like a vegetable-veal stock with barley, yet oddly also like lamb itself. (“Lamm” doesn’t mean lamb, but is rather a dialect word for “loam.”) It is a great wine though virtually without fruit per se. Its poise of gloss and power, intensity and outline, mass and transparency are emblems of the paradox without which no wine is truly great. In 2016 it’s a focused powerhouse of almost eucalyptus penetration. If Renner commences the birds to sing, Lamm commences the wolves to howl. More sheer assertion here, a determined affect, whereas Renner wants merely to sing.”

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Schloss Gobelsburg Steinsetz Gruner Veltliner Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($37.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “It grows ever more gracious and complex as the vineyard ages; the old radishy-minty briskness is still present but now aligned to a new juiciness and starchy jasmine-rice flavors. This rippling flow of the ‘16s is almost poignantly lovely in the context of the peppery snap of a wine like this.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Renner Gruner Veltliner Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “The vineyard lies at the foot of the Gaisberg, on eroded gneiss with a lot of paragneiss, mica and amphibolite, all under a blanket of loess. Its wines are as good as the Lamm, which is a warmer site giving wines of greater amplitude and stature. Yet Renner’s quality of flavor and complexity of nuance are incomparable, and I often have it next to the Lamm just to make sure I’m not being diddled by my subjective preference for minerality. This ’16 smells glorious. Big surprise! It’s completely stunning, and it leads to a palate that’s fervidly spicy and texturally lush; the minerality is swollen and the wine is as peppery as I can remember.”

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Schloss Gobelsburg Schlosskellerei Riesling, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($19.95) $16 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “As always, this is stiffer and more pointed than the sibling GV; correct and scrupulous but with a phenolic nip that real dry-wine lovers will relish.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Tradition Riesling Reserve, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “Again like its brother GV, this has a loving aroma, and wow—this is really a masterly wine, higher relief and more angles than the GV but similarly kind and affectionate; salty and mineral. Drink it with someone you love; otherwise you will miss her and all you’ll feel is triste.”

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Schloss Gobelsburg Gaisberg Riesling Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($44.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “Gaisberg for me is always a moonlight wine, as if somehow the grapes ripened at night when the moon is waxing. The ’16 is piquant, “white” and cool and silvery, yet also with a certain creaminess, leading, again, to a firm adamant finish. These don’t  yield.”’

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Schloss Gobelsburg Zobinger Heiligenstein Riesling Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “Also quite obdurately young, with primary fruit (and fermentation) aromas still tangible. It seems to be the ground Moroccan spices side of Heiligenstein, less smoke and “fruit” but more sand and dark-meat chicken. But this could change completely in the next few months.”

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Schloss Gobelsburg Zobing Riesling, Kamptal 2016 750ML ($37.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “This is racy and herbal, but not exactly juicy; more of a stretched stony-fennelly tautness, ore and nettle; brisk but not brusque, with a mizuna snap on the finish.”

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Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Zweigelt, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise note: “As always this wine is civil, genial, smart and delicious; the ’15 shows less dust and more sweet fruit than some vintages.”

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Selbach-Oster ‘Anrecht’ Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling, Mosel 2012 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Grapelive 97-100 points “Johannes Selbach’s magnificent Anrecht is easily a potential 100 Point perfect wine. This 2012 is set for a glorious future and is a top echelon wine on par with the finest white wines in the world (be they from Hermitage, Batard-Montrachet or anywhere) and without question of the most collectable Rieslings of the vintage, as well as being an amazing value. Germany in 2012 produced wines that are mind blowing. Even famed importer Terry Theise can’t hide his enthusiastic thrill from this vintage. He usually maintains that all the vintages are special, but 2012 is certainly more equal than most, it may just be the best year in my lifetime, for sure in my experience tasting wines and it continues to get better as the wines start to develop. Such is the case with great producers, names like Donnhoff, Leitz and Diel made some wines that will be legendary, as will this Anrecht by Selbach-Oster. The 2012 Selbach-Oster “Anrecht” has massive extract, texture and complexity, but it is still very primary and involved at this stage. Honestly it will need a few years to truly begin to reveal just the surface of its greatness, though like the tip of the iceberg, you can see it is there. The nose is still shy, but when coaxed shows citrus blossoms, a melted icy stream of freshness with river stones, a hint of sea salt and brine, honeyed white peach, crisp apple and tropical essences. In the mouth this wine expands with a full range of layers and amazing texture and creaminess. There is exotic passionfruit, lime, white tea, orange marmalade and apricot along with a steely and spicy mineral core. This wine is heavenly rich, though it has wonderful class and detail and lingers for ages on the finish with tangerine, pineapple and white plum. The Anrecht is stunning. It has everything you’d ever want in a Riesling. It has a touch of botryitis that will serve it well long term, as well as a full sweet palate, but there is well integrated acidity and this wine has staggering intensity and vigor. Johannes Selbach has made one of the world’s great wines with this Anrecht.”

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Domaine Camille et Laurent Schaller Chablis Vieilles Vignes, Burgundy 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Case-12 Domaine Camille et Laurent Schaller Chablis Vieilles Vignes, Burgundy 2015 750ML ($359.95) $259 special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Decanter 90 points “Reticent lime nose. The palate has a rich attack, and is firm and concentrated. It shows impressive depth and weight of fruit for a village wine, with density and some chewiness. Textured and long.”
Importer note “Domaine Camille & Laurent Schaller is a family estate based in Préhy, a village in the heart of the Chablis vineyard. Laurent and his son Camille cultivate three grape varieties: Chardonnay, Aligoté and Pinot Noir. Their parcels are located in the villages of Préhy, Courgis, Chablis, Poilly sur Serein, Chichée (Premier Cru Vaucoupin) and Beine (Premier Cru Vau de Vey). The vines are planted in a clay and limestone soil which is typical of Chablis. It brings to wines great finesse, minerality and purity.”

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Cameron Winery Spritz Rose, Willamette Valley 2016 355ML ($9.95) $7.90 special
Winery note “After the bountiful 2016 harvest, collaborated with Heater Allen Brewing to make a small batch of Spritz Rosé, a blend of pinot noir and pinot blanc enlivened with a hint of carbonation. It is conveniently packaged in a beer bottle with a crown cap closure and contains a bit less than 10% alcohol. This light, crisp pink bubbly is the perfect refreshment on a warm summer day while you are relaxing on the patio or floating down the river on an innertube. Thank you for your attention.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Bow & Arrow Hughes Hollow Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($37.95) $28 special
Case-12 Bow & Arrow Hughes Hollow Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($419.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
VinopolNote: Hughes Hollow is an own-rooted vineyard. Scott Frank works with the Pommard clone of Pinot in the Jory soils. In the 2015 vintage, he used 10% whole cluster. The wine shows savory notes of black tea and freshly turned earth, lightened by aromas of red fruits and green herbs.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $39

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2015 750ML ($41.95) $33 special
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2015 1.5L ($89.95) $79 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “A textbook version of the brawny side of Gigondas, this offers a grippy alder bass line underneath layers of dark currant and fig fruit, while lots of tobacco, rosemary and bay fill in throughout. Muscular and energetic, this is built for the cellar. Best from 2019 through 2030.”

This is the only listing for the magnum in the USA today!


Arriving Friday

World Wide Picks

Morgen Long Yamhill Vineyards Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($37.95) $30.90 pre-arrival special

Domaine Charles Audoin Marsannay Cuvee Marie Ragonneau, Cote de Nuits 2014 750ML ($41.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 91 points “Spicy wild berry and cherry flavors mark this sleek, racy red. Tightens up on the finish, leaving a mouthwatering impression. Minerally undertow. Best from 2020 through 2032.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Philippe Pacalet Moulin-a-Vent, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Philippe Pacalet Moulin-a-Vent, Beaujolais 2014 1.5L ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Burghound 91 points -Outstanding Top Value-“A discreet touch of wood sets off exceptionally fresh aromas of pepper, lavender, earth and various red berries. There is terrific tension and lovely detail to the muscular middle weight flavors that possess a caressing mouth feel, all wrapped in a complex, concentrated and balanced finale. This is really very good and absolutely worth considering if you don’t mind giving it a few years of cellar time first.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2014 Moulin-à-Vent from Philippe Pacalet has a bright, clean, fresh raspberry and strawberry pastille-scented bouquet. The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshy opening. I love the acidity here, the harmony that comes through, the structure towards the finish that suggests it will age as well as being approachable now. What a beautifully crafted Beaujolais. Tasted September 2016.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $59.95

Domaine Santa Duc Cotes du Rhone Rouge ‘Les Vieilles Vignes’, Rhone 2012 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator notes: “Rounded and easy, featuring cherry fruit laced with a light licorice snap note”

Niepoort 10 Year Aged Tawny Port 750ML ($44.95) $38 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 91 points “The NV 10 Year Old Tawny Port was bottled in 2015 with a long cork. This is a lovely 10 Year Tawny, elegant in the mid-palate, but complex, precise and focused. There’s a bit of a bite on the finish, giving it some length to go with the flavor. The next day it was more about power, with considerable intensity of old-tawny flavor as well, more than I normally see in a 10 Year Old. This is a fine one for the category. It showed best around 56 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t drink it too warm.”

Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage Port 2012 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2012 Late Bottled Vintage Port was bottled in 2016 with a long cork. Focused and precise, this traditional LBV is notable for its subtle concentration and power. It’s not at all jammy, but the expressive fruit lingers and makes it seem richer than it is on opening while the wine’s inherent freshness cuts through the mid-palate and gives it a lively feel. The structure is actually better than the fruit–apart from the crisp feel, this has a real backbone. That supports the fruit beautifully and it was even more apparent after some six hours open. Not surprisingly, this young LBV was a bit tight. If it is not always impressive for its depth, it is for its power, precision and lift. I loved the firm feel on the finish. Overall, this is very pretty, age-worthy and likely to become increasingly complex. If the mid-palate keeps up as it ages–which still has to be proven–this might have a nice, long life.”


Arriving in October

2014 Opus One

Best Price in the USA!

The Luxurious Pride of Napa, With the Medoc Soul

Opus One Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($319.95) $289 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 97 points “Mesmerizing aromas of flowers, bark, currants and blackberries. So perfumed. You just want to smell it. Exquisite tension and finesse with an almost Burgundian texture, yet it’s Napa in its soul with ripe fruit, stones, spices and Chinese tea leaf flavors. Savory and delicious. Drinkable but better in 2020.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “The 2014 Opus One has turned out to be a gorgeous wine. Savory, tightly wound and intensely aromatic, the 2014 is going to need time to unwind, but it looks like it will develop along the more classic vintages here. The tannins are firm but also impeccably balanced. A sleeper wine for the year, the 2014 is shaping up to be a gorgeous wine that will handsomely repay several decades of cellaring. The 2014 is not an obvious Opus One, like the 2010, 2012 or 2013, but over time, I will not be surprised if it challenges or even surpasses some of those vintages. In short, the 2014 is a wine of tension, power and grace.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price listed today is $299


Domaine Huet

Arriving in November

Profundity Captured in Glass

huet 2016 spreadsheet


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