Monday Newsletter 8-31-20

In This Newsletter:

Produttori Subscriber Sale

New Week – New Arrivals

A Stellar Rhone Wine from a Burgundy Superstar

Spanish Treasure:
Bodegas San Roman
Arriving Friday

Produttori del Barbaresco

Muncagota & Rio Sordo

Subscriber Sale

In the Piedmont, the folds and creases in the hills allow for amazing individuality in the little pocket vineyards. Exposure, drainage, soil composition all combine in a myriad of ways to bring out the best of Nebbiolo. Both Barolo and Barbaresco have a beautiful intensity to the acidity and pure fruit, but the brightness and balance of Barbaresco makes it a treasure for collectors. There is a reason why it is referred to as Italy’s Burgundy – the character and ageability result in wines to savor over decades, no matter how delicious they may be in the present. Produttori, as a rule, has consistently made the most sought after single vineyard Barbaresco. The wines will live forever in the cellar, and will reward those willing to stash away a case or two.

Two of our favorite crus from Produttori are Muncagota and Rio Sordo. The Muncagota vineyard has a southeastern exposure that protects the grapes from the afternoon sun, but also has high calcium content in the soil with little of the sand often found in the area. It comes across as a bit more tannic and structured at first look, but the subtle mint and floral components are more pronounced than in the other crus. I love the play between the firmer structure and the elegance of the playful aromatics and fruit. I prefer to hide Muncagota away for as long as possible, but have found that with a day in the decanter, the wine is nearly irresistible right now, especially in the warm 2015 vintage. 

Rio Sordo seems to be the bigger wine due to the southwestern exposure. There is a ripeness and wild quality to the bright red fruits, but these are qualities that will help the wine develop a lovely deep bass note to accompany the well-integrated acidity and silky tannins. This is the yin and yang of Barbaresco that I find so compelling. Rio Sordo is a tremendous wine full of bursting red fruit, citrus peel, cedar and rose petals. There is no lack of strength to the wine, even though the tannins are silkier than in most other crus. The potential for aging this wine is obvious, and while this wine can be enjoyed at this point, you must decant for an extended period of time. Similar to the Muncagota, it shows well for days after opening. 

Rio Sordo and Muncagota are available at a discount and there is no better reason to stash away a good supply of these for the future.   

5% Off Any Mix of 3-5 Produttori Muncagota & Rio Sordo bottles
10% Off Any Mix of 6+ Produttori Muncagota & Rio Sordo bottles
Subscriber Special Discount Will Not Display Online
We Will Manually Adjust Your Order Before Finalizing It
Discount Valid Until Tuesday, September 1st at 6 PM

In-Stock & On Sale Now:

Produttori del Barbaresco Muncagota Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 750ML ($79.95) Displayed price $54.50, that’s $51.78 at 5% off and $49.05 at 10% off, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“Like most of the wines in this lineup, the 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota is quite potent. A rush of raspberry jam, wild flowers, white pepper and mint make a strong opening statement. Succulent and yet also structured, the Muncagota has so much to offer. It should be one of the first wines in this range to start opening up, although when that will happen exactly is hard to say.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Powerful yet underlined by racy acidity, driving the black cherry, black currant and mineral flavors. Menthol and tobacco notes add depth, keeping this intense. All the components are here, yet this will need time to really sing. Best from 2024 through 2040.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points “You may remember that this wine was once called Moccagatta. Produttori del Barbaresco reverted to the local Piemontese spelling of the name in 2007 to stay consistent with the geographic mapping of local cru sites. The 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota stands apart from the nine other single-vineyard Riservas presented by Produttori del Barbaresco this vintage. Of these various wines, this is the most salty and savory. There is less primary fruit intensity here. The bouquet is laced with grilled rosemary and wild sage. This growing site absorbs loads of morning sunshine with southeast-facing exposures. The mouthfeel is characterized by dry tannins and very long, balsam-like persistence. Dried ginger and herbs appear on the menthol-like finish.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “You’ll find aromas of star anise, freshly tilled soil, chopped herb and balsamic notes on this full-bodied red. The smooth, concentrated palate delivers juicy black cherry, raspberry compost, pipe tobacco and licorice accompanied by firm, refined tannins and bright acidity.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!

Produttori del Barbaresco Muncagota Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2014 750ML ($79.95) Displayed price $59, that’s $56.05 at 5% off and $53.10 at 10% off, 29 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2014 Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota is another of the overachievers in this range. White pepper, bright red cherry, floral notes and mint cut through the fruit in this beautifully vivid, crystalline Barbaresco. There is a level of energy, drive and overall nuance in the 2014 I don’t recall having seen in the past. The 2014 is a terrific Muncagota.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2014 Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota is beautifully polished and bright, with dark berry fruit, ripe cherry, crushed stone and pressed flowers. The wine is compact and firm, and you feel the tannins and power in the mouth. The Muncagota remains slightly more closed in terms of the bouquet, but this will open up with some time.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Lean and taut, this reveals mint, menthol, licorice, orange peel and subtle cherry flavors, all underscored by assertive tannins and lively acidity. An austere style, this will need time to come around. Best from 2023 through 2042.—B.S.”

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The average price nationally is $65

Produttori del Barbaresco Muncagota Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) Displayed price $59, that’s $56.05 at 5% off and $53.10 at 10% off, 23 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 97 points
“EDITOR’S CHOICE. Rose, red berry and star anise aromas align with earthy whiffs of forest floor and new leather. The full-bodied, delicious palate doles out succulent Morello cherry, black raspberry, licorice and chopped mint set against a backbone of firm but refined tannins. It’s already gorgeous but will be even better with just a few more years of bottle age. Drink 2022–2030.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The Produttori del Barbaresco 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota shows beautifully in this sunny and warm vintage, producing intense and compelling primary fruit with wild cherry, plum and black currant. Compared to the other Riservas, the fruit profile of Muncagota is darker and richer. More significant is the role the tannins play in this wine. They contribute to a long and firm spinal cord that gives structure and muscle mass. This Barbaresco Riserva shows an affinity to shaved truffles over egg pasta, or gamey fowl such as duck or pigeon. Some 16,666 bottles were made.
Decanter 94 points “The southeast-facing Muncagota vineyard catches the morning sun, giving this wine a slightly lighter character. This 2015 has delicious red berry and cherry flavours and scents. The tannins are slightly more rustic, perhaps, and it’s the least full-bodied wine here, but its earthy elegance makes this a refreshing change for a Riserva. 13,000 bottles produced. Drinking Window 2022 – 2036.”

Produttori del Barbaresco Rio Sordo Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 750ML ($79.95) Displayed price $59, that’s $56.05 at 5% off and $53.10 at 10% off, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 97 points
“CELLAR SELECTION. Enticing scents of wild berry, rose, baking spice and balsamic aromas come together in the glass. Juicy and full-bodied, the flavorsome palate shows succulent Morello cherry, cranberry, licorice and ground white pepper alongside a backbone of vibrant acidity and firm, polished tannins. It’s already exceptional but will benefit with more aging. Drink 2020–2038.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 95 points “The delightful 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo is fourth on a scale of nine wines in terms of growing structure and power. This is the middle-point wine. You will immediately notice that the texture of this single-vineyard expression is increasingly thicker and pastier. The bouquet delivers opulent tones of blackberry and ripe cherry in thick and succulent waves. Yet, like the Pora, Pajè and Ovello expressions, the Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo is also a more accessible wine. You can save it for longer cellar aging, but you could also opt to serve it in the near or medium term. It offers both immediate pleasure and long-term potential.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The average price is $75

Produttori del Barbaresco Rio Sordo Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2014 750ML ($79.95) Displayed price $59, that’s $56.05 at 5% off and $53.10 at 10% off, 12 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2014 Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo represents a jump forward in structure compared to the other three vineyards (Pora, Pajè and Ovello) that were tasted before this wine. The Riserva Rio Sordo shows a dark and solid personality, with a tight core of black fruit that will relax and unwind with more bottle aging in the cellar. It is also slightly sharper and more focused in terms of mouthfeel, with the kind of tannic tightness you always get with young Nebbiolo in the cooler vintages such as 2014. Barbaresco lovers should jot this one down.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “This red combines a rich, fleshy texture that verges on chewy with a firm structure and cherry, menthol, licorice, spice and mineral flavors. Dense, revealing tension and dusty tannins on the long finish. Shows terrific energy. Best from 2022 through 2042.—B.S.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The average price is $67

Produttori del Barbaresco Rio Sordo Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) Displayed price $59, that’s $56.05 at 5% off and $53.10 at 10% off, 10 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96+ points
“This wine usually falls somewhere in the middle of the Riserva continuum (starting with the most lithe and elegant wine and ending with the most powerful) presented by Produttori del Barbaresco in this knockout series of nine single-vineyard expressions. The 2015 Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo is another personal favorite. This group of Ovello, Rio Sordo, Asili and Rabajà (that sweet spot of neighboring vineyard sites in Barbaresco) is especially profound in 2015, striking a careful balance between elegance against power. The Rio Sordo offers tight and sharp fruit complete with a little tannic pinch or crunch on the close. Production is 13,333 bottles.”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Dark-skinned berry, camphor, rose and crushed stone aromas shape the nose along with a whiff of pipe tobacco. The aromas carry on to the structured, full-bodied palate along with juicy Marasca cherry and licorice. Firm, fine-grained tannins provide support. Drink 2022–2030.”
Decanter 94 points “At the southern end of the commune of Barbaresco lies Rio Sordo, known for producing powerful wines. First produced by Produttori in 1978, this is right on the mark, with a denseness and muscularity that makes it stand out in the lineup. It has an inky, meaty depth which seems to have absorbed the wood into it so that it’s not so pronounced, overlaid with plenty of complex, savoury damp earth character. This is less pure and ripe in feel that the Pora, and although the acidity still has presence, it’s softer, more gentle. This is a smooth, dense, intense wine that you will want to sink into. 10,000 bottles produced. Drinking Window 2022 – 2038.”

5% Off Any Mix of 3-5 Produttori Rio Sordo or Muncagota bottles
10% Off Any Mix of 6+ Produttori Rio Sordo or Muncagota bottles
Subscriber Special Discount Will Not Display Online
We Will Manually Adjust Your Order Before Finalizing It
Discount Valid Until Tuesday, September 1st at 6 PM

We offer 27 wines in stock now from Produttori. 

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New Week – New Arrival


Back in stock!
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose, Provence 2019 750ML ($59.95) $55 special
Importer Note
“The thing about Domaine Tempier’s Bandol rosé is that every time you open a bottle—no matter how many you’ve uncorked in your lifetime—it feels like a special occasion. That peachy-pink hue and iconic label turn any moment into a small celebration. Certainly, Bandol rosé is complex and pedigreed, but make no mistake: it is traditionally an apéritif wine. I like to honor it as such by taking the time to prepare as many salty and spreadable treats as I can scoop up with, or pile on top of, toasty croutons: a briny anchoïade, an earthy tapenade, or a bright and tangy sun-dried tomato purée are all great options. Avoid sticky, creamy cheeses, as they may stand in the wine’s way. The more olive oil, dried herbs, and fresh garlic, the better. Maybe you can find some plump octopus to grill and swipe with aïoli, or dip into a summery pistou. As 2020 continues to challenge us, let’s refuel our tanks with the fruits of one of the better things to happen to America in the last fifty years—Kermit importing Tempier rosé. A reason to celebrate!”

Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Noir Rose, Loire 2019 750ML ($34.95) $29.90 special
Rosethenal note
“Made exclusively of Pinot Noir harvested from several parcels … a mix of Oxfordian “caillottes” and Kimmeridgian “marne”. This Rosé is made using the direct press method with the whole berries entering the pressoir. The musts ferment in temperature-controlled cuves (85%) as well as a small percentage in older barrels (15%). The fermentation occurs over three weeks. The wines is bottled in the spring of the following year.”

Pacific Northwest

Averaen Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2018 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Case-6 Averaen Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2018 750ML ($139.95) $105 special (that’s only $17.50/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
“It would be hard to find a better Chardonnay at this price. A blend of grapes from two AVAs, it’s been given reserve-level care, including aging in 10% new French oak. Toasty, tasty and well balanced, it offers ripe apple fruit accented with nut butter and caramel.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Averaen Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Case-12 Averaen Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018 750ML ($249.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 90 points
“Glistening ruby-red. Ripe red and dark berries, cherry-cola and a hint of allspice on the perfumed nose. Pliant cherry and black raspberry flavors show good energy and pick up a hint of smokiness on the back half. Plush and seamless in texture, with lingering floral and spice notes on the long, subtly tannic finish.”
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “Editor’s Choice. Fruit sourced from six Willamette Valley AVAs and well over a dozen vineyards combines in this sweetly fruity wine. Pretty plum and marionberry flavors are enhanced with a light touch of herbs, putting a frame around the finish.”

The Walls Vineyards ‘Les Jeunes Vignes’ Chardonnay, Columbia Valley 2017 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Case-12 The Walls Vineyards ‘Les Jeunes Vignes’ Chardonnay, Columbia Valley 2017 750ML ($219.95) $169 special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
Washington Wine Blog 91 points
“Showing off a bright color, the Les Jeunes Vignes’ opens with light white peach and damp stone aromas that take shape in the glass. The polished mouthfeel and soft texture really entices here as ripe orchard fruits and lighter wet stone and melon tones come together beautifully on the palate. This is really well-done. Drink 2020-2027.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Back in stock!
Chateau Plince Pomerol 2014 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special
James Suckling 93 points
“Focused and fruity with lots of flowers and blackberry character. Medium to full body, silky tannins and a long and subtle finish. Shows polish and finesse. Better in 2020.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $44


Gaja Rossj-Bass Langhe Chardonnay, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($119.95) $69 special
Case-6 Gaja Rossj-Bass Langhe Chardonnay, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($599.95) $359 special (that’s only $59.83/bottle!)
Importer Note
“The nose opens with fresh and sweet flavors consisting of white melon and white nectarine peach combined with elder and jasmine.  On the entry, this wine opens with citrus fruits and fresh hints menthol (reminiscent of pepper mint). The sharp acidity gives freshness and incredible length to a crisp, lingering finish.  This wine is produced from grapes grown in several estate-owned vineyards. The Rossj vineyard, planted in 1984, is named for Angelo Gaja’s younger daughter Rossana (Rossj). Bass is Piedmontese for the Italian basso, meaning low, a name derived from the vineyard’s position. Pheasants are featured on Rossj-Bass’ label to commemorate the beautiful birds that inhabit the forests adjacent to GAJA’s vineyards.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $89.97
The average price is $101

Vigneti Massa Terra Piccolo Derthona Timorasso, Piedmont 2018 750ML ($21.95) $19.90 special
“The 2018 Piccolo Derthona is a gorgeous introduction to these distinctive whites. Lemon oil, sage, almond, mint and dried flowers are finely knit in this delicious, alluring white from Massa. This pretty, inviting white will drink well over the next few years.” -Antonio Galloni

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Vie di Romans Dessimis Pinot Grigio Friuli Isonzo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2018 750ML ($33.95) $29 special

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G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 98 points
“From the Bricco delle Viole cru, or the vineyard most strongly associated with this historic estate, this is a versatile or “evergreen” wine that always delivers consistent results. The G.D. Vajra 2016 Barolo Bricco delle Viole sees fruit from a seven-hectare vineyard with high exposures positioned at 400 to 480 meters above sea level. This site shows characteristic Tortonian-era soils classified as Sant’Agata marl with fossils. These soils have an enormous capacity to regulate the ripening process, resulting in the longer growing seasons relished by the Nebbiolo grape. In a word, the profile here is classic. You get delicate fruit tones and wild rose with camphor ash, licorice and tar. The wine is beautifully harmonious and ethereal. Some 15,000 bottles are hitting the market now.
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2016 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is going to need a few years to emerge, but it has all the qualities to develop into a truly special wine. Dark red/purplish fruit, hard candy, mint, lavender and sweet spice give the 2016 striking inner perfume. On the palate, the 2016 is a tightly wound, classically austere Barolo that will especially delight readers with traditionally leaning palates. In this late-ripening vintage, there is a great balance of structure, aromatics and mid-palate sweetness. I absolutely loved it.”
James Suckling 97 points “The nose is packed with blue flowers, such as violets, iodine and blueberries. Very charming, seductive aromas here. The palate has such plush, long and expansive style. Elegant and smooth, it delivers an expansive bloom of fragrance and flavor at the finish. Effortless and layered. This is a star of the vintage. Drink now and for two decades.”

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Pianrosso, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
James Suckling 100 points
“Lots of ripe and rich fruit with a decadent undertone of meat and spice that turns to pure fruit and licorice. Medium to full body, refined tannins and a fresh and bright finish. All about harmony. Better after 2021.”
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 98 points “CELLAR SELECTION. Intense aromas of berry, iris, underbrush, botanical herb and camphor shape the enticing nose. Firmly structured, the taut, full-bodied palate offers juicy black cherry, raspberry, licorice and tobacco set against tightly knit, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2025–2035.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso is distinguished by a unique aromatic profile that brings out mineral notes of crushed limestone or chalk. This adds a greater sense of focus and delineation that not only characterizes the bouquet but also applies to the way the wine hits the palate in a fuller and more determined way (compared to the slightly softer classic Brunello). Instead, this single-vineyard Brunello shows an upright and direct approach with soft salinity on the close followed by forest fruit, spice and medicinal herb. The mouthfeel makes a big impact thanks to its streamlined and polished texture. Some 37,000 bottles were released in January 2020.”


Von Winning Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad Riesling, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special
Terry Theise note
“Many growers would bottle this wine as a GG; it’s probably the best site in Ruppertsberg (though Bürklin has a claim with its monopole Gaisböhl); this ’18 is peachy, sweet white corn, chervil and tarragon; it’s more melodic than Paradiesgarten but with an aloe vera and sorrel note common to good ‘18s; it’s the most appealing of the 1er Lages, sweet-natured and with a lovely grace.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $36.99

Weingut Josef Spreitzer Rosengarten Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Rheingau 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Pure and focused, with underlying silkiness giving this a seductive texture, while flavors of guava, kiwifruit and quince blossom lend ample charm. Very open despite the high acidity, exhibiting more than enough flesh for harmony. Well-made, showing a lemon-lime mix on the finish. Best from 2021 through 2034.”
Terry Theise note “Herbs, quince, mint, pea-shoot and a curious underlying stoniness; it made me think of oolongs and Sencha and grassy green teas; a singular Riesling of leaf upon leaf.”

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Weingut Josef Spreitzer Wisselbrunnen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Rheingau 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Terry Theise note
“I can’t recall when a young Wisselbrunnen was this present, even more than the ’17 was. There’s a fine refined aroma of hickory nuts and conifer, that leads into a serious and suavely firm and substantive palate with lots of echo and umami, and then a stoniness enters, and the finish just doesn’t quit. Reminds me of 2012 at its graceful best, and it’s a pure Rheingau Grand Cru (at least from the riverfront), self-assured but not haughty.”

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Kruger-Rumpf Estate Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2018 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
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.”

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Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Im Pittersberg Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 93 points
“While marginally lower in alcohol – at 9% – than its Rheinberg counterpart, this was picked early at a significantly lower 82 Oechsle, so its sense of sweetness is nicely restrained. Luscious and invigoratingly tart-edged white peach, apple and lime are wreathed in honeysuckle, while a billowing sense of levity and inner-mouth perfume perfectly complements a subtly creamy texture that owes something to lees exposure in cask. (In fact, Georg Rumpf performed a bit of lees stirring and an extra racking, yet the wine retains an invigorating hint of CO2 spritz.) The sustained finish delivers a superb sense of vibrancy, clarity and focus, its intense fruitiness matched by a salinity that tugs at the salivary glands. (For background on the origination and style of this Kabinett, consult my reviews of its vintage 2015 and vintage 2016 predecessors.)”
Wine Advocate 91 points “Picked early around September 10th and vinified in large oak until April this year, the 2018 Im Pitterberg Riesling Kabinett offers a clear, ripe and spicy, beautifully elegant bouquet of bright fruits and crushed nuts. Very clear and fresh on the palate, this is a filigreed, elegant and persistently light, salty-piquant and crystalline Riesling with mineral tension and stimulating grip. This is a picture-book Kabinett that is a great pleasure to drink even today and certainly with food. 9% alcohol. Tasted from AP 21 19 in August 2019.”

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The average price nationally is $24

Weingut Carl Loewen Maximiner Klosterlay Riesling, Mosel 2018 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Terry Theise note
“An east-facing vineyard directly on the Mosel, offering slender and “blue” tasting wines. This ’18 is the brighter (almost grassier) face of slate; a tatsoi snap, and it was the first Mosel I tasted that showed ‘18’s phenols—is this a drought feature? The wine is rather a “study in slate,” and on that March day it felt a little strict.”

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Weingut Carl Loewen Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2018 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points
“The 2018er Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling Spätlese was harvested at 91° Oechsle and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (62 g/l). The wine develops a gorgeous even if ample nose made of grapefruit, passion fruit, pear, whipped cream, herbs and fine spices. It has the full creamy presence of an Auslese on the palate. Thankfully, the rich creamy and fruity flavors are nicely lifted up by a touch of zesty acidity. The finish is powerful, assertive and quite impressive. Apricot in the after-taste adds to the big and luscious side of this very nice sweet wine! 2028-2048.”
Terry Theise note “[+] Consistently and for many years one of the very GREAT wines in this offering, and among them, the least celebrated. Again, very old vines (at least 80, some over 100, all ungrafted) from an old terraced vineyard, because the wise citizens of Leiwen rejected the Flurbereinigung. Think Wehlener Sonnenuhr on steroids. (Or wait a minute; that’s Zeltinger Sonnenuhr. OK, think Zeltinger Sonnenuhr on steroids…) In essence this is weighty, extravagant fruit anchored to profound and almost chewy earthiness. The ’18 shows a little botrytis as all the clean grapes went into a dry “GG.” It’s a slim vintage, where even the deep flavors of dried apricots and butterscotch are more buoyant— if less profound—than usual, but it’s early days, the components are still waiting to knit, and the wine may well fill out. As it is, it’s wonderful!”

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Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Nahe 2018 750ML ($79.95) $79 special
Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Nahe 2018 375ML ($44.95) $44 special
John Gilman 98 points
“The purity and precision of the 2018 Hermannshöhle Auslese is the stuff that legends used to be made from. The bouquet is complex and utterly refined, offering up scents of pear, white cherries, bee pollen, a touch of orange zest, lovely salinity and a mineral bath of slate. On the palate the wine is fullish, racy and utterly seamless in its balance, with great intensity of flavor, laser-like focus and truly stunning mineral drive on the backend (particularly for Auslese), with an endless and magical finish. 2032-2090+.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 95 points “Like its Brücke counterpart, this Auslese reflects genuinely botrytis-free grapes, said Dönnhoff, but ones that were too numerous and too high in sugar to use elsewhere, “and certainly not in the Grosses Gewächs, which would then have ended up with 14% alcohol.” Sea breeze on the nose intimates the sweet-saline savor of raw scallop that emerges on this wine’s lusciously lingering, mouthwateringly umami-rich finish. White peach and quince preserves feature throughout, reinforced on the soothingly creamy palate by nougat-like nut essences. There is an animating, juicy fresh-fruit aspect as well, and a wonderful sense of both focus and transparency to stony and ore-like nuances.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2018 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Auslese is deep and noble in its finesse and purity that is paired with notes of crushed stones but also perfectly ripe and healthy fruits. Lush and piquant on the palate, with lingering salinity and finesse, this is the more graceful Auslese, which is less challenging than the Brücke but very delicate and finessed. The acidity is finer and the sweetness smoother and more charming yet less dramatic right now. Tasted in July 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today for the 750ml!
The next best price is $88.99


Weingut Bernhard Ott Feuersbrunner Spiegel Gruner Veltliner Erste OTW Lage, Wagram 2018 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 91 points
“Ott’s 2018 Grüner Veltliner Ried Spiegel 1ÖTW is bright, clear and fresh on the deep and ripe yet precise and mineral nose. Lush and intense, with a loessy character and texture, this is a full-bodied yet fresh and linear, crystalline and intense Veltliner with a nicely phenolic, slightly dry finish. Tasted at Schloss Grafenegg in September 2019.”
Terry Theise note “SPIEGEL – the high-elevation and loess-over-gneiss (among other elements) give this wine a minty lift I adore in hot years. In `18 we have us an Altoid of GV; mint, orchid and lemon grass lead into a giddy spazzy wine playing notes that only dogs can hear, with flavors that could shatter glass. Yet it’s not brash or gaudy, just a quivering GV at its radishy spearminty best.”

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A Stellar Rhone Wine from a Burgundy Superstar

Lucien Le Moine (the nom de plume for Mounir and Rotem Saouma) is one of the hottest names in Burgundy.  The rise has been meteoric due to the scarcity of the wines (Mounir wants to keep production under 100 barrels) and also the fact that they only work with grand and premier cru vineyards (with the exception of a tiny amount of Bourgogne).

The Saouma family also has a Chateauneuf based project and we’ve secured some of their excellent Cotes du Rhone Village “Inopia”—just arrived.  It’s a do-not-miss Rhone wine that should appeal to lovers of both powerful Rhone wines and robust Burgundy.

In Stock Now:

Rotem & Mounir Saouma Cotes du Rhone Villages ‘Inopia’ Rouge, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Case-6 Rotem & Mounir Saouma Cotes du Rhone Villages ‘Inopia’ Rouge, Rhone 2016 750ML ($219.95) $165 special (that’s only $27.50/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 90 points
“Bright raspberry and cherry coulis flavors stream through, laced with light floral and lavender notes. Moderate in scale but seductive in feel. Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Syrah and Cinsault. Drink now through 2021. 150 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Don’t miss our Le Moine Burgundies arriving Friday!

Spanish Treasure:

Bodegas San Roman

Arriving Friday

The Toro region of Spain has been famous for centuries. Its rich, robust Tempranillos are loaded with complexity, in part because of the dramatic temperature swings during the scorching summer days and frigid evenings in the high elevation vineyards. Despite the fame and the obvious appeal to modern day drinkers, like most Spanish regions, the wines still fly under the radar and thus are insane values. Consider the flagship eponymous wine from Bodegas San Roman. Despite the famed founding winemaker, despite the consistent high praise, despite the knife-edge balance, this wine is just $40. Try to find a bargain like that in Napa.

“I have been absolutely enchanted by this wine since I first tried it while in graduate school more than a decade ago. The combination of richness and poise was just amazing to me. The wine can be quite powerful but maintains an amazing sense of balance and terroir. Simply put, it is one of the great wines of the world.” -Dr. Owen Bargreen, Washington Wine Blog

Arriving Friday from Bodegas San Roman:

(Maurodos) Bodegas San Roman, Toro 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 93 points
“(aged for two years in 75 percent French and 25 percent American oak barrels, half of them new) Inky purple. Heady cherry, dark berry, vanilla and violet pastille qualities on the oak-accented nose. At once rich and energetic; a firm spine of acidity provides lift to sweet cassis, blueberry and vanilla flavors. Closes with youthful tannic grip and impressive persistence, leaving dark berry and licorice candy notes behind.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2013 San Román was produced with fruit from older vineyards in Toro. In 2012 they started reducing the amount of the new oak in this wine and the change is quite noticeable. There is something leafy and floral showing elegance within the power that the place provides naturally. 2013 was quite different in Toro from Ribera del Duero, here the cooler years are a plus, as they balance the extra ripeness the place provides. In 2013 there was no rain during the harvest and the grapes were very healthy. There are some fine tannins and the profile of a more austere and transparent vintage, a mineral year. But it does have the smokey and slightly wild character of Toro. 87,000 bottles produced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

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