Monday Newsletter 8-5-2019

In Today’s Newsletter:

Featured New Arrival:
Castello di Ama Gran Selezione

Featured New Arrival:
The Biodynamic Alsace of Jean-Baptiste Adam

First Offer:
2018 Muller-Catoir (And Bonus Fritz Haag!)

Cayuse Mania!
In Stock Now:

Trending Wines

Staff Pick Pink Pinot

Emmanuel Darnaud

Featured New Arrival

Castello di Ama Gran Selezione

Castello di Ama has emerged as a true First Growth of Chianti.  Modern and focused on quality in both the vineyard and in the cellar, Castello di Ama makes rich, textural Chiantis that rival the biggest names both in Chianti and more broadly across Tuscany (including Brunello).

One notable signal of Castello di Ama’s commitment to quality has been their championing of the new Chianti Gran Selezione DOCG.  A level above Riserva, the designation requires longer aging and is designed to let producers highlight their tip-top wines from Sangiovese.  Castello di Ama’s San Lorenzo is the one we’re highlighting today.

The 2011 was a best-seller here at Vinopolis and we’re excited to present the 2014 for the first time today.  This is a stunning bottle of wine that’s got everything you’d want out of a top Tuscan wine.  Full-bodied, rich and surprisingly silky for this stage in its young life, this is really special stuff.  Given all that, you might expect it to be $70-95, in line with Brunello of similar quality.  Instead, it’s under $40 by the case—a stunning value.  Stocking up is a must if you love the wines of Tuscany.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2014 750ML ($59.95) $44 special
Case-12 Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2014 750ML ($599.95) $469 special (that’s only $39.08/bottle!)
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The 2014 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo flaunts its importance. It boasts confidence and an outward-looking personality that comes as a refreshing surprise. Like all Gran Selezione wines, it is released 30 months after January 1st following the harvest. That means it still has a few more months to go before it hits the market. This expression of Sangiovese shows depth and power with ripe fruit tones of cherry and forest berry. Like many of the other high profile wines I preview-tasted from the difficult 2014 vintage, I am delighted and surprised by the elegant and soft nature of the mature tannins. The wine’s finish offers bright freshness with layers of dark fruit, wet earth and forest floor.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Aromas of exotic spice, pipe tobacco, woodland berry and a whiff of French oak take center stage on this fragrant, elegant red. The racy, ethereal palate delivers tart red cherry, tart pomegranate, cinnamon and vanilla framed in taut fine-grained tannins and vibrant acidity. Drink 2019–2026.”
James Suckling 93 points “This is extremely tangy with plenty of chocolate and lemon character and hints of cedar, too. Medium body, bright acidity and chocolatey aftertaste. Very refined and well-crafted for a 2014. Drink now.”
Also Available from Castello di Ama:
Castello di Ama is a standout Chianti producer but their top wine is a Super Tuscan—the awe inspiring L’Apparita.  2015 is one of the best versions yet—a stunning wine that Antonio Galloni called “phenomenal” while declaring “[t]here is little doubt the 2015 will soon take its place as one of the epic editions” on the way to bestowing a 98 point rating.  Anyone who loves the top wines of Italy (or Bordeaux, for that matter) ought to be looking to add as much of this wine as they can afford to their cellar. This is going to be a legend.Castello di Ama L’Apparita Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($199.95) $137.50 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 98 points
“Ama’s 2015 L’Apparita is shaping up to be phenomenal. That is the good news. But readers are going to have to give the 2015 at least another 8-10 years before the wine starts to drink well, as today, the flavors are remarkably primary. That is hardly a surprise given how this Tuscan thoroughbred ages. A rush of blackberry jam, spice, menthol, and graphite build into a crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures. Over the years, I have had the chance to take virtually every vintage of L’Apparita. There is little doubt the 2015 will soon take its place as one of the epic editions.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “It’s impossible not to be completely smitten by the 2015 L’Apparita. This pure expression of Merlot from Chianti Classico is an exceedingly smooth and enriched expression with abundant tones of black cherry, spice, chocolate and barbecue smoke. The mouthfeel is gorgeous, and although this wine is not as extracted or dense as past editions, it is far more finessed and elegant. You get a clear taste not only of the grape but of the gravely soils that make up this extraordinary territory. What could be better than Merlot and Tuscany blended together in a single bottle?”
James Suckling 96 points “Aromas of black olives and violets with black fruits following through to a full body with firm and silky tannins. An intense finish. Shows linear yet strong tannins. 100% merlot. Drink in 2020.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $149
The average listed price is $178

We offer 109 different Tuscan wines in stock now – shop the list on our web store!

Featured New Arrival:

The Biodynamic Alsace of Jean-Baptiste Adam

Great old producers often rest on their laurels—and why not? When you’ve been farming and making wine in the same place for 400 years and you own some of the best vineyards in your area, you can probably keep doing what got you there.

In the case of Jean-Baptiste Adam V, though, the quest for self-improvement is inherent in his personality. He’s pushed his family winery in new, exciting directions since he took the reins in 1996.  Now the (impeccably sourced) vineyards are farmed biodynamically and the winemaking is more refined than ever.  They use old casks for long, cool fermentations before aging in a mixture of stainless and large, old barrels.  Across the board, these are dry wines with good acidic and mineral backbones—something that’s harder and harder to do as Alsace warms.

We’re offering his “Les Natures” dry Riesling today—a perfect example of how the estate over delivers even for the basic wines.  This is mineral, dry, fresh and perfect for a sunny afternoon.  We just received a nice parcel and are able to offer it at a case price that you should take advantage of—you’re going to want more than a couple of bottles of this around.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Jean-Baptiste Adam Riesling “Les Natures,” Alsace, France 2016 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Case-12 Jean-Baptiste Adam Riesling “Les Natures,” Alsace, France 2016 750ML ($279.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 90 points
“Bright straw. Aromas and flavors of yellow plums and white pepper are complemented by more luscious notes of lemon curd. Very fresh and clean, with a classically dry (2 g/L residual sugar) finish that is extended by laser-like acidity (7.2 g/L total acidity). Made from grapes grown in four plots located in the area of Ammerschwihr plus one plot in the Letzenberg (as the latter gives a wine that differs greatly from the other Letzenberg wines, Adam chooses to blend it in here to add a little more freshness to the finished wine). Lovely, very good entry-level wine that will also age well.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

First Offer:
2018 Muller-Catoir (And Bonus Fritz Haag!)

Every wine region in the world has one or two estates that immediately come to mind when you hear the name of the region: Chateau Margaux in Margaux, Romanee-Conti in Vosne-Romanee, and Donnhoff in the Nahe. Muller-Catoir occupies that space in the Pfalz region of Germany.

The Pfalz as a region focused on powerful, dry wines long before it was fashionable.  The wines we’re highlighting today are some of the best values in the world for breathtakingly mineral wines.  Muller-Catoir owns some of the greatest vineyards in the region and has a special touch with them.

From grand, aristocratic Riesling to wild and exciting Scheurebe to the best Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) in the world, Muller-Catoir’s wines are top of the class in every category—and excellent value as well.  2018 was an excellent vintage for the region and the wines are powerful, focused and intense—the perfect sort of year for the Pfalz.  Additionally, the style of the vintage seems to lend itself to drinking young—there is a warmth to the year that means that these are just absolutely delicious right now.  They’re a perfect vintage to stock up on and drink en masse while you wait for your 15’s and ’17’s to age.

Arriving ETA December – These are all the only listings in the USA today!
Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“Shades of minerality and the deep fruitiness of ripe stone fruit characterise this Riesling from Bürgergarten. The 40-year-old vines ensure the perfect combination of concentration and refinement in its full, captivating body.”Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten ‘Im Breumel’ Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“The age-worthy Riesling wines from this prime section of the Haardt Bürgergarten are characterised by the optimal balance between a concentrated Riesling fruit, lingering minerality, a delicate elegance and an elaborately interwoven, long finish – Riesling to perfection.”Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten Riesling Spatlese, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“The delicate combination of fruitiness and acidity make up the light and lively Spätlese from the Haardt Bürgergarten. Its fruitiness has intense notes of stone fruit combined with an amazing juiciness.”

Muller-Catoir Gimmeldingen Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“The well-balanced and delicately structured Gimmeldingen Riesling makes a floral and juicy impression, with hints of white peach and jasmine.”

Muller-Catoir Gimmeldingen Riesling Kabinett, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“After red vineyard peach and oranges balsamic notes such as caramel and flower honey follow. You won’t get enough of smelling this wine. Enchanting sweetness, the wine flows through your throat a little oily. We think of the Provence and lavender cookies. Try it with pear tart with cream topping. Hearty with farmhouse bread and ripe cheese. When you come home frozen to the marrow this Riesling will warm your soul!”

Muller-Catoir Haardt Grauburgunder Trocken, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“Thanks to its crystal clear melon and apple bouquet, and juicy body with a subtle nutty aftertaste, the Haardt Grauburgunder can be combined with modern cuisine in many different ways.”

Muller-Catoir Haardter Muskateller Trocken, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“Charisma and the purest aromas of fresh, green apples and a cool hint of nutmeg characterise this Haardt Muskateller with its elegant acidic structure and lively juicy succulence.”

Muller-Catoir Haardt Scheurebe Trocken, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“With its delicate bouquet of tropical fruits such as pineapple and grapefruit as well as gooseberry and cassis, this Haardt Scheurebe is focussed on freshness, vitality, and the exotic.”

Muller-Catoir Haardter Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“The mineral-rich Haardt Riesling has a distinctive body, and its bouquet possesses typical yellow fruit notes, such as apricots and ripe peaches.”

Muller-Catoir Haardt Weissburgunder Trocken, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“This versatile accompaniment to many types of food has a delicate, lively bouquet of ripe apple and pear topped by a cool minerality, elegant body and full finish.”

Muller-Catoir Haardter Herrenletten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($37.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“Extremely ripe and concentrated fruity elements of peach, yellow plum, gooseberry and grapefruit are interwoven through the full body of this Riesling from the Haardt Herrenletten. The finish of this wine with its depth and cool minerality lingers for a good long time.”

Muller-Catoir Haardter Herrenletten Weissburgunder Trocken, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($37.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“Characters need time. Like his partner, the Grauburgunder from the Herrenletten, this Weissburgunder speaks to you only at the second glass. Tropical fruits of ripe pineapple and banana. Fresh walnuts and a touch of marzipan. Full and round in taste. Austere and herbal with a very long finish. A powerful Weissburgunder that goes well with veal, poulards or scallops that are served with a sauce refined with cream, Weissburgunder and herbs.”

Muller-Catoir Haardter Herzog Rieslaner Trockenbeerenauslese, Pfalz 2018 375ML ($179.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“The Rieslaner Trockenbeerenauslese delights the nose with a virtual cornucopia of various herbal aromas, which treat the palate to a magnificent interaction between fruitiness and acidity and a finish that just doesn’t seem to want to end – a wine concentrate for eternity.”

Muller-Catoir Haardter Mandelring Scheurebe Spatlese, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“Ripe, tropical fruit notes of grapefruit, pineapple and papaya characterise the juicy Scheurebe from the Haardt Mandelring with its luminous combination of sweet and sour in the finish.”

Muller-Catoir Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten Riesling Spatlese, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“An exceptionally vivacious and intense combination of fruitiness and acidity with a precisely balanced aftertaste characterises this Spätlese from the Gimmeldingen Mandelgarten, complete with notes of peach and ripe citrus.”

Muller-Catoir Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“The Mandelgarten Riesling is a fruity variation on the regional Riesling: many juicy, ripe pears, pepper and flowery hints of jasmine. Its velvety Riesling body is fresh and full of life.”

Muller-Catoir Mussbacher Riesling Kabinett, Pfalz 2018 ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Winery Note
“The ripe, clear citrus aromas of the Mussbach Riesling Kabinett are perfectly balanced and enveloped in a luscious combination of fruity sweetness and fresh acidity – multi-layered, lively and light.”

Shop our extensive list of 2015, 2017 and 2018 Muller-Catoir wines on our web store!
Fritz Haag (including hyper-rare TBA)

“Oliver Haag has made an absolutely brilliant set of wines in 2018 and this may well be the single finest vintage collection of young wines I have ever tasted from this iconic estate in Brauneberg… As is the case in many of the most successful estates in the middle Mosel, the Fritz Haag 2018ers show a beautiful streak of salinity to their minerality this year, due to those old vines plunging deep in search of water in the heat of this summer and reflecting a very strong soil signature as a result. There is nothing blowsy or soft in any of these wines, which show outstanding filigree at the Prädikat levels, exceptional depth, very, very good cut and grip and impeccable balances for the dry wines and stunning purity and precision for the sweet wines… it is a flat out brilliant vintage for Weingut Fritz Haag; these are amongst Germany’s very greatest examples of the 2018 vintage. Do not miss them!” –John GilmanArriving ETA December and also the only listings in the USA today:

Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 95+ points
“The 2018 Juffer-Sonnenuhr Auslese is one of my absolutely favorite wines in the cellar this year, as again, there is no botrytis here and the wine is a legend in the making. The brilliant bouquet soars from the glass in a blaze of lime, pear, violets, a hint of the yellow plum to come, salty soil tones, honeycomb and a vibrant topnote of citrus zest. On the palate the wine is pure, refined and fullish in profile, with a creamy core of fruit, excellent acidity and grip and a very long, very precise and beautifully mineral-driven finish. This is stunning juice! 2025-2075+.”

Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel, Mosel 2018 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 96 points
“The 2018 Juffer-Sonnenuhr Goldkapsel Auslese is even a hair better this year, as it shows just a touch more exotic creaminess on the attack, simply stunning backend mineral drive and great acids for the vintage. The bouquet is celestial in its blend of lime, mirabelle, pear, a lovely foundation of slate, honeycomb, just a whisper of mossiness and notes of lilacs and violets in the upper register. On the palate the wine is fullish, pure, focused and impeccably balanced, with superb acids and grip, laser-like focus and a very, very long and complex finish. This wine just dances across the palate. 2026-2085.”

Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese, Mosel 2018 375ML ($699.95) $499 pre-arrival special
John Gilman 95 points
“The 2018 Juffer TBA is just a bit higher in residual sugar than the Beerenauslese this year, as Oliver estimates that it is around one hundred and eighty grams per liter. This too is a gorgeous wine in the making, offering up refined bouquet of mirabelle, honey, white cherries, candied violets, citrus zest and a nice touch of saltiness from the slate. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, creamy and very long and complex, with excellent focus and grip, sound acids and a very long, pure and zesty finish. Utterly captivating and borderline criminal to spit. 2019-2100.”

Cayuse Mania!

In Stock Now:

Trending Wines

The hottest grower in the Loire, in both 750’s and mags!
Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc, Loire 2017 750ML ($47.95) $39 special
Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc, Loire 2017 1.5L ($99.95) $85 special
Importer note
“With a tight core of saline terroir enveloped within ripe medium bodied fruit, this Chenin Blanc delivers a focused example of Thibaud’s style of ripe fruit matched with elegance and precision.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $45
If there’s a better deal on age-worthy Barolo, please point us to it.
Cordero di Montezemolo Monfalletto, Barolo DOCG 2014 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
James Suckling 93 points
“A little lift with woody and floral aromas here. The base line red cherries run from nose to palate seamlessly. There’s also an attractive, compressed density to the tannins here. Good polish. This is promising. Try from 2022.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2014 Barolo Monfalletto is a powerful, deep wine, especially considering that it was bottled not long before this tasting. A somber, dark Barolo, the 2014 is laced with the essence of black cherry, spice, leather and underbrush. Although not massively tannic, it is inward, closed and also unusually potent. I would give it at least a few years to be at its best. The 2014 is a decidedly serious Monfalletto that speaks in a baritone register.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Intense aromas of raspberry compote, forest floor, eucalyptus and oak-driven spice drive the nose on this fragrant red. On the firm, youthfully austere palate, assertive, fine-grained tannins provide support for Marasca cherry, licorice, mint and a note of French oak. Drink 2021–2026.”
Decanter 92 points “From this long established La Morra estate comes this imposing wine, heralded by its intense and pungent sour cherry nose. It’s rich, broad and fleshy, highly concentrated and spicy, showing admirable force and power without being aggressive. Despite the grip on the long finish, there’s a soft core of fruit at the heart of the wine.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $39.98
The average price is $46
Pichler absolutely killed it in 2015—a dynamite vintage.
F.X. Pichler Loibner Steinertal Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points
“White peach and grapefruit aromas mingle with honeysuckle on an enticing nose, and the three reunite on a glossy palate lusciously ripe and loaded with liquid floral perfume but simultaneously exuberantly and invigoratingly bright. The finish offers prolonged counterpoint of fruity, floral and stony elements. This bottling displays a combination of penetration, refinement and balancing acidity that is rare for an Austrian Riesling of its vintage.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Betz is as classical Washington as you can get.  This is aging well.
Betz Family Winery La Serenne Syrah, Yakima Valley 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“Coming from the Boushey Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, the 2015 Syrah La Serenne is full-bodied, fresh and elegant, with classic cooler climate Syrah notes of peppery herbs, darker berry fruits, lavender, spring flowers, and smoked earth. It has terrific complexity and glides over the palate, making for a sensational Syrah from Washington State. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “All from Dick Boushey’s vineyard in Yakima Valley, the 2015 Syrah La Serenne was also all destemmed and brought up in barrel. It’s a more elegant, complex and nuanced Syrah compared to the Cote Rousse and offers classic notes of blackberries, peppery herbs, lavender and spring flowers. Full-bodied, fresh and lively, drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years.”Rotlay is one of the most spectacular parcels in the Mosel and this is primo. Selbach block picks this parcel each year, so it includes grapes of varying ripeness levels. 
Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Rotlay Riesling, Mosel 2011 750ML ($59.95) $33 special
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points
“The Rotlay is a great wine in this vintage, and offers very complex and fine flavors of spices, salt, mineral, bakery products and apricot flower. The zesty, pure and delineated structure is impressive. This is superb. 2021-2031.”
Wine Advocate 91+ points “Carob and toasted nuts inflect baked apple and vanilla on the nose of Selbachs’ block-picked 2011 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Rotlay, which comes to the palate expansive, creamy, and buoyant (at 8.5% alcohol), its apple joined by almost overripe Persian melon. Hints of pip and botrytis bitterness add interest, but there is not the subtle interaction of flavors or the layer of primary juiciness that rendered the corresponding Anrecht bottling so memorable, but instead a more dominantly honeyed, soothingly rich personality. This long-finishing beauty may well – as its author suggests – just need some time to reveal its multiple layers.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $54.99

Staff Pick: Pink Pinot

One of the best ways to celebrate the summer season is with some good, local rosé. My favorite of the year is from Crowley. It is block-picked from the Four Winds Vineyard and clocks in at a refreshing 12.5% alcohol. Tyson Crowley works exclusively with dry-farmed fruit, resulting in wines of depth and concentration without excessive ripeness or alcohol. This is profound rosé that offers one of the best values in local wine in the shop. Snap up your case and enjoy over the next year – it will be even better as it ages!This is the best rosé we’ve ever tasted from Crowley which is really saying something.Crowley Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“Our personal preference for Rosé is a more Provençal-leaning style, biting and herbaceous with just enough succulent fruit to soften the edges. Low alcohol and high acid, refreshing and crisp…delivering the feeling like you aren’t really drinking, so why not keep going?! The best Rosé does that, and we wanted to see if we could draw closer to that benchmark….Color is probably the biggest wild card with Rosé and a pesky holdout until the wine finishes. You never quite know until bottling what color you have but we really like this one! Two-thirds of this wine was fermented in barrel for aromatic nuance and the rest in stainless steel to maintain edginess and cut. It all worked out and in the end we’re proud of the adjustments and really love this wine. Making Rosé is fun, probably since it’s meant to be paired with all manner of fun endeavors. Enjoy!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Shop all 91 in-stock bottlings of rosé in stock now on our web store!

Emmanuel Darnaud

Emanuel Darnaud’s 2015 wines were one of the best surprises from that generally outstanding vintage. He makes spectacular Crozes-Hermitage wines, which are some of the best deals we’ve tasted in the Northern Rhone.  From top to bottom, the Darnaud wines over performed, with density, power and drinkability.  They are Syrah with soul and immediate appeal.

A passionate advocate for terroir-specific wines, Emmanuel Darnaud has been crafting robust reds from individual parcels in the northern Rhone since 2001. His six parcels are spread over 15 hectares, where the grapes are hand harvested. Each is vinified separately with differing oak aging and maturation practices depending upon the wine. No matter which bottling, though, he manages to bring the best of the site to the wine.

The 2016 versions are a worthy follow up to their breakthrough 2015’s.  From the low to the (relatively) high end, these are wines that over deliver at each price point.  Crozes often offers a good deal of value, but, as we found out last year, Darnaud is something unique.  These are wines that are a perfect thing to drink with end-of-summer barbeques or to hold onto for when the weather turns cooler.

In Stock Now

Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Au Fil du Temps, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Au Fil du Temps, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($99.95) $89 special
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points
“The 2016 Crozes Hermitage Au Fil Du Temps comes from the alluvial soils in the southern part of the appellation and was brought up in 50% French oak. Sporting a saturated purple color, it offers impressive notes of crème de cassis, black raspberries, crushed pepper, and ample floral and incense notes. With medium to full body, solid elegance and balance, and moderate tannins, you can drink it today or cellar bottles for 7-8 years.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “A soft, fleshy, generous style, with dark tea, mulled blackberry and plum fruit and warmed anise notes. Offers a velvety feel through the finish. Will have lots of fans. Drink now through 2021. 257 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $45
Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Mise en Bouche, Rhone 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Grapelive 92 points
“One of the Northern Rhone’s best kept secrets and producer of some of finest values in the region, Domaine Emmanuel Darnaud crafts some excellent Syrah(s) from his tiny set of parcels in the Crozes-Hermitage area. He started his domaine in 2001 with just postage stamp (sized block) of vines but worked his way up to a more serious set of vineyards. [They are] all on the southern side of Crozes-Hermitage set on the zone’s glacial alluviums of mostly smooth pebbles. His painstaking work in the vineyard yields amazing results. How he can sell this beautiful and authentic wine at under $20 is one of the great and most pleasurable mysteries in the world of Syrah! The 2016 is utterly delicious with an earthy intensity that starts with porcini/truffle and gamey Crozes purity before opening to beautiful violets and blueberry notes. Darnaud’s Crozes Mise en Bouche is a fine example of time and place, yummy from start to finish adding bright peppery spice, a touch of anise, dried herbs and damson plum as well as mineral notes and a touch of kirsch. Lighter in frame than some, there’s no whimpiness, but rustic layers of classic Northern Rhone Syrah at its best. Fermented in concrete vats and rested in small barrels, this 100% Syrah, 100% de-stemmed cuvee [is one that] you’d never guess it had one third new oak such is the refinement and quality of fruit found here. This is a vintage to buy as much as you can. It drinks lovely now, and should easily go for a decade too! Search this one out; it’s a winner, and a no brainer for the price!”
Jeb Dunnuck 90-92 points “The 2016 Crozes-Hermitage Mise En Bouche comes from the southern parts of the appellation and is aging in a mix of tank, used barrels and foudre. It offers terrific red and black fruits, spice, tapenade and peppery herb aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness, moderate tannin and a great finish. It’s a hidden little gem in the vintage.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $22
Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Les Trois Chenes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“(made from destemmed fruit and raised in one-third new oak barriques and demi-muids) Deep bright-rimmed ruby. Smoke-accented black and blue fruits, mocha and a hint of olive paste on the perfumed nose. Silky, sweet and open-knit, offering energetic blackberry, cola and vanilla flavors that are energized by a vein of juicy acidity. Shows the energy of the vintage and finishes long and silky, with even tannins building slowly and adding shape and subtle grip.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points “The 2016 Crozes Hermitage Les Trois Chênes comes from alluvial and pebbly soils and was mostly destemmed and brought up in demi-muids and tanks. Similarly colored, with lots of blackberry, spice, peppery herbs, and hints of incense, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a rounded, layered texture, sweet tannins, and a great finish. It’s very much in the charming, forward style of the vintage and ideal for drinking over the coming 5-7 years (I suspect it will keep even longer).”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $27
Emmanuel Darnaud Saint Joseph La Dardouille, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Emmanuel Darnaud Saint Joseph La Dardouille, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($99.95) $89 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The 2016 Saint Joseph Lieu Dit La Dardouille comes from a fabulous terroir (Jean-Louis Chave also works with this vineyard) and was brought up a mix of once- and twice-used demi-muids and barrels. It offers ripe, sexy notes of crème de cassis, violets, and graphite, with subtle new oak covered by beautifully pure fruit. With medium to full-bodied richness and depth, sweet tannins, and a great finish, it’s a gem of a Saint Joseph that will be better with 2-3 years of bottle age and cruise for a decade. Hats off to the young Emmanuel Darnaud for another beautiful wine.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “(no stems; raised in a combination of one- to three-year-old barriques and demi-muids) Brilliant violet. Potent, mineral-accented black and blue fruit, spicecake and floral pastille aromas show outstanding clarity and pick up a smoky mineral nuance with air. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering vibrant bitter cherry, blueberry and star anise flavors that deepen and spread out steadily on the back half. Finishes floral, sweet and impressively long, displaying repeating spiciness and well-knit tannins.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $43

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