Monday Newsletter 8-7-17

New Week – New Arrivals; Domaine de la Terre Rouge; Revelatory Wines from Ontario: The Wines of Norman Hardie; Chateau Le Puy; Nikolaihof’s Secret Wines; August Pre-Arrivals: Burgundian Greats (And Values, Too) & High Fliers from Around the World; Domaine Huet


New Week – New Arrivals


Ayres Pioneer Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
“Big and bold and earthy and fruity in a brambly kind of way!  Once a Pioneer fan, always a Pioneer fan.  Those who like their Pinots to live large like Pioneer.  It is named for a family member who endured the Oregon Trail in 1860.  This wine could have stood up to that kind of journey.”–Winery note


See our new Californian arrivals from Domaine de la Terre Rouge below!



Yes, Canada, oh, Canada.

Ok, enough puns. See our special feature below on new arrivals from our saner friends to the north.

France – Burgundy

Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Les Cent Vignes, Beaune Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 90 points “Bright red. Very primary, vibrant aromas of raspberry, rose petal and mint. Juicy and tightly wound, showing lovely intensity and energy but a medicinal reserve in the early going. I like the combination of density and airiness. Finishes with excellent cut and verve.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Pitures, Volnay Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($59.95) $56 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92+ points “Bright red. Classy but reticent nose hints at bitter cherry. Densely packed and seriously concentrated, showing superb stony lift to the flavors of black cherry, violet and licorice. Really wonderful 2013 energy and density here, along with sneaky sweetness of fruit. Shows a youthful medicinal aspect but this is a bomb of primary dark fruits (Bitouzet described it as “a Pommard that changed its sex”). Finishes broad and long, with ripe, dusty tannins.”

Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Taillepieds, Volnay Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($59.95) $56 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91+ points “Healthy dark red. Very primary nose hints at black cherry, menthol and bitter chocolate lifted by a floral topnote. Then sappy and saline on the palate, showing very good chewy concentration and medicinal reserve. Quite reticent today but displays a terrific balance between sweetness and firm minerality. Bitouzet wishes he made big bottles of this juice.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

France – Rhone

Cave Yves Cuilleron ‘Les Vignes d’a Cote’ Marsanne, Rhone 2016 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Importer note “This cuvée is sourced from vineyards in Chavanay that sit on granite-infused soil. The fermentations (alcoholic and malolactic) take place in stainless steel; then, the wine is racked into a mix of stainless steel and small barrel for six months before bottling.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $19.99

Cave Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Les Chaillets, Rhone 2014 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 94 points “(aged in oak, 33% of it new): Pale gold. Penetrating aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits and violet are joined by hints of chalky minerals, fennel and ginger. Juicy and deeply concentrated on the palate, offering pear nectar and Meyer lemon flavors that show superb clarity and drive. The mineral and floral notes come back strong on the incisive finish, which hangs on with outstanding focus and tenacity.”

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

France – Loire

Domaine Philippe Tessier Phil’en Bulle, Loire NV 750ML ($29.95) $26 special
Importer note “Philipe’s fizzy “pet-nat” is the least serious but perhaps the most fun wine in the Tessier lineup. To be enjoyed fresh and frothy. 90% Romorantin and 10% Orbois.”

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

Italy – Piedmont

Giacomo Fenocchio Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($17.95) $14.50 special
Wine Spectator 91 points “This is a touch earthy yet concentrated and dense, sporting blackberry, pomegranate and black pepper notes. The finish is fluid, with a lingering essence of graphite. Drink now through 2020.”

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

Marco Porello ‘Camestri’, Roero Arneis DOCG 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14.50 special 
“This unoaked Arneis has delicate fragrances of ripe fruits and flowers, while it has a fresh taste thanks to its balanced acidity, very well supported by a rich body and structure. Due to its fragrance the wine can be enjoyed young or left to age for two or three years.”–Winery note

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

San Matteo Gavi DOCG, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
VinopolNote: This refreshing white wine is high in acidity with notes of fresh citrus, almonds and white flowers. A lovely wine to toast the end of this heat wave!

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

La Miraja La Ribota Aromatizzato alla Chinato NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
“The singular wines of La Miraja have heretofore been impossible to find in the United States. The estate is nestled within the original castle of Castagnole Monferrato, constructed in the 11th century and retrofitted to serve as a cellar in the 1400s. In this armory-turned-cellar, Eugenio Gatti turns out Barbera d’Asti, Grignolino, and his fabled Ruché. A seventh-generation viticulturist, Eugenio personally tends to the oldest vineyard of Ruché in Castagnole Monferrato, the original birthplace of Ruché. It is here that Eugenio Gatti devotes his life’s work to producing 840 transcendent cases of wine each year.”–Importer note

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Italy – Alto Adige

Barone Fini Pinot Grigio Valdadige, Trentino-Alto Adige 2015 750ML ($14.95) $8.80 special
“Mandarin orange, spring forest, yellow peach and candied ginger notes mix in this bright, zippy white. Drink now.”–Wine Spectator

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

Spain – Catalonia

Agusti Torello Mata Gran Reserva Brut Cava, Catalonia 2012 375ML ($19.95) $14 special
Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada from the Penedès area.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Agusti Torello Mata Kripta Gran Reserva Cava, Penedes 2008 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Macabeu 45%, Xarel·lo 20% and Parellada 35% From very old vines in the Penedès region.
Wine Advocate 92 points “The current vintage of the special cuvée is the 2008 Kripta, a classical blend of the local grapes Macabeo, Xarello and Parellada aged in contact with the lees in bottle for a long time, no less than five years, during which time the bottle is closed with a cork (it’s usually a crown stopper). Apparently this gives the wine a different character and is the way it was traditionally done. This is a polished Cava with yeast and brioche aromas and a soft palate with clean, developed flavors and integrated acidity. A benchmark for the Cavas with five years in contact with lees. 24,300 bottles produced.”

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

Germany – Rheinhessen

Weingut Keller ‘Von der Fels Riesling’ Trocken, Rheinhessen 2016 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
VinopolNote: The wine name translates to ‘from the rock’ and is a tribute to the slatey soils in which the vines are grown. Bone dry with excellent cellaring potential.

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

Austria – Wachau

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Riesling vom Stein Smaragd, Wachau 2013 750ML ($74.95) $59 special
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points “Whereas its 2012 predecessor was bottled in April 2015, this 2013 was still several weeks out from bottling when I last tasted it in June 2016. The combination of richness with juiciness and levity, as well as a complex array of scents and flavors including alkali, wet stone, almond, hazelnut, apple, white peach, sage, ginger, gentian and narcissus, render this a worthy exemplar of its profoundly successful vintage. Subtly waxy in feel, but refreshingly juicy, it finishes with animation and fascinating diversity.”
Terry Theise note “Not surprising how gorgeous this is—’13 rules! The wine is all a swollen umami middle, and all a complex and sweet mélange of grains, leaves, rock dust and flowers. Haunting smoky length, like summer squash on the grill. It’s melted the explicit high-notes of ’13 into a murmur of butter and powdered ginger. Who in the world makes wine like this? Radiance seen through frosted glass. Someone says she loves you, and you can’t believe your ears.”


New Arrival

Domaine de la Terre Rouge

Glorious Vintage / High Elevation Beauties

Along the western edges of the Sierra Nevadas in Amador County lies Shenandoah Valley. Here, amid the rolling hills and high peaks, Bill Easton and Jane O’Riordan founded Domaine de la Terre Rouge, named in homage to the iron-rich soils found in the region. The winery is dedicated to capturing the essence of the landscape within its wines and the focus is high elevation wines highlighting the complexity and nuance within each distinct site in small lot, 100-400 case production. Sentinel Oak is the oldest Syrah vineyard in the Sierra Nevada, planted in 1982. DTR ranch is the coolest Syrah site of the estate, reminiscent of a Northern Rhone wine. High Slopes is sourced from the three highest elevation Syrah sites, showing racy aromatics and a perfumed Côte Rôtie-esque nose.

New Arrivals from Domaine de la Terre Rouge

Domaine de la Terre Rouge Ascent Syrah, Sierra Foothills 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “This is the small-production, flagship wine from the Sierra region’s best producer of Rhône-style wines. Lovely, spicy, floral aromas and generous, complex and layered flavors make the wine irresistible, while its strong but velvety texture sets it up for a long life in the cellar for those who can resist. It smells lightly oaky, like a cigar box and cocoa, tastes deep and focused on blackberry, pomegranate and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is both rich and a bit reserved.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine de la Terre Rouge DTR Ranch Syrah, Fiddletown 2013 750ML ($44.95) $34.80 special
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “This is a very solid, well-structured and deeply flavorful wine from the first whiff of blackberries and black pepper to the mouth-coating but dry flavors to the lingering spicy finish. Best to drink after 2018.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine de la Terre Rouge High Slopes Syrah, Sierra Foothills 2013 750ML ($44.95) $34.80 special
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Massive in structure and very generous in flavor, this wine has light vanilla and nutmeg aromas, but dark and potent blackberry and espresso flavors smothered in a thick layer of fine tannins. There is no denying the wine’s richness but it holds everything in a dry, firm texture to achieve great balance.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine de la Terre Rouge ‘Sentinel Oak Vineyard Pyramid Block’ Syrah, Shenandoah Valley 2013 750ML ($44.95) $38 special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “This gorgeous, concentrated, mouthfilling wine is delicious to sip now but will certainly improve in the cellar for a decade or more. Tempting black cherry and boysenberry flavors seem to swell in the mouth, while light baking-spice and black-pepper accents weave in and out. Even on the finish it keeps surging with dark fruits and spices.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Summer Shipping Special:

Midwest, East, & South 

For the summer season we are offering UPS Three Day Select Service for the price of UPS Ground for shipments normally traveling 4 or more business days by ground.

Free service upgrade only applies on single orders purchased and shipped during the promotional period.  Additional fees will apply to orders held for any reason until after the promotional period and shipped by Three Day Select.  Offer not valid on items purchased before the promotional period or on pre-arrival items that arrive after the promotional period ends.


New Arrival

The Wines of Norman Hardie

Revelatory Wines from Ontario

Every day we’re presented with a wine or a grape we hadn’t thought seriously about before—it’s the nature of an expanding wine universe.  Most of the time, you realize that there is a reason that no one was excited about these wines (historically), but every now and then something comes along that wakes you up to exciting new possibilities.

In retrospect, it seems obvious that Prince Edward County and the Niagara peninsula should be fertile ground for making interesting wine.  They have extremely limestone-heavy soil, in varying degrees like either the Cote d’Or (Dolomitic, mixed with clay) or Chablis (pure, nearly Kimmeridgian).  The weather is cool, but rain holds off in the fall, meaning that the grapes can hang for a long time.  As a result, the wines are everything we look for—well developed flavors (phenolic ripeness is not a problem here) at extremely low alcohols, but with great acidity and a verve that resonates through the wine.

In the case of Norman Hardie’s wines, the vines are obviously in extremely capable hands.  After working in wineries around the world, he realized the limestone-rich soils and cool climate he was looking for were right in his back yard.  He crafts his wines with minimal intervention; the naturally brisk acidities allow for the use of minimal sulfur without worry and the terroirs he crafts wine from speak very clearly.  These are extremely exciting wines for us and we’re equally pumped to share them with you!

New Arrivals from Norman Hardie

Norman Hardie County Unfiltered Chardonnay, Prince Edward County 2014 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Ian D’agata–Vinous 91+ points “Bright pale yellow. Enticing aromas of stone fruit, ginger, mint and liquid rocks. Concentrated and dense, with lovely spicy lift to the flavors of white peach, nectarine and ginger. Finishes very long, tactile and pure, with a vibrant mineral tang and repeating spicy notes. Classic, energetic PEC Chardonnay.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Norman Hardie County Unfiltered Cabernet Franc, Prince Edward County 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
VinopolNote: This wine is a dead ringer for a top-flight Chinon.  Deep, ripe dark fruits with just a touch of herbaceousness to remind you that this is Cab Franc this is dangerously drinkable.  It’s polished, but without any new wood—a really nice combo.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Norman Hardie Unfiltered Pinot Noir, Niagara Peninsula 2015 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
VinopolNote: This is an exceptionally beautiful bottle of Pinot Noir.  One might expect Pinot from a region as cool as this to lack fruit, but it has an energetic core of it (in a redder vein).  Light bodied, it takes those fruit flavors and marries them to brisk and bright acidity.  This reminds us of all the wines we liked best from the 2011 Oregon vintage.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Norman Hardie Cuvee ‘L’ Pinot Noir 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
“A blend of 60% Niagara Pinot Noir and 40% County Pinot Noir. Each component was fermented separately, in small batches using indigenous yeasts. Aged separately for 8 months in French Oak barriques. After initial aging period the Niagara and County Components were blended together then put back into neutral oak for an additional 8 months. 2014 began as a cooler vintage, but we received hot, dry weather through September which developed fruit with exceptional phenolic ripeness and complexity, while still retaining lively acids. This is a special bottling, only done in the finest vintages.”–Winery note

Arriving Friday, August 11th:

Norman Hardie Unfiltered Chardonnay, Niagara Peninsula 2015 750ML ($37.95) $29 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote: This wine has a bit more texture and richness than the PEC.  It’s still cut from the same limestone-drenched cloth, but the wine has a touch more fruit and a sappiness that’s incredibly appealing.  Great aromatics and density on the palate—this is a Chardonnay for Chablis lovers or fans of the leaner wines from the Cote d’Or.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Nikolaihof Vinothek insert


Chateau Le Puy

Old-School Bordeaux, Made Naturally

The modern Bordeaux landscape is dominated by, well, modern Bordeaux.  The dominant model of Bordeaux is wine made with all the modern tricks—ripe picked, lots of new oak, perhaps a little (or a lot) of micro-oxygenation.  With all that in mind, we’ve been on the constant hunt for classical wines from the region.  We were excited, then, to see Chateau le Puy (a selection here for a while) highlighted in this great article from the New York Times.

If you don’t have the time to read the article, we’ll give you the synopsis: Old-school Bordeaux still exists, made in a style that works well with food and is fresher than what we think of today.  Chateau Le Puy also farms Biodynamically, using horses to plow the vineyard.  The resulting wines have depth and complexity (and a little rusticity) but are delicious in a way the 100% new oak crowd can’t get to.

The wine we had in stock immediately sold out (we weren’t the only ones who read the article, apparently) and we’ve been working on bringing more back in.  We’ll have a few more of the wines arriving in a few weeks, but wanted to offer them now—at the lowest prices on the West Coast.

In Stock Now:

Chateau le Puy Cuvee Barthelemy, Bordeaux Cotes de Francs 2010 750ML ($179.95) $138 special
Importer note “A wine of more limited production (approximately 15,000 bottles per annum), this cuvée, 85% Merlot plus 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, is sourced from a single vineyard site known as “Les Rocs” on a plateau with a deep limestone bedrock.  The wine spends 24 months in 228L barrels (less than 10% new) with no addition of SO2 at any stage of the elevage.  A more dense and mysterious wine than its companion with a deeper robe and more firm structure, we see resemblance here to the finest old wines of its neighbors to the west in the best districts of Saint Emilion and Pomerol.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Cuvee Emilien:

“The most important cuvée of the domaine in terms of volume is composed of 85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Carmenère.  It spends a year in 50hl foudres before a year in 228L barrel.  Its approach is silky from the fine tannins and it bears a color of garnet red with a hint of ruby, a seductive wine of great elegance.” – Importer note

Chateau le Puy Cuvee Emilien, Bordeaux Cotes de Francs 2012 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-12 Chateau le Puy Cuvee Emilien, Bordeaux Cotes de Francs 2012 750ML ($519.95) $419 special (that’s only $34.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Winery note “An attractive bold garnet red color. The aromas open with very fresh dominant red berries. It will surprise you with its strong opening in the mouth, with heaps of freshness. The final notes are particularly well balanced with supple tannins, revealing remarkable complexity. This is an extremely harmonious and delicious wine that is sure to delight.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Chateau le Puy Cuvee Emilien, Bordeaux Cotes de Francs 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-12 Chateau le Puy Cuvee Emilien, Bordeaux Cotes de Francs 2013 750ML ($519.95) $419 special (that’s only $34.92/bottle!)
Winery note “The color is vivid red, almost blackcurrant. The nose is packed with red fruits, with raspberry uppermost. The palate is full, rich in tannins, and very expressive. The finish is long and fresh. This is a powerful wine with a great deal of elegance, which is gently starting to develop. Well balanced it will improve over time and increase in depth.”

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


Nikolaihof’s Secret Wines

Out of the Ordinary Wines from Nikolaihof

When you have 700+ years of history making wine, you get afforded the freedom to do things a little more experimentally.  In the case of Nikolaihof, well known for Riesling and Gruner Veltliner made in traditional style of the Wachau, that means that you can revive old tradition and make wines based on how they taste—not just the current style that’s in vogue. Today we’re highlighting a few wines which aren’t widely available in the US, from grapes you know (Riesling, Gruner) but in alternate styles and some wines from less well known grapes.

We’ve got some off-dry Riesling (rare for Austria), a Riesling left in cask for 17 years, an unfiltered Gruner, some Neuberger and a vertical of our favorite Muscat in the world. We’re also featuring a Riesling made using the world’s largest still-functioning wooden press (made in the 1700’s!) and some Riesling made from new plantings from an extremely promising vineyard.  If you like Nikolaihof (or Austrian wine in general) and are searching for something new, read on for more:

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Riesling “Baumpresse”, Wachau 2011 750ML ($129.95) $99 special, 12 bottles available
 David Schildknecht–Vinous 93 points “Nicknamed for the 18th-century “tree press” recently reactivated by Nikki Saahs (the tree in question must have begun growing in the Middle Ages), and now also labeled for its vineyard of origin, this was bottled in 2013 (like the corresponding Smaragd), but only recently released. At 12.5 percent alcohol, this silken-textured Riesling manages, as did other Nikolaihof wines of its vintage, to avoid any sense of heaviness; although there is a rich foundation of succulently ripe white peach and Persian melon, white currant and transparent apple lend tart-edged tang and crunch. A hint of heliotrope hangs over the whole performance, its sweet perfume further pointing to the generous phenolic evolution characteristic of this vintage. There are significant albeit nicely integrated oxidative elements here as well – a legacy of the wine’s upbringing in smaller barrels than are otherwise utilized at the Nikolaihof – with moss, toasted grains and nuts, wet stone and quinine lending a slightly sinister aspect to the long, multilayered finish. As was the case with this wine’s predecessors, Nikki Saahs maintains that it will retain its current level of freshness for many years. I’m skeptical.”
Terry Theise: “It’s painfully spendy, but have you seen that massive press? Apart from which, truth is truth; the wine is superb. Grain and smoke and jasmine and turkey stock and fingerlings at their little sweet best. This wine is intense, though with all of 12.5% alc.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Riesling Gutsriesling, Wachau 2013 750ML ($44.95) $31.90 special, 11 bottles available
Terry Theise: “23 g/l of residual sugar, as it happened, and every wine here is as-it-happened. So Nikki declined to futz with it. The result tastes like something Florian Weingart would have made in the Wachau, all the mirabelle and herbs but with a different twangy terroir here. I don’t know what “use” you’ll make of it; I only know I like it.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $37.70

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Gelber Muskateller, Wachau 6-Pack Library ($279.95) $219 special, 3 six-packs available
Contains one of each: ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12
VinopolNote: Nikolaihof makes some of the most compelling Muscat in the world.  The general assumption is that Muscat doesn’t age, which is one of the reasons that they’ve put this mixed six-pack together—specifically to dispel this idea.  We find the wines compelling and fascinating, picking up depth and nuance as they age, and turning into incredibly compelling wines.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Gruner Veltliner “Zwickl,” Wachau 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 special, 4 bottles available
Terry Theise: “Leave it to them! This is, in essence, an unfiltered “Hefeabzug,” and you get two wines in the same bottle if you want. How? It’s fallen bright in the top one-third, and if you pour carefully you will have a clear wine. You can then shake the rest of the bottle to mix the sediment and pour yourselves a cloudy glass of tasty atavism. They encourage this! The wine-on-top is oyster and delicate and birchy. The cloudy one is “darker,” more boxwood and cress. It’s fun! But the clear wine, in the ’14 vintage, is lovelier. However, the 2015 on its heels is doughier and richer and here the cloudy wine makes more sense. In any case, I offer you what is probably the world’s first interactive Grüner Veltliner.”

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

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Neuburger, Wachau 2011 750ML ($39.95) $28 special, 19 bottles available
David Schildknecht–Vinous 89 points “This soft and (at only 12.5% alcohol) full-feeling rendition of Neuburger emphasizes that grape’s inherent nuttiness, though the usual resemblance to white asparagus still applies. A faintly smoky piquancy adds an intriguing counterpoint to an otherwise soothing finish. (Not only is this wine still for sale, but so is the 2012. The 2013, says Nikki Saahs, was the first vintage ever to be sold out within a year of bottling and before he could even set aside stock for the family table and library, which explains why I missed out on tasting it, as well as why a decision has been made to replace with Neuburger 500 vines of Chardonnay, whose 2014 performance was as usual uninspiring.)”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Vom Stein Jungfernlese Riesling, Wachau 2006 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 27 bottles available
Terry Theise notes: “It means the virgin-vintage, the first crop from young vines. And it’s what the Germans would call Feinherb, and it’s what any sane person would call irresistible! A potion of iris and lavender, spicy and penetrating; very long, seductively earthy, like a really profound Nahe Spätlese, almost the 5-spice and wildflower of Dönnhoff’s Felsenberg.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $53.99

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Vinothek Riesling, Wachau 1997 750ML ($219.95) $149 special, 28 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97 points “Aged for 17 years in a domestic 3,500-liter cask before it was bottled in August 2014, the 1997 Riesling Vinothek is the best part of the regular 1997 Riesling Smaragd Im Weingebirge, which was bottled and marketed in late 1998. The aged Vinothek version offers a fascinatingly clear, bright, deep and multi-layered nose with iodine and ripe as well as intense white-fleshed fruit aromas. Full-bodied, full of finesse and elegant, this dry, transparent and mineral Riesling develops a great intensity, complexity and power on the palate, but never leaves its silky road of purity, finesse and transparency. There is a lot of Spiel and tension here, but the most exciting characteristic trait is the intense and very mineral, almost endless finish. How youthful this wine is! And its further aging potential is still terrific. The wine reminds me of certain sherries, white Riojas and Jura wines, although it is not less oxidative. But it spent a long time in cask and has the freshness, complexity and thrilling taste of those. It’s a great, unique and stimulating wine that was bottled with 12.8% of alcohol, 6 grams of residual sugar and 6.5 grams of acidity.”

If you’d like to buy these wines or to see the 30 wines from Nikolaihof we have in stock right now, just visit our website.


Arriving in August

Burgundian Greats (And Values, Too)

Domaine Latour-Giraud Les Genevrieres, Meursault Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 93 points “(13.3% alcohol without chaptalization): Pale yellow with green highlights. Ripe, sexy aromas of orange blossom, orchard fruits and hazelnut: this could only be Meursault. Ripe, suave, pliant and rich, but still with lovely delicacy to the lightly saline flavors of orchard and citrus fruits. Very dry, harmonious and long. Boasts terrific depth for the year.”

Francois Carillon Les Folatieres, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 90-93 points “Bright, pale yellow. Slightly reduced scents and flavors of yellow peach and ginger reminded me a bit of a spicy Riesling. Supple, rich and fine-grained; chewy and quite dry, with lovely harmonious acidity giving the lightly saline palate a juicy quality. Really envelops the taste buds on the tactile finish.”

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

Francois Carillon Les Perrieres, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 90-92 points “Subdued aromas of lemon and menthol complicated by Puligny noble herbs. Deep, chewy wine with very good saline density of material. One senses the mineral power underneath but it comes through today more in the wine’s structure than in its flavor. This big boy builds impressively on the lingering finish.”

Domaine Michel Niellon Les Chenevottes, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 90-92 points “Bright, green-tinged pale yellow. Reticent aromas of lime, kiwi, white pepper and spicy oak show a medicinal reserve today. Tactile, dusty and very dry; shows excellent framing acidity and energy but seems less fruity than usual for this cuvée. Dense and seamless in the middle, then quite dry and a bit youthfully austere on the long back end.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $70

Domaine Michel Niellon Clos Saint-Jean, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 93 points “This hangs together, with peach, apple and lemon fruit shaded by vanilla and pastry accents. A good structure binds this all together, ending with crisp salinity. Best from 2018 through 2025.”

Domaine Michel Niellon Clos de la Maltroie, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “A powerful, viscous white, with floral, lemon oil and mineral notes. Delivers good acidity and a chalky sensation, leaving a juicy impression on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2028.”

Domaine Michel Niellon Les Vergers, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 93 points “A fine, cohesive white, whose peach, apple and spice flavors converge seamlessly with the plush texture. Still firm on the finish, which bodes well for future development. A lemon note lingers on the finish. Best from 2019 through 2027.”

Olivier Larochette Bourgogne Rouge Vieille Vignes 2009 750ML ($19.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Olivier Larochette Bourgogne Rouge Vieille Vignes 2009 750ML ($199.95) $138 pre-arrival special (that’s only $11.50/bottle!)
VinopolNote: It’s an old vine bottling from a small nego Olivier Larochette. Ruby red in color. Intense aromas of crushed black raspberry, fresh plums and violets with a light herbal note underneath that’s akin to Sencha tea. The rich aromas translate into rich initial flavors at the first sip with a lingering, zippy acidity and very fine tannins. The note of fresh red plums continues on the palate accented by toasted almonds and red raspberries. This would make a great pairing with roast chicken or caramelized onions.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $17


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More Great Offers

Arriving This Month

From Around the World

M. Chapoutier Hermitage Blanc Chante-Alouette, Rhone 2015 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The finest vintage for this cuvée I’ve ever tasted, the sensational 2015 Hermitage Chante Alouette boasts awesome notes of white peach, orange marmalade and white flowers in a rich, full-bodied, concentrated style. Coming from three different terroirs on Hermitage Hill (Méal, Les Murets and Chante Alouette), don’t miss it!”

Fattoria Le Pupille Elisabetta Geppetti ‘Poggio Valente’, Morellino di Scansano Riserva DOCG 2011 750ML ($31.95) $28 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 94 points “This is a selection of the best sangiovese on the property. The owner says the goal is to make something to compete with the best Brunello. And so it is. Full-bodied, firm and lively. Wonderful texture and length. Ripe and delicious. Superb. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $38.99

E. Pira & Figli Chiara Boschis Cannubi, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2013 Barolo Cannubi is a fine and sculpted wine that has benefitted from the cool vintage conditions and the long growing season. The wine shows a very pretty nose with wild berry aromas followed by pressed rose, ash, wild mint, tea and earthy black truffle. It shows fine tannins that are slightly camouflaged by the generosity of the fruit. The Cannubi cru offers extreme elegance and finesse. Despite those svelte contours, this wine is built to last.”

Podere Grattamacco Bolgheri Superiore, Bolgheri 2013 750ML ($89.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points “The first word that comes to mind when describing this wine is seamless. The 2013 Bolgheri Superiore Grattamacco offers a generous and forthcoming succession of dark fruit and spice-driven flavors that fit together like a long chain of pearls on a necklace. It’s impossible to taste where one flavor starts and the next one ends. That balanced and harmonious approach is evident in the mouth where it offers a silky, smooth and long textural impression. I suggest another few years of bottle aging before popping the cork on this beautiful blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 15% Sangiovese. This is no doubt the best wine from Grattamacco tasted in the past decade.”

Cantine del Notaio Il Repertorio Aglianico del Vulture, Basilicata 2013 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points “The Cantine del Notaio 2013 Aglianico del Vulture Il Repertorio is a fabulous wine that possesses the depth and noble sophistication that you should expect from this small, quality wine denomination in the deep south of Italy. The bouquet is beautifully embellished with blackberry preserves, tobacco, bitter chocolate and smoky granite. The presentation is tight and seamless with a firm tannic nature that pulls the wine together in terms of substance and length. This excellent wine should flesh out further with more aging.”

Bodegas Vina Herminia Rioja Crianza DOCa, Rioja 2013 750ML ($24.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Decanter 95 points –Platinum-Best Red Rioja– “An elegant and intense nose comprising black fruit, blackberry and herbs, with a real medicinal edge is followed deliciously by a well-structured palate of licorice, plums, tobacco and black fruit notes, which also has round meaty tannins, a lovely texture and a beautiful long finish.”

Bodegas Arrayan Estela de Arrayan, Mentrida 2010 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points “Beautiful, layered wine showing great depth on the nose. Ripe strawberries, cacao, roasted coffee beans, iodine and salt undertones. Full-bodied and round-textured red with soft tannins following through to a mouth-watering and juicy finish. Blend of syrah, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. Drink now.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Finca La Emperatriz Cepas Viejas Garnacha, Rioja DOCa 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points “An intensely herbal and floral nose displaying raspberries, cherries and hints of cloves. Mint, too. Medium body, ripe and juicy tannins and a very long, citrusy and savory finish. Made from vines over 65 years old. A wine that boasts superb finesse and style. Drink or hold.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The wine that won my heart this time was without a doubt the 2014 Finca la Emperatriz Garnacha Cepas Viejas. This wine is sourced from the Rioja Alta subzone, not quite the classical Garnacha place, from the only old-vine Garnacha plot they have in the estate. It displays a captivating nose of sweet Garnacha fruit akin to cherries in liqueur, but keeping the freshness in a coolish vintage like 2014. The uncrushed grapes fermented in open-top stainless steel vats and 500-liter oak barrels with indigenous yeasts after five days of pre-fermentative maceration, and it matured in 500-liter oak barrels for ten months. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins, delicious fresh flavors and very good length, ending with a tasty, almost salty note.”


Domaine Huet

Arriving in November

Majestic Vouvray from the profound 2016 vintage

Spectacular reviews from Wine Spectator are hitting the newsstands now – we don’t expect the wines to last a few weeks!

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