Monday Newsletter 9-21-20

In This Newsletter:

New Arrival Special Featurette:
2018 Beaux Freres

New Week – New Arrivals

Three 2017 Chateauneuf Stars

Crowley Winery:
2018 Single Vineyards Arriving Friday, September 25th

New Reviews for Rosenthal’s Majestic Tuscan Producer:

Brovia Offer
Highly Limited Stock Arriving October 2nd

Collector’s Corner:
Corton Charlemagne

New Arrival Special Featurette:

2018 Beaux Freres

Beaux Freres is one of the Great Names in Oregon wine—one of the wineries that helped put the Willamette Valley on the map.  Big, rich wines with lots of character (plus a familial relation to the Mayor of Monkton) mean that these wines were some of the earliest sought-after wines from our corner of the wine world.  They continue to make excellent wines and we’re excited to offer them to you at pricing that’s more exceptional than usual.  The 2018 Upper Terrace lands this coming Friday and we’ve got it for $91.90—a price so good we can’t list it online.

Please note: we can’t display our Subscriber Price of $91.90 on our website, but we’ll manually adjust the pricing before finalizing your order and running your credit card (or you can call/email).

Beaux Freres The Upper Terrace Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2018 750ML ($119.95) $99 Displayed Price, $91.90 Subscriber Special, 10 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points
“Vivid magenta. A hugely perfumed bouquet displays an array of ripe red and blue fruits, pungent flowers and exotic spices, along with hints of cola and smoky minerals. Deeply concentrated yet lively as well, offering palate-staining cherry, black raspberry and boysenberry flavors and building lavender and allspice flourishes. A smoky quality emerges on the strikingly persistent finish, which features steadily building tannins and a strong floral echo.”

This is already the lowest listed price in the USA today,
On our Subscriber Sale it’s even lower!
The average price is $105

Love the wines from Michael Etzel?

So do we!

Don’t miss our best-in-the-country pricing on his Sequitur estate wines.

New Week – New Arrivals


Hugues Godme Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
Poised and balanced with a bright pop of fruit.
Peter Liem note “…the Blanc de Noirs, comes entirely from the grand cru villages of Verzenay, Verzy and Beaumont-sur-Vesle, and like the Blanc de Blancs, it always contains a high percentage of reserve wine. A slightly larger percent of this is aged in wood, but even then, it’s a blanc de noirs that focuses on subtlety and finesse rather than power.”
Disgorged January 2018, 4.5 years en tirage.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Hugues Godme Grand Cru Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Peter Liem note
“Godmé’s vintage brut varies in composition according to the vintage, but it’s often made with a majority of chardonnay, even though it comes exclusively from Verzenay and Verzy. About half of it is aged in wood, and it’s a highly terroir-expressive wine, demonstrating the intensely vinous personalities of these renowned grand cru sites.”
Disgorged January 2018. 7.5 years en tirage.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

We offer 112 Champagnes in stock now. Shop the selection on our webstore!


Abruzzo is an Italian wine region best known for two standout producers: Valentini and Emidio Pepe.  Both deliver world-class bottlings, but we’re focusing on the latter today, with two new offerings for you. Pepe’s wines are known for their unique blend of rusticity, power and just enough polish to highlight their remarkable vibrancy and complexity.  The Montepulciano is a wine that has powerful, rich fruit and beautiful, spicy/gamey aromatics and is seemingly capable of aging forever.  The Trebbiano is made from old selections of Trebbiano Abruzzese—a rare clonal selection that provides wines of depth and complexity rarely found in their neck of the woods.  It’s hard for us to acquire these wines and we’re excited to offer them to you today.

Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 special
Case-6 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($499.95) $419 special (that’s only $69.83/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Italian Release
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points
“This is one of the cornerstone producers of the Abruzzo, a winery that follows strict tradition but that also appeals to every new generation of wine drinker that encounters a bottle. The wines of Emidio Pepe are in a word, timeless. The 2017 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo flaunts its pedigree with elegant aromas of black fruit, smoke, tar and powdery licorice. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo fares well in the hot vintages such as 2017 thanks to the cool mountain climates of the region, and not only do you get deep textural richness here, the acidity is beautifully preserved and fresh as well. The tannins are firm and polished, all followed by delicate little accents of dried herb and crushed stone.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Emidio Pepe Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2017 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Italian Release
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 93 points
“Bright yellow. Apple jelly, lime, lemon curd and sweet herbs on the captivating nose. Then mellow and suave, featuring flavors similar to the aromas and a hint of gingery spiciness on the long, juicy finish. A lovely result from a very hot year, and one of the better Trebbiano d’Abruzzo wines from Emidio Pepe in recent memory.

Three 2017 Chateauneuf Stars

Peter Weygandt knows something about great Chateauneuf du Pape.  He’s a partner in St. Theodoric, one of our all-time favorite producers (and as close to Rayas as you can get) and imports a fantastic selection of wines from the Southern Rhone.  His three core CdP estates are Charvin, Ferrand and Raymond Usseglio, all of whom produce excellent wines at superb prices every year.

Charvin is the most resolutely old-school of the bunch, making wines that demand age but reward it with classically mature flavors and aromas.  Ferrand and R. Usseglio both make wines that are significantly more friendly young—delicious bottles that have rich fruit and succulent textures.  Across the board, these are wines that are excellent values, as well.  The 2017’s just arrived and they mark yet another successful vintage for the southern Rhone.  

If you’re looking for a vintage to drink now, look very hard at the ’17’s. They remind us of 2015 with softer tannins and gloriously ripe fruit.  It’s rare to find a vintage of this quality that’s also this open and accessible young—generally you get one, but not the other.  This set of wines is really something and you should buy them accordingly.

In Stock Now:

Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 96-100 points
“Violets, spring flowers, cassis, plums, and incense notes all define the stunningly good 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Imperiale. Made from 100% Grenache from very old vines, it’s full-bodied and powerful, yet also graceful, balanced and pure, with terrific freshness and purity. My money is on this flirting with perfection once bottled.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 95 points “Almost entirely Grenache, from parcels planted in 1901 and 1902, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperiale is a stunner. Scents of roses, black tea and raspberries set the scene, while the palate is full-bodied but silky and nearly weightless, delivering an intricate, detailed interplay of red fruit, dried spices and orange zest. Despite what must be 15% alcohol or more, it shows absolutely no sign of heat.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $74

Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale, Rhone 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperiale (from vines planted in 1902) is firm and structured to age magnificently. Roses, black tea and red raspberries all appear on the nose and palate, framed by fine-grained tannins. I suspect it will close down shortly, but there is terrific material here, and the wine will drink well for two decades.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvee Imperiale kicks the intensity up a notch and offers rocking notes of black cherries, garrigue, ground pepper, and incense. More expansive, full-bodied, concentrated, and pure, it’s a brilliant, brilliant wine that stays tight and compact at the moment yet has beautiful concentration, present tannins, and a great finish. It has everything, but it needs 4-5 years or bottle age.”

Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Girard, Rhone 2017 750ML ($59.95) $45 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points
“A special cuvée made for American importer Peter Weygandt, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Girard includes a bit more old-vine Grenache, and it shows in the wine’s increased elegance. It’s more floral than the regular bottling, with scents of tea and roses, but it’s also darker and richer, with black cherry fruit, a velvety mouthfeel and a long, layered finish.”

Domaine de Ferrand Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2017 750ML ($59.95) $45 special, 35 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points
“The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape checks in as 90% Grenache and the rest 3% each of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Bourboulenc, with a splash of Cinsault, brought up all in tank. It has a deep, layered, powerful yet elegant style as well as notes of black raspberries, crushed violets, blueberries, ground pepper, and earth. With a rounded, sexy texture, no hard edges, fine tannins, and a beautiful finish, it’s a fabulous wine in the vintage.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94-95 points “Shimmering magenta. Mineral-accented black currant, cherry liqueur, potpourri and exotic spice qualities on the impressively fragrant nose. Supple and expansive on the palate, offering deeply concentrated but energetic red and blue fruit, spicecake and floral pastille flavors and a refreshing jolt of bitter blood orange. Finishes with sharp focus, slow-building tannins and superb, floral- and mineral-driven persistence.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $54

Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2017 750ML ($74.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points
“The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is an awesome wine from Laurent, and while it shows the sunny, ripe, sexy style of the vintage, it never loses the elegance and purity that’s the hallmark of Charvin. Lots of kirsch, graphite, dried flowers, garrigue, and ample minerality flow to a medium to full-bodied, silky, incredibly well-balanced red that has a stacked mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and it will cruise over the following two decades.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94-95 points “Brilliant magenta. An assertively perfumed bouquet of ripe red and blue fruits, Moroccan spices and incense carries a smoky overtone. Sweet, penetrating raspberry preserve, cherry, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors show impressive depth as well as vivacity. Displays superb clarity and floral thrust on the finish, which features smoothly interwoven tannins and lingering spiciness. This wine shows just how much complexity can be achieved, even in a hot vintage, in the absence of any oak, old or new.”

We have 175 different Rhone reds in stock now and available on pre-arrival.

Shop the complete selection on our web store!

Crowley Winery

2018 Single Vineyards Arriving Friday, September 25th

Tyson Crowley creates some of the most charming and disarmingly delicious wines in the Valley. (See smile in Exhibit A.) He hails originally from upstate NY, which made it doubly delightful news when the New York Times featured his Willamette Valley Chardonnay in Eric Asomov’s recent Wine School (seen here). 

We’re excited to announce our offer on the 2019 Pinot Noir rose. It is a perennial staff favorite because of its rich mouthfeel, crisply refreshing acidity, serious aromatics and surprising age-ability. It’s all from a single block of Pinot grown exclusively for this rose within the Four Winds Vineyard, a high elevation site in the Willamette Valley. This is how serious we wish all roses were.

“Despite building up an impressive track record for producing finely detailed, graceful Pinots over the last decade, Crowley’s Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are still under the Oregon radar. Even in warm and hot years, I’ve consistently impressed by their light touch, blend of depth and energy and ability to age gracefully.” – Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Arriving Friday, September 25th

Crowley Four Winds Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($49.95) $45 pre-arrival special
Winery note
“The 2018 is dark and leads with alluring graphite and light oak that gives way to rich blackberry and anise on the nose. Four Winds’ rocky soils also express wet stone and mineral to keep the aromatics lighter and lifted. 2018 delivers a richer than normal flavor profile, a result of a dry summer. The mouth is succulent, broad, and full. Sweet strawberry, clove, sage, and vanilla mix it up as does a trace of new wood. The structure is soft and delicate as is typical of the more feminine Four Winds. The length is excellent and the old vine Pommard is supremely balanced and composed.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Crowley La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($49.95) $45 pre-arrival special
Winery note
“The 2018 La Colina is bold and beautiful. Harvested in cool late September, it’s mature and vigorous with the added power of a dry summer growing season that certainly left its mark. Dark ruby is the color with traces of blue on the edges. The nose is tobacco and mushroom and ripe raspberry. Signature La Colina tropical notes mix with ash and forest floor to create a captivating experience. Great rigid structure combines with fresh acidity and dark sweet fruit to get the wine moving on the palate while dark cherry, coffee, anise, and wintergreen all make a graceful appearance to keeps this wine mysterious. The angular mouthfeel with supple tannin provides lift and the finish is gorgeous and long. “

This is the only listing in the USA today!

2018 Wines In Stock Now from Crowley Wines

Crowley Four Winds Vineyard Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($55.95) $45 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“The nose presents salt, wet stone and cement which merge with herb and flinty notes to generate energy and excitement. Rounded out by hits of the usual lemon/lime and pear, the Draper clone brings austerity and a taut nose while Wente brings the expressive fruitiness. The mouth is angular and rich. The oak is subtle and elegant. The 20 months lees contact bring complexity and sweetness reminiscent of brulee and delicate maple. Dried apricot makes an appearance as this wine stays clean, mouthwatering, rich, and long.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Crowley Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($26.95) $21.90 special, 18 bottles in stock now
2018 across the valley is going to be known as a year of concentration and power without over-ripeness and this wine is a prime example.  Dark cherry fruits, a hint of a florals and good density, this wine manages to have richness and weight without feeling overly heavy.  A real winner.
Winery note “Blend of Tuckwilla Vineyard (21%) Four Winds Vineyard (20%) La Colina Vineyard (26%) Oracle Vineyard (18%), Wind Ridge (15%). All vineyards dry farmed. Graphite, citrus, anise and mushroom round out the nose which is primarily fixed on ripe red cherry. The mouth is high intensity and mouth-watering. Subtle tannin supports a soft and inviting mouthfeel highlighted by ripe cherry again as well as floral accents. This is a complete wine…dark and light, elegant and powerful.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $26

New Reviews for Rosenthal’s Majestic Tuscan Producer:


Arriving Friday, September 25th

One of Chianti’s greatest wines isn’t labeled as a Chianti, despite being made in the heart of the Classico zone. Montevertine originally left the appellation because at the time, white grapes were required to call a wine Chianti and Sergio Manetti, the owner, wanted to make a wine that was 100% Sangiovese, a scandalous thing at the time. Thus Le Pergole Torte was born. It’s a special wine, one that stops a conversation every time you get a chance to taste it. This is one of the icons of Tuscany and at this price, should be a star of your cellar, as well.

The less expensive wines are stunning as well—decidedly pretty versions of Chianti that favor elegance and restraint over power.  It’s tempting to compare Montevertine’s wines to top tier Burgundy, after all, most of Montevertine’s most ardent fans are Burg lovers first and foremost.  That’s doing them a disservice, though—these are wines that is iconic in its own right.  We get smaller and smaller allocations each year, so grab these while you get the chance.

“These new releases from Montevertine are off the charts. The 2018 Pian del Ciampolo is a terrific start for readers who want to explore the personality and style of the year. It’s a gorgeous wine. Tasted a year later, Montevertine and Le Pergole Torte are dazzling. The wines are rich and expansive, but also retain their distinctive personalities. Montevertine is located in the hills outside Radda, a cool, late-ripening subzone in Chianti Classico where warm, dry conditions are less of an issue than they are elsewhere. I was deeply impressed by what I tasted.” –Antonio Galloni

Arriving Friday, September 25th

Montevertine Rosso Montevertine Toscana 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Montevertine Rosso Montevertine Toscana 2017 1.5L ($179.95) $159 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2017 Montevertine is rich, creamy and beautifully resonant on the palate. Over the last year it seems to have gained an extra bit of freshness, which is of course such a plus in this very hot, dry vintage. Montevertine is often austere, but the 2017 is unusually open today, not to mention incredibly delicious. There is plenty of tannin beneath all of that vintage 2017 fruit. Even so, opening a bottle young is not a crime by any stretch of the imagination. Black cherry, leather, sweet pipe tobacco, licorice and earthy notes develop with aeration, showing just a glimpse of what is in store for those who can wait. The 2017 is a striking wine in every sense. Floral notes reappear on the finish, adding further dimensions that will continue to unfold over the coming years.”

Montevertine Pian del Ciampolo Toscana IGT 2018 750ML ($44.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2018 Pian del Ciampolo is a glorious wine. The purest essence of Radda emerges in a wine with striking translucence and captivating balance. The 2018 offers notable depth with less opulence and more freshness than the 2017. Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, mint and spice are all finely knit in a wine of extraordinary beauty. Readers who may be new to Montevertine and want to explore the wines should start here. Pian del Ciampolo is a real gem in 2018. It will drink well to age twenty, maybe beyond.”

Brovia Offer

Highly Limited!

If you’re new to Brovia, here’s the scoop:  Wonderful, expressive wines made and farmed in traditional methods.   They hit all the right notes in terms of thoughtful vineyard management (organic without certification, careful pruning, and hand harvesting) and are unapologetically classic in their winemaking (long and slow fermentation and long aging in large barrels and, subsequently, in bottle).

Brovia has an assortment of excellent vineyard holdings that are mostly in Serralunga.  Rocche and Villero are obviously top vineyards that are well known, but the other gem in the portfolio is the Brea “Ca’Mia” which is a wine that stands out in any lineup for its combination of Serralunga power and elegance.

Arriving in November:

Brovia Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 94 points
“Walnuts, berries, tar and hints of smoke on the nose. It’s full-bodied with chewy tannins and a dusty finish. Chewy at the end. Drink after 2023.”
Neal Rosenthal note “Always a stunning value and an excellent encapsulation of the Brovia house style, their Barolo “normale” is comprised 60% of a portion of their holdings in Brea (the oldest and best-exposed vines are bottled separately as “Ca’Mia”—see below) and 40% of the younger vines of their three crus in Castiglione Falletto. One feels both the spicy, boisterous generosity of Serralunga d’Alba and the mineral thrust of Castiglione Falletto in this wine, but this 2016 is notable for its finesse. The contemplative nose evokes a sense of calm stillness, presenting its individual components with clarity and precision; the palate is dynamic in its interplay of pert acidity and fresh, finely wrought tannins.”

Arriving October 2nd:

Brovia Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special, only six bottles available!
Brovia Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia, Barolo DOCG 2016 1.5L ($299.95) $249 pre-arrival special, only one magnum available!
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 100 points
“Cellar Selection. Rose, pine forest, wild berry, new leather and star anise are just some of the aromas you’ll find on this drop-dead gorgeous wine. Firmly structured, elegant and thoroughly delicious, the radiant palate shows restraint and depth. It delivers juicy Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and tobacco against tightly knit, noble tannins while fresh acidity keeps it impeccably balanced. It’s focused and compelling, but hold for even more complexity. An absolutely stellar showing. Drink 2026–2056.”
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “The 2016 Barolo Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia’ continues a theme of total sensuality in this range. Black cherry, plum, spice, lavender, mint, licorice, sage, black pepper and leather infuse the wine with striking layers of nuance. The 2016 possesses striking inner perfume and tons of depth, with impossibly refined tannins that add to the wine’s captivating balance. As always, this is the most reticent and inward of the four Barolos at Brovia, with a massively powerful finish. Even so, the 2016 possesses tremendous brilliance and plenty of the refinement that is such a signature of the vintage at this address. I can’t wait to taste the 2016 with more time in bottle. What a wine!”
James Suckling 95 points “A ripe, flavorful Barolo with plum, cherry and bark aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied with round, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Needs four or five years to soften. Better in 2024 and onwards.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Brovia Garblet Sue Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, only six bottles available!
Brovia Garblet Sue Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2016 1.5L ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special, only one magnum available!
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 99 points
“Wild berry, iris, menthol, star anise and new leather aromas follow over to the precise, full-bodied palate along with juicy cherry, raspberry compote and tobacco. Boasting elegance and structure in equal measure, it has taut refined tannins and fresh acidity that will give this decades of drinking pleasure. Drink 2026–2056.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2016 Barolo Garblèt Sue’ is laced with bright red small berry fruit, wild flowers, sage, mint, star anise, apricot and blood orange. In 2016, the Garblèt Sue’ is incredibly sensual, with finer tannins than are the norm. A range of floral and savory notes add striking aromatic lift and exotic perfume. This is the most polished vintage of the Garblèt Sue’ I can remember tasting. As always, the Garblèt Sue’ is marked by a very obvious nervousness in its tannins, but the 2016 also has more than enough fruit to balance things out.”
James Suckling 94 points “Spice and dried-cherry aromas with hints of bark and toffee, following through to a medium to full body, round tannins and a savory, juicy finish. Try after 2022.”

Brovia Rocche di Castiglione, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special, only three bottles available!
Brovia Rocche di Castiglione, Barolo DOCG 2016 1.5L ($299.95) $249 pre-arrival special, only one magnum available!
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 98 points
“Cellar Selection. Camphor, rose, red-berry and star anise aromas slowly take shape on this compelling, gorgeous red. Delicious, elegant and structured, the palate has youthful tension but already shows fantastic depth, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and clove before closing on a hazelnut note. Firm refined tannins keep it perfectly balanced and give it an age-worthy structure. Drink 2026–2046.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2016 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione Brovia is explosive and exuberant from the very first taste. There is a rush of sweet red plum, red cherry, mint, blood orange, cinnamon and wild flowers in this rich, heady Barolo that captures the essence of this Castiglione Falletto site. Plush fruit and silky tannins suggest the 2016 will drink well with just a few years in bottle. The 2016 is so alluring, even in the early going; it is not austere at all. The 2016 is fabulous – that’s pretty much all there is to it.”
James Suckling 94 points “Aromas of sweet tobacco, strawberries and bark follow through to a medium to full body with ultra fine tannins that are melted into the wine. Such beautiful depth and subtle intensity. Better after 2023, but already a beauty.”

Brovia Villero, Barolo DOCG 2016 1.5L ($299.95) $249 pre-arrival special, only one magnum available!
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 99 points
“Cellar Selection. Fragrant, structured and loaded with finesse, this radiant red has enticing scents of pressed rose, woodland berry, moist earth and camphor. Full bodied but boasting a weightless elegance, the chiseled palate has depth, focus and tension, delivering juicy red cherry, strawberry compote, licorice and crushed mint. Firm refined tannins and vibrant acidity provide impeccable balance and an age-worthy structure. Drink 2026–2046.”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2016 Barolo Villero is one of the most refined editions of this wine I can remember tasting. Lavender, spice, licorice, mint and blue/purplish fruit are beautifully delineated here. Transparent and nuanced, the Villero is so classy. There is plenty of depth and structure, but what impresses most about the Villero is how unusually sophisticated it is. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s explosive personality, but the 2016 remains incredibly elegant, especially for this site. This is a tremendous showing from Brovia.”
James Suckling 96 points “Subtle, sweet-cherry and berry aromas with hints of orange peel, following through to a full body with ultra fine tannins and complex, subtle fruit and good length. Love the balance and beauty to this. Drink after 2023, but already a beauty.”

We offer nine bottlings in stock now from Brovia, including the highly rated 2015 Barolos. Shop our selection on our web store!

Collector’s Corner:

Corton Charlemagne

The hill of Corton is the most recognizable landmark in Burgundy and the Grand Cru whites from it are as iconic as the sight of the site.  Cascading with minerality, effusively aromatic and packed with depth and age-worthiness, the wines of Corton-Charlemagne are a jewel of Burgundy. When they’re on, only the Grand Crus of Montrachet and its satellites rival top-tier Corton-Charlemagne.

Corton Charlemagne occupies the highest portion of the Hill of Corton, in the Cote de Beaune sub region of Burgundy. The soil on the western side of the hill that makes up the Grand Cru portion is composed of a limestone-marl mix that produces world class Chardonnay. The growers that work these vineyards produce small yields and operate in cooler temperatures than their counterparts across Burgundy.

The hill and its vineyards were gifted to the religious community of Saint-Andoche in 775 by the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne. We can all partially thank his fourth wife for white grapes on the hill of Corton. She wasn’t too keen on the stains left in his beard after drinking red wine, so she had him order the red grape varieties pulled and replaced with whites. Thank you, Luitgard! When allowed to age past 10-15 years, bottles from this small area provide some of the most vivid examples of Chardonnay on the planet. The nutty and buttery balanced with flinty acidity, always makes for such a dynamic pairing wine. Corton Charlemagne bottlings have the ability to hold up to richer dishes or even sing alongside a killer cheese plate.

In Stock Now from Corton-Charlemagne:

Louis Jadot Domaine des Heritiers Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“From vineyards owned by the inheritors of the Louis Jadot estate, this wine has all the power expected from this vineyard. Its density and richness are palpable, even when crispened by a fresh citrus edge. Wood aging adds spice and enhances the aging potential. Drink from 2024.”
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 94+ points ” (Jadot bottled 35 barrels, representing a normal yield; the harvest lasted into the beginning of October): Very pale, bright yellow. Knockout nose combines lemon, ginger, botanical herbs, shiso leaf and crushed-rock minerality. Seriously concentrated wine, showing the juicy side of the 2016 vintage and the impeccable balance that was possible when yields were normal. The sharply delineated citrus, spice and mineral flavors are framed and intensified by harmonious acidity (“which was easy to control because we had so many barrels,” according to Barnier). Conveys an impression of outstanding density without weight and finishes with great palate-staining length, herbal lift and salty grip.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93+ points “Aromas of yellow orchard fruit, waxy lemon rind, iodine and smoky new oak introduce the 2016 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (Domaine des Héritiers Jadot), a full-bodied, satiny and nicely layered wine that’s deep, concentrated and persistent. It’s a youthfully reserved but decidedly impressive Corton-Charlemagne that will reward bottle age.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $250

Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($199.95) $149 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Silky smooth and finely woven, with lemon, apple, spice and stone flavors, this is both complex and sophisticated. The vibrant structure drives the flavors, building to a long, mouthwatering aftertaste. Best from 2020 through 2032. 107 cases made, 50 cases imported.”
John Gilman 93+ points “Having vines on the Pernand side of the hill of Corton must have been an advantage in the hot summer of 2015, and the Clos de la Chapelle version in this vintage has turned out beautifully as a result. This is 13.5 percent alcohol in 2015 (all natural) and the wine is impeccably balanced and drinking with loads of personality out of the blocks. The superb bouquet wafts from the glass in a classic blend of pear, apple, a touch of iodine, stony soil tones, spring flowers, hazelnuts and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and nicely broad-shouldered in style, with excellent concentration at the core, fine soil signature, bright acids and impressive length and grip on the nascently complex and perfectly balanced finish. This is very delicious in its wide open youth, but really could do with at least a couple of years in the cellar to allow its secondary layers of complexity to start to emerge. 2024-2030+.”

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Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($199.95) $149 special, 12 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 95 points
“Yields here were brutally low because of the frost damage, with Mark O’Connell reporting that they were only able to realize fifteen hectoliters per hectare in the vineyard in 2016. This amounted to two barrels, with one of them new this year. The wine is outstanding, coming in at around 12.5 percent alcohol and offering up a stunning young nose of apple, pear, fresh almond, a very refined signature of limestone minerality, orange zest and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full and rock solid at the core, with great mineral drive, bright, snappy acids and outstanding length and grip on the focused, pure and still quite primary finish. Great Corton Charlie in the making. 2022-2050+”
Wine Spectator 94 points “An intense style, this is laced with apple, lemon and oak spice flavors and a hint of coffee. Tight and austere, with plenty of concentration, featuring a fine structure and long, mineral-tinged finish. Just needs some time to absorb the oak detail. Best from 2021 through 2032. 50 cases made, 25 cases imported.”

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The next best price is $165

Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 93 points
“Medium yellow. Very spicy but youthfully subdued on the nose. Plush, silky and concentrated, with its strong dry extract giving the wine an impression of solidity. Highly concentrated citrus and ginger flavors are complicated by a saline mineral element. Plenty of alcohol here yet this grand cru comes across as quite suave, with its fat leavened by firm, harmonious acidity. Finishes round and horizontal.”
Burghound 91-93 points “Strong reduction dominates the fruit at present. Otherwise there is excellent richness to the succulent but punchy and powerful flavors that possess a sleek muscularity as well as ample minerality that really comes up on the long if slightly rustic finish which is unusual for this wine.”

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Domaine Rollin Pere et Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Jancis Robinson 17.5/20
“Bottled. Seems subtle at first but opens up to a complex if embryonic combination of lemon and orange fruit, stony freshness and the suggestion of the round creamy character of lees and barrel.”
Rosenthal Note “The Rollin family for many years has exploited two separate parcels totaling about one-half hectare within the appellation of Corton Charlemagne. One parcel is on the Aloxe-Corton side within “Le Charlemagne” and the other piece is on the Pernand side of the hill known as “En Charlemagne”. The grapes from each parcel are harvested and vinified separately and are then assembled prior to bottling (after more or less fifteen months of elevage). From our personal perspective, the Corton Charlemagne from Rollin is one of the finest white wines in our portfolio, a true Grand Cru. We purchase two barrels a year … and a small amount of magnums are drawn for us annually.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $159

Arriving Late September from Corton-Charlemagne:

Domaine Michel Juillot Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016 1.5L ($399.95) $319 pre-arrival special
Burghound 91 points
“Generous wood dominates the otherwise fresh green apple, pear and white flower scents. There is ample minerality on the solidly dense and relatively powerful medium weight flavors that possess a caressing mouth feel that contrasts markedly with the powerful and impressively long finish where the wood is again quite prominent. I can’t say that the style appeals to me as the wood is more than I prefer but this should still make for fine drinking in a few years time.”

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Arriving in October from Corton-Charlemagne:

Lucien Le Moine Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($319.95) $289 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“This intense version grabs your attention, with effusive aromas of lemon curd, pine forest, wood smoke and stone. There is something wild about this, yet at the core lies sweet, ripe peach and apple fruit, shaded by lanolin and peat notes. Bracing acidity keeps all the elements in line, driving the long finish. Best from 2022 through 2032. 25 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $295

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