Monday Newsletter 9-28-2020

In This Newsletter:

Jump Start Offer:
2017 Masseto

The Great Vinopolis Champagne Subscriber Sale

Featured New Arrival:
Bow & Arrow’s 2019 Gamay

Trending Offer:
Coutier Blanc de Blancs

Newly Arrived from Montevertine
(With Even More New Reviews!)

New Week – New Italian Arrivals

New Arrival Special Feature:
Donnhoff’s 2018 Oberhauser Brucke Vineyard Bottlings
Bonus New Review!

2016 Chateau de Pez:
“Another bargain alert!”

Jump Start Offer

2017 Masseto

Arriving Mid-October

Only three bottles available!
Masseto Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($849.95) $719 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 98 points
“The clarity of the ripe blackcurrants, black cherries and flowers in the nose is entrancing. Lavender, too. It’s full-bodied with firm, silky tannins that run long and straight through the wine, providing brightness and focus. Goes on for minutes. Strength with finesse Drink after 2024, but already wonderful to taste.”
Antonio Galloni 96-99 points “The 2017 Masseto is a spectacular wine in the making. Rich and sumptuous in the glass, the 2017 possesses off the charts intensity and plenty of structure as well. Red cherry jam, mocha, leather, licorice and a dash of new oak are all fused together in an opulent, seamless Masseto endowed with magnificent balance. The 2017 is quite simply a remarkable wine for such a challenging year. I can’t wait to taste it from bottle.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 97 points “The Masseto 2017 Masseto puts on another exhilarating, knock-out performance for the third year in a row. The Masseto vineyard is a triangular-shaped plot tucked in at the back of the same property that houses the Ornellaia vineyards and winery. This special site is located at the base of the mountains that rise gently from the Tyrrhenian Sea, with the picturesque silhouette of the Castiglioncello castle at the top. The vines are planted at an altitude of 80 to 100 meters above sea level in blue clay soils that are unique to Bolgheri. That ideal position opens the vineyards to soft breezes, proximity to the sea, long daylight hours and cool diurnal shifts from the protective wall of low mountains at the back. It’s a little garden of Merlot Eden. The center of the vineyard now is home to the new Masseto winery and an adjacent tasting room built into a pre-existing farmhouse. This wine was made in the old winery (the existing Ornellaia winery). Fermentation kicks off in a combination of steel and oak tanks before the wine is racked over to barrique, where it rests for two years. The wine then goes into bottle for 12 months before its release. Like most vintages of Masseto tasted this early in the game, the oak is omnipresent, and it grounds the wine in terms of texture and structure. It is powerful, but that’s always the case with Masseto (this vintage records a 15.5% alcohol content). I tasted this wine next to the decidedly more playful Massetino, and the Masseto moves over the palate with substantial fruit weight and concentration gained over the course of this hot and dry growing season (which produced smaller, richer and more compact berries). Perhaps, what this vintage lacks is that profound varietal character that we saw in recent vintages like 2016 and 2015. If concerned that the hot vintage would draw out too many ripe fruit tones, the oak serves to soften some of the more volatile components of the fruit. Those distinctive notes of macchia mediterranea (wild bush) that I always associate with Masseto are less present in this vintage. You feel the oak tannins on the finish with toast and vanilla that will certainly shed as the wine ages. In fact, I went back to taste the wine 12 hours later, and they had already softened considerably. This 2017 vintage will be released in October 2020.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “There’s a meaty character to this intense, polished red, adding a seriousness to the dark plum, blackberry, iron, vanilla and chocolate flavors. A beam of bright acidity keeps this focused and drives the fruit- and spice-filled finish. Merlot. Best from 2022 through 2042. 300 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $879

The Great Vinopolis Champagne Subscriber Sale

We’re slashing prices now on some of our favorite Champagnes arriving over the next five weeks. Buy now before the wines arrive to secure your selection.

Subscriber Sale Champagnes Arriving October 2nd

Lallement is a small but mighty producer in Verzenay. These striking Champagnes are virile and vinous.
Jean Lallement et Fils Reserve Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
80% 2013, 20% 2014, Aug ’18 disgorgement
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The NV Brut Resérve is a gorgeous wine. Finely cut and chiseled, the Resérve captures the savory energy and tension that are such signatures of Verzenay and Verzy, the two Grand Cru villages that inform this cuvée. The interplay of rich Pinot fruit with chiseled style that is a signature of these sites makes for an absolutely compelling Champagne. Dried herbs, graphite, white pepper and game add striking Pinot inflections throughout. Lallement is a tiny domaine with just four hectares of vineyards. Because of that, the wines naturally don’t enjoy a ton of visibility. The Brut Resérve is absolutely brilliant though, and well worth your attention. Disgorged: August 21, 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $63

Exquisitely poised and high-energy, the Champagnes of Marie Courtin seem to dance with all the grace and perfection of Russian ballet.
Marie Courtin Concordance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne 2015 750ML ($119.95) Was $75, Now $69 pre-arrival special, only 17 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2015 Extra Brut Concordance Sans Soufre (100% Pinot Noir) is bright, precise and absolutely gorgeous. Dominique Moreau seems to have really dialed in her approach over the last few years. I can’t remember tasting a Concordance with this much translucent energy. Pinot Noir in the Aube has rarely been this weightless and nuanced. The purity of the flavors is just striking. No dosage.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $87

Marie Courtin Efflorescence Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne 2014 750ML ($99.95) Was $61.90, Now $59 special, 11 bottles in stock now, 12 additional bottles arriving October 2nd
No reviews yet for the 2014 vintage – Reviews for 2013 vintage provided for reference.
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“A complete and wonderfully nuanced wine, the 2013 Extra Brut Efflorescence is fabulous. Bright and sculpted to the core, the 2013 exudes energy. Chalk, mint, jasmine and orchard fruit add complexity, but it is the wine’s overall balance that is most impressive. The Efflorescence offers striking translucence and energy from start to finish. The non-dosé style is especially successful here. Disgorged in April 2017 with no dosage.”
“Efflorescence is from an east-facing vineyard with 40-year-old vines (sélection massale) on Kimmeridgian soils. Fermented and aged for one year in pièces and 36 months on the second lees before the disgorgement…” –Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate, writing on the 2013 vintage

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $71

Subscriber Sale Champagnes Arriving October 9th

Chartogne-Taillet Les Barres Blanc de Noirs (Pinot Noir) Extra Brut, Champagne (2015) NV 750ML ($149.95) Was $119, Now $99 pre-arrival special, only 26 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“From a climat Chartogne made famous for its Pinot Meunier growing in chalky soils, the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Barres (Pinot Noir) derives from a westerly exposed parcel of Pinot Noir growing in sand… It’s showing very well, exhibiting attractive aromas of mirabelle plums, raspberries, anise, pastry cream and yellow chartreuse. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, ample and muscular, with tangy acids, excellent concentration and a long, chalky finish.”
Importer note “We are very excited to announce the release of a new parcellaire wine from Alexandre Chartogne. Lovers of grower champagne are familiar with Chartogne-Taillet’s Les Barres, the single parcel, un-grafted Meunier wine, released first in the 2006 vintage. This was the first wine that Alexandre produced after returning home to his family domaine, from working with Anselme Selosse, his mentor. Over a short period of time, Les Barres has become a cult wine and we have very small amounts to offer each year. The vineyard Les Barres and the wine Alexandre produces from it has been linked to a single grape variety – Meunier. Alexandre feels that the variety is simply the conduit, a transmission of place and identity. He feels that while it’s not irrelevant ‘Each place itself confers a different texture, a feeling in the mouth, which doesn’t change, even as the aromas and structure shifts with ageing.’… Alexandre showed us a new wine from Les Barres: ‘In the parcel Les Barres there are not just Meunier vines, but also a small amount of Pinot Noir.  The Pinot would not be enough to make a single harvest wine, so, I produced this wine from the vintages 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. It is Les Barres Pinot Noir, and the first time I have made it.’  The wine is exquisite, with remarkable length and depth, even in its youth. For fans of Les Barres, this is an incredible opportunity to taste other expressions of this outstanding site.  It’s a wine, which, like Les Barres Meunier, has a long life ahead of it.”

Subscriber Sale Champagnes Arriving October 16th

2008 is a glorious year in Champagne, and Pierre Gimonnet’s Special Club of that vintage garnered high praise when originally released. Re-released in magnum with extended sur lees aging, the wine is drop dead gorgeous.
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Blanc de Blancs ‘Millesime de Collection Vieilles Vignes de Chardonnay’, Champagne 2008 1.5L ($349.95) Was $299, Now $269 pre-arrival special, only 17 magnums available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95+ points
“Released only in magnum, the 2008 Brut Millésime de Collection Vieilles Vignes is the same wine as Gimonnet’s Special Club, but it sees more than 10 years sur lattes before disgorgement. Unwinding in the glass with a deep and complex bouquet of pear, green apple, citrus zest, oyster shell, smoke and pastry cream, it’s full-bodied, chalky and incisive, with terrific depth at the core, promising reserve and a long, resonant finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

The Master of Montgueux produces wines of extraordinary minerality and grace.
Jacques Lassaigne Millesime Brut Nature, Champagne 2010 750ML ($149.95) Was $119, Now $99 pre-arrival special, only 24 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points
“(Reviewed Aug 2019) Due to be disgorged commercial a few weeks after I tasted it was the 2010 Brut Nature Blanc des Blancs Millésime, a vintage that Lassaigne described as characterized by “very high maturity” and which was vinified entirely in tank. Offering up aromas of lemon oil, green apple, warm bread and chalky soil tones, it’s full-bodied, ample and vinous, with chewy dry extract and a fleshy core, crisp acids and a long, saline finish. Once again, it’s a blend of  Les Paluets, Le Cotet and La Grande Côte, Lassaigne commenting that it always tends to come from the same parcels.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $112

Jacques Lassaigne ‘La Colline Inspiree’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($89.95) Was $71.90, Now $66 pre-arrival special, only 24 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“(Reviewed Aug 2019) A blend of the 2013 and 2012 vintages that was disgorged in March, the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs La Colline Inspiré opens in the glass with aromas of almond paste, citrus oil, crisp green apple and pastry cream, gently framed by its élevage in barrel. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, vinous and concentrated, with an immensely incisive spine of ripe but bracing acidity, a fine mousse and a long, electric and searingly saline finish. This bottling is produced from several parcels in Montgueux, and all the vins clairs are now fermented and matured in barrel.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Jacques Lassaigne ‘Le Cotet’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne 750ML ($89.95) Was $69, Now $66 pre-arrival special, only 24 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“(Reviewed Aug 2019) The latest release of the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Le Cotet was disgorged in March, and it’s based on the 2015 vintage, with some 10% older bottled wines  that have been “remise en cercles.” Offering up lovely aromas of lemon oil, white flowers, mandarin and pear, along with some autolytic top notes of warm bread, the wine is medium to full-bodied, vinous and structured, with a racy spice of acidity, a tightly wound core and a long, chalky finish. It’s a powerful but tensile Blanc de Blancs that comes from a plot of old vines planted in 1964.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Subscriber Sale Champagnes Arriving October 23rd

Vilmart Champagnes are peerless, producing non-malo, oak-aged wines that are impossible to ignore. To quote Peter Liem, “Vilmart & Cie. is not only one of the greatest grower-estates in Champagne, but one of the finest champagne producers of any type in the region.”
Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($89.95) Was $69, Now $59 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
2015 base
Antonio Galloni 91 points
“The NV Cuvée Grand Cellier (base 2015) is striking. Hints of lemon peel, crushed rocks and mint are framed by a kiss of new oak, with a hint of reduction that adds a further note of complexity. The Grand Cellier is based on 2015, with 25% 2014 and 25% 2013 reserve wines, aged exclusively in foudre. It is another stellar wine in the entry-level portion of the Vilmart range. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Vilmart & Cie ‘Coeur de Cuvee’ Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2011 750ML ($159.95) Was $133, Now $119 pre-arrival special, only 18 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Disgorged in May 2018 with seven grams per liter dosage, Vilmart’s new 2011 Brut Coeur de Cuvée is showing beautifully, offering up an expressive bouquet of crisp green pear, yellow apple, dried white flowers, English walnuts and spices. Medium to full-bodied, elegantly fleshy and nicely concentrated, it’s a fine-boned, precise rendition of this cuvée, built around ripe but racy acids and complemented by a pinpoint mousse. Vilmart is the sort of grower that succeeds in vintages such as 2011, and this wine met my expectations.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2011 Coeur de Cuvée is gorgeous, especially within the context of the year. Translucent and airy, the 2011 is a Champagne of real elegance. Sage, mint, dried flowers, orchard fruit and lemon peel all grace this super-expressive and pretty Champagne. These 60-year-old vines handled the challenges of 2011 well. Harvest took place in August, which after 2003 and 2007, is not as freakishly unusual as it would have been a generation ago. The 2011 is undoubtedly terrific. Even so, I would not push my luck on aging given the inherent fragility of the year. Dosage is 7 grams per liter.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today, 
Now it’s even lower!
The average price is $151

This was a surprising hit among the staff. Remarkable now but well equipped for long-term aging.
Gaston Chiquet Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs d’Ay Vintage Brut, Champagne 2008 1.5L ($179.95) Was $149, Now $138 pre-arrival special, only 5 magnums available
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2008 Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ, in the magnum late-release, is an absolutely gorgeous wine that brings together the natural richness of Aÿ with plenty of vintage 2008 vibrancy. Dried pear, crushed flowers, mint and spice infuse the 2008 with striking layers of nuance. Aÿ is, of course, best known for Pinot, but in a few choice spots Chardonnay shines, as it does here. Chiquet’s Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ is once again one of the most singular wines in all of Champagne. Dosage is 8 grams per liter.”

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

Subscriber Sale Champagnes Arriving October 30th

These are richly expressive Champagnes of superb balance.
Varnier Fanniere Cuvee Jean Fanniere Origine Grand Cru Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($89.95) Was $71.90, Now $59 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“(Reviewed Apr 2019) Aromas of warm biscuits, crisp peach, yellow citrus fruits and hazelnuts introduce the latest release of Varnier-Fannière’s NV Extra Brut Cuvée Jean Fannière Origine… On the palate, it’s full-bodied, broad-shouldered and vinous, with ripe but racy acids, considerable depth and concentration, an elegant, pinpoint mousse and a lingering, expansive finish. This is a layered, powerful Champagne with the lowest dosage in the range.” [Review is for July 2017 disgorgement]

Varnier Fanniere Grand Cru Rose Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($79.95) Was $61.90, Now $56 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points
“(Reviewed Apr 2019)…the NV Brut Grand Cru Rosé wafts from the glass with aromas of warm bread, waxy citrus rind and crisp green apple, with the wine’s 90% Chardonnay from Avize and Cramant seemingly gaining the upper hand over its 10% Ambonnay Pinot Noir as the wine matures on cork. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, broad and vinous, with a delicate, pinpoint mousse, a fleshy core of fruit and a nicely defined, saline finish. This is the broadest-shouldered of Varnier-Fannière’s rosé releases reviewed in this report, but in its more powerful register, it shares the elegance that distinguishes them.” [Review is for April 2016 disgorgement]

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $69

Varnier Fanniere Cuvee Saint Denis Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($89.95) Was $71.90, Now $59 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“(Reviewed April 2019)…derived from a parcel of old Chardonnay vines in Avize, the latest rendition of Varnier-Fannière’s NV Brut Grand Cru Cuvée St-Denis opens in the glass with notions of waxy lemon rind, confit citrus, fresh peach, white flowers and warm biscuits. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, broad and concentrated, with chewy extract, a tight-knit core and brisk acids, revealing a youthfully frothy mousse and a long, chalky finish. This has a very promising future ahead of it.” [Review is for June 2017 disgorgment]

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $70

Please note: reviews provided may not match disgorgement dates for non-vintage bottlings. We do our best to provide accurate disgorgement information when available and to provide the most relevant reviews.

Featured New Arrival:

Bow & Arrow’s 2019 Gamay

We can’t say enough good things about Bow & Arrow and the wines they make. Scott Frank seems to have cracked the code to do two things that are nearly impossible for other Oregon wineries. First, he makes wines that are vibrant, fresh and delicious in a truly old-world fashion.   As a result, the wines (especially the wines we’re featuring today) can be compulsively drinkable. We may have mentioned this already, but the wines are great.

The other major puzzle that Scott seems to have cracked is affordability. We often see wines from the US marketed as ‘daily drinkers’ in style but the wines are priced at $30++, well north of a comparable wine from Europe. With Bow & Arrow, though, we’re pleased as punch that a delicious local wine is cheaper than most of the competition from Europe. 

Enter his latest release: the refreshingly bright Gamay. This is a beautifully crisp and crunchy red from the 2019 vintage. We love it with a light chill all on its own, or enjoy with cheeses, salads, or roast chicken. Buy a case or two to carry you through the fall (and to be prepared for Thanksgiving!)

Bow & Arrow Gamay Noir, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Bow & Arrow Gamay Noir, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $19.92/bottle!)

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Trend Alert:

Coutier Blanc de Blancs

A Vinopolis Favorite Returns Next Month

Coutier’s Blanc de Blanc has been one of our best-selling Champagnes over the last few years—and for good reason. Combining the richness of Ambonnay, where Coutier is based, with a bright Blanc de Blancs style leads to a Champagne that’s a crowd pleaser. With a ton of complexity and class for the price, it’s one to stock up on in advance of the holiday season.

Arriving in October:

R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Case-6 R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $36.50/bottle —the lowest listed price in the country!)
No reviews available for the current release. Review for the 2019 release provided for reference.
Antonio Galloni 92 points 
“Coutier’s NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is bright, focused and nuanced, not to mention incredibly delicious. The energy of Chardonnay and structure of Ambonnay yield a Champagne that is singular, classy and bursting at the seams with character. This release is based on 2016, with 40% reserve wines. I would give it another 6-12 months in bottle, although, truthfully, it is pretty hard to resist now. Dosage: 6.5 gr/L.”

Love Champagne? (So do we!)

We have over 150 selections available on our webstore

Newly Arrived from Montevertine

(With Even More New Reviews!)

Despite being made in the heart of the Classico zone, one of Chianti’s greatest wines isn’t labeled as a Chianti. 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.

Newly Arrived & Newly Reviewed from Monica Larner of Wine Advocate:

Montevertine Pian del Ciampolo Toscana IGT 2018 750ML ($44.95) $39 special 
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 92 points
“The entry-level Montevertine 2018 Pian del Ciampolo is a blend of mostly Sangioveto (otherwise known as Sangiovese) with the complimentary grapes Canaiolo and Colorino. This is a delicate and almost subdued expression that reveals itself slowly, peeling back veils of tart raspberry, wild cherry, blue flower and candied orange peel along the way. After you’ve played the veil game for a while, there is a point of ripe plum or blackberry confit at the very core of the wine that reflects the vintage warmth. This is a lean-bodied wine with a smooth and polished finish. You might pair it with a Tuscan favorite such as ribbon pasta with wild boar, pappardelle al sugo di cinghiale. The gamey flavors of the dish will offset the wine’s racy acidity.”

Montevertine Rosso Montevertine Toscana 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Montevertine Rosso Montevertine Toscana 2017 1.5L ($179.95) $159 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The namesake Montevertine 2017 Montevertine pours from the bottle with a slightly darker hue compared to its predecessors. The phenolic imprint of Sangioveto (with smaller parts Canaiolo and Colorino) is always stronger in the hot and dry vintages like 2017. That more structured and saturated personality is duly followed by generous and intense aromas of black cherry, wild plum, lavender essence and gardening soil. The wine speaks fluently in an authentic Tuscan accent, underling the extreme purity that can be achieved with these indigenous grapes and likewise reminding you of the sheer generosity and freshness that is so specific to Radda in Chianti. There is some dusty dryness on the finish, and this remains an impressive wine from a challenging vintage.”

Shop our complete selection of Montevertine wines on our web store!

New Week – New Italian Arrivals

Petrolo is one of the leading proponents of the Val d’Arno di Sopra DOC, a small area in Tuscany that only recently received the DOC designation.  Frankly, the designation should have happened a while ago—these are distinctive wines made from unique soils and the quality across the board is very high.  Petrolo’s wines provide a wonderful introduction to this undervalued corner of Tuscany due to both their quality, but also thanks to their forward-thinking.  Not only do they produce hyper-classic bottlings, like the Boggina C Classique, but they also defy convention by fermenting the Boggina vineyard in a variety of different ways.  The goal is to show off the inherent quality of the terroir as a through-line between the different bottlings.

Petrolo Boggina Valdarno di Sopra, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2014 Bòggina is stunning. Although a touch compact in this vintage, the Bòggina impresses for its energy and overall freshness. Red cherry, raspberry, rose petal, tobacco and savory herbs are some of the many notes that continue to open up as the wine takes shape in the glass. It will be interesting to see if the 2014 puts on more weight with time in bottle. It certainly improved over the time I followed it.”
James Suckling 93 points “Very fine and silky with a tight and polished texture that shows wonderful length and definition. Medium body, pretty cherry and citrus character and a long and subtle finish. Well done for a difficult vintage. Delicious now.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Petrolo Boggina Anfora Valdarno di Sopra, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“It’s interesting to taste the 2014 Bòggina Anfora (Bògginanfora), Petrolo’s Sangiovese done in amphora next to the same wine aged in oak. The amphora wine is initially a bit softer and creamier in its contours, but it also offers less development in the glass. Lavender, plum, menthol, sage and sweet herbs lead into the expressive finish. This is another very pretty wine from Petrolo and proprietor Luca Sanjust.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Love Tuscan wine?  We have 140 wines from Tuscany currently available.

Shop our entire selection, including famous names like Casanova di Neri, Castello di Ama, Fontodi, and more on our web store!

Need a refreshing red for pizza? Pop this blend from the Veneto region. It’s a Valpolicella made in a light & bright style, perfect for your table tonight!
Ca’ La Bionda Valpolicella Classico, Veneto 2019 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Winery note
“70 % Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella and Molinara. The wine opens with a nose of fresh red fruits and floral notes that recall violets. Elegant and light, this wine is all about freshness and easy drinking, a wine to drink everyday in good company and with a wide variety of Italian style foods from pasta to roast meats.”

The average price is $17

New Arrival Special Feature:

Donnhoff’s 2018 Oberhauser Brucke Vineyard Bottlings

Dönnhoff is perhaps our favorite German producer.  They excel with both dry and off-dry wines, producing some of the top dozen Rieslings in nearly every vintage.  Part of that is a privileged location—they own some of the best vineyards in the Nahe, which is one of the most geologically diverse parts of Germany.  The other part is the exceptional drive and focus of Helmut and Cornelius Dönnhoff, who will stop at nothing to produce the best wines in Germany.

The Oberhauser Brucke vineyard is one of the smallest Grosse Lage (Grand Cru) and a monopole located next to the Hermannshohle vineyard in a sheltered valley next to the Nahe River. This pocket creates an extremely long growing season and dramatic diurnal temperature swings (not to mention favorable conditions for ice wine). The wines are structured and concentrated yet cool and crystalline, showing exceptional complexity. Beguiling and “inscrutable,” as Terry Theise writes, these wines seem to elicit tasting notes of emotive words rather than a mere grocery list of fruits and flowers.

Newly Arrived:

Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Beerenauslese, Nahe 2018 375ML ($299.95) $189 special, 18 half-bottles in stock now
John Gilman 100 points
“The grapes for this non-botrytized BA were harvested at the beginning of November this year. The wine is utterly brilliant, offering up a pure and complex nose of white cherries, mango, pineapple, salty minerality, apple blossoms and a topnote of honeycomb. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, bottomless and amazingly vibrant and precise, with racy acids, truly stunning minerality for a BA and great length and grip on the perfectly balanced finish. This is breathtakingly beautiful! 2019-2100. 100.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2018 Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Beerenauslese is from grapes that were reserved for Eiswein. Picked in November, when the hope for ice wine had died, this is a highly concentrated yet pure and spicy-aromatic BA with some volatile notes on the nose. Rich and sweet on the palate, this is a sweet yet pure and salty-piquant, playful and tensioned BA of great class and concentration. This is very clear and piquant and concentrated with healthy, botrytis-free berries. Still Riesling and surely Brücke and doubtlessly great, with a laser-like precision and definition. Fabulous. Tasted in July 2019.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 96 points “After, as usual, a small share of Brücke had been left for Eiswein, a tiny bit of botrytis finally showed up. Given Dönnhoff’s reputation for Brücke Eiswein, it’s not surprising that the most promising bunches were the ones that got spared the initial Auslese picking. On November 22 there was a forecast of frost, and the estate’s elite Eiswein crew was alerted to show up at daybreak. But the Ice Man evidently failed to get that message. “And at that point,” related Dönnhoff, “I just said ‘Basta! [Schluss!] Everything gets picked this morning!’” There is a lightly confectionary note here born not just of high residual sugar but also, I suspect, of the brush with frost. (Why freezing often engenders such an impression, I can’t say.) Red raspberry and quince preserves with a crystalline sugary edge and a hint of caramel seem also to be dusted with crushed stone, saliva-inducing mineral salts and whatever mysterious ore-like matter it is that informs this collection’s other Hermannshöhle bottlings. For all of its confitured and confectionary aspects, the fruit also comes off as lusciously succulent, not to mention impeccably pure. A polished and subtly creamy feel adds further allure, and the superbly sustained finish is mouthwateringly umami-rich. This is certainly one late-picked 2018 that doesn’t disappoint! But I imagine the firming and acid-concentrating effect of low temperatures (albeit 2020here near low enough to have frozen the grape solids) counteracted any sense of fruit fatigue or sagging berry skins such as is conveyed by so many late-picked 2018s.”

Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese, Nahe 2018 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese, Nahe 2018 375ML ($44.95) $37 special, 8 half-bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2018 Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Auslese is perfectly clear and fresh but still intense and concentrated on the spicy and complex nose. Lush and piquant on the palate, this is a fresh, stunningly pure and playful Brücke that is singing and dancing on the knife’s edge. Fabulous in its purity, tension and finesse. Nevertheless, there is the ripeness you can expect from an Auslese. Tasted in July 2019.”
John Gilman 95 points “For several decades, Helmut Dönnhoff has been of the opinion that an Auslese is a wine that needs botrytis and every example here has been a botrytized wine, at least to some degree. So, it is a great rarity to find not one, but two completely clean Auslesen in the family’s cellars this year made from golden and shriveled berries and no noble rot. The 2018 Brücke Auslese is a beautiful wine in the making, offering up a lovely aromatic constellation of pear, white cherries, honeycomb, bee pollen, apple blossoms and a lovely foundation of salty, slate minerality. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and nascently complex, with a lovely core, great focus and grip, snappy acids and a very long, dancing and still quite youthful finish. 2030-2090.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 93 points “Like its Hermannshöhle counterpart, this Auslese, picked in mid-October, reflects genuinely botrytis-free grapes, related Dönnhoff, but ones that were too numerous and too high in sugar to have used them elsewhere, “and certainly not in the Grosses Gewächs, which would then have ended up with 14% alcohol.” Quince and red raspberry jellies coolingly infused with honeysuckle and green herbs inform the nose and the soothingly, seductively creamy palate. There is a lovely sense of lift throughout, but especially on the finish, whose liqueur-like sense of fruit and herbal essences is reinforced by prominent sweetness. If this fails to exhibit the sense of clarity and animation of the corresponding Hermannshöhle, Dönnhoff suggested that that reflects the absolutely optimum bunches in the Brücke having been left hanging for what became a Beerenauslese.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $85.99 for the 750ml

2018 Oberhauser Brucke Also In Stock Now from Donnhoff:

Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2018 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Decanter 95 points
“The 1.1ha vineyard of Brücke is a monopole of the estate. The vines are planted in loess loam soils over a slate bedrock, and its sheltered location down by the river is perfect for producing spätlese. The 2018 has a ripe green apple character on the nose, joined by notes of white flowers and a touch of honey. The palate is incredibly intense and limey, sweet yet elegant and balanced. It almost appears to be drier than the Leistenberg Kabinett at this early stage, such is its impeccable harmony, absorbing its 85g/l of residual sugar effortlessly. Snap this up when you can, but don’t touch it for a good six years or more. Barrel sample.”
John Gilman 95 points “Long-time fans of the two flagship Spätlesen from the Dönnhoff family are going to have a lot of fun over the coming decades debating the relative merits of these two brilliant wines from 2018! The Brücke Spätlese offers up a brilliant bouquet of apple, passion fruit, tangerine, fruit blossoms, salty slate minerality and a topnote of bee pollen. On the palate the wine is medium-full, very pure and precise, with a great core, dancing acids and a very long, complex and filigreed finish. This has bottomless depth and is extremely light on its feet. 2023-2075.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 94 points “White peach, quince and red raspberry give an impression on the nose and the creamy, polished palate of both jellied and fresh fruits. An influx of lime serves for welcome, animating brightness, and the penetratingly sustained, mouthwateringly salt-tinged finish is transparent to wet stone, setting up a shimmering fruit–mineral exchange.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $50

Bonus New Review for 2018 Donnhoff

Weingut Donnhoff Roxheimer Hollenpfad Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2018 750ML ($44.95) $36 special, 23 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 94 points
“These 2018 Donnhoff’s are gorgeous wines. They offer a high level of pleasure as well as having taut structures with precise detailing, especially this fabulous Höllenpfad Trocken. [This] shows its terroir distinction to near perfection with a mineral driven palate and expressive Riesling fruit character with an array of citrus, peppery spices, zest ginger, clove, stone fruit and a subtle tropical element. At first, you’d be forgiven if you were reminded of Chablis with the steely start and expansive lemon/lime, before the Riesling energy takes over and it reveals apricot, kumquat, chamomile, verbena and orange blossoms. This Höllenpfad is chiseled from stone and is crisply focused, but allows for textural density without sweetness or heaviness. It shows remarkable clarity of form and transparency. This Riesling is so good, it could easily be mistaken for a GG! The Roxheimer Höllenpfad was acquired in 2010 and has quietly risen in fame within Donnhoff’s mighty selection of top sites, all of which are individually distinct in flavors. This site [is] noted for its charming, less severe profile, but don’t get the wrong idea, this is a serious site and while easy to love this is profound Riesling. The Nahe region is coming on strong with a string of great years and majestic wines, with this dry Riesling highlighting the incredible talents of the winegrower and the quality of this particular vineyard in a south-facing side valley just off the river… The Roxheimer Höllenpfad is uniquely set on a mix of limestone along with mineral and iron rich veins of red sandstone. It is a prestigious VDP Erste Lage Cru (Premier Cru) with 10-40 year old vines. Handcrafted by Cornelius Donnhoff, one of Germany’s most outstanding winemakers, the Höllenpfad Riesling trocken saw a combination of stainless and used large oak Fuder for fermentation (spontaneous) and aging to express freshness and complexity, making for a wine that drinks great upon release yet has the substance and depth to age decades. At the price, this is one of the best values in Donnhoff’s awesome collection and I highly recommend grabbing a few bottles, it will certainly be a rewarding venture. Donnhoff, which is notably one of the greatest wineries in the world, is a must have in this vintage (2018) and from what I have tasted so far again in 2019, which looks set to a legendary year.”

Shop our entire selection of 39 wines from Donnhoff in stock now on our web store!

Arriving Mid-October

“Another bargain alert!”

2016 Chateau de Pez

From the oldest domaine in Saint-Estephe, comes one of the finest releases ever from this property.

Chateau de Pez, Saint-Estephe 2016 750ML ($59.95) $44.50 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Chateau de Pez, Saint-Estephe 2016 750ML ($719.95) $479 pre-arrival special (that’s only $39.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Decanter 94 points
“Another bargain alert! At this price level, perhaps the most subtle and elegant of all wines tasted. Not as expressive as Ormes de Pez, but top marks for delicate refinement and indeed a noticeably floral aromatic profile that accentuates the palate. As wine consultant Kevin Gagnon noted at a tasting: ‘Finesse and great length.’ Do not hesitate.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “One of the many estates on the Pez plateau in Saint-Estèphe, this property is at the top of its game. Owned by the same proprietors as Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, the wine has structure, big tannins as well as dense black fruits. Drink from 2024.”
James Suckling 93 points “St.-Estèphe is supposed to be a robust and hard wine, but this is elegant and sophisticated with fine, cassis and lemon-peel aromas, polished tannins and a long, rather delicate finish. Drink or hold.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2016 de Pez appears to be benefitting from a long-term replanting program at the estate. This is a blend of 53% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5% Petit Verdot and 1.5% Cabernet Franc. The IPT is quite high at 80, and there is 13.9% alcohol. It has a pure and comely bouquet with black cherries and blackcurrant pastilles, just a touch of crushed violets that emerge with time. The palate is really quite lovely: very well balanced with a fine line of acidity, quite saline in the mouth, perhaps the finest tannic structure that I have encountered during many years of tasting this Saint Estèphe, with a long persistent finish. Maybe this is the ‘dark horse’ of the appellation this year.”

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The average price nationally is $52

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