Monday Newsletter 9-7-2020

In This Newsletter:

New Arrival Special Featurettes:
Terre Nere
Casa Castillo
Marc Colin

Week – New Arrivals


New Releases from Snowden:
Arriving Late September

New Arrival Special Featurette

Terre Nere

More than any other winery, Terre Nere is responsible for the modern interest in wines from Etna.  With vineyards in most of the historically important crus of the slopes of Etna and very old vines, Terre Nere was the first to bottle single-parcel wines from the indigenous variety Nerello and brought international focus and admiration to this once-overlooked region. The high altitude and dark volcanic soils help yield distinctive wines from the indigenous grape varieties and the winery hews to a very traditional model inspired by Burgundy. 

Newly Arrived from Terre Nere:

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Bianco Etna, Sicily 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note
“I first made this wine in 2005. I wanted to remove that more or less 5% of white grapes that the local vignerons used to mingle with their red ones, in order to make my Etna Rosso from red grapes alone. The white grapes were a mumbo-jumbo of local varieties: Carricante, Catarratto, Grecanico, Inzolia and Minnella. So that’s what my Etna Bianco was: a field blend of all the above, with Carricante dominating the blend with roughly 65%. And that’s what it still is. All from old vines. And, somehow, it works. A perfectly lovely wine. With the effortless uplift of a dancer, it allows me to let it go freely through life, malo included, without it ever losing its bright demeanor and lively step. Deviously drinkable, still it always clings, leaving one wondering how it delights and where do the goodies come from. In aging, the noblesse of the Etna and its remarkable terroir emerge. And the loveliness turns thoughtful and deepens, still graceful, never redundant. Fish, meat or fowl, all are fine, if very gently cooked. It loves seafood, particularly over pasta: after all, it is Sicilian.”

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Rosato Etna, Sicily 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Eric Guido-Vinous 90 points
“The 2019 Terre Nere Etna Rosato is actually quite savory, and especially alluring in the glass, pulling me closer with notes of raw almond, dusty dried flowers, smoky tangerine and marine-inspired minerals. It’s silky with fleshy ripe melon and white orchard fruits, but also a salty character that mixes with its vibrant acids to create tension and poise, resonating on residual acids and inner florals.”
James Suckling 90 points “Medium-bodied with lots of cherry and citrus character, light tannins and a fruity finish. Fun and structured. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Rosso Etna, Sicily 2019 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
Winery note
“Made from very fine Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio from low yielding vineyards (35 Hl. Per hectar), both young and old. The grapes are macerated until the end of fermentation. The wine then continues its life in wood until bottled roughly one year after harvest. Even young it is a distinguished wine. Fresh, fragrant, beautifully slender and with a fine grip, it has a natural polish, a stage presence, as it were. And, in aging, as its weave gathers into rich complexity, it is a wine for gentlemen. It is an aristocratically liberal wine: enjoy it with whatever food you wish, as long as its properly cooked.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $29.90

We offer 11 wines in stock now from Terre Nere.

Shop the selections on our webstore!

New Arrival Special Featurette

Casa Castillo

Jumilla, in southern Spain, is one of the top sources for rich and dense value reds.  The dominant grape there, Monastrell (AKA Mourvèdre) handles the heat well, ripening slowly without becoming overly alcoholic.  The resulting wines are dark, powerful and, thanks to the limestone soils, surprisingly fresh as well.  Casa Castillo produces some of our favorites for value and quality from the region.

New Arrivals from Casa Castillo:

Casa Castillo Las Gravas, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($37.95) $33 special
Case-12 Casa Castillo Las Gravas, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($419.95) $369 special (that’s only $30.75/bottle!)
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2017 Las Gravas is surprisingly floral and ethereal, perfumed and elegant. Syrah has disappeared from the blend of this wine—it now has 20% Garnacha to complement the Monastrell—and they think this is going to be the blend that stays in this wine, which has seen more changes in its life than the rest of the portfolio. This is for sure the most elegant vintage for this bottling; the wine matured in 500-liter barrels and then spent four months in 5,000-liter vats after the blend was done. There are no aromas of oak whatsoever, and the wine is surprisingly fresh, as if the Garnacha helps to contain the power of Monastrell on the gravel soils, adding texture and perfume. This is beautiful. 26,500 bottles were filled in March 2019.”

Casa Castillo El Molar Tinto, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19.50 special
Case-12 Casa Castillo El Molar Tinto, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points
“There is a high-pitched red fruit note on the nose of the 2017 El Molar, and it’s a wine with a lot of light, something that is quite remarkable for a warm and Mediterranean year like 2017. This is a Garnacha that feels like a wine from a cool year, with plenty bright red fruit. I tasted it two weeks after it was bottled, and it felt completely harmonious and relaxed. As with most of the 2017s, this seems like the finest vintage for this wine. It has a lighter color and a more fragrant nose, and it’s immediately identifiable within the Casa Castillo range. 28,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Also In Stock Now from Casa Castillo

A staff favorite to pair with rich or spicy BBQ!
Casa Castillo Vino de Finca, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Casa Castillo Vino de Finca, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Luis Gutierrez 93+ points
“There is a big jump in depth, complexity and nuance between the Monastrell and the 2017 Vino de Finca, which is a blend of Monastrell with almost 25% Garnacha. This comes from four plots that were selected from what was previously used for the entry-level Monastrell; they aim was to find a wine with more finesse and elegance but with the inherent power of the zone. This is only the third vintage for this cuvée, and it feels quite established and different from the rest of the range; it has less varietal character and is more about the place, getting closer to the single-vineyard bottlings where they do not search for fruit character. The idea here is to ferment at temperatures that are quite so low and to stabilize the wine in oak barrels for a long-ish time (12 months in 500-liter barrels and 5,000-liter oak foudres). They are wines of sun and limestone. This is a good reflection of it with a perfumed and floral note on the finish (elegance!) that is quite remarkable. 31,000 bottles produced in 2017. It was bottled in November 2018.”

New Arrival Special Featurette

Marc Colin’s 2017s

Founded in 1970 in St. Aubin, Domaine Marc Colin produces mostly white wines sourced from holdings in Chassagne, Puligny, and Santenay, and – of course – St. Aubin.  Their wines have earnest respect and acclaim for their purity and elegance. Now under the direction of Marc’s children, John, Damien, and Caroline, Domaine Marc Colin has reached the upper echelon of Burgundy.

Vines are worked sustainably, and some parcels age over 100 years. Unlike much of St. Aubin, the Colin parcels are situated on slopes, with their finest holdings being in the En Remilly and Montceau vineyards. Harvest is done manually, no chemical fertilizers are used, and new oak is used sparingly nowadays. More recent vintages have been stunning in their clarity and freshness. We’re proud to feature a number of releases from the 2017 vintage, all newly arrived.

Newly Arrived from Marc Colin

Domaine Marc Colin et Fils Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy 2017 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 88 points
“Already bottled, the 2017 Bourgogne Chardonnay offers up aromas of white flowers, citrus oil and wet stones. On the palate, its medium-bodied, elegantly glossy and succulent, though it’s quite tight-knit after its recent bottling. As usual, it’s an excellent introduction to the domaine’s range.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Marc Colin et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet Margot, Cote de Beaune 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate
“Aromas or pear and buttered yellow apples, complemented by a pretty top note of white flowers, introduce the 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet Cuvée Margot, a medium to full-bodied, satiny and charming wine that’s giving and open-knit. This is already drinking well.”
Burghound “Pungent aromas of matchstick, petrol and resin lead to nicely vibrant and beautifully well-detailed medium weight flavors that possess a lovely sense of vibrancy along with very good depth and persistence on the clean and attractively dry finish. Once again, this is a fine villages that should drink well young and with 5 to 7 years of age.”

Domaine Marc Colin et Fils Les Castets, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Neal Martin – Vinous 90-92 points
“The 2017 Saint-Aubin les Castet 1er Cru has a delightful, quite engaging bouquet with hints of yellow flower and cockle shells, a light estuarine scent gradually unfolding in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fresh crisp citrus fruit on the entry, quite Puligny-like in style with a tang of quince and marmalade perking up the poised finish. I like the energy and tension here – good potential. (DIAM closure)”
Burghound 90 points “Here the nose plays right on the edge of reduction due to some unabsorbed post-bottling sulfur though it’s not so much as to mask the pear, floral and apple-scented nose. The delicious middle weight flavors possess solid volume as well as a lush mouth feel, all wrapped in a nicely persistent finish. This needs to develop better overall depth but the underlying material appears to be present for that to occur.”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2017 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Castets is also open and expressive, bursting with aromas of white flowers, fresh pear and hazelnuts. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, charming and giving, with lively acids and a precise, chalky finish. This is another of Colin’s 2017s that’s drinking well straight out of the gates.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $64.95

Domaine Marc Colin et Fils Les Combes, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Neal Martin – Vinous 91-93 points
“The 2017 Saint-Aubin les Combes 1er Cru has a relatively strict bouquet compared to its sibling Premier Crus with light estuarine scents, shucked oyster shell and a touch of blackcurrant leaf. The palate is fresh and quite intense on the entry. I love the depth and vigour of this wine, quite voluminous in the mouth with a delicate touch of ginger towards the finish. Superb. (DIAM closure)”
Burghound 91 points “An expressive and distinctly cool nose is composed by notes of green apple, citrus rind and floral aromas that are trimmed in a hint of matchstick character. The rich and vibrant medium weight flavors possess both good volume and minerality, all wrapped in a vibrant, clean and balanced finish. This succulent yet punchy and firm effort offers fine quality and balance and even a certain amount of finesse.”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2017 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Combes mingles aromas of crisp yellow orchard fruit with hints of nutmeg and marzipan in an attractive bouquet, followed by a medium to full-bodied, fleshy and generous palate that’s turned out to be a bit richer and riper than I anticipated a year ago. Again, this is another wine that will drink well young.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Marc Colin et Fils En Montceau, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The 2017 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Montceau is showing beautiful, unwinding in the glass with a bouquet of orange oil, lemon zest, pear and dried white flowers that’s more youthfully reticent than the En Remilly, framed by a light touch of reduction. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, chiseled and tensile, with a beautifully chalky, mineral profile. This is well worth seeking out, and it will reward a bit of bottle age.”
Burghound 92 points “Again there is sufficient unabsorbed sulfur to largely dominate the otherwise cool white orchard fruit, citrus and apple aromas. More interesting are the intense, racy and overtly mineral-driven middle weight flavors that deliver fine length on the balanced finale. At present this isn’t as complex as the En Remilly but I suspect that will eventually change as this ages as En Montceau almost always needs age to shine.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $66

Domaine Marc Colin et Fils Bourgogne Aligote, Burgundy 2017 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Decanter 91 points
“Damien Colin and his sister Caroline carry on their father’s domaine; their two siblings each have their own label but this is where the old Aligoté vines are and Damien is justifiably proud of them. The 2017 was like a reward after 2016’s disastrous frost, and this is floral and appetising, with white fruit and lovely pure acidity. Damien reckons it could last 15 years because ‘l’Aligoté, ça vieillit bien’.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Marc Colin et Fils Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Marc Colin et Fils Santenay Rouge Vieilles Vignes, Cote de Beaune 2017 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Neal Martin – Vinous 89-91 points
“The 2017 Santenay Vieilles Vignes Champs Claude, ages in 15% new oak, has a lovely, quite subtle seaweed scent that permeates the red berry aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with a fine bead of acidity, taut and linear with admirable precision towards the finish. This is my pick of the domaine’s three reds this year. (DIAM closure)”
William Kelley – Wine Advocate “The 2017 Santenay Vieilles Vignes hails from a very old parcel and is deeper-pitched than Colin’s other reds, exhibiting notes of cherries, rich soil tones and peonies, followed by a medium to full-bodied, layered palate that’s earthy and nicely concentrated.”

New Week – New Arrivals

West Coast

Crowley Four Winds Vineyard Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($55.95) $46 special
Winery note for the 2017 vintage (2018 note not available)
“This wine has an electric presence in the glass. The nose displays warm notes as lees contact and barrel tag team to deliver sweet spice and a touch of vanilla. Minor nuttiness appears quickly then gives way to classic green apple, lime zest and pear. A lot to check out and even more as it warms when a saline quality kicks in. Mouth-watering acidity jumps out right away to remind that drinking Four Winds is never a dull experience. A polished and soft landing leads to lemon drop, apple and dried apricot. Salt and slight reduction enters the picture as does a kiss of wood. Complexity, concentration and length keep this wine interesting throughout the bottle.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Only 10 bottles available!
Ovum Old Love White Blend, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special
Winery note
“It’s golden hue is the first thing you’ll notice (thanks amphora), and without putting your nose to the glass you’ll start getting wafts of salted lemon, fresh peeled orange and aloe vera. The aromas are multiple layers deep where you’ll find verbena, straw, key lime, sea spray, river rock. The palate shows the sensual texture of cask fighting with the rawness of amphora, and yet it finishes with bright minerality. Bitter orange marmalade lingers on the fingers, echoing the initial top notes of wine.
“2019 OLD LOVE comes from FIVE vineyards planted throughout Oregon: Willamette, Eola-Amity, Columbia Gorge, Southern OR. The sites are focused on sustainable farming practices – dry farming, organic and minimal additions. Some are not certified organic, but are in the process of converting. Each site is chosen for its unique qualities that it will lend to the final wine. 2019 is primarily Riesling, but OLD LOVE is not about a single grape – it is about the vineyards coming together to make a singular wine of Oregon.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Hope Well Estate Pinot Noir, Eola Amity Hills 2018 750ML ($99.95) $85 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Vivid magenta. Spice- and mineral-accented black raspberry, cherry, boysenberry and candied rose scents are accompanied by hints of star anise, succulent herbs and sandalwood. Silky, sweet and lively on the palate, offering juicy, densely packed red and blue fruit and spicecake flavors that deepen steadily as the wine opens up. Dusty, even tannins add shape to the smooth, extremely long finish, which leaves behind sappy red and blue fruit and five-spice powder notes. 10% new oak.”

Mount Eden Edna Valley Chardonnay 2017 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Mount Eden Edna Valley Chardonnay 2017 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“This comes mostly from the Wolf vineyard with some fruit from the Middle Ranch vineyard. The 2017 Edna Valley Chardonnay opens with wonderful aromas of honeycomb, orange blossoms, saline, crushed shell and loads of baked apple and quince with an earthy undercurrent. The palate is medium-bodied, satiny and intense, with seamless freshness on the finish, which lingers with honeyed notions.-EB”

France – Champagne

Lombard & Cie Premier Cru Extra Brut Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $36 special
Wine Enthusiast 89 points
“With its high proportion of Pinot Meunier, this wine is soft and has developed quickly and attractively in bottle. It is dry but the fruitiness balances that taut, mineral texture with a ripe, full aftertaste. Drink now.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “[Review for prior disgorgement.] A vibrant, balanced version, with a detailed mousse the texture of raw silk and finely meshed flavors of ripe cherry, lemon zest, chalky mineral and toast point. Disgorged February 2018. Drink now. 10,000 cases made, 1,000 cases imported.”
30% Pinot Noir (Sermier and Villedommange), 30% Pinot Meunier (Coulommes-la-Montagne), 40% Chardonnay (Cote des Blancs villages of Grauves & Vertus). Disgorged 12/2/2019. 4 g/L dosage. Aged for 3-4 years sur lattes.

Lombard & Cie Grand Cru Brut Nature Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $47 special
50% Pinot Noir (Ambonnay and Verzenay) & 50% Chardonnay (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Chouilly, Avize and Cramant). 20% reserve wine. 4-5 years sur lattes. Disgorged 7/24/2018. 0g/L dosage.

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Champagne Aubry ‘Sable’ Premier Cru Brut Rose Champagne 2014 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2014 Rosé Sablé Nicolas Francois Aubry is a real pleasure to taste. It is also much more giving than the 2013 at this stage. Crushed flowers, cranberry and chalk all flesh out in a Rosé that offers terrific depth as well as energy. It is another classy, polished Champagne from the Aubry brothers.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points “Disgorged in October 2018, Aubry’s 2014 Brut Nature Rosé Sablé Premier Cru is showing very well, wafting from the glass with a complex bouquet of oatmeal, fresh peach, woodsmoke, orange oil and dried linden blossom. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, vinous and crisply textural, with racy acids, a delicate low-pressure mousse and a long, penetrating finish. While I found the 2013 rendition—reviewed last year—a little austere, the more generous 2014 vintage is more naturally giving and inviting in the wine’s chiseled, bone-dry register. A saignée of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier gives the wine its color and amounts to some 30% of the unusual blend, complemented by fully 20% Arbanne and 25% Petit Meslier, the balance coming from Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay.”
John Gilman 90 points “The 2014 Aubry “Sablé” Rosé Brut Nature Millésime is an exotic blend of thirty percent of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir (fermented together), ten percent Chardonnay, twenty percent Arbanne, twenty-five percent Petit Meslier, ten percent Pinot Blanc and five percent of still red wine, solely being Pinot Meunier. All of the vins clairs go through full malo. The wine was disgorged in October of 2018 and is a very pale copper color. The nose here is complex and quite unique, offering up scents of tart orange, bread dough, a good base of soil, spring flowers and fresh almond. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied and nicely balanced for a non-dosé, with good depth at the core, fine focus and grip, frothy mousse, snappy acids and a long, bonedry finish. This is quite good, but really built almost exclusively (at least at this young age) for specialists in Brut Nature. For my palate, I would have welcomed at least a couple of grams of dosage, but it is quite well done in its style and should age well. 2019-2040+.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

France – Burgundy

Domaine Matrot Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy 2018 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
“Outstanding Top Value. Touches of straw, petrol and citrus add breadth to the notes of poached pear. The sleek, intense and delicious middle weight flavors possess a lovely sense of underlying tension. This isn’t especially complex but I very much like the clean, dry and wonderfully refreshing finish. Worth a look as this is well-made in the context of the genre.” – Allen Meadows, Burghound

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($37.95) $27 special
Distributor note
“Burgundy lovers know the best way to judge the quality of a domaine is not with their greatest sites, but their most humble, the Bourgogne. From a six acre plot of 28-55 year old vines, Vincent Mongeard’s Bourgogne is a perfect introduction to one of the greatest estates in the Cotes de Nuits.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Dei Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“Fragrant blue flower, crushed aromatic herb and wild berry aromas form the nose on this smooth, full-bodied red. A blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo Nero, it’s savory and loaded with finesse, delivering juicy black cherry, ripe blackberry, truffle and cocoa before a star anise finish. Supple tannins and bright acidity provide seamless support and balance. Drink 2021–2031.”

Paolo Scavino Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
James Suckling 91 points
“Plenty of berry and spice with hints of tiles. Medium to full body, firm and velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. Drink now.”
Wine Spectator 90 points “A rich, lush style, displaying black cherry, blackberry and subtle chocolate flavors. Dense yet succulent, with a mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2020. 916 cases made.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Luigi Baudana ‘Baudana’, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) $77 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2016 Barolo Baudana is laced with sweet red cherry, floral overtones and silky tannins, all of which make it one of the more refined, sensual Serralunga Barolos readers will come across. In this tasting, the Baudana impresses with its haunting aromatics and transparent expression of Nebbiolo. Like all of these wines, it needs time in bottle but it is super impressive, even in the early going.”
Kerin O’Keefe – Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Balsamic aromas of camphor mingle with pressed rose, new leather and small red berry. Firmly structured and youthfully austere, the linear palate features dried cherry, licorice, cinnamon and tobacco alongside assertive but noble tannins and fresh acidity. Drink 2026–2036.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Luigi Baudana Cerretta, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) $77 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2016 Barolo Cerretta is dark, virile and imposing. Black cherry, lavender, scorched earth, cloves, leather and a range of balsamic notes give the Cerretta its somber, virile feel. Ample and powerful yet also medium in body, the Cerretta captures so much of what makes Nebbiolo so captivating, specifically the ability for a wine to constantly transform in the glass.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Castiglion del Bosco has become one of our go-to producers for modern-styled Brunello.  Rich and powerful with silky fruit, the 2015 is a masterpiece.  This is a wine that’s always glorious right from the gate—a big, textured wine with silky tannins and explosive aromatics.  It’s become a best seller for us for a reason, and we’re excited to have it back in stock.

Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
James Suckling 97 points
“Wonderful aromos of flowers, plums, terracotta and white pepper. Intense, yet ever so subtle. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins, and a long and intense finish. Shows excellent length. Drink after 2021.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Good deep red. Complex aromas of redcurrant, raspberry, graphite, mocha, and mint. Focused and suave with very attractive sweetness and standout purity to its flavors of red berries and candied flowers. Finishes with polished tannins and outstanding length.”


Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Pittersberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2018 750ML ($51.95) $46 special
Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The 2018 Im Pitterberg Riesling GG is bright and floral on the fragrant and elegant, spicy-mineral nose. Full-bodied and intense on the palate, with rich and concentrated fruit that is balanced by a tight and mineral structure and lingering salinity, this is an elegant, very complex and sustainable dry Riesling with crunchy stone flavors and a gripping finish. This is a great Nahe wine from the 2018 vintage. Tasted in July 2019.”
David Schildknecht-Vinous 92 points “Scents of white peach anticipate the cool juiciness as well as the peach fuzz invigoration and peach kernel piquancy that emerge on a firm palate. A bright influx of fresh lime lends animation and enhances refreshment on a finish that also features mouthwatering veal stock savor and vivid wet stone. (For background on the naming of this site and the origin of its fruit, consult my review of the corresponding 2015.)”
Terry Theise note “Here’s how it goes. I taste through all the GGs and try to glean where they each will go, and which are likely to be best. Then a year or two later I drink them in their finished form and see how wrong I was. Or was I wrong? I make the best guess I can, with 30-some years behind me, knowing how wines generally behave and how they might surprise you, and to feign certainty under those circumstances is a knave’s game. But what else can I trust? I’m not always wrong; sometimes I’m right! Maybe even often. Just know, please, that this is educated guesswork—but with that out of the way, this is what I found on the day…. Pitterberg has what the Germans call “Fond,” which connotes a sort of concentrated stock, more than broth and less than demi-glace. It has density, and it seems to have been born balanced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $43.99


Conquilla Brut Cava, Catalonia NV 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Conquilla Brut Cava, Catalonia NV 750ML ($219.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Importer note
“Conquilla is Catalan for ‘shell’ referencing the sedimentary limestone soils of Spain’s Penedes Valley. With all estate fruit this Champagne-method sparkler has fine bubbles, a bright citrus nose, and a hint of almond on the zippy finish.”

Restock! Envinate seeks to highlight the individual terroirs of the Canary Islands and Ribeira Sacra. They produce wines of purity with low-intervention winemaking and vineyard management using ancient vineyards.
Envinate ‘Palo Blanco’, Canary Islands 2018 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special
Importer note
“Palo Blanco this cuvee is sourced from a 1.5ha vineyard of centenarian cordon trenzado (braided vines) Listan Blanco at 600m elevation, and is named for the area where it’s planted. The grapes are hand-harvested, pressed full cluster into large concrete tank off the skins and fermented without malolactic occurring, then raised in two Friulian 2500L oval foudres for 10 months. Bottling is without fining or filtration. Palo Blanco is a volcanic island wine: high-toned, linear, saline and electric.”

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

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $49


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

A richly flavored & value-minded Champagne. Floral, yeasty, toasty, zippy, and more, this delivers a very loud bang for the buck!
Henriot Brut Souverain, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-12 Henriot Brut Souverain, Champagne NV 750ML ($599.95) $436 special (that’s only $36.33/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 91 points
“A touch of vanilla-laced pastry cream sweetness accents this fresh and focused Champagne, with a fine mousse. This is well-balanced by crunchy acidity and flavors of lemon peel, green pear and spring blossom. Drink now through 2022. 6,000 cases imported. — AN”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Domaine Santa Duc Gigondas Prestige des Hautes Garrigues, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94-97 points
“Lastly, the 2015 Gigondas Hautes Garrigues (60/40 Grenache and Mourvèdre) is a beauty boasting killer notes of dark fruits, crushed rocks, pepper, garrigue and scorched earth. This seriously good 2015 has building richness, a stacked mid-palate and a huge finish, all suggesting short-term cellaring will be your friend. It will keep for two decades of more.”
James Suckling 93 points “Mourvèdre steps up to one third of the blend while the balance is grenache. This has an attractive array of ripe dark cherry and blue plum fruits. The tannins are framed up with a deeper, wider shape. Try from 2020, this needs time.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93-95 points “Full ruby. Smoke-accented aromas of red and dark berry liqueur, incense, spicecake and candied flowers show outstanding energy and clarity. Sweet, seamless and broad in the mouth, offering concentrated black raspberry, boysenberry and lavender pastille flavors that fan out steadily with air. Rich but nervy and precise as well, carrying no excess fat. Velvety tannins frame an extremely long, incisive finish that leaves behind notes of sweet dark berries and candied flowers.”
Wine Advocate 92-95 points “I loved the 2015 Gigondas Hautes Garrigues and this flagship cuvee is made from 65% Grenache and 35% Mourvèdre that’s brought up in foudre. It’s a full-bodied, concentrated, yet brilliantly proportioned Gigondas that has classy notes of blackberries, plums, garrigue and leather. It’s going to need 3-5 years of cellaring.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $64.99

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

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

Arriving Friday!
Isole e Olena Collezione Privata Syrah, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Isole e Olena Collezione Privata Syrah, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($479.95) $324 pre-arrival special (that’s only $54/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Antonio Galloni 98 points
“The 2016 Syrah is a fascinating contrast to the 2015. The cooler vintage (vis-à-vis) 2015 yielded a perfumed, silky wine that dazzled with finesse. Silky tannins wrap around a core of dark blue/purplish fruit, lavender, spice, menthol and licorice. Vivid and finely sculpted, with tremendous nuance, the 2016 has it all. Paolo De Marchi did five vinifications and used a touch of whole clusters in all the lots, which really seems to bring out an extra dimension of aromatic complexity.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “I absolutely love this profound and beautiful Syrah from Tuscany. The 2016 Syrah Collezione Privata offers a unique interpretation of the grape that delivers much of the heft, power, smokiness and textural richness of the French grape, however it also shows purely Italian flares of grilled herb, blue flower, moist earth and Toscano cigar. Bold cherry fruit fills the core of this wine, and there is plenty of padding and extra richness at the edges. The wine is rich, velvety and long in terms of mouthfeel. It ages in oak for 18 months. Some 5,000 bottles were made.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Arriving ETA October
Drappier Carte d’Or Brut Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Drappier Carte d’Or Brut Champagne NV 750ML ($299.95) $199 pre-arrival special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 92 points
“[Reviewed Nov 2017] This bright and zesty Champagne is lightly juicy and appealing, offering flavors of Honeycrisp apple, ripe white cherry, biscuit and pickled ginger. Balanced and lacy in texture, with a lingering, spiced finish. Drink now through 2022. 2,200 cases imported.”
Decanter 91 points “[Reviewed Oct 2019] Described by Drappier as ‘almost a blanc de noirs’, this Pinot Noir-dominant wine sourced from the Côte des Bar is the house’s calling card. 5% of the cuvée is matured in barrels for a year for added complexity and texture, and it’s bottled unfiltered with a fairly low dosage of 7g/l. There are some melon and apple scents on the nose along with a splash of red fruits, while the palate is intense, with notes of apple, quince and grape wrapped in a red-fruit veil. It’s full-bodied and long, with a lovely texture from the red wine tannins and oak-matured portion.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points “[Reviewed Apr 2020] Disgorged in June 2019, the latest rendition of Drappier’s NV Brut Carte d’Or is showing well, bursting with pretty aromas of peach, honeyed orchard fruit and white flowers. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, chalky and incisive, with fine depth and tension and a penetrating finish.”
[Disgorgement may vary from reviews]

New Releases from Snowden

Arriving Late September

The quality of Snowden’s fruit has been an open secret within the Napa for decades, and many of the Valley’s most respected names have purchased fruit over the years, including Silver Oak and Caymus. However, we’re here to publically out Snowden for the greater good. These prices do not reflect the quality on offer, and the wines deserve a place on your dinner table.

In Stock Now from Snowden

Snowden Vineyards Brothers Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
#91 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2019
Antonio Galloni 96+ points
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers is the best wine I have tasted from Diana Snowden-Seysses. Rich, explosive and savory, the 2016 dazzles with intensity in all of its dimensions. Graphite, smoke, savory herbs and spice notes wrap around a core of dark fruit in a vertical, towering Cabernet Sauvignon that captures all the vintage has to offer.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Offers a tasty core of plum and blackberry fruit, backed by lively anise and apple wood notes. Restrained overall, with an alluring freshness and a subtle charcoal hint lingering deftly at the end. Drink now through 2032. 639 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Snowden Vineyards The Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“Snowden’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch is gorgeous. Dark, powerful and beautifully structured, the 2016 Ranch is a huge overachiever. In 2016, the Ranch is a wine of real power, gravitas and character. Black cherry, plum, lavender and savory herbs all develop in the glass, but it is the wine’s persistence and overall balance that stands out in this deeply flavorful, classically built Cabernet from Snowden. Best of all, the 2016 is a superb wine for the money.”
James Suckling 92 points “Elderberries, blueberries, blackberries and hints of hazelnuts and walnuts. Medium to full body, focused acidity and a medium-chewy finish. Drink in 2022.”

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

Snowden Vineyards The Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($54.95) $41.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 90 points
“The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch is an attractive, mid-weight wine that shows the more gracious, understated side of the year. Floral and spice notes give the 2017 lovely aromatics to play off a core of sweet red berry fruit. This is a very pretty wine.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $50.99

Arriving Late September from Snowden

Snowden Vineyards Lost Vineyard Merlot, Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 90-92 points
“The 2018 Merlot Lost Vineyard is deep, rich and flavorful, with super-expressive savory, earthy, cedary notes from the 5% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. The 2018 is wonderfully deep and resonant, yet very much in the Snowden style. This is a very nice wine.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Snowden Vineyards Brothers Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93+ points
“The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard is gorgeous. In this vintage, the Brothers has a bit more tannin and overall structure than normal, but in 2017 a power outage resulted in the wine staying in tank for an extra ten days. In the end, that looks to have been a help, as the 2017 offers a terrific combination of fruit density and structure, within the mid-weight style of the year at Snowden. This is a beguiling wine that may very well turn out to be a surprise in time. Super classic, old-school, medium-bodied wine with good depth and resonance alongside notes of black cherry, leather, tobacco, licorice and gravel.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Succulent and open in feel, with friendly plum and raspberry puree notes set on a silky structure, backed by light rooibos tea and anise hints. A stylish Cabernet, offering an alluring mouthfeel. Drink now through 2029. 636 cases made.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

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