In Today’s Newsletter:
2015 Montevertine Pergole Torte
Want all caps GREAT WINE?
2013 Produttori Crus
“Best since the legendary 1997?”
“If you can just listen, the wine will draw you in”
Georg Breuer – Rhinegau Rieslings
Your January Champagne: Thierry Triolet
Brunier Family Values
The Unassuming Brilliance of Westrey
The Perfect Number / The Perfect Picks:
Jump Start Offer:
Montevertine Le Pergole Torte
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96-98 points “Tasted as a barrel sample, the 2015 Le Pergole Torte is a 100% expression of Sangiovese sourced from the estate’s oldest vines (between 30 and 50 years old). Like the other wines from Montevertine, Le Pergole Torte sees both its alcoholic and malolactic fermentations in cement, and the wine later ages in new oak barrels for 12 to 18 months depending on the vintage. After that first phase in barrique, it goes into large botte to complete its integration. This gorgeous vintage opens to a deep, dark appearance with a velvety presentation of dark fruit and black cherry flavors. The wine’s textural richness is ultimately what sets this fantastic vintage apart.”
Antonio Galloni 95-98 points “The 2015 Le Pergole Torte is explosive and powerful while showing a remarkable level of precision. Pliant and beautifully resonant, it captures all the best qualities of the year. The oak still needs time to fully assimilate. Even so, the wine’s pedigree and potential are very much in evidence today. In a word: superb.”
Want all caps GREAT WINE?
2013 Produttori Crus
“Two thousand thirteen …is shaping up to be an epic vintage of classic proportions and superb pedigree… No one knows every nook and cranny of Barbaresco better than Aldo Vacca, but Vacca has also proven to be incredibly wise in making choices that have positioned the Produttori for much continued success in the future.”– Antonio Galloni2013 is the greatest vintage in Barbaresco since…2007? 2001? 1996? 1990? Further back? Regardless of where you put 2013 in that esteemed set, it’s time to stock up—this is an all caps GREAT VINTAGE which should be bought as heavily as you can afford. We’re talking a top tier region (Barbaresco), top tier co-op that pays members based on quality not quantity, top tier vineyards such as Rabaja, and a top tier vintage. But what is this all going to cost? You might expect to shell out a few hundred bucks a bottle if this was Burgundy or Bordeaux (heck, often over a thousand). This is benchmark stuff, after all.
But no, while this is a producer that racks up hot reviews like nobody’s business, us common folk can still afford to buy in. We picked up as much of the 2013 vintage as we could, and then some, to share this epic estate with you. So stock up, cellar a bunch, and enjoy drinking these wines over the next 10, 20, (or maybe 50!) years.
Two of Our Favorites, In Stock Now:
The Grand Cru is ever one were to label such things in Barbaresco…
Produttori del Barbaresco Rabaja, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Wine Enthusiast 97 points– Cellar Selection “A hallmark expression of Nebbiolo, Produttori del Barbaresco’s 2013 Rabajà Riserva offers aromas of wild red berry, menthol, Alpine herb, saddle leather and dark culinary spice. The concentrated palate boasts enviable finesse and is practically weightless in the mouth, showing crushed black cherry, juicy raspberry, orange zest, clove and licorice alongside firm, velvety tannins. Bright acidity provides impeccable balance. Drink 2021–2033.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà is shockingly seamless in this tasting. Deep layers of fruit virtually bury the tannins, something that is so unusual for a young Rabajà. A host of dark blue-tone fruits, lavender, mint, violet and spice race across the palate in an utterly vivid, compelling Barbaresco of the highest level. Perhaps I caught the Rabajà on an unusually open day, but it is terrific and also quite refined for such a young wine.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà is a gorgeous wine with a dark and penetrating quality of fruit that wraps sensuously over the palate. Our tasting order sees this wine as the sixth sample in a lineup of nine Riservas that were tasted in order of increasing structure and power. Well-exposed and sun-drenched fruit from the Rabajà cru offers dark color saturation and thickness. The high limestone content of the soils means this is a hotter growing site that performs best in cooler vintages like 2013. Those soil types help to concentrate the fruit, and you taste that here in terms of the wine’s broad concentration and vertical delivery of black fruit aromas. This is a complete and seamlessly integrated wine with drying mineral sensations on the powerful finish.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Fruity, featuring floral, cherry and plum flavors, along with savory leather, licorice and tobacco notes. A chewy texture and lively acidity keep this well-defined through the long finish. Complex and classy. Best from 2023 through 2038.”
Dense, dark and full of minerality – a Barolo-killer
Produttori del Barbaresco Montestefano, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Produttori del Barbaresco Montestefano, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “This is full-bodied, displaying cherry, licorice, wild herb, iron and tobacco notes. The dense tannins take over and dominate the finish now, despite this remaining fresh and long. Full-bodied and minerally. Best from 2025 through 2040.”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points– Editors Choice “New leather, camphor, forest berry, dried rose and culinary spice are some of the aromas you’ll find on this exceptional red. The firmly structured, poised palate doles out juicy cranberry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise framed in tightly-knit, refined tannins while bright acidity provides energy and balance. Drink 2020–2033.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “A dark, brooding wine, the 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano comes across as quite virile today, with huge tannins and equally imposing dark fruit. Smoke, leather, licorice and game add to an impression of raw, almost unrestrained, power. There is not a whole lot of finesse here at least not now. The Montestefano is a wine painted in broad brush strokes that emphasize power over elegance. Then again, that is Montestefano. Readers should be in no rush to open the 2013.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The final wine in this portfolio of amazing single-vineyard expressions is the 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano. This is the densest and darkest of them all, and I would therefore suggest that the longest drinking window be reserved for this expression. Montestefano is shaped as an amphitheater of vines that locks in the summer heat and sees less wind compared to Montefico. This is a solid and firm wine with deep, dark intensity and solid tannins that form an unyielding backbone. You should hold onto this bottle for at least 5 more years before popping the cork.”
See the complete list of 2013 Crus from Produttori del Barbaresco below or click here to shop!
“Best since the legendary 1997?”
In Stock Now
“Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper. Powerful and structured. A great Tignanello.”-James Suckling
“a wine that opens, like a fully blossomed rose, right in front of you”-Monica Larner
#24 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2018
Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
James Suckling 98 points “Fantastic aromas of dark berries, sandalwood and Spanish cedar that are ever so deep. Full body, an incredible spin of polished tannins and bright acidity. Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper. Powerful and structured. A great Tignanello. A little more sangiovese than usual. Best since the legendary 1997?”
Wine Spectator 97 points “Dense and intensely flavored, with violet, black currant, blackberry, graphite, wild herb and spice aromas and flavors, this is concentrated and solidly built, yet also harmonious, vibrant and pure. Approachable now, but should be better in a few years. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2021 through 2035.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2015 Tignanello is a wine that opens, like a fully blossomed rose, right in front of you. This vintage is immediately accessible, generous and opulent. The wine will surely flesh out and gain focus with more bottle age, but one of the best qualities of this vintage is just how beautiful the wine tastes straight out of the gate. The fruit is beautifully ripe with fresh blackberry and cherry nuances, spice, leather, sweet tobacco and smoke. Up until this vintage, the various blending components that make up Tignanello were vinifed in separate lots. Starting with 2015, the wine is blended sooner in order to achieve better overall integration. The entire Tignanello estate counts 130 hectares of vines, but the single-vineyard “Tignanello” that makes this wine is 57 hectares. Some 340,000 bottles were produced.”
“If you can just listen, the wine will draw you in” – Terry Theise
Georg Breuer – Rhinegau Rieslings
Georg Breuer is one of a handful of estates that still make Riesling in the Rheingau that lives up to the historic standards of the region. Unless you’re an old hand at the German Riesling game (which is to say unless you’ve been buying the wines for 30+ years) the Rheingau isn’t at the top of your list of great German regions. Historically, though it might be the most important place that the grape was grown (there’s a reason the grape is sometimes referred to as Johannisberg Riesling). It was a region that rested on its laurels for a long time, though a new generation is trying to restore former glory.
Leitz is obviously the biggest of those newer names, but the wines Theresa Breuer is making at Georg Breuer (now imported by Terry Theise) have catapulted them into the discussion of ‘winemakers to pay attention to.’ These are wines that are quintessentially Rheingau, in a drier style—though there is no forcing the fermentations and the winery doesn’t believe in using the trocken designation, even for the dry wines, as a result. The reviews from Mosel Fine Wines and David Schildknecht at Vinous confirm what we suspected—this is a winery to pay attention to.
In Stock Now from Georg Breuer:
Georg Breuer Rauenthal Estate Riesling, Rheingau 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
David Schildknecht–Vinous 92 points “Scents of iris and gentian mingle with intimations of the fresh lemon and lime that then dominate on a bright, buoyant, silken-textured palate transparent to shimmeringly crystalline mineral nuances. At just 11.3 percent alcohol, the wine conveys delightful buoyancy perfectly suited to its prominent florality. It finishes with near-endless juiciness and persistent floral inhalations for an exhilarating and consummately refreshing performance.”
Mosel Fine Wines 91+ points “This develops a slightly backward but hugely impressive feel of pear, candied grapefruit, bergamot, minerals, and fine herbs. The wine is nicely elegant with great but not overpowering presence on the palate and leaves a ravishing feel of passion fruit, minerals and aniseed herbs in the long and pear-infused finish. This is a spectacular rendition of the Rauenthal Estate and one which will give more than a hint of the Grand Vin for of fraction of its costs. We would not be surprised if, in fine, it will even exceed our high expectations, especially if it develops aromatically: It is that impressive! 2020-2030”
The average price nationally is $23
Georg Breuer Rudesheim Estate Riesling, Rheingau 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points “This bright-yellow colored wine took a while to develop its first balance but offers after some airing a gorgeous nose of grapefruit, apple, pear, mango and some aniseed herbs. What is remarkable about this wine is how finely sizzled it comes over on the palate and in the long and remarkably airy finish. This is a little beauty of elegance and freshness with true “Grand Vin” traits. 2020-2030”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 90 points “Lime and ripe peach on the nose anticipate the juicy abundance of fruit on a clear, polished palate, set off by stony and alkaline undertones. The finish is bright and tangy, with mouthwatering salinity and delightful buoyancy.”
The average price is $25
Georg Breuer Rauenthal Nonnenberg Riesling Trocken, Rheingau 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points “This offers a superb even if still slightly backward nose of yellow peach, grapefruit puree, pear, aniseed herbs and earthy spices. The wine is hugely impressive even if on the reserved side of things on the palate as minerals, some pear and citrusy fruits only wait to integrate in a few years’ time. The finish, while completely backward, is just heaven, with great freshness, mineral depth and huge precision. This is a stunning Nonnenberg in the making! 2025-2035+”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93 points “Bittersweetly perfumed iris, gentian and buddleia mingle with green herbs and sea breeze on a haunting nose, and the buoyant, silken-textured palate perpetuates those elements in luscious liquid form, underlain by wet stone. Superbly long, the finish is like a gently undulating carpet of flowers on stone. Comparing this 2015 with the severe constraints of its youthful 2014 counterpart, what a difference a year makes!”
The next best price is $84.10
Champagne in January?
Well, we don’t expect you to wait until December to have fun again!
Champagne is a wonderfully flexible accompaniment to just about any food, party or week-day that might come your way. We refuse to believe these wines should only be opened for special occasions. But does that mean you have to break the bank?
Enter Thierry Triolet’s Champagnes. The grapes are grown in the Cote de Sezanne region of Champagne. The clayey soils and warmer weather help produce grapes that are sought out by the Grande Maisons for their vibrant fruity aromas. In the hands of Thierry and his wife, Frederique, the wines offer the depth and complexity you’d expect from a Grower-Producer who also sells to Krug & Billecart Salmon.
These are by definition of crowd-pleasing Champagnes: fun, friendly, balanced and highly drinkable. The acidity is never overbearing nor do these need years in your cellar to show well. And we adore the herbal nuances that add further complexity to aromas of fresh picked apples, citrus and flowers.
So stock up while these are on our January Sale – and celebrate daily life in style:
January Sale Wine!
Thierry Triolet [Carte Noire] Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points “(90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir; 10 g/l dosage): Light yellow. Vibrant, mineral-accented aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits, with suave floral and candied ginger notes adding complexity. Fleshy and broad on entry, then tighter in the mid-palate, offering juicy green apple and orange zest flavors and a touch of white pepper. Closes silky and smoky, with good clarity and length.”
The average price nationally is $34
January Sale Wine!
Thierry Triolet Cuvee Grande Reserve Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “Pale gold. Intense citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by notes of honeysuckle, tarragon and iodine. Chewy tangerine and pear skin flavors become silkier and spicier with aeration. Shows a seductive floral quality on the clinging finish, which features a dusty mineral nuance and a touch of buttered toast.”
The average price is $36
Thierry Triolet Vieilles Vignes Blanc de Blancs, Champagne 2012 750ML ($59.95) $39 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Importer note “The Vieilles Vignes is a vintage Champagne produced only in the best years. It is made entirely from Chardonnay and is harvested from one parcel with vines that are at least 40 years old. Dosage is 9 grams. This cuvée evolves beautifully over time.”
The average price is $48Explore the complete list of wines on our January Sale by browsing the list at the bottom of the newsletter!
Brunier Family ValuesRoyals of the Southern Rhone
Quick, what’s the most well-known name in Chateauneuf du Pape? No, it’s not a trick question. It’s Vieux Telegraphe. One of the benchmark names in Chateauneuf du Pape, the estate’s wines are legendary for their complexity and longevity. Yet, despite the fame of Telegraphe, the other projects from the Brunier family (owners, winemakers, etc. of VT) tend not to readily come to mind. Which is a shame.
The Bruniers own and make wine from the venerable Chateau la Roquete, which the family purchased in 1986. Best known for big, rich white wines, the estate sits on the Piedlong plateau and is the source for the new “Piedlong” bottling from the family. Where Telegraphe sits in the La Crau subzone of Chateauneuf du Pape and is known for stern, powerful wines, Piedlong is best characterized by the elegance its sandy soils provide the wines. Rayas’ Pignan bottling is probably the best known example, and the Brunier wine shares a lot of the same traits with its much more expensive neighbor, including exceptional early drinkability and gorgeous aromatics. We just recently received fresh stock on all of the different Chateauneufs—perfect for winter drinking.
In Stock Now:
Domaine La Roquete Chateauneuf-du-Pape Clos La Roquete Blanc, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $36 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points “Intense, with creamed papaya, Cavaillon melon and Jonagold apple flavors pouring forth, underscored by heather honey, almond and salted butter notes. The long finish has a bitter citrus hint to help the length match the weight. Drink now through 2019. 100 cases imported.”
The average price is $47
Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau, Rhone 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “This has a lovely, perfumy mix of savory, mint, tobacco, blood orange, cherry and bergamot notes, with finely beaded acidity and silky but ample structure. Long, mineral- and shiso leaf-infused finish. Best from 2020 through 2035.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The flagship wine, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape, is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties. It features delicate floral scents and ample cherry and licorice aromas. Somehow, it manages to be full-bodied and almost creamy in texture but without much weight, then it ends powerfully, with a flourish of rich Mexican chocolate on the long, silky finish. It should drink well for up to 20 years.”
Piedlong Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points “10 hectares of elevated Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this is an hommage to grenache with just a hatful of mourvèdre. Ripe raspberry and red plum pastry aromas. Super silky, plush and layered. Extremely impressive. Shows fluidity and balance, density and lightness. 50% stalks (crushed).”
The average price nationally is $53
Top of the ClassThe Unassuming Brilliance of Westrey
We’re always excited to feature up-and-coming estates like Kelley Fox and Bow & Arrow, or insane values like our close-out Scott Paul collection. This can result in us not paying enough attention to the great estates of the Willamette Valley – the historic ones of the “second wave” quietly making pure expressions of their terroir in Chard & Pinot form. Estates like Cameron, Belle Pente, Beaux Freres and Westrey.
If you passed David Autrey on the street, co-owner and winemaker at Westrey with Amy Wesselman, you might not notice. He’s a quiet, unassuming guy. Yet this team has had a brilliant impact on the Willamette Valley from behind the scenes, not only for their old-school, traditionally-styled wines (and Autrey’s near photographic memory of the intricacies of each vintage), but also for Wesselman’s role as Executive Director of the International Pinot Noir Celebration.
The wines themselves are much like Autrey: reserved, unassuming, yet quietly brilliant. And quietly moving. Including the newly release 2014 Oracle Vineyard Chardonnay, which was just reviewed by Kerry Winslow of Grapelive. It’s a phenomenal wine from a great vintage for whites, cellared at the winery for an extended period (released when it’s ready, yet with plenty more aging potential!) So scoop up your bottles while they are still available. This “Corton-Charlemagne”-esque white won’t hang around forever, especially when you consider most bottles of Corton-Charlemagne start at $150 more!
Newly Reviewed & In Stock Now:
Westrey Chardonnay Oracle Vineyard, Dundee Hills 2014 750ML ($49.95) $36 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 93 points “The layered and opulent 2014 Oracle Chard starts with a nose that flirts with perfume and toasty leesy elements with a deep golden hue in the glass showing white flowers, lemon curd, brioche and peach tart before leading to a medium/full palate of apple, pear, apricot, spicy clove, wet rock, butterscotch and white anise, which reminds me a bit of Corton-Charlemagne! Gains a bit of weight with air and textural impact, but even as this smooth Chard moves into maturity it stays bright and focused. This Westrey has lots of class and glorious complexity. It is one of the finest Oregon Chards for the price, and is highly impressive. This is a wine that could age another 3 to 5 years, but it’s drinking top notch right now… The Oracle Vineyard, where this old school Chardonnay comes from is an old vine site on the Jory (red volcanic) soils in the Dundee Hills AVA which was originally planted in 1977. In this 2014 vintage, a wonderful year for Oregon, they got perfectly balanced fruit from these elderly vines. Working old school and using traditional Burgundian methods, Amy and David under still under the radar outside of Oregon, but craft beautiful wines that deserve a greater audience.”
So do we.
Here’s a few more of the staff’s top picks:
Cameron Winery Clos Electrique Blanc, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Cameron Winery Clos Electrique Blanc, Dundee Hills 2016 1.5L ($189.95) $159 special, 2 magnums in stock now
VinopolNote: The Clos Electrique is Cameron’s estate vineyard, named after the electric deer fence that surrounds it. This is planted to a mix of clones and is vinified traditionally—no racking and all in older barrels. This is crisp and coiled, with distinct minerality and a lot of power in a lithe frame. Like most vintages of the Electrique Blanc, this is quite good now but will be stellar in a few years.
The average price is $74
Crowley Four Winds Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($49.95) $44 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 91+ points “The 2016 Pinot Noir Four Winds is pale to medium ruby-purple in the glass with an open, gregarious nose of cranberry tart, pomegranate, tart red cherries, cola and smoke with whiffs of fallen leaves and eucalyptus. Medium-bodied, it offers good concentration of fruits and earthy layers in the mouth, framed by grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long and nuanced. Yum!”
Winery note “The Four Winds single vineyard Pinot Noir is gaining fans! Our 2014 sold quickly and we’re beginning to understand why. This wine is about elegance, length, transparency and subtlety. It’s an understated wine. The La Colina has angles and density while this wine is all about pretty and sleek. It’s delicate and approachable young and has quintessential Pinot flavor. It’s lighter in color and weight and always leans toward ‘classic.’ Dry farmed, 100% Pommard clone, aged for 22 months in neutral barrels.”
The average price is $48
Belle Pente Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Belle Pente Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2014 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 1 magnum in stock now
Josh Raynolds 95 points “Limpid ruby-red. Powerful blue fruit liqueur, violet pastille, incense and smoky mineral aromas, along with hints of cola and exotic spices. Appealingly sweet and expansive on the palate, offering densely packed black raspberry, boysenberry, mocha and floral pastille flavors and a strong spicecake note. Supple, well-knit tannins give shape to the intensely fruit-driven finish, which lingers with outstanding persistence and building sweetness.”
Winery note “This terrific young wine was a star of the show at the International Pinot Noir Celebration last summer, and is just reaching the beginning of what will surely be a long drinking window. True to its Yamhill-Carlton appellation, the wine shows concentrated, dark fruit flavors and aromas accented with notes of fresh herbs and flowers. It is one of those rare vintages that offers early appeal as well as the potential for 10-20 years in the cellar. So put a case (or two!) away and drink a bottle every year until it’s gone. You’ll be glad you did!”
The next best price is $52
Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Vivid red. Ripe red fruits, potpourri and a hint of blood orange on the assertively perfumed nose, lifted by a vibrant mineral quality. Silky and precise on the palate, offering alluringly sweet, spice-tinged cherry and raspberry liqueur flavors and a hint of five-spice powder. Becomes richer with air, with no loss of vibrancy, and finishes with powerful, spicy thrust, fine-grained tannins and an exotic floral pastille note that lingers with serious tenacity.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2015 Pinot Noir Jessie Vineyard is scented of kirsch, mulberries and raspberry tart with underlying Chinese five spice, hoisin and mossy bark hints. Medium-bodied, there’s a very seductive mid-palate of red berry and exotic spice flavors, supported by velvety tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with spicy layers.”
The average price is $60
Case-6The Perfect Number / The Perfect Picks
Where else can you find a single-vineyard California Cabernet of unquestionable pedigree from one of the greatest vintages in recent memory for under $45/bottle?
Not this wine anywhere else, that’s for sure!
January Sale Wine:
Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2013 750ML ($79.95) $49 special
Case-6 Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2013 750ML ($299.95) $259 special (that’s only $43.17/bottle!)
Robert Parker 92+ points “The single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the highest elevation (400-1000 feet) is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Ridge. It displays blacker fruit, loads of plums, blueberry and blackberry, a deep, full-bodied, mouthfeel, rich, concentrated, moderately high tannin, a nice minerality and plenty of black fruits. These are all well-built and potentially very long-lived wines of 25-30 or more years. This wine needs a good 4-5 years of cellaring.”
The next best price is $59.95
The average price is $75
Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Case-6 Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2010 750ML ($899.95) $679 special (that’s only $113.17/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 98 points “A stunning red, featuring peony, strawberry, cherry and mineral flavors, accented by notes of wild herbs. Intense and deep, with great purity and elegance, a firmly wrought structure and a long finish. The harmony between fruit, tannins and acidity should allow this to age beautifully. Best from 2019 through 2036.”
James Suckling 97 points “Beautiful aromas of dark fruits and minerals. Full-bodied, succulent and chewy. It’s tight and stony. Lots of black olives and wet earth under the fruit. Bright and linear wine with beautiful layers…”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Montosoli enthusiasts will not be disappointed by the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli. This special single-vineyard expression shows a beautifully fragrant and floral bouquet that is exactly in line with what this firmly consistent producer strives to achieve. This wine represents one of the most distinctive expressions of varietal voice and that’s what makes it so precious and rare. Sangiovese sings loud with small berry nuances and loud floral impressions of rose, violet and lavender. Its underlying complexity is further enhanced by anise seed, cola and licorice stick. The wine’s texture is soothing soft and silky. This is one for your cellars to age ten years or more.”
The average price is $125
Much like the Produttori del Barbaresco, the co-op La Chablisienne delivers classic renditions of their appellation in an affordable price point. Fermented in stainless and from a crisp, cool vintage (we can’t get enough 2014), these have all of the stony, green apple qualities we look for in wines from the AOC—even better, the pricing is throwback. These are high quality premier cru wines for the price of many decent growers’ regional bottlings. The combination is pretty spectacular and we’ve loaded up. You’d do well to load up, too.
Trend Alert! “All the pieces of the Chablis puzzle are in place here”-Decanter
La Chablisienne Vaulorent, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-6 La Chablisienne Vaulorent, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($219.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
Decanter 95 points “An exuberant, complex nose packed full of exotic fruits, asparagus and elderflower with well integrated oak. The palate has a very strong fruity expression with an oily depth and harmony and very impressive length. All the pieces of the Chablis puzzle are in place here.”
Burghound 92 points “Outstanding. As is usually the case this is more elegant, particularly on the floral and white orchard fruit suffused nose that is nuanced by plenty of classic Chablis elements and in particular mineral reduction. There is also a bit more volume to the caressing, intense and voluminous flavors that drip with minerality on the refined but powerful finale where a discreet touch of wood arises. This offers ample development potential and should be lovely with time. Drink: 2021+”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Sometimes blended with grapes from the Fourchaume Premier Cru, this Vaulorent bottled on its own is a bit crisp–bright with citrus and toasty from wood aging. It will develop slowly over several years, so drink from 2019.”
Dom Perignon Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($199.95) $149 special
Case-3 Dom Perignon Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($499.95) $399 special (that’s only $133/bottle!)
Case-6 Dom Perignon Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($999.95) $769 special (that’s only $128.17/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2006 Dom Pérignon is a beautifully balanced, harmonious Dom Pérignon that strikes an incredibly appealing stylistic middle ground. Rich, voluptuous and creamy, the 2006 shows off fabulous intensity in a style that brings together the ripeness of 2002 with the greater sense of verve and overall freshness that is such a signature of the 2004. Bass notes and a feeling of phenolic grip on the finish recall the 2003, as the Pinot Noir is particularly expressive today. After an irregular summer that saw elevated temperatures in July followed by cooler, damp conditions in August, more favorable weather returned in September, pushing maturation ahead and leading to a long, protracted harvest. The 2006 falls into the family of riper, more voluptuous Dom Pérignons, but without veering into the level of opulence seen in vintages such as 2002.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2006 Dom Pérignon comes from a very rich vintage with an early ripeness that brought a lot of aromatic maturity. The white-golden prestige cuvée contains a bit more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir and opens with a deep and seductive, pretty accessible nose with intense yet fresh fruit aromas of pineapples, with peaches and tangerines. Lively and elegant on the palate, this is a full-bodied, unusually aromatic and fruity DP with a long and tension-filled expression.”
Spring is just around the corner and with it a number of excellent wines arriving here at Vinopolis. From the earthy, traditional Rioja of Lopez de Heredia to the incredible northern Rhone values of the Durand family, these are wines to secure now and enjoy for years to come.
Arriving ETA February:
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Case-6 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($179.95) $133 pre-arrival special (that’s only $22.17/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92 points “The red they say was born to go with tapas and sold in local restaurants is the 2009 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza. 2009 was a warm and ripe year, and this blend of Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha (or the masculine Garnacho they like to use) plus 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo from limestone soils with quite a lot of clay, feels juicy and soft. It fermented with natural yeasts in large oak vats and matured in used barriques for three years. This is a bottling that has grown and improved a lot since 2004-2005. It shows very good balance between fruit and more developed aromas, with hints of leather and cherries, spices and smoke, very clean and with good volume in the palate. It’s usually a little riper and with higher alcohol than Tondonia or Bosconia, with the character, finesse and elegance of a classical Reserva. 93,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in April 2013.”
The average price nationally is $27
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($44.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Case-6 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special (that’s only $33.17/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 95 points “The red flagship 2006 Viña Tondonia Reserva was inspired by the vineyards of the Médoc but produced with local grapes, 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, which achieved 13% alcohol in 2006. It always matures in used American oak barriques for some six years. The oldest of all the reds I tasted, it was also the one with more freshness, which speaks to the quality of the vineyard. This takes the lion’s share of the 400,000 bottles the winery produces, with some 220,000 bottles filled over a period of 12 consecutive days in May 2014.”
James Suckling 94 points “This is a remarkably lively wine for a 12-year-old Rioja with notes of licorice and dried cherries and a very elegant tannin structure that runs through the medium to full body of this red like a silk thread. The dry finish is long and polished. Drink or hold.”
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