In Today’s Newsletter:
Supersized May Clearance: Sine Qua Non Mags
White Rhone: Highlight New Raynolds Reviews
Staff Pick: Felsina’s New Project Is Spot On
Insider’s Preview: Lopez de Heredia & Other Epic Wines Arriving This Week
Muga Reserva: Wine of the Vintage
Emanuel Darnaud Arriving in June
Rave New Brunello Reviews!
White Rhone Reviews Part 2
We’ve Supersized the May Clearance Sale
With these Sine Qua Non Magnums!
Wine Advocate 97 points “Starting off the Syrah-based wines, the 2004 Poker Face (Syrah) is aging beautifully. A blend of 96% Syrah, 2.5% Mourvedre and 1.5% Viognier (from the Eleven Confessions, White Hawk, Alban, Bien Nacido, and Alta Mesa vineyards) that was aged in 80% new French oak, it offers up a perfumed, fresh bouquet of sweet blackberry liqueur, creme de cassis, spring flowers and licorice that gives way to a full-bodied, seamless, gorgeously textured feel on the palate. Rich and decadent, it has notable, yet beautifully integrated acidity and stays remarkably fresh, detailed and even elegant. It still needs a lengthy decant to shine, and will continue to thrill over the coming decade or so.”
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $2,175!!
Wine Advocate 99 points “More up-front and open-knit, the 2004 Into the Dark (Grenache) checks in as a blend of 84% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, 7% Syrah and 1% Viognier that comes mostly from Manfred’s 11 Confessions Vineyard, yet includes small portions from Alban (10%) and Alta Mesa (9%) Vineyard. Reminding me of Clos Saint-Jean’s Sanctus Sanctorum with its incredible bouquet of sweet kirsch, licorice, dried baking spices, graphite and ground pepper, this beauty flows onto the palate with impeccable purity, perfect integration of its fruit, tannin and acidity, and blockbuster length. As is common with this estate’s wine, it’s the purity paired with serious richness that sets it apart. While still youthful and benefiting from a healthy decadence, I think it’s drinking at point and would aim to drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years. It will evolve gracefully for longer, but I see no reason to hold off.”
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $1,725
Don’t miss the other 28 wines on our May Clearance Sale including Austrian Superstars Alzinger, FX Pichler and Gobelsburg!
New White Rhone Reviews
From Josh Raynolds of Vinous Media
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Light gold. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes fresh citrus and pit fruits, anise and violet, complemented by a vibrant mineral overtone. Juicy and sharply delineated on the palate, offering intense tangerine, pear nectar and honeysuckle flavors that deepen on the back half. Smoothly combines power and finesse and finishes on a strong mineral note, showing outstanding energy, persistence and lingering florality.”
The average price nationally is $74
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Limpid yellow-gold. Fresh pit fruits, lemon pith, jasmine and chamomile on the deeply perfumed nose, along with suggestions of honey and succulent herbs. Pliant and broad on the palate, offering ripe nectarine, pear nectar and Meyer lemon flavors that become livelier on the back half. A vibrant mineral note builds steadily on the energetic finish, which leaves a suggestion of bitter pear skin behind.”
Chateau de Saint Cosme Condrieu, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special, ETA July 2018
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Light green-hued yellow. Powerful, mineral-accented orchard and pit fruits on the nose, joined by a suave floral nuance as the wine stretches out. Sappy, penetrating and seamless in texture, offering vibrant tangerine, Anjou pear and white peach flavors and a sneaky hint of tarragon. Shows excellent focus and nervy, mineral cut on the finish, which lingers with outstanding tenacity.”
Delas Freres Condrieu Clos Boucher, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special, ETA Fall 2018
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points “Pale green-hued yellow. Penetrating, mineral-tinged aromas of fresh citrus and pit fruits are complemented by chalky minerals, violet and fennel accents. Juicy, focused and concentrated, offering intense pear nectar, Meyer lemon and honeysuckle flavors that show outstanding clarity and minerally lift. The mineral and floral notes carry emphatically through a silky, appealingly sweet finish that hangs on with superb focus and tenacity.”
Keep reading to see the eight additional reviewed wines, including our special focus on Saint-Peray!
Felsina’s New Project Hits the Spot
If you enjoy Chianti then Felsina and the Poggioli family hardly need an introduction. I’ve been particularly excited about the release of their Paglierese Chianti Classico. They bought up this vineyard in 1995 and replanted the vast majority of it with massale selections. Since the replanting, the grapes either were blended into a Felsina bottling or were sold off to other wine makers. But in 2015 they decided to make Pagliarese wine at a delicious entry price. I knew that the price tag would be no indication of limitations on the quality of the wine—and indeed it does not disappoint! This is everything that I love in a Chianti Classico: the bright cherry nose, the light body, a liberal sprinkle of tannins and acid, a little dust on the finish all smoothed out with a delightful texture. Pair this wine with a spring afternoon an hour before sunset, the sound of wind in the leaves of cherry or almond trees or Brahms’ Hungarian Dance. Grab it by the case, because despite us grabbing as much as we could, this wine won’t last long on our shelves.
Fattoria dei Pagliarese Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 92 points “The 2015 Chianti Classico is a new wine from Fèlsina’s Pagliarese property. For what seems like forever, Giuseppe Mazzocolin has been the ultimate champion of Sangiovese, long before it was fashionable. With Pagliarese, Mazzocolin and Fèlsina return to a super-classic Chianti Classico based on Sangiovese, of course, but with dollops of Canaiolo, Mammolo and Colorino aged in cask. The debut 2015 is fabulous. Bright, red-toned fruit and an array of floral/savory notes are nicely delineated, but the wine’s purity and extraordinary balance elevate it into the realm of the sublime. What a gorgeous wine this is!”
The average price nationally is $22
May Clearance Sale – Louis Jadot’s Project in Oregon – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2017
Wine Spectator 93 points “Supple and elegantly structured, with expressive raspberry and orange zest aromas and polished flavors that pick up depth and momentum toward a spicy finish framed by refined tannins. Drink now through 2023. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 4,000 cases made.”
The next best price is $32.20
The average price is $39
Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon Roche du Py ‘Cuvee Camille’, Beaujolais 2016 750ML ($44.95) $38 special
Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon Roche du Py ‘Cuvee Camille’, Beaujolais 2016 1.5L ($89.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Brilliant ruby-red. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red fruits, Asian spices and minerals, along with an exotic touch of incense in the background. In a distinctly elegant style, offering appealingly sweet raspberry, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors that show very good depth as well as finesse. A spine of juicy acidity adds support and cut to an impressively long, floral-driven finish that’s shaped by silky, harmonious tannins.”
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose, Provence 2017 1.5L ($79.95) $69 special
Importer note “Comprising, as always, 75% Mourvedre and 25% Cinsault, the bold, robustly expressive 2017 Bandol Rose offers notes of red licorice, dried sage, crunchy apple, and savory earth. The palate is ultra-intense and staining, with an almost oily core that still scans as bone-dry. Perhaps more than any other wine in the region that we encountered, this shows 2017’s rare ability to delivery sheer power without any undue fruitiness.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today for the magnum!
The average price nationally is $32 for the 750mlAnd don’t miss the famous red wine from Pradeaux arriving on Friday:
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol ‘X 10 Ans d’Elevage’, Provence 2007 750ML ($89.95) $74 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 95 points “Done as a special project for an anniversary of Chateau Pradeaux [and] being imported by Rosenthal Wine Merchant, this Bandol X is an amazing red from one of the regions great producers. It’s unique in it was raised in oak cask for a full 10 years, but it’s what shows up in the glass which is really special here. This Mourvedre based Bandol Rouge is still fresh and vibrant, a wondrous wine of class and length. The Château Pradeaux, founded in 1752, is situated on the outskirts of the town of Saint Cyr-sur-Mer that lies directly on the Mediterranean Ocean between Toulon and Marseilles. There is almost no other place on earth vines would rather be [and] the view of the sea must be heavenly. The estate has been in the hands of the Portalis family since before the French Revolution, with Cyrille Portalis is the current head of the family’s winery… While their lovely Chateaux Pradeaux Bandol Rosé is 50% Cinsault and 50% Mourvedre, the Rouge bottlings are between 95% and 100% old vine Mourvedre as this special X is. The winemaking is traditional with organic grapes, ferments with native yeasts in concrete tanks using whole cluster, and while the regular bottling gets 48 months in large cask, the X went a full ten years in the big French oak barrels. Grown on the regions southern exposures and slopes of clay and limestone soils, the Pradeaux X Bandol Rouge is a magical terroir driven wine that shows a remarkably youthful bright garnet/ruby hue in the glass with a heightened perfume and subtle earthy tone with a hint of animal and dark fruit coming through on the bouquet. The palate is seamless with layer after layer unfolding. This is just stunning stuff right up there with First Growth Bordeaux in substance and style. Its big tannins show a refined velvety class. There’s a lot to admire here. The mouth feel is excellent and rewarding with blackberry, black cherry, dusty plums and strawberry fruits, a touch of leather, well resolved stemmy elements, salted black licorice, dried violets, lavender, graphite, minty basil, cedar and lingering kirsch. This outrageously good and transparent Bandol Rouge is a thrilling wine that has retained vitality with lifting acidity. [It] remains true to its sense of place and history. It’s everything you’d expect and want, and, while this is a rarity, don’t miss their regular Bandol Rouge and especially the Pradeaux Bandol Rosé.”
Lopez de Heredia & Other Epic Wines Arriving This Week
The Irreplaceable Lopez de Heredia
New Wines from the Rioja Icon
Lopez de Heredia is one of the world’s elite wine estates. This statement isn’t a surprise to anyone who reads at all about Spanish wines, but it bears repeating. “Why?” you might ask, “would you tell us something we already know?”
The answer to that question is that for all of the grace, complexity, age-worthiness and profundity of the wines, the prices are shockingly low. You can purchase the entry level wine from the greatest traditional Rioja estate for less than $30. You can buy their Reservas (for which the current releases are 2004/6!!) for under $35. Even their great wines–old Gran Reservas, with bottle age, will set you back less than the average bottle of 2010 Mouton.
How can this be?
The idea that you can buy a bottle of Gran Reserva Tondonia from the 1960’s, directly from the winery’s cellar, for the same price or less than a current vintage of top-tier Bordeaux? We don’t think this will last that long. We’ve got some new wines from Lopez coming in–from up and down the range, price wise. They all over-deliver.
Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2006 Viña Bosconia Reserva, always more rustic and powerful than the Viña Tondonia, was cropped from a warm and early harvest and is a blend of Tempranillo with 15% Garnacha and 5% Graciano and Mazuelo. This wine matures in used American oak barrels for five years. It has a very developed nose, and as winemaker Mercedes López de Heredia noted, “It could be confused with a Gran Reserva, as I see it more tertiary and developed.” These are amazing wines, clean and complex, with polished tannins and surprisingly good acidity. I have the idea of 2006 as a warmer vintage, but it’s not true throughout Rioja; as I’ve seen with other wines, like the ones from Muga, in this cooler part of Rioja, the vintage was much better. There are some dusty tannins and some flavors that still remind you of fresh fruit. 72,000 bottles were filled in June 2013.”
Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2004 750ML ($49.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2004 Viña Tondonia Reserva is a completely different story. It is a worthy follower of the 2001, the greatest of the Viña Tondonia Reservas of recent times. It has the usual blend and usual levels of alcohol and acidity, bottled after six years in oak barrels. The nose feels savory (if that’s possible–umami?) and developed, with tertiary aromas and good balance between spices, leathery notes, cherries and balsamic notes of cigar box and incense. The palate is both round and crisp, with refined tannins. It has very good balance with subtle acidity and very good persistence.”
Josh Raynolds 93 points “[Reviewed May 2017] (aged for six years in American oak barrels) Deep red. Exotic, oak-spiced red berry liqueur, dried cherry and vanilla aromas are complemented by a smoky overtone. Sweet and pliant in the mouth, displaying a velvety texture to the plush black raspberry, cherry-vanilla and coconut flavors. Shows no rough edges and picks up a suave floral note with air, finishing with excellent clarity, a hint of allspice and round, harmonious tannins.”
The average price nationally is $46
Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($27.95) $24 pre-arrival special
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
May Clearance Sale Wine!
Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco, Rioja DOCa 1973 750ML ($999.95) Was $799, Now $599
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 1973 Vina Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva is so sublime, so complete and natural that it may bring tears to the eyes. It has a complex bouquet of beeswax, lanolin, lemon curd and almond that is effortlessly combined. The palate is nigh-perfectly balanced with very good weight. It has a seamless waxy texture and a peacock’s tail of almond, creme brulee, marzipan and dried apricot. There is a beguiling sense of completeness here. Heaven in a glass, and one of the finest Tondonia Blancos I have encountered. Drink now-2020+”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2003 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Robert Parker – Hedonist’s Gazette 100 points “I noticed the Chinese love to have both a sweet wine and a vintage port at the end of a meal, which is pretty much over-kill for me. However, I was blown away by the 2003 Taylors vintage port. The Great Wall of China, Black Tie Dinner.”
Bodegas La Horra Corimbo, Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points “Expressive nose of black fruit, cacao, coffee, medicinal herbs and earthy notes. Full-bodied with fine-grained, silky tannins. Rich and concentrated mid-palate here leads to a long, salty and cedar finish. A decadent yet refined wine. Drink now.”
Wine Advocate 92+ points “The 2012 Corimbo is pure Tempranillo from the Burgos part of Ribera del Duero (La Horra, Roa, Sotillo, Gumiel); it was fermented in stainless steel tanks, went through malo in French oak vats and matured in some 10-20% new oak barrels, mostly French but with some 20% American. After some 14 months, the wines are transferred from barriques to oak vats where they stay for a further six months. The color is bright ruby with a nose that shows red fruit and nicely integrated oak, with a spiciness that shows not only the usual vanilla and cinnamon, but also some more exotic aromas reminiscent of curry, plus plenty of wild flowers and Mediterranean herbs. 2012 was extremely dry, but there was around 20 liters of rain in each of the months of July, August and September, which clearly provided the much needed water to balance the grapes and provide fresher wines. This Corimbo clearly shows the profile of the growing season, and the wine is more floral and a little lighter with good freshness; it’s a more approachable wine. The oak is very nicely integrated and the wine is balanced, fresh and with medium body. A lighter, approachable style of Ribera del Duero.”
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “(aged for a year in new and used French and American oak) Deep ruby. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe dark berries, incense and vanilla, with a sexy floral overtone. Sweet, seamless and penetrating on the palate, offering intense blackberry and cherry-vanilla flavors that are given spine and sharpened by juicy acidity. Rich yet vibrant, with excellent closing thrust and harmonious tannins building slowly and lending structure.”
Chateau Goubau, Cotes de Castillon 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Importer note “It is well known that gifted winemaker Jacques Thienpont has a knack for sourcing unique and exceptional properties. His latest acquisition reaches beyond the ultra-premium micro-cuvees he is known for with Chateau Le Pin and Chateau L’If. Chateau Goubau (to be renamed Chateau l’Hetre with the 2016 vintage) matches exception quality with value, and naturally, a unique microclimate within the Cotes de Castillon appellation. At 100m on the Saint Philippe d’Aiguilhe plateau, the property is situated at the highest point in Bordeaux. Produced from 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the clay and chalk subsoil is perfectly suited to the biodynamically-farmed vines. Here is an exclusive opportunity to explore M. Theinpont’s first vintage with the property, which is all but certain to go up in value in vintages to come… as demonstrated by Thienpont’s l’If, which has more than tripled in price since the first release in 2012.”
Paul Hobbs Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, St Helena 2015 750ML ($319.95) $299 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 99 points “Deep garnet-purple, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr Crane Vineyard leaps from the glass with opulent crème de cassis, raspberry tart and black forest cake notions plus underlying cigar box, mocha, licorice and forest floor suggestions. Full-bodied, rich, spicy and decadently generous in the mouth, it has a firm, velvety foundation and wonderful precision, featuring an invigorating lift on the very long, multilayered and provocatively earthy finish.”
Foradori ‘Fuoripista’ Pinot Grigio Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT, Trentino-Alto Adige 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Winery note “Fuoripista narrates an alternative route, a pathway out of the common, a different perception and vision of nature. Fuoripista Pinot Grigio arises from the cooperation of Foradori and Marco Devigili, biodynamic winegrower of the Campo Rotaliano, and expresses the essence of a variety widely diffused in Trentino. More than 8 months of skin contact in amphorae (tinaja from Villarobledo, Spain) liberates and emphasizes the delicate character of this Pinot Grigio.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti ‘Grotte Alte’, Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG 2013 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Winery note “Grotte alte is a territory: the limestone ridges on which Vittoria, my hometown stands. But it is also a wine, my Cerasuolo Di Vittoria, the result of Frappato and Nero d’Avola grapes, the summary of my Sicily. It is a mediterranean wine that preserves the taste of the sea and all the air and the Iblei Mountains thermal excursions. It is harmonious and it has experienced a long ageing. Perhaps it is the most ambitious of my wines. Elegant and proud.”
Bodegas Abanico Hazana Vinas Vieja, Rioja DOCa 2015 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points “A custom cuvée made by Eric Solomon and Rafael de Haan, the 2015 Hazana Vinas Viejas is a classic, old school styled effort based on 85% Tempranillo and 15% Graciano aged 10 months in French and American oak. With medium to full-bodied richness, excellent concentration, and lots of chocolatey dark fruits, new leather, dusty earth, and graphite notes, it’s one hell of a wine for 14 dollars.”
Muga Reserva 2013Wine of the Vintage
Muga is considered one of the finest old producers of Rioja, combining a traditionalist approach with modern cellar techniques. Up and down the line, their wines offer tremendous value—these are wines that will age into dynamic, complex beauties.
In the chilly and challenging 2013 vintage, no Seleccion Especial or Prado Enea was made and grapes were painstakingly sorted to ensure the highest quality. All of the finest fruit at the estate was used for their ‘everyday’ wine – truly elevating it to an unheard of QPR, especially when we have it for the lowest price in the USA. Luis Gutierrez of the Wine Advocate claims that “it has to be one of the best wines in Rioja in 2013…”
When’s the next time the best wine in Rioja can be had for under $20?
Arriving This Month
Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2013 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2013 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
James Suckling 92 points “This is an excellent 2013 with such purity and finesse. Cherry, stone and light cedar aromas follow through to a full body, very fine tannins and a fresh and clean finish. Hints of cedar. It shows a focused energy. Drink now.”
The average price is $27
Emanuel Darnaud Arriving in JuneThis Time You’ve Been Warned…
Last year, Emanuel Darnaud’s wines were one of the best surprises. This small producer made spectacular Crozes-Hermitage wines, which were some of the best deals in red while they were in stock. From top to bottom, the Darnaud wines over performed, with density, power and drinkability. They are Syrah with soul and immediate appeal.
A passionate advocate for terroir-specific wines, Emmanuel Darnaud has been crafting robust reds from individual parcels in the northern Rhone since 2001. His six parcels are spread over 15 hectares, where the grapes are hand harvested. Each is vinified separately with differing oak aging and maturation practices depending upon the wine. No matter which bottling, though, he manages to bring the best of the site to the wine.
The 2016 versions arrive at the end of next month and are a worthy follow up to their breakthrough 2015’s. From the low to the (relatively) high end, these are wines that over deliver at each price point. Crozes often offers a good deal of value, but, as we found out last year, Darnaud is something unique. If you were one of many who fell in love with the ‘15s, grab some now. If you never tried them last year, you owe it to yourself.
Arriving in Late June:
Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Au Fil du Temps, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Au Fil du Temps, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 90-92 points “The 2016 Crozes-Hermitage Mise En Bouche comes from the southern parts of the appellation and is aging in a mix of tank, used barrels and foudre. It offers terrific red and black fruits, spice, tapenade and peppery herb aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness, moderate tannin and a great finish. It’s a hidden little gem in the vintage.”
The next best price is $25
Emmanuel Darnaud Saint Joseph La Dardouille, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Rave New Riserva Reviews!
New releases from Brunello are scooping up hot reviews. Don’t miss these two gems, just lauded by the Wine Spectator and arriving in September. 2012 “stands out for its consistently high quality” according to Ian d’Agata of Vinous Media, the Riservas standing out in particular: “I cannot remember when I so thoroughly enjoyed tasting one Brunello Riserva after another.” These are wines ready for the long haul and deserve a place in your cellar.
Arriving in September:
Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 98 points “($150) This delivers intense balsamic notes of juniper, wild rosemary and sage, along with rose, cherry and berry aromas and flavors. Elegant and saturated with flavor, supported by a vibrant structure. Ends with energy and refined tannins. Best from 2022 through 2040. 750 cases made.”
Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($219.59) $179 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 98 points “Bright and juicy, this is packed with cherry, strawberry, floral and mineral aromas and flavors. Linear in shape and tightly wound, yet very pure, with a long, detailed aftertaste that pulls all the elements together. Best from 2021 through 2040. 350 cases imported.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Newly Reviewed White Rhones
“Winemakers often lament that high quality and copious quantity seldom occur in tandem. In 2016 that dictum played out to varying degrees for the white wines of the northern Rhône Valley….Although white wines comprise only about 2% of the Rhône Valley’s total production, they have become a point of pride for virtually every producer in the region. Quality has been on a steep upward curve over the past decade, and the wines, especially Condrieu and Hermitage blanc, now have a solid presence at high-end restaurants and in retail shops around the globe. Moreover, recent vintages have been extremely kind to the region. I can say with confidence that most of the finest white Rhônes that I have ever tasted came from the 2015 and 2016 vintages.“ –Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media
Cave Yves Cuilleron Saint-Joseph Lyseras Blanc, Rhone 2016 750ML ($37.95) $28 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “(no new oak) Pale gold. Fresh tropical and pit fruit aromas are complemented by suggestions of honey, tarragon and lemon zest. Ripe and fleshy on the palate, showing very good depth to the expansive peach, mango and tangerine flavors. Finishes silky and very long, displaying repeating peachiness and lively mineral and floral qualities.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “(25% new oak) Limpid yellow. High-pitched tangerine, melon and jasmine aromas show impressive clarity and energy. Taut and sharply focused entry, then more fleshy in the middle, offering intense citrus fruit and honeydew flavors complemented by a subtle fennel quality. Finishes with nervy mineral cut and thrust, leaving a sexy floral note behind.”Cave Yves Cuilleron Condrieu La Petite Cote, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Light green-tinged yellow. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh citrus and pit fruits and violet, along with a vibrant mineral overtone. Juicy and sharply delineated on the palate, offering intense orange, Anjou pear and honeysuckle flavors that deepen steadily on the back half. Smoothly combines power and finesse and finishes on an emphatic mineral note, showing impressive energy and persistence and a touch of white pepper.”
“To my mind, Saint-Péray is currently the most exciting appellation in the northern Rhône Valley. There is a palpable sense of excitement surrounding the wines that is reminiscent of the buzz around Cornas in the early 2000s. It was just a generation ago that Saint-Péray, which produces white wines from just Marsanne (mostly) and Roussanne, was the least exciting appellation in northern Rhône, with outstanding examples virtually non-existent. Fast-forward to 2018 and many of the northern Rhône’s most esteemed producers—think Cuilleron, Chapoutier, Jaboulet, Courbis, Villard, Gaillard and Clape—have established footholds in the vineyards here and are making truly exciting, mineral-driven, finely detailed wines that in many cases can rival Hermitage blanc for quality. Fortunately, prices have yet to catch up with quality, making Saint-Péray a serious value play in world-class white wine.” – Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Pale yellow. Expressive aromas of fresh orchard fruits, melon and white flowers are sharpened by a subtle citrus zest nuance. Sappy and sharply focused on the palate, offering pear nectar and honeydew flavors and a touch of dusty minerality. Finishes with firm mineral cut and strong persistence, leaving a sexy floral note behind.”
Cave Yves Cuilleron Saint-Peray Les Potiers, Rhone 2016 750ML ($37.95) $28 special, 33 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “(raised in oak barrels, none of them new) Limpid straw-yellow. Fresh pear, Meyer lemon, white flowers and dusty minerals on the highly fragrant, sharply delineated nose. Juicy and energetic in the mouth, offering concentrated yet lithe citrus and orchard fruit and honeysuckle flavors underscored by a vibrant mineral quality. Closes impressively long and pure, featuring resonating stoniness and a touch of bitter citrus pith.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “(15% new oak) Bright yellow-gold. Powerful, mineral-laced aromas of poached pear, Meyer lemon, melon and honey are accented by suave floral and vanilla flourishes. Supple and broad in the mouth, offering concentrated orchard and pit fruit flavors and hints of bitter citrus pith and smoky minerals. Shows impressive power and delineation on the penetrating finish, which leaves behind notes of pear nectar and orange pith.”
Domaine Eric et Joel Durand Saint-Peray, Rhone 2015 750ML ($29.95) Was $21.90, Now $19, 19 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90 points “Limpid yellow. Ripe citrus and orchard fruit aromas are lifted and sharpened by a subtle mineral flourish. Juicy and supple on the palate, offering tangerine, pear nectar and candied ginger flavors and a sweetening touch of honey. The pear note carries through a long, silky finish braced by a touch of refreshingly bitter orange zest.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Pale yellow-gold. Fresh and incisive on the nose, displaying vibrant citrus and orchard fruit scents complemented by hints of honeysuckle and chalky minerals. Shows very good depth of flavor but comes off lithe, offering juicy Meyer lemon and bitter pear skin flavors that pick up a spicy ginger note on the back half. Closes very long and precise, delivering a firm snap of minerality and lingering floral character.”