Monday Vinopolpick – July 21st

July 21, 2014

Royal Tokaji wines arriving this week, keep reading for more info!


New Week New Arrivals



De Villaine Bouzeron Aligote 2012 ($34.95) $29 special
From the winery
 “True to its varietal nature, our Bouzeron is a liveley, fruity wine, but it also has a finesse and roundness that spring from the essential nature of the terroir. These qualities lend it great versatility. To best appreciate the freshness and fruit, our Bouzeron would be drunk young, within two or three years. To allow the wine to fully develop fullness and “fatness”, age it for up to ten years.”

De Villaine Bourgogne Blanc Les Clous Aime 2012 ($39.95) $33 special
From the winery
 “Les clous Aimé is a vin de garde- it’s meant to be aged. It is made from the fruit of old vines on a predominantly limestone terroir, and in its youth displays a pure mineral character.”

De Villaine Bourgogne La Digoine 2012 ($49.95) $39 special
From the winery
 “La Digoine is a site at the foot of a slope, known for centuries to provide the deep soil and growing conditions necessary for excellent red wine.Our vineyard here is planted in moderate-yield Pinot Noir.La Digoine can be drunk very young. Within two or three months of bottling, it demonstrates immediate appeal with red berry fruit and a balance of roundness, structure, and lenght on the palate.”

De Villaine Bourgogne Rouge Les Clous 2012 ($44.95) $37 special
Importer notes
 “ A new wine from De Villaine. Careful selection and sorting of the grapes is done in the vineyard. Wine is fermented and aged in wood cuves with a minimum 2/3 of the stems, depending on the vintage. The wine stays in cuve for 10 to 12 days, so as to add extra skin tannins and just a little tannin from the seeds and stems. After alcoholic fermentation, the wine and must are separated and the must is pressed. The pressed must is tasted separately and sometimes blended back into the wine. The wine is raised for 10 to 12 months depending on the vintage”

De Villaine Mercury Rouge Les Montots 2012 ($51.95) $45 special
From the winery
 “Les Montots is situated on fairly steep slope with southern exposure, planted with a selection of Pinot Noir vines from Nuits-Saint-Georges chosen for teir aromatic qualities and moderate yield.Les Montots is a Mercurey of its own kind, structured and viforous, deep with a dark ruby color.
It will open up gradually with age, revealing the breadth of its complexity only after five to seven years. Depending on the vintage and your cellar, it will age and develop for fifteen to twenty years.’

Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2013 ($14.95) $11.90 special

Jean-Francois Merieau Touraine Brut Bulles Chenin Blanc – Sauvignon Blanc 2009 ($24.95) $19 special
Domaine de la Fruitiere ‘Les Vignes Blanches’, IGP Val de Loire 2013 ($17.95) $14 special

Kuentz-Bas Alsace Blanc 2012 ($19.95) $16 special

60% Sylvaner, 20% Muscat, 20% Auxerrois


Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2013 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special
Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2013 ($31.95) $28 special
From the winery 
“Planted on the soils, Gamay expresses notes of violets and aromas of black cherries. The Morgon generally develops three dominant flavors: Cherry, licorice and violet.”ITALY-PIEDMONT
Punta Crena Lumassina Bianco Colline Savonesi IGT 2012 ($21.95) $18 special
Cavallotto ‘Pinner’ Bianco 2012 ($27.95) $24 special
Cavallotto Vigna Scot Dolcetto d’Alba 2012 ($21.95) $18 special
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis Vigna del Cuculo Barbera d’Alba 2008 ($37.95) $31.90 special
Rizzi Barbaresco Nervo Fondetta, Barbaresco DOCG 2010 ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
 “Rizzi’s 2010 Barbaresco Nervo Fondetta is another terrific wine from Treiso. Sweet, balsamic and beautifully layered, the 2010 impresses for its exceptional overall balance. Dark plum and cherry notes flesh out in the glass, followed by sweet tobacco, licorice, spice and menthol notes. Sweet floral notes ring out on the finish. As always, the Rizzi style is built on immediacy, and there is plenty of that here, but at the same time, the 2010 boasts plenty of energy and class.”

Rizzi Pajore, Barbaresco DOCG 2010 ($49.95) $41.90 special
Antonio Galloni 93+ points
 “The 2010 Barbaresco Pajorè is the best wine I have ever tasted from Rizzi. Layers of deep, balsamic-inflected aromas and flavors wrap around the palate in a rich, expressive Barbaresco. Menthol, pine, minerals and cloves inform the striking, vivid finish. This plush, harmonious Barbaresco from one of the best sites in Treiso is firing on all cylinders.”

Vietti Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($189.95) $159 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points
 “Dark red fruit, iron, new leather and smoke all jump from the 2010 Barolo Brunate. A huge, dense, powerful Barolo, the 2010 Brunate boasts stunning depth and sheer richness. At the same time, though, it is incredibly polished for such a big wine. The Brunate brings together the power of the Lazzarito, but with a greater sense of textural polish and finesse that is typical of the Rocche. In 2010, the Brunate is all about balance and harmony.”

Vietti Lazzarito, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($179.95) $149 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points 
“The 2010 Barolo Lazzarito is impeccably polished, silky and refined, especially for a Serralunga Barolo. Mint, violets, black fruit, smoke and deep layers of spices are some of the many notes that flesh out on the inviting, textured finish. Today, the Lazzarito is incredibly primary to the point of being raw and undeveloped, but it is explosive, bursting with energy and flat-out great. This is also the first recent vintage I can remember tasting where the French oak is more in line with the other single-vineyard Barolos.”

Vietti Rocche, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($219.95) $199 special
Antoni Galloni 99 points
 “A wine of exquisite beauty, the 2010 Barolo Rocche is pure silk on the palate. The 2010 is incredibly dense, dark and powerful for a young Rocche. With time in the glass, the Rocche opens up nicely, showing the full breadth of its potential and pedigree. Stunning in the glass and impeccable throughout, the 2010 Rocche is firing on all cylinders. Sweet rose petals, mint, spices and licorice are woven into the breathtaking, perfumed finish.”

Marcarini Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2010 1.5L ($149.95) $133 special
Marcarini Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2010 3L ($299.95) $259 special
Marcarini Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($59.95) $49 special
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points 
“Bright, dark red.  Pungent, high-pitched aromas of bitter cherry, blackberry, mint, blood orange and white peach.  Then dense, sweet and pliant yet penetrating thanks to terrific vibrant acidity.  For a medium-bodied wine, this communicates an impression of strong dry extract.  The firm tannins arrive late, allowing the wine’s finishing fruit to expand and stain the palate.  Classic 2010 energy here.”

Marcarini La Serra, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 91-93 points 
“Marcarini’s 2010 Barolo La Serra is laced with freshly cut flowers, mint, crushed rocks and red fruit. High-toned floral and spice notes abound in a bright, chiseled Barolo built for the cellar. The vivid, crystalline finish is particularly of note.”

Azelia di Luigi Scavino Barolo DOCG 2010 ($37.95) $31.90 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points
 “Azelia Barolo is produced from 2.5 Ha of vineyards in both Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba.  The Nebbiolo is fermented for 15 days on the skins and spends 24 months is ‘botti grande’ large wood cask.  Azelia’s base Barolo is not produced from the young vines of the estate, these Nebbiolo vines are 25 to 40 years old!  Historically an incredible Barolo value, receives tremendous accolades from the wine press, can age for 12 to 15 years.  900 to 1,100 cases produced a year depending on the vintage.”

Azelia di Luigi Scavino Bricco Fiasco, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($99.95) $79 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points
 “Azelia’s 2010 Barolo Bricco Fiasco is incredibly polished in this vintage. Dried roses, crushed berries, tobacco, mint and spices are woven together in a fabric of nearly indescribable class and elegance. The ferrous notes and massive tannins typical of this Barolo are nearly completely covered with layers of deeply expressive, perfumed nuances that captivate all the senses. This is a super-classic feeling Bricco Fiasco from Azelia. I never thought I would describe a Bricco Fiasco Barolo as seductive, but Azelia’s 2010 is that, and a lot more.”

Azelia di Luigi Scavino Margheria, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($89.95) $71.90 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points 
“The 2010 Barolo Margheria comes across as quite compact at this stage but then again, it is a young Serralunga Barolo. Iron, graphite, smoke and crushed rocks seem to resonate off a core of expressive dark fruit in a muscular, implosive Barolo endowed with tremendous depth and intensity. With time in the glass the wine’s inner perfume and sweetness begin to emerge, accompanied by expressive floral and savory notes that add tons of pure appeal. The 2010 is going to require considerable patience, but there is a lot to look forward to. Layers of chalk and limestone inflected minerality support to the building finish. The Margheria is aged entirely in cask, which among other things, means the malolactic fermentation is done the spring after harvest, later than the other Azelia’s Barolos.”

Azelia di Luigi Scavino ‘San Rocco’, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($89.95) $71.90 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points 
“Dark cherry, plum, smoke, menthol, melted road tar and graphite meld together in the 2010 Barolo San Rocco. A big, explosive wine, the 2010 blossoms in the glass with layers of deep, expressive fruit. The San Rocco is usually a wine of volume and breadth, at it is again in 2010. The firm Serralunga tannins are present, but they are also beautifully balanced. I can’t wait to see how the 2010 develops. Today, the San Rocco is young, young, young.”


Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva, Ribera del Duero 2004 (399.95) $319 special
Robert Parker 97 points “Pablo Alvarez described 2004 as a textbook vintage with perfect temperatures and rain just when it was needed. The 2004 has a haunting bouquet of dark brambly black fruit, cassis, honey, a tang of marmalade and bacon fat. It already boasts an intense, burly bouquet that will require years to soften. The palate is full-bodied with succulent, ripe, intense black cherries, white pepper, minerals and liquorice and it fans out beautifully towards the finish with tar-tinged black fruit interlaced with black pepper. This is a multi-dimensional Unico, more masculine and grander than the 2005, perhaps the sibling of the 1994?” NM

Achaval Ferrer Malbec, Mendoza 2011 ($31.95) $26 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “V
ery pure, with a beam of raspberry coulis, blackberry and cherry pulp notes that pump out layers of spice, flint and wildflowers. Juicy yet structured, with a mineral edge to the long, savory finish. Drink now through 2015. 13,000 cases imported.”

Achaval Ferrer Finca Mirador Malbec, Uco Valley 2011 ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Spectator 96 points
 “This pure, racy red exhibits a dark side, with layers of spice, graphite and maduro tobacco to the crushed raspberry, blackberry and concentrated cassis fruit. Needs time in the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2022.”


Arriving This Week
Chapter 24 Two Messengers Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 ($29.95) $26 special
From the winery
 “Our goal with the Two Messengers is to explore the meeting point and harmony that makes wine so pleasurable. For 2012 that meant drawing from multiple sites and their various personalities. Together they forged a wine tasting like fresh red cherries scented with floral and forest floor notes. Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”Chapter 24 The Fire Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 ($59.95) $51.90 special 
Stephen Tanzer 92 Points 
“Vivid ruby.  Sexy aromas of strawberry, raspberry and Asian spices, with a strong floral topnote.  Taut red fruit flavors flesh out with air and show a deeper, sweeter cherry quality, with tangy acidity adding lift.  Shows excellent clarity on the subtly tannic finish, with the cherry and spice notes repeating.”Chapter 24 The Flood Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 375ml ($31.95) $27 special
Chapter 24 The Flood Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 750ml ($61.95) $54 special
Stephen Tanzer 93 Points
 “Vivid ruby.  Powerful aromas of dark berry preserves, cola, licorice and lavender are energized by a bright mineral flourish.  Palate-staining boysenberry and black raspberry flavors are given bite by a hint of blood orange.  Sweet and broad on the long, sappy finish, which repeats the floral note and shows just a trace of tannins.”

Chapter 24 The Last Chapter Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 ($99.95) $79 special
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
 “Vivid ruby-red.  Heady, exotically perfumed aromas of dark berry liqueur, cherry-cola, Asian spices and potpourri.  Densely packed yet lithe, offering palate-staining red and dark berry and spicecake flavors that gains sweetness and vivacity with air.  Distinctly fresh and supple on the gently tannic, incisive finish, which leaves notes of allspice and candied flowers behind.”

Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Clos de la Barre 2011 ($149.95) $125 special
Wine Advocate 92 points 
“The 2011 Meursault Clos de la Barre was raised in used oak and bottled a little later than Dominique’s other 2011s. It has a generous bouquet that is spicier than the Village Cru with hints of smoked walnut emerging with time. The palate takes the tempo down a notch: mellow, refined and harmonious with beautifully integrated oak and a sumptuous lightly honeyed finish. Lovely. Drink now-2022+.”Domaine des Comtes Lafon Genevrieres, Meursault Premier Cru 2011 ($299.95) $239 special
Burghound 92 points
 “A naturally exotic and wonderfully elegant nose displays notes of acacia blossom, spice nuances, grilled nuts and essence of pear. There is a captivating texture to the caressing medium weight flavors again thanks to the dry extract that also buffers the firm acid spine on the driving, saline and moderately dry finish where a mineral note adds a touch of backend lift.” BH
Stephen Tanzer 92(+?) points “Reticent aromas of tangerine, orange and flinty minerality; clearly affected by the bottling a month ago, as is usual for this elegant wine. Silky, suave and vibrant, with classically dry flavors of orange blossom and sexy vanillin oak. This very young, animated wine finishes with lovely length and verve.”Domaine des Comtes Lafon Les Gouttes d’Or, Meursault Premier Cru 2011 ($269.95) $219 special
Wine Advocate 94 points 
“The 2011 Meursault 1er Cru Goutte d’Or has similar clay to Porusots that lends them similar weight. It has a complex nose of lime flower, quince and hazelnut that gains intensity in the glass. The palate is actually quite similar to the Porusots on the entry, but for me, the finish shows superior tension and poise. This is one of Dominique’s finest. Drink 2014-2028.”

Domaine des Comtes Lafon Charmes, Meursault Premier Cru 2011 ($249.95) $199 special
Burghound 92-94 points 
” *Outstanding* A blend of fruit coming from 35+ and 75+ year old vines all in Charmes Dessus, which is the best part directly below Perrières and abutting Combettes. Here the pattern is reversed as the nose is less ripe; indeed here it is cool, restrained and positively backwards with its pure aromas of hazelnut, citrus, acacia blossom and extract of pear and white peach. There is terrific underlying tension and plenty of minerality to the medium-bodied flavors that possess almost painful intensity on the explosively persistent finish. This is first-rate though patience will be required. Drink 2021+” BH
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2011 Meursault 1er Cru Charmes is adorned with an elegant, vibrant bouquet with lime flower, citrus peel and quince that gains intensity in the glass. The palate is well-balanced with light honeyed notes furnishing the entry before it crescendos toward the finish that offers quince, grapefruit and passion fruit all struck with fine acidity and a cheeky hint of white chocolate just appearing on the aftertaste. There is a lot to take in here — a mercurial, thought-provoking Meursault. Drink 2015-2027.”

Domaine des Comtes Lafon Perrieres, Meursault Premier Cru 2011 ($318.95) $289 special
Wine Advocate 94 points 
“The 2011 Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrieres, which was bottled later than Genevrieres around the end of April, has a beautifully defined bouquet of quince, a hint of peppermint and Clementine that opens wonderfully in the glass. The palate is extremely well-balanced from the start. There is intensity and animation in this Perrieres, shimmering with citrus lemon and apricot on the entry, a spicy undertow of white pepper and even marmalade running alongside. Very deep on the finish, this is a fabulous wine. Drink 2014-2028.”

Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay 2011 ($99.95) $79 special
“(13.5% alcohol without chaptalization): Good dark red. Black cherry and chocolatey high tones on the nose; the only one of these 2011s to hint at a roasted quality. Broad and silky in the mouth but drier and less energetic than the Monthelie. Finishes with dusty tannins….” –Stephen Tanzer

Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu, Volnay Premier Cru 2011 ($159.95) $129 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 (+?) points 
“Good bright medium red. The most complex and complete of these 2011s on the nose, offering scents of black cherry, menthol, wild herbs and sexy underbrush; sappy and ripe but with noteworthy medicinal reserve. Silky on entry, then thick, bright and highly concentrated, with the violet and licorice lift and firm spine of acidity of a top Cote de Nuits wine. Lovely focus and dark fruit intensity here. Finishes bright and long, with serious but fine-grained tannins. This should age beautifully.”

Domaine des Heritiers du Comte Lafon Macon Chardonnay Clos de la Crochette 2012 ($39.95) $33 special
Domaine des Heritiers du Comte Lafon Macon Milly-Lamartine 2011 ($29.95) $24 special
Domaine des Heritiers du Comte Lafon Vire-Clesse 2012 ($44.95) $36 special

Jacky Truchot Morey-St-Denis Les Blanchards Premier Cru 2005 ($899.95) $799 special
Jacky Truchot Morey-St-Denis Clos Sorbes Premier Cru 2005 ($899.95) $799 special
Jacky Truchot Morey-St-Denis Les Ruchots Premier Cru 2005 ($899.95) $799 special
Jacky Truchot Morey-St-Denis Vieilles Vignes Premier Cru 2005 ($799.95) $699 special
Jacky Truchot Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Combottes Premier Cru 2005 ($899.95) $799 special 
Jacky Truchot Chambolle-Musigny Les Sentiers Premier Cru 2005 ($899.95) $799 special
Jacky Truchot Charmes-Chambertin Vieille Vignes 2005 ($899.95) $799 special
Jacky Truchot Clos de la Roche Vieille Vignes 2005 ($1199.95) $999 special
Burgundy (and Beaujolais) of the Week
Thibault Liger- Belair

In 2001, Thibault Liger-Belair left Paris and the internet wine merchant company he created to take over his family’s historic vineyards in Nuits St Georges. With a degree in winemaking and viticulture, the 36-year old set about rejuvenating the vineyards using only organic and biodynamic cultivation. Taking back the vines which had been contracted out to various share croppers, Thibault  leased a cuverie just down the road and began his work.Within a few years, he created a reputation for making first-class wines, which have gained the respect of critics and collectors.

‘My objective was not to buy a domaine, but to buy vineyards in different spots. What is very important for me’, says Liger-Belair,’is to showcase the difference between each type of granite and each exposure.’ In 2008, Liger-Belair bought 8 acres in Moulin-a-Vent, including 5 parcels with vines ranging from 60 to 80 years old, taking over a year to get the vineyards in pristine condition before releasing his first bottling in 2009.Two refrigerated trucks a day delivered fruit to be pressed in Nuits-Saint-Georges and raised in used barriques. Both the Moulin-a-Vent Vieilles Vignes and Les Rouchaux vineyard, made from younger vines, have deep purplish color.  Each has the structure for aging, but their appeal is immediate. Beginning in 2010 Liger-Belair will combine the Vieilles Vignes and the Rouchaux, and going forward, will have two wines – the Vieilles Vignes and la Roche. Rather than using carbonic maceration typical in Beaujolais, he uses the fermentation techniques for Pinot Noir, resulting in a much fuller wine with greater richness and fruit concentration.

Thibault Liger-Belair Wines – Available Now

T. Liger-Belair Moulin A Vent Vieilles Vignes 2010 ($31.95) $23.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“Vivid ruby. Raspberry, cherry, licorice and violet on the assertively perfumed nose and in the mouth. Juicy and precise, with very good depth, energy and building spiciness. Lingers with impressive tenacity, showing finishing notes of spices and flowers. I find this year’s bottling of this wine far more vibrant and incisive than its ’09 sibling.”

T. Liger-Belair Moulin A Vent La Roche 2010 ($44.95) $33 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Deep, bright ruby. Candied red and dark berries on the nose, with notes of violet and star anise adding complexity. Juicy and gently sweet, offering plush black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a broad, velvety texture. A weighty but energetic Beaujolais that finishes with intense spiciness and a lingering note of floral pastilles.”

T. Liger Belair Bourgogne Rouge 2011 ($27.95) $20.90 special
From the winery 
“A blend from three different winegrowers situated in the Cotes de Nuits area.
I have chosen these three winemakers for the regularity of their production and the small yields they produce every year on their vines. The grapes come from Bourgogne vineyards located in the bottom of the coteau of Gevrey Chambertin on silty and clayey soils and vineyards located in Hautes Cotes de Nuits on marl and limestone soils. Each soil will give something very different to the wine. Intended to make a delicate and fruity wine without a big tannic power but more on the finesse. Color is ruby with a beautiful shine. The nose develops some aromas of cherry and red berry. Mouth is very elegant with a medium structure and medium length. “T. Liger Belair Nuits St Georges La Charmotte 2010 ($74.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 90-92 points
 “The 2010 Nuits St. Georges La Charmotte is an intensely rewarding wine. Rich, powerful tannins provide the backbone for waves of expressive dark fruit. The Charmotte impresses for its depth and sheer muscle. It is perhaps just a touch rustic, but immensely pleasing just the same. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.”T. Liger Belair Vosne Romanee Aux Reas 2011 ($129.95) $88 special
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points
 “(from vines planted in 1954; Liger-Belair does not normally vinify his parcels planted on calcaire soils with their stems): Good deep red. Reduced nose hints at pepper, squid ink and graphite. A bit darker in fruit character than the Toppe au Vert, offering very good intensity and lift and solid underlying minerality nicely buffered by the wine’s flesh. Creamy-sweet, fine-grained wine with a wild raspberry character. Finishes impressively long, with smooth tannins. A great village wine in the making.”

T. Liger Belair Nuits St Georges Les Saint Georges Premier Cru 2011 ($159.95) $109 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points
 “(all of the barrels for this wine were made from oak planted in white, limestone-rich soils):  Bright red.  Locked up tight on the nose.  Very rich, sappy and concentrated but with a medicinal reserve to the black fruit and spice flavors.  Quite backward today and dominated by its structure.  Most impressive on the very long, firm, mouth-saturing finish, which leaves the taste buds quivering.  Incidentally, Liger-Belair replanted half of his Saint-Georges in April of 2011 due to the severe loss of vines he suffered during the sharp frost in December of 2009.  He produced just 25 hectoliters per hectare of Saint-Georges in 2011 and 11 in 2012.”

T. Liger Belair Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2010 ($179.95) $149 special
Burghound 94 points
 “This is tight to the point of being almost completely inexpressive and only aggressive swirling liberates the barest of fresh and cool red berry scents. By contrast, there is outstanding intensity to the energetic, pure and focused medium weight plus flavors that enjoy an abundance of tannin-buffering dry extract. The racy, linear and very firm finish is classically austere but seriously persistent. Impressive.”

T. Liger Belair Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2011 ($199.95) $166 special
Stephen Tanzer & Burghound 92-94 points 
“Bright, dark red-ruby.  Vibrant aromas of blackberry, licorice and wild herbs, along with a smoky carbon suggestion.  Densely packed and highly concentrated, with a firm tannic spine giving shape and definition to the fresh dark berry flavors.  Plenty of stuffing here for balance but this very closed wine will probably need up to a decade of bottle aging to blossom.” ST

T. Liger Belair Richebourg Grand Cru 2011 ($499.95) $389 special
Stephen Tanzer 93-96 points
 “Deep, bright red with a hint of ruby. Very fresh, pure aromas and flavors of black raspberry, cassis, minerals and flowers. Combines outstanding density with nearly brutal medicinal reserve: if the Clos Vougeot is a baby, this is a fetus. Incredibly tangy wine with outstanding intensity and energy. Expands dramatically on the sappy, chewy back half, spreading out horizontally to coat the palate with leaving any impression of weight. With its ripe, chewy tannins and powerful crushed stone character, this really leaves the taste buds humming.”

Tour de FranceIn honor of the Tour de France, we are featuring select wines from the wine-making regions the cyclists will pedal through.  Follow the cyclists in a Tasting Tour of France!

Aubry Premier Cru Brut NV ($41.95) $36 special, 35 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“Bright straw.  Pungent aromas of Meyer lemon, pear and fig, with a gingery accent adding lift.  Sappy, penetrating citrus fruit and floral flavors are given a refreshingly bitter character by notes of pear skin and peach pit, with a waxy note coming up on the back half.  A smoky nuance lingers on the finish, which shows very good clarity and length.”

Paul Bara Reserve Brut Grand Cru NV ($49.95) $39 special, 22 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Light yellow-gold.   Mineral-accented aromas of pear and peach pit, with smoke and floral qualities adding complexity.  Sappy, penetrating redcurrant and orchard fruit flavors are lifted by zesty minerality and pick up smokiness with air.  Finishes sappy and long, with lingering floral and mineral qualities.”

Marie Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut NV ($59.95) $49 special, 44 bottles available
THIS IS NEWEST RELEASE – VINTAGE 2010 Antonio Gallonio 94 points
 “Green apples, pears, mint and white flowers meld together in the NV (2010) Extra Brut Resonance, 100% Pinot Noir from 35-40 year-old vines. Citrus, lime and a host of bright aromas and flavors suggest Chablis with bubbles. The Resonance is simply bristling with energy and focus today. This is a fabulous wine from proprietress Dominique Moreau. This bottle was disgorged in May 2013.”

Kuentz-Bas Blanc 2012 ($19.95) $16 special, 6 bottles available

60% Sylvaner, 20% Muscat, 20% Auxerrois

F E Trimbach Pinot Noir Reserve 2009 ($29.95) $14 special, 15 bottles available

Domaine Ostertag Pinot Noir Fronholz 2010 ($49.95) $41.90 special, 9 bottles available
Importer note: Fronholz vineyard. Vines average 40+ years old, soil is White Sand, Quartz, Clay, Marl

Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Cotes du Jura En Barberon Chardonnay 2010 ($39.95) $33 special, 14 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91-92 points 
“Tasted assembled in tank, whence it was not due to have been bottled any sooner than this spring, the Tissot 2010 Cotes du Jura Chardonnay En Barberon delivers a fascinating and head-turning amalgam of citrus, apple, and resinous herbs, with saliva-inducing, sweet and saline savor that seems to marry elements of oyster liquor and fresh scallop. Grown in the commune of Brery on chalky soils reminiscent of those in Chateau Chalon, this Chardonnay of refined texture, subtly complex, and combining richness with lift, is likely to merit a decade if not longer attention span.”

Domaine Berthet-Bondet Cotes du Jura Chardonnay 2011 ($24.95) $21.90 special, 20 bottles available
Importer Note
 “100% Chardonnay, 17 year old vines.  Gravel and marl soil.  A pure Chardonnay that speaks clearly of the Jura region. It is barrel-aged for 12 months in principally neutral barrels (the % of new oak varies from 8 to 16%), according to classic methods with topping up to avoid oxidation. The wine is fresh, pure Chardonnay with the distinct notes of the Jura terroir or earth and hay. Serve it with poultry or veal associated with mushrooms, and cheese. ”

Domaine Berthet-Bondet Cotes du Jura Rubis 2012 ($23.95) $19 special, 31 bottles available
From the Winery
 “Made with 45% Trousseau, 45% Poulsard and 10% Pinot Noir this wine is characterized by it’s lightness and the complex bouquet of red fruits and earthy character. It can be kept for up to 5 years and is best served at 14ºC with charcuterie, smoked meats, grills and meat with fruit dishes such as pork with roasted apple.”


Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly 2010 ($24.95) $19 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 89-90 points “While Claude Geoffroy again from 2010 intended to bottle small quantities of several single-site wines, he presented to me only one 2010 Cote de Brouilly, representing the assemblage that will be sold in the U.S. Tiny Maine blueberries mingle with blackberry and huckleberry for a refreshing if tart- and bitter-edged performance, a cooling sense of high-toned herbal concentrate and a wet stone as well as crystalline sense of mineral impingement adding intrigue and allure. As polished in texture as it is penetrating in finish, this promises to be deliciously versatile over at least the next half dozen years, as witness a long line of predecessors with similar personalities from this estate.”

Louis Jadot Chateau des Jacques Moulin-a-Vent Clos de Rochegres 2009 ($41.95) $37 special, 14 bottles available
Robert Parker 93-94 points
 “Intriguing suggestions of crushed stone and iodine mingle with blackberry and cherry in the nose of the Chateau des Jacques 2009 Moulin-a-Vent Clos de Rochegres, from a site that features thin, iron-rich soil over hard granite mother rock at the summit of its appellation. This has a very different shape from any of its stable mates, round and enveloping, yet at the same time exhibiting vibratory energy, and depth of marrow and mineral matter, not to mention sweet fruit. Palate-staining in its persistence, this memorable and extraordinary value should prove a monument to its vintage worth following for 8, 10 ? (who can say really how many?) years.”

Domaine Coudert Clos de la Roilette Fleurie 2012 ($22.95) $19 special, 23 bottles available

Jean-Louis Chave Selection Saint-Joseph Offerus 2010 ($34.95) $27 special, 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“Deep, vivid ruby.  High-pitched, mineral-accented aromas of cherry, black raspberry and fresh flowers.  Offers an array of red and dark berry flavors that gain flesh and sweetness with air.  Packs a serious punch but comes off as energetic, with no excess weight.  Closes with resonating spiciness and sneaky, fine-grained tannins that fold smoothly into the sappy fruit.  Jean-Louis noted that there is a bigger dose of Chave domain fruit than usual in this year’s version of Offerus.  Incidentally, I was also able to retaste the 2010 Cotes-du-Rhone Mon Coeur, which I reviewed last year, and it has gained definition and energy over the last year.  As mentioned before, this is a wine that drinks way above its category and is a highly reliable bottling vintage in and vintage out.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albion 2012 ($24.95) $21.90 special, 3+ cases available
Winery’s note: 
“The “purchasing advisors” who criticized 2012 a bit too quickly will maybe have to re-think about their opinion. It looks like month after month that 2012 is, for the domaines which work well, an excellent vintage which won’t stop surprising us. Its magnificent style recalls the great “cool” Gigondas wines. The superiority of 2012 relatively to 2011 becomes more obvious every day. Deux Albion 2012 is a perfect image of this reality: its texture and its depth recall the 2010. Co-fermented in concrete vats as usual, it develops a good density, good colour and a length that reminds of a great vintage. 80% of the cuvée was aged in concrete vat, which says a lot about the ability of the wines from our region to be “self-suficient”.. In fact, this is in the concrete vats that Deux Albions gets the best expression. Its fruit full of terroir develops its own truth with freedom. The work of the vigneron is to understand what the best technical way for its terroir, and then add to his work a search of beauty.”

Chateau Fortia Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Baron 2011 ($39.95) $30.90 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Spectator 90 points 
“Offers a mix of kirsch, anise, plum sauce and cherry notes, with a polished feel through the cocoa-tinged finish. Shows the friendly, racy feel of the vintage. Drink now through 2021.”

Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Rose 2013 ($39.95) $33 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 points
 “A brisk, vibrant version, with cherry pit and watermelon rind notes framing a core of blood orange zest, peach and nectarine flavors. Finely beaded acidity lets the finish ripple. Drink now.”

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2013 ($49.95) $41.90 special, 3+ cases available
50% Mourvèdre, 28% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 2% Carignan

Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol 2010 ($59.95) $44 special, 33 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “Moving to the classic cuvee and even more impressive (it was one of the top wines I was able to taste for this report), the 2010 Bandol, which is over 90% Mourvedre, sees partial destemming and aging in oak casks, offers both gorgeous aromatic complexity and superb richness and depth on the palate. Giving up notions of pepper, Provencal herbs, underbrush and leather, with a solid core of dark fruit, this medium to full-bodied, pure, layered and beautifully balanced effort needs another 2-3 years of bottle age, and will easily keep for a decade or more past that.”

Mas Cal Demoura Terrasses du Larzac L’Infidele 2010 ($31.95) $27 special, 3+ cases available
Importer Notes: 
“The historic cuvée of Jean-Pierre Jullien, L’Infidèle is a blend of all the regional grapes – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan. The Goumards make choices in the vineyard and in the cellar that will emphasize finesse and freshness in this bottling, allowing for full expression of the fruit. The grapes are partially destemmed. Temperature is rigorously controlled. The cuvaison can extend for as long as six weeks with frequent remontage. Aging takes place mostly in older demi-muids and each grape variety undergoes the primary stages of the elevage separately.  Based upon a series of ongoing tastings, the Goumards determine the final blend and then the five varieties are assembled in cuve and aged for an additional six to eight months prior to bottling. The wine is bottled without filtration.”

Mas Jullien Terrasses Du Larzac Rouge 2010 ($59.95) $49 special, 3+ cases available
Robert Parker 94 points 
“The 2010 Coteaux du Languedoc Terrasses du Larzac is another superb example of this cuvee. Cassis, currant bud, massive minerality and a distinct iron/bloody quality all emerge from the glass, and this full-bodied, dense, concentrated and structured 2010 has fantastic tension and an overall energetic vibe. It needs another 2-3 years of cellaring and will have 15 years or more of ultimate longevity.”

Staff Picks

Geoffroy Brut Empreinte 2006 375ml ($31.95) $26 staff pick special

“Very well balanced, light to medium body Champagne. In 375ml, this is a great celebration for one, or more if you’re feeling generous. Creamy vanilla and slighty smoky aromas with a definitely minerality. Tight, tiny bubbles, a subtle toasty quality is balanced by zippy acidity and a slight tart finish.”



Meulenhof Erdener Treppchen Spatlese 2010 ($28.95) $23 staff pick special

“The vineyard site of Erdener Treppchen is one of the warmer areas of the middle Mosel, which produces wines of ripe fruit characteristics. On the nose, notes of peach, apple and a subtle touch of mint. On the palate, ample sweet apricot nicely balanced by zingy acidity, minerality, and a slightly soft, creamy texture. A killer wine for the money.”


Cameron Winery Guiliano White 2013 ($27.95) $24 staff pick special

“This highly anticipated and limited release from Cameron easily fits into your summer sipping list.  It is a blend of Friulano, Auxerrois, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio and Moscato.  It is full enough in body to make it a very food-friendly wine.  There are bright herbal and citrus zest notes with a suggestion of the floral Moscato grape on the finish.”




Riesling of the Week

Muller-Catoir has remained a family owned business since 1744, and now currently in their 9th generation, this historic Pfalz estate is currently run by Philipp David Catoir.  21 hectares of estate grown fruit are dominated by Riesling vines, with tiny parcels situated in some of the most optimal locations within the Pfalz region and lying in a variety of of soils that truly express the versatility of this grape.

In 2007, the estate began a conversion towards strict organic vineyard practices, completing their first official organic vintage in 2009. In the cellar, controlled practices of gentle crushing,  long skin contact, followed by slow gentle pressing and warmer than customary fermentation temperatures are done in stainless steel.

“Vines were grown by natural methods with organic fertilization, permanent green cutting that gets more and more radical every summer, and ever-greater selective harvesting with hand-picking of grapes for even the most “basic” kabinett wine – all these measures cannot help but produce only a small yield of wines with a mineral note, a filigree acidity structure and exotic fruit aromas.”

Part of the estate vineyards lie within the areas of Haardt, Mussbach, and Mandelgarten, with individual parcels and their various soils showing their distinctive complexities. The village of Haardt lying along the Palatinate forest has soils of primary rock (urgestein) and yellow mottled sandstone.  Mussbach is situated in the valley and has soils comprised of alluvium and gravel, deposited during the last ice age.  Mandelgarten, which translates to ‘almond garden’, once flourished with almond trees in the Middle Ages.  Vineyards are now rich in soils of coarse, weathered sandstone gravel, combined with layers of loess.

Exclusively owned by Muller-Catoir and carefully preserved throughout the centuries, ‘Breumel in den Mauern’ is located in the uppermost section and is considered the best parcel of the Burgergarten in Haardt.   This particular area faces Southeast, receiving a perfect amount of warmth in the mornings and quickly cooling after sunset, due to it’s proximity to the Palatinate forest.  These deep soils consist of pure mottled sandstone gravel, with a high ratio of decomposed stone.

These wines are truly expressive of the Pfalz region and it’s pockets of parcels, situated in prime locations for viticulture in Southwest Germany.   History and family tradition are definitive of Muller-Catoir, who have continued to showcase their wines, true to it’s nature.

Muller-Catoir Wines Available Now

Muller-Catoir Breumel Riesling GG 2012 ($69.95) $59 special, 18 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 89 points 
“Subdued aromas of white peach, clove and mineral salts. Taut, spicy apricot pit fruit and lively acidity make this riesling stand out. Although built more on elegance, this wine also has very good depth, length and potential.” ST

Muller-Catoir Haardt Scheurebe 2011 ($37.95) $27 special, 9 bottles available
Terry Theise: 
“(no discernable sweetness) SOMMELIER ALERT! Catoir was the 3rd-to-last estate I visited, and this was the first truly rabidly foaming Scheu aroma of the vintage, and it’s a marvelous dry Scheurebe and a haunting dry wine of any type; sage, woodruff, cassis, sharp as kitten teeth yet the palate is juicy and minty and weirdly irresistible.”

Muller-Catoir Haardt Riesling Trocken 2012 ($27.95) $24 special, 23 bottles available
Terry Theise notes: 
“Remember the VDP’s new organization: this is the “village-wine.” Also clipped from bottling, but there’s a sneaky length and herbal sense (Vetiver); orchid and oleander and osmanthus, leading to a minty finish. Tasted near the end of my trip, these were the silkiest wines I’d tasted.”

Muller-Catoir Mandelgarten Riesling Spatlese 2012 ($44.95) $39 special, 12 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points 
“Spicy bouquet offers scents of papaya, pineapple and lemon grass. The sweet tropical fruit flavors and creamy texture are nicely interwoven, with just enough acidity to keep this wine fresh. With appealing length, this is a surprisingly elegant spätlese from the Pfalz.” ST

Muller-Catoir  Mussbach Riesling Kabinett 2011 ($34.95) $27 special, 35 bottles available
Wine Spectator 
 “Offers a good mix of savory and fruit flavors that are ripe, with a lushness that is joined by a rich, well-articulated creaminess. The vibrant finish is filled with apricot and jellied citrus notes. Drink now through 2022. 107 cases imported.” –KM

Muller-Catoir Mussbach Riesling Kabinett 2012 ($34.95) $27 special, 35 bottles available
Terry Theise notes: 
“Typical aromas with the lime oil notes of their `12s; incisive and detailed; the palate is charming in a verbena-chartreuse style, with notes of wild vineyard peaches (a.k.a. “pêche de vigne”); it’s certainly a wine-with-sweetness, and Philip Catoir and I talked a little about reducing the sweetness on these types of wines in general – but the wine’s not at all unbalanced. I am, but the wine is fine.”

Muller-Catoir Riesling Trocken 2012 ($24.95) $18 special, 23 bottles available                                               Terry Theise: “Sandier and more granular than usual – probably from bottling- and while a still admirable and solid everyday dry Riesling, I expect its usual fruity citricity to emerge as the wine recovers.”

Royal Tokaji
Arriving this week

The Royal Tokaji Wine Company, founded in Hungary in 1990, has become one of the most defining wineries in Tokaj. From the outset, Royal Tokaji decided to concentrate on producing single-vineyard wines, made from the first growth vineyards of Mézes Mály, Nyulászó, Szt. Tamás and Betsek. Acknowledged as one of the region’s top winemakers, combining traditional techniques with modern technology to create the award-winning Royal Tokaji range of wines.   Royal Tokaji was inspired and founded by Hugh Johnson, the noted author and wine historian, whose goal was to revive and bring back to international acclaim the wines of one of history’s most renowned wine regions.

Tokaji is the world’s original sweet white wine. Historically the wine and the region were called Tokay or even Tokai in English but the wine is more correctly referred to as Tokaji and the region as Tokaj. The Tokaji wine region also has the distinction of being the first in Europe to be classified. At the end of the 17th century, Tokaji aszú wines were so well regarded throughout the Courts of Europe that Prince Rakoczi insisted on a classification of the finest vineyards around the 28 villages in the region into: Great First Growths, First Growths, Second Growths and Third Growths.

Royal Tokaji has, from the outset, devoted itself to reviving these great wines and to bringing them back to the world’s finest tables.

The vineyards are described below:

Mézes Mály (Great First Growth)

The name translates from Latin as honeycomb. From the village of Tarcal, this wine is one of the great 1st growth vineyards. The loess top-soil of the vineyard gives a honey-like, floral character to the wine. Mézes Mály had the distinction of being classified as one of only two vineyards to be elevated to the equivalent of Great 1st growth in the Rakoczi classification of 1700. Situated on loess soil on a south facing slope, this famous vineyard is now enjoying a renaissance of its own. Its incredibly long and exquisitely balanced aromas and flavors combine the very essence of aszu wines.

Szt. Tamás (First Growth)
Szt. Tamás is a South facing vineyard in Mád. Today Szt Tamas is the most expensive vineyard due to the outstanding character of the wines it produces. It is also one of the highest vineyards with stony, rich clay topsoil.   Szt. Tamás’s hallmark is one of voluptuous apricot and plum jam intermingled with tobacco and a touch of chocolate leading to a long and delicate finish. Its 12 hectares face south, south west and south east and are one of the core wine vineyards in the Mád commune of Hungary.

Nyulászó (First Growth)
One of the most characteristic vineyards of the company. Red volcanic clay with only pockets of loess soil present. The grapes grown here produce lively, elegant and highly perfumed wines. Because of this unusual soil composition, wines from Nyulászó’s grapes are often the most complex wines in the Royal Tokaji portfolio.  Nyulászó has always produced aszu wines that have contributed most to the house style of Royal Tokaji. Its 18 hectares, to the east of Mád in Hungary, are contiguous with the Szt. Tamás vineyard.

Betsek (First Growth)
The largest of the 1st growth vineyards faces South-East. The area where the vineyard is located is typically cold. The black volcanic topsoil contributes to the mineral and lovely black pepper characters of the wine.  Royal Tokaji now owns 16 hectares of this long established vineyard. Situated to the south east of Mád in Hungary, it produces lusciously refreshing wines that are always in demand. Betsek’s black volcanic topsoil contributes to the mineral and lovely black pepper characters in the wine. Apricot and honey predominate. Betsek is an old Magyar family name and this vineyard produces consistently balanced aszu wines.

Birsalmás (Second Growth)
A tiny vineyard located in Mád facing South-East. Loess-clay mixed top soil which provides a minty and elegant scent with a long lasting fruity flavour and a hint of quince, honey and peaches.  At .5 hectares, it produces on average 1,800 bottles each vintage. Birsalmás means quince in Hungarian and there is always an element of quince interwoven with the other honey, apricot and honeydew melon flavours.Royal Tokaji wines arriving July 25th
Royal Tokaji 6-Bottle Gift Case 2008 Vintage – ($999.95) $899 special
Consists of 1 – 500ml bottle each:

Royal Tokaji Wine Company Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos Mezes Maly 2008
Neal Martin – The Wine Advocate  92 points
 “The 2008 Tokaji Aszu Mezes Maly 6-Puttonyos has a very seductive, pure bouquet with lifted orange essence, mango and apricot scents that are beautifully defined, becoming headier in the glass. The palate has a viscous opening that is perfectly offset by the acidity. This is so pure and refined, although part of me yearned for more edginess, perhaps an oxidative tincture to lend another dimension. Still, this is an utterly seductive Tokaji, though the 2007 has the upper hand at the moment.”

Royal Tokaji Wine Company Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos Birsalmas 2008
Neal Martin – The Wine Advocate  93 points 
“There are only 1,185 bottles of the 2008 Tokaji Aszu Birsalmas 6-Puttonyos. The nose demonstrates a little more conviction than the previous vintage, although it retains that languid personality, more resinous in comparison to the Betsek or the Nyulaszo. Similarly the palate is suffused with more tension than the 2007, with a seam of blood orange and citrus peel that keep this focused and taut. Long in the mouth, with impressive persistency, this is the Birsalmas to look out for. I must admit that I was unfamiliar with the Nyulaszo single-vineyard, but I was bowled over by two vintages that I tasted.”

Royal Tokaji Wine Company Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos Nyulaszo 2008
Neal Martin – The Wine Advocate  95 points
 “The 2008 Tokaji Aszu Nyulaszo 6-Puttonyos has a deep burnished amber color. The nose is very complex, initially offering melted candle wax and apricot on the nose. (The latter actually reminded me of Jaffa Cakes!) Leaving it aside for one hour, it blossoms in the glass, revealing Satsuma and mango aromas. The palate is rounded and citric on the entry. This has the same level of energy and tension as the 2007, that acidity almost piercing toward the finish. But there is a scintillating level of penetration here, and the finish leaves the mouth so fresh that you will hanker for the next sip.”

Royal Tokaji Wine Company Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos Szt. Tamas 2008
Neal Martin – The Wine Advocate  96 points 
“The 2008 Tokaji Aszu Szt. Tamas 6-Puttonyos is a no-holds-barred, slam-dunk, brilliant wine. The delineation is astonishing on the nose, unfurling with entrancing scents of orange blossom, freshly sliced apricots, almond and quince – all beautifully focused. The palate has pitch-perfect acidity, great depth and power, and yet it is elegant from its start to its finish, which has that ever so slightly bitter lemon tang that offsets the sweetness. Forget whatever you are doing – go seek out this sensational Tokaji”

Royal Tokaji Wine Company Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos Betsek 2008
Neal Martin – The Wine Advocate  95 points 
“The 2008 Tokaji Aszu Betsek 6-Puttonyos is another fabulous 2008 to add to the Royal Tokaji Company’s roster. The nose is as clean as a whistle: beautifully delineated with candied orange peel, honeysuckle and resinous scents, the latter becoming more accentuated with about 20 minutes aeration. The palate is underpinned by the razor-sharp acidity that lends this Tokaji so much freshness and vitality. It is a feisty little thing like the 2007, but the 2008 displays even better control and focus. The tangy marmalade-infused finish rivets you to the spot, and those spicy white pepper notes just add another level to an already superb Tokaji. Throw out the Sauternes! This brilliant Tokaji will last decades, not years.”

Royal Tokaji Wine Company Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos Classified Vineyard Blend 2008


Royal Tokaji Wine Company Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos Szt. Tamas 2003 500ML ($149.95) $119 special
Neal Martin – The Wine Advocate  94 points “The 2003 Tokaji Aszu Szt Tamas 6-Puttonyos has a potent bouquet of marmalade, wax resin, creme brulee and a touch of candle wax mixed with furniture polish. The palate is medium-bodied with a fresh, vibrant marmalade and quince entry. There is great poise here, remarkable given the vintage, with a precise orange zest and apricot finish. This is drinking beautifully.”

Royal Tokaji Wine Company Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos Szt. Tamas 2007 500ML ($149.95) $119 special
Neal Martin – The Wine Advocate  95 points 
“The 2007 Tokaji Aszu Szt Tamas 6-Puttonyos has perhaps the most complex bouquet of the three single-vineyard aszu wines, adorned with dried honey, Japanese yuzu, just a hint of petrol and stewed mandarins that are all beautifully defined. The palate is extremely well-balanced with wonderful acidity that is embroidered through the pure mandarin, honey, quince and lemon peel. It is very focused with a tense, mineral finish.”

Royal Tokaji Wine Company Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos Szt. Tamas 2008 500ML ($149.95) $119 special
Neal Martin – The Wine Advocate  96 points
 “The 2008 Tokaji Aszu Szt. Tamas 6-Puttonyos is a no-holds-barred, slam-dunk, brilliant wine. The delineation is astonishing on the nose, unfurling with entrancing scents of orange blossom, freshly sliced apricots, almond and quince – all beautifully focused. The palate has pitch-perfect acidity, great depth and power, and yet it is elegant from its start to its finish, which has that ever so slightly bitter lemon tang that offsets the sweetness. Forget whatever you are doing – go seek out this sensational Tokaji”

Royal Tokaji Wine Company Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos Betsek 2008 500ML ($149.95) $119 special
Neal Martin – The Wine Advocate  95 points
 “The 2008 Tokaji Aszu Betsek 6-Puttonyos is another fabulous 2008 to add to the Royal Tokaji Company’s roster. The nose is as clean as a whistle: beautifully delineated with candied orange peel, honeysuckle and resinous scents, the latter becoming more accentuated with about 20 minutes aeration. The palate is underpinned by the razor-sharp acidity that lends this Tokaji so much freshness and vitality. It is a feisty little thing like the 2007, but the 2008 displays even better control and focus. The tangy marmalade-infused finish rivets you to the spot, and those spicy white pepper notes just add another level to an already superb Tokaji. Throw out the Sauternes! This brilliant Tokaji will last decades, not years.”