Monday Newsletter – July 1st, 2019

In Today’s Newsletter:

de Villaine Joins the Vinopolis July Sale

Iconic Vintages:
2015 Barolo & 2016 Barbaresco
The Reviews Are In: Exceptional!

Kapcsándy Retrospective:
Napa Glory

Staff Pick:
Magic Summer Bottles from Peter Lauer

Rosé of the Day

Trending Wines

New Arrivals from Dominus/Napanook

July Sale Recap

Please Note

Vinopolis Will Be Closed on July 4th

In Observance of Independence Day

de Villaine on the July Sale

That Domaine A&P de Villaine is forever associated with the Domaine de la Romanée Conti is a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, Aubert de Villaine’s involvement serves as a guarantee of quality, but on the other, it’s convenient to compare these wines to Burgundy that costs hundreds of dollars more, resulting in disappointment.  Judged for what they are, which is tip-top Cote Chalonnaise Burgundy, it becomes clear, though, that the personal project of the man who runs DRC produces exceptional wines at (even better) exceptional pricing.

Whether the mineral-driven, crunchy whites or the reds that have surprising structure and complexity, these are some of the best wines coming out of these less-heralded villages in Burgundy.  When you compare to wines from the Cote d’Or at similar prices, it becomes clear that these wines deserve your hard earned money.  To make that process a little easier (on you and your budget) we’ve added them to our already dynamite July Sale.  These were already exceptional values and now are even better.  Given their combination of drink-now appeal and ageability, you’d be best to buy a bundle of them to account for their (inevitable) quick attrition.

In Stock Now:

Domaine A. & P. de Villaine Bouzeron, Cote Chalonnaise 2016 750ML ($39.95) Was $33, Now $29 July Sale Special, 16 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Our Bouzeron comes from vines situated on the best slopes of the appellations. We have planted to Bouzeron the golden Aligoté doré grape, which gives lowers yield and more aromatic wines than its cousin, the Aligoté vert. 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. This Bouzeron 2016 is more floral than fruity but remains very fresh, thanks to the acidity present. This liveliness, as always, is generated by the particular marl-limestone soils of Bouzeron. Rich, round and lively at the same time, the mouth feel oscillates between richness of the fruit, roundness generated by a good maturity and a saline presence, a palatability that makes the wine extremely digestible.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $38
Domaine A. & P. de Villaine Bourgogne Cote Chalonnaise La Digoine, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $41.90 July Sale Special, 17 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“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. At first sight, the colour is sustained, intense red. Even if the nose is still slightly shy, it suggests a great wine; this impression is confirmed by the complexity on the palate. A wine fleshy, rich, deep, full of ripe and silky tannins. These wines having been matured and vinified the most natural way possible, we would recommend that you cellar them for a bit and then let them breathe before drinking.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $50
Domaine A. & P. de Villaine Bourgogne Cote Chalonnaise La Fortune, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $36 July Sale Special, 4 bottles in stock now – more arriving July 5th!
Winery note
“Fresh with fruity notes that evoke blackberry, red fruits, wild strawberries. The tannins are soft, silky and give the wines, beside a powerful structure, a real aromatic lightness.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $42
Re-Arriving Friday:

Domaine A. & P. De Villaine Bourgogne Cote Chalonnaise Les Clous Aime Blanc, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($44.95) Was $39, Now $33 July Sale Special
Winery note “Les Clous Aimé comes from several parcels located on a south-facing slope of Bouzeron’s valley, sheltered from summer’s north wind during ripening. Our vineyard here is planted with selections of Chardonnay grapes that we have chosen for moderate yields. 2016 [was a] great success. Our Clous Aimé 2016 is powerful, dense with a soft and floral touch on the palate at the same time. A wine of pleasure, without complexity and very attractive. No need to think about it, it simply must be drunk.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The average price is $42

See the complete list of July Sale Wines at the bottom of this newsletter, or head to the web store to shop the sale!

Iconic Vintages:

2015 Barolo & 2016 Barbaresco

The Reviews Are In: Exceptional!

We’ve been excited about the impending arrival of 2015 Barolos and 2016 Barbarescos since the estates released Langhe Nebbiolos of those two vintages—and it turns out we were right to be.  The stellar reviews have been rolling in, including a recent batch from Monica Larner at the Wine Advocate.  As you’d expect from someone who has Antonio Galloni’s old seat, she’s a shrewd taster and so her enthusiasm is exceptionally contagious.

“It’s impossible not to be enthusiastic about Italian wine. Since the New Year rolled in, we’ve been treated to a stunning presentation of icon wine releases from Southern, Central (especially Tuscany) and Northern Italy. Now add these new releases from Piedmont to the mix, and I would argue that 2019 is shaping up to be a watershed year for vino italiano, especially for collectors and people seeking bottles on the higher end of the price spectrum…

“Cue in 2015 Barolo and 2016 Barbaresco: These new releases from Piedmont embody the dynamism and the potential that make me so excited about what I have tasted from Italy thus far in 2019. With a slight edge to 2016, both vintages are excellent across the board and award plenty of options for those seeking wines to drink early and to those who have room in their cellars to age a few bottles for longer periods.

“The 2015 vintage is associated with fuller, riper and more generous expressions of Nebbiolo from Barolo, and the 2016 vintage has elegant, fresh and structured wines on offer from neighboring Barbaresco. In general, vintners tell me 2015 was an incredibly easy year to farm. The various chapters of the growing season fit together with seamless precision….

“Indeed, Luca Currado of Vietti in Castiglione Falletto says it’s a mistake to categorize 2015 as a so-called hot vintage. He remains convinced that any jammy or overripe flavors found in the wines have less to do with the vintage conditions and more to do with farming methods. “Those who pulled too many leaves during the summer may have encountered overripe flavors. Those who followed our local traditions, and kept the leaves on, achieved beautiful color and aromas with Nebbiolo,” he says.” – Monica Larner, Wine Advocate

In Stock Now:

Cavallotto Bricco Boschis, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96 points
“I had tasted this wine from barrel last year, and the wine was already shaping up beautifully back then. Staying the course, the 2015 Barolo Bricco Boschis shows extreme elegance and finesse. These are the characteristics of what is surely one of the most beautiful vineyard sites in Barolo. The Bricco Boschis cru affords a panoramic view onto much of the Langhe, with snowcapped Alps in the background. Barolo from Castiglione Falletto tends to show characteristics that are very fine, precise and linear. That’s fundamentally what you get here despite the more exuberant and fleshy 2015 vintage. This wine is truly beautiful. Some 27,700 bottles were made.”

Arriving ETA July:

Vietti Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 95 points
“The Barolo Brunate was not made in 2014 because of hail damage. Instead, all the fruit was diverted to the Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco instead. This newest release, the 2015 Barolo Brunate, definitely makes up for the lost ground. This is an explosive and absolutely exuberant expression of Nebbiolo from a vineyard site in La Morra near M. Marengo’s property. Vietti farms two parcels here, a higher side of the vineyard and a lower one (near Damilano and Ceretto). These lower parts of Brunate perform very nicely in the cooler vintages. Instead, this warm vintage expression puts a lot of its fruit depth and personality upfront in a confident and no-fuss manner. You absolutely know what you are getting here, even at the first sniff of the bouquet. The wine proceeds to open and blossom before your nose, offering dark fruit, rose, spice and a very linear mineral tone at the back. That linear flinty note is just terrific. Some 3,600 were produced.”

Vietti Lazzarito, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96+ points
“Opening to a beautifully floral bouquet, the 2015 Barolo Lazzarito delivers fragrant tones of violets, wild rose and a touch of orange blossom. As is the norm at Vietti, I tasted this wine and then wrote this review based on impressions gained from two samples—one opened several hours before my tasting and one opened at the moment of my review. Those floral notes came forth with increased intensity and clarity in the bottle that had been opened longer. The bouquet continues to surprise with touches of black fruit and freshly milled white pepper. However, like many wines from Serralunga d’Alba, this expression from Lazzarito reveals a pretty inner paradox. Those ethereal and balsamic aromas cede to a dense and rich mouthfeel, characterized by structure and power. Those two sides of the wine reach beautiful parity and lasting harmony.”

Vietti Rocche di Castiglione, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96 points
“Along with the Ravera, the 2015 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione has a very fresh feeling (they are both grown with less direct sunlight). Indeed, there are many similarities between these two prestigious Barolos from Vietti, but the differences start with the vinification methods. While the Ravera sees malolactic fermentation in stainless steel, the Rocche di Castiglione completes that phase in botte. To continue the comparison, these two wines are certainly more closed than the other Barolo crus from this producer, the Lazzarito and the Brunate, which blossom and open more quickly. Even though it is a bit shy, the defining characteristics of herbaceous rosemary and balsamic notes show up well in this vintage of the Rocche di Castiglione, a vineyard site that prizes elegance above all else.”

Arriving ETA September:

Cascina delle Rose Barbaresco Rio Sordo, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Cascina delle Rose Barbaresco Rio Sordo, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 1.5L ($149.95) $128 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2016 Barbaresco Rio Sordo is the darkest and most concentrated of these barrel samples presented by Cascina Delle Rose. This is a structured, medium to full-bodied expression of Nebbiolo with lots of dark fruit packed in at the core. The wine is fermented in steel and aged in botti grandi for about 22 months. Only 1,800 bottles were made.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Cascina delle Rose Tre Stelle, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Cascina delle Rose Tre Stelle, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 1.5L ($149.95) $128 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2016 Barbaresco Tre Stelle, tasted from barrel, is a darkly concentrated and rich expression of Nebbiolo with lots of black fruit packed tight at its core. The wine was technically unfinished when I tasted it; however, reading between the lines, you get a sense of the deep and profound nature of the fruit in 2016. I see this vintage turning out very nicely. Some 4,900 bottles were produced.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Paolo Scavino Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 93 points
“For a few years running now, this has been one of the Scavino family’s signature bottles. The goal here is to aim higher than your standard “base” or “classico” Barolo. The Paolo Scavino 2015 Barolo is made with a complicated blend of fruit from seven vineyard sites spread clear across the appellation from Castiglione Falletto, Barolo, Serralunga d’Alba and more townships. Each parcel is fermented separately, and some parcels are split into two or more individual fermentations. In order to maintain the highest quality standards, some 10% of the fruit is sold off as bulk, and once the overall selection is whittled down, the best fruit remains in-house. This is a compact and darkly saturated wine with bold blueberry and blackberry fruit. The wine shows a steady center of gravity in this warm, fruit-driven vintage.”

Paolo Scavino Bric del Fiasc, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 95+ points
“From the Scavino family’s home-turf vineyard, the 2015 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc (with fruit from Castiglione Falletto) delivers structure, firmness and power. This is a classic interpretation of a historic cru, and the wine offers linear, crisp lines. Fruit from this site was fermented separately for the first time to make this wine in 1978. The family had long recognized the consistently superior quality of the fruit from this location, and they saw its special potential. Enrico Scavino told me about the rush of adrenaline and pride that washed over him when he first tasted this wine with his peers Gaja and Conterno during those Golden Years of the past and saw the enthusiasm their eyes. This is the go-to Barolo if you want to taste classic Scavino.”

Paolo Scavino Bricco Ambrogio, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2015 Barolo Bricco Ambrogio is Scavino’s cru from this northeastern-most vineyard in the Barolo appellation, in the village of Roddi, and comprises seven hectares of mostly Nebbiolo but also some Dolcetto and Barbera. These vines with their southeastern exposure are not protected from the elements very well, allowing for more diurnal temperature shifts. Therefore, this site always produces much fresher fruit flavors. Indeed, you get noticeably crunchy, tonic fruit here along with a more detailed aromatic portrait. The wine is more precise compared to Monvigliero, for example, which offers more dense fruit, while Bricco Ambrogio is more delicate in the mouth. These soils are gray marlstone, with some yellow veins of clay in there and some sand, whereas Monvigliero soils are far whiter in nature. A fresh Barolo like this would pair well with any fatty sausage.”

Paolo Scavino Carobric, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2018 vintage will be the last edition made of this wine. The Scavino family lost its lease in Cannubi, and the estate wine portfolio is being redrawn as a result. The 2015 Barolo Carobric remains a blend of fruit from Rocche di Castiglione (60%), Cannubi (20%) and Bric dël Fiasc (20%). That blend has been carefully contemplated, and the absence of the Cannubi changes the formula too drastically. Cannubi adds richness and flavor to the blend, while Rocche di Castiglione with its sandy soils adds delicate mineral and light fruit nuances. Bric dël Fiasc offers both power and elegance and is the proverbial glue that keeps harmony between the two sides. This wine was first produced in 1996, and the end of an important chapter in the Scavino family legacy is upon us.”

Paolo Scavino Monvigliero, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points
“The Scavino family has had access to fruit from the Monvigliero cru for almost 20 years. They have farmed a small parcel (under one hectare) since 2000, and the grapes were previously added to their “classico” Barolo blend. In 2006, Monvigliero became its own single-vineyard expression because Enrico Scavino always had a big passion for this site. The 2015 Barolo Monvigliero is a bright and beautiful wine with a strong floral signature of violets and roses that accompanies this wine from start to finish. The wine is very characteristic of Monvigliero in terms of the softness and silky nature of the tannins as well.”

Paolo Scavino Prapo, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 95 points
“This is also a new wine, coming from less than a hectare in the Prapò vineyards, from which only five producers draw their fruit. It’s a beautiful plot at about 1,000 feet in altitude and with a full southern exposure, producing some very meaty fruit with a high phenolic presence, as the color is darker and there is more perfume. The 2015 Barolo Prapò is a distinctive vintage of a wine that is one to watch, for sure. The vineyard makes the difference, with brown and orange sandy soils, along with marlstone and veins of soils more typical of the area. The Scavino family bought this plot in 2008 and let the land rest for two years before they replanted. The goal, they said, was to steer away from more productive clones in favor of those that wouldn’t take away too much from the quality. They took wood from the mothership vineyards in Bricco Ambrogio for this experiment, grafting them onto the rootstocks they carefully selected. The result is a soft and delicate Barolo with a lot of personality to go along with its firmness and power. This is an easy cru to recognize. Enrico Scavino said they could have waited longer for this experimental harvest, but they felt the time was right, explaining that “this work is all about feelings and instincts.””

Paolo Scavino Ravera, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 94 points
“Here is another rookie in the lineup for Paolo Scavino. The Ravera vineyard was purchased in 2015, at 2.7 hectares and about 360 meters in altitude. It is their highest vineyard and the last to be harvested every year. This east-facing parcel is never too hot, always showing cooler-climate conditions than the others, with fine tannins and a good dose of acidity. The 2015 Barolo Ravera is a very tight and and precise wine, with notes of exotic tea that follow blackberry, dried cherry and licorice. This is a great new addition to the Scavino portfolio at this time of important changes for the winery.”


Napa Glory

“On more than one occasion, I have singled out the Kapcsándy Family Winery’s Roberta’s Reserve as one of the world’s greatest Merlot bottlings not made on the Pomerol plateau, and arguably the finest example from California. It’s a Merlot with extraordinary depth of flavor and structure, and it appears capable of evolving in bottle for at least two or three decades. In some vintages the wine has even overshadowed the estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin in the early going for its uncommon depth and perfumed complexity. But a stellar vertical tasting of these two elite bottlings side by side at the winery in March proved that the Kapcsándy family’s outstanding Yountville site excels with both varieties. Their two flagship bottlings show remarkable density and refinement of texture, outstanding small-berry intensity and depth, and uncommonly suave tannins. If my scores seem ridiculously high, that’s because the wines are ridiculously good—and far more impressive than wines from young vines (the oldest will be 18 this year) have any right to be…

“First off, when I say that the Roberta’s Merlot is reminiscent of Pomerol, I’m not talking about a plump, jammy version from a fringe area of this small appellation. We’re talking about a powerfully structured, deep, long-aging wine like Château Pétrus. (Lou, Sr. has sometimes mentioned Château Le Pin as another direct competitor for the Roberta’s, but Le Pin is usually a bit more decadent in its youth—at least in the riper years.)…

“Finally, and not surprisingly in light of the pedigree of the State Lane Vineyard, I was struck by the strength of site character, which expresses itself in both of these extraordinary bottlings. The Grand Vin Cabernet and the Roberta’s Reserve are characterized by a combination of red, black and blue fruits, underlying stony minerality, notes of sweet tobacco, brushy herbs, licorice, violet and lavender, and an element of medicinal reserve, and by their combination of uncanny density and refinement of texture.” –Stephen Tanzer, Vinous

Newly Reviewed & In Stock Now

Only three bottles available
Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta’s Reserve, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($499.95) $399 special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 96 points
“Saturated ruby-red. Brooding, medicinal scents of dark cherry, menthol and licorice. Boasts outstanding breadth and density of material, with its expressive flavors of black cherry, dark berries, spices and bitter chocolate complicated by salty minerality and lifted by a subtle floral quality. This distinctly soil-driven wine is showing more personality today than the ’16 and should reach its plane of peak drinkability earlier. And yet my sample tightened up in the glass to show a rather powerful tannic spine. (14.4% alcohol; 100% Merlot; from fruit harvested three weeks earlier than in 2016; 88% new French, 3% new Hungarian and 9% second-fill French)”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Only two bottles available
Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Grand-Vin Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($499.95) $449 special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 96 points
“Deep medium ruby. Aromas of black cherry, licorice and menthol, plus a slightly green suggestion of cassis bud and a hint of coffee torrefaction; aeration brought a suggestion of citrussy lift. Wonderfully dense, fine-grained and sweet; like the Roberta’s, this is much easier to taste today than its 2016 sibling, even if it doesn’t possess quite that wine’s breadth. With its refined texture and sweetness of fruit, this wine comes across as less obviously tannic than the 2016 Roberta’s–yet more indication of the power of Merlot at this site. Incidentally, the ’15s were bottled in July of 2017, a month or two later than previous vintages. (14.2% alcohol; 88% new French, 3% new Hungarian and 9% second-fill French oak)”

Only one magnum available
Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Roberta’s Reserve, Napa Valley 2012 1.5L ($799.95) $699 special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 97 points
“Good medium ruby; not as crystal-clear as the 2013. Knockout nose combines crushed dark berries, volcanic (basalt?) minerality and high-toned violet and lilac notes. Spectacularly dense, silky and suave, showing surprisingly firm but perfectly integrated acidity for the year. Wonderfully chewy, strong, structured Merlot with the serious tannic mass to support a long and graceful evolution in bottle–and yet it’s already utterly seamless. Really glistens on the palate and rises on the aftertaste. (14.5% alcohol; 100% Merlot, for the first time; 100% new oak)”

Only two magnums available
Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Grand-Vin Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2009 1.5L ($799.95) $699 special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 94 points
“Deep ruby-red. If the Roberta’s smells like Pomerol, this one is Haut-Brion-like in its wild notes of leather and road tar. Wonderfully thick and sweet but a bit funky too, offering plush flavors of black raspberry, licorice, leather and game. Very densely packed wine with nicely integrated acidity and copious, fully ripe tannins. Really scrapes the palate clean on the rising finish. If there’s any brett here, it’s just another element of complexity, as it does not dominate or dry the wine’s fruit. (13.7% alcohol; 96% French oak–80% new–and 4% new Hungarian oak)”

Staff Pick

Magic Summer Bottles

Lauer makes some of the most singular, brilliant wines in the world.  Based in the Saar, which is the colder, windier cousin of the Mosel, the wines he make have all the raciness, tension and electricity of standard Mosel Riesling compressed into a smaller package.  It’s as though his wines are diamonds—beautiful, complex and dazzling, but with a density and edge that takes you aback.

I drink as many of his wines as I can (which is much more frequently than my friends in NY/SF/DC, where these wines are incredibly allocated) and had the chance to put a dent in a bottle of one of his GG’s (top dry wines, for the uninitiated) Friday night.  It had warmed up that day and several of us sat on the front porch, but as soon as we took a sip, conversation paused.  The wine had temporarily put us under a spell.  We began talking again and soon it was as though the wine gave each of us a bit more vitality (it certainly made the food even more delicious.  The bottle disappeared pretty quickly.  Every wine that Lauer makes seems to have a piece of that magic inside, but here are a few of my favorites.

In Stock Now:

“It’s bigger on the inside.” A wine that rewards inspection with detail.
Peter Lauer Kupp Fass 18 Riesling, Mosel 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Hot Wine. Features a surprising amount of expression packed into a light frame. This very minerally white is elegant, showing beautiful harmony throughout. Refined flavors of clementine, Bosc pear, quince and elderflower are offset by a bright structure. Intense, but not overripe, with focused acidity, plenty of slate and mineral notes, and a finish filled with hints of pepper and chamomile. Drink now through 2031.”
Stuart Pigott-JamesSuckling 94 points “This smells of lemon curd, but that only gives a vague idea of the wonderfully subtle aromas of this wine. Rich and creamy on the palate, yet so fresh and lively with a vibrant, very uplifting finish. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $55
Always one of the more powerful single-parcel wines, this is built like a male gymnast.
Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Unterstenberg Fass 12 Riesling, Mosel 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Stuart Pigott-JamesSuckling 94 points
“Smoky, but also packed with nectarine and peach aromas. Although this is a concentrated and powerful wine, it shows so much vitality that there’s no hint of heaviness. A long, complete finish with great mineral freshness. Drink or hold.”
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “The 2017er Ayler Kupp Unterstenberg Fass 12 comes from this prime Lieu-Dit forming the south-southwest facing, front part of the original Kupp and was fermented down to just off-dry levels (13 g/l of residual sugar). It develops a gorgeous nose made of delicately creamy notes of mirabelle, grapefruit, greengage, herbs and spices. The wine is gorgeously complex, silky and multi-layered on the palate and leaves a stunning feel of tart fruits and minerals in the long and persistent finish. A gorgeous floral side emerges in the after-taste and freshens up the whole experience. This beautiful piece of dry-tasting Riesling only needs a little bit of bottle age to shine. 2020-2032.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $37
A gorgeous dream-state of a Riesling.  It’s impossible to pin-down but easy to feel.
Peter Lauer Neuenberg Fass 17 Riesling, Mosel 2017 750ML ($59.95) $46 special, 31 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 93+ points
“Happily, there was the 2017 Neuenberg sitting there ready to sample and it was really singing for such a young wine. This wine comes in at twelve percent alcohol and is very, very promising on both the nose and palate, albeit still properly reserved at such a young age. The bouquet delivers scents of lemon, grapefruit, tart peach, salty slate minerality, white flowers and lemongrass. On the palate the wine is crisp, medium-full and very refined, with an excellent core, great soil signature, impeccable focus and balance and a long, nascently complex and classy finish. First class juice. 2024-2065. 93+.”
Stuart Pigott-JamesSuckling 93-94 points “Still a bit compact and monolithic, but there’s excellent ripeness. A long finish with cool, wet stones and lemons. Better from 2019, but it also shows long-term aging potential.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92-93 points “The 2017 Ayler Kupp Neuenberg Riesling “Fass 17″ offers a deep, pure and flinty bouquet with floral and stony aromas and beautiful mineral freshness. Piquant and lush on the palate, this is a light to medium-bodied, very pure and mineral Riesling with refreshing acidity. The wine has a stimulatingly grippy finish with lush tropical fruit in the aftertaste. Excellent. Tasted March 2018.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $50
What it might lack in complexity it more than makes up for in soul-quenching deliciousness.
Peter Lauer ‘Barrel X’ Saar Riesling, Mosel 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 91 points
“One of the most exciting producers along the Saar River is Peter Lauer. One of the best values in this part of the Mosel region is his Barrel X Riesling Feinherb, especially in vintages this great such as this exceptional 2017. This Barrel X is fruity and generous on the palate, but drinks wonderful crisp and drier than you’d expect with radiant yellow fruits, crunchy mineral tones and plenty of mouthwatering salinity and stony elements. Adding heightened aromatics and a nice mouth feel, Peter Lauer’s little Riesling is quite seductive and transparent with lime, green apple, peach, tangerine and rose hip tea notes in the glass. 2017 is ripe, dense and expressive, but still has reserves of lively acidity. The wine is very energetic and nervy [allowing] for balance and dynamic tension, which if we are honest is what we are all looking for in Riesling. The Barrel X delivers it perfectly and at a great price. Florian Lauer, head of Weinhaus Peter Lauer and famous for their the Kupp Fass 18 Grosses Gewachs, is currently one of the greatest winemakers in the Saar. His drier wines are in stark contrast to his famous Saar neighbors Egon Müller and Hanno Zilliken. At Lauer, notes their importer Vom Boden, the focus is on the dry-tasting Rieslings, as opposed to the higher residual sugar wines of the aforementioned more traditional Egon Mueller and Zillken. Vom Boden adds that Lauer’s wines find their own balance, and they tend to be more textural, deeper and more masculine in style than others in the region. They have a natural vigor and a sense of balance that can be described as singular, while displaying all of the hallmarks of the Saar, purity, precision, rigor, mineral. In Lauer’s lineup, this Barrel X is the appellation-level or regional expression. It is Lauer’s Platonic ideal of what a Saar Riesling should be.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $22

Want to see all of the Lauer in stock right now? Just head to our web store for the full list.

Rosé of the Day

Recently a winemaker we’re friendly with remarked that she didn’t know why she drinks rosé that isn’t Crochet.  There’s a lot of truth in that sentiment—Lucien Crochet’s seems to pack a bit of everything we love about rosé into each sip.  It’s all Sancerre in style, but in a pink form that seems perfect for this time of year.

In Stock Now:

Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Noir Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Importer Note
“Indeed, the 2018 Sancerre Rosé—clocking in just shy of 14%–is deeper in color than usual, as well as more vinous and commanding on the palate. Pure Pinot Noir produced solely from direct-press juice and aged on its lees in stainless steel, this ’18 manages to carry its weight very well, with ultra-bracing acidity and a sense of lift on the nearly viscous palate. While this wine often drinks much like Crochet’s epic whites—steely and mineral, with enormous cut—one feels the Pinot Noir a bit more in this vintage, but it is ultimately a very interesting and delicious rosé”

Trending Wines

America’s grape for an all-American holiday.
Ridge Vineyards Geyserville Zinfandel, Alexander Valley 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
“A first look at the 2017 Geyserville Proprietary Red Wine revealed immense promise. Despite having been in barrel for a mere six months, it’s already offering up complex aromas of raspberries, blackberries and exotic spice. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, pure and succulent, with superb concentration, a lovely line of ripe acidity and a chalky, fine-grained finish. The wine attained 14.7% alcohol, and Baugher believes it will be one of the best renditions of Geyserville in a decade.”

Celebratory and glow in the dark, it’s a special bottle.
Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Luminous Brut, Champagne 2011 750ML ($219.95) $119 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Luminous edition!
Wine Enthusiast 94 points
“Always a light, ethereal style of wine, this is also very fresh and still young. It will age with its taut minerality from the Chardonnay in the blend. A softer background will become toasty over the next few years. The vintage date on this bottle is 200 years after the foundation of this producer. Drink from 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $159.98
The average price is $178
Billaud is a singular talent in Chablis and this is a masterwork.
Samuel Billaud Montee de Tonnerre, Chablis Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Neal Martin-Vinous 92 points
“The 2016 Chablis Montée de Tonnerre, which underwent 15 months in barrel, has a lovely dried honey and beeswax scented bouquet that gains intensity with aeration. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, fresh and vibrant with a tangy, saliva-inducing saline finish that feels very persistent. Excellent.”
Neal Martin – Wine Advocate 90-93 points “The 2016 Chablis 1er Cru Montee de Tonnerre comes from two parcels, one in the titular vineyard and the other in Chapelot, not far from Raveneau. It has quite a stern, focused, flinty bouquet that needs coaxing from the glass. The palate is (again) well balanced with a fine line of acidity. There are subtle notes of white peach and orange zest in situ, although perhaps not quite exuding the persistence of the Mont de Milieu on the finish. Still, this will merit three or four years in bottle.”

Veneur always over delivers and this massive wine is another hit.
Alain Jaume & Fils Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 28 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96+ points
“Possibly the finest vintage of this cuvée to date, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Origines (50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and the balance Syrah) offers a full-bodied, unctuous, yet thrillingly pure style in its black raspberry, cassis, licorice and spice aromas and flavors. It has a smoking good mid-palate, building, ripe tannin and a huge finish.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Inviting, with layered flavors of boysenberry, fig and blackberry preserves forming the foundation, while melted black licorice, warm fruitcake and wood spice notes are inlaid throughout. A lingering ganache echo adds more base through the hefty finish. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Best from 2022 through 2035.”

One of the best Italian values we’ve seen in a while.
La Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 La Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2016 750ML ($199.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle
and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
James Suckling 93 points
“Pretty depth of dark fruit in this with hints of flowers and fruit tea that follow through to a medium to full body, soft tannins and a juicy finish. Drink or hold.”

“The Barolo of the South” in an excellent vintage is always a highlight.
Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo Taurasi DOCG, Campania 2013 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
“Aromas of black cooking spice, dark-skinned berry and blue flower swirl around in the glass. On the palate, firm, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity balance dried black cherry, clove and freshly ground pepper. Drink 2021–2030.”
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 91+ points “Bright ruby-red. Pure, high-pitched aromas of dark cherry, flinty plum, licorice and violet. Clean, smooth and refined; tangy blueberry and pomegranate notes lift and intensify the midpalate. Finishes with building austerity. Very pure and varietally accurate on aback end that features a tarry nuance and lovely verve.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

New Arrivals from Dominus/Napanook

Dominus is at once one of the most storied names in Napa wine and also an estate on the rise.  Although they’ve been a noteworthy producer ever since they crushed their first grapes, the last several vintages have been the best wines they’ve ever produced.  We’ve got several vintage of their top cuvee in stock, but recently received our allocation of the “Napanook,” their entry-priced bottling.

If you’re looking to try the Dominus style at a reduced price, we can’t speak highly enough about Napanook these days.  The team at Dominus has cut production on the wine (and the top bottling) and the quality jump is noticeable. Rich, textured and complex, it bridges the gap between top-tier Bordeaux and California like its big brother does, but in a very approachable way.  Like most things Dominus, quantities are limited, so if you’re looking to try some, stock up now.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Dominus Estate Napanook, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 24 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points
“This is a flamboyant red that offers hazelnuts, dark berries and a hint of chocolate. Full-bodied with round and soft tannins. So fresh. So rich, enticing and layered. A blend of 84 per cent cabernet sauvignon, nine per cent petit verdot and seven per cent cabernet franc. Delicious now. Drink or hold. April 2019 release.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Also in stock from Dominus:

Dominus Estate Christian Moueix, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($319.95) $289 special, 28 bottles in stock now
Dominus Estate Christian Moueix, Napa Valley 2016 1.5L ($699.95) $599 special, 1 magnum in stock now
Wine Advocate 100 points
“A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Franc aged in 40% new oak, the 2016 Proprietary Red Wine is deep purple-black in color and quite reticent at this youthful stage to begin, offering up subtle notions of potpourri, Indian spices, cigar box and iron ore over a core of crushed blackberries and black cherries with intermittent wafts of black and red currants, new leather and smoked meats. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a densely packed mid-palate and oodles of freshness framed by very ripe, finely grained tannins and laced with compelling earthy accents. It offers incredible vibrancy with tons of black and red fruit sparkle in the mid-palate leading to a provocative mineral element on the very long finish. If I could give more than 100 for this one, I would. To be released in May 2019.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98+ points “Another possible legend in the making is the 2016 Dominus, a classic blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc brought up in 40% new French oak. Pure, pristine notes of charcoal, cold fireplace, smoke tobacco, and both blue and black fruits all flow to a full-bodied 2016 that has incredible elegance and finesse, yet also depth and density. It’s more backward and reserved than the 2015 and needs 4-5 years of cellaring. It will unquestionably live for 25-30 years.”
James Suckling 98 points “The opulence of fresh flowers and dark fruit is so impressive. There’s so much going on, from flowers to currants. The palate is full and powerful, but what impresses most are the ripe tannins and the amazing poise at the finish. Tightens down at the end. A blend of 84 per cent cabernet sauvignon, eight per cent petit verdot and eight per cent cabernet franc. Drink in 2021.”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2016 Dominus is a dark, somber wine. I don’t quite see the explosive energy of the 2013 or 2010, not the seductiveness of the 2012, but the 2016 has a distinct charm that is all its own. Quite frankly, I can’t remember a young Dominus with this combination of fruit density, freshness and polished tannins. A huge center of fruit emerge with time in the glass in a big, large-scaled Dominus that should provide readers with a long drinking window of pure pleasure once some of the baby fat wears off.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today for the magnum!
Dominus Estate Christian Moueix, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($349.95) $289 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Dominus Estate Christian Moueix, Napa Valley 2015 375ML ($179.95) $159 special, 5 half-bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 100 points
“Bottled in July 2017 and composed of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the Dominus 2015 Proprietary Red Wine leaps from the glass with notes of fresh wild blueberries, crushed blackberries and black currant juice with touches of wild thyme, underbrush, iron ore and aniseed with wafts of lavender and pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has incredible energy and vivacity, with the firm, pixelated tannins and lively backbone skillfully framing the muscular fruit, finishing with wonderful length and depth.”
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “The 2015 Dominus is a flawless, perfect wine as well as a legend in the making. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc, from dry-farmed vines and brought up in just 40% new French oak, its ruby/purple color is followed by an extraordinary bouquet of blackcurrants, crème de cassis, damp earth, smoke tobacco, and spring flowers. Reminding me of the 2015 Château Margaux with its incredible mix of elegance and power, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, stunning purity of fruit, building tannins, and awesome length. This sensational textured and voluptuous Dominus drink well today yet will evolve for 25-30 years or more.”
James Suckling 98 points “A phenomenal red from the vintage with sandalwood, roses, currants, blackberries and blackcurrants. Full-bodied, extremely structured and intense with a great finish. The tannins are so polished and poised. Shows tension and beauty throughout. Straight and focused. Drink in 2022.”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2015 Dominus is fabulous. Explosive and alluring on the palate, the 2015 possesses stunning texture and intensity. Blueberry jam, cloves, menthol, licorice and graphite are some of the many nuances that develop over time. In 2015 Dominus artfully balances the richness of the year with the classic structural elements that are such a signature of this wine.”

July Sale Recap

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