Buy any 3-8 bottles of these select Faiveley wines and receive a 5% discount
Buy any 9+ bottles of these select Faiveley wines and receive a 10% discount
Newly Arrived Yesterday:
James Suckling 91 points “Pretty dark fruits such as blackberry and blueberry with hints of spice. Full body, tight center palate, and fine tannins. Better in a year or two, but very delicate, firm and delicious.” JS
The average price is $86
Stephen Tanzer 89-91 points “(12.3% potential alcohol, chaptalized to 13%; just 15 hectoliters per hectare produced): Bright ruby-red. Ripe aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, bitter chocolate and licorice. Juicy, pure and high-strung, showing a sappy sugar/acid balance to the flavors of dark fruits, spices and bitter chocolate. Excellent purity and lift here, and long on the aftertaste. I find plenty of primary fruit character today but also a touch of finishing dryness.”
The average price is $91
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 90-92 points “Deep red with ruby highlights. Less fruity and more chocolatey and spicy on the nose than the Chaignots, even a bit exotic. Supple, sweet and complex on the palate, showing very good concentration to its flavors of dark fruits and aromatic spices. The premier crus from Nuits-Saint-Georges are aging in 35% to 40% new barrels in 2013, with some of the premier crus from farther north getting as much as 55%.” ST
Domaine Faiveley Les Rugiens, Pommard Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($149.95) Regularly $119, 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 90-92 points “Bright red-ruby. Slightly reduced but complex nose offers scents of redcurrant, iron, tobacco and red licorice. Juicy, sappy and youthfully imploded, offering seriously concentrated, slightly medicinal flavors of red fruits, iron and animal fur. Finishes with a firm tannic structure. Very sexy wine but hard to judge today.” ST
Burghound 90-92 points “A completely different aromatic expression is present here with its spicy and perfumed nose of black raspberry, red cherry and plum. As one might reasonably expect there is a more refined mouth feel to the mineral-inflected medium-bodied flavors that display a hint of austerity on the balanced and lingering finish. Beaux Bruns is often a rather butch Chambolle and this example is consistent with that tendency.” BH
The next best price is $125
Stephen Tanzer 90-93 points “Good bright red. Complex nose melds red berries, cardamom, flowers and soil tones. Ripe, smooth and lightly saline, with an earthy complexity giving this wine much more flavor interest than the Beaux-Bruns. In a rather feminine style, finishing with ripe tannins and subtle length.” ST
Burghound 90-93 points “An ultra-elegant and intensely floral nose of red currant and raspberry aromas is trimmed in just enough wood to notice. There is a lacy and pure mouth feel to the lightly mineral-inflected medium weight flavors that possess plenty of energy on the balanced, cool and beautifully persistent finish. A classic Charmes of harmony and grace.”
Domaine Faiveley Les Charmes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($179.95) Regularly $159, 6 bottles available, ETA Friday
James Suckling 93 points “Extremely perfumed and fresh with hints of roses and honeysuckle. Full-bodied, very delicate and refined. Really beautiful. Drink or hold. All in finesse and glory” JS
Burghound 90-93 points “This is also quite perfumed and more elegant with its panoply of various red berries, violet, lilac and sandalwood hints. There is a finer mouth feel to the delicious medium weight flavors primarily thanks to the finer grain of the supporting tannins that shape the caressing, lacy and beautifully well-balanced finale. This beauty should drink well young but also amply reward mid-term cellaring.” BH
We will apply to your finalized invoice prior to charging.
Our listed prices have not been further discounted.
Orders must be fully completed before noon on Friday to receive the discount.
New Review from Grapelive on Summer’s Elixir
Grapelive.com 92 points “The wildly amusing, zesty and spritzy, Ameztoi Rosé is alive with energy and vibrant fruit, it is a beautifully dry pink that will is impossible to resist. This is an exciting wine that is light and refreshing with a pop of residual carbon that makes in tingle on the tongue without being bubbly, it is crafted with 50% Hondararribi Beltza (red) and 50% Hondarribi Zuri (white) and comes from vines grown at about 150 meters above sea-level in the coastal Basque region of Spain, the vines age between 5 and 150 years old! The red and white grapes are fermented together, the ferments are cold and slow to preserve vitality and vigor, the terroir really shines through with cool maritime influence and the clay and sandy soils lend austere character in this all stainless steel aged Rosé. This gripping wine is made by Ignacio Ameztoi, the seventh generation of this Basque winemaking family, and he is regarded as one of the premier Txakolina producers and is respected far and wide for his lovely and intense wines, especially his classic white Hondarribi Zuri from his estate not far from San Sebastian. The 2015 Ameztoi Rubentis Getariako Txakolina Rosé shows zingy fresh citrus with an underlying lime and kiwi and upfront candied cherry, liquid strawberry, rosewater and watermelon along with hints of guava, steely mineral tones, peaky acidity and light savor/bitter herbs. It’s sad not to have this in magnums, as it is hard not to pound the regular bottle in seconds, so easy and lively is this wonderful to drink, it is a great summer quaffer and it’s unimaginable that you can’t love this smile inducing pink with it’s serve dry/crispness and low alcohol pleasure, great with food and sublime at anytime day or night! This wine must be on the up near the top of your list for the summer heat this year, it’s the adult lemonade!”
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2015 750ML ($47.95) $39 pre-arrival special, ETA early July
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2015 375ML ($27.95) $24 pre-arrival special, ETA early July
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2015 1.5L ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special, ETA early July
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2015 3L ($449.95) $399 pre-arrival special (Only 1 jeroboam available!), ETA early July
Grapelive 93 points “The steely and luxurious 2015 Domaine Tempier Rosé is a must have wine for summer, made up of a blend of 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, it shows all the style and substance that is expected of this famous Domaine. The vitality in Lulu Peyraud and winemaker Daniel Ravier’s latest Rosé highlights the organic farming and clear focus in the cellar allowing terroir and soul to show through, this Rosé was crafted 50% by saignée and 50% by direct press, which allows the wine to have power, mouth feel and still be intensely vibrant and detailed. It spent 6 months in Cuves, large neutral cask to fresh out and heighten the textural pleasure, it is not as old school funky/cool as Chateau Simone or the Tibouren based Clos Cibonne, but still has good aging potential, even though with Tempier I can’t imagine waiting too long to drink this hedonistic rite of summer. The first impression of the 2015 is one of joyous reunion, the gorgeous hue of which you can’t help smile at, pinkish/orange, it invokes warm sunset images and romance with a play of mineral, wild lavender, spiced rosewater and tangerine leading up to sour cherry, watermelon, wet stones, bright saline, red peach, zesty citrus, ruby grapefruit and very faint soft wood sensation. There is a great play of tangy/savory elements set against a lavish and lush sorbet forwardness that appeals and this tension runs the length of this fine Rosé, it’s funny too people, while complaining at the price adore this wine, though I can’t help think it is a bargain when compared to the $100 offerings from Domaine Ott or Chateau d’ Esclans, and I can’t fathom a summer without a few bottles! In a new age where there is a lot of great pink wines, Domaine Tempier is still the benchmark, don’t miss it.”
Arriving Friday, June 10th
Were the Loire Valley to be a house, the ‘Les Picasses’ vineyard would be the attic: full of secrets, haunted if by history, and unscathed by the harsh hand of modernity. Domaine Olga Raffault, now run by Mme. Raffault’s grandaughter Sylvie and Sylvie’s husband Eric, is the perfect guide to the tour of this beautiful – if fictitious – house.
‘Les Picasses’ sits atop the steep slopes along the Vienne River in Savigny-en-Véron, a bucolic little commune east of Saumur and south of Bourgueil. Vines there are roughly fifty years in age, planted in alluvial clay soils with a chalk-limestone base. Chez Raffault winemaking is careful, organic, and traditional. Grapes are hand-harvested and then fermented in stainless steel before resting in larger wood – sometimes chestnut – barrels for up to three years.
The wines are marked by dark fruit, cassis, bramble, roasted tomato notes, and vibrant mineralities. While structured and ‘serious,’ there is a playful, surprise element to the wines – hugely open-ended in terms of food pairing and boasted quite a broad appeal.
Upon last tasting, the ’89 and ’90 were both wonderfully layered and lively. We’re thrilled to bring in four total library releases from Domaine Olga Raffault, all listed below and arriving Friday, June 10th:
Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses 1985 750ML ($99.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses 1989 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses 1990 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses 2010 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Just a reminder about our current shipping specials during this season:
For the summer season we are offering UPS Three Day Select Service for the price of UPS Ground for shipments normally traveling 4 or more business days.
Free service upgrade only applies on single orders purchased and shipped during the promotional period. Additional fees will apply to orders held for any reason until after the promotional period and shipped by Three Day Select. Offer not valid on pre-arrival items that arrive after the promotional period.
We offer flat rate shipping on any size single order / single shipment
–Washington & Idaho for $20,
-and California for $25
These rates do not apply to orders held in storage here for any reason.
Multiple orders consolidated into one shipment
do not qualify for flat rate shipping.
Grapelive 93+ points “The Cuvee Marcel 2014 from Lapierre is a glorious serious Gamay that shows the future of how we think on this place and varietal, the new generation has arrived in the world and are making great wines, their own way. This is a wine that honors the past, especially the talents of the late Marcel Lapierre, but also delivers a message that without question Mathieu Lapierre is a gifted winemaker and communicator of tradition and terroir. Lapierre is one of the leading lights of the natural wine world, which against all odds has firmly established itself into the modern world of wine and culture. Tasting both of Lapierre’s Morgon bottlings, this Cuvee Marcel and his non sulfur, exclusive to Kermit Lynch in the States, is revealing, both are gorgeous wines, with the “N” non sulfur at first being more expressive and pleasing really gets exciting the instant it hits the glass, while the more reserved Cuvee Marcel takes it’s time to unwind, but once it gets air look out, this is mind-blowing Gamay! I have always admired Lapierre wines, though if I’m honest have usually opted for Jean Foillard’s Morgon when I’ve had the chance, but I must say Mathieu’s latest wines are rocking good and may be the best yet, I would not pass up to chance to score either of his 2014 wines, in particular this Cuvee Marcel, which is drop dead gorgeous, pure, soulful and stunningly lengthy, it’s a must have! The 2014 Lapierre Marcel starts with blueberry, violets, wild plum with tangy herbs and salty mineral essence leading to a medium full palate of blackberry, cherry, strawberry, dark currant and walnut oil. Minty anise, saline, shale and incense provide background music in this lovely and textured Gamay, this is special and decedent juice that should age beautifully and rewarding for at least a decade. The ultra low dose of sulfur doesn’t take away the all natural appeal, it just gives this beauty a little security for cellaring. These 2014 Lapierre Morgon(s) bring the same kind of joy and energy that you’d expect from top Burgundy, these are truly emotional and provocative efforts, bravo!”
Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon ‘Cuvee Camille’ 2014 1.5L ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special, ETA June 17th
Cuvee Camille is second only to Cuvee Marcel in the Lapierre Morgon hierarchy and is an extremely limited release, typically not distributed in the USA. It is made from selected 50-75 year old vines on the Lapierre estate. Camille is the daughter of the late Marcel Lapierre and works now alongside of her brother, Mathieu, in the ongoing excellence of all that is Lapierre.
On The Radar
Wines Trending Now:
This is all declassified Abbey Ridge and Clos Electrique Pinot Noir that shows its pedigree: there are classic notes of dusty Dundee spice with fresh thyme and black raspberry. It’s elegant. It’s age-worthy. And it’s simply the best value we’ve tasted from the 2014 vintage. Only 400 cases made.
Gulfi Nerosanlore Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2010 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Gulfi Nerosanlore Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2010 1.5L ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Ian D’Agata–Vinous 95 points “Fully saturated ruby. Pure, very deep aromas of black cherry, red plum, medicinal herbs and minerals. Rich, dense and suave, with complex flavors of saline red berries and dark plum complicated by repeating botanical herb and balsamic nuances. Finishes seamless an long. A wine of noteworthy purity, with an excellent balance of sweetness, acidity and tannins. This is Gulfi’s closest vineyard to the sea and almost always gives the estate’s most elegant, refined wine.”
Vinopolnote: A very layered Rhone rose of Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache, Clairette, and Counoise.
Domaine de la Bastide Blanche Bandol Rose, Provence 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note “[Translated] This Rose is a blend of Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Grenache. It is well built, with ample structure from the Mourvèdre, and an irresistible fleshy fruit flavor.”
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2015 1.5L ($79.95) $59 special
Importer note “Gilles Crochet’s series of Sancerres are a defining element of our portfolio and stand at the pinnacle of this appellation. Likewise his Sancerre Pinot Rosé deservedly has its fanatical followers. This wine shows pristine balance, an artist’s “pink” to its tint and a discrete strawberry fruitiness that shows the charm of fine Pinot Noir. A wine that simply should not be missed!”
Domaine du Pegau ‘Pink Pegau’ Rose, Vin de France 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points “Lurid orange-pink. Yeasty pear, white peach, jasmine and yellow apple scents are sharpened by a suggestion of white pepper. Highly floral and spicy in the mouth, offering round red berry and pit fruit flavors that show red-wine-like weight and texture. In a fleshy, broad, creamy style that reminds me of a Poulsard from the Jura. Closes on a candied lavender note, with blood orange and fennel notes lingering. Intriguing stuff, somewhere between pink, orange and red in character, and probably not for everyone.”
Peyrassol Cotes de Provence ‘Commanderie de Peyrassol’ Rose, Provence 2015 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Importer note “Our workhorse rosé. The Commanderie cuvée is always a pale rose color, fresh and lively on the palate, nicely dry with a mineral finish. It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, with a touch of Ugni Blanc.”
Case-12 Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Tentations Rose, Provence 2015 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Grapelive 91 points “Clos Cibonne’s entry level Rose, the Tentations Cotes de Provence, is a beautiful pink wine that is meant and is easy to drink young and fresh with bight fruit, mineral and dry crispness. Made mostly from Grenache and Cinsualt, it also has some of the rare Tibouren, Provence’s ancient native varietal that graces the estate’s upper level Clos Cibonne bottlings and that can age decades as both Rose and as a pale red wine. The 2015 Cibonne Tentations Rose Coptes de Provence starts with lively red citrus, tart cherry and cool watermelon along with a hint of lavender, wet shale, strawberry and mineral spice. This is very steely and refreshing stuff with good acidity giving a balanced play of sweet, sour and savory elements making it a wonderful summer pink to enjoy over the next year or so. If you want really sexy and thought provoking pink, be sure to check out the lees aged Clos Cibonne Tibouren Rose Tradition, usually a year behind in release, these wines make you rethink your approach to Rose! But for now and lots of fun, don’t miss the 2015 Tentations Rose, it is one of the best vintages I can remember from Cibonne!”
Napa & Brunello
These serious bets are sure to please – and impress – offering some of the best value to pedigree from Italy and California
James Suckling 95 points “This is shows wonderful aromas of tar, asphalt, wet earth and pure cherries. Full-bodied yet soft and velvety with a fine, dusty texture to the finish. Fresh and austere. Dignified. This has no cabernet franc in it this year; normally there is 3% to 5%. It’s 95% cabernet sauvignon and 5% petit verdot. Drink or hold.”
VinopolNote: 100% estate vineyard grapes selected for soft tannins, lively fruit and early maturing from a near-perfect growing season
Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($99.95) $77 special, 24 bottles available
Case-6 Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($499.95) $449 special, 5 six-packs available (that’s only $74.83/bottle!)
James Suckling 94 points “A very ripe style with prune, berry and salted-nut aromas and flavors. Full body, savory intensity and a long, flavorful finish. Lots of juicy, fabulous fruit. Shows the greatness of the vineyard. Drink or hold.”
The average price is $94
Case-12 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($599.95) $549 special, 2 cases available (that’s only $45.75/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Altesino’s 2011 Brunello di Montalcino opens with beguiling aromatics. Sage, licorice, menthol and sweet tobacco flesh out nicely as the wine shows off its ample, broad personality. The tannins could use another year or two to soften, but all the elements are very nicely balanced throughout. This gracious, silky Brunello will drink well for the next decade-plus.”
James Suckling 92 points “This is long and delicious with lovely cherry, chocolate and fresh walnut flavors. Linear yet open with persistence and joy. Drink now.”
James Suckling 97 points “A sexy and silky riserva with dried fruit, blueberry and cedar character. Full body, firm tannins and long and gorgeous finish. So linear and precise. Chocolate-covered cherry center palate. Terrific young wine. Best riserva ever from here. Better in 2018.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Concentrated and elegant, featuring macerated cherry, raspberry, peony, iron, tobacco and chalk aromas and flavors. Structured and fresh, offering intensity, balance and a terrific finish. Youthful and elegant, yet powerful. Best from 2019 through 2036.”
The average price is $112
Case-12 Sequoia Grove Carneros Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2013 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “A classically rich, generous version of the variety from the appellation, this wine holds a ripeness of baked apple, pear and vanilla toffee at its heart. A depth of oak influence is consistently kept in check by a balance of minerality.”
Stonestreet Chardonnay Estate 2013 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
Case-12 Stonestreet Chardonnay Estate 2013 750ML ($479.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Robert Parker 92-94 points “The 2013 Chardonnay Estate Vineyards reveals lots of tropical fruit, especially tangerine oil. Situated high on Alexander Mountain, Stonestreet has put together their finest portfolio of wines since I have been tasting them. Winemaker Lisa Valtenberg appears to have reduced the overt oakiness displayed by many wines in the past. At the same time, she has increased their nuances, complexity and textural richness. The numerous Chardonnay vineyards are planted at 800 to as high as 1,800 feet (in the case of the Gravel Bench, Upper Barn and Broken Road vineyards). All are 100% Chardonnays largely made from the Old Wente clone with a small percentage of the Hyde clone, and are fermented with indigenous yeasts. Almost all of them spend 10-11 months in various percentages of new French oak, ranging from a low of 44% (the Estate Chardonnay) to a high of 100% (the Gravel Bench Chardonnay. The differences between the various cuvées are very subtle as they are all relatively full-bodied, rich, and aromatic with natural textures. As the scores attest, they are far more alike than dissimilar.” RP
The average price is $33
Case-12 Stonestreet Estate Cabernet 2011 750ML ($479.95) $288 special (that’s only $24/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast-Cellar Selection 93 points “This wine is quite an accomplishment in flavor and complexity given the vintage and the price. From high-altitude vineyards atop the Mayacamas, it delivers peppercorn, herb and fine, well-integrated tannins, with mellow oak. Graphite and cedar also figure into the mix, with a shock of black cherry and cassis weaved within. Drink now through 2019.”
The average price is $35
Louis Latour Rouge Library Releases
Arriving Late June
Wine Spectator 91 points “Ripe cherry, plum and subtle licorice flavors highlight this rich, round red, which is open and fruity, with fine harmony and a long, licorice- and tobacco-tinged finish. Best from 2017 through 2026.”
The average price is $80
Wine Spectator 93 points “An expressive red, whose floral, raspberry and cherry flavors match the elegant profile. Though silky and detailed, this is also tightly wound, evidenced on the long finish. A civilized, stylish Corton. Better than previously reviewed. Best from 2015 through 2033.”
Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 94 points “A tangy red with sliced apple, citrus, plum, chocolate, and fresh herb. Full to medium body, beautiful core of fruit and a bright finish. Chewy and polished. Tight now. Give this time. Drink or hold.”
Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points “Bright and intense with blackberry, blueberry, and lemon rind. Full-bodied, yet tight with tannin tension and form. Mineral and Asian mushroom too, plus a bright finish. Just about ready. Love tasting this.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “A firm, powerful wine, its tannins still very dominant. Acidity is a factor, along with deep red-plum fruit. Some sweetness will develop in the next several years, although this concentrated and complex wine will also have a solid core of dry, structured tannin. Age for at least five years.”
Burghound 89-91 points “A pretty and only moderately sauvage nose of crushed red berries, oak spice and warm earth gives way to reveal round, supple and slightly light flavors relative to what this wine usually possesses, all wrapped in a firm finish with grand cru finesse and elegance if not necessarily the power and depth. Still, this is most attractive.” BH
Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2008 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 10 bottles available
Burghound 89-92 points “Mild wood influence does not compromise the transparency of the fresh and earthy red pinot fruit nose that exhibits a slight sauvage character that can also be found on the energetic, detailed and tautly muscled middle weight flavors that possess good richness and more refinement than usual on the serious, long and linear finish where a touch of austerity can also be seen.” BH
Winery note “Clos de la Vigne au Saint is a very old vineyard; the earliest known record of its existence is in 1375 when it is mentioned in the records of the Chapter of Saulieu. The Latour family have a long connection with this vineyard which began in the early 19th century when Louis Latour’s great great grandmother owned a section of the vineyard. Since then it has remained in family hands, passing from generation to generation. The vineyard has perfect southerly exposure on the Corton hill lying on a bedrock outcrop towards the bottom of the slope. The soil is a rusty red colour and rich in marl which gives the wines distinct aromas. This wine possesses the elegance that we expect from a Côte d’Or Grand Cru and will age particularly well. Aged for 10 to 12 months in French oak barrels, 35% new.”
Ongoing Spanish Super Sales
Case-12 Buil & Gine 17-XI, Montsant 2012 750ML ($199.95) Was $149, Now $119, 2 cases available
Wine Spectator 90 points “This focused red offers flavors of black cherry, kirsch, licorice, toast and mineral, with juicy acidity and well-integrated tannins. Features a nice balance of fruit and savory character. Garnacha, Cariñena and Tempranillo. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.”
Now we’re even lower!
The next best price is $15.99
Case-12 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2003 750ML ($499.95) $359 special, 5 cases available (that’s only $29.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points “Bright ruby-red. Ripe cherry, vanilla and floral pastilles on the smoky, oak-spiced nose. Sweet and supple on the palate, offering pliant red fruit and spicecake flavors with suave mocha and vanilla bean nuances. Quite lively and fresh for a wine from a hot vintage, and showing no excess fat. Finishes sweet, toasty and very long, with smooth tannins making a late appearance.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “Cigar box, cedar and balsamic notes frame cherry, raisin and licorice flavors in this lean, firm red. Displays grip and focus. A traditional style. Drink now through 2023.
VinopolNote: López de Heredia is well-respected for its traditional winemaking and its lengthy ageing of both its reds and whites. The result is wines of exquisite complexity, maturity, and ability to drink upon release or age longer at a fraction of the price of other classic wine regions. The family is proud of their history of exclusively using their own estate-grown grapes from traditionally farmed vineyards untouched by modern machinery or chemicals. The 2003 Tondonia presents blackcurrant and smoke in terms or aromas and delivers a brilliant mix of saddle leather, roasted herbs, ripe red fruit, and earth on the palate. The tannins are there – and aren’t shy – but the acid, brightness, and body all come together in a lively, balanced wine.
Bodegas Allegro con Spirito Monte Hiniesta, Toro 2010 750ML ($17.95) $14 special, 36+ bottles available
Case-12 Bodegas Allegro con Spirito Monte Hiniesta, Toro 10 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 5 cases available (that’s only $12.42/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 92 points “The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, succulent, fleshy tannins that are caressing in the mouth. There is plump, ripe red berry fruit, red currant, raspberry and a touch of balsamic at the finish. This is just as good as the succeeding vintage. Drink 2014-2019.” WA
VinopolNote: The Spanish region of Toro produces powerful red wines from Tempranillo, which is known locally as the Tinto de Toro clone. Tinto has thicker skins and lower general acidity, offering wines of a more robust and darker in style than typical Rioja and Ribera del Deuro expressions. Juan Antonio Gernandez founded his winery in 2000 and runs the bodega with his wife. This bottling is produced from grapes grown in clay, limestone and stony soils. The vines average over 75 years in age.
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2011 750ML ($299.95) $236 special, 7 cases available (that’s only $19.67/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 91+ points “The 2011 Reserva is mostly Tempranillo complemented with some 20% Garnacha, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. There are no stainless-steel vats at Muga, so everything is fermented in oak vats and this wine is then aged for one year in new French oak barrels and a further year in used ones (three to six years old), fined with egg white and bottled. It is a Rioja that mixes the traditional and modern character with ripe fruit and contains oak aromas that are quite spicy and have some toast and smoke that should integrate with a bit of time in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied, has clean flavors that are balanced with sweet tannins. This is easy to drink, pleasant but not banal, and delivers a lot for its price. An impressive half-million bottles are produced of this wine, which is sold as Crianza in Spain and as Reserva in the rest of the world. Year after year, one of the most reliable and affordable Reservas.” LG
Bodegas Hacienda Monasterio, Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($44.95) $36.60 special, 18 bottles available
Case-12 Bodegas Hacienda Monasterio, Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($499.95) $399 special, 4 cases available (that’s only $33.25/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 94 points “The current vintage for the crianza is 2012. The 2012 Crianza, from a dry vintage, resulted much fresher than expected, fresher than 2009 and 2011 in fact. The vines are dry-farmed and were planted some 22 years ago, and you might say they have matured by now. The approximate mixture of grapes in their vineyards is mostly Tempranillo with some 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Malbec, and it’s more or less the blend in this wine. The Cabernet works well, providing finesse and some acidity to the Tempranillo….The wine matured in 20% new French oak barrels for some 20 months. There are no traces of the barriques and the nose took me to the Riberas of yesteryear, with some subtle rusticity; it’s ripe without excess and there’s good balance between fruit, spices and perhaps something earthy. The palate is extremely balanced, medium-bodied with very fine tannins, tasty, approachable and long. This could very well be the best crianza ever produced at Monasterio. This has to be one of the bargains of the vintage in Ribera, given the quality it deliver.”
VinopolNote: With Pingus owner/ winemaker Peter Sisseck consulting since 1990, Hacienda Monasterio is one of the most solid ventures within the appellation. Hacienda Monasterio is an estate wine project and one of the great names in Ribera del Duero. All grapes come from their own surrounding vineyards which currently total 95 hectares. It is located in Pesquera de Duero in the province of Valladolid, close to Valbuena’s monastery and also close to Vega Sicilia, of which it was part in the 19th century.