New Releases from the
Legendary Piedmont Estate
The Langhe’s diversity flourishes in the hands of Burlotto. Their Langhe Nebbiolo captures the grape’s affinity for the region, while the Barbera d’Alba brings out this variety’s inherent charm. Anyone with a taste for strawberries and well-made Italian wine will end up attracted to the Pelaverga. Grown by the family for two centuries now, this ancient Piedmontese variety adds flair to an already overflowing assortment of delicious wines. Blended with Nebbiolo, Pelaverga makes for Burlotto’s tasty rosé. From the Monvigliero and the Barolos, to the Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Pelaverga, Fabio Alessandria tends a fascinating garden of delights.
New Releases Available Here Now from Burlotto
VinopolNote: A blend of the rare Piedmont varietal Pelaverga and Nebbiolo.
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $23
Importer note “One of the most unique Burlotto wines is the beautiful red Pelaverga—from an ancient variety grown by the family since 1800… Like everything else bearing the Burlotto name, it is the essence of a noble winemaking tradition.”
G. B. Burlotto Barolo DOCG 2012 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The 2012 Barolo is a gorgeous entry-level offering from Burlotto and a fabulous introduction to the house style. Lifted, precise and translucent, the 2012 is a pure joy to taste today. This mid-weight, refined Barolo is pure class. Sweet red berry, mint and spice nuances are laced into the super-expressive, inviting finish. Most of this fruit is sourced from Breri.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2012 Barolo Acclivi is another aromatically lifted, precise Barolo endowed with tons of pedigree. Stylistically, the Acclivi is the Burlotto Barolo that most resembles Monvigliero because it is made from a blend of declassified fruit from that site along with important contributions from Rocche dell’Olmo and Neirane. Deceptively medium in body, the Acclivi possesses striking mid-palate depth and substance, while maintaining its classic sense of poise. A host of bright red cherry, raspberry and floral notes punctuate the refreshing finish.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $56
& On Sale!
VinopolNote: Beaux Freres’ Les Cousins bottling is only made in select vintages from declassified estate fruit. Act quickly – this sells out fast!
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $33
‘Rock Star Stuff’
A new project started by former K Vintner’s winemaker Andrew Latta – this winery produces tiny lots of single-vineyard, sustainably farmed wines. Aging is in French barrique and puncheon.
“The wines are awesome across the board. This is one bandwagon to get on. His 2011 Malbec is the best example of the variety I’ve tasted from Washington.” – Jeb Dunnuck – Wine Advocate
Wine Advocate 95 points “Rock star stuff, especially in the vintage, the 2011 Malbec Northridge Vineyard gives up classic blackberry, pepper and assorted flowers and spice aromas and flavors to go with a full-bodied, seamless and elegant feel on the palate. Gaining more than one “awesome” in my notes, this should not be missed by any Washington State wine lover. This is a new project by Charles Smith winemaker Andrew Latta, and the wines are awesome across the board. This is one bandwagon to get on. His 2011 Malbec is the best example of the variety I’ve tasted from Washington.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Beauty of Beaujolais – Guy Breton
Bucking the trend of selling grapes to local cooperatives that were moving toward industrialized wine, Guy Breton was inspired by Jules Chauvet to create wine that emphasized, no, celebrated terroir and distinction. Breton became known as one of the ‘Gang of Four’ of Beaujolais producers focusing on natural, hands-off winemaking alongside Marcel Lapierre, Jean-Paul Thévenet, and Jean Foillard.
Guy Breton Beaujolais Villages ‘Cuvee Marylou’, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Josh Raynolds 90 points “Youthful violet. Lively aromas of fresh red berries, lavender and allspice are joined by subtle mineral and anise nuances. Silky, gently sweet and focused, offering nervy red currant and raspberry flavors braced by zesty acidity and a subtle peppery note. Shows good depth but comes off as lithe, finishing with very good clarity and sneaky tannins.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Josh Raynolds 91 points “Brilliant ruby. Mineral-tinged aromas of black raspberry, cherry and lavender pastille, along with a hint of white pepper in the background. Lithe and appealingly sweet, offering dark berry and spicecake flavors lifted by juicy acidity. Shows very good clarity and minerally cut on the finish, which is framed by sneaky, harmonious tannins.”
Guy Breton Morgon, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Guy Breton Morgon, Beaujolais 2014 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Vivid ruby. Urgent aromas of fresh dark berries, licorice and incense are accompanied by a suggestion of smoked meat in the background. Sappy and broad on entry, then more taut in the midpalate, offering concentrated boysenberry, bitter cherry and violet pastille flavors and a hint of spicecake. A vibrant mineral flourish adds lift and cut to the finish, which lingers with excellent floral-tinged persistence.”
The next best price for the 750ML is $29.55
The next best price for the magnum is $71
Vinopolis Spanish Cellar Selections
Blending age with grace
There’s nothing like a finely-aged Spanish wine… Aside from being delicious and food-friendly, they’re far more accessible in terms of price than regions of comparable quantity. Below, a shortlist of some very fine selections at varying points in their enduring lifespans.
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Gravonia Crianza Blanco, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 14 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points “The warmer 2006 Viña Gravonia Crianza, a white inspired by the wines from Graves (hence the name), is pure Viura matured in well-seasoned oak barrels for four years and bottled unfiltered in November 2011. The nose does not transmit any heat whatsoever, showing notes of chamomile, beeswax, honey and aromatic herbs. The palate is sharp, medium-bodied with great acidity and freshness that is both clean and persistent; it is more austere than exuberant, which was a real surprise. Overall, it is tasty and supple. The Gravonia vineyard is very old and naturally-balanced, which shows in the wine. Against all odds, the 2006 is showing better than the 2005 today.” (04/2015)
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2007 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 91+ points “The 2007 Viña Cubillo Crianza is the most affordable red. It is a wine that was born to go with tapas and to be sold at local restaurants showing a combination of fruit and the earth where the vines grow. It is a blend of the usual 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo fermented in old oak vats with natural yeasts and matured in barrel for three years. The intoxicating nose shows blood orange, bitter cherries, leather and spices in a subtle and balanced way. The palate is sinewy, polished, has good acidity and is not terribly complex nor powerful, but is built more on the subtlety and lightness.This could well be the best Cubillo of recent times.”
Bodega Akutain Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 24 bottles available
John Gilman 92+ points “The 2006 Rioja Reserva from Bodegas Akutain includes a bit of garnacha in the blend and was aged three years in old American oak barrels prior to bottling. The wine offers up an outstanding bouquet of red and black cherries, cigar ash, excellent soil tones, a bit of bay leaf and a discreet base of coconutty American oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and beautifully balanced with a fine core, still a bit of backend tannin and excellent grip and focus on the very long and classy finish. This is bottled unfiltered and unlike most ten year-old bottles of Rioja, this is best decanted off of its sediment. An excellent bottle from this very exciting classical Rioja estate! 2016-2030+.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Case-6 Bodegas Marco Abella ‘Clos Abella’, Priorat DOCa 2009 750ML ($599.95) $266 special, 2 six-packs available
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 93 points “(50% carinena, 39% garnacha and 11% cabernet sauvignon; aged for two years in French oak): Saturated ruby. Heady aromas of cherry, cassis, mocha, Indian spices and underbrush are sharpened by a smoky mineral quality. Juicy, sappy and concentrated, showing excellent density to its smoke-tinged flavors of blueberry, cherry-vanilla and candied flowers. A fleshy, expansive, sexy wine that shows the warmth of the vintage to good effect, finishing with strong mineral cut, smooth tannins and lingering smokiness.”Remelluri Granja Nuestra Senora de Remelluri Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles available
Case-12 Remelluri Granja Nuestra Senora de Remelluri Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($419.95) $359 special, 3 cases available
James Suckling 95 points “A wine with beautiful finesse and depth. Dark fruits, dark chocolate, hazelnut and floral character. Polished and refined. Full body. Long and beautiful. Tasty finish. The first recent vintage 100% made by Telmo Rodriguez. Drink or hold.”
Penin Guide to Spanish Wine 96 points – Podium Award – Exceptional Wine: “(tempranillo, garnacha, graciano). Colour: cherry, garnet rim. Nose: ripe fruit, spicy, creamy oak, complex, expressive. Palate: flavourful, toasty, round tannins, balanced, elegant.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The wine that represents the house style and also the biggest volume here with around 350,000 bottles produced is the 2010 Reserva which was cropped from an almost perfect growing season. A blend of the reds Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and the whites Viura and Malvasía Riojana, it fermented with indigenous yeasts in a combination of stainless steel and oak vats then matured in French oak barrels for 17 months. The nose has earthy aromas and notes of ripe orange peel giving old-style character to the wine marked by very well-integrated oak and an obvious Rioja character. There are cherries, plums and spices with licorice and ink aromas. The day after, it has more strawberries with very good freshness, so the evolution in bottle should be good. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins and good acidity that ends with sweet fruit flavors and something earthy, very pleasant and easy to drink. It grows on you.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Bodegas Roda Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 11 bottles available
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points “Deep ruby. Deeply pitched aromas of black raspberry and cherry, with complicating notes of rose oil, pipe tobacco and vanilla. Spicy oak nuances emerge with air and carry onto the palate, which displays sappy dark fruit liqueur flavors and hints of mocha and floral pastilles. The expansive, focused, long finish leaves vanilla and spicecake notes behind. The malo occurred in large French oak casks and the wine was then aged in French oak barriques, 40% of them new, for 14 months.”
Wine Advocate 91 points “Against all odds I gave the edge to the 2009 over the 2010 Roda Reserva, A blend of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano. This serious and very spicy wine mixes red and black fruit with an aniseed touch that slowly grows in the glass, serious and concentrated, ripe and fresh and getting closer to the profile of Roda I. It is starting to develop complexity and takes a little bit longer than the 2009 to unfurl its aromas and juicy palate, with very fine tannins. This is accessible today, but it will be even better with time in bottle.”Bodegas Contador – Benjamin Romeo ‘Predicador’, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 30 bottles available
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points “(96% tempranillo, 3% garnacha and 1% viura, aged for 16 months in one-year-old French oak barrels): Glass-staining ruby. Explosive, alluring aromas of black and blue fruits, incense, licorice and vanilla bean. Lush and broad but juicy and focused as well, with suave candied dark berry flavors accented by sexy floral and Indian spice nuances. Finishes broad, spicy and impressively long, with echoing boysenberry and licorice notes. In the context of flamboyant, new-wave Rioja this is an absolute steal.”
Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva, Ribera del Duero 2007 750ML ($379.95) $249 special, 16 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points “They have kept 2005 and 2006 for now, and they are releasing the 2007 Único from a lighter vintage that is accessible already; they will even sell 2008 before 2005 and 2006. 2007 was a cold vintage in Ribera and it produced lighter, fresher wines (perhaps not as problematic as 2008, but there was also frost in 2007). The wine might be a tad lighter than other vintages, but it’s more structured than 2008; it combines elegance and power, is nicely balanced and should be able to develop in bottle for many years, although the quick evolution of the bottle once opened made me hesitate about its drinking window. Let’s hope I’m wrong. 80,000 bottles produced.” WA
Wine Spectator 94 points “This harmonious red is balanced and deep, offering ripe plum and currant flavors, with black pepper, tobacco, licorice and mineral accents. Delivers plenty of structure, with well-integrated tannins and lively acidity. The wine remains graceful through the long, spicy finish. Drink now through 2027”
Renato Ratti ‘Battaglione’, Barbera d’Asti DOCG 2013 750ML ($19.95) $17 special
Case-12 Renato Ratti ‘Battaglione’, Barbera d’Asti DOCG 2013 750ML ($219.95) $179 special
More diplomatic than martial, despite the label, this Barbera d’Asti ends up conquering nonetheless. Renato Ratti wines embody the silky Italian style, while encouraging the Barbera to sing of its Asti origins. The 2013 has plenty of structure but not too much, which lets the fruit and floral notes emerge, while nice acidity keeps the powers in balance. Drinking well now, or you can keep it quartered for a while.
Fan of Piedmontese wines: don’t miss the Renato Ratti Nebbiolo d’Alba!
Case-12 Renato Ratti Ochetti Nebbiolo d’Alba, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($279.95) $219 special
Winery note: “Fine, delicate and persistent bouquet with characteristic trace scents of strawberry and raspberry. Pleasantly bitterish, velvety, at once elegant and full. Class and spontaneous vivacity are the distinguishing characteristics of this wine. The typical sandy soil gives lots of finesse and a very delicate aromas. Red meats, grilled or on the spit, game, grande cuisine white and red meats with white or brown sauces.”
The ‘Eggo’ from Zorzal was a very pleasant surprise the first time we tasted it here at the shop. The wine had generated a fair amount of buzz and prior vintages scored quite impressively; suffice it to say that expectations were high. By all accounts, ‘Eggo’ performed well beyond our expectations. The Malbec-dominant blend presented a beautiful, balanced array of dark fruits and earth without an overabundance of showiness. It’s a more nuanced, measured side of Argentina. I like it.
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.
Weingut Jos. Christoffel Jr. Christoffel-Prum Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese*** Goldkapsel, Germany 2014 750ML ($59.95) $33 special
VinopolNote: Erderner Prälat occupies a mere 2.2 hectares. Entirely south-facing, the vineyard is surrounded by cliffs which insulate the vines – as a result, Prälat is one of the warmest plots in the region. Over time, it has also become one of the most sought-after vineyards. Given the limited space, only a few winemakers have access to the vineyard.
Case-12 Peter Lauer ‘Barrel X’ Saar Riesling, Germany 2015 750ML ($279.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Importer note “You all know by now the stratospheric work Florian is doing in the Saar. This has always been the ambassador wine from the winery but this vintage elevates to Senior levels of complexity.”Crowley Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
VinopolNote: The 2014 Willamette Valley is all first-press wine comprised mostly of Pommard clone Pinot with some Dijon and the last of the Gehrts Vineyard (now that Jadot has purchased the vineyard). The WV was aged in barrel for over 16 months before bottling. It’s a lighter styled Pinot meant for hot summer days. In the glass, there are notes of cranberries, garrigue and a touch of fresh iris. The entire range of 2014s from Crowley has benefitted from the new entry-level wine, A La Votre, made from 9 barrels of press wine. Consequently, each of the 2014s is a step up in quality.
Freemark Abbey Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2014 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $19.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Robert Parker 91 points “The 2014 Chardonnay is a non-malolactic 100% Chardonnay that’s 45% barrel-fermented. The wine is sensational. There are nearly 10,000 cases of this wine, which shows loads of white peach, honeysuckle, green apple and melon notes in a distinctive, clean, steely Chablis-like style. There is some tropical fruit, such as pineapple, but the overall character is one of great acid, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and no real oak influence. Drink it over the next 4-5 years.”Ruffino Modus Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($27.95) $18 specia
James Suckling 94 points “A silky and refined red with currant, berry, mineral and dried flower aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, flavorful and delicious. A blend of sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Drinkable now but better in 2017.” JS
Case-12 Jorge Ordoñez Bodegas Triton Tridente Tempranillo Vino de la Tierra, Castilla y Leon 2015 750ML ($249.95) $189 pre-arrival special
Robert Parker 94 points “The 2015 Triton Tinta De Toro is a stunning wine from this relatively modest appellation and vineyard owned by Jorge Ordoñez and his partners. The wine, 100% Tinto de Toro, spent eight months sur lie in Burgundy and Bordeaux barrels. It is a killer example of Toro, which produces relatively full-throttle, intense wines from ungrafted vines. This beauty, inky purple in color, offers up notes of graphite, forest floor, blackberry and cassis in a full-bodied, pedal-to-the-metal, long, rich and concentrated style. At $20.00 it is a remarkable value and probably capable of lasting up to a decade, although there is no reason to defer your gratification.”
The Ancient Estate of Gigondas
“Without a doubt, the leading estate in Gigondas is Louis Barruol’s Chateau Saint-Cosme. Located just outside the village, he releases an assortment of world class Gigondas, as well as a number of value priced, negotiate-styled Cotes du Rhone efforts that always deliver high-quality (these are normally released under his Saint-Cosme label and do not say Chateau Saint-Cosme).”– Jeb Dunnuck in The Wine AdvocateAcross an astounding 15 generations, the Barroul family has tended the vines of Saint Cosme, the oldest estate in all of Gigondas. Louis Barroul has been at the helm for just shy of twenty years, overseeing fifteen hectares of vines with an average vine age of sixty years. He expanded the family business to include several Rhone valley wines and expanded the wine cellar into the ancient Roman tunnels: he saw the value in their longevity and ability to maintain the ideal humidity and temperature for aging wine.
The Chateau is surrounded by 37 acres of old-vine vineyard land that line the foothills of the Dentelles-de-Montmirail Mountains. It is no surprise that the vines average an impressive 60 years in age, coming from an estate that was founded in 1490. The estate is in the middle of two geological faults, resulting in a wide variety of soil types. The microclimate is quite cool for the region; grapes are usually harvested later than other estates in the area.
These wines are powerful and rich with a striking elegance. The Le Poste vineyard surrounds the estate’s chapel and was replanted by Louis’ father Henri in 1963 is one of the estate’s original vineyards. It is composed of several parcels of Grenache and one of Clairette. The soil is limestone yellow mall with many fossils and makes the most feminine and elegant wine of the estate. Le Claux and the Hominis Fides vineyards were first recognized in 1902. Le Claux, planted in 1870, was scheduled to be ripped out in 1914 because the vines no longer produced large yields. The War and several deaths in the family prevented its destruction. Now Le Claux is celebrated for its old vines that produce tiny, concentrated yields. It produces the most Burgundian character, with finesse and complexity. The Hominis Fides vineyard is composed of the oldest vines in the estate. It is made of sandy limestone soil that the winemaker believes help contribute to the fine tannins in the Grenache. It is their “most deep and enigmatic wine.”
Fans of ripe and unctious Gigondas may take pause, but the 2013 and 2014 vintages are nothing to shy away from, and offer better value than recent point-grabbing years. As Josh Raynolds notes, “rabid demand for the Next Big Thing virtually guarantees gentler mark-ups for vintages such as 2013 (and, I would wager, 2014) , which is great news for savvy, value-minded wine lovers more interested in drinking the wines than in bagging cellar trophies.” In 2014, Louis Barroul applied stern selection reducing the supply of the top of the line selections (Le Claux, Le Poste, and Hominus Fides). And the intermediate selection (Valbelle) was not bottled. Rather, that wine went all into his village level Gigondas.
We’re pleased to offer an expansive range of new releases from this storied estate, all available here now:
Winery note “The 2015 whites are structured with length yet also good freshness. The aromatic spectrum is characterized by ripeness, the wine is very open and reveals itself easily. Picpoul demonstrated its significance more than ever this year. Without it, we would have been totally unable to produce a balanced white. Also, the varietal has the ability to support the other grapes, without overshadowing them – it always takes a back seat to the expressive varieties Marsanne and Viognier. Basically, Picpoul is a real gentleman – it can play the bagpipes, but does not, as one famous French comedian once said. Pineapple, apricot, peach, violet, blackcurrant bud and licorice.”
The average price is $21
Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Le Poste Blanc 2014 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Jeb Dunnuck-Wine Advocate 90 points “Coming all from the second terrace of the le Poste vineyard in Gigondas (there’s no white wines allowed under the Gigondas AOC, so this is released as a Cotes du Rhone), the 2014 Cotes du Rhone Le Poste Blanc is 100% Clairette, from vines planted in 1963, that’s raised all in older barrels. It offers terrific notes of mulled pears, buttered citrus, lemon curd and a kiss of minerality as well as medium-bodied richness, lively acidity and outstanding length. It’s beautiful now, but this cuvee also ages gracefully and has a broad drink window.”
Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone 2015 1.5L ($29.95) $24 special
Grapelive 92 points “His little Cotes-du-Rhone, made of almost entirely Syrah, is one of the region’s best value wines, and this 2015 is stunningly delicious and full of flavor. The wine is deep in color and character and detailed with dark fruits, a plush mid palate and spicy length. The 2015 was 100% Syrah from Vinsobres and Gard with the grapes partially de-stemmed, with fermenting and aging in tank only. This makes for a fresh style and with just enough tannin to age, though complex enough and plush enough to thrill in its youth! The palate is filled with layers of black and blue fruits, blackberry, boysenberry, juicy plum, fig and a touch of cassis along with cracked peppercorns, olive, lavender oil, violets, camphor, porcini, anise and mineral/stony notes. Round and textured the Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone reaches a full-bodied weight, though still poised and vibrant. This is a class act, especially in this price range. I’ve been a fan of this wine for at least 10 years, and I just love it. Drink over the next 3 to 5 years; this 2015 is one of the best yet!”
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “Deep ruby. Incisive aromas of fresh red berries, candied lavender and smoky minerals, complemented by a subtle garrigue nuance. Juicy, concentrated and focused on the palate, offering vibrant black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter and more lively with air. Shows very good depth as well as vivacity; fine-grained, firming tannins build slowly on the long, mineral-driven finish.”
The next best price is $22.99
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91-93 points “Bright violet. Lively, mineral-laced dark berry aromas are complicated by hints of floral oils and peppery spices. Silky and seamless on the palate, offering gently sweet black raspberry and violet pastille flavors that become deeper and fleshier with air. Sappy and graceful in character, closing with strong thrust and silky tannins.”
Saint Cosme Saint-Joseph 2014 750ML ($31.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91-93 points “(sourced from Malleval): Inky ruby. Strongly perfumed aromas of blackberry, boysenberry and smoky minerals carry a subtle peppery overtone. Seamless, pliant and gently sweet, offering concentrated dark berry and cola flavors and a touch of star anise on the back half. Gains richness with air and finishes very long and smoky, displaying building tannins and a late suggestion of olive. There’s an intriguing umami character to this wine that should make it very flexible at the table.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Sports solid, charcoal-edged grip, with roasted alder and savory notes forming a robust frame around the chewy currant, plum and bitter cherry paste flavors. Best from 2018 through 2024.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90-92 points “Brilliant ruby. Smoky cherry, boysenberry and potpourri scents show very good clarity and pick up a spicy quality with aeration. Intense red and blue fruit flavors are complicated by a floral pastille nuance. Finishes on a gently tannic note, delivering very good energy and spicy thrust. All of the Valbelle fruit was included in this bottling in 2014.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “A firm, taut, minerally style, with lots of iron-edged grip striding from start to finish, while red currant and damson plum fruit push out from the core. White pepper and singed juniper details fill in the background. This will need some time to stretch out fully. Best from 2019 through 2030.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points “(made, as usual, from vineyards in the Côte Brune): Opaque ruby. Vibrant, sharply focused black and blue fruits on the nose, complicated by peppery spice and mineral notes. Lithe and precise, showing strong lift to the intense blueberry, violet pastille and spicecake flavors. Picks up a smoky quality with air and finishes sweet, seamless and very long, with sneaky tannins adding shape and grip.”
The average price is $57
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux 2014 750ML ($99.95) $69 special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Intense, with lots of grip along the edges, as rosemary, tobacco and charcoal notes coil around the core of steeped plum, blackberry and red currant fruit. Best from 2018 through 2024.”J.M.
Jeb Dunnuck – Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The most mineral-driven in the lineup, the 2014 Gigondas le Claux is almost 100% Grenache, and was fermented with 100% stems and aged in Burgundy barrels. Freshly crushed rocks, black currants, forest floor and truffle notes all flow beautifully to a medium to full-bodied, layered, sexy and nicely concentrated Gigondas that has enough fruit to drink well on release, yet the structure, balance and depth to evolve for 10-15 years. It’s an undeniable success in the vintage.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points “Vivid ruby-red. Highly perfumed red fruit liqueur, potpourri and Asian spice scents show impressive clarity and vivacity. Sappy, tangy and precise, offering lively raspberry and floral pastille flavors and a touch of spicecake. Closes on a smoky mineral note, displaying superb focus, silky tannins and emphatic, floral-driven persistence.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This has a succulent edge despite the vintage profile, with lovely raspberry, plum and boysenberry coulis flavors stretching out, picking up dried star anise, lightly singed alder and perfumy black tea notes. The long, fine-grained structure and lovely minerality linger through the finish. Shows remarkable refinement for the vintage. Drink now through 2024.”
Jeb Dunnuck-Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The most pretty, elegant and finesse-driven of the single vineyard releases, the 2014 Gigondas le Poste offers more floral notes as well as ample cassis, violets and cracked pepper. From a terraced vineyard located just beside the estate, I love its tannin quality, as well as its purity of fruit, perfect balance and clean, lengthy finish. I always find slightly less concentration and density in this cuvee, yet more purity and finesse, and this holds true in 2014 as well.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points “Bright ruby-red. Intense red berry preserve, incense and floral pastille scents are sharpened by suggestions of smoky minerals and white pepper. Sweet, penetrating and vibrant, offering concentrated raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a suave spicecake nuance. Shows excellent clarity and lift on the finish, which is firmed by silky tannins and a repeating mineral note.”
Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-6 Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012 750ML ($239.95) $219 special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Opaque ruby. Deep, smoke-accented dark berry and floral scents are lifted by a note of peppery spice. Smoky and sweet in the mouth, offering intense blueberry and cassis flavors and a hint of candied violet. Suggests the north in its fruit profile, finishing with very good punch and length and velvety, late-arriving tannins.”
The average price is $54
Wine Spectator 93 points “Well-built, with sage, savory and tobacco notes weaving around the core of blackberry and black currant, picking up charcoal and roasted alder accents. Best from 2017 through 2024.”
Jeb Dunnuck – Wine Advocate 92-94+ points “What will mostly likely end up being the wine of the vintage is the 2014 Gigondas Hominis Fides. From a single vineyard located just down the hill from the estate, fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged all in Burgundy barrels, it offers sensational notes of crushed rock, graphite, dried rose petals and licorice in a medium to full-bodied, elegant, seamless style that hides considerable tannic grip. It’s a beautiful wine that will still be drinking nicely in 2034.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91-93 points “Deep ruby. Powerful, smoke-accented aromas of dark berries and incense, complicated by suave floral pastille and woodsmoke nuances. Fleshy and deeply concentrated, showing impressive depth to the densely packed red and blue fruit flavors, which are lifted by juicy acidity. The smoky note repeats on a youthfully tannic finish that shows impressive energy, power and thrust.”
The Tuscan Secret
Nestled on the Castelnuovo Barardenga hill in the southern-most part of the Chianti Classico zone is the estate of Castell’in Villa, a historic hamlet dating to the 13th century. The estate is owned and operated by Princess Coralia Pignatelli della Leonessa. She and her husband purchased the estate in 1968; they updated the 13th century farmhouse and began to expand vineyard plantings. She found herself the sole owner less than a decade later when her husband passed away, and she dedicated herself to renovating the estate. She expanded the vineyard plantings to 54 hectares and replanted white grapevines with Sangiovese. Using clonal selections from estate’s vineyards, she planted the Poggio delle Rose vineyard, the estate’s top site. The soil is composed of the alluvial sand and pebbly soil seen throughout the estate with the addition of clay and limestone.
The wines are produced from handpicked estate grapes from vines planted among the olive groves and forest. They are aged in French oak barrels and held back for two additional years to ensure greater maturity upon release. The IGT is a blend of Sangiovese and of Cabernet Sauvignon that was grafted over existing vines in 1983. The wines show elegance and balance with a classic nose of dried fruits, minerals and flowers.
Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico DOCG 2011 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 27 bottles available
Winery note “The Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico is composed of 100% Sangiovese grapes. It is a complex and serious blend of our different vineyards. The wine is aged in traditional Chianti Classico casks for about 12 months. The Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico captures the fruit of the Sangiovese grapes and the earthy, spicy and slightly wild traces of the soil in a beautiful blend. It is an unusually concentrated Chianti Classico, that will invariably benefit from age.”Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2009 750ML ($59.95) Was $47, Now $39, 14 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Rich, enveloping and beautifully layered, the 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva is a rare Riserva that will drink nicely with minimal cellaring. Sweet tobacco, licorice, leather, cedar and underbrush meld together as this radiant, supple Riserva opens up in the glass. More classic elements of structure emerge on the finish.” AG
Ian D’Agata—Vinous 92+ points “Good bright red. Nose began closed and brooding, but showed vibrant notes of redcurrant, mint and dried flowers with aeration, complicated by a strong mineral quality. Sweet and nicely lush in the mouth, with suave flavors of redcurrant, herbs and tobacco joined on the back end by a very strong element of gunflint. The long finish features a firm acid spine and youthfully chewy but noble tannins.” IDCastell’in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 17 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva hits all the high notes. Ripe and structured, yet also wonderfully contained, the 2006 boasts stunning depth, power and richness. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2006 is also likely to require a considerable amount of time to come around. All the elements are in the right place for the 2006 Riserva to develop into a splendid wine. The mid-weight, firm style is classic Castell’in Villa.” AG
Castell’in Villa ‘Poggio delle Rose’, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2009 750ML ($79.95) Was $69, Now $59, 23 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “Castell’in Villa’s 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva Poggio delle Rose captures the generosity of the vintage while retaining a gorgeous sense of freshness and energy. Red stone fruit, tobacco, menthol, sage and leather nuances are bright and nicely focused, but with the additional breadth provided by the warm vintage. A long, silky finish rounds things out in style.” AG
Castell’in Villa Santacroce Toscana IGT 2007 750ML ($79.95) Was $59, Now $49, 4 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2007 Santacroce is a huge wine endowed with tons of richness and sheer textural depth. Dark cherries, plums, graphite, incense and tobacco burst from the glass in this intense, powerful wine. I very much like the way the 2007 fleshes out with time in the glass. It is a young, young wine that needs time to shed some baby fat and develop its bouquet. In 2007 Santacroce is more than 50% Cabernet Sauvignon for the first time, signaling the direction the wine will take as it gradually becomes a pure Cabernet Sauvignon.” AG
The next best price is $54.50
Isole e Olena
The pinnacle of Chianti Classico: Gran Selezione
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Tuscany 2006 750ML ($249.95) $189 pre-arrival special
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Tuscany 2006 1.5L ($499.95) $389 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2006 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is a controversial wine and for good reason. Proprietor Paolo De Marchi was initially opposed to the idea of introducing the Gran Selezione category above the Chianti Classico Riserva. But more than a year ago, the Institute of Masters of Wine held a special dinner in Florence and producers were invited to pour only Gran Selezione wines. Paolo had an amazing barrel of Sangiovese put aside for a commemorative wine to celebrate his 30th anniversary as a winemaker. He hoped to dedicate that wine as a special limited release. Because he also wanted to pour something of his at the Masters of Wine dinner, he declassified the wine and re-registered it as a Gran Selezione. This also explains why it is from an older vintage. Most of his peers inaugurated this new category with the 2010 vintage. Only 1,800 bottles were made (of which 500 are put aside for the family’s personal use) and the blend consists of Sangiovese with 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Syrah. “I love Chianti Classico and I love super Tuscans,” says Paolo De Marchi. “This wine is a crossover of the two.” The wine shows gorgeous ripeness with brooding dark fruit, depth and extreme balance. This is a wine that makes a statement upfront both in terms of the quality of the aromas and its overall integrity and persistency.”
The average price is $204
New vintage of the wildly popular
top cuvee from Villa Symposia
Arriving September 16th
VinopolNote: We’re receiving over 1/10th of the entire production of this Syrah. The certified biodynamic winery adds just a drop of Mourvèdre (5%) to round out the cuvee.
Wine Advocate 93 points “The terrific 2013 Pézenas l’Origine shows the hallmark spice-laced perfume of this appellation. Lots of red fruits, crushed flowers, spice and violet nuances give way to a medium-bodied, elegant and sweetly fruited 2013 that has fine tannin and a seamless, sexy texture. Drink this beauty anytime over the coming 5-6 years.”
This top estate bottling (and top scorer!) from Roussillon is here now:
Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 36+ bottles available
Case-6 Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($299.95) $239 special, 4 six-packs available (that’s only $39.83/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 95 points “One of the wines of the vintage is the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Domaine de l’Edre. While this cuvee had a rustic edge in the past, today it’s incredibly polished and pure, with brilliant aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, licorice, crushed flowers and chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, yet elegant and balanced, it’s a classic Roussillon that can be enjoyed today or cellared for a decade.”
Arriving Fall 2016
Weingut Clemens Busch Pundericher Marienburg Fahrlay Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2014 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2014 Riesling Auslese Fahrlay is a very juicy and fruity, piquant and delicate Riesling with fine acidity and sensual sweetness. The wine is extremely sappy and its sweetness is countered by the piquant and racy acidity. This is a gorgeous Auslese with great aging potential.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “From almost 100-year-old vines in a 1,600 square meter plot (small grapes, loose berries, thicker skins), the 2014 Riesling GG Fahrlay Terrassen opens with a deep, concentrated, very complex, stony/dusty bouquet of almonds and ripe, healthy Riesling berries. Full-bodied, round and complex, with fully ripe and juicy, well concentrated, yellow-fleshed fruit and a great purity, this is a very complex and persistent Riesling of great expression. A cultural monument rolling over the palate. Very long. Memorable.”
Weingut Clemens Busch Pundericher Marienburg Falkenlay Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Mosel 2014 750ML ($69.95) $53.50 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2014 Riesling GG Falkenlay shows a very clear and elegant, quite open bouquet of highly ripe but healthy Riesling flavors along with marjoram aromas. Round and elegant on the palate, very pure and delicate with a gentle minerality that is remarkably persistent but never loud, this is Busch’s most sensual and finesse-full dry Riesling with a very long finish. Perfectly balanced and intense, there is no need to store this beauty, but some will want to do so. Don’t buy bottles, buy cases, because you will always drink a bottle of it from time to time.”Weingut Clemens Busch Pundericher Marienburg Rothenpfad Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Mosel 2014 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points “From 85-year-old vines, Busch’s 2014 Riesling GG Rothenpfad opens with a refined yet deep and intense bouquet that displays dusty/smoky aromas of crushed stones along with white fruits, almonds and lemon flavors. Full-bodied, round and intense on the palate, this is very well concentrated and structured Riesling with a clear aroma and a long and piquant, lovely salty and tension-filled finish with excellent terroir expression. This has a great combination of salt and fruit, of minerals and texture. This is a very convincing and filigreed 2014 Mosel Riesling, and it is so delicate and less opulent than it used to be in other vintages. Clemens Busch says it is the minerality that makes his wines leaner in 2014, especially the wines from the Rothenpfad (including the “vom roten Schiefer”).”
Wine Advocate 95+ points “This is my second rating of the 2013 Riesling Raffes, almost one year after I tasted it for the first time. The wine shows a good fruit intensity and ripeness today (oranges), along with nice and pure slate-like flavors. Rich, pure and juicy on the palate, this is a full-bodied Riesling with a juicy texture and a very sensual sweetness, but only 12.5% alcohol. The acidity is really piquant here and you might think it’s like a dry Auslese with a higher degree of sweetness. The finish is enormous and very promising. Don’t drink this wine too soon.”
Time to Say Goodbuy
Wine Advocate 98 points “Stunningly clear and pure on the citric-perfumed nose, the sweet 2013 Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Auslese *** is characterized by its laser-like precision and elegance, which is perfectly paired with its vibrant acidity and piquant minerality that lingers and makes this Auslese a memorable one.”
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2012 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles available
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2012 1.5L ($99.95) $89 special, 6 magnums available
Antonio Galloni 94+ points “A ripe, powerful wine, the 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia offers a level of finesse that balances some of the more overt intensity of the year. Dark cherry, plum, spice, tobacco, menthol and licorice add shades of nuance as this beautifully delineated Rancia opens up in the glass. Because of its mid-weight structure, I expect the 2012 will give up its charms relatively early by Rancia standards, which means around age 15-20. The 2012 is not an obvious or explosive Rancia, rather is a wine built on compelling overall harmony.”
Family-owned and -run, Domaine de la Janasse grows and makes their wine with a sense of pride and tradition. Careful attention in the vineyard and cellar allows nature to work its magic alongside the Janasse team’s expertise. The Chaupin, a fresh and lively wine, consists of 100% Grenache including fruit from 100-year-old vines. The Vielles Vignes represents the estate’s crown jewel: Grenache, Mourvedre, and other varieties combine to make a deep, brooding red that longs for cellar time.
Domaine de La Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chaupin 2012 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee Chaupin, which I was able to taste (and drink) from multiple bottles, is a beautiful Grenache that comes from the cooler, northeastern edge of the appellation. Coming almost all from the Chapouin lieu-dit (it gets a small bit from La Janasse), it gives up the classic notes of black berries, spring flowers, violets, and licorice that I always seem to find in this cuvee. Building nicely on the palate, it is medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured, has tons of sweet fruit and solid, if not firm, tannin that come out on the finish. It will be better in another couple of years and have 15+ years of overall longevity.”
Domaine de La Janasse Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points “Up in the top handful of wines in the vintage (which should come as no surprise to anyone who follows this estate), the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, rich and layered Châteauneuf that doesn’t put a foot wrong. Made from 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre and the rest Syrah, it offers blockbuster notes of blackberry, liquid-violets, spice and serious minerality to go with awesome mid-palate depth and layers of sweet tannin. Like the Cuvee Chaupin, it will be better in another handful of years and thrill through 2027.”
Cordero di Montezemolo Enrico VI, Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($119.95) Was $99, Now $85
James Suckling 96 points “Wonderful aromas of crushed berries and flowers here. Particularly roses. Full body, with fine yet chewy tannins and a long intense finish. Needs four or five years to open. Best wine ever from here?” JS
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2010 Barolo Enrico VI sees fruit sourced from the celebrated Villero cru in Castiglione Falletto. It’s hard not to be enthusiastically impressed by this gorgeous effort. The fruit is stunning and dark with a deep, penetrating level of aromatic intensity that spans from creme de cassis to dried licorice root. In the mouth, it is extraordinarily bright and silky and the seamless finish can be counted in long, delicious minutes. A special nod goes the high energy and vibrant quality of this beautiful Barolo. Drink: 2016-2026.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “This structured, vibrant Barolo opens with a medley of scents including violet, leather, black cherry, thyme and toast. The palate delivers candied cherry accented with mocha, orange peel and clove alongside brisk acidity and fine tannins. Drink after 2020.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 94 points “The estate’s Barolo Enrico VI, which emerges from the Villero vineyard in Castiglione Falletto, is one of the most beautiful wines I have tasted here in some time. Vivid and layered in the glass, the 2010 is all about polish, silkiness and pure nuance. Sweet, silky tannins support a core of dark red cherries, plums, tobacco, menthol and smoke, all in a textured, layered style that is hugely appealing. The Enrico VI is a wine of significant potential. I can’t wait to see how it ages.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Balance, elegance, fruit and a dense texture are the hallmarks of this red. Cherry, plum, leather and spice flavors prevail as this tightens up on the finish. Well-proportioned and built for the long haul. Best from 2018 through 2035. 770 cases made.”
The next best price is $89.99