October 27th Newsletter

October 27, 2014

Jump Start Sale

Arriving Friday


“Ric Forman is arguably Napa Valley’s first superstar winemaker. Although sometimes overlooked today, there is little question Forman has had a profound influence on a number of younger winemakers”
Antonio Galloni
Forman Vineyard, based on Howell Mountain, was started by long time and well respected Napa vintner Ric Forman in 1978. After studying at UC Davis in the 1960s, Ric initially starting working in Napa at wineries including Robert Mondavi, Newton Vineyards, and Stony Hill. His first wine under his own label, released in 1983, exceeded anyone’s expectations, and Ric has maintained consistent high rankings for his age-worthy Cabernet and Chardonnay.

A very hands-on winemaker, Ric, aided by his son Toby, prefers to do even the most mundane winemaking tasks himself. By playing a role in every step of the winemaking process, and producing small quantities, he ensures that each bottle of wine is truly handmade while helping maintain a very high standard of quality for Forman wines. Forman also produces a second label called Chateau la Grande Roche. Passionate about building great wines, Forman’s classic wines are revered for their elegance and finesse, and their small quantities make them a true gem in California Cabernet.

Forman Chateau La Grande Roche Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2005 ($49.95) $33 SALEBRATIONpre-arrival special
– Ric crafts the Grande Roche Cabernet Sauvignon towards suppleness, offering his fans a glimpse of his wine craft without a wait in the cellar. This wine is very nicely balanced; and something special on the dinner table.
This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average listed price is $39 / bottle

Forman Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2004 ($89.95) $59 SALEBRATION pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Good bright ruby-red. Aromas of blackberry, blueberry, licorice and aromatic spices. Richer and seemingly riper than the young 2005, but with lovely definition to the flavors of redcurrant and sour cherry. This features a lusher, softer, sweeter middle followed by chewier and more obvious tannins that showed a firmer edge with aeration.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average listed price is 33% higher at $79 / bottle

Forman Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2008 ($89.95) $59 SALEBRATIONpre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Tightly wound, firm, dense and concentrated, with a core of dark berry, plum, roasted herb, game meat, graphite, road tar and lead pencil, ending with chewy tannins. Should reward cellaring. Best from 2012 through 2022.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average listed price is 42% higher at $84 / bottle



Re – Arrival Highlight



Montepeloso A Quo Suvereto 2011 ($24.95) $18 special
Antonio Galloni 90 points
“Once again, Montepeloso’s entry-level A Quo is fabulous. I expected to find a rich, powerful wine given the year, instead the 2011 A Quo is fresh, vibrant and beautifully delineated. Hints of raspberry jam, rose petals and sweet spices literally jump from the glass. The 2011 is best enjoyed over the next few years, while the fruit remains vibrant. This is a terrific showing from proprietor Fabio Chiarellotto.”
Vinopolnote “A red blend of Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Marselan and Alicante Bouschet”



Ayres Lewis Rogers Lane Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge 2013 ($34.95) $29 special

Amavi Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley 2012 ($29.95) $24 SALEBRATIONspecial
Winery notes
” Spring brought us more precipitation than usual, followed by a hot, dry summer. We experienced plenty of warm days without it being overly hot. Since WSU began recording heat units, the 2012 vintage was right on track with a “perfect average.” The wines of this vintage show beautiful characteristics of fruit ripeness while remaining elegant and balanced.”
Vinopolnote “This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!”

Charles Smith Sixto Uncovered Chardonnay 2012 ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 92-94 points
“The 2012 Chardonnay Columbia Valley sees no new oak and is a blend from the three vineyards (Frenchman Hills, Moxee and Roza Hills). Loaded with lychee, citrus blossom, lemon and crushed rock-like minerality, this medium-bodied, beautifully pure and elegant effort has superb mid-palate richness and picks up additional nuttiness on the finish. While my favorite cuvee here is probably the Frenchman Hills Vineyard, when you factor in price, this straight Columbia Valley is a no-brainer. It, too, should evolve gracefully over the coming 3-4 years, if not longer. Speaking of longevity, the safe bet with these would be to drink them on release and over the coming couple of years, but there’s no reason these beautiful efforts won’t evolve gracefully for upward of a decade either.”

Charles Smith Sixto Frenchman Hills Chardonnay 2012 ($79.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
“First up, and coming from basalt and limestone soils that lie at 1,600 feet in elevation, the 2012 Chardonnay Frenchman Hills Vineyard is an incredible white that bears more than a passing resemblance to a high class white Burgundy. Giving up bright Chardonnay fruit, lychee, mint and assorted toasty/brioche-like nuances, this medium-bodied effort flows onto the palate with fabulous precision and energy, solid mid-palate richness and gorgeous focus on the finish. Fermented all in concrete and aged in 20% new French oak, this is one of the finest examples of the variety that I’ve tasted from Washington.”

Charles Smith Sixto Moxee Chardonnay 2012 ($79.95) $54.50 special
Wine Advocate 92-94 points
“Coming from a warmer site and old vines (37-year-old) that are located northeast of Yakima city, the 2012 Chardonnay Moxee Vineyard (aged in 20% new French oak puncheons) gives up perfumed spice, lemon curd, toast and chamomile-like nuances to go with a medium-bodied, rounded, supple and yet fantastically pure and layered profile on the palate. I love the mid-palate here, and this is a rich, textured effort that’s geared for consuming over the coming 3 to 4 years.”

Charles Smith Sixto Rosa Hills Chardonnay 2012 ($79.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
“The 2012 Chardonnay Roza Hills Vineyard comes from limestone soils that lie at an elevation of 1,300 feet outside the town of Zillah. Aged in 30% new French oak, it gives up impressive lemon and stone fruits, white flowers, warm spice and ample chalky minerality in its medium-bodied, layered, fabulously pure and rich profile. As with the other whites from this estate, it’s more than a little impressive.”

Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills 2012 ($14.95) $11.90 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
“Dark and spicy, billowing with plum, currant and white chocolate flavors, picking up pear and white tea notes as the finish lingers with refinement. The tannins are submerged. Drink now through 2018.”

Opus One Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2009 1.5LITER ($799.95) $649 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2009 Opus One is impeccable. It brings together the silkiness of the 2007 with the power and darkness of the 2008, a combination that is hugely appealing, to say the least. With a little air, the 2009 can be enjoyed young, but it is best cellared for at least a few years, which will allow some of the baby fat to drop off. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot and 1% Malbec.

Opus One Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2011 375ML ($149.95) $119 special
Antonio Galloni 92+ points (Vinous):
“The 2011 Opus One may turn out to be one of the surprises of the year. A brilliant, precise wine, the 2011 impresses for its energy. Sweet floral and spiced notes lead to expressive dark red berries, mocha, anise and new leather in a brilliant Opus One. Readers will note the lower than normal presence of Cabernet Sauvignon in the 2011, which is typical for a year in which blenders play an important role. The blend is 71% Cabernet, 11% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot/8% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec. Drink: 2016-2031. (Nov 2013)”
James Suckling 92 points “This is very aromatic and pretty with plum, cherry and currant aromas, plus hints of chocolate. It’s full-bodied, with soft, silky tannins and a clean, fresh finish. This is a subtly fruity, juicy red with a pretty texture. Drink or hold. For early drinking. 71% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot, 9% petit verdot, 8% cabernet franc and 1% malbec. (5/15/14)”

Opus One Overture Red Napa Valley NV (2011) ($149.95) $89 SALEBRATIONspecial
“A mailing list exclusive at Opus One since 1993, this is the first commercial release. A barrel selection blend of 2007/2010/2011. This is the lowest price listed in the USA! The average price is $119 / bottle”

Maison Sichel Margaux 2010 ($49.95) $39 special
“Ever since it set up an acquisitions office in Bordeaux in 1883, Maison Sichel has remained a family business first and foremost. The five Sichel sons all have vital roles, working to maintain the goals set by their father Peter. They have undertaken the task of developing the company while remaining faithful to their family’s philosophy, with respect for quality and the authenticity of the different terroirs.Due to its massive size and diverse array of soils, the wines of Margaux are quite varied.These wines, while not the most concentrated Bordeaux, have an elegance and finesse that retains during aging, allowing rich fruits of cherry and plum to meld with the earthy, mushroomy characteristics as they age. Our offering today has classic and readily identifiable Margaux character from a prime vintage.”

Joseph Landron Brut Atmospheres Vin Mousseaux NV ($21.95) $18 special
“After working alongside his father for 12 years, Joseph Landron took over his family’s Muscadet estate. The 64 acre property is nicely situated at the top of the appellation and is entirely planted to the regional varietal, Melon de Bourgogne. Each of the domaine’s bottlings expresses the rich diversity of soils found within its vineyards. This sparkling consists of 80% Folle Blanche and 20% Pinot Noir, with the Folle Blanche planted on sandy and clay soils and the Pinot Noir to gneiss. The wine was produced using the Traditional Method and was aged on its lees for 24-36 months before disgorgement.”

Brovia Barbera Sori Del Drago 2012 ($29.95) $24 special
Brovia Nebbiolo Valmaggiore 2011 ($37.95) $31.90 special

Brovia Barolo DOCG 2010 ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 91 points “This is spicy, with meat, chocolate and dried-fruit character. Medium body, dense fruit and chewy tannins. Needs two years to soften: better in 2016.”

Brovia Barolo DOCG Garblet Sue 2010 ($89.95) $79 special
James Suckling 96 points
“Firm tannins support a core of bright red fruit, freshly cut flowers and crushed rocks in the 2010 Barolo Garblèt Sue’. Today some of the ferrous notes typical of this site are less obvious, as the fruit is incredibly rich and intense. Over time, though, it is the wine’s pure energy that stands out most, another typical Garblèt Sue’ characteristic. This is one of the more polished vintages of the Garblèt Sue’ I can remember tasting. Iron, smoke, dark red fruit and a host of ferrous notes round out the huge, explosive finish.”

Brovia Barolo DOCG Ca’ Mia 2010 ($119.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“Smoke, tar, earthiness and licorice add gorgeous dimensions of complexity in the 2010 Barolo Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia. Here, too, the flavors are remarkably bright and focused. The dark, brooding notes of Serralunga are very much present, but the 2010 impresses for its pure balance, harmony and class. Dried rose petals, spices, licorice and game add complexity on a huge finish supported by big, incisive tannins. This is another utterly vivid, dazzling Barolo from Brovia. Here, too, readers will note a slight name change.”

Ca Del Baio Barbaresco Asili 2011($59.95) $36.60 special
Case-12 Ca Del Baio Barbaresco Asili 2011 ($599.95) $399 special (that’s only $33.25 / bottle!)**
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2011 Barbaresco Asili captures the pedigree of this great site. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red berries, mint and cinnamon all resonate in an impeccable, silky Barbaresco loaded with class. A translucent, crystalline wine, the 2011 impresses for its balance and overall harmony. What a gorgeous wine this is.”

Alvaro Palacios Les Terrasses Vieilles Vignes Priorat 2012 ($44.95) $36 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Brilliant ruby.  Potent, mineral-laced raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by exotic floral and spice qualities, picking up white pepper and mocha accents with air.  Seamless and sweet, offering silky red berry preserve flavors with a touch of allspice.  Closes lively and precise, with sneaky tannins and a jolt of bitter cherry.”
Vinopolnote “50% Garnacha, 50% Samso”

Alvaro Palacios Finca Dofi Priorat 2012 ($79.95) $69 special
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
(100% garnacha):  Brilliant ruby.  Potent red berry liqueur and floral scents are complemented by deeper notes of licorice, cola and licorice, with a mineral nuance adding lift and focus.  Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated but lively spice-tinged raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of candied flowers.  Silky tannins add shape to the extremely long, fruit-driven finish, which leaves a sexy spicecake note behind.  In the context of elite Priorat wines this is a serious value.”

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   Arriving This Week   

Rodney Strong Alexander’s Crown Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2009 ($79.95) $59 SALEBRATIONpre-arrival special
Robert Parker 92+ points
“The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander’s Crown bursts from the glass with dark cherry jam, blackberries, exotic spices, flowers, grilled herbs and graphite. It boasts gorgeous depth and a rich, sumptuous personality. Higher-toned floral notes add lift and brightness on the finish. The style is decidedly on the opulent side, yet all of the elements are nicely balanced. The 2009 is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 23 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. Rodney Strong has retained the services of David Ramey to consult on their Reserve program, and it shows in the quality of these wines.”
Vinopolnote“This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!The next best price is $69.99 / bottle”

Rodney Strong Alexander’s Crown Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2010 ($79.95) $54.50 SALEBRATIONpre-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
“[$75 list] This Cabernet is immediately succulent, with smooth tannins, gorgeous layers of oak, and intricate flavors of blackberries, black cherries, plums and mocha. The alcohol is high, giving this 100% Cabernet some heat, but it should pair well with char-broiled steak. 1,644 cases produced. Alcohol 15.5%. (Mar 2014)”
Antonio Galloni 90 points (Wine Advocate) “The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander’s Crown is pure wildness and gaminess. Savory herbs, licorice, menthol, tobacco and plums grace a powerful, structured frame in this expressive, individualistic Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The aromas and flavors are quite vivid from start to finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2020.”
Vinopolnote “This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!The average price is 30% higher at $71 / bottle”

Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2010 ($79.95) $54.50 SALEBRATIONpre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 91 points
“The gripping tannins are evident early on, wrapped around a rich mix of red and black fruits, gaining depth and a range of flavors, with melted black licorice folding in. Ends with cedar-graphite tannins. Needs time. Best from 2014 through 2025.”
Vinopolnote “This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!The next best price is over 30% higher at $72 / bottle”

Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 2011 ($41.95) $31.90 SALEBRATION pre-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 91 points
“Lengthy and expansive, this wine offers cherry and herb on the nose, followed by a taste of chocolate and anise, with a jolt of spicy black pepper on the finish. Ready to drink now it’s also structured enough to age 2017-2019.”
Vinopolnote “This is the lowest listed price in the USA today! The average price is 22% higher at $39 / bottle”

Rodney Strong Symmetry Meritage, Alexander Valley 2011 ($59.95) $36 SALEBRATION pre-arrival special
“This is the lowest listed price in the USA today! The average price is over 30% higher $48 / bottle”

Massolino Barolo Margheria 2010 ($99.95) $79 SALEBRATION pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“Iron, smoke, tar, plum and black cherry are some of the many notes that take shape in the 2010 Barolo Margheria. A deep, resonant wine, the Margheria captures an attractive middle ground in this vintage. It can be enjoyed with minimum cellaring because of its pliancy, but also has enough depth to age gracefully for years. Aromatic nuance, expressive fruit and fabulous balance are among the hallmarks in a Barolo that captures the essence of Serralunga. Violets, lavender and new leather flesh out on the inviting finish. This is also the deepest and darkest of the Massolino 2010s.” AG
Wine Enthusiast 97 points “Underbrush, rose, violet, black cherry, balsamic notes, cinnamon, mint, leather and Mediterranean herbs are just some of the sensations that emerge. The juicy fruit is balanced with energy and velvety tannins. It’s loaded with energy and finesse, and give it time to develop even more complexity. Drink 2020–2040.”
Vinopolnote “This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!”

Massolino Barolo Parussi 2010 ($99.95) $79
SALEBRATION pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2010 Barolo Parussi hits its stride with an amazing bouquet that is as generous as it is complex and compelling. The wine boasts a dark ruby color with delicate amber highlights and shows a deep level of color saturation and richness. Its perfumes are redolent of sweet cherry, black fruit, dark licorice, cigar ash and wet earth. There’s a bright floral note of pressed red rose that lifts delicately as the wine warms in the glass. The meeting of the wine’s acidic component and its tannic firmness is absolutely seamless. Drink: 2017-2030.”
Wine Enthusiast 98 points “This bold wine is yet another impressive 2010 Barolo from Massolino. Powerfully structured, it delivers succulent black cherry flavors layered with black pepper, sage, tobacco, licorice, balsamic notes and grilled herbs. It’s superbly balanced but has youthful tension and an abundance of energy so give it time to fully develop. Drink 2020-2050.”
Vinopolnote “This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!”

New Arrival

Guido Porro Barolo

Guido Porro is the fourth generation of his family to produce Barolo from the family’s estate in the Serralunga d’Alba.  Within the Lazzarito cru, Porro harvests grapes from the family’s vineyards of “Lazairasco”, “Santa Caterina” and “‘l Pari.”  Lining an ampitheater that faces, south-southwest, the vineyards are rich in limestone and produce long-lived and full-bodied Barolos.

Having made wine for generations and bottling wine under their own label exclusively since 1978, the Porros have a deep understanding of and respect for the ways of tradition, preferring to do very little to the wine to allow the natural expression of the grape. In the winery, Porro follows traditional practices learned from his father and grandfather, the only new practice he has added is selling his wines in bottle rather than in barrel.These are truly wines that are made in the vineyards, fermented with their naturally occurring yeasts and allowed to achieve their own equilibrium at their own pace in  large neutral wood, 100% Slavonian oak. A humble winemaker to the end, Guido Porro’s wines are typically termed as “under the radar”, and remain a great value and truly classic Barolo.

New Arrivals – Available Here Now

Guido Porro Barolo DOCG Vigna S. Caterina 2009($41.95) $29
Wine Spectator 93 points
“A mix of cherry, plum, eucalyptus and licorice aromas and flavors highlights this chewy red. Vibrant and juicy, with a firm yet mouthwatering finish. Best from 2017 through 2028.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average listed price is $32 / bottle


Guido Porro Barolo Lazzairasco 2008 ($47.95) $39 SALEBRATION special
Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media 94+ points
“Porro’s 2008 Barolo Vigna Lazzairasco impresses for its inner sweetness, perfumed fruit and soft, silky tannins. Guido Porro’s Baroli are never huge, but they are among the most elegant and refined wines of Serralunga. Hard candy, freshly cut mint and roses linger on the sublime finish. In 2008, the Lazzairasco is quite open, but it should also drink well for many years. This is a fabulous showing.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average listed price is $43 / bottle


Guido Porro Barolo DOCG Lazzairasco 2010 ($49.95) $33 SALEBRATION special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points, Antonio Galloni 94 points
“Bright aromas including wild cherry, red rose, white pepper and clove lead the nose on this structured but refined Barolo. Succulent Morello and black cherry, raspberry, mint, sage and black pepper seamlessly intertwine on the palate alongside exhilarating acidity and firm tannins. It promises great aging potential and complexity further down the road.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA!
The average listed price is $39 / bottle


Just a reminder about our current shipping specials during this season:

We offer flat rate shipping on any size single order / single shipment
-to Oregon for $17,
-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.



Flash Sale

Arriving Tuesday

Mischief & Mayhem Bourgogne Rouge 2011 ($29.95) $16 SALEBRATION pre-arrival special
Case-6: Mischief & Mayhem Bourgogne Rouge 2011 ($149.95) $89 pre-arrival special (that’s only $14.83 per bottle!)**
Winery notes
“Bright ruby red in color with a touch of pink at the rim. Extremely fine, warm nose of damsons, red cherry, clove, nutmeg and raspberry fruit. Excellent, soft mouthfeel, nicely integrated supple tannins, smooth and full with rich cherry pie, plum and vanilla notes, all balanced with a subtle acidic structure. Lovely even grip and balance leads into a dry, well rounded and full finish.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best listed price is over 50% higher at $24.99 / bottle




Wines of Sicily

The island of Sicily boasts exciting winemaking based on 2,500 year old traditions.  Its warm, Mediterranean climate combined with rich, volcanic soils host a multitude of grape varieties both native and newly imported.  In recent decades, Sicily has cast off its reputation for cheap wine produced from high yielding vines.  Since the 1980s, numerous local producers have made strides in refocusing the region on native varietals and high-quality international varietals that take advantage of the long ripening season and mineral-rich soils.

Sicily is known for several varieties grown almost exclusively on the island. Grecanico was identified recently to be genetically identical to Garganega, a grape grown in the Veneto region for the Soave DOC and DOCG.  Imported by the ancient Greeks to Sicily and producing highly aromatic white wines, Grecanico is often blended with Catarratto and
Inzolia to add aromas.  Frappato is a native light red wine grape that is low in tannins and highly aromatic. For centuries, native Nero d’Avola has been Sicily’s most widely planted red grape.  Mainly a blending grape for many years, the wine has only recently been produced into single varietal wines.  Nero d’Avola produces either a dark and rich oak-aged wine with chocolate notes or a juicy and fresh style with ripe red berry flavors. For those looking for ales robust, more Burgundy-like Sicilian wine, there is the lesser known Nerello Mascalesse. The grape has been grown around Mt. Etna for at least 200 years, along with its cousin Nerello Capuccio (a grape that sees much smaller production, and is often blended in small percentages with Mascalesse), Nerello Mascalesse is considered the most “noble” of Sicily’s grapes. Planted mainly in the Northeast portion of the island, Nerello is the most used grape in the Etna DOC, known for its lighter body in comparison to Nero d’Avola, and enjoyed for its fruity, herbaceous flavors, excellent minerality and earthy nuances.

One of Europe’s oldest viticultural regions, Sicily is still an area just gaining attention for its wines. The magic is in the fertile soil and Sicily’s long, cloudless summers—with humidity but virtually no rain from June until harvesting in late August—two factors which make Sicilian vintages remarkably consistent from year to year for rich, complex whites and marvelously vibrant reds.

Sicilian Wines – All Available Now

Gulfi Nerobufaleffj Nero D’Avola 2008 ($49.95) $36 special 14 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 (+?) points
“(14.5% alcohol):  Bright, dark red.  Very sweet, enticing aromas of red cherry, raspberry jam, cinnamon and marzipan.  Sweet, dense and silky, with lovely life to the rich, ripe red cherry and red berry jam flavors.  Finishes pure and very long, with a mineral nuance and melting tannins.  This opulent, almost Amarone-like red handles its 14.5% alcohol gracefully and doesn’t come across as hot or heavy.  Nero d’Avola and Sicilian red wine do not get much better than this, although those who prefer their reds bone-dry might be less enthusiastic than I.”

Gulfi Neromaccarj Nero D’Avola 2008 ($49.95) $37 special 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2008 Neromaccarj is one of the firmer, darker wines in this range. There is also an element of inner reserve that is utterly beguiling. Dark black cherries, plums, licorice and minerals sit on a firm backbone of tannins that give the wine its energy. Notable for its intensity and power, the 2008 brings together ripeness and structure in a complete wine that is an absolute joy to taste. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.”

Occhipinti Il Frappato Sicilia 2011 ($39.95) $33 special 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 points
“The juicy core of crushed black cherry, dark currant, spice and wild underbrush notes is supported by medium tannins and fresh acidity. Well-balanced and long. Drink now through 2016. ”

Occhipinti SP68 Bianco Sicilia 2013 ($27.95) $24 special 18 bottles available

Occhipinti SP68 Rosso Sicilia 2012 ($27.95) $24 SALEBRATION special 3+ cases available
Wine Spectator 90 points
“Light and elegant, with a pure, persistent mix of wild cherry and fresh crushed blackberry notes, backed by fresh acidity. The finish shows floral and mineral hints. Drink now through 2017. 1,550 cases imported. ”
Vinopolnote “This is the lowest listed price in the USA! The average listed price is $27 / bottle”

Riofavara Eloro Spaccaforno Nero D’avola 2011 ($24.95) $21.90 special


Passopisciaro’s Contradas are all 100% Nerello Mascalesse from different vineyards surrounding Mount Etna. Winemaker Andrea Franchetti pulls from different vineyards around the active volcano, all with different soil compositions, orientations and elevations to construct his five Contradas, or Crus, each with their own expression of the Nerello Mascalesse grape. The Passopisciaro Rosso is also 100% Nerello Mascalesse and is blended from all of the Contradas.
Passopisciaro Passopisciaro Rosso 2011 ($49.95) $41.90 special 18 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92+ points
“Bright red.  Captivating, extremely intense aromas of flinty red cherry and raspberry, lifted by violet and mineral notes.  Sappy, floral fruit shows lovely sweetness and energy thanks to well-integrated acidity and spicy mineral lift.  Dense, chewy and saline on the brisk finish, featuring youthful, building tannins.  Made from vines between 75 and 100 years of age, this is a star in the making–a truly great Passopisciaro and the best wine in this year’s releases of Sicilian wines from the talented Andrea Franchetti.”

Passopisciaro Contrada Chiappemacine 2011 ($69.95) $59 special 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 89+ points
“Medium red.  Musky raspberry, redcurrant, minerals, white flowers and a whiff of cough syrup on the nose.  Minerally, serious and tightly structured, with a restrained sweetness to the vibrant red fruit and herbal flavors.  The saline finish displays excellent length, serious tannins and a hint of orange peel.   The name refers to the Chiappemacine area of Etna; the vines here are 80 years old.”

Passopisciaro Contrada Guardiola 2011 ($79.95) $69 special 6 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90+ points
“Good full, bright red.  High-toned aromas of red cherry, cough drop, sweet spices and almond paste, plus a whiff of alcohol.  Sweet and juicy, with superb penetration to the vibrant mineral and red cherry flavors.  Very long wine with an electric, firmly tannic finish and excellent grip, but this needs time to smooth out.  A note of marzipan that is typical of the Guardiola cru repeats at the back.”

Passopisciaro Contrada Porcaria 2011 ($89.95) $79 special 5 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92+ points
“Good bright red.  Complex, highly perfumed scents of red cherry, raspberry, marzipan, iron, white flowers and peppery herbs.  Sweeter in the middle and more powerful than all the other cru bottlings from Passopisciaro in 2011, but with lively spicy lift.  Finishes ripe and long, with mouthcoating tannins, a hint of vanilla and repeating red cherry and berry notes.  A lovely wine, seemingly less austere than the other 2011s here.  The Porcaria cru area is my favorite, with its north-exposed 80-year-old vineyards, as the grapes in this section of Etna benefit from the longest, slowest ripening period and often give wines of mindblowing complexity.”

Passopisciaro Contrada Rampante 2011 ($69.95) $59 special 6 bottles available
Passopisciaro Contrada Sciaranuova 2011 ($79.95) $69 special 6 bottles available


With their estate at the base of Mount Etna, Tenuta delle Terre Nere wines are all composed of Nerello Mascalesse and Nerello Cappuccio. Terre Nere is revered for its bright, fresh red wines produced from their high elevation, old vine vineyards; the Guardiola cru has one of the highest elevation vineyards in all of Europe, while the Calderara cru contains Terre Nere’s small plot of pre-phylloxera vines.
Terre Nere Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana 2010 ($49.95) $34.50 special 8 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 91 points
“The 2010 Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana is a lovely introduction to the vintage at Terre Nere. Pine, menthol, red cherries and wild flowers all take shape in the glass. Firm tannins provide the backbone in this finely sculpted, chiseled Nerello Mascalese. Savory notes reappear to frame the bright, high-toned finish. If opened today, the 2010 will benefit from a few hours of air. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.”

Terre Nere Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana 2011 ($49.95) $39 special 19 bottles available

Terre Nere Etna Guardiola 2011 ($49.95) $39 special 9 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 (+?) points “Good full, deep red. Captivating, nuanced nose offers red cherry, redcurrant, brown spices, roast coffee, rose petal and licorice.  Sweet and subtle on the palate, with a wonderful aromatic character over a firm, smoothly tannic spine.  The long finish shows a lightly balsamic quality and hints of dried herbs and flinty spices.  This is bigger, richer and deeper than Santo Spirito, but needs time in the cellar thanks to high but harmonious acidity.”

Terre Nere Etna Rosso Fuedo Di Mezzo 2011 ($49.95) $39 special 7 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points
“A pretty version, with expressive floral, wild strawberry, crushed raspberry and red licorice notes, wrapped in juicy acidity and tightly knit yet integrated tannins. A tar-tinged streak of minerality underscores the palate, while accents of underbrush and spice box build on the finish. Drink now through 2026. 500 cases made”


Staff Picks

Harper Voit Surlie Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley 2013 ($21.95) $18 staff pick special

“Harper Voit’s Surlie is 100% Pinot Blanc.  The wine is made in tribute to the grape’s Burgundian roots where it has so often been replanted with the more economically viable Chardonnay.  This wine is fermented in neutral French oak barrels and is aged on the lees.  The results are a creamy mouthfeel and savory, leesy quality on the palate with a bright acidity.   There is a touch of floral aromas on the nose and a lingering salty finish.  It is an excellent pairing for poultry dishes, risotto or seafood.”

Yzaguirre Rojo Reserva Vermouth NV 1Liter ($31.95) $26 staff pick special
“Whether blending for the classic Manhattan, or just looking for something to pour over ice; this is the next sweet vermouth you should try. Smooth and silky, the Yzaguirre blends herb, citrus, spice and wood in a perfectly balanced aperitif. 12 months aging in oak barrels give consistency and a rich character. This is an all day, everyday drink, enjoy it simply with ice and a twist of orange; my favorite.”


Pre-Arrival Highlight

Champagne Specials

Pierre Peters

Pierre Péters, located in the southern Côte des Blancs, universally is considered one of the top growers in Champagne, with bottlings regularly achieving outstanding reviews from critics. Founded in 1919 under the name Camille Péters, the Pierre Peters estate was one of the first growers in Champagne to bottle and sell wine under their own label.

By 1929 the house was a full Récoltant-Manipulant, managing every step in their champagne’s production from vineyard to bottle.  When Camille’s son Pierre took over in the 1940s and renamed the domaine, he began increasing production, expanding vineyard holdings and focusing on foreign markets. Pierre’s son François furthered these efforts after taking over in 1967.

Rodolphe Péters, Francois’ son, took over the reins of this venerable estate in 2008, becoming the fourth generation to lead the estate. Today, the Pierre Peters estate consists of 18 hectares of vineyards, predominantly in the grand cru of Les Mesnil-sur-Oger along with smaller holdings in several other grand crus (Oger, Avize and Cramant). These great terroirs, all Grand Cru Chardonnay, are located a few miles south of Epernay and are on a chalk outcrop, providing plenty of water to the vines. These hillside vineyards are oriented to the east, protecting them against the westerly winds. Péters viticulture is environmentally conscious without being dogmatic. Rodolphe uses sustainable farming methods and aims to produce the best grapes. The very simplistic wine-making and low dosage add a further dimension and complexity to the wine that make it a perfect drink for any occasion, grand or casual.

The Domaine has maintained, and perhaps even improved, quality throughout its generations, and the enthusiasm for their wines continues to grow.  The top wine of Pierre Péters is the “Les Chetillons” (“Cuvée Spéciale,”) considered to be one of the best single-vineyard champagnes of the Côte des Blancs. It comes from three small parcels in the vineyard of Les Chétillons that were acquired by the family in 1930. One of the most highly-regarded sites within Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, these vines in the oldest plot of 80 acres are 68 years old with the rest of the vines averaging 50 years old. The Cuvée Spéciale has been pure Chétillons ever since it was created in 1971. At that time, it was sold as a Spécial Club wine until François Péters left the Club in 1981. 2000 was the first vintage of Cuvée Spéciale to state the name of the vineyard on the label, Les Chetillons. Each parcel is vinified separately and blended to produce a single vineyard vintage. Chétillons offers a chance to witness one of Champagne’s best growers working in one of the greatest sites for Chardonnay. The results are gorgeous, as noted wine writer Peter Liem states, “there’s no denying this wines’ quality.”

Pierre Peters Champagnes Available Here Now 

Pierre Peters Cuvee Reserve Blanc De Blancs NV 1.5 LITER ($149.95) $119 special 14 magnums available
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The NV Brut Cuvee de Reserve is striking. It shows fabulous cut and definition in its fruit, expressive aromatics all backed up by plenty of underlying structure. A bright, mineral laced finish rounds things out in style. This is superb entry-level wine from one of Champagne’s top producers. The Cuvee Reserve is 100% Chardonnay. This year’s release is based on 2008 (60%), with reserve wines going back to 1988, precisely 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1995-2007 (except 1999 and 2003). ”

Pierre Peters Cuvee Reserve Blanc De Blancs NV 375ML ($37.95) $27 special  6 half bottles available
Burghound 93 points
“A stunningly elegant nose of pure floral, Granny Smith apples, spice and freshly sliced lemon complements to perfection the intense and equally pure flavors that possess excellent punch like remain delicate and ultra-refined on the balanced and persistent finish. The supporting mousse displays a very find bead and the overall impression is one of subtlety and grace. Not only is this a wonderful effort but the value it offers it beyond stunning.”

Champagne Arriving in November

Pierre Peters Cuvee Reserve Blanc De Blancs NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Pierre Peters Cuvee Reserve Blanc De Blancs NV 3LITER ($449.95) $319 pre-arrival special
Burghound 93 points
“A stunningly elegant nose of pure floral, Granny Smith apples, spice and freshly sliced lemon complements to perfection the intense and equally pure flavors that possess excellent punch like remain delicate and ultra-refined on the balanced and persistent finish. The supporting mousse displays a very find bead and the overall impression is one of subtlety and grace. Not only is this a wonderful effort but the value it offers it beyond stunning.”
March 2013 disgorgement

Pierre Peters Cuvee Speciale Les Chetillons Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut 2007 ($149.95) $129 pre-arrival special
Pierre Peters Cuvee Speciale Les Chetillons Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut 2007 1.5L ($319.95) $269 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“What a pleasure it is to taste the 2007 Cuvée Spéciale Les Chétillons. An absolutely impeccable Champagne, the 2007 is gorgeous today. Crushed flowers, sage, almonds, lemon peel and ripe, juicy pears inform the supple, resonant finish. In 2007, the Chétillons is a model of grace and finesse. This is the first vintage Rodolphe Péters made from start to finish, and he nailed it.”

Pierre Peters Cuvee Rose for Albane Brut NV ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points:
“The NV Brut Rosé per Albane is drop-dead gorgeous. Perfumed, ethereal and beguiling, the Albane is both incredibly delicate and full of flavor. Sweet floral notes, red berries, mint and crushed rocks linger on the bright, crystalline finish. The long, brilliant finish leaves a lasting impression. The Albane is 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Meunier, an unusual combination. This bottle was disgorged in March 2013.”

Champagne Geoffroy

Champagne Geoffroy was founded in the 1600s and today owns 14 hectares of vineyards in the Marne Valley.  After World War 2, the Geoffroy family focused their efforts on making their own Champagne wines and in the 1970s they stopped selling their grapes.  Jean-Baptiste is the fifth generation of the family to operate it.  He is passionate and energetic, constantly challenging norms and experimenting with improvements.  He recently moved production into a new gravity-flow winery in downtown Aÿ that also increased his space to work.  He planted a field-blend plot that includes the three standard Champagne varieties along with Petit Meslier and Arbanne.  Jean-Baptiste is a member of the Ampelos group of growers that practices integrated pest management, known as Lutte Raisonnee in French.  The group limits the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides in their vineyard to just shy of organic.  Integrated pest management encourages the use of cover crops and natural predators to limit pests and weeds.

Geoffroy wines show a vibrancy and energy often not found in other Champagnes from the village of Cumieres in the Marne Valley.  Cumieres’ sunny slopes face south-east and are some of the first vineyards harvested in Champagne.  It is the land of red wine grapes, and most of the estate’s vines are Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  Due to the greater warmth of the region, Jean-Baptiste guards against any malolactic fermentation in his wines, which helps them to retain higher acidity and brightness and allows for a greater aging potential.  He only uses the first 1,800 liters from the press for the “cuvee” or first juice drawn off, which is 200 liters less than standard.  These 200 liters are instead included in the “premiere taille” the first pressing after the cuvee to increase the quality of the premiere taille.  The resulting Champagnes are bright, dramatic and full of complex red-fruit aromas for which the Marne Valley is famous.

Champagne Geoffroy Wines Available Here Now

Champagne Geoffroy Empreinte Premier Cru Brut 2006 375ML ($31.95) $26 special 9 half-bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“(76% pinot noir, 14% chardonnay and 10% pinot meunier, all from 2006; disgorged 05/12/11): Light gold. Musky citrus pith, redcurrant and pear skin on the nose, complicated by scents of licorice and spicecake. A broad, sappy Champagne that offers gently sweet blood orange and pear flavors, with hints of toasty lees and dried rose adding complexity. Finishes with strong thrust and noteworthy clarity, spiciness and energy.”

Champagne Geoffroy Blanc de Rose Extra Brut NV ($119.95) $89 special 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“Light orange-pink. High-pitched, incisive aromas of fresh red berries, blood orange, white pepper and rose, with a strong mineral component. Dry and focused in the mouth, showing noteworthy intensity to the zesty strawberry, raspberry and bitter rhubarb flavors. The mineral and floral notes repeat on the long, sappy, penetrating finish, which features an intense spicy quality. I love this vibrant, pure style of rose Champagne.”

Champagne Geoffroy Extra Brut 2002 1.5L ($319.95) $279 special 4 magnums available
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2002 Extra Brut Millesime is a rich, broad shouldered wine graced with tons of fruit. Vinification in French oak barriques gives the wine considerable depth, volume and spiciness. Layers of ripe, expressive varietal fruit flow from this rich, dramatic Champagne. A caressing, multi-dimensional finish rounds things out in style. As good as this is – and it is outstanding – I prefer Geoffroy’s wines made in steel. The blend is 60% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Meunier, with 2 grams per liter of dosage”

Champagne Geoffroy Cumieres Pinot Noir Coteaux Champenois 2006 – Non-sparkling ($69.95) $59 special 4 bottles available
Importer’s note
“The 2006 Cumieres Rouges is a still red made from Pinot Noir. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation and spent one year in barrel.  The Pinot Noir for the Rouge Millesime comes from Premier Cru sites in Cumieres.”

Champagne MargaineNotes from the Importer:
“Villers-Marmery is an anomaly in the Montagne de Reims, an island of Chardonnay in a sea of Pinot Noir creating near Blanc de Blancs and giving the most simply delicious Champagnes in this portfolio.  These can be some of the most hauntingly beautiful and original Champagnes you can drink.  The clone of Chardonnay used by Margaine in Villers-Marmery is specific to this area and cannot be found in other parts of Champagne.

“Arnaud Margaine took over this six and a half hectare estate from his father Bernard  in 1989 and is the fourth generation of his family to work these vineyards in the Mogntagne de Reims. The estate was founded in the 1920s and was expanded by Bernard in the 1950s. In 1977 Bernard joined the Special Club and Arnaud has continued his father’s commitment to high quality champagnes and continues to improve his raw materials in the vineyard.

“The majority of Margaine’s holdings are in the village of Villers-Marmery, a 95% village for Chardonnay, and the parcels here are old averaging about 32 years. Margaine also has a small parcel of Pinot Noir in the village of Verzy.

“The methods at this estate are not formulaic and Arnaud continues to experiment with new ideas in both the vineyard and the cellar. He prefers to make decisions in the cellar based on what he feels the wines need, rather than what was done in the previous year. Arnaud is preventing malolactic fermentation in a higher proportion of the wines, saying that he finds that non-malo wines have more freshness of fruit. ‘It’s not just the acidity’ he says, ‘but the fruit as well. With the malo you lose a little of that fresh fruitiness.’”

Champagne Margaine Wines Available Here Now

A. Margaine Brut Cuvee Traditionelle NV ($49.95) $36 special 15 bottles available
A. Margaine Brut Cuvee Traditionelle NV 375ML ($27.95) $24 special 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 91 points
“The NV Brut Cuvee Traditionelle shows fabulous intensity and sheer class. Citrus, flowers and crushed rock are some of the nuances that emerge from this beautifully delineated Champagne. A gorgeous, ethereal finish rounds things out in style. The blend is 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, 52% 2008 juice plus reserves spanning 2007 (20%), 2005 (8%), 2004 (12%), and 2000 (8%), with partial malolactic fermentation. Dosage is 8.5 grams per liter. Disgorged July 10, 2011.”

A. Margaine Extra Brut NV ($59.95) $49 special 12+ bottles available
Wine Spectator & Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“A sleek style, with racy acidity and flavors of crunchy white peach, persimmon, toasted brioche and lemon curd. Chalk and smoke notes hint at an underlying minerality and linger on the finish.” WS

A. Margaine Special Club Brut 2008 ($79.95) $69 special  9 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“(aged for four years on its lees and disgorged in July of 2013): Green-tinged yellow. Sexy aromas of candied lemon and orange, white flowers and ginger. Mineral and white pepper notes add lift and bite to ripe, deep citrus and orchard fruit flavors. The mineral note drives the delineated, long finish.”

A. Margaine Blanc De Blancs 2006 1.5L ($159.95) $137 special 6 magnums available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“Light gold. White peach, pear, smoky minerals and buttered toast on the sexy, highly perfumed nose. At once rich and lithe, with crackling minerality giving lift and verve to the wine’s intense pit and orchard fruit flavors. Sappy, fine-grained and pure, finishing long and precise, with hints of licorice and iodine.”

A. Margaine Champagnes Arriving November 7th

A. Margaine Demi-Sec NV 375ML ($27.95) $24 pre-arrival special
A. Margaine Demi-Sec NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
“(made from 90% chardonnay and 10% pinot noir, with 32 g/l dosage; this has the same vintage breakdown as the Traditionelle Brut bottling; disgorged July, 2012):  Light gold.  A pungent bouquet displays scents of honey, poached pear, peach nectar and blonde tobacco.  Sappy and gently sweet citrus and pit fruit flavors are given lift by gentle acidity and pick up marzipan and floral qualities with air.  The pit fruit and floral notes linger on a long, spicy, clinging finish.  This would be a great Champagne to serve alongside strong-smelling or salty cheeses.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The NV Demi-Sec offers lively richness from the additional dosage (31 grams/liter) yet never loses its essential minerality and sheer brilliance. White flowers, spices, pears and citrus notes are layered into the generous, inviting finish. This is another strong showing from Margaine. The Demi-Sec is the same blend as the Cuvee Traditionelle, which is to say 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir, 52% 2008 juice plus reserves spanning 2007 (20%), 2005 (8%), 2004 (12%), and 2000 (8%), the only difference is the dosage.”

Maison Pol Roger is one of the last Great Houses of Champagne to remain family-owned. Pol Roger founded the house after selling his first wine in 1849. His father’s sudden illness thrust him into business at the age of 18. He produced his wine in the Brut style, which was much preferred by consumers in Great Britain, where he quickly established a strong base. His sons, Maurice and Georges, took over the business after his death in 1899. They oversaw the expansion of the brand despite a massive cellar collapse that destroyed several buildings, Prohibition in the US, and the two World Wars. In honor of their father, they changed their last name to Pol-Roger.

Today, the winery sources almost 50% of its fruit from 200 acres of estate vineyards. The rest is from Premier and Grand Cru vineyards rated 95 points or higher on the Echelle des Crus system, making their sourced grapes some of the highest quality available to the Grand Marques. Each lot is vinified and aged separately before the final blending takes place. The Vintage wines are made from at least 60% Pinot Noir. The Brut NV is a blend of all three major Champagne grape varietals. The base wines are at least 3 years old.

Pol Roger Wines Arriving December 2014

Pol Roger Brut 2004 ($119.95) $79 pre-arrival special
From the producer:
“Our ‘Brut Vintage’ combines the intensity of the best Pinot Noirs of the Montagne de Reims and the elegance of the finest Chardonnays of the Cote des Blancs.  The former contribute the body, the strength and the longevity of this Champagne, while the second bring its aromatic intensity, its finesse and its lightness.  The ‘vintage’ stands out thanks to its intense yellow gold hue, its sparkle, its delicate bouquet of aromas (fresh fruit, white flowers and sweet spices) and a fresh, velvety fullness on the palate, rich in wonderful tastes of fruit and pastries.  Such are its charm and fullness that you have the choice: to succumb immediately to the pleasure of enjoying it on all occasions, or to put off this pleasure for a few more years.”

Pol Roger Brut Rose 2004 ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“Light, bright orange.  Intense, spice-accented aromas of candied orange, redcurrant and fresh flowers, with sneaky mineral and leesy notes.  Supple and expansive, offering vibrant citrus fruit and red berry flavors with complicating notes of cinnamon and pear skin.  Finishes silky and long, with resonating spiciness and excellent clarity.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2004 Brut Rose Extra Cuvee de Reserve is quite fruity and vinous at first but then the minerality kicks in, giving the wine its energy and sense of focus. Crushed flowers, spices and mint unfold in the glass, adding complexity and nuance. Overall, this is a fairly delicate, feminine style of Rose that can be enjoyed as an aperitif or alongside a meal. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.”

Pol Roger Brut Rose 2006 ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
From the producer
: “Champagne is only really necessary in two precise cases: when you are happy and when you are unhappy.  Given that quality, our ‘rose vintage’ was conceived to accompany the special moments of your life.
“The obtain a full, round and fruity wine, with a delicate hue and subtle, complex, attractive aromas, both on the nose and on the palate, it is necessary to add to our traditional blend 15% of Pinot Noir of the same vintage, vinified as a red wine.
“Its relatively pale salmon pink colour, the festive feel of its tiny bubbles flowing freely, its elegant nose, package with the aromas of soft red fruit, its equally fruity palate, harmoniously combining body and finesse, fresh and vinous at the same time…
“This is a Champagne of sensuality and refinement, second to none as an aperitifs, excellent with crustaceans, salmon, poultry, lightly cooked meats, small game birds and red fruit desserts.”

Pol Roger Brut Blanc De Blancs 2002 ($134.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 95 points
“Pale gold.  Intense, mineral-dominated aromas of candied citrus fruits, pear, anise, smoky lees and chamomile, plus a sexy floral nuance and a hint of sweet butter.  Palate-staining orchard and citrus fruit flavors show outstanding depth and energy, picking up chalky mineral and spice notes with air.  Strikingly concentrated and precise wine with strong finishing punch and noteworthy persistence.  This concentrated, deftly balanced Champagne is built for a long, graceful evolution.”

Pol Roger Brut Blanc De Blancs 2004 ($134.95) $99 pre-arrival special
From the producer:
“Made exclusively from the finest Chardonnays of the Cote des Blancs, this wine is the lace of Champagne.  Ideally, it often requires several years of ageing in the cellar to reach full maturity and reveal superb finesse, the peak of elegance and freshness.
“The brightness of its green gold colour, the liveliness of its fine, creamy bubbles, seemingly never-ending, the harmony of its pleasant, elegant nose, combining the scent of white flowers the aromas of dried fruit, the lightness of its delicate flavours (vanilla, brioche and toasted almonds)…
“A talented Champagne, to be drunk as an aperitif, or as the ideal accompaniment for light hors d’oeuvre, seafood or the noblest of fish prepared with the greatest simplicity.  All you need to do, whenever you choose to drink it, is to allow this wine to express its qualities!”

Pol Roger Brut Sir Winston Churchill 2000 ($279.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The first thing that is evident about the 2000 Brut Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill is its finesse and total silkiness. The 2000 is a rich, creamy and deeply expressive Winston Churchill. I don’t see the 2000 being an especially long-term ager, but it is wonderfully radiant and open today. Hints of pastry, spice, apricots and succulent ripe pears blossom on the expansive, broad-shouldered finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2030.”

Pol Roger Brut Sir Winston Churchill 2002 ($279.95) $228 pre-arrival special
Pol Roger Brut Sir Winston Churchill 2002 1.5L ($549.95) $479 pre-arrival special
From the producer:
“In 1975, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his death, we wished to pay tribute to this great friend of our family by creating the ‘Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill.’
“Our references were the qualities he enjoyed in Champagne: robustness, structure and maturity.  Even if its exact composition remains a jealously guarded secret, the blend reflects Sir Winston Churchill’s spirit and character.
“Its deep old gold hue, its infinitely fine and sparkling bubbles, its nose which brings into play dried fruit, strongly-scented flowers and pastries, its rich palate, moderately honeyed, tenderly spicy…
“This rare wine, appreciated by lovers of exceptional Champagne, is an unforgettable pleasure as an aperitif.  Allow it to express itself in your glass; observe it, listen to it, smell it and discover its numerous and complex aromas.  Then, and only then, taste it, to grasp not only its richness, but all its nuances.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Time to Say Goodbye 

Since its first vintage in 1983, Clerico Arte has been an innovative wine. Blended by Domenico Clerico and Marc de Grazia together, this Nebbiolo/Barbera wine was originally an experimental lab for Domenico while he began learning to use French oak barriques to mature his wines in. Today it’s less about experimenting and just about a wonderfully complex, yet elegant wine made mostly with Nebbiolo, and a small percentage of Barbera. An extremely approachable expression of Nebbiolo , Arte is known for its rich body and a darker, slightly sweeter fruit component than Barolo. It’s a wonderful wine for someone to begin learning about the powerful nature of Nebbiolo and wines from the Barolo area without taking on a Barolo first; which require extended aging before reaching prime drinking age.

Clerico Langhe Rosse Arte 2011 1.5LITER ($89.95) $69 special
Case-3 Clerico Langhe Rosse Arte 2011 1.5LITER ($269.95) $189 special (that’s only $63 / magnum!)**
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“(90% nebbiolo and 10% barbera; aged for 18 months in new French oak):  Good medium red.  Perfumed aromas and flavors of plum, redcurrant, tobacco and spices.  Intense and vibrant, with lovely inner-mouth aromatic lift.  Very classy, delineated wine.”




**Case Prices are offered on a limited time, limited quantity basis.
Prices are subject to change