Monday Newsletter – October 29th, 2018

In Today’s Newsletter:

New Arrivals
Trend Alert: Passopisciaro
Coveted K Syrahs
Don’t Let These Be…

In Stock Cellar Treasures
Domaine Huet:
2015 / 2016 / 2017

Staff Pick
Coche-Dury Rouge
Hudelot-Noëllat’s Superb Vosne

New Arrivals


Crowley Entre Nous Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Winery note “The 2016 Entre Nous party is joined by our latest Dundee Hills vineyard, Oracle! Owned and operated by great friends and winemakers David Autrey and Amy Wesselman (of Westrey Winery), we’re excited and proud to have this vineyard in the stable. Oracle is high in the Dundee Hills and its Pommard fits in with the cerebral and complex theme that Entre Nous always has going for it. Beautiful and clear, the color seems to capture just about every available option for Pinot Noir.  Graphite, warm spice, pepper and resin set the tone while cherry and pomegranate lay back on the nose. Clean lines and mouthwatering acidity give way to succulence and soft tannin. Anise and orange peel mix it up with traces of maple which contribute to the typical “what the heck is going on here” reaction Entre Nous gets. It delivers mystery. It’s a challenging and rewarding wine. It finds its people and “between us” continues to take on meaning through the unique and personal experience this wine offers. It’s different for everybody…and that’s a good thing!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Orin Swift ‘8 Years in the Desert’ Zinfandel, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
VinopolNote: The 2nd vintage of winemaker David Phinney’s newest Zinfandel-based project!

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

“Readers who can find it should not hesitate, as it is a magical bottle”
Krug Vintage Brut 2004, Champagne, Gift Box Packaged 750ML ($299.95) $259 special
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “Krug’s 2004 Vintage is absolutely mesmerizing. Layers of bright, chiseled fruit open up effortlessly as the wine fleshes out with time in the glass. Persistent and beautifully focused, with a translucent sense of energy, the 2004 captures all the best qualities of the year. Moreover, the 2004 is clearly superior to the consistently underwhelming 2002 and the best Krug Vintage since 1996. Readers who can find it should not hesitate, as it is a magical bottle.”
Decanter 97 points “This is the current and latest vintage release from Krug, and is a fitting successor to 2002, though it’s very different in style – unusually, the blend contains more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir. Despite this, it is hallmark Krug with its oxidative profile. It has a luminous freshness and good density without heaviness. There’s a controlled power to this poised, vinous, linear 2004, displaying candied fruits, minerals, gingerbread, white chocolate, caramel and marzipan. This has a long, dry autolytic finish, great balance and lovely bead. Disgorged just after the next, and very different, vintage we tasted, the Krug 2003. Drinking Window 2017-2037.”


Domaine Matrot Bourgogne Chardonnay, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery note “[Translated] This white wine made from Chardonnay harvested near the Meursault appellation vineyards. It is fruity and round, drink it as an aperitif or serve it with charcuterie, grilled chicken and fish. A good wine to drink with good friends.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Domaine Louis Michel & Fils Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91-93 points “Healthy pale-medium yellow. Musky lime zest, hazelnut and minerals on the nose, with a suggestion of riper fruits. The most complex of these 2016s in the mouth, displaying lovely breadth, refinement and inner-mouth energy to its rich yellow fruit and mineral flavors. A crushed stone quality gives firmness and cut to the wine’s long finish. Really spreads out and vibrates on the lively back end. Nicely done.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Louis Michel & Fils Montee de Tonnerre, Chablis Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 90-92 points “Light-medium yellow. A step up in aromatic complexity from the rest of the Louis Michel premier crus, but with its shy fruit element currently overshadowed by smoky oyster-shell minerality. Similarly, the wine’s stone and citrus fruit flavors are dominated in the early going by rich, saline, rocky minerality. This structured wine finishes precise, shapely, firm and long. Excellent potential here, but this will need cellaring.”


Domaine La Roquete Chateauneuf-du-Pape Clos La Roquete Blanc, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $36 special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Intense, with creamed papaya, Cavaillon melon and Jonagold apple flavors pouring forth, underscored by heather honey, almond and salted butter notes. The long finish has a bitter citrus hint to help the length match the weight. Drink now through 2019. 100 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $51

Domaine de Saje Marquis Anselme Mathieu Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “I enjoyed all of the wines from this estate, but I was blown away by the complexity and purity of the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Marquis Anselme Mathieu, which was made in concrete and aged in foudre. Not only does it show beautiful cherry and stone fruit notes, it layers on hints of clove, allspice, garrigue and green peppercorn. There’s ample weight and texture on the palate, with the plush tannins drawing to a silky, spicy finish that lingers for minutes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine de Fontavin Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee David & Goliath, Rhone 2015 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “A hugely impressive effort, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape David et Goliath favors the giant. Christmas spices and dark fruit both lead the way and linger on the finish. The real story is the wine’s richness on the palate, where it packs a velvety wallop of soft, plush tannins. It’s 95% Grenache from Les Saumades, matured in demi-muids.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Hauts de Julien, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Vinsobres Les Hauts De Julien comes from the Vinsobres region, which is a cooler terroir located in the northern part of the southern Rhône. Based largely on very old vine Syrah blended with Grenache, it offers a vibrant purple color as well as a sensational bouquet of blueberries, cracked pepper, violets, lavender, and exotic spices. Incredibly textured, full-bodied, deep, and opulent, with awesome purity of fruit, it’s another sensational vintage for this cuvée that would pass undetected in a blind lineup of top Cornas. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $44

Brunier Piedlong Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
James Suckling 95 points “10 hectares of elevated Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this is an hommage to grenache with just a hatful of mourvèdre. Ripe raspberry and red plum pastry aromas. Super silky, plush and layered. Extremely impressive. Shows fluidity and balance, density and lightness. 50% stalks (crushed).”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Jeb Dunnuck-Rhone Report 97 points “The finest vintage to date, better even than the stellar 2010, the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert is a gorgeous, deep, layered, and incredibly satisfying Crozes. Blackcurrants, olive tapenade, truffles and earthy notes all emerge from this full-bodied, gorgeously textured and seamless 2015. With fine tannin and no hard edge, it can be drunk today or cellaring for 15-20 years.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Inky ruby. Suave, mineral-accented scents of ripe blueberry, black currant and Indian spices, along with a slowly emerging floral component. Plush, broad and deeply concentrated, displaying black and blue fruit, licorice and mocha flavors that are energized by an intense, peppery overtone. Finishes extremely long, fleshy and sweet, delivering intense mineral thrust, a subtle cracked pepper nuance and youthful, building tannins.”
Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2015 reds from the Northern Rhône are truly spectacular and this vintage rivals or surpasses the 2010s and 2009s. Brought up in a mix of tronconique tanks and Burgundy barrels (20% being new), the 2015 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert is a big, serious, full-bodied effort that’s reminiscent of a slightly softer version of the 2010. Scorched earth, black fruits, cassis, black olive and a hint of graphite all emerge from this sensational Crozes Hermitage. You’ll need to forget bottles for 4-5 years, but it will have over two decades of longevity.”


Isole e Olena Collezione Privata Chardonnay Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
James Suckling 94 points “A pretty chard, showing limes, green apples, kiwis, cinnamon and vanilla. Full body, creamy texture with fresh acidity. I like the roundness here. The finish is harmonious and long. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($119.95) $85 special
Wine Enthusiast 99 points “Enticing aromas of ripe berry, chopped herb, new leather, tobacco and a whiff of eucalyptus all mingle together on this gorgeous, vibrant red. The stunning, savory palate boasts juicy red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and star anise while firm refined tannins and vibrant acidity lend structure and balance. It’s already extraordinary and elegant but also young and primary, so give it time to fully develop. Drink 2023–2043.”
James Suckling 98 points “Fantastic aromas of blueberries, plums, bark and wet earth follow through to a full body, velvety and polished tannins and a wonderful finish. Refined and persistent on the finish. Drink in 2019 and onwards.”
Ian d’Agata – Vinous 97 points “Good full pale ruby-red. Knockout aromas and flavors of red cherry, raspberry, licorice and minerals, complicated by hints of iris and violet. Extremely suave and polished on the extremely long, pure, mineral finish. Deeper, richer, more tannic and longer than the lovely 2013 Brunello Classico from Altesino, this is an absolutely beautiful Brunello. I especially like that the pristine, refined aromas and flavors of the famed Montosoli site are showcased to maximum effect here. One of the best Brunellos of the vintage.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “Balsamic notes of juniper, sage and eucalyptus are buried underneath the cherry and plum fruit in this expressive, supple red, which is dense and well-structured, with terrific balance and a long iron and saline aftertaste. Just a tad richer and broader than the blended Brunello. Best from 2021 through 2038.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “This celebrated single-vineyard wine follows through with many of the attractive themes presented in the base Brunello, only you get more robust intensity and power here. The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli is slightly more angular and edgy. You don’t get the same immediate silkiness that you find in the non-vineyard-specific alternative. This wine plays up its structure with firm tannins and solid building blocks of red fruit and spice. There is a sweet note of clove or cinnamon on the close.”

The average price nationally is $103

Bodegas Allegro con Spirito Monte Hiniesta, Toro 2011 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Bodegas Allegro con Spirito Monte Hiniesta, Toro 2011 750ML ($179.95) $141.90 special (that’s only $11.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2011 Monte Hiniesta comes from six parcels of 65-year-old vines that are cultivated bio-dynamically. The wine is raised in new and second year French barrels. It has a gorgeous, vivacious, ravishing bouquet of wild strawberry, maraschino cherry and dark plum that is beautifully delineated. The palate is succulent on the entry with plush tannins, crisp acidity and a compact, fruit-driven finish that deserves another two years to unfurl. The aftertaste is very long, with hints of spice and white pepper. This represents great value. Drink 2014-2020.”


Trend Alert!

Island Vibes and Mountain Highs

Mt Etna’s “Best Ever”


“Owner Andrea Franchetti and his team turned in Sicily’s (and one Italy’s) best wine performances of the year. Simply put, it’s nearly impossible this year to pick a favorite red wine from Passopisciaro’s many offerings, with one gorgeous, ageworthy wine after another made from the single contrada and a truly memorable Passorosso blend that strikes me as the best of them all. The 2014 vintage will long be remembered as one of Etna’s best ever, and Passopisciaro has created what look like truly epic wines.” –Ian d’Agata, Vinous

Passopisciaro Passorosso Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily 2014 750ML ($59.95) $39 special
Case-6 Passopisciaro Passorosso Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily 2014 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
Passopisciaro Passorosso Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily 2014 1.5L ($99.95)
$79 special
Ian d’Agata 97 points “Bright red-ruby. The captivating nose combines strawberry, raspberry, minerals, violet and flint aromas. Creamy-sweet but amazingly light on its feet, offering palate-staining, perfumed flavors of soft red berries, ripe red cherry, vanilla, aromatic herbs and crushed rock. Rich, ripe and suave, but displays a penetrating, saline and energetic quality that gives this beauty a three-dimensional mouthfeel and a light-on-its-feet quality. Finishes with great length and wonderfully polished tannins. Absolute knockout wine: from a memorable vintage on Etna, this is most likely the best Passorosso ever (in earlier vintages, it used to be called simply Passopisciaro). Mainly Nerello Mascalese.”
Grapelive 95 points “Passopisciaro is one of Sicily’s stars, making volcanic reds that are often compared to the finest Premier Crus of Burgundy. None of that seemed possible back in 2000, when Passopisciaro founder, Andrea Franchetti [of Tenuta di Trinoro in Tuscany] first visited Sicily. He searched out an estate and finally picked out abandoned vineyards on the northern side of Mount Etna. [It offers] the unique characteristics of high-elevation terraces of highly varied black [and] lava soils that give these amazing wines their terroir character. In recent years Franchetti’s Passopisciaro, all biodynamic, has been one of world’s most talked about estates, making a wine of real impact from Etna’s Nerello Mascalese grape. [He crafts] a fuller bodied version with a touch more extract and a darker hue than some of his neighbors, while still being true to traditional norms and using grapes from Cru sites known locally as Contradas. Passopisciaro does five single-vineyard bottlings from each contrada that Franchetti gets fruit from, these include Rampante, Sciaranuova, Guardiola, Porcaria, and Chiappemacine, as well as doing this multi-site Etna Rosso cuvee Passorosso, which is now a DOC. This 2014 Passopisciaro Passorosso is 100% Nerello Mascalese from vines that were planted between 1913-1943. It was fermented using specially picked yeast in cold stainless steel vats before finishing malos and aging in French casks, mostly neutral big barrels, for 18 months, finishing at a serious 15% natural alcohol, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. The 2014 Passorosso is richly textured, with classic smoky notes and spicy red fruits before opening up and gaining layer after layer including macerated cherries, strawberry, plum and raspberry fruits along with licorice, lavender oil, red pepper and flinty mineral tones. This medium/full pure Nerello Mascalese has a beautiful and textural glycerin and wonderful length. Its palate is luxurious and satiny, while still having serious impact and vitality. This is a winery to discover if you haven’t yet!”

Coveted K Syrahs

Don’t Let These Be…

Charles Smith K Vintners The Beautiful Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2015 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 35 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points
“Co-fermented with 3% Viognier, the 2015 Syrah The Beautiful is fabulous, bursting from the glass with exotic aromas of violets, blackberries, panforte, black olives and lychee nuts (fanciful though that mélange sounds). On the palate, it’s full-bodied, velvety and lavishly textural, cutting a broad swath across the palate, with a deep core of dark fruit and pungent savory nuance, concluding with a fine-grained, mouthwateringly sapid finish. It’s a compelling Syrah that brooks no argument.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “Co-fermented with 4% Viognier, the 2015 Syrah The Beautiful Powerline Vineyard was fermented with plenty of stems and brought up mostly in neutral oak. Candied violets, game, blackcurrants, and incense notes all emerge from this beautiful, seamless beauty. It has a rich, full-bodied profile on the palate as well as a great mid-palate, fine tannin, and nicely integrated acidity. This is another singular, layered, silky beauty from this team. Keep in mind, this comes from very young vines, so I suspect the best is yet to come here, which is saying something at this quality level.”“It’s unquestionably one of the greatest Syrah from this team”
Charles Smith K Vintners The Hidden Syrah, Wahluke Slope 2015 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points
“One of the inkier, blacker colored wines in the lineup, the 2015 Syrah The Hidden is a profound Syrah and as good as it gets. Blackcurrants, smoked meats, graphite, and tapenade notes all emerge from this seriously badass, deep, rich, balanced beauty. Concentrated, thick, and huge, yet with no weight on the palate, building tannin, and incredible elegance, it needs to be tasted to be believed. It’s unquestionably one of the greatest Syrah from this team.”
Wine Advocate 96+ points “Inky and wild, the 2015 Syrah The Hidden Northridge Vineyard offers up a savory bouquet of grilled meat, licorice, blackberries, cherries and cracked black pepper. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, ample and rich, with an authoritatively chewy chassis of fine-grained tannins and bright, succulent acids. There’s a lot of fruit and power here but plenty of savory nuance to match it. This is even more massive than the Syrah Cattle King, but it’s more nuanced too. Given the structure, it will need some time in the cellar, so forget it for 4 or 5 years and follow it for the next 15.”

The Deal, indeed.
Charles Smith K Vintners The Deal Sundance Vineyard Syrah, Columbia Valley 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points
“All from the Sundance Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, the 2015 Syrah The Deal (100% Syrah, not destemmed and aged in 30% new puncheons) offers smoking notes of red and black fruits, black olive, smoked earth and a huge meatiness. Full-bodied, silky and seamless, with a rock, mineral, backward style.”

Cellar Treasures

For Now & Later

In Stock Now:

Straight from the winery’s cellar. Profound & profoundly age-worthy
Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello, Santa Cruz Mountains 1995 1.5L ($799.95) $699 special, 4 magnums in stock now
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“[Tasted in July 2016] The 1995 Monte Bello is powerful, bright and incisive. At twenty years of age, the 1995 retains gorgeous, refreshing acidity that gives the wine lift and energy. The 1995 is a brooding Monte Bello, with darker tonalities of fruit and accompanying notes of smoke, licorice, spice, menthol, tobacco and cedar. Although the 1995 is striking today, it could also use more time in bottle, as it remains a touch compact and austere, especially next to the 2012 and 2002 tasted alongside it. Readers who enjoy cool, mineral and savory inflected Cabernets will adore the 1995, a wine that will drink well for another 20 years. Vineyard manager David Gates describes 1995 as a cool, relaxed, late ripening season that yielded small berries with elevated tannins. A second recent bottle was a bit more open and ample. Either way, the 1995 Monte Bello is a remarkably vivid, expressive wine that has a long life ahead of it.”
James Suckling 97 points “[Tasted in 2012] Amazing flowers and lavender and blackberries. Love the nose. Tobacco and cigar box. Full-bodied, with firm and round tannins. Then there’s rosemary and berry on the finish. Give it time.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points “[Tasted in 2018] The product of a late-October harvest, the 1995 vintage was Eric Baugher’s first vintage as Ridge’s winemaker alongside Paul Draper, and I remember him telling me in 2012 that he was afraid extraction had been pushed too far and that the wine might always be somewhat monolithic. In the last three years, however, the 1995 Monte Bello has began to shed some of its formidable tannins, and it’s clear that those fears were unfounded. The nose offers up rich aromas of cassis and red plums that mingle with nuances of sweet, loamy soil, cigar box and subtle leather. On the palate, the 1995 is full-bodied, deep and super concentrated, with its powerful core of fruit framed by melting tannins and underpinned by tangy acids, concluding with a long and distinctly stony finish. Today, the 1995 ranks as one of the highlights of the decade. Think of it as a somewhat more rustic cousin of the 2005. It’s a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc that attained 12.5% natural alcohol.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
The next best price is $799.99

Opus One, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($369.95) $328 special, 15 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points
“Purity and brilliance on the nose with so much currant and flower character. Roses, currant bush and fresh leaves, too. Brightness is the word that comes to mind. Full-bodied and broad-shouldered. Juicy and so gorgeous now. Balance is so wonderful here. All about harmonious fruit and tannin balance. I like it slightly better than the excellent 2014. 81% cabernet sauvignon, 4% petit verdot, 7% cabernet franc, 6% merlot and 2% malbec. Drink or hold.    (7/2018)”
Wine Advocate 97+ points “Composed of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot and 2% Malbec, Opus One’s 2015 Proprietary Red Wine is truly an iron fist in a velvet glove, delivering a powerhouse of flavors and structure with a seductively plush texture. It opens with a deep garnet-purple color and wonderfully spicy notes of cinnamon stick, cloves and fenugreek with a core of cherry preserves, redcurrant jelly, blackberry pie and warm plums plus hints of camphor, lavender and cigar box. Full-bodied, rich and bold in the mouth, it fills the palate with exotic spice-laced black and red fruits, framed by firm, beautifully ripe, grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing with epic persistence. Although it is already approachable, allow it another 3-5 years in bottle for its myriad of subtle accents to fully blossom and then drink it over the next 30+ years.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2015 Opus One is just as fabulous from bottle as it was from barrel. Dark, sumptuous and voluptuous in the glass, with no hard edges, the 2015 captures all the essence of the vintage while retaining a good bit of aromatic freshness. At this stage, the new oak is still a bit prominent, but that should not be an issue as the wine ages. There is more than enough depth for the 2015 to develop positively for 20-25 years, perhaps more. Just bottled a month prior to this tasting, the 2015 is naturally a bit more reticent than it has been in the past. Winemaker Michael Silacci add that the 2015 will, in his view, follow a similar trajectory to the 2008, which he later opened for the sake of comparison. In my view, the 2015 will always be more extroverted, although it does need time to be at its most expressive. The blend is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec. 96+ (AG)”

Under-the-radar Grand Marque vintage Champagne from an incredible year
De Venoge Cordon Bleu Brut, Champagne 2002 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 93 points
“A core of mineral-accented smoke, spice and honey notes is wrapped with flavors of glazed apricot, lemon preserves and candied ginger in this vibrant and well-balanced version. Creamy, with a lasting finish. Drink now through 2025. 3,000 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Buy a case to follow the development of this “super expressive” & “beautiful” wine!
Aldo Conterno Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2008 750ML ($119.95) $79 special
Case-12 Aldo Conterno Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2008 750ML ($1199.95) $819 special (that’s only $68.25/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Beautiful raspberry, cherry and black currant flavors are backed by firm, dusty tannins in this harmonious, fresh red. Floral and tobacco notes add dimension as this cruises to a long, lingering finish. Best from 2016 through 2033. 600 cases imported.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2008 Barolo is a beautiful wine. Super expressive, knock-out aromatics lead to expressive layers of fruit. The 2008 shows gorgeous richness and depth within the context of the year. Tar, smoke, licorice and crushed rocks wrap around the finish. This is a striking, elegant Barolo from Aldo Conterno.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

A hauntingly pure expression of Riesling from the master of Wachau!
Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Vinothek Riesling, Wachau, Austria 1997 750ML ($219.95) $149 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 97 points
“Aged for 17 years in a domestic 3,500-liter cask before it was bottled in August 2014, the 1997 Riesling Vinothek is the best part of the regular 1997 Riesling Smaragd Im Weingebirge, which was bottled and marketed in late 1998. The aged Vinothek version offers a fascinatingly clear, bright, deep and multi-layered nose with iodine and ripe as well as intense white-fleshed fruit aromas. Full-bodied, full of finesse and elegant, this dry, transparent and mineral Riesling develops a great intensity, complexity and power on the palate, but never leaves its silky road of purity, finesse and transparency. There is a lot of Spiel and tension here, but the most exciting characteristic trait is the intense and very mineral, almost endless finish. How youthful this wine is! And its further aging potential is still terrific. The wine reminds me of certain sherries, white Riojas and Jura wines, although it is not less oxidative. But it spent a long time in cask and has the freshness, complexity and thrilling taste of those. It’s a great, unique and stimulating wine that was bottled with 12.8% of alcohol, 6 grams of residual sugar and 6.5 grams of acidity.”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 97 points “This successor to the almost supernaturally ethereal and haunting 1995 also has to live up to the reputation of a vintage-of-the-half-century. It manages, though! The bouquet is unearthly in its complex amalgam of bittersweetly floral (iris, gentian, buddleia), pungently nutty, subtly smoky (black tea) and elusively mineral (sea breeze, wet stone, faint fusel oil) components. Considering the secondary development signaled on the nose, a surprising intensity of pure white peach, apple and grapefruit emerges sumptuously on the silky palate. The buoyant finish, more tightly clinging and less ethereal than that of the 1995, represents a long, harmoniously undulating interaction of liquid floral perfume, diverse minerality and succulent fresh fruits. I tasted this shortly before its mid-2014 bottling (a rare exception to the Nikolaihof rule against unveiling wines from cask) and did not review that note before tasting seven months later. My first spontaneous word each time was “unearthly.” And happily, my impressions that followed demonstrated that this wine’s amazing personality, including its aromas and textural allure, had made it to bottle scarcely altered. The source vineyard here, incidentally, is the Im Weingebirge whereas the 1995 was from Vom Stein.”

Grange in all its glory!
Penfolds Grange Bin 95, Australia 2001 750ML ($469.95) $379 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98+ points
“It is always a treat to taste Australia’s most famous wine, Penfolds’ Grange cuvee (the word Hermitage has been dropped because of legal issues). The 2001 Grange is one of the few vintages of this cuvee to be composed of 100% Shiraz (the others being 1951, 1952, 1963, 1999, and 2000). Aged 17 months in 100% American oak, and tipping the scales at 14.5% alcohol, the 2001 is undeniably one of the top examples of this wine. At this stage, it appears to eclipse the 1998 and 1996. Inky/blue/purple to the rim, with a stunning perfume of blueberries, blackberries, chocolate, graphite, and earth, it boasts good acidity, huge tannins, magnificent concentration, and a multilayered, textured mouthfeel. It is a big, but impeccably well-balanced Shiraz that should shed some of its structure and tannin over the next 4-5 years, and be at its best between 2010-2030+.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $399
The average price is $457

Domaine Huet

2015 / 2016 / 2017

Three Epic Vintages

In Stock Now

Domaine Huet is the Last Undervalued Great French Wine.  No, this is not new information, but yes, it is still very true.  No other white winemaker in France produces wines that consistently age into masterpieces at anything resembling this sort of price.  We probably don’t need to say much more, but if you aren’t on the Huet train already, let us explain the genius of these wines.

Huet makes the top wines in Vouvray and has for quite some time now. What makes them amazing is that they make incredible wines from bone dry, mineral drenched Sec all the way to nobly sweet, honeyed dessert wines (and everything in between—including the Demi-Sec range, which are some of our favorites and, like German Riesling, are very flexible at the table).

They seemingly age forever, gaining complexity and density, but impressively are priced like low-tier white Burgundy.  It’s this last part that’s so perplexing.  You can put well-aged Huet on the table with any top tier white Burgundy and it has a chance of being not only in the same league, but the best wine on the table.  It often costs 1/2-1/5th that of the Burgs.  That’s insane.

2015: The Start of Something Special

2015 remains a landmark year in the Loire, especially in Vouvray.  The wines are rich and powerful, with explosive aromatics and finishes that seemingly go on forever.

Highlight 2015 Huet Vouvrays In Stock Now:

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec, Loire 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2015 Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec is deep, rich and flinty on the nose, with caramel and vegetable flavors indicating a great complexity. Full-bodied, dense and powerful, this is highly complex and persistent, yet refreshing and transparent Chenin with a juicy fruit and lots of grip, energy and tension. Rather demure at the moment, this enormously structured wine has a great aging potential and I recommend to store it for 6-10 years, at least.”
John Gilman 95 points “The 2015 Le Mont Demi-Sec from Domaine Huët is an outstanding young wine, with even more depth and potential than the superb Le Haut Lieu Demi. The bouquet is bottomless, delivering scents of pineapple, sweet quince, incipient notes of honey, chalky minerality, a touch of lanolin, floral tones redolent of buttercups and lovely, esthery citrus elements in the upper register. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, beautifully balanced and displays stunning depth at the core, with lovely acidity (particularly for the vintage!), great focus and grip and a very, very long, primary and exceptional finish. This does not have the backend cut or grip of a vintage such as 2007 or 2008, but it is going to be a great example of Domaine Huët Demi-Sec. It is deceptively easy to drink today, but its true apogee is at least a decade or more out from the vintage! 2016-2075. 95.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Moelleux, Loire 2015 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 23 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Offers a big, broad feel, with layers of glazed pear, apple and peach falling over each other, backed by fresh ginger, honeysuckle and quince notes. Everything pulls together through the finish, with green tea accents and racy minerality providing the foil. Drink now through 2035.”
John Gilman 94 points “The 2015 Le Haut Lieu Moelleux from Domaine Huët is a superb wine in the making, with its glaze of botrytis beautifully managed and the wine showing excellent potential on both the nose and palate. The bouquet offers up a pure and complex mélange of sweet quince, orange, honey, just a whisper of lanolin, beautiful chalky soil tones, a whisper of the leather to come, citrus zest and a topnote of dried flowers. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and beautifully balanced, with bright acids, a lovely core and outstanding focus and grip on the very long, refined and nicely glazed finish. This will be all apricot, honey and tea leaves in the future, but it is so good to drink out of the blocks, that it is going to be hard not to open bottles in its more exotic youthful period. 2016-2085. 94.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Premiere Trie Moelleux, Loire 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The 2015 Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Première Trie is super clear, ripe and aromatic on the nose, highly elegant and with lovely flinty flavors. Intense and concentrated, with great finesse and vitality, this is a highly elegant and perfectly balanced wine with a persistent grip and salinity. Great balance and harmony.”
John Gilman 97 points “The 2015 Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Moelleux Première Trie from Domaine Huët is utterly brilliant wine, which is at least fifteen years away from truly blossoming, but is so good right now that it is going to be next to impossible not to drink this wine in the blush of youth! The stunning nose shows a gorgeous glazing of botrytis in its constellation of pineapple, honeyed quince, sweet grapefruit, lovely minerality, orange blossoms, a hint of lavender, citrus oils, dried flowers and just a whisper of the new leather that will arrive with bottle age. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and utterly seamless in balance, with a great core, laser-like focus, superb nascent complexity and lovely grip on the endless, vibrant and dancing finish. Magical juice. 2025-2085. (Sep/Oct 2016)”

2016: A Modern Classic

The ’16’s are electric in their minerality but opulent in their texture and grand in their flavors.

Highlight 2016 Huet Vouvrays In Stock Now:

Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($47.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Bright and pure, with delightful pear, green almond and green plum notes laced with a fennel streak, ending with finely beaded acidity and a mineral echo through the finish. Very refined. Drink now through 2027.”

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Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Moelleux, Loire 2016 750ML ($59.95) $46 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Moelleux, Loire 2016 750ML ($299.95)
$249 special (that’s only $41.50/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Gorgeous crystallized ginger, dried quince, glazed pear and warm persimmon notes are seamlessly interwoven here, gliding through a lengthy finish that picks up a lilting green tea accent. Frankly off-dry but wonderfully pure. Drink now through 2035.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Premiere Trie Moelleux, Loire 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Premiere Trie Moelleux, Loire 2016 750ML ($499.95)
$419 special (that’s only $69.83/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 97 points
“The 2016 Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Première Trie opens with a very clear, deep and flinty/herbal bouquet of ripe concentrated stone fruits intermixed with chalky/smoky aromas, very complex and truly exciting! Light, fresh and tensioned on the palate, that is very pure and salty but also tight and concentrated. The 2016 Le Mont reveals crystalline acidity, delicate but serious tannin grip and a long, complex, stimulating finish. This is Chenin Blanc full of energy and aging potential, provided with concentration, lingering salinity and vibrancy. This is a fascinating Le Mont, surely the top wine of Huet’s excellent 2016 series. Bottled with 92 grams of residual sugar, it tastes less sweet than the corresponding Clos du Bourg. Tasted February 2018.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Juicy in feel, with an intense beam of glazed peach, dried apricot, fresh ginger and heather honey notes, backed by baked mirabelle plum accents and a flash of almond cream on the long, rich finish. A wonderful balancing act, keeping the exotic fruit and sweetness fresh and delineated. Best from 2020 through 2035.”

The Remarkable 2017 Huets

2017 looks to be an exciting year for the estate (as it is across France) with bright, mineral driven wines that showcase the prime terroirs Huet is known for.  Yet take note, this was a tiny vintage and stocks are way down comparatively!

Highlight 2017 Huet Vouvrays In Stock Now:

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Demi-Sec, Loire 2017 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Plump and lively, with a core of bold ginger, McIntosh apple and almond notes followed by quince and persimmon flavors. Shows buried minerality, but also an ever-so-slightly off-dry wink on the finish, making this especially fun to drink. Drink now through 2032.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec, Loire 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “This glistens, with glazed pear, warm persimmon, green plum and quince flavors, all carried by elegant white ginger and verbena notes. A light gilding of piecrust adds to the flattering feel, though there’s ample acidity here for balance and drive. Drink now through 2032.”

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux, Loire 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “A beauty, with an inviting display of succulent yellow apple, green plum, pear, persimmon and quince flavors that ripples lengthily through the finish, while light verbena, ginger and honeysuckle notes dart around. A long green tea echo runs through the finish. Shows terrific range and purity, with the sweetness easily harnessed for balance. Best from 2019 through 2040.”

See the complete list of all twenty-eight different Domaine Huet bottlings we have in stock (that’s 1,350 bottles all told!) by visiting our web store!


Staff Pick

Normally we’d write a nice long description on the Eugen Muller Kirchenstuck Auslese, but this time I’m handing it over to the importer, who says all the things I want to say, but better:

“So when I sat with Jay MacInerney for the Wall St. Journal article, I said I’d bring along something to drink. I could have chosen anything, blown him away with a great Dönnhoff or with a Selbach Eiswein or a Leitz Roseneck. What I actually chose to bring was the 2001 Kirchenstück Auslese from Müller.

Every year for the last fifteen or more, this wine has been a masterpiece, and I can think of few if any parallels in the wine world—or in my wine world—of such sustained stellar performance year after year.

From one of the great Riesling vineyards on earth. The price, let us observe, doesn’t reflect this…

In early the 19th century this was considered the best Riesling site because the grapes consistently reached greater maturity. In the early 20th century the wines were just as expensive as those from the top Rheingau growths.”

Weingut Eugen Muller Forster Kirchenstuck Riesling Auslese, Pfalz 2011 500ML ($34.95) Was $27, Now $24 special, 32 500ml-bottles in stock
Wine & Spirits Magazine 91 points
“Kirchenstuck is named for the church (kirche) that fronts it, but it could just as well be kirschenstuck (cherry-piece), this is so redolent of pale red berries. It falls toward the lighter end of Auslese, the sugar more rounding than sweetening, with salty mineral and rose petal notes confirming the delicacy. Try it with pork dusted with sumac or other richly spiced dishes.”
‘Savagely fine vineyard fragrance, a city made of cherry blossom.  The palate is literally stunning in the ferocity of its terroir, endlessly salty and flowery, already expressive and integrated, and lashing and electric… Every year for the last fifteen or more, this wine has been a masterpiece, and I can think of few if any parallels in the wine world—or in my wine world—of such sustained stellar performance year after year.’ “–Terry Theise

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Coche-Dury Rouge

Coche-Dury is a producer in need of little introduction.  The wines are part of the .001% of Burgundy—auction benchmarks, collector’s dreams and among the most profound wines in the world.  However, when you read that sentence, you’re probably inserting the world “white” in your head and you wouldn’t be wrong.  Coche is certainly best known for their white wines, but the reds offer a compelling take on the Cote de Beaune with less hype and inflation.

We were lucky enough to secure a handful of properly aged bottles of Coche’s Bourgogne rouge and Auxey-Duresses—wines from humble appellations, to be sure, but wines that have enough age to properly show why the Coche wines in both colors are genius.  These are must tries if you have any inkling that these wines might be for you—they’re that special.  They arrive in the middle of next month and should disappear quite quickly

Arriving ETA Mid-November:

Only one bottle available
Coche-Dury Auxey-Duresses Rouge, Cote de Beaune 2007 750ML ($219.95) $199 pre-arrival special

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Only two bottles available
Coche-Dury Auxey-Duresses Rouge, Cote de Beaune 2008 750ML ($219.95) $199 pre-arrival special
“As is usually the case – although I confess to not having a chance to taste them every year – Jean-Francois Coche rendered excellent Pinots in 2008, wines which one perhaps stands a chance of acquiring more easily than is possible with his fabled whites.”-David SchildknechtThis is the only listing in the USA today!

Only one bottle available
Coche-Dury Auxey-Duresses Rouge, Cote de Beaune 2010 750ML ($259.95) $219 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2010 Auxey-Duresses Village surpasses anything you could imagine from a humble cru. Deep in color, it has an extremely pure, almost glossy bouquet with macerated small dark cherries, creme de cassis and blueberry that is beautifully defined – almost “nubile.” The tannins and supple and lithe, the acidity perfectly pitch and the finish stupendously powerful, dare I say audacious for an Auxey-Duresses. Quite astonishing, and it will drink for ten+ years. Drink 2015-2025. Tasted November 2013.”

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Only one bottle available
Coche-Dury Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy 2008 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
“Coche’s 2008 Auxey Duresses mingles tart cherry and rhubarb with chalk, salt, and fruit pit for an invigorating, white-wine like aspect encompassing an energetic and refreshing finish. It should prove deliciously versatile over at least the next half dozen years. As is usually the case – although I confess to not having a chance to taste them every year – Jean-Francois Coche rendered excellent Pinots in 2008, wines which one perhaps stands a chance of acquiring more easily than is possible with his fabled whites.” -David Schildknecht
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Only one bottle available
Coche-Dury Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy 2010 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special
“Outstanding. An exceptionally fresh and bright nose features notes of pretty red berries and distinct earth scents that also characterize the rich, delicious and unusually voluminous flavors that possess fine depth and length for a wine at this level. A lovely Bourgogne that should reward a few years of cellar time as well.”-Burghound
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Hudelot-Noëllat’s Superb Vosne

At first glance, it may seem odd to call a wine priced in the many hundreds of dollars a value.  Yet, when we talk about the very top tier of Burgundy, this sort of conversation gets common.  The best wines are produced in incredibly miniscule quantities and so true Burgundy-heads are always looking for wines to scratch that top tier itch at slightly lower tariffs.

Enter the domaine of Hudelot-Noëllat.  Through the mid-aughts, they were a true insider’s secret—a venerable domaine with great holdings that had underperformed until recently.  The current winemaking team has pushed Hudelot-Noëllat to new heights and the wines are still values.  It’s hard to find Richebourg and Romanée St. Vivant at this quality level for this sort of pricing (compare to, say, Cathiard, to get a sense of the values they offer).

We secured a lot of 28 wines, arriving at the end of the month and are showing you a few highlights here.  You can click here to view the entire set online and buy them now—like with most top Burgundies, quantities on each individual wine are extremely limited.

Arriving Tuesday, November 6th:

Alain Hudelot-Noellat Les Charmes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2008 750ML ($199.95) $149 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Burghound 91 points
“An exceptionally pretty and refined nose offers up very fresh red pinot fruit aromas nuanced by earth, crushed herbs and very discreet spice hints that can also be found on the generous yet precise middle weight flavors that possess a textured mouth feel and a strikingly intense and persistent finish that also evidences a touch of austerity. Like its villages counterpart, this is very Chambolle in character but with much better overall complexity.”
Stephen Tanzer 90 points “Pale medium red. Sexy nose offers red fruits, crushed stone, cinnamon and flowers. Broader and suppler than the Chambolle villages, but still with a light touch to its musky red berry and cherry flavors. Nice sap and energy here, but less tart than the village offerings. This persistent wine will rely as much on its acids as on its tannins for structure.”

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Alain Hudelot-Noellat Les Charmes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2009 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Burghound 90-92 points
“A deft touch of oak sets off very fresh and bright red pinot fruit aromas that complement well the vibrant, cool and very pure flavors that are quite delicate and lacy before culminating in an intense, sappy, seductively textured and beautifully well balanced finish. Very solid.”
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Alain Hudelot-Noellat Les Charmes, Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2010 750ML ($219.95) $169 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Burghound 91-93 points
“An expressive and exceptionally pretty nose speaks of wild red berry fruit liqueur aromas that marry into pure, detailed and quite delicate flavors that possess a lacy mouth feel, all wrapped in a dusty, focused, intense and impeccably well-balanced finish. Excellent quality here in a package that should age well over the next 6 to 8 years. Recommended.”
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Alain Hudelot-Noellat Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($259.95) $219 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Burghound 94 points
“A moderately floral nose speaks of wood spice, pungent earth and freshly crushed red currant aromas that precede the big-bodied and powerful flavors that possess real verve on the well-defined, intense and balanced finish. This genuinely wonderful effort is relatively fine for a Clos de Vougeot and there is less youthful austerity than is typical.”
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Alain Hudelot-Noellat Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2005 750ML ($899.95) $799 pre-arrival special, only 1 bottle available
Burghound 95 points
“A very densely fruited nose is composed mostly from the black side of the fruit spectrum along with notes of menthol, spice and Asian tea nuances. There is excellent concentration to the intense and attractively well-detailed middle weight flavors that possess a suave and highly seductive mouth feel before terminating in a mouth coating, complex and hugely long finish. This is an unusually powerful RSV that is less elegant than usual yet one that is still very much on the way up, indeed I would suggest allowing it at least another 5 to 7 years of celar time as it’s very much still a baby.”
Stephen Tanzer 94+ points “Good deep red. Knockout perfume of strawberry, violet and cocoa powder, complemented by sweet oak. Sappy, spicy and deep, with a compelling sweetness leavened by firm minerality. Wonderfully silky in texture and graceful. Highly complex flavors of raspberry, leather, smoke and mineral stain the back end with subtle perfume. This struck me as like a more pliant version of the Beaumonts but with the powerful mineral and tannic spine for a 20-year-evolution in bottle.”Alain Hudelot-Noellat Les Beaux Monts, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($399.95) $299 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 89-92 points
“(20% of the juice is from vines in their fourth leaf) Deep, bright red. Sappy, pure aromas of dark berries and minerals. Fat and sweet but less expressive and less perfumed than the ineffable Suchots. This boasts lovely sweet red berry flavors but seems a bit stunted today on the back end, with the chewy tannins standing out.”
Burghound 89-91 points “The slightly higher-toned nose is even fresher and brighter with a similar nose of spicy black fruit trimmed in obvious minerality that introduces complex, delicious and somewhat more forward middle weight flavors that possess good detail and the same firm mineral streak suggested by the nose. This is classy juice with excellent length and while I like the greater finesse here versus the Suchots, the latter wine has better mid-palate fat and concentration.”

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Alain Hudelot-Noellat Les Malconsorts, Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru 2010 750ML ($699.95) $599 pre-arrival special, only 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points
“Medium red. Aromas of medicinal red fruits and wild herbs. Penetrating acidity and a peppery element frame the intense redcurrant, smoke and mineral flavors. The explosive, building, savory finish boasts a solid spine of tannins for aging. Very young and extremely promising.”
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Alain Hudelot-Noellat Richebourg Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2006 750ML ($699.95) $599 pre-arrival special, 1 bottle available
Burghound 94 points
“Initially this was somewhat like the 2006 RSV (see herein) as the nose was reduced though unlike the RSV the reduction rapidly blew off to reveal an intensely spicy and layered dark berry fruit nose that remains entirely primary and youthful. There is excellent intensity to the tautly muscular, cool and mineral-inflected big-boned flavors that are supported by a firm tannic spine on the powerfully long and driving finish. This highly promising effort is still very much on the way up and should age beautifully for years.”
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points “Deep red-ruby. Stubbornly closed nose hints at some high-toned dark berries and spices along with sweet oak. Fatter and riper than the RSV, showing more early power but less finesse. This is distinctly chewy and deep, with terrific density but less lift to its brooding flavors of black cherry, dark berries and minerals. As broad and powerful as this is, it comes across as less sweet today than the RSV.”
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Want to see all 28 bottlings from Hudelot-Noëllat arriving next week?Just click here to view a full list on our website.

Thank you for reading!