Saturday 6-20-20

In Today’s Newsletter:

An Email Subscriber Sale on Charles Heidsieck
The Small but Grande Marque

New Wines from Domaine Ott:
Pride of Provence


Castello di Ama – A Chianti First Growth

Bordeaux Brain, Spanish Soul: 
Remelluri’s Exceptional Rioja

Staff Pick: Classic is Cool Again

Collector’s Corner:
Pommery’s Tete de Cuvees


An Email Subscriber Sale on Charles Heidsieck

The Small but Grande Marque

Arriving Wednesday, June 24th and On Sale Now!

Charles Heidsieck is one of the great, historic houses of Champagne, but because of their small size they tend to be overlooked.  They make wines that are notable for their richness and texture, incorporating long aging on the lees and significant amounts (40+%) of older (reserve) wines in their NV blends.  Based on the quality in the bottle and the age required to get there, you’d expect these wines to be 25-40% more expensive than they are.  Their Brut Reserve is one of the best entry level wines from a great house in Champagne, especially if you love wines with a classic, toasty feel to them.

This is a fantastic, NV Champagne from a truly classic Grande Marque house that’s a great deal at our normal (quite good) price of $44.50—but we’re offering r you (email subscribers) 5% off on 6+ bottles and 10% off case+ purchases.  Now, we aren’t supposed those discounted prices for Charles Heidsieck in our webstore, but we’ll manually adjust pricing before we run your credit card after you place your order.  You can also call or email to place an order—but these discounts expire on Tuesday night (or when we sell out), so don’t wait too long.

Purchase any 6-11 bottles of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve for 5% off
Purchase any 12+ bottles of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve for 10% off
Offer valid on stock arriving Wednesday, June 24th
Discount will not display online
We will adjust your order manually before finalizing
Sale Ends Tuesday, June 23rd at 6 PM Pacific

Arriving Wednesday:

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) Displayed price: $44.50, that’s $42.28 at 5% off and $40.05 at 10% off!
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92+ points
“Based on the 2014 vintage, complemented by fully 40% old reserve wines, the new release of Charles Heidsieck’s NV Brut Réserve was disgorged earlier this year. It’s showing very well, opening up in the glass with notes of green apple, dried white flowers, pear, candied peel and walnuts. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, deep and layered, with a textural attack and a racier, tighter-knit core than either the 2012- or 2010-base renditions, displaying good concentration and underlying richness. This is a bottling that continues to punch above its weight and which both merits and rewards a few years in the cellar before opening.”
(Mise en crayeres en 2015)

New Wines from Domaine Ott

Pride of Provence

Domaines Ott is one of the two flagship producers of rosé in Provence and a true icon for top-tier, luxury rosé.  Within European wine circles, they are considered to the finest producers of rosé out there—better even than Tempier.  Here in the US, we tend to view things the other way round, but when you taste Ott’s top rosés, you understand the argument. 

Ott is an estate that’s focused on excellence above all, with a clarity in their focus that’s unique to only a handful of rosé producers. They own three estates across Provence, all producing unique wines that are top of their class. We’ve got two stunners arriving on Friday (from Chateau Romassan and de Selle) that more than live up to their price tags.  2019 is a landmark year chez Ott and these are some of the best examples of their wines you’ll taste.

Arriving ETA Friday:

Domaines Ott Chateau de Selle Rose, Cotes de Provence 2019 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine & Spirits 96 points
“In the world of wine, rosé has it easy: If it’s pink and pretty, it’s already on its way to being well accepted. Rarely does a rosé jump out of the glass and demand attention. But this one seems to have packaged up a Mediterranean breeze along with the scents of strawberries and garrigue, unleashing it with every sip. My nine-year-old, doing her own independent appraising, said, “It smells warm—not like the wine is warm, but like it comes from a warm place.” That place is inland from the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, 345 acres of stony soils and limestone terraces, a remote location Marcel Ott purchased in 1912. Today, cousins Christian and Jean- François Ott tend the vines, working with the backing of parent company Louis Roederer, which funded the building of a new winery at the estate in 2017, designed by Carl Fredrik Svenstedt. All those elements came together in a rosé that channels the place it’s grown in an elegant and understated way, yet with a persistence that speaks to its structure and strength. Impressive now, this will be even better with a year or two in bottle.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaines Ott Chateau Romassan Rose, Bandol 2019 750ML ($59.95) $44.50 pre-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
“The dominance of Bandol’s own Mourvèdre grape has given this wine density and structure as well as plenty of red fruits and a texture that will allow it to age. Drink the wine from late 2020.”

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



From a favorite winery, this formerly-restaurant only bottling is a QPR winner.
Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-6 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($129.95) $99 pre-arrival special (that’s only $16.50/bottle!,
re-arriving June 23rd
Case-12 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($219.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
: We can’t get enough of Marcus Goodfellow’s Willamette Valley Pinots. With restaurants only offering takeout for the foreseeable future, Marcus is letting us share his by-the-glass Pinot with you. It’s an insane value!

Perricone’s one of those grapes that we’ll be hearing more about over the next decade.
Caruso E Minini Perricone Naturalmente Bio 2017 750ML ($24.95) $20.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Caruso E Minini Perricone Naturalmente Bio 2017 750ML ($299.95) $228 special (that’s only $19/bottle!)
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 95 points
“Bright medium red. Pungently perfumed nose offers violet, lavender, Szechuan pepper, lemongrass, blood orange and small red berries. Then juicy and very fresh flavors similar to the aromas, plus a building licorice note, linger impressively on the medium-bodied mouthfeel. Closes with magical, persistent inner-mouth perfume and truly exceptional clarity and cut. This sees no oak whatsoever, and therefore the wine’s magical perfume is really allowed to shine through. A real knockout of a wine, and easily one of the two or three best Perricones I have ever tried.”

At Krug, ’04>’02—which is really saying something.
Krug Brut, Champagne 2004 750ML ($299.95) $259 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
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.”
Wine Advocate 97 points “Combining subtleness with complexity, the coolish Krug 2004 Brut opens with a highly elegant, fascinatingly clear, bright and refreshing bouquet of ripe (apple) fruits. Dense and round, with a delicate mineral soul, the pure but perfectly balanced 2004 reveals great finesse and weightless elegance with a long and round finish. This is a gorgeous Krug vintage that is 14 years old but still on the rise. Tasted from ID 316034 in New York in November 2018.”-SR
John Gilman 97 points “The new release of 2004 Krug is absolutely beautiful and is already quite elegant and open on both the nose and palate and is drinking with great finesse. I had expected this wine to be a bit more steely in structure out of the blocks, but the refinement of the blend this year has produced a wine that is already a joy to drink at age thirteen, though it will continue age gracefully for many, many decades to come. The cépages in 2004 is thirty-nine percent Chardonnay, thirty-seven percent Pinot Noir and twenty-four percent Pinot Meunier, with the wine having been disgorged in the winter of 2016. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a refined mix of apple, a touch of walnut, warm bread, lavender, a superb base of soil tones and a topnote of smokiness. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and utterly seamless, with vibrant acids, great focus and grip, a lovely core, refined mousse and a very long, complex, racy and energetic finish. There is marvelous precision here on both the nose and palate, not to mention a sense of harmony and grace that is fairly rare in the 2004 vintage. Chapeau! 2017-2060.”

Old-school, Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel from one of the masters.
Ridge Vineyards East Bench Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
“Appealingly old-school and just rustic enough to highlight the vibrant, briary wild berry flavors, laced with dried sage and licorice notes, building tension toward lively tannins. Drink now through 2028. 6,250 cases made.”

Chile makes some sneaky-great Pinot Noir.
Montsecano ‘Refugio’ Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley 2018 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2018 Refugio Pinot Noir also follows the line of the 2018 Montsecano. It is fresher and from a cooler vintage when the grapes were picked a little less ripe and the maceration was shortened. The nose is spectacular, a mix of wild herbs, flowers and berries, some rose petals and even a touch of citrus peel, coming through as aromatic and fresh. The palate is perhaps a tad lighter than previous vintages and perhaps a little more “natural.” But it has very good complexity, developing aromas of violets with time in the glass, and it has lots of freshness and balance.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Vinopolis Wine Shop Curbside Pick Up

Don’t want to stop in?

Order Online / By Phone / By Email

When you’re ready to pick up,
just park in our lot, give us a call,
& we’ll bring your order to your car. 



Castello di Ama

A Chianti First Growth

Castello di Ama has emerged as a true First Growth of Chianti.  Modern and focused on quality in both the vineyard and in the cellar, Castello di Ama makes rich, textural Chiantis that rival the biggest names both in Chianti and more broadly across Tuscany (including Brunello).

One notable signal of Castello di Ama’s commitment to quality has been their championing of the new Chianti Gran Selezione DOCG.  A level above Riserva, the designation requires longer aging and is designed to let producers highlight their tip-top wines from Sangiovese.  Castello di Ama’s San Lorenzo is the one we’re highlighting today.

The 2011 was a best-seller here at Vinopolis and the 2014 is a follow up that outclasses for drinkability and aromatics.  This is a stunning bottle of wine that’s got everything you’d want out of a top Tuscan wine.  Full-bodied, rich and surprisingly silky for this stage in its young life, this is really special stuff.  Given all that, you might expect it to be $70-95, in line with Brunello of similar quality.  Instead, it’s under $40 by the case—a stunning value.

We also have the 2016 in stock now, which is a bit more expensive at $45/btl, but is one of the best bottles of Chianti we’ve ever seen from Castello di Ama, up there with the 2013 (which is available in magnum right now).  These are some of the most impressive wines coming out of Classico today and stocking up is a must if you love the wines of Tuscany.

In Stock Now:

Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2014 750ML ($59.95) $39 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93+ points
“The 2014 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo flaunts its importance. It boasts confidence and an outward-looking personality that comes as a refreshing surprise. Like all Gran Selezione wines, it is released 30 months after January 1st following the harvest. That means it still has a few more months to go before it hits the market. This expression of Sangiovese shows depth and power with ripe fruit tones of cherry and forest berry. Like many of the other high profile wines I preview-tasted from the difficult 2014 vintage, I am delighted and surprised by the elegant and soft nature of the mature tannins. The wine’s finish offers bright freshness with layers of dark fruit, wet earth and forest floor.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Aromas of exotic spice, pipe tobacco, woodland berry and a whiff of French oak take center stage on this fragrant, elegant red. The racy, ethereal palate delivers tart red cherry, tart pomegranate, cinnamon and vanilla framed in taut fine-grained tannins and vibrant acidity. Drink 2019–2026.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $50

Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2016 750ML ($59.95) $45 special, only 25 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Cellar Selection. A blend of 80% Sangiovese, 13% Merlot and 7% Malvasia Nera, this opens with aromas of black- and red-skinned berry, pipe tobacco, tilled earth and a whiff of new leather. Elegant and taut, the palate shows tension, verve and finesse, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, licorice and hints of French oak. It’s balanced, with polished, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity. Drink 2021–2036.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Offers stunning aromas of black cherry, blackberry and violet, with ripe, sweet fruit on the palate, shaded by iron, earth and tobacco elements. Supple yet well-structured, this should come together soon. Shows terrific harmony and length. Best from 2022 through 2036. 6,500 cases made, 670 cases imported.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione San Lorenzo is immediately more inky and balsamic in terms of aromas. As soon as you lift the wine to your nose, you get pretty tones of blackberry, cassis, rosemary essence, licorice and a touch of medicinal herb. I love when Sangiovese produces those elegant aromas, and for that reason, this wine stands tall among the three single-vineyard expressions from Marco Pallanti and Castello di Ama. It shows fiber, richness and lasting structure with a very well-managed quality of tannins.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Castello di Ama San Lorenzo is a blend taken from Ama’s four core estate vineyards. Black cherry, graphite, sage, mint, juniper berries and licorice give the San Lorenzo a distinctly dark, brooding profile to match its powerful feel. The big tannins need time to soften, but there is certainly plenty to look forward to. Stylistically, San Lorenzo is closest to Bellavista, with which it shares a decidedly somber feel. This is such a gorgeous wine.”

Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2013 1.5L ($119.95) $99 special, only 6 magnums in stock now
Wine Enthusiast Top 100 in 2018
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“Fragrant and refined, this radiant wine opens with scents of violet, red berry, baking spice and a whiff of plum. The chiseled palate delivers succulent wild cherry, white pepper, cinnamon and star anise alongside firm, refined tannins. It boasts a long licorice finish while bright acidity lends balance. It’s already delicious but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2020–2033.”
James Suckling 95 points “Tight and super silky with a gorgeous density and precision that gives great polish to the tannins. Makes them almost dusty. Lots of subtle dark berry, mineral and spice. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
The next best price is $135

Other Wines Available from Castello di Ama:

Castello di Ama ‘Ama’, Chianti Classico DOCG 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Case-12 Castello di Ama ‘Ama’, Chianti Classico DOCG 2017 750ML ($399.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“Rose, mature red berry and wild herb aromas mingle with a balsamic whiff of eucalyptus. The delicious, polished palate boasts a restrained elegance, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, star anise and white pepper alongside refined tannins. Fresh acidity keeps it balanced and lends just enough tension. Drink through 2023.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2017 Chianti Classico Ama is fabulous. Racy and voluptuous to the core the Ama captures all the richness of the vintage while retaining a great deal of aromatic freshness and energy. Succulent red cherry, plum, rose petal, mint and sweet spice build in an open-knit, inviting Chianti Classico that hits all the right notes. This is a terrific showing from Ama’s young-vine Chianti Classico bottling.”
James Suckling 92 points “Lots of primary sour cherries, blueberries and spices here. Medium-bodied with cranberry flavors and intense acidity throughout. Little edgy on the finish, but the warmth and generosity to the juicy tannins hold this together. Drink now.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2007 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, only 8 bottles in stock now
Winery-cellared release!

No reviews for the 2007 Riserva, but the 2007 Classico received the following rave review:
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2007 Chianti Classico Castello di Ama is fabulous. There is so much going on in the glass, as endless layers of perfumed dark red fruit caress the palate in stunning style. The wine’s precision, elegance and overall sense of harmony are all first class. Smoke, tar and roses add the final layers of complexity on the finish. Today the wine is mostly remarkable for its exceptional silkiness; readers will have to wait at least a few years for the aromatics and flavors to develop tertiary nuances. The Castello is a wine that sets a new standard for what is possible within the Chianti Classico appellation. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027. Castello di Ama remains a reference-point producer in Tuscany. My visit to the property last year culminated with the stunning 1988 Apparita, still in great shape after all these years. The house style seeks a rich, bold expression of fruit that requires significant bottle aging to reach its apogee, even if the wines can be very showy when young. Make no mistake about it, these are some the most pedigreed wines being made anywhere.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $76

Castello di Ama ‘Ama’, Chianti Classico DOCG 2015 1.5L ($69.95) $49 special
James Suckling 92 points
“So much sweet tobacco and cherry character here with hints of smoked meat. Medium body, fine tannins and a bright and fruity finish. Acid tension give this definition. Tangy. Drink now.”
Wine Spectator 90 points “The raspberry and cherry flavors are immediate in this elegant, balanced red, followed by accents of earth and spice. Not excessively long, but well-proportioned. Drink now through 2022. 900 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!

Castello di Ama ‘Purple Rosato’ Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 1.5L ($69.95) $49 special, only 9 magnums in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 90 points
“Luminous red-pink. Fresh aromas of strawberry and flowers, then ripe and sweet with similar flavors to the aromas that show very good acid cut. This actually leaves a sweet impression on the long suave finish, but has so much acidity it seems less sweet than it is. Lovely. Winemaker Marco Pallanti has changed the winemaking so as to macerate the must on the skins for twelve hours and then ages the wine in used (one year) barriques to round it. A blend of mostly Sangiovese with a little Merlot.”

This is the only listing for a magnum in the USA today!



Bordeaux Brain, Spanish Soul

Remelluri’s Exceptional Rioja

Telmo Rodriguez is one of the most talented winemakers in Spain.  Trained in Bordeaux, he returned to the family estate, Remelluri, and has taken it to new heights.  Remelluri is in Rioja Alavesa—the smallest part of Rioja which is known for intense, powerful wines and these are no exception.  The soils in their vineyards are exceptionally shallow, creating small berries and greater concentration in the wines and their organic farming and careful cellar work keeps a sense of brightness and energy even in warm vintages.

Remelluri eschews American oak, finding it too overblown, and instead works with only the highest quality French cooperage.  No expense is spared, up and down the line, and these wines are special as a result of that.  Their wines somehow manage the magic trick of being impressive today and capable of aging for decades.  These are some of the landmark wines of Spain and deserve a prominent place in any cellar.

In Stock Now:

Remelluri Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 24+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Remelluri Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($599.95) $499 special (that’s only $83.17/bottle!)
James Suckling 96 points
“The DNA of Remelluri is here. Wild mountain herb character, structured and firm, these tannins are succulent and deeply expressive. Powerful and assertive red plums, wild cherries and roasting herbs with the oak sitting well. Power and balance. Try from 2021.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94+ points “A blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano, the 2012 Granja Remelluri Gran Reserva represents what they are aiming for with this wine, a classical expression of the place, the quintessence of the vineyards. The select their oldest vineyards and age the wine for a long time, coming back to those early years of a modern Rioja that has now turned into a classic. It has some dusty tannins, with good grip and length. It was bottled in 24,238 bottles after an élevage of 26 months. It has been in bottle since May 2015.”

Remelluri Reserva, Rioja Doca 2012 750ML ($44.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Deep ruby. Ripe red berries, dried flowers, illicit herb and smoky minerals on the exotically perfumed nose. The palate offers spicy, penetrating, concentrated flavors of black raspberry, cherry compote and floral pastilles, with a zesty mineral quality building in the glass. Shows excellent clarity and intensity on the very long, floral, gently tannic finish.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The flagship 2012 Reserva was cropped from a year when they started seeing the results of improvements made to the work in the vineyards that started in 2010. 2012 was not as warm and ripe as 2011, and the wine comes through as a nice balance between power and elegance, with some earthiness, good fruit and a fine palate. It has a personality between the Labastida and San Vicente bottlings of the Lindes bottlings. It matured in barrique for 18 months, but the wood feels very well integrated. 2012 was a shorter crop, and they produced some 281,000 bottles. It was bottled in April 2015.”

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

Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri San Vicente, Rioja Doca 2014 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri San Vicente, Rioja Doca 2014 750ML ($179.95) $128 special (that’s only $21.33/bottle!)
James Suckling 96 points
“Some richer, darker and deeper fruit character with plums, blackberries and a dark, earthy streak. The tannins are more upright, more elevated, and the fruit is richer and darker than in the Labastida. This has real presence, grip and energy. Try from 2021.”
Grapelive 94 points “Telmo Rodriguez, one of the most iconic and best winemakers of his generation…. has accomplished himself as a champion of terroir over varietal and employs artisan craftsmanship in the cellar, with his wines hardly ever showing overt oak or aggressive alcohol, they always show distinctive purity and a sense of place, and these secondary wines known as Lindes de Remmelluri are magnificent expressions of Rioja, they are richly flavored and soulful wines crafted from old vine purchased fruit from vineyards that prior had got into the family’s main wine. These two vineyard select wines, Labastida and this San Vincente, coming from vineyards that used to go into the Remelluri Reserva are now separated into these two new single vineyard bottlings that are absolutely stunning values, especially in this 2014 vintage….The beautiful and deep Lindes de Remelluri Viñedos de San Vicente 2014, a field blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Garnacha, was fermented using all native yeasts in cool stainless steel tanks and then raised in barrel, 100% French oak, for 12 months before bottling where it is rested a good amount of time as well. San Vincente in the Rioja Alta just to the east of Haro is at about 50 meters up, but hotter than the higher sites at Labastida and at the main Remelluri estate located in Rioja Alavesa which are much cooler, making this wine seem more lush, riper in satiny tannin and with a softer acidity. Grown on hardened clay and calcareous limestone over a firm core of bedrock from organic vines that average at least 40 years of age this wine shows warm dark fruits, blackberry, cherry and plum lead the way along with hints of earthy mulberry and cranberry along with lilacs, cedar/sandalwood, a touch of vanilla and a subtle array of spices. 2014 was a slightly cooler year and that really helps this wine feel alive on the opulent and full bodied palate and it lingers on and on with a echoing aftertaste that is highly impressive. Telmo’s wines are always polished and textural, but distinctly authentic with terruño character and delivering substance along with some flair, which this one shows, it should age well too, I can imagine at least another decade plus with this 2014 San Vincente.”


Staff Pick

Gour de Chaulé: Classic is Cool Again

While the modern conception of the Southern Rhone is all 15%+ alcohol monsters with lots of new wood, there are still a few holdouts who value an old school style.  Gour de Chaulé is a top example, in the heart of the Southern Rhone but with drinkability in their hearts.  These are powerful wines, but with a soulful edge and a freshness that makes them immensely appealing.  When you factor in their pricing, they become can’t miss offerings for anyone who longs for older style wines from the Rhone.

I had a chance to try both the 2015 and 2005 Gour de Chaulé Gigondas at a blow-out dinner several months back and was stunned by the depth, complexity and freshness of the older version as well as the promise that the younger version clearly showed.  On a night with a ton of expensive world class wines open, this under-$35 bottle was one of the highlights.  The 2016 is a superior version of the wine I tried and I couldn’t be more excited.  I’ll be grabbing a few to open in 10+ years, confident that it’ll be suitable for any occasion.

In Stock Now from Gour de Chaulé:

Domaine du Gour de Chaulé Gigondas Tradition, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Domaine du Gour de Chaulé Gigondas Tradition, Rhone 2016 750ML ($399.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points
“Vivid ruby. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and pit fruits, potpourri and garrigue, and an exotic spice note emerges in the glass. Stains the palate with sweet raspberry, cherry and lavender pastille flavors that steadily put on weight with air. Conveys a suave blend of power and finesse and finishes extremely long and floral, with fine-grained tannins lending discreet grip.”

Also available and recommended from Gour de Chaulé:

Gigondas makes big, powerful reds, but this rosé is anything but.  Light, fresh and prettily mineral, Gour de Chaulé has turned out another classic.

Domaine du Gour de Chaulé Gigondas Amour de Rose, Rhone 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Importer note “Gigondas Rosé: The Rosé at Gour de Chaulé is made from the direct press method. The juice is quickly drawn off the skins (6 to 9 hours of contact), then fermented. A cold stabilization follows. The wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation and is bottled in the early spring of the year following harvest. The Rosé is composed of Cinsault (50%), Grenache, and Mourvedre. This is a brilliantly colored wine with hues of pink and rose accompanied by flavors and a bouquet dominated by the impression of freshly crushed strawberries. Again, a limited amount of this wine is produced annually, only enough for us to have 1200 bottles per year [100 cases] for the US market.”

Collector’s Corner

Pommery’s Tete de Cuvees

Pommery is one of the best kept secrets in top Champagne—at least in the US.  In France and in the UK they’re (rightly) held in top regard, especially for their Tete du Cuvee “Cuvee Louise” bottlings.  We’re secured excellent prices on the Nature and Rosé editions, both from the ’04 vintage and happily present them now.  These are wines that are delicious now and have the stuffing to go another decade if you’re patient now. Mature Champagne is one of the treats of the wine world, giving delight to anyone who manages to partake in its yeasty, creamy glory.  We’re always on the hunt for top examples with bottle age and this pair of wines is a perfect set.

In Stock Now from Pommery:

Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Millesime, Champagne 2002 750ML ($149.95) $128 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
“This well-aged wine from a top Champagne vintage is just now ready to drink after 12 years. It has a touch of toast, but it’s the rich, complex texture and fine structure that set it apart. It’s not a dry wine, it feels soft. It is so well integrated, elegant with hints of apples, a layer of minerality and still-fresh final acidity.”
James Suckling 94 points “A beautifully seductive and creamy nose with plenty of honey and clotted cream across lemon and grapefruit. Some white peach too, really alluring. The palate’s nicely orchestrated and balanced; it builds in stages and delivers pithy lemon and grapefruit flavor amid assertive driving acidity, good depth and concentration. Another great ’02. Drink now or in five or more years.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2002 Cuvée Louise Brut is dressed in an intense citrus colored robe and offers – as if it was a Pfalz Riesling – ripe yellow fruit aromas of pineapples, oranges and ripe peaches along with noble yeasty layers in the background. Full-bodied, rich and fresh on the palate, Madame Louise is a firm and almost mineral structured, persistent Champagne of complexity, finishing with a refreshing citric aroma as well as a stimulating salinity and purity. Good length and balance.”

Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Nature, Champagne 2004 750ML ($199.95) $149 special, 12 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points
“A creamy and refined 2004 with a very reserved and tight palate of ultra fine tannins that lend the wine beautiful creaminess and finesse. Subtly floral, offering lightly cooked apples and lemons. Flavorful, yet always hiding behind the fine bubbles. Drink now.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “CELLAR SELECTION. Sourced entirely from grand cru vineyards and aged for 10 years before disgorgement, this wine is beautifully mature. Richness comes from the ripe fruit rather than the dosage, balanced by tangy acidity and a toasty note. It is a finely poised and impressive wine that is ready to drink.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Rose Millesime, Champagne 2004 750ML ($299.95) $219 special, 6 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points
“The is a new release and shows wonderful finesse and beauty. You know that the moment you see the pale-amber color. It’s medium bodied with freshness and energy and a long, vivid finish. A joy to taste. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $367


Thanks for reading!