Saturday Newsletter 1-14-17

Best Regions for Best Values Edition

Beaujolais 2015: New Reviews from Josh Raynolds; Ayres: Proud Oregon Tradition; Domaine de l’Edre: Roussillon Delight!; New Wine Enthusiast Reviews for Louis Latour; Fougeray de Beauclair; Tissot Vin Jaune; Alto Piedmonte for the Win; Matt Kramer’s Pick: 2015 German Riesling


Best Regions for Best Values

2015 Beaujolais and 2015 German Rieslings

The Unlikely Combination of “Richness and Energy”

from Two Overlooked Regions

Much like the 2015 vintage in Germany, the 2015 vintage of Beaujolais reflects a delightful combination of attributes: “richness and energy” to quote the Josh Raynolds of Vinous Media. We’re excited that these two oft overlooked regions are finally getting their due. So excited, in fact, we’re dedicating this newsletter to a celebration of these two regions.

This leads naturally to a very fair question: why should you care?

Answer: value.

Gamay from Beaujolais and Riesling from Germany together offer the best values in red & white wine from historic wine regions.

Well, what makes them a best value?

Drinkability. Price. Quality. Complexity. Scores. We could gush on!

We know you have zillions of options for under $30 wines from the world over. But it’s that certain ratio of price to quality that really makes a wine rise above snazzy labels. Beaujolais and German Riesling, especially in the 2015 vintage, offer value in spades. And we’ve got Josh Raynolds, Matt Kramer, John Gilman and the folks at Mosel Fine Wines and Wine Advocate to back us up!

We’re featuring other great regions & producers that also offer great bang for the buck. Join us as we explore!


Beaujolais 2015: Simply Stunning

New Reviews from Josh Raynolds of Vinous Media

“The last three vintages for Beaujolais have been a string of home runs, but 2015 is likely to be the one that delivers the greatest impact and pleasure for most wine lovers . . . wines that deliver concentration and energy, with opulent fruit character and the classic core of acidity that gives Beaujolais its trademark vivacity . . . built to age but at the same time display an exuberance that makes many of them pretty irresistible now.” Josh Raynolds

Josh Raynolds is not the first to appreciate the 2015 vintage in Beaujolais (there’s plenty of high praise from John Gilman of the View from the Cellar and Neal Martin of the Wine Advocate!). Make sure you’re not the last! Below are new reviews from Raynolds for producers we’ve been proud to offer for years (and count among the greats of the region): Clos de la Roilette, Daniel Bouland, Domaine du Vissoux, Domaine Marcel Lapierre and Chateau Thivin.

Newly Reviewed 2015 Beaujolais Wines In-Stock Now

Coudert Pere ‘Clos de la Roilette’ Fleurie Cuvee Tardive, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 31 bottles available
Coudert Pere ‘Clos de la Roilette’ Fleurie Cuvee Tardive, Beaujolais 2015 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special, 6 bottles available
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Bright magenta. Sexy, highly perfumed scents of red fruit liqueur, candied flowers and five-spice powder, along with a smoky mineral topnote. Sappy, deeply concentrated raspberry and rose pastille flavors show impressive energy and are complicated by a suggestion of Asian spices that gains power in the glass. At once powerful and lithe, finishing very long, with impressive focus and silky, harmonious tannins.”

Daniel Bouland Cote de Brouilly Cuvee Melanie, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles available
Case-12 Daniel Bouland Cote de Brouilly Cuvee Melanie, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($299.95) $259 special, 1 case available (That’s only $21.58 per bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Vivid magenta. Ripe cherry and dark berry aromas are complemented by suave floral and Asian spice flourishes. Plush and seamless in texture, offering sappy blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. Closes smooth, very long and emphatically fruity, leaving notes of red and dark berry liqueur behind.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Daniel Bouland Morgon Delys, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($31.95) $27 special, 36+ bottles available
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Deep brilliant red. Ripe cherry, blueberry and candied flowers on the expansive, deeply perfumed nose. Palate-coating dark berry and floral pastille flavors show a suave blend of power and vivacity, and a smoky mineral underpinning gains strength as the wine opens up. Finishes very long, sweet and seamless; gentle tannins frame the plush fruit.”

Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Brouilly Pierreux, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles available
Case-12 Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Brouilly Pierreux, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($299.95) $259 special, 1 case available (that’s only $21.58 per bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 91 points “Bright violet. Ripe cherry and dark berries on the powerful, spice-accented nose. Supple and open-knit, offering fleshy cherry and cassis flavors lifted by a jolt of juicy acidity. Shows very good energy and breadth on the gently tannic, dark-fruit-dominated finish, which leaves a sappy blue fruit note behind.”

Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles available
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Bright magenta. An expressive, intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and blue fruits and candied flowers, and suggestions of smoky minerals and Asian spices add vivacity. Concentrated, seamless and alluringly sweet, offering juicy, mineral-laced raspberry, boysenberry and violet pastille flavors and a subtle white pepper quality that builds on the back half. Finishes with superb focus and tenacity, leaving an echo of sappy red berries behind.”

Newly Reviewed 2015 Beaujolais Arriving This Month

Chateau Thivin Brouilly ‘Reverdon’, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special, ETA January
Josh Raynolds 91 points “Bright violet. Powerful, mineral-tinged dark berries, violet and licorice on the perfumed nose. Densely packed bitter cherry and boysenberry flavors are enlivened by a jolt of juicy acidity. Fleshes out on the youthfully tannic finish, which hangs on with strong, floral-driven persistence.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special, ETA January
Josh Raynolds 93 points “Limpid ruby-red. Bright and energetic on the nose, displaying incisive red and dark berry, floral pastille and Asian spice scents and a zesty mineral topnote. Palate-staining raspberry and bitter cherry flavors deepen and become sweeter as the wine opens up. Delivers a serious dose of densely packed fruit flavor while coming off graceful, showing no rough edges and an impressively long, mineral-driven finish. This year’s rendition of this classic bottling is a must-buy for longtime fans of this historic estate.”

We offer 38 different Beaujolais wines in stock now (that’s over 1,000 bottles!) – browse the complete list on our web store!



Proud Oregon Tradition

Down to earth: Ayres grows and makes wines in the true Oregon tradition. From certified-sustainable viticulture in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, to hands-off winemaking (learned at Domaine Drouhin Oregon), and extremely reasonable pricing, Ayres represents Willamette Valley Pinot Noir with respect. The Lewis Rogers Lane and Perspective cuvees satisfy that plump red/blue fruit craving, while the Pioneer gives a deeper, darker taste. Meanwhile, to keep it bright, fresh, and under $20 a bottle, the Willamette Valley 2015 already drinks wonderfully. Pick one, two, or all four to taste and we’re sure you’ll add Ayres to your list of favorite Oregon producers. They’re definitely one of ours.

New Reviews from Josh Raynolds—he likes them as much as we do!

Ayres Lewis Rogers Lane Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 23 bottles available
James Suckling 93 points “A linear and fresh pinot with firm yet soft tannins and a savory and fruity finish. Subtle and racy. Drink or hold.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Vivid red. A perfumed bouquet evokes ripe cherry and blackberry, and notes of rose and cola build in the glass. Sappy and seamless on the palate; zesty acidity provides lift and spine to bitter cherry and dark berry skin flavors. Shows very good depth as well as vivacity and finishes with solid, fruity punch and supple tannins that sneak in slowly to add shape.”

Ayres Perspective Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2014 750ML ($29.95) $26 special, 23 bottles available
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Bright red. Spice-tinged cherry, boysenberry and violet aromas show very good clarity and lift. Smooth and juicy on the palate, offering sweet red and blue fruit flavors and a building suggestion of spicecake. Fleshy and forward, delivering powerful closing thrust, even tannins and a suave floral pastille nuance that lingers on the finish.”
James Suckling 90 points “Very fruity aromas with hints of strawberry jam. Full-bodied, soft and fruity. A little one-dimensional and very fruit-forward. Shows the very ripe nature of the hot 2014 vintage. A little overdone but some may love it. Drink now.”

Ayres Pioneer Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 18 bottles available
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Brilliant red. Powerful, mineral-tinged cherry and dark berry scents, along with a hint of candied rose in the background. Fleshy and broad on entry and then tighter in the midpalate, offering bitter cherry and blackberry flavors that become more energetic and sweeter as the wine opens up. Shows excellent clarity and lift on the floral-driven, youthfully tannic finish, which leaves a sappy dark berry note behind.”

Ayres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 31 bottles available
Winery note “A wine that is as kind to your wallet as it is to your meal.  Dollar for dollar, the richest Willamette Valley wine you will find!  There is plenty of our Ribbon Ridge estate fruit in this bottle of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir!”

Want more Oregon Pinot? We have 115 options in stock now. See the complete list on our web store!


Domaine de l’Edre

Roussillon Delight!

It seems France’s Roussillon region was made to grow fine wine. Proximity to the vine’s favorite sea, the Mediterranean, and planted in classic limestone-clay soil, winemaking talent thrives in this area. Founded by Jacques Castany and Pascal Dieunidou in 2002 from inherited vines, Domaine de l’Edre produces ripe yet balanced and stylish wines of terrific character and terroir definition. Here’s the perfect match to a leg of lamb or even a pot au feu, to veggie dishes rich in grilled peppers and eggplant, and of course to charcuterie and cheese. Celebrate the French way of good living by uncorking a bottle of L’Edre Roussillon!

Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Case-6 Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $39.83 per bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95 points “One of the wines of the vintage is the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Domaine de l’Edre. While this cuvee had a rustic edge in the past, today it’s incredibly polished and pure, with brilliant aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, licorice, crushed flowers and chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, yet elegant and balanced, it’s a classic Roussillon that can be enjoyed today or cellared for a decade.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Our Current
Shipping Promos:

Welcome to the club, Colorado!

Along with Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California,
we now offer flat rate shipping to Colorado. Here’s the scoop:

Single orders of any quantity of wines qualify for the flat rate;
this does not apply to orders held in storage for any reason
or multiple orders consolidated into one shipment.
The flat reach for each state is, as follows:

-to Oregon for $17,
-Washington & Idaho for $20,
-and California & Colorado for $25

Take Advantage of the Flat Rate!


New Wine Enthusiast Reviews for Louis Latour

Louis Latour is a large, well known negociant and appreciation for their higher-end offerings suffers as a result.  To some degree this is understandable—we tend to romanticize the small and boutique.  The image of the humble farmer carefully tending his 3 barrels is an easier marketing pitch than the suited cellar master tasting through some prospective wine and making decisions about what he will buy for his firm.

That said, there are some real advantages to being the big guy.  You can afford to be very selective for your higher end wines—if a barrel of Meursault or Chassagne isn’t up to snuff, you don’t have to sell it at full price just to pay the bills, so you can declassify it to village or Bourgogne level.  This means that your higher end wines can often be real bargains that are full of quality but without the price tag of smaller, hipper producers.  We think these wines are worth your time and judging by their recent reviews, Wine Enthusiast thinks so, too.

Newly Reviewed Wines from Louis Latour

In Stock Now!

Louis Latour Cailleret, Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 20 bottles available
Wine Enthisiast 93 points “This stony, mineral wine is still way behind in its development. It is crisp and tight in texture, with refreshing acidity that lifts the white fruits with lime highlights. It’s a full wine that will develop well. Drink from 2019.”

Louis Latour Sous Le Puits, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 18 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “The vineyard is high up the slope, giving this wine that has good acidity and crispness. The acidity is light and bright, while the texture is concentrated and mineral. It is going to develop as a fine, ripe wine. Drink from 2018”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Louis Latour Chateau de Blagny Meursault Blagny, Meursault Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 23 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “From the highest point in the Meursault vineyards, this wine is crisp and cool. It has a tight, bright character that is driven by the steely, mineral texture. The grapefruit flavors go with the riper apple and pear roundness to give a wine that will take a little time to develop. Drink from 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Fougeray de Beauclair

Parceled vineyard ownership can make Burgundy’s Côte d’Or seem chaotic. But this allows small, family growers like Fougeray de Beauclair to produce twenty-one wines from the Côte de Nuits and de Beaune. Founded in 1978, Fougeray de Beauclair grows Pinot Noir and Chardonnay across 45 acres, from straight-forward villages like Marsannay and Fixin, to prestigious Bonnes Mares, to richly structured Puligny-Montrachet. Patrice Olliver has been growing and making wine at Fougeray de Beauclair, created by his parents-in-law, for over two decades. Synthetic fertilizers were abandoned, and the sorting of grapes takes place in the vineyard and at the winery. Quality becomes a matter of pride at a domaine of this size. The wines get oak in the proportion they deserve: 15 months in 30% new for the Gevrey-Chambertin, 18 months in 100% new for the Bonnes Mares, 6 to 8 months in 50% new oak for the Puligny-Montrachet. Barrels come from the Bertrange forest, and are made by master tonnelier François Frères.

Fougeray de Beauclair makes around 90,000 bottles a year. Forty percent of their wine sells in France, but after meeting with Patrice and tasting his wines, we’ve managed to stock a few that we’re pleased to offer. For casual dinners, for late-afternoon sippers, or for special occasions, Fougeray de Beauclair has a wine, and they’re ready for drinking today.

Fougeray de Beauclair Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2014 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 36+ bottles in stock
Winery note “Color: Red, intense color with soft purple when the wine is young, then, with a few years in the bottles, the color of the wine is ruby and orange red. Nose: Red fruits aromas (raspberry and cherry) with cinnamon and leather. Taste: soft and delicate with fine tannins reinforced by red fruit flavors.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Fougeray de Beauclair Puligny-Montrachet Les Meix, Cote de Beaune 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 28 bottles in stock
Winery note “From 40 year old vines grown in clay limestone soils. The wine was aged in 50% new barrels for 6 to 8 months. The nose is fresh and minerally. The taste is of smoky minerals, with an intense note of flint. Excellent potential.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Fougeray de Beauclair Marsannay Les Aiges Pruniers Chardonnay, Cote de Nuits 2012 750ML ($34.95) $26.60 special, 4 bottles available
Winery note “From 20 year old vines grown in limestone and clay soil. Wine aged and matured in vats for 6 – 8 months. Nose: Open and frank, evoking pineapple, lemon grass, pear and peach. Flavors of lime blossoms with a round and long finish.”

Fougeray de Beauclair Fixin Clos Marion, Cote de Nuits 2012 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 21 bottles available
Winery note “Nose: A sumptuous bouquet, dense and complex, revealing aromas of ripe fruit (black cherry). Taste: Ripe fruits and liquorice, long-lasting taste. 10% in new oak vats, the remaining wine in barrels of 1 to 3 wines.”

Fougeray de Beauclair Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 6 bottles available
Winery note “Nose: smells of red fruits (black currant, blackberry) and violet sustained by woody notes. Taste: Softly spiced, fruity taste, powerful and long finish. Cold maceration for 3 days, then alcoholic fermentation under temperature control of 31°C maximum, in tanks for 2 and 3 weeks. 100% in new oak vats in the cooperage François Forêt de Bertrange for 18 months. Vineyard Age: 25 to 75 years.”

Fougeray de Beauclair Gevrey-Chambertin Les Seuvrees, Cote de Nuits 2012 750ML ($79.95) $66 special, 1 bottle available
Winery note “Nose: Concentrated with fruits notes. Taste: Intense flavor evoking blackcurrants, small red or black berries, some notes of musk and fur and liquorice when the wine has matured. 30% in new barrels during 15 months.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Pride of the Jura:

Two Masterpieces from Stephane Tissot

Vin Jaune is the most prized style of wine from the (suddenly fashionable) Jura region, in Alpine France.  Aged for a minimum of six years and three months without topping up, it develops a nutty, slightly sherried character that it is famous for, though it has a lot more weight and texture than any dry sherry.  It’s a natural and classic pairing with Comte cheese and with Chicken with Morels (and Vin Jaune) sauce and other hearty cheese and cream based winter fare.

So without further ado, two wines from Stephane Tissot, a master of the style.  One is from the fabled Chateau-Chalon appellation and the other bears the slightly more humble “Vin Jaune” designation, but is his prestige cuvee.  Both are incredible wines that will age effortlessly for the next 30+ years or be spectacular now with a few hours in a decanter and a plate of rich, hearty food.

Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Arbois Vin Jaune ‘La Vasee’, Jura 2008 620ML ($89.95) $79 special, 19 bottles available
96 points Wine Advocate “The 2008 Arbois Vin Jaune La Vasée was closed and austere — a fresh style of vin jaune. It is salty, so this would be ideal with oysters. This is both powerful and concentrated with lots of iodine; it is a very salty, marine, characterful wine, and is sharp.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Chateau-Chalon, Jura 2008 620ML ($99.95) $79 special, 21 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points “When tasted next to the other vin jaunes from the same vintage, the 2008 Château Chalon felt very different, and you noticed the extra freshness of Chalon compared to Arbois. It has more green hazelnut, citrus and morel aromas, and is already showing some notes of curry. It is fine, straight and elegant. This is simply superb.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price for this wine is $98!


Alto Piedmonte:

Top Rate Nebbiolo at Cut Rate Prices

The Piedmonte outside of Barolo and Barbaresco remains a bit of a paradox: lovers of big, collectible Nebbiolo will readily concede that there are some amazing wines made there, but then turn around and proceed never to buy any, despite the fact that the best wines are outstandingly cheap!  Well, hopefully that stops today (at least in a small little way).  We’re here to tell you that if you love Barolo and Barbaresco, you should be paying real (fiscal) attention to the wines made in Piedmonte outside of the big two.

The wines we’re focusing on today are mostly from Gattinara (which is one of the two or three best known regions outside of Barolo/Barbaresco) and from Ghemme (which was famous in the 19th century and into the 20th but has become more obscure since WWII).  The big advantage both regions have on their side right now is the changing climate.  In an older climate paradigm, you couldn’t always count on the northerly regions in the Piedmonte to get fully ripe every year, so often you had very light wines with very stern tannins.  Now? It’s like Gattinara and co. have hit the jackpot.

The wines of Gattinara and Ghemme (and Carema, etc) tend to be lighter bodied and more aromatic than Barolo (Volnay vs Nuits, in Burgundy, is a good comparison).  They age forever, it seems, but with a good decant you shouldn’t have any problem drinking the wines now (or at least from the lower tier).  The best part?  The prices.  We’re offering a lot of wines here that are between $30-60, with most of them in the lower part of that price range, but no matter where you’re buying, you’re probably saving 30-50% vs. a wine of comparable quality that has the Barolo tag (and the branding behind it). Sure you don’t get to brag about the Barolo you bought, but if you’re in it for the wines themselves, this is where you want to be.

Below is a selection of ten Alto Piedmonte wines available here now:

Ferrando White Label – Etichetta Bianca Nebbiolo di Carema, Piedmont 2011 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 22 bottles available
Importer’s Note: If there is any wine that defines the Ferrando “oeuvre” it is this one: the white label Carema. No single wine in our portfolio is more illustrative of our work than this brilliant rendition of Nebbiolo. Produced exclusively from the Nebbiolo grape planted in a series of vineyards that sit beneath Mont …The vines are trained in a special way on pergola (known as “tupin” in local dialect) to obtain maximum exposure to the sun in this high altitude district and are planted to soils that are dominated by slate…. The Carema of Ferrando reveals the most elegant and delicate and complex characteristics of the Nebbiolo grape with a surprising capacity to age. We have witnessed this wine at thirty-plus years of age displaying vibrant, seductive qualities that are simply astonishing.

Antoniolo Vigneto Castelle, Gattinara DOCG 2011 750ML ($54.95) $44 special, 24 bottles available
Wine Spectator 90 points “Enticing aromas of cherry, rose, licorice and tar give way to stony, mineral elements that define this red, which is firm yet long and mouthwatering, with the mineral depths echoing on the lingering finish.”

Antoniolo Gattinara DOCG 2011 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 22 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The 2011 Gattinara is surprisingly intense for an entry-level bottling. Dark, powerful and voluptuous – almost unnaturally so for the appellation – the 2011 exudes richness. Dark cherry, plum, smoke, tobacco and menthol are front and center in this super-expressive, inviting Gattinara from Antoniolo. Readers should expect a bold, racy style in 2011.”

Antoniolo ‘Osso San Grato’, Gattinara DOCG 2011 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 18 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points “An austere, chalky style, whose linear profile binds cherry, tomato leaf, loam and tea flavors together. Aeration coaxes out more fruit and harmony, but this is more reticent than some peers, with a long, mineral finish.”
Doctorwine 94 points “Harvest this year came early due to an alternating climate that saw a hot spring followed by a cool and rainy June, a normal July and a dry and very hot August. Overall the vintage was considered good but the estate did not consider a classic one. The wine has a transparent, ruby-garnet color with particularly luminous fuchsia reflections. The bouquet has finesse with scents of violet, rose, apricot, licorice, mint and a pinch of chalk. The tannins in the mouth feel are compact yet sweet and perhaps are a bit too settled for a young top Gattinara. The finish is modulated. A wine of the finest quality and unbridled drinkability.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Antoniolo San Francesco, Gattinara DOCG 2010 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 8 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2010 Gattinara San Francesco is the most accessible of the estate’s three single-vineyard Gattinaras. Another intense, powerful wine, the San Francesco occasionally also show a more tender, welcoming side of its personality. Sweet tobacco, licorice and dried herbs all add nuance to the beautifully textured. There is a level of sweetness and openness to the San Francesco that the other wines don’t offer, at least not today.”

Antoniolo San Francesco, Gattinara DOCG 2011 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 23 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points “With a core of sweet fruit notes, this red combines cherry, berry, tomato leaf and stone aromas and flavors. Remains balanced and long, evolving from cherry to mineral on the long finish.”

Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo ‘Cantalupo Anno Primo’ Colline Novaresi, Piedmont 2009 750ML ($44.95) $38 special, 36+ bottles available
Case-12 Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo ‘Cantalupo Anno Primo’ Colline Novaresi, Piedmont 2009 750ML ($479.95) $399 special, 4 cases available (that’s only $33.25/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2009 Cantalupo Anno Primo is a gorgeous, super-classic Ghemme. Rosewater, bright red cherry, geranium, tobacco, pine and mint are beautifully delineated throughout. Aromatically intense and focused, the 2009 shows exactly what makes Nebbiolo from Ghemme so delicious. This is an absolutely gorgeous wine that won’t break the bank. At times, the aromatic signatures are quite reminiscent of Mascarello’s Barolo Monprivato, although the tannic and acid signatures are very much those of Ghemme.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo Collis Breclemae, Ghemme DOCG 2007 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 8 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 92+ points “The 2007 Ghemme Collis Breclamae shows the deeper, slightly wilder side of Ghemme. Game, smoke, licorice, cedar and tobacco are expressed with elements of burliness and rusticity. There is more than enough depth to fill out the wine’s broad shoulders. Still, what comes through most is the wine’s virile, imposing personality.” AG

Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo Collis Carellae, Ghemme DOCG 2009 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 26 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 94 points “A big, dense wine, the 2009 Collis Carellae shows the wilder, gamier side of Ghemme. Leather, smoke, cedar, tobacco and menthol make a strong first impression. The 2009 possesses tons of depth and vertical structure. Some of the initial elements of rusticity blow off with air, so readers should be ready to open the 2009 in advance. There is no shortage of personality. That much is clear.”

And specially imported at our request:

Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo Signore di Bayard, Ghemme DOCG 2006 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special, 17 bottles available
VinopolNote: A special bottling of 100% Nebbiolo produced by the winery only in the best years, the Signore di Bayard is a tribute to the 16th Century Knight of Bayard, Peter Terrail, the “Good Knight without fear and without reproach.”  It is a block selection of the oldest vines from the estate.  These vines are growing in gravel moraine soil at 280-310m (306-340’) in elevation.  The grapes are hand-picked and sorted before undergoing a cold soak.  Fermentation takes place naturally with the stems.  The wine is aged for 18 to 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels before being bottled unfiltered.  It is a dense and tannic wine with an excellent aging potential.

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Matt Kramer suggests expanding your wine interests….

…and we (and many others) agree!

2015 German Riesling

Looking to expand your wine horizons? Matt Kramer, writing in the Wine Spectator, recently explored a number of budget-friendly wine regions worth a look. Our favorite recommendation was his ‘can’t miss’ endorsement of 2015 German Riesling:

In Matt’s wise words “Any 2015 German Riesling Under $30: Whoever says vintages don’t matter hasn’t been to Germany. The 2015 vintage is a knockout year, so much so that it’s hard to go wrong even (and unusually) at the lower price range.”

Combined with appealing reviews from Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, Vinous, John Gilman, and Mosel Fine Wines for many 2015 releases, Matt is very on target with this advice. You are certain to find great choices from dry to sweet, basic to top tier. As an oft overlooked region, you’re also certain to find great bargains!

For under $30, we offer 22 different 2015 German Rieslings in-stock now and 30 different 2015 German Rieslings arriving in January, March and May. Browse some of our top picks below, or see the complete list at the bottom of this feature:

Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Goldloch Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2015 750ML ($37.95) $28 special, 9 bottles available
Wine Advocate “The 2015 Goldloch Riesling Kabinett from the village of Dorsheim offers some honey wax and rice flavors on the youthful nose. On the palate, the wine is pure, fresh and piquant, a classic Kabinett with ripe yellow stone fruit aromas. Straight and piquant.”
Terry Theise notes: “A cool, delicate rendering of the Great Lady that is Goldloch; a lovely being of a certain fleshy amplitude but also fresh, vertical, and snappy—there’s almost 10g of acidity with 45g of RS; a classic paradigm of high-acid German Riesling.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Hofgut Falkenstein Krettnacher Euchariusberg Riesling Kabinett AP #8 2015 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 7 bottles available
Hofgut Falkenstein Krettnacher Euchariusberg Riesling Kabinett AP #8 2015 750ML ($249.95) $219 special, 2 cases available (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “The Estate produced two casks of fruity-styled Kabinett from the Euchariusberg, whose labelling only differs by the AP number. This AP 8 comes from a parcel still planted with un-grafted vines in the prime Gross Schock sector of the vineyard which was classified in the highest category on the old taxation maps. It exhibits a show-stopping nose of herbs, white peach and spices. The wine is stunningly playful and elegant on the palate and leaves a stunning feel of fresh mint, herbs and spices in the long and mouth-watering finish. This is a great zesty Kabinett in the making. 2025-2040”

Weingut Jos. Christoffel Jr. Christoffel-Prum Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese Feinherb, Mosel 2015 750ML ($34.95) $26 special, 29 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “This off-dry Riesling was fermented to “only” 8.5% of alcohol and exhibits 29 g/l of residual sugar. The first nose is quite captivating as it offers fresh and zesty flavors of citrus, white peach, flowers, mint and herbs all wrapped up in some spicy fermentation notes and reduction. The wine is light as fresh water and dances on the palate. The whole structure is light and airy. At the moment, the finish is rather smooth and delicate but will gain in precision and depth in a few years’ time. 2020-2035”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Peter Lauer ‘Barrel X’ Saar Riesling, Mosel 2015 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 36+ bottles available
Case-12 Peter Lauer ‘Barrel X’ Saar Riesling, Mosel 2015 750ML ($279.95) $219 special, 8 cases available (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Eric Asimov 20 Wines under 20 Pick for Fall 2016 ““Barrel X” is the entry-level riesling of Peter Lauer, which has become something of a cult producer. Its wines are precise and jewel-like, and this one is no different, rocky on the palate with an almost razor-like focus and just the most tender touch of residual sugar.”
Importer note “You all know by now the stratospheric work Florian is doing in the Saar.  This has always been the ambassador wine from the winery but this vintage elevates to Senior levels of complexity.”

“I have only had grapes this beautiful once in my entire career, and this was in my very first vintage of 1971.” – Helmut Donnhoff

Weingut Willi Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett Feinherb, Mosel 2015 750ML ($21.95) $16 special, 21 bottles available
Jancis Robinson “Stony, almost dusty note on the nose over light citrus. Tastes drier than you might expect from feinherb thanks to an assertive lime-citrus streak.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
“The 2015 vintage in Germany is one of the finest young vintages I have ever had the pleasure to taste- at least at those estates who have embraced the style of the vintage and not sought to make wines in a style that is antithetical to the framework of the year… I would be very, very surprised a quarter century down the road if the top 2015ers are not spoken of with the same reverence as vintages like 1961 in Bordeaux, 1978 in Burgundy or 1971 and 1975 in Germany- it is simply that magnificent.” – John Gilman
Newly Reviewed German Riesling Under $30 Arriving in May

Joh. Jos. Prum Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2015 750ML ($29.95) $26 pre-arrival special, ETA May 2017
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “This offers a gorgeous nose of white peach, cassis, grapefruit, smoke and herbs. The wine is very dynamic on the palate thanks to most zesty flavors of citrusy fruits as well as plenty herbal scents. The finish is off-dry in taste, very long and offers a great feel of freshness. This is a superb Kabinett to drink by the bottle. What a beauty! 2023-2035”

“This vintage reminds me very much of 1975, which was one of my earliest vintages here and I have been waiting to see another one like it ever since.” – Willi Schaefer

For additional German Riesling options under $30 that are in-stock now or arriving January, March or May, see our complete list:

german under 30 spread sheet
Still not convinced? Here’s our closing argument from John Gilman:

“The 2015 vintage is just the kind of vintage that I adore, as the wines have glorious spines of acidity (where they have not been sloppily de-acidified) that will provide the structural chassis for very, very long lives in bottle, and which give the wines an inner tension that is extremely rare and utterly beautiful to behold. The fruit tones in the wines are so very pure and vibrant that one feels like a newborn man tasting the perfectly ripe fruit for the first time off of the vine and conceiving names new and wonderful for the flavors that wash across the senses. There is a primordial beauty in these 2015ers that is extremely rare. And I would be remiss in not mentioning that the level of minerality in all these top wines is also extraordinarily present- it is just that good of a vintage!”


Q&A Time: Value Wine Edition

Q: When is Bordeaux a value wine?

A: When the quality is high and the Euro is cheap

Arriving Wednesday, January 18th

Chateau Bel-Air, Pomerol 2009 750ML ($37.95) $29 pre-arrival special, 17 bottles available
Case-12 Chateau Bel-Air, Pomerol 2009 750ML ($419.95) $299 pre-arrival special, 2 cases available (that’s only $24.92 per bottle!)
“Owned by the Martin family (who also own Gloria), this dense ruby/plum-colored sleeper of the vintage displays oodles of fruit as well as some notes of Christmas fruitcake and roasted herbs along with loads of cassis. Tasty, round, generous, and ripe, this 2009 has a lot going for it.”–Robert Parker

Chateau Bel-Air, Pomerol 2010 750ML ($37.95) $29 pre-arrival special, 17 bottles available
Case-12 Chateau Bel-Air, Pomerol 2010 750ML ($419.95) $299 pre-arrival special, 3 cases available (that’s only $24.92 per bottle!)
Grapelive 92 points “The vintage shows through here without question, a great year makes this lovely Pomerol a terrific value and wonderfully textured wine from Chateau Bel-Air. This dark and full bodied Pomerol hits all the right notes and does so with class, vitality and verve showing beautiful detail and complexity in a forceful, but elegantly pure Merlot, this is really seductive stuff in the glass, holding it’s own against far more expensive labels with ease and poise. The rich layers of fruit, mineral tones and sweet tannin give decadence and refined structure, highlighting Merlot’s promise in a world that sometimes lacks the respect of this often maligned varietal. Chateau Bel-Air has captured in the bottle the right bank’s charm and beauty in this 2010, it shows terroir, with subtle loamy/earth, plummy dense mouth feel and stylish silken length with a wine that has the potential to age another 10 to 15 years, but is pretty darn good right now too. The lead off here is dark floral tones a hint of smoky cedar and black cherry fruit with blackberry, plum, dark kirsch liqueur along with a touch of mint, dried clay, a touch of cigar wrapper and vanilla. This fine Bordeaux delivers well beyond it’s price and is wonderful with food choices that range from duck breast, lamb, roast pork, wild mushroom dishes to prime rib, and or any comforting winter fare really, and it can also be enjoyed with cheeses or on it’s own. This is the kind of wine that brings you back to Bordeaux, and certainly makes you wonder why you don’t drink more Merlot, drink this Chateau Bel-Air Pomerol from 2016 to 2028.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Chateau Meyney, Saint-Estephe 2009 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special, 36+ bottles available
Case-12 Chateau Meyney, Saint-Estephe 2009 750ML ($549.95) $438 pre-arrival special, 3 cases available (that’s only $36.50 per bottle!)
James Suckling 93 points “Green olives, spices and currants on the nose. Full body, with velvety tannins and a juicy finish. Lovely layers of ripe tannins and ripe fruit. Best after 2018.”
Robert Parker 92 points “I clearly underrated this wine from barrel. The finest wine made at this estate since 1982, this opaque black wine is a sleeper of the vintage, with oodles of blackberry fruit interwoven with hints of charcoal, forest floor, licorice and damp earth. Deep, rich, chewy, full-bodied and opulent, this is a fabulous Meyney that, because of its low acidity and very ripe tannin, can be drunk in 3-4 years or cellared for two decades. Bravo!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Chateau d’Issan, Margaux 2012 750ML ($69.95) $53.80 pre-arrival special, 21 bottles available
Robert Parker 95 points “The 2012 Château d’Issan, builds on the richness of the second wine and adds more body, structure and density. It has an inky purple color and a stunning nose of spring flowers, blueberry and blackberry fruit as well as touches of incense and graphite. Medium to full-bodied and stunningly concentrated, this 2012 is a great success in the vintage, one of the superstars. Moreover, its precociousness suggests it could be drunk in the next 4-5 years or cellared through 2025. I underrated this wine dramatically in my report of April, 2013.”

Q: Is Champagne ever a value wine?

A: Triolet — $29

In-Stock Now

Thierry Triolet Cuvee Grande Reserve Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles available
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “(11 g/l dosage): Pale gold. Intense citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by notes of honeysuckle, tarragon and iodine. Chewy tangerine and pear skin flavors become silkier and spicier with aeration. Shows a seductive floral quality on the clinging finish, which features a dusty mineral nuance and a touch of buttered toast.” JR

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $45
Q: Is 100-Point Brunello ever a value wine?

A: No, but paying the lowest price available today is not totally extravagant!

Re-Arriving Friday, January 27th

Casanova di Neri Cerretalto, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($379.95) $299 pre-arrival special, 25 bottles available
James Suckling 100 points “This is very tannic and powerful with loads of currants, spices and hints of wood. So much stone and mineral character to this. Violets, too. Full-bodied, tight and structured. Massively dense yet agile and bright. It goes on for minutes. Needs at least three or four years to soften. Try in 2020.”
Wine Advocate 99+ points “This is a towering achievement. It is delightful on every level. The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto is an expressive, exuberant and stunning wine that opens to a dark ruby color and rich consistency. The bouquet is never-ending with immediate intensity that is followed closely by finely-tuned aromas of black cherry, spice, grilled herb, clove, tobacco, wet earth and white truffle. A gorgeous display of elegant mineral tones rises from the bouquet with time. Later, those aromas turn to cola, licorice and tar. This wine showed an impressive evolution over the 24 hours I tasted it and delivered solid improvements each time. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth, and there’s enough power here to move the wine over the palate in seamless fashion. This is a bottle for the back of your cellar.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!