September 16th Newsletter

September 16, 2013
Jump Start Sale

Bodegas Cepa 21 “Hito” Ribera del Duero 2010 ($17.95) $10.90 jump start special
Josh Raynolds 90 points
 “Bright ruby.  Pungent aromas of cherry, dark berries, licorice and mocha, with a subtle note of cracked pepper in the background.  Juicy, penetrating bitter cherry and cassis flavors unfold to show a richer plummy character.  Closes smoky and long, with gentle tannins and lingering spiciness.” 100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo).


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New Week – New Wines

Patricia Green Cellars Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 magnums ($69.95) $59 special
Patricia Green Cellars Balcombe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 magnums ($79.95) $69 special
Patricia Green Cellars Estate Old Vines Pinot Noir 2011 magnums ($89.95) $79 special

double-trouble? Not if you’ve a few guests. Stay tuned, we are hoping to have a few PGC library mags in coming weeks.
Boedecker Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2012 ($21.95) $17 special
Definitely has the taste of twelve, which is turning out to be a note of ripe & spicy tannin not often on display in WVPNs. Don’t worry, that note is wrapped in luscious fruit. Akin to 2010 in Burgundy.
Scott Paul Wines Pinot Noir ‘The Long Run’ Dundee Hills 2011 ($49.95) $41.90 special
Josh Raynolds 92 points
 “(12.9% alcohol; 20% new oak):  Light, bright red.  Sexy, high-pitched red berry and floral scents, with notes of star anise, underbrush and sassafras adding complexity.  Offers intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavors, along with notes of rhubarb, candied flowers and orange zest.  This lithe, focused, pure pinot finishes linear and very long, with echoing floral and spice notes.  Pinot purists should definitely check this one out.”

Rotie Cellars Southern Red Blend 2010 ($41.95) $35.90 special
Wine Advocate 92+ points
 “Coming from the sandy soils of the southern slopes of Horse Heaven Hills, the 2010 Southern Blend is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre aged in used French oak barrels. Deep ruby in color and almost opaque, it displays superb Grenache flair with loads of kirsch, licorice, white and black pepper, exotic spices and floral qualities that give way to a medium-bodied, fresh, focused palate. Very lively, energetic and elegant, with integrated acidity, solid concentration and ripe tannin, this knockout southern Rhone blend can be enjoyed now, or cellared for 5-7 years. Drink now-2020.”

Rotie Cellars ‘Little G’ Grenache 2010 ($69.95) $55 special
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “Also silky and almost Pinot Noir-like in its elegance and texture, the 100% Grenache 2010 Grenache Little g is loaded with juicy, wild berry and kirsch-like qualities that are intermixed with lovely white pepper, freshly snipped flowers, red licorice and underbrush on the nose. Pure silk on the palate, with a medium-bodied, seamless texture, juicy acidity, sweet fruit and fine tannin on the finish, this perfectly proportioned 2010 should be given 2-3 years of bottle age and then consumed over the following decade. Elegance and seamlessness are the buzzwords here. Drink 2015-2025.”

Rotie Cellars Mourvedre ‘Dre’ 2010 ($69.95) $55 special
Wine Advocate 94+ points
 “More reserved than the Homage, the 2010 Mourvedre Dre is a 100% Mourvedre that was aged in neutral oak for 12-16 months. It exhibits a thrilling array of blackberry and blueberry styled fruit to go with notions of ground pepper, wild herbs, roasted meat, licorice and pan drippings on the nose. This is followed up by a full-bodied, concentrated wine that has a seamless, elegant texture, racy acidity and fine, polished tannin that doesn’t emerge until the finish. Like the Homage, this isn’t for those lacking in patience and needs 3-5 years of bottle age. I believe it will be very long lived and, as with the Homage, 12 to 15 years or more of evolution is not out of the question. If drinking anytime soon, a lengthy decant is recommended, as this didn’t start to fully shine until the second day.

Opus One Napa Proprietary Red 2007 magnums ($599.95) $499 special
Robert Parker 95 points 
“Two of the strongest wines ever made at Opus One, the 2007 has terrific black currant fruit, licorice, incense, and subtle smoke, an opulent, even voluptuous mouthfeel, dazzling purity and texture, and a skyscraper-like mouthfeel. This is a sensational Opus One, with sweet tannin and impressive precision and depth. It can be drunk now or cellared for 25 years.”

Aurelien Verdet  Haut Cotes de Nuits Blanc Le Prieur 2010 ($39.95) $33 special Vinopolpick

Mineral driven, almost crystalline. Just enough lime-lemon fruit overlays. Aurelien’s father was pioneer in Burgundy’s shift to organic practices in the 1970’s and its ensuing reversal of decades of decline. And Aurelian? He’d be considered one of Burgundy’s rock-star young winemakers were it not for his predisposition  towards the small footprint life.
Francois Carillon Saint Aubin 1er Cru Charmois 2011 ($39.95) $29 super special
Saint Aubin- our fascination grows each year. Francois Carillon’s small plot in Charmois is 35-50 year old vignes. And his particular twist on white winemaking is extended lees contact, but with an avoidance of lees stirring. A good recipe, say we. This is a rich and forward wine, has a Meursault-like character.
Francois Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Folatieres 2011 ($89.95) $69 special
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points 
“In a very ripe, powerful style, with aromas of peach and stone joined by spices and a saline quality in the mouth.  Fat and round but firmed by palate-dusting minerality.  Finishes fruit-driven and strong, with a hint of dusty tannins and a note of clove.”

Francois Carillon Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Referts 2011 ($89.95) $69 special
Burghound 90-93 points
 “A reductive note along with a touch of petrol presently dominates the nose. There is a silky mouth feel to the solidly well-concentrated, intense and vibrant middle weight flavors where the underlying mineral component is even more prominent, all wrapped in a gorgeously long finish. This is not quite as refined as the Combettes but there’s just more here.”

Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Corcelette 2011 ($39.95) $30.90 special here
Josh Raynolds 92 points
 “Brilliant ruby-red.  Spicy, mineral-tinged aromas of raspberry, boysenberry and candied flowers.  Shows impressive energy and depth to its sweet red and dark berry flavors complicated by licorice and spicecake.  Silky and seamless in texture, finishing with strong thrust and a touch of succulent herbs. “

Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Cote du Py 2011 ($39.95) $30.90 special here
Josh Raynolds 92 points
 ”Brilliant ruby.  Red fruit liqueur, cherry pit, incense and a smoky nuance on the assertively perfumed nose.  Fleshy and broad but distinctly energetic, offering sappy raspberry and cherry flavors braced by zesty minerality.  The finish features a sexy floral pastille quality and clings with outstanding mineral-driven persistence.  Here’s another ’11 that nicely blends power and vivacity.”

Domaine M. Lapierre Morgon Cuvee Marcel 2011 ($44.95) $34.50 special
Josh Raynolds 93 points
 “Deep ruby.  Heady, complex bouquet evokes dark berries, cherry pit, incense and fresh flowers.  Rich but lively and precise, offering intense blackberry and bitter cherry flavors and an undercurrent of zesty minerality.  Clings with outstanding tenacity on the gently tannic finish, leaving behind smoky mineral and floral notes.”

Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deaux Albions 2011 ($24.95) $19 special here
Robert Parker 92 points
 “More serious is the 2011 Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albion. This cuvee always includes a small amount of white Clairette co-fermented with red grapes such as Grenache and Syrah. There is more Syrah in the 2011 than usual because it was essential for the success of this medium-bodied, deep ruby/plum/purple-colored effort. It possesses notes of spring flowers, black fruits, licorice, forest floor and spice. It is another brilliant example of this cuvee”

Domaine Pallieres Gigondas Terrasse du Diable 2010 ($47.95) $39.50 special here
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “ Bright ruby-red.  A complex, heady bouquet evokes candied red fruits, potpourri and Asian spices.  Silky and seamless in texture, offering vibrant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and an exotic touch of blood orange.  Anise and herb notes come up with air and carry through a long, bright and focused finish.  I underestimated this sexy wine last year.”

Domaine Pallieres Gigondas Les Racines 2010 ($47.95) $39.50 special here
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “Vivid ruby.  A pungent bouquet displays scents of blackcurrant, candied cherry, licorice, tobacco and smoky herbs.  Supple and pliant, offering sharply focused dark berry and cherry compote flavors, silky tannins and a sexy floral quality.  Smoothly combines richness and vivacity and finishes with outstanding cut.”

Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau 2009 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special here
Wine Spectator 94 points
 “This is crammed with fruit, spice and structure, as braised fig, plum skin, cassis and anise notes wrestle with roasted apple wood, melted red licorice and tar for now. The embedded grip should carry the finish until this assimilates fully. Best from 2014 through 2024.”

Stephen Tanzer 93 points “(65% grenache, 15% each of mourvedre and syrah, and the rest all the other varieties; aged in a combination of foudres and concrete):  Bright ruby.  Intense red fruit and potpourri aromas show excellent precision and a suave, spicy character.  Licorice and lavender nuances add complexity to juicy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors, with the wine putting on weight in the glass.  Finishes taut and youthfully tangy, with echoing licorice and spice notes.”
Domaine Chotard Sancerre Blanc 2012 ($29.95) $24 special

A touch rounder than most Sancerre. Which is to say that it is lithe, but not nervy.
Domaine des Forges Savennieres Clos du Papillon 2011 ($24.95) $20.90 special
Poised and clear Chenin Blanc; it’s charms are elevated.
Chateau Pajzos Tokaji Aszu 3 Puttonyos 2007 500ml ($24.95) $20.90 special

Sweetness around the level of a moelleux Vouvray; obsessing here about trying it with a generously seasoned paprikash.
Giacomo Brezza Barolo Bricco Sarmassa 2008 ($69.95) $55 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points 
“The 2008 Barolo Bricco Sarmassa is fabulous. It boasts gorgeous inner sweetness, cool minerality and fabulous perfume. Dark cherries, mint, flowers and spices wrap around the gorgeous, chiseled finish. The Bricco Sarmassa is one of the Barolo’s most under-the-radar wines. This is a prototypical 2008 that captures the very best qualities of the year. Layers of fruit build to the long, vibrant finish. Enzo Brezza did a great job with his Bricco Saramassa in 2008. Brezza remains one of the best-kept secrets in traditionally-made Barolo. One day people will figure it out, but in the meantime shrewd consumers would do well to pay attention to the best wines that emerge from this small cellar in the center of town.”

Monchiero Barolo Riserva Rocche del Castglione Falletto 2006 ($41.95) $33 super special
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “Distinctive and alluring aromas and flavors of flowers, dried cherry, leather and licorice are matched to an elegant profile. There’s a firm, underlying structure, and this lingers with dried berry, leather and tobacco notes. Best from 2014 through 2028. 275 cases made.”

Jacopo Biondi-Santi Sassoalloro Toscana 2008 ($34.95) $28 special
Wine Spectator 90 points
 “Needs aeration to reveal the rich blackberry and black cherry flavors locked within this muscular red, which is firm and bright, with a mineral finish. Be patient. Best from 2014 through 2024.”

Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale Oro – Gold 2007 ($37.95) $26 super special
Wine Spectator 91 points
 “This has an almost roasted nose, and offers dark plum, leather, chocolate and earth flavors. Rich and powerful, yet stays focused, with fine balance and a lingering finish. Best from 2013 through 2022.”

Rocca di Frassinello Baffonero Maremma Toscana 2009 ($219.95) $189 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “The 2009 Baffonero is superb in this vintage. It bursts onto the palate with an exotic array of plums, blackberries, French oak, spices, violets and licorice, all of which wrap around the palate with notable intensity. Baffonero keeps getting better with each passing vintage, but in 2009 it appears everything has come together. Tar, smoke, violets and licorice wrap around the muscular, jammy finish. With a little more polish, Baffonero could very well be an exceptional wine. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024” Merlot

La Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Spelt 2008 ($21.95) $16 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
 “A more sophisticated side of Montepulciano emerges from the 2008 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Spelt. Sweet floral notes lead to dark red berries and spices in this polished, gracious Montepulciano. La Valentina did a great job with the 2008, a wine that shows the pure elegance and refinement that Montepulciano is capable of. Sweet floral notes add lift on the finish. A pretty, beautifully balanced, silky wine loaded with class, the Spelt should drink well for the better part of the decade. Best of all, the Spelt is a fabulous value. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2020”

Vina Sastre Ribera del Duero Tinto 2011(19.95) $16 special
Wine Advocate 90 points
 “The 2011 Vina Sastre Roble, raised in second-use oak barrel for six months, seems a little disjointed after the superlative 2010, although it still offers plenty of wild strawberry and dark plum aromas that settle down with a modicum of aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a bright, sparky entry of cassis and red cherry fruit infused with dried orange rind and white pepper. The palate is very well-balanced with crisp acidity, great harmony and superb length in the mouth. Like the 2010, there is convincing poise and tension: a Roble that exudes a sense of place. Drink 2013-2018”.


Selection of 2712 wines today:


Geantat-Pansiot Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2010 ($89.95) $59 flash sale special
Burghound 91 points ” gorgeously complex and lightly spiced nose serves up notes of violet, plum and plenty of pungent earth that is also reflected by the dense and serious medium-bodied flavors. There is excellent volume and concentration to the mid-palate that possesses impeccable phenolic ripeness, all 

 rapped in a seductive yet linear finish. This is very Gevrey in character with a brawny yet not overtly rustic mouth feel. Recommended.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
$79+ anywhere else listed


Caprili Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2006 ($89.95) $51.90 flash sale special
Wine Spectator 95 points
 “A fresh version, scented with cherry, berry and wild herbs, with racy acidity driving its pure fruit and tobacco flavors. Elegant and intense, building to a lingering aftertaste of fruit, spice and mineral. Best from 2015 through 2035.”


This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The average of prices listed elsewhere is $73


Dominio de Eguren Codice Castilla La Mancha 2009 ($14.95) $7.50 flash sale special
Josh Raynalds 90 points
 “Vivid purple.  Aromas of cassis, cherry, licorice and mocha.  Dense, alluringly sweet and juicy, with excellent concentration to its chewy dark berry and bitter chocolate flavors.  Stays sweet through the persistent finish, which features silky, fine-grained tannins and lingering spiciness.  This wine (Tempranillo) always delivers serious value.”


This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
25%-50% more elsewhere

Summer Shipping Specials:
Within OR- $17 flat fee, any number of bottles
Within WA/ID- $20 flat fee, any number of bottles

Arriving Early-October

Suvereto, one of the warmer micro-climates on the Tuscan coast just south of Bolgheri, is an area that is relatively new to many. Despite its long winemaking and farming history going back as far as 1000 AD, the Suvereto DOC was only officially recognized in 2000. Set in the fertile Val di Cornia, clay soils and proximity to the sea give an intensity to the flavors, producing ripe and direct wines typically made from Cabernet, Merlot, and the local Sangiovese.

Montepeloso vineyards in Suvereto, Italy

In 1998, Fabio Chiarelotto purchased the Montepeloso estate. Though the vineyard was already well-renowned, Chiarelotto saw the potential of the site and chose to take the necessary steps to make the vineyard even better. Retraining, pruning, and even re-grafting many vines, Fabio was committed to perfection, pulling up thousands of low quality vines and replacing them with varietals more suited to the windy warmth of Suvereto. 

Fabio Chiarelotto, in the vineyard

Chiarelotto admits that it’s “easy to produce concentrated wines in such a hot climate but it’s much harder to achieve elegance and finesse.” Experimenting with blending every vintage, Montepeloso wines are made with many of the common varieties found in Tuscany. The Gabbro is composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Nardo, Eneo and A Quo include many local and rare varietals such as Montepulciano(an indigenous Italian grape), Alicante Bouschet(a dark-red grape cultivated from Grenache and Petit Bouschet), and Marselan(a Southern France varietal cultivated from Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache). With these blends, offered here today, Chairelotto has found a mix of varieties that he feels express the spirit of Suvereto and Montepeloso.
Montepeloso A Quo Suvereto Toscana 2011 ($24.95) $17.70 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 90 points
 “Once again, Montepeloso’s entry-level A Quo is fabulous. I expected to find a rich, powerful wine given the year, instead the 2011 A Quo is fresh, vibrant and beautifully delineated. Hints of raspberry jam, rose petals and sweet spices literally jump from the glass. The 2011 is best enjoyed over the next few years, while the fruit remains vibrant. This is a terrific showing from proprietor Fabio Chiarellotto.”

Montepeloso Eneo Suvereto Toscana 2010 ($49.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96 points 
“One of the great wines of this vintage, the 2010 Eneo is dazzling. Subtle hints of earthiness, new leather, smoke, bacon fat, tobacco and savory herbs meld into a core of expressive dark red/black fruit. Nuanced and delicate, yet immensely powerful, the 2010 Eneo has it all. The 2010 keeps getting better and better in the glass. I imagine it will be spectacular in another few years. Actually, it already is. Eneo is the largest production of Montepeloso’s three top reds, which will make it easier to find. Readers will not want to miss the superb wine. Montepulciano and Sangiovese are the core of Eneo, while dollops of Alicante and Marsellan round out the blend.”

Montepeloso Gabbro Suvereto Toscana 2010 ($199.95) $149 pre-arrival special only 12 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95+ points 
“The 2010 Gabbro, Montepeloso’s 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, is all about texture. Today the flavors are completely unevolved, instead it is the wine’s towering presence and sheer personality that stand out most. With time in the glass hints of melted road tar, graphite, smoke and incense gradually being to emerge. An exotic mélange of savory herb nuances melt into veins of salinity frame the finish. Readers will have to be patient with the 2010, but it is a jewel of a wine.”

Montepeloso Nardo Suvereto Toscana 2010 ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special only 6 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95+ points
 “A wine that conquers all the senses, the 2010 is also massively structured. Still, the potential I sensed from barrel is all there in the glass. Rich, dark and powerful, the 2010 Nardo is one of the more intense wines in the range and is likely to require considerable patience. Dark red/black fruit, melted road tar, tobacco, licorice, cloves and cracked pepper linger on the potent, brooding finish. The Eneo is distinguished in the range for its firm, nervous tannin. Give the 2010 another few years in bottle, then drink to age 20, perhaps beyond. Nardo is 50% Montepulciano, 30% Sangiovese and 20% Marsellan.”


Super-deals here now:

Montepeloso Eneo Suvereto Toscana 2008 ($49.95) $33 super-deal special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
 “The 2008 Eneo literally sparkles on the palate with vibrant red fruit, freshly cut flowers and spices. It shows remarkable tension and delineation all the way through to the resonant finish. This is a striking wine in every way. Floral notes reappear on the finish, along with iron, smoke and ferrous notes, all of which add considerable complexity. This is a dazzling effort from proprietor Fabio Chiarellotto. It is composed of 40% Montepulciano, 35% Sangiovese, 15% Marselan and 10% Alicante Bouschet. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022. Fabio Chiarellotto has done a fabulous job with his 2008s. The Eneo in particular remains one of the best -priced wines from Tuscany’s Maremma.”

Montepeloso Eneo Suvereto Toscana 2009 ($49.95) $36 super-deal special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
 “The 2009 Eneo is impressive for its sensual personality and overall finesse. Dark red cherries, flowers, licorice, tobacco and flowers all come together beautifully in the glass as this refined, elegant wine shows off its pedigree. Layers of flavor build to the textured, suave finish. This Sangiovese-based red has maintained considerable freshness and vibrancy. Sweet floral and spiced notes linger on the understated finish. The blend is 45% Sangiovese, 35% Montepulciano, 15% Marselan and 5% Alicante Bouschet. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029.”



 Champagne Smackdown
Great grower vs Great Grower
Arriving late-September

Cedric Bouchard Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine NV (2011) ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
No reviews yet- here is Antonio Galloni on the 2010  “93 points,The NV (2010) Blanc de Noirs Inflorescence Cote de Val Vilaine is fabulous. The breath and richness of Pinot Noir meets the tension of the year in this vibrant, beautifully articulated Champagne. Sweet red berries, crushed rocks, flowers and mint all come alive in the glass. The 2010 is quite a bit more taut than the 2009, but at the same time much more accessible than I expected. A weightless, crystalline finish rounds things out in style.”

Bereche Champagne Brut Reflet d’ Anton NV (2008) ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Bereche Champagne Brut Reflet d’ Anton NV (2008) magnums ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “The NV (2008) Reflet d’Antan is incredibly delicious. At once rich yet weightless, it embodies a sense of pure aesthetic beauty that is hard to do justice to with mere words. Rich, burnished overtones develop in the glass, giving the wine additional volume, yet the Reflet d’Antan remains gracious and impeccably polished. Hints of almond, spice and orange peel add elements of exoticism. Bérèche’s Reflet d’Antan remains one of the most unique and compelling wines in Champagne. Reflet d’Antan is a perpetual solera, based on the 2008 vintage in this release. This bottle was disgorged in October 2012. Dosage was 6 grams per liter”

Plus these – arriving November

Jacquesson Champagne Brut Avize Champ Gain 2004 ($279.95) $259 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
 “The broad shoulders of Avize come through loud and clear in Jacquesson’s 2004 Brut Avize Champ Cain. A rich, creamy wine, the 2004 fills out its frame beautifully. Layers of vanilla, pencil shavings, peach, apricot and white flowers all flesh out in the glass. Rich and powerful the Avize impresses for its intensity and pure pedigree. This is a drop-dead gorgeous wine from Jacquesson. Dosage was 1.5 grams per liter.”

Jacquesson Champagne Brut Dizy Corne Bautray 2004 ($279.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 95 points 
“The 2004 Brut Dizy Corne Bautray is remarkable for many reasons. One of those is just how vivid the flavors are. An utterly seamless wine, the 2004 Corne Bautray impresses for its exceptional overall balance. Almonds, lemon oil, chalk, sage and light pastry notes develop as this utterly beguiling Champagne shows off its superb pedigree. The 2004 was bottled with no dosage, but that isn’t even evident in the least. A wine of notable vibrancy and energy, the 2004 is a wine built on focus and persistence”.




Time to say Goodbye

Chateau Deyrem Valentin Margaux 2010 ($49.95) $33 special
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
 “Located north of Margaux village, Deyrem Valentin is a small, family-owned property of 32 acres that represents one of the values of Margaux. This wine is smooth, polished and concentrated, with flavors of wood and a sweet-tasting blackberry. The acidity and tannins demonstrate a fine balancing act. This shows good aging potential.” Jancis Robinson – Financial Times 16/20 “Distinguished- Sweet dark fruit with a touch of vanilla, matched on the palate. Seemingly soft though there’s plenty of tannin undergirding its apparent roundness.”


This is the lowest listed price in the USA