September 23rd Newsletter

September 23, 2013
Jump Start Sale 

From a remarkable site, high, high, high in the Andes, to…

…land here,at the lowest price in the USA!


Bodegas Colome Estate Malbec  Calchaqui Valley 2010 ($29.95) $21.90 Jump Start Special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points “Full red-ruby.  Musky aromas of cherry liqueur, blackberry, violet, roasted coffee and spicy herbs, along with a meaty whiff of reduction.  Wonderfully fine-grained and plush on the palate but with no heaviness; perfectly integrated acidity gives the wine a vibrant quality.  Finishes with serious but sweet tannins that spread out to coat the palate on the lively, subtle, long aftertaste.  A lot of wine for $30.” Wine Spectator 91 points This suave, racy red delivers game, crushed cherry and wild berry notes backed by fine tannins and bright acidity. Compact, yet creamy and well-balanced, with a long, savory finish. Drink now through 2018.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The average listed price in the USA today is $27 / bottle


New Week – New Wines           


Crowley Wines Pinot Blanc Willamette Valley 2012 ($19.95) $16 special
Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2012 ($21.95) $18 special

Walter Scott Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2012 ($24.95) $19.90 special
Walter Scott Pinot Noir La Combe Verte WV 2012 ($24.95) $19.90 special

Eisold-Smith Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2012 ($27.95) $21.90 special
Eisold-Smith Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2012 ($27.95) $24 special
Never heard of them? We hadn’t either until last week when we tasted these. We’ll all be hearing more about Adam Smith & Lauren Eishold in years to come.
Scott Paul Wines Pinot Noir La Paulee 2011 ($39.95) $31.90 special
Josh Raynolds 90 points 
“(made from fruit grown in the Dundee Hills, Ribbon Ridge and Chehalem Mountains AVAs):  Light red.  Sexy aromas of red berry preserves and incense, with a spicy topnote and a hint of blood orange.  Racy and precise on the palate, offering pure raspberry and cherry flavors that show an appealing sweetness.  Closes silky and long, with resonating spiciness and no obvious tannins.  Shows the finesse of the vintage to very good effect.”

Patricia Green Eason Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004 Magnum ($119.95) $89 special
Patricia Green Balcombe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 Magnum ($99.95) $79 special
Patricia Green Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 Magnum ($99.95) $79 special
Patricia Green Estate Old Vine Pinot Noir 2006 Magnum ($119.95) $89 special
Patricia Green Etzel Block Pinot Noir 2006 Magnum ($149.95) $133 special

Very limited supply on these last few magnums here courtesy of PGC
K-Vintners The Boy Grenache 2011 ($49.95) $41.90 special
K-Vintners The Beautiful Syrah 2011 ($59.95) $51.90 special
K-Vintners Motor City Kitty Syrah 2011 ($34.95) $29 special
K-Vintners Guido Sangiovese 2011 ($49.95) $39 special

K-Vintners The Hidden Syrah Northridge Vineyard 2010 ($89.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 98 points
 “Moving back to the estate’s top Syrahs, the 2010 Syrah The Hidden Northridge Vineyard comes from the warmer, Wahluke slope AVA and was fermented with 50% whole cluster prior to aging in 100% new 500-Liter French oak puncheons. An incredible wine, it possesses off the hook aromas and flavors of meaty black fruits, cedar box, exotic spice and smoked herbs as well as a decadent, massively fruited, structured and full-bodied palate. Deep, rich and layered on the mid-palate and showing awesome length on the finish, this absolutely fabulous Syrah will be even better in another 2-3 years and have 15+ years of ultimate longevity.”





Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc Napa 2012 ($41.95) $33 special
Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2010 ($179.95) $149 special
Antonio Galloni 95+ points
 “Spottswoode’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon flows across the palate with gorgeous depth and purity. Warm hints of mocha, espresso, exotic spices and plums blossom in the glass in this dark, voluptuous Cabernet. The 2010 is surprisingly open at this stage, but I expect it will shut down over the next few years. Readers who want to taste the 2010 should do so within the next 6-12 months. This stunning wine remains incredibly primary, but it promises to drink well for several decades. Graphite, menthol and violets are layered into the precise, delineated finish. “

Orin Swift The Prisoner Proprietary Red Napa 2011 ($41.95) $36 special
Wine Spectator 92 points 
“Packed with fruit character, this deep, ripe version offers plenty of new oak, revealing a rich texture and zesty flavors of smoky licorice, blackberry cobbler and cracked pepper. Drink now through 2019.”




Rene Geoffroy Champagne Brut Cuvee Empriente  2006 375ml ($31.95) $26 special
Josh Raynolds 92 points, Antonio Galloni 92 points “The Brut Empreinte emerges from the glass with beautifully delineated fruit, great body and terrific overall balance. Sweet red berries, flowers and mint are some of the nuances that are woven into a rich fabric of notable class. The Empreinte shows striking depth and purity. The higher percentage of Pinot seems inherently better suited to vinification in oak than the Chardonnay in this vintage. The Empreinte is 76% Pinot Noir, 14% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Meunier, all from the 2006 vintage. Approximately 54% of the blend underwent malolactic fermentation. Dosage is 4 grams per liter. Disgorged May 12, 2011.”
Pol Roger Champagne Brut Rose 2004 ($119.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points 
“The 2004 Brut Rose Extra Cuvee de Reserve is quite fruity and vinous at first but then the minerality kicks in, giving the wine its energy and sense of focus. Crushed flowers, spices and mint unfold in the glass, adding complexity and nuance. Overall, this is a fairly delicate, feminine style of Rose that can be enjoyed as an aperitif or alongside a meal. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.”

Wine Spectator 93 points “A vinous version, structured by fine acidity, with a creamy bead to the texture and a base note of minerality. Offers a full range of ripe black cherry and black currant, piecrust, pomegranate and smoke flavors. Drink now through 2027. 300 cases imported.”


JP Lafond Tavel Rose Esprit de Roc-Epine 2012 ($27.95) $21.90 special
A 300 case micro-cuvee drawn from Lafond’s already excellent Tavel. Pink Power!
Domaine Boisson Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne 2011 ($19.95) $16.60 special
Domaine Bertrand Stehelin Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet 2011 ($21.95) $19 special



Andre Neveu Sancerre Les Monts Damnes 2012 ($39.95) $33 special


Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2009 ($49.95) $37 super special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2009 Barolo Castiglione delivers a radiant but subdued quality with polished notes of dry mineral, black fruit, tar, licorice, leather and many more levels of complexity. This entry-level Barolo demonstrates that great results are achieved in 2009.”




Bodegas Muga Rioja Gran Reserva Prado Eneo 2005 ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2005 Prado Enea Gran Reserva spends 36-months in oak, nine months in new oak after which it is racked into American oak that is ‘semi-new’ (i.e. a new barrel that is ‘broken in’ with a wine beforehand). It has an unashamedly opulent bouquet of primal, ripe, boysenberry, mulberry, dark chocolate and crushed violets that blossom with aeration. The palate is full-bodied with crisp acidity cutting through the pure blackberry and cassis fruit. It has wonderful focus and intensity, though the finish demonstrates convincing composure. This is an outstanding Gran Reserva whose silky texture will instantly win you over. Drink 2013-2030+” Josh Raynolds 94 points ‘(80% tempranillo, with garnacha, mazuelo and graciano; aged in large oak vats for 16 months, followed by another 36 months in small oak barrels and then another 3 years in bottle before release):  Deep ruby.  Heady, mineral-tinged red fruit and rose scents are complemented by star anise, vanilla and woodsmoke.  Supple, seamless and concentrated, offering intense raspberry, cherry and rose pastille flavors underscored by zesty minerality.  Shows uncommon finesse for its power and finishes sweet, focused and extremely long.  For the money, this is a crazy value.”
Vina Sastre Ribera del Duero Tinto 2011 (19.95) $16 special
Josh Raynolds 91 points
  “Bright purple.  Pungent aromas of blueberry, cherry-cola and smoky minerals, with a spicy overtone.  Expansive black and blue fruit flavors show impressive depth and energy, picking up a smoky nuance with air.  Closes on a spicy note, with gentle tannic grip and excellent length.  Pretty impressive for an entry-level wine, especially from this vintage.”

Vina Sastre Regina Vides Ribera del Duero 2009 (99.95) $75 super special
Josh Raynolds 94 points
  “Dark purple.  Exotic, heady aromas of dark fruit preserves, incense, vanilla and floral oils, with a smoky overtone.  Lush, sappy and incisive, offering sweet black and blue fruit flavors and notes of bitter chocolate, mocha and lavender pastille.  Smooth and sweet on the youthfully tannic finish, with intense elements of blueberry and spicecake”



Bodegas Borsao Vina Borgia 2012 3L bag-in-box 2012 ($21.95) $18 special
Josh Raynolds 88 points “(100% garnacha; all stainless steel):  Bright purple.  Jammy black and blue fruits on the nose and in the mouth.  Plump, juicy and tannin-free, making for very easy drinkability.  For the money, this really delivers, a point not missed by the numerous restaurants that are pouring this fruit bomb by the glass.”


Valdespina Coliseo Amontillado VORS 375ml ($249.95) $199 special only 2 bottles available
Valdespina Coliseo Amontillado VORS 750ml ($399.95) $349 special only 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 99 points “The NV Amontillado Coliseo VORS, is an extremely old (much older than the 30 years certified by the VORS classification) and concentrated wine. It is unique, as its origin is from Sanlucar de Barrameda, mainly from the Pago Miraflores, which produced very sharp wines. Dark mahogany colored, with a bright green border, is very aromatic, balsamic and complex, with wild herbs, candied orange rind, spices and dates. The palate is extremely concentrated, dry, and intense but it has no edges, with lively acidity and an eternal finish. It’s an extreme wine, some might find it too much, but it’s certainly unique and among the greatest wines in the world, to be sipped slowly and in tiny quantities. One of the greatest Amontillados in existence today. Drink 2013-2025.”

Valdespina Cardenal Palo Cortado VORS 375ml ($199.95) $159 special only 5 bottles available
Valdespina Cardenal Palo Cortado VORS 750ml ($299.95) $279 special only 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 99 points 
“The NV Palo Cortado Cardenal VORS, like the whole VORS collection from Valdespino is outstanding. It is fed from the solera of the Palo Cortado C.P. where the Palomino grapes come from the Macharnudo Alto vineyard, fermented in American oak botas. It’s 22% alcohol and has nine grams of (undetectable) residual sugar which makes it very drinkable. It’s a monumental wine of dark mahogany color with a green edge, a complex, ever-changing, concentrated, clean and delineated nose of spices, dark chocolate, Cuban cigar and balsamic notes of incense, and a sharp, saline palate. It is highly concentrated, powerful and clean, with an eternal, lingering aftertaste. Deciding between Coliseo and Cardenal might be splitting hairs, and as much as I love Coliseo, I felt Cardenal was just one notch above. At the quality helm of Palo Cortado. Drink 2013-2025.”

Valdespino Ninos Pedro Ximenez VORS 375ml ($189.95) $149 special only 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98 points 
“The NV Ninos Pedro Ximenez 30 Anos VORS is again a monumental wine, redolent of its sibling, Moscatel Toneles, as often the extremely old wines have so many similarities that even the grape and the origin is diminished. This beast of a wine has 470 grams of sugar. It’s believed to average 50 years of age, and shows a dark mahogany, almost black color. Being extremely concentrated, is not just power, it has finesses and balance. Curry, spices, coconut, balsamic notes (eucalyptus), tar, Cuban cigar, and nutmeg can be identified in its nose. The palate is velvety, dense, thick, long, and intense, with pungent acidity but at the same time it feels smooth. Again, choosing between Ninos and Toneles might be purely academic. Drink 2013-2035.”


Selection of 2717 wines today:




AR. PE. PE. – Valtellina – New Arrivals

Vertical Valtellina – vineyards above

The tunneled Ar.Pe.Pe. winery below

AR. PE. PE. Valtellina Rosso 2009 ($37.95) $30.90 special
100% Nebbiolo . Transparent garnet red, it gently floral, harmoniously fresh & fruity
AR. PE. PE. Sassella Rocce Rosse 1999 ($79.95) $69 special
100% Nebbiolo. Brick red, orange at the rim; 4 years in chestnut barrel- elegant, still young.

AR. PE. PE. Sassella Ultima Raggi 2004 ($99.95) $79 special

100% Nebbiolo. From the very highest elevations in Sassella where some additional ripening is achieved along with some ‘on the vine’ drying. Complex and intense red fruits and spice.

AR. PE. PE. Sassella Riserva Vigna Regina 2001 ($109.95) $89 special

100% Nebbiolo. Vigna Regina is a specific plot within Sassella. A rather aloof sort of wine- ethereal, and strangely- as the name implies- regal.
AR. PE. PE. Grumello Riserva Buon Consiglio 1999 ($89.95) $69 special
100% Nebbiolo. Brick red. A bolder and more open wine than those from Sassella. 3 years in oak barrels; Invites prodigious consumption of roasted lamb, amongst other things.





Here now:
Bodegas Nekeas El Chaparral Garnacha Old Vines 2011 ($14.95) $9.90 Flash Sale Special
Josh Raynolds 91 points “(malo in small French oak, followed by five months of aging on its lees):  Brilliant ruby.  Highly perfumed, exotic aromas of black and blue fruits, vanilla and incense, with a floral overtone.  Lush, expansive blackberry and boysenberry flavors stain the palate, picking up a smoky nuance with air.  Velvety and broad but lively too, finishing with impressive breadth spicy persistence for its price range.  All of these wines are ridiculous values, as they have been in most recent vintages.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
10%-50% more elsewhere

Arriving Thursday:
Bodegas Riojanas Rioja Crianza Puerta Vieja 2010 ($17.95) $9.90 Flash Sale Special

Josh Raynolds 90 points “(100% tempranillo, from vines that range from 35 to 55 years of age; aged for 18 months in American oak):  Bright ruby.  Zesty redcurrant and cherry aromas are complicated by notes of fresh rose and blood orange.  Firm, focused and juicy, with lively cherry and red berry flavors showing a refreshing bitterness.  Bright and focused on the clinging finish”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The next best listed price elsewhere is $13.99



Arriving Thursday:
Bodegas Riojanas Rioja Gran Reserva Monte Real 1998 ($59.95) $39 Flash Sale Special
Josh Raynolds 93 points
 “Dark red with a pale rim. Pungent, spicy nose shows pure cherry, redcurrant and plum complemented by succulent herbs, vanillin oak spice and a hint of dried flowers. Supple, lush and deep, with sweet red fruit flavors framed by gentle, harmonious tannins. Fleshy and sweet on the back end, with impressive concentration and focus. This should age well.”


This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The next best listed price elsewhere is $52.97


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


October – October – October
Pre-arrival specials


Cellar-released from Louis Latour

Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2006 ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points 
“Power, density, huge richness-all the attributes you would expect from a Corton-Charlemagne. But, this being 2006, the ripe tropical fruits are crispened with acidity which cuts through the impressive opulence and ripeness.”

Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2007 ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Burghound 93 points
 “A toasty, expressive and highly complex nose of pain grillé, green fruit and dried rose petal leads to rich, full, well-muscled and impressively intense full-bodied flavors that possess plenty of dry extract that really coats the mouth on the long and serious finish. This is very Corton-Charlemagne in character and one that should reward mid-term cellaring.”

Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2008 ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Burghound 92-94 points
 “An upper register and highly complex nose of green apples, white pear and citrus notes introduces almost painfully intense, pure and impressively powerful big-bodied and overtly muscular flavors that possess an almost aggressive minerality on the palate staining, tension-filled and driving finish. This is really a striking wine that is built to age as there is an abundance of dry extract. Gorgeous.”

Louis Latour Corton-Grancey Grand Cru 2005 ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Burghound 90-93 points
 “A very subtle touch of wood frames a spicy red berry fruit nose that dissolves into rich, full, well-muscled and sweet flavors that possess a good deal more volume and while the mid-palate is supple and round, the finish has the firmness that one expects from a big Corton. There is much better balance here and this should age well.”

Louis Latour Corton-Grancey Grand Cru 2006 ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Burghound 89-91 points
 “A pretty and only moderately sauvage nose of crushed red berries, oak spice and warm earth gives way to reveal round, supple and slightly light flavors relative to what this wine usually possesses, all wrapped in a firm finish with grand cru finesse and elegance if not necessarily the power and depth. Still, this is most attractive.”

Louis Latour Corton-Grancey Grand Cru 2008 ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Burghound 89-92 points 
“Mild wood influence does not compromise the transparency of the fresh and earthy red pinot fruit nose that exhibits a slight sauvage character that can also be found on the energetic, detailed and tautly muscled middle weight flavors that possess good richness and more refinement than usual on the serious, long and linear finish where a touch of austerity can also be seen.”


Lofty miscellanea

Dom Perignon Champagne Brut 2004 ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
 “The 2004 Dom Pérignon continues to develop beautifully. A vibrant, focused Champagne, the 2004 clearly reflects the personality of the year. Freshly cut flowers, white peaches and pears are woven together in a Champagne that impresses for its focus and energy. Chiseled saline note support the crystalline finish. I imagine the 2004 will always remain relatively bright and linear, but at the same time, each time I have tasted it over the last two years the 2004 seems to have a little more body and broader shoulders. The 2004 will appeal most to readers who find the 2002 and 2003 too exuberant. There is a lot to like in the glass.”

Faiveley Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges 2008 ($139.95) $99 pre-arrival super special
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points
 “Palish medium red. Medicinal red cherry, minerals, crushed stone, violet, rose petal and white pepper on the noble nose. Wonderfully silky and pure, with ineffable flavors of red fruits, spices, flowers and minerals. This is wonderfully delicate, and not a fleshy wine, yet saturates every square millimeter of the palate with flavor. The long, sweet, rising finish offers terrific cut and floral lift. Should make a worthy successor to the outstanding 2007, which also transcends its village. Hervet says that this will be bottled by hand, without filtration” Burghound 91-93 point “Sweet Spot Outstanding-  A discreet touch of wood sets off the ultra pure red berry, sauvage and subtle spice notes that complement perfectly the earthy, supple, round and gorgeously detailed middle weight plus flavors that culminate in a powerful, mouth coating and very firm finish. A beautiful combination of elegance and muscle.” Next best listed price in the USA is $139!

Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2010 ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special only 20 bottles left
Wine Advocate 97 points
 “The 2010 Redigaffi is even more impressive with seamless integration of ripe fruit and oak spice that meet each other perfectly in the middle. It soars to new heights of elegance and power, imparting beautiful tones of black fruit, polished river stone, bacon fat and black pepper as it makes its steady ascent. The mouthfeel is fleshy and generous and there is plenty of backbone here to carry the wine forward throughout the years.”

Bodegas Muga Rioja Seleccion Especiale 2009 ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 95 points
 “Powerful yet harmonious, this rich red delivers black cherry, licorice, fresh herb, smoke and mineral flavors that mingle seamlessly over firm, well-integrated tannins, while balsamic-tinged acidity drives the flavors through the long, spicy finish. Drink now through 2025.”


Mighty Madeira

Barbeito Malvasia 20 Year Special Reserve NV ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin 93 points 
“A powerful nose of walnut, smoke and ginger with a distant scent of an old English stately home. The palate is very well-balanced, with a vibrant entry of bitter lemon, quince, Oriental spices and dried ginger that electrify the mouth. It is beautifully balanced with a long, lemongrass-tinged finish that is extraordinarily long”

D’Olivera Bual 1908 ($599.95) $469 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “The 1908 Boal Reserva from D’Oliveiras is an unctuous, full-bodied wine loaded with dark maple syrup, tar, leather, licorice and sweet baking spices. There is superb density here and the wine shows terrific length in an intense style. The finish is long, bright and sweet.”

D’Olivera Bual 1977 ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points 
“The 1977 D’Oliveiras Boal Reserva reveals superb depth and precision in its leather, spices, toffee and espresso. Smooth and remarkably balanced on the palate, this Madeira offers tons of length and plenty of style.”

Diverse wines – Knockdown Pricing





Time to say Goodbye
Still available, bits and pieces:

Leitz Riesling Spatlese Magdalenenkreuz 2010 ($27.95) $16 super special
Wine Spectator 91 points
 “Minerally aromas and flavors give this juicy spätlese plenty of verve. The midpalate is filled with verbena and chamomile notes, which extend on the long finish, joined by hints of smoke and plenty of spice. Drink now through 2030.”

Ca’ del Baio Barbaresco  Asili 2010 ($49.95) $31.90 super special
Wine Advocate 95 points 
“The 2010 Barbaresco Asili is an exciting, top-notch achievement that shows extreme class and sophistication. Polished mineral tones are fleshed out by cassis, wild berry, chopped mint and freshly milled white pepper. The wine is long and smooth on the finish, with a finely detailed or etched quality to the tannins. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028. Giulio Grasso’s family entered the wine business “late,” as he tells it, because his male ancestors were soldiers in the various World Wars. Only after the turmoil in Europe settled, in the mid 1950s, did the family start to bottle wine. The estate’s most precious vineyard, the three hectares they own in the Asili cru, was a wedding dowry from Giulio’s grandmother (from Barbaresco) to his grandfather (from Treiso). Today, the family owns 25 hectares including the Valgrande and Marcarini crus in Treiso and the Asili and Pora crus in Barbaresco. Giulio’s father, Ernesto, farms the vineyards today at age 91.The Ca’ del Baio line-up is extremely impressive and delightful. These are some of the best wines from Barbaresco”

Michele Chiarlo Barbaresco Reyna 2006 ($39.95) $21.90 super special
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
 “Here’s a wine that holds its own in a ranking of top Nebbiolos. There’s depth and great promise of fruit here, which is wrapped within folds of vanilla, ginger, cinnamon and dusty mineral. The mouthfeel is plush and velvety and the wine ends with tart but succulent tannins. It will drink beautifully for five-plus years”

Michele Chiarlo Barolo Tortoniano 2004 ($39.95) $24 super special
Wine Enthusiast 90 points
 “Tortoniano is a fabulous wine for first time Barolo drinkers. Its price is reasonable for the category and the wine offers those buoyant and direct aromas of cola and currants that are so typical of Nebbiolo.”

Vitanza Brunello di Montalcino Tradizion 2007 ($49.95) $28 special
James Suckling 93 points
 “Rose petals and plums on the nose. Full body, with round and chewy tannins and a ripe finish. Tannic, yet polished texture. Give it two to three years of bottle age. This wine is clearly better in 2007 than 2006”