September 2nd Newsletter

September 2, 2013
Here tomorrow:

Chianti Classico region, Castello di Ama is central


Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Riserva 2008 ($44.95) $30.90 jump start special
Ian d’Agata 92 points 
“Good medium-deep red.  Black cherry, redcurrant, licorice and menthol aromas are lifted by a floral element that carries through on the palate. Flavors of dark cherry, licorice and underbrush are complicated by a tarry quality.  Finishes suave and smooth, with harmonious tannins and good subtle, spicy length.  I was impressed by the purity of the sangiovese fruit, given the fact that the wine also includes cabernet franc and merlot components; chalk up another winner to the dynamic duo of Lorenza Sebaste and Marco Pallanti.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The next best listed price in the USA today is $38.99


New Week – New Wines

Angela Pinot Noir 2010 ($39.95) $29 super special
Josh Raynolds 91 points
 “Bright red.  Heady, intense perfume of candied rose, raspberry and spicecake.  Sweet, penetrating and emphatically floral on the palate, offering rose pastille and red berry preserve flavors and a hint of blood orange.  Closes tangy and long, with soft tannins and a hint of bitter chocolate.  Quite exotic and drinking extremely well now.”

Et Fille Viognier Deux Vert Vineyard 2011 ($27.95) $20.90 special

Et Fille Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2010 ($27.95) $19 super special
Josh Raynolds 90+ points
 “Bright red.  Pungent, smoke-accented aromas of dried cherry, blood orange and candied rose.  Taut and linear on entry, then fleshier and more broad in the mid-palate, offering gently sweet red fruit flavors and a hint of peppery spices.  Shows very good clarity and lift on the finish, which echoes the floral and cherry notes.  This nervy, incisive wine improves a lot with aeration, by the way.”

Et Fille Pinot Noir Palmer Creek Vineyard 2010 ($39.95) $33 special
Josh Raynolds 91 points
 “Vivid red.  Fresh red berries and potpourri on the highly perfumed nose.  Juicy, penetrating raspberry and redcurrant flavors are given a refreshingly bitter edge by a rhubarb quality and gain spiciness with air.  Silky and sweet on the finish, which lingers with impressive tenacity and persistence.  There’s something vaguely Chambolle-like about this wine that I really like.”

Et Fille Pinot Noir Kalita Vineyard 2010 ($39.95) $33 special
Josh Raynolds 92 points
 “Bright red.  Spicy cherry and black raspberry aromas are deepened by notes of cola and black tea.  Offers vanilla-accented dark berry flavors, with a floral nuance adding complexity.  Nicely concentrated but lithe, with impressive finishing clarity, silky tannins and lingering sweetness.”

Et Fille Pinot Noir Deux Vert Vineyard 2008 ($39.95) $33 special yes, 2008- unexpected re-arrival
Josh Raynolds 92 points
 “Vivid red.  Intense, floral-accented aromas of cherry, red berries, licorice and Asian spices.  Shows a darker fruit profile on the palate, displaying bitter cherry and black raspberry, along with a peppery spice nuance.  Fine-grained tannins give shape and focus to a very long, intensely perfumed finish.  Here’s an ’08 that hasn’t hunkered into a shell just yet.”

Cameron Giuliano 2012 ($24.95) $21.90 special
Cameron Dundee Hills Reserve Pinot Noir 2011 ($31.95) $26 special

Matello Richards Cuvee Chardonnay 2011 ($41.95) $36 special
Matello Souris Pinot Noir 2011 ($41.95) $36 special
Matello Whistling Ridge Pinot Noir 2011 ($37.95) $31.90 special

Sineann Yates-Conwell Vineard Pinot Noir 2012 ($34.95) $29 special
Sineann Resonance Vineard Pinot Noir 2012 ($49.95) $44 special
Sineann Resonance Vineard Pinot Noir 2012 375ml ($24.95) $21.90 special
Sineann Resonance Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 ($71.95) $66 special
Sineann Zinfandel Old Vine 2012 ($39.95) $31.90 special

Long Shadows Saggi Columbia Valley Red 2009 ($49.95) $37 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points 
 “(62% sangiovese, 29% cabernet sauvignon and 9% syrah; 55% new oak):  Bright, deep red-ruby; quite dark for sangiovese.  Lively aromas of cherry, flowers, menthol and cocoa powder.  Juicy, perfumed and intense, with brisk acidity and a floral topnote nicely lifting the strawberry fruit.  Finishes with strong, chalky tannins and lovely length.  Built to age:  I’d forget about this for at least four or five years.”

Kalin Cellars Sonoma Chardonnay Cuvee Le Darryl 1993 ($69.95) $59 special
Aka ‘Stealth Cuvee’ ; a little secret among the Kalinite tribe

Foxglove (Varner) Chardonnay Central Coast 2011 ($14.95) $11.90 special
Wine Advocate 91 points
 “The 2011 Chardonnay is a beauty, as well as an absurd value. Very clean and lively, with classic Chardonnay notes of juiced apple, citrus and minerality, it is clean and focused on the palate with the richness of the variety, yet also beautiful precision and focus. Classy and well-made, without any apparent oak, it should be purchased by the case and consumed over the coming 2-3 years. Drink now-2016.”

Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Stag’s Leap 2009 ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points
 “The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District shows off considerable focus and depth, not to mention terrific overall balance. Dark plums, cherries, spices, licorice and cassis are some of the notes that flow from this long, pure wine. Today the tannins are a bit compact, but bottle age should help to some degree. The 2009 is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. Cliff Lede describes this version of his winery as ‘version 2.0’ after David Abreu came in and re-planted a number of vineyards. Philippe Melka is the consulting winemaker. In broad terms, Lede’s 2009s are made in a more finessed style than the 2010s, which come across as more powerful and structured. Both vintages are terrific, but very different in style.”

Punto Final Malbec Reserva 2010 ($24.95) $19 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Full, deep red-ruby.  Aromas of blackberry, black cherry, violet, licorice pastille, coffee and smoky oak.  Sweet, pliant and accessible, with musky black fruit, mocha, licorice and game flavors perked up by pepper and spices.  Sweet, round, rich and fine-grained, and clearly deeper than the regular 2011 malbec bottling.  This rather powerful wine finishes impressively long, with ripe tannins nicely supported by fruit.”

Domaine de Pattes Loup Chablis 2011 ($34.95) $21.90 super special
Antonio Galloni 91 points 
“The 2011 Chablis is gorgeous. Honey, almonds, dried pears and peach notes all flesh out in a rich, expansive wine loaded with class, pedigree and personality. This is a decidedly rich, large-scaled Chablis, especially at the village level, but there is more than enough fruit to fill out the wine’s big, broad-shouldered frame. The deeply textured, generous finish is nicely supported by veins of minerality that emerge over time.”

Domaine Alain Voge Saint Joseph Les Vinsonnes 2010 ($39.95) $31.90 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “Rather bold, with roasted fig and warm boysenberry confiture liberally layered with charcoal, roasted mesquite, anise and ganache. Almost heady, but the grip is there, with a smoldering charcoal note that holds the finish together. Best from 2014 through 2022.”

Domaine Alain Voge Cornas Les Chailles 2010 ($49.95) $41.90 special
Robert Parker 95 points
 “The opaque purple-colored 2010 Cornas Les Chailles offers up scents of smoked game and charcoal, a full-bodied mouthfeel, supple tannins and pedal-to-the metal richness and density. Already drinkable, it has at least 15 years of aging potential.”

Domaine Alain Voge Cornas Vieilles Vignes 2010 ($179.95) $149 special only 2 bottles
Robert Parker 99 points
 “The 2010 Cornas Vieilles Vignes has off-the-charts richness as well as an extraordinarily precise nose of blackberry and blueberry jam intermixed with cassis, charcoal, lead pencil shavings, pen ink and acacia flowers. A wine of exceptional intensity with a multidimensional mouthfeel and a 55-second finish, this quintessential Cornas should drink well for 20-30 years.”

Domaine Colombier Hermitage 2009 ($89.95) $59 special
Robert Parker 94 points
 “There is not much of it, but the 2009 Hermitage is sensational. Abundant aromas of blackberry fruit, white chocolate, espresso roast and acacia flowers jump from the glass of this opulent, full-bodied, powerful Hermitage. With great intensity as well as silky tannins, this chewy, thick, well-endowed wine should evolve for 20-25+ years.”

Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage a J. Perrin 2009 ($599.95) $499 special only 3 bottles
Robert Parker 99 points
 “Potentially the wine of the vintage, the 2009 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage a Jacques Perrin had just been bottled two weeks before my visit. A wine of extraordinary density, richness, precision and unreal flavor intensity, it reveals abundant gamey, meaty notes intermixed with smoked duck, Provencal herbs, blueberries, blackberries, kirsch and licorice. This loaded, multidimensional, massively concentrated 2009 is much softer than most Hommages. It should be drinkable in 3-4 years and keep for 30-40 years thereafter. Kudos to one of the world’s great winemaking families!”

Robert Weil Kiedricher Grafenberg Riesling Erstes Gewachs 2009 ($69.95) $39 super special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points 
“Exuberant bouquet combines star fruit, honeysuckle and bay leaf. Dense apricot pit flavor and slate-driven minerality are nicely juxtaposed on the palate. Finishes with excellent depth and spicy character.”

Von Hovel Riesling Kabinett Schwarzhofberger 2012 ($34.95) $24 special
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points
 “Everything seems infused in this wine as there is nothing loud or dominating. Superbly fresh scents of anise, gooseberry, white peach, lime, mint and grass give this wine an immediate elegant feel; nothing is out of place, too dominating or screaming. A remarkable feel of extract on the palate makes the wine appear almost lean in structure yet it retains a great playful side thanks to some intense zesty flavors of grapefruit. The finish is very long and pure. This is a wonderful Scharzhofberg bottling! 2017-2027”

Von Hovel Riesling Spatlese Schwarzhofberger 2012 ($44.95) $30.90 special
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points
 “Even if the still subdued and restrained at the stage, this gorgeous Spatlese hints at all the telltale signs of a great Scharzhofberger. Fine notes of flowers, verbena and white peach lead to a most balanced, dynamic and fresh feel on the palate and a mouth-watering touch of tartness and grapefruit zest in the after-taste makes one magically come back for another sip. This is a great Spatlese in the making!2017-2032”

Karthauserhof Riesling Kabinett Feinherb Schieferkristall 2012 ($34.95) $24 special
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points
 “Schieferkristall refers to the Kabinett-styled wine at the Estate (the reference to Kabinett is pushed to the back label). A whiff of wild yeasts gives quickly way to a very attractive and floral bouquet of rose-water, grapefruit and mint. The round and fruity feel from the residual sugar (20 g/l) is nicely balanced by some zesty acidity and a pure and spicy feel in the long finish. This is a deliciously fresh and lively off-dry Riesling made with a small 9.5% of alcohol.2014-2020”

Karthauserhof Riesling Spatlese 2012 ($39.95) $30.90 special
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points
 “This wine is quite open and expressive at this early stage and explodes with juicy flavors of yellow peach, quince and some flowers on the palate. This offers everything one could expect from a juicy Spatlese. The fact that it does deliver the goods without too much richness (it has technically less than 60 g/l of residual) makes it utterly delicious also at this early stage. 2017-2032”

Selbach-Oster Riesling Spatlese Zeltinger Sonnenuhr 2012 ($34.95) $26 special
Ewald Moseler note
 “Perfect balance, one of the Selbach-Oster 2012 highlights”

Selbach-Oster Riesling Auslese Zeltinger Sonnenuhr 2012 ($49.95) $31.90  special
Ewald Moseler note
 “Classic Mosel Auslese, very elegant”

Selbach-Oster Riesling Auslese Wehlener Sonnenuhr 2012 ($49.95) $31.90 special
Ewald Moseler note 
“Very fine, elegant and long finish.”

Selbach-Oster Pinot Blanc Mosel 2012  ($34.95) $26 special
Ewald Moseler note 
“Exotic and outstanding, from best vineyard parcels, fermented in a new barrel, vanilla and rich fruit, still elegant with 13% alc., very limited”

Bibi Graetz Testamatta Tosacana 2011 ($14.95) S11.90 special
Wine Spectator 90 points
 “Notes of blackberry and black cherry are accented by tobacco and spice in this concentrated red, which is fresh and lively, with a firm finish. Drink now through 2014.”

Bibi Graetz Soffocone di Testamatta Toscana 2009 ($44.95) S33 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “Plenty of cherry, plum, tobacco and earthy underbrush flavors mesh beautifully with the tightly grained fabric of this sophisticated red, which is approachable now, yet should become even more mellow with time. The finish is long and fresh. Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino. Drink now through 2022.”

Vietti Barolo Brunate 2009 ($149.95) $119 special
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “From one of the region’s most celebrated vineyards, the 2009 Barolo Brunate lavishes on smoky, granite and mineral notes that make this wine absolutely irresistible. Even the drawing of a snail on the label seems to hammer home one obvious point: This wine is built for longer cellar aging. Its rich texture, velvety feel and firm structure are guarantees that it will become increasingly elegant and finessed with time. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030.”

Castello di Bossi Girolamo Merlot Toscana 2007 ($59.95) $39 special very limited supply
Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “The 2007 Merlot Girolamo is a seamless beauty graced with exquisite finesse in its dark fruit. Despite its richness, there is plenty of underlying structure to support the fruit. Mocha, spices and licorice wrap around the dark, opulent finish. The Girolamo is quite explosive at this stage, but it will be even better in another few years. Castello di Bossi gave the Girolamo 24 months in new French oak barrels. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.”

Ameztoi Higo de Rubentis 2011 1.5L ($59.95) $49 special

Descendientes J. Palacios Bierzo Las Lamas 2009 ($99.95) $69 special very limited supply
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
 “Vivid ruby.  Alluringly perfumed nose combines blackberry, cherry-cola, violet, anise and a pungent mineral note.  Sweet and lively in the mouth, offering juicy red and dark berry flavors underscored by intense minerality.  The sweet, floral-accented finish features a strong mineral quality and fine-grained tannins and clings with impressive tenacity.”

Descendientes J. Palacios Bierzo Las Lamas 2010 ($99.95) $69 special very limited supply
Stephen Tanzer 94 points 
“Deep, bright-hued ruby.  Powerful, spice-accented aromas of red berry liqueur, cherry pit, rose oil and incense, with a bright mineral topnote.  Sappy, penetrating raspberry and bitter cherry flavors show impressive energy and punch, picking up floral pastille and spicecake nuances with air.  Finishes chewy and very long, with slow-building tannins and insistent floral and spice notes.”

Selection of 2682 wines today:




Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz lieu dit Malakoff 2008 ($41.95) $27 flash sale special
Wine Spectator 91 points 
“Lean and lithe, tangy on balance, with roasted tomato overtones to the blackberry and pepper flavors, lingering on the polished finish. Tannins slide in on the finish. Best from 2014 through 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $37


JL Chave Selection Saint Joseph Blanc ‘Selene’ 2010 ($34.95) $24 flash sale special
Wine Spectator 92 points “This has a lovely, creamy mouthfeel, with very enticing blood orange, creamed peach, Cavaillon melon and sweetened butter notes. The long, dacquoise-framed finish glides beautifully. Drink now through 2014. 300 cases imported, Marsanne / Roussanne”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $31 

Moet & Chandon Champagne Brut 2004 ($79.95) $49 flash sale special
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Vintage Champagne is always the ultimate expression of a producer. This shows the approachable character of Moët wines, while adding intensity and complexity. It is taut and minerally, with a spiced apple note and nervy acidity. It’s now ready to drink, but it also has good aging potential.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $71

Moet & Chandon Champagne Brut Rose 2004 ($89.95) $59 flash sale special
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
 “This serious, ripe offering is packed with red berry and stone fruit flavors. It also has complex touches of toast and acidity, producing a sense of dryness. This is finely balanced and is now ready to drink, but it will also likely age for a few more years.”

This is the lowest factually available listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $88

Tuscan Sunset
Super Sale Prices Ending Sept 07

Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Bucerchiale 2009 ($37.95) $29 special
Ian d’Agata 95 points
 “Medium saturated red. Red plum, redcurrant, tobacco, forest floor and potpourri spices on the sexy, very complex nose. Dense, sweet, suave and deep, with insidious intensity to the multilayered flavors of blueberry, tobacco leaf and loam. Wonderfully silky and sweet Chianti, finishing with fine-grained tannins and lingering ripe red cherry and spice flavors. The 2009 vintage doesn’t get any better than this. An outstanding wine, and everything a Chianti ought to be.”

Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia 2008 ($44.95) $33 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
 “The 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is one of the more slender wines in this line up, in keeping with the personality of the vintage. That is not a bad thing for readers who are cellaring some of the bigger, richer vintages that may take longer to mature. Silky tannins frame a core of black cherries, plums, licorice and tobacco through to the vibrant finish. The 2008 speaks of textural finesse and silkiness first and foremost. I will not be surprised if the 2008 blossoms further with more time in bottle. Today it is immensely beautiful. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2028.”

Felsina Fontalloro Toscana 2008 ($59.95) $37.50 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points 
“The 2008 Fontalloro is the yin to the Rancia’s yang. It is also characteristically beautiful, open and expressive at this stage. Layers of sweet red fruit, flowers and spices blossom effortlessly from the 2008 Fontalloro. The intensely saline finish that is present in the Rancia is found in Fontalloro as well. I am usually not the biggest fan of Fontalloro, but there is no denying the superb pedigree and sheer class of the 2008. This is a wonderfully, sophisticated, polished wine from Felsina. In 2008 the slightly drier microclimate at Fontalloro vis-a-vis Rancia is the main reason this wine is such a huge success in 2008. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2026.”

Riecine Chianti Classico Reserva 2006 ($39.95) $24 special
Ian d’Agata 94 points
 “Good medium, bright red. Pure mineral-driven aromas of sour red cherry, raspberry and sweet spices, with a hint of licorice. Nicely delineated and sweet, with a strong red cherry quality complicated by nuances of blackcurrant and flint. Finishes long and smooth, with a captivating violet lift. Readers may also want to look for the 2005 Riserva, which is similarly excellent.”

Solaria Brunello di Montalcino 2004 ($59.95) $30.90 special
Wine Spectator 94 points
 “Plum, cedar and leather aromas follow through to a full-bodied palate, with a lovely density of ripe fruit and a soft, velvety textured finish. Ripe and beautiful. An opulent wine that opens on the palate. This is the best ever from this estate.”

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




Mighty Fino

Valdespino Sherry Fino Inocente NV 375ml ($14.95) $10.90 special- here now
Valdespino Sherry Fino Inocente NV 750ml ($21.95) $17 special- here now
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The NV Fino Inocente must be one of the few wines in Jerez that is still fermented in 600-liter American oak botas, which is an incredible amount of work compared with fermenting tens of thousands of kilos of grapes (or even more) in a big stainless steel tank. This method was the norm of yesteryear, but is so labor intense that it was discontinued in most wineries, and gives a big diversity of wines, as each barrel has its own character, which contributes to the complexity of the blend. Furthermore, the bottled wine is on average 8 to 10 years old. One other thing that makes it apart from other Finos is that the grapes are exclusively from the high part of the Macharnudo vineyard, so this is a single-vineyard Fino. The nose is very complex, showing the effect of the long lees contact: chalk, dried hay, aromatic herbs and salty almonds. The palate is full, but at the same time elegant and balanced, powerful and fine, with the texture of a Meursault rather than a Puligny. A very complex wine, that manages to be both powerful and elegant. Inocente is great value for money. Drink 2013-2016.”

Oloroso too

Valdespino Don Gonzalo Oloroso 20 Anos VOS 375ml ($26.95) $21.90 special- arriving Thursday
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “The NV Don Gonzalo Oloroso 20 Anos VOS, produced with Palomino grapes from the Carrascal vineyards, is fermented in stainless steel and aged for over 20 years in oak botas. It is a very serious Oloroso, even if it’s not totally dry. It offers bitter almonds, hazelnuts, incense, Cuban cigar ash, and dark chocolate as well as a complex, a very intense, round and ample palate. This wine really fills your mouth. Very intense and with great acidity, it represents very good value for the quality it delivers. A tamed beast. Drink 2013-2019.”




Clemens Busch- 2011 Rieslings- Arriving this weekVineyards of Pundericher Marienburg

Clemens  Busch Riesling Marienburg  Rothenpfad  Grosses Gewachs 2011 ($59.95) $49 special

Clemens  Busch Riesling Marienburg Falkenlay Grosses Gewachs 2011 ($59.95) $49 special
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Mellow aromas of apricot, nut oil and mint.  A bright peach flavor is animated by understated acidity on the palate.  Rich but crisp riesling with a long, clean finish”

Clemens  Busch Riesling Marienburg Fahrlay Grosses Gewachs 2011 ($69.95) $59 special
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Rich aromas of white peach, quince and nutmeg.  Succulent apricot fruit is complicated by tantalizing slate and lifted by invigorating acidity.  Full-bodied, deep and very long.”


Time to say Goodbye

Produttori Barbaresco Rabaja Riserva 2005 ($69.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 95 point
 “A delicious nose of ripe fruit and Indian spices, with perfumes. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a beautiful core of fruit. Features blackberry, chocolate and citrus fruit on the finish. Best after 2011” Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2005 Barbaresco Riserva Rabaja reveals gorgeous inner perfume in a powerful, structured style. This is a big, hulking Barbaresco, but its potential is evident, as the wine’s balance is impeccable. Still, readers will have to exercise considerable patience here. I have seldom been disappointed by older bottles of the Rabaja and expect the 2005 will turn out to be another fine vintage for this bottling as well.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA