Vinopolis Newsletter – September 3rd Edition 2018

In Today’s Newsletter:

Rosé For Autumn, Rosé For All 
Grower Champagne: New Scores for the Vanguard
Trending: France, Spain, Italy
A Benchmark: 2010 Altesino Montosoli
New Reviews and New Arrivals Throughout
2015 Opus One: Nearly Perfect Again
2016 Chateauneuf du Pape: Better Than ’15?
September Sale Recap

Vinopolis Wine Shop

Is Open Labor Day

For our regularly scheduled hours

10 am – 6 pm

Rosé for Fall
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $21.99
The best Sancerre rosé? We don’t know any better.
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2017 1.5L ($79.95) $61.90 special
Importer note “Always among our most coveted rosés (and for very good reason), Gilles Crochet’s 2017 Sancerre Rosé (100% direct-press Pinot Noir) is wonderfully classic in character, with tangy strawberries and punchy chalk on the nose, and a soft, mellow, pale pink color in the glass. The fruit is very cool and pure this vintage, with great drive and persistence on the acid-driven yet scrumptious palate. While Sancerre overall experienced around 15% losses due to frost in 2017, Crochet was thankfully spared completely.”Chinon rosé seems to be a great combination of fruit and savoriness.
Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($189.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Josh Raynolds 90 points
“Light, bright orange. Vibrant, mineral-accented aromas of fresh red berries, orange pith and rose oil on the tightly focused nose. Dry and nervy in the mouth, offering lively strawberry, cherry and citrus zest flavors that show very good clarity and minerally cut. Closes brisk and long, with resonating floral and red fruit notes and a hint of succulent herbs.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $16
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

You’re Really Growing on Me

New Grower Champagne Scores from WA

“More than just respecting their particular terroirs, [growers] try to find out the natural particularities of their vineyards and reflect them—as naturally as possible—in their wines. These growers are aiming for ripe grapes that reach their full ripeness with moderate sugar and ripe acidity levels to keep the Champagnes pure, fresh, fine and elegant… These producers have a close relationship to their vineyards (of which they often farm just a very few hectares), and their wines are vibrant expressions of this artisanal viticulture that has given new blood to a region whose legends, brands and anecdotes have been quoted so much in the past because there was often not much more to talk about…

“…terroir also matters in Champagne. Although we all don’t know much about it yet, the growers’ terroir (and organic) movement has made Champagne one of the most interesting and dynamic wine regions in modern France, along with the Loire Valley, Jura, Alsace and—certainly—Burgundy… Many have been inspired by their colleagues in Burgundy, if not by terroir-Champagne pioneers such as Anselme Selosse or Pascal Agrapart. Many of the best growers are assembled in groups that share the same passion and ideas about the future of Champagne as a region and as one of the most fascinating wines on the planet.” –Stephen Reinhardt, Wine Advocate

Newly Reviewed Champagnes

In Stock Now and Arriving This Month:

Vouette et Sorbee Cuvee Blanc d’Argile Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Vouette et Sorbee Cuvee Blanc d’Argile Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne (2014) 1.5L ($199.95)
$149 pre-arrival special, 4 magnums arriving September 14th
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points
“From a rather young vineyard (less than ten years old) planted with nothing but Chardonnay, the NV Brut Nature Blanc d’Argile—here, the “R14,” which is entirely based on the 2014 harvest—is an intensely citrus colored, white-golden shimmering beauty. Intense yet fine and floral on the nose, this oak-fermented (you don’t really get that aromatically!) Blanc de Blancs shows an iodine and almost floral (think of broom!), intense and vinous nose like a fine Chablis. The palate is round yet dry, firm and mineral until the long, tensioned, well-structured and very salty finish. This is a great mix of ripe, lush fruit, elegance, finesse and iodine flavors—so, where are the oysters? Disgorged in March 2017; tasted in July 2018.”

Vouette et Sorbee Cuvee Fidele Extra Brut, Champagne (2014) NV 750ML ($69.95) $55 special, 2 in-stock now, 30 bottles arriving September 14th
Vouette et Sorbee Cuvee Fidele Extra Brut, Champagne (2014) NV 1.5L ($149.95)
$128 pre-arrival special, 10 magnums arriving September 14th
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The NV Brut Nature Fidèle (R14) is a Blanc de Noirs from Pinot Noir on Kimmeridgian soils and is entirely based on the 2014 vintage. Disgorged in October 2017 the oak-fermented wine shows a golden-reddish apricot color and opens with a very delicate, floral and herbal yet intense and vinous bouquet of red fruits, with warm, dry earth and spices and just a hint of oak. Bone dry (of course), fresh and elegant on the palate, this is an impressively delicate and filigreed Champagne to be enjoyed as a still wine rather than a fizz. The finish is long, clear, dry and well-structured (even with fine tannins) and reveals discreet salinity. In fact, Fidèle drinks like a Burgundy-inspired Coteaux Champenois with very fine but not effervescent bubbles, persistent lemon juice and a touch of oaky flavors. Don’t use a flute to enjoy this young, gastronomic wine; instead, use a wine glass or one of the rounder, more voluminous Champagne glasses like the Lehmann Jamesse (which stresses the finesse rather than the vinous character). Don’t serve the Fidèle too fresh, either, but if you must, wait a bit and don’t worry if the wine is suddenly 12 or even 14 degrees Celsius—it’s still delicious and even more vinous then! (To be honest, when tasted at 15 or 16 degrees Celsius, I even got some Gewürztraminer notes (lychees) on the nose…!) Tasted in July 2018.”

Christophe Mignon Brut Rose Pur Meunier, Champagne NV (13/14) 750ML ($69.95) $53.50 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92 points
“The NV Brut Rosé is pure Pinot Meunier tasted here is based on the 2014 and 2013 vintages, and my sample was disgorged in August 2017. It’s a blended rosé with a warm salmon color, indicating a pure yet intense and aromatic bouquet of red fruits. Very pure and elegant on the palate, this is a vital and energetic Pinot Meunier with great grip, tension and kiwi flavors. Very fresh, vital and stimulating, it needs time to age. Tasted April 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $59.95
The average price is $65
Rene Geoffroy Rose de Saignee Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special, 11 bottles arriving September 7th
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points
“Macerated for a couple of hours on the skins, this NV Rosé de Saignée Brut Premier Cru is 100% Pinot Noir and is entirely based on the 2013 vintage. Disgorged in September 2017 with a dosage of eight grams per liter, this has a beautifully deep and intense Pinot character with red fruit aromas on the nose. Full, round and vinous on the palate, with great elegance, complexity and expression, this is a gorgeous Rosé with great purity, elegance and intense fruitiness. Jean-Baptiste Geoffroy is truly a master of the saignée method. Tasted April 2018.”Marguet Pere & Fils ‘Shaman’ Grand Cru Rose Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2014) 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 91 points
“Predominantly based on 2014 and a blend of 67% Chardonnay with 33% Pinot Noir, Benoît Marguet’s NV Shaman 14 Rosé Grand Cru displays a pale salmon color and a lovely pure, fresh and delicate bouquet of red berries, cherries, citrus and floral notes. Round and elegant yet bone dry on the palate, this is a filigreed yet structured rosé with a good, cleansing, aromatic finish and very delicate, stimulating grip. The wine was bottled in July 2015 and disgorged in February 2018. Tasted May 2018.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Bereche et Fils Vallee de la Marne Rive Gauche Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($99.965) $79 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92 points
“The NV Vallée de la Marne Rive Gauche (2014) is an impressively vinous and complex 100% Pinot Meunier from the left bank of the Marne River. The vines in Mareuil-le-Port were planted in 1969 on pure clay (no chalk) on a north-facing, late-ripening slope that keeps the freshness easily. The wine is fermented with natural yeasts in barrels and ages for eight months on the lees before the tirage. This does not go through malolactic. The vin clair is then kept for three years under natural cork to become Champagne. Disgorged as Extra Brut in November 2017, the recent release of the Rive Gauche is entirely based on the 2014 vintage (but not a vintaged Champagne) and opens with an intense and ripe bouquet of ripe fruits with creamy notes. Full-bodied, round and very elegant on the palate, this is a pure but very complex and persistent Meunier with tension, grip and a long yet finessed and stimulatingly fresh finish. Tasted April 2018.”A still white wine from Champagne (Coteaux Champenois)
Bereche et Fils Les Monts Fournois Premier Cru Extra Brut Millesime, Coteaux Champenois 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 91 points
“The 2015 Coteaux Champenois Ludes Premier Cru Les Monts Fournois is 100% Chardonnay from low-yielding sélections massales planted in 1961 on pure chalk and with a southern exposition. Fermented and aged on the lees for 18 months in four-year-old 350-liter barrels from Burgundy, this wine offers a fascinating nose of ripe, intense yet very fine and elegant fruit aromas. Highly complex and elegant on the palate, with intense, aromatic and very juicy but refined fruit along with very fine tannins and a velvety texture, this is a fascinating Coteaux Champenois with a pure and salty finish. Tasted April 2018.”Bereche et Fils Le Cran Premier Cru Brut Millesime, Champagne 2010 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The Ludes Premier Cru 2010 Le Cran is from a very cool and late-ripening terroir at 190 to 220 meters in altitude. The vines (a 50/50 mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) were planted between 1963 and 1967 on a shallow chalky terroir with just 25 centimeters of topsoil, with the Pinot Noir facing east and Chardonnay to the west. Vinified in oak, aged under cork and disgorged in December 2017, the 2010 vintage offers a pure, deep, elegant, pretty charming and chalky bouquet with ripe fruit notes. Pure, fresh and elegant, the palate features a long, iodine expression of chalk and crushed stones. This is a firm, serious, structured and spicy Champagne with generous chalkiness and creamy texture, with a very long, complex finish. If you like the dirty chalkiness of wines from Jerez and the Jura, this Champagne could be your preferred choice. Tasted April 2018.”

Nicolas Maillart Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2012 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 90+ points
“The 2012 Premier Cru Extra Brut is sourced in Bouzy and Écueil and was picked between September 20th and October 3rd. The wine blends 55% Pinot Noir with 45% Chardonnay and was fermented 60% in Burgundian pièces. The straw-yellow colored wine offers a clear, precise and refreshing citrus aroma with mineral notes and good intensity. Full-bodied and charmingly round on the palate, this is an intense, lush and fruity vintage with a refreshing mineral finish. Disgorged in March 2017 with a dosage of four grams per liter.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $60
Marie Courtin Efflorescence Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($69.95) $58 pre-arrival special, 11 bottles arriving September 14th
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2013 Extra Brut Efflorescence is from an east-facing vineyard with 40-year-old vines (sélection massale) on Kimmeridgian soils. Fermented and aged for one year in pièces and 36 months on the second lees before the disgorgement in October 2017, this golden-yellow cuvée opens with a very delicate, almost floral bouquet of great elegance. Round, intense and full on the palate, this is an extraordinarily fine, elegant, highly finessed and perfectly balanced Pinot Noir with beautiful cherry fruit on the fresh finish. This is a great wine, and just 9,000 bottles were produced. Tasted April 2018.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $63.94
The average price is $70
Benoît Marguet is a fast-rising star in the Montage de Reims if not in the entire Champagne region.
Marguet Pere & Fils ‘Sapience’ Premier Cru Extra-Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points
“A blend of 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 25% Pinot Meunier, the golden-yellow 2009 Premier Cru Brut Nature displays a clear, deep and well-concentrated bouquet of ripe and spicy fruits with a touch of lemon juice and oak. Pure, fresh and fruity on the palate (sweet cherries, red berries and citrus fruits), this is a very elegant, perfectly round, complex, well-balanced though tightly structured and vibrantly mineral cuvée with a long, clear, pure and salty finish. This is remarkably finessed. Unfortunately, I tasted the 2009 three weeks after the 2007 and the 2008 rather than tasting all three side by side, but qualitatively, it’s much closer to the 2008 than to the 2007 and is doubtlessly an impressive Brut Nature. Sapience is the name of Marguet’s prestige cuvée that is produced every single year. Marguet calls it “a new expression of Champagne.” It is a Premier Cru Brut Nature whose grapes are sourced in old, organic or biodynamically farmed vineyards from three well-known champagne growers in Cumières (Georges Laval), Trépail (David Léclapart) and Bouzy (Benoît Lahaye), who all work the soil with horses or tractors and protect the vines with herbal infusions and essential oils. The resulting millésimes (I had 2007, 2008 and 2009 plus the 2006 Oenothéque) are pure and quiet (or subtle) beauties that taste unique in texture and flavors but will benefit significantly from further bottle aging. In their youth, they are full of energy and vitality but not too good to lose control or patience—which is true for all of the wines from Marguet. Keep them (at least) for three or more years after the disgorgement, and you will get the best of them.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!


An unoaked and powerful style of Sauvignon Blanc.
Zorzal Eggo Blanc de Cal, Tupungato, Argentina 2014 750ML ($29.95) $19 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2014 Eggo Blanc de Cal is pure Sauvignon Blanc from two different vineyards in Gualtallary. The full clusters are pressed and the must was fermented and aged in contact with the lees for nine to ten months in their famous egg-shaped cement vats. This is more subtle and earthy, less Sauvignon, with the fruit expressing itself in a lower-pitched voice, more of a baritone. It’s also has a little wider, pungent and powerful character in the mouth. This is only around 13% alcohol, and even though in 2014 it didn’t go through malolactic fermentation, it’s still a very light and fresh wine. Groundbreaking Sauvignon. 4,800 bottles were produced, fruit of two eggs.” LG

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

“reminiscent of Manfred Krankl’s SQN Syrahs”
Chateau de L’Ou ‘Secret de Schistes ‘ Rouge, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-12 Chateau de L’Ou ‘Secret de Schistes ‘ Rouge, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2015 750ML ($549.95) $419 special (that’s only $34.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Saturated black in color, the 2015 IGP Côtes Catalanes Secret de Schistes is reminiscent of Manfred Krankl’s SQN Syrahs with its deep, unctuous, layered profile. Cassis, chocolate, licorice, smoked herbs and ample minerality all emerge from this full-bodied, sexy beauty that just begs to be drunk. Possessing ripe tannin, a stacked mid-palate and a great finish, it will be better in a year or two and keep for a decade.”

“it has to be one of the best wines in Rioja in 2013”
Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2013 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2013 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
James Suckling 92 points
“This is an excellent 2013 with such purity and finesse. Cherry, stone and light cedar aromas follow through to a full body, very fine tannins and a fresh and clean finish. Hints of cedar. It shows a focused energy. Drink now.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “Jorge Muga told me he’s very proud of their 2013 Reserva, which he considers the most challenging vintage he’s seen: cold, rain, botrytis, vigor, mud … horrible! They only produced this Reserva, there’s no Selección Especial Torre Muga or Prado Enea, and they even produced less than the average volume of this bottling. This is the year they introduced optical sorting for the grapes, and they reckon that really helped to achieve the quality of this wine. In this price range and volume, it has to be one of the best wines in Rioja in 2013. It has the classical Muga character, polished and drinkable.”

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

Perhaps the perfect bistro Cornas.
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2016 750ML ($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points
“(no new oak) Opaque ruby. Potent, mineral-accented dark berry scents are complicated by floral oil and peppery spice nuances. Smooth and seamless on the palate, offering gently sweet black raspberry, blueberry and violet pastille flavors that become livelier with air. Sappy and open-knit, closing with solid thrust, silky, even tannins and strong persistence.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points “Looking at the Cornas releases, the 2016 Cornas Granite 30 comes from the Patou and Saint Pierre lieux-dits and was completely destemmed before aging in a mix of barrels. It’s a ripe, vibrant beauty that’s overflowing with fruit. Blackberries, blueberries, violets, spring flowers and hints of minerality all give way to a full-bodied, unctuous effort that has good acidity and sweet tannin. It’s another no-brainer wine from this estate.”

The average price nationally is $38

“The best RR vintage I have yet tasted from KP!”
Weingut Keller Westhofener Kirchspiel RR Riesling, Rheinhessen 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
John Gilman 94 points “There was no 2014 RR bottling from Weingut Keller, but happily, the 2015 vintage allowed for this cuvée and what an amazingly fine wine it is! The bouquet is very pure, very precise and nascently complex, as it soars from the glass in a stunning blend of tart orange, very complex, crystalline minerality, blood orange, petrol, gentle notes of wild yeasts and a topnote of citrus zest. On the palate the wine is fullish, complex and electric in its vibrancy, with a superb core of fruit, great mineral lift on the backend and laser-like focus on the very, very long and utterly refined finish. The best RR vintage I have yet tasted from KP! 2016-2040.” (Mar/Apr 2016)

“A wine of total harmony, the 2013 is going to be nearly impossible to resist young”
Produttori del Barbaresco Paje, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Wine Enthusiast 97 points– Cellar Selection “Forest berry, chopped mint, clove and new leather aromas take center stage on this elegant, full-bodied red. The savory, smooth palate doles out succulent red cherry, raspberry compote and licorice while vibrant acidity and tightly knit, refined tannins provide balance and support. It has great energy and is loaded with flavor but will be even better with a few more years aging. Drink 2020–2038.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Pajé is simply fabulous. Sweet floral notes soar from the glass as this deep, beautifully resonant Barbaresco shows off its compelling inner sweetness and total sense of poise. The flavors are deep yet fresh, with wonderful fragrance and impeccable balance throughout. A wine of total harmony, the 2013 is going to be nearly impossible to resist young. The 2013 is one of the best versions of the Pajé I can remember tasting.”

New Arrivals
Cameron Winery Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($44.95) $36 special
VinopolNote: A blend of declassified barrels of Pinot Noir from the Abbey Ridge and Clos Electrique vineyards. The Abbey Ridge vineyard offers its refined character and classic floral elements to the blend; while the estate Clos Electrique vineyard’s trademarked robust and “gnarly” (to quote John Paul) style comes through in spades. The pedigreed character makes this easily one of the best values in the new crop of Willamette Valley Pinots.Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Subtly powerful and rich, with expressive black cherry and spicy cinnamon aromas and layered plum and licorice flavors that build toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2024. 3,372 cases made.”France:

Domaine Saint Prefert Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve Auguste Favier, Rhone 2015 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Wine Spectator 97 points “Vibrant and captivating, with exuberant fruitcake, cinnamon and black tea aromas leading the way for a fleshy core of raspberry pâte de fruit, plum sauce and cassis, all allied to a lovely velvety texture. Maintains intensity through the finish, showing a long echo of pastis. Best from 2020 through 2040. 1,300 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $73
“perfectly balanced, complex, and just classic Cornas”
Domaine Jerome Despesse Cornas, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “From the young Jerome Despesse’s estate located in the southern part of Cornas, in the La Craux region and steep, terraced slopes, the 2015 Cornas sports a deep ruby/purple color as well as a killer bouquet of black fruits, scorched earth, beef blood, pepper, violets, and cedarwood. This old-school Cornas has a bloody, meaty, olive, iodine character (not far from what you can find from Allemand or Clape) as well as medium body, brilliant minerality, notable, yet integrated acidity, and a great finish. It doesn’t have the over the top power or richness that can be found in the vintage yet is perfectly balanced, complex, and just classic Cornas. I love it.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Discover Your New Favorite Tuesday Night Wine

Newly Reviewed by Grapelive!

“Super-tasty and gulpable” –Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate

Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley, Chile 2016 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Case-12 Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley, Chile 2016 750ML ($149.95)
$128 special, 2 cases in stock now (that’s only $10.67/bottle!)
Grapelive 90 points
“Made from 120 year vines in the Maule Valley, the Aupa Pipeno by Vina Maitia is an old school country wine made from a blend of 80% Pais (Listan) and 20% Carignan with a short and light maceration/ferment that makes it easy and fresh in style. The Pipeno (a term for the way they used to carry the wine in tubes/pipes filled from large casks and sold fresh) is an old Chilean tradition. It’s been revived in these new versions and sold for export made from the mission and old vine grapes [that] highlight the country’s rich wine history that started back with the Spanish explorer era in the early 1,500’s. Grown on a mix of granite and volcanic soils the Listan Prieto (Mission Grape) gives earthy/spicy character to the Pipeno, while Carignan adds a bit more depth of fruit and generosity. Light fruity and spicy this is a fun and easy quaffer. Coming in at under 13% natural alcohol, it feels nice and fresh with a light garnet and bricky hue. Pipeno and Pais based wines are a throwback style, and they are really catching on, especially with those that want more authentic Chilean flavors. [Such wines] transmit the different terroirs, from either granite or volcanic soils, instead of international themed offerings. Tangy red fruits lead the way with poached cherries, strawberry, raspberry and fresh stone fruit on the palate along with minty herb, pepper spice, leather and ground cinnamon. A bit of crisp acidity keeps things lifted and elements of citrus rind, dusty stones and dried flowers come through with air and food. It truly needs cuisine to show its best, but it’s flexible enough to go with most any simple dish from sea food to cheeses and good with a slight chill for outdoor events and BBQ. Drink this juicy/savory Pipeno now.”

Featured September Clearance Sale Wine

Cool Climate Syrah

The Syrah that Marcus Goodfellow made under the Matello label is certainly a wine for old-world palates, lean and peppery with pretty aromatics.  When we found out that there was some of the 2011 to be had, we jumped all over the opportunity and negotiated a pretty outrageous price to take it all off of Marcus’ hands.

Before we get to the pricing, a quick word about the vintage—2011 was cold.  Not “cool for Oregon,” but rather “the coolest ever in Oregon.” Luckily it was dry as well, but wines from the vintage were picked much, much later than normal and at much lower alcohols and ripeness.  The 2011 Matello Syrah was harvested in the beginning of November and displays everything that’s lovely about the vintage—cool lean fruit and beautiful floral tones, balanced by racy acidity.  If you want your Syrah to be big fruit and thick textures, no worries—there are other deals out there.

However, if all of that sounds as good to you as it does to us, you’re going to flip out over the price.  If you love lean, savory, bright and juicy wines with delicate textures and food-friendly acidity, just head to the website now and grab a case.  You’ll thank us later.  We’d love this wine at full freight for what it represents and how it tastes, but at the pricing we negotiated this is outrageous. (The staff will be stocking up, judging by the in-house chatter.)

In Stock Now:

Cool climate Syrah for a ridiculously cool price
Matello Fool’s Journey Deux Vert Vineyard, Willamette Valley 2011 750ML ($24.95) Was $18, Now $11.90 September Clearance Price
Case-12 Matello Fool’s Journey Deux Vert Vineyard, Willamette Valley 2011 750ML ($249.95) $119 September Clearance Price (that’s only $9.92/bottle!)
VinopolNote: 90% Syrah, 10% Viognier from the Deux Vert vineyard (planted 1994) in Yamhill-Carlton. Deeply colored, with fountains of dark fruit and spice, and smooth tannins. Only 130 cases were produced from these non-irrigated vines. Bottled at 12.7% alcohol, at Matello’s winery in McMinnville.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

See the complete list of wines on our September Clearance Sale at the bottom of this newsletter!

Altesino Montosoli 2010

A Modern Legend

2010 is already a modern legend in Brunello.  The wines across the board are the best since…2001? 1990? Better balanced than the 2007’s, more graceful than ’06 and with more power than the 2004’s, 2010 is a vintage that even just a few years later we wish we had bought twice as much of.  So when we had the opportunity to acquire more of Altesino’s Montosoli from the vintage, we jumped all over it.

This is a pantheon-level Brunello, with critical praise to match.  Altesino is one of the most reliable producers in the region and this, their flagship wine, is a fitting testament to the enduring appeal of the vintage.  We’re offering a new tranche at the best price in the country and this is an exceptional opportunity to backfill on one of the wines of the decade.  Don’t let it pass you by.

In Stock Now:

Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Case-6 Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($899.95) $679 special (that’s only $113.17/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 98 points
“A stunning red, featuring peony, strawberry, cherry and mineral flavors, accented by notes of wild herbs. Intense and deep, with great purity and elegance, a firmly wrought structure and a long finish. The harmony between fruit, tannins and acidity should allow this to age beautifully. Best from 2019 through 2036.” WS
James Suckling 97 points “Beautiful aromas of dark fruits and minerals. Full-bodied, succulent and chewy. It’s tight and stony. Lots of black olives and wet earth under the fruit. Bright and linear wine with beautiful layers…” JS
Wine Advocate 96 points “Montosoli enthusiasts will not be disappointed by the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli. This special single-vineyard expression shows a beautifully fragrant and floral bouquet that is exactly in line with what this firmly consistent producer strives to achieve. This wine represents one of the most distinctive expressions of varietal voice and that’s what makes it so precious and rare. Sangiovese sings loud with small berry nuances and loud floral impressions of rose, violet and lavender. Its underlying complexity is further enhanced by anise seed, cola and licorice stick. The wine’s texture is soothing soft and silky. This is one for your cellars to age ten years or more.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $129

Newly Reviewed & Arriving This Month
A delightful Barbaresco with an elegance that makes it hard to resist breaking into it young!
Cantina del Pino Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The delightful 2014 Barbaresco by Renato Vacca and his family at Cantina del Pino is a smooth and delicate wine. It shows a dark and intact color with light berry aromas followed by light shadings of spice, tar and tobacco. The wine appears light and streamlined in terms of mouthfeel, yet it also delivers power, structure and length. Some 8,000 bottles were made.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Opus One

New Review from Wine Advocate

“Already previously reviewed as a barrel sample, the 2015 was a show-stopper from barrel and is equally impressive in bottle. The last of the “drought” years and a rather warm one at that, the resolute nature of these impeccably tended Oakville vines is apparent in the complex layers, beautiful freshness and rock-solid frame of this wine.” –Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate

Arriving ETA October:

Opus One, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($369.95) $333 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 97+ points “Composed of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot and 2% Malbec, Opus One’s 2015 Proprietary Red Wine is truly an iron fist in a velvet glove, delivering a powerhouse of flavors and structure with a seductively plush texture. It opens with a deep garnet-purple color and wonderfully spicy notes of cinnamon stick, cloves and fenugreek with a core of cherry preserves, redcurrant jelly, blackberry pie and warm plums plus hints of camphor, lavender and cigar box. Full-bodied, rich and bold in the mouth, it fills the palate with exotic spice-laced black and red fruits, framed by firm, beautifully ripe, grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing with epic persistence. Although it is already approachable, allow it another 3-5 years in bottle for its myriad of subtle accents to fully blossom and then drink it over the next 30+ years.”

2016 Chateauneuf

Three Masters, Four Bottlings

All Exceptional

“Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s monumental 2015 vintage was a tough act to follow, but 2016 was up to the challenge. In fact, in many cases the wines from this uniformly outstanding warm year actually outclass – or at least outmuscle – their older siblings.

“If exuberant ripe fruit, harmonious tannins and an overall impression of generosity and lushness are what you’re after in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, then 2016 has plenty to offer. But the best wines also display real energy, making this a standout vintage.

“References to other great years such as 2010 and 2001 abounded during my visits with producers in mid-April, and while I concur with the comparison to 2001, the ‘16s show more flesh, more abundant fruitiness and rounder tannins than the 2010s did at a similar stage. At the same time, I believe that the wines will often be superior to those from recent hot years like 2009, 2007 and 2003 because of their greater freshness. The mostly higher levels of acidity displayed by the ‘16s are largely due to cool nights throughout the growing season and the harvest. That said, as a group these are undeniably powerful, fruit-driven wines, sometimes flamboyantly so. ” –Josh Raynolds, Vinous

A year ago, the thought that a vintage might top 2015 in the Southern Rhone would be unthinkable. Yet here we are, anticipating the arrival of the 2016’s with even more fervor.  The 2016’s combine all the power from ’15 with a real sense of energy and vitality that makes them unique among recent years.  This is the best Chateauneuf vintage since…2001? That’s saying something in a region that’s had a string of success.

We’ve just secured a parcel of Chateauneuf from three of our favorite producers, all of whom hew to a fairly traditional style.  It’s exciting to offer them to you, especially at these prices, as the vintage seemed to favor this style of wine especially.  They arrive in October, perfect timing to drink young over the holidays (they’re delicious) and then bury in the cellar.

Arriving ETA October

Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94-96 points “Deep bright-rimmed red. An explosively perfumed bouquet evokes ripe fruits, incense and exotic spices, and a sexy floral pastille nuance builds in the glass. Sappy, broad and expansive on the palate, offering sweet raspberry preserve, boysenberry and spicecake flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Closes on a gently tannic note, displaying superb clarity and spicy thrust and leaving sweet red fruit preserve and Asian spice notes behind.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine de Ferrand Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape offers more depth and richness than the 2015, with slightly darker fruits (blackberry, black raspberries), garrigue, smoked earth and licorice all emerging from the glass. It’s ripe, voluptuous, and beautifully textured, with sweet tannin, and is going to be a smokin’ good 2016 that’s going to have a long life. As always, this cuvée is a un-oaked blend of mostly Grenache (3% each of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Bourboulenc, with a splash of Cinsault) that comes mostly from clay soils, partially destemmed, and will be bottled with no filtration.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Girard, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94 points “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Girard is like the traditional cuvée, yet has more tannin. Cassis, licorice, blackberry jam and garrigue aromas give way to full-bodied, concentrated, tannic 2016 that has tons of fruit and mid-palate depth. The cellar is going to be your friend.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale, Rhone 2016 750ML ($979.95) $736 pre-arrival special (that’s only $61.33/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Jeb Dunnuck 96-100 points
“Violets, spring flowers, cassis, plums, and incense notes all define the stunningly good 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Imperiale. Made from 100% Grenache from very old vines, it’s full-bodied and powerful, yet also graceful, balanced and pure, with terrific freshness and purity. My money is on this flirting with perfection once bottled.”

September Clearance SaleWant to see all the wines in the September Clearance Sale?
Just head to our website or check out the full list below

Thank you for reading!