Sunday Night Newsletter 12-11-22

 In This Newsletter:

Rosé Sale Continues

A Verifiably Delicious Sale:
New Discount & New Offers on Verite

New Week – New Arrivals

The Other, Other Port: White


Collector’s Corner:
Roederer Cristal

Need Wines Delivered Before Christmas?

Carriers are experiencing holiday- and weather-related delays. 

Help get Santa’s sleigh stocked:

Ship your wines this week!

Make the Holidays

Cheap & Cheerful, Merry & Bright:

Rosé Sale Continues

Now Through December 24th

10% off any 750ml rosé
15% off any large formats of rosé!

Including customer favorites like Bastide Blanche Bandol rosé, Triennes Provence-style IGP, local cult winery Hope Well, and the prickly & pink Ameztoi Rubentis!

Discount will not display online, we will adjust before charging your card. 
Sale valid on non-sparkling rosé and ends Saturday, December 24th at 4 PM Pacific

Shop the sale now!

A Verifiably Delicious Sale:

New Discount & New Offers on Verite

Verite La Muse, Sonoma County 2018 750ml Was $419, Now $389 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 100 points
“A blend of 90% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec, the 2018 La Muse was matured 16 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the nose delivers a powerful perfume of cherry pie, blackberry preserves and baked plums, followed by suggestions of red roses, cast-iron pan, underbrush and unsmoked cigars, plus wafts of licorice and oolong tea. Medium to full-bodied, the black fruit and exotic spice layers flow so gracefully over the palate, textured by plush tannins and lifted with seamless freshness, finishing epically long and achingly fragrant. The intensity and complexity of aromas and flavors—all waltzing in captivating harmony—cannot fail to make your head spin in the best possible way. Electrifying!”
Jeb Dunnuck 99 points “Checking in as 90% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec that was raised in new French oak, the 2018 La Muse reveals a dense purple hue to go with plenty of black cherry and currant fruits as well as cedar pencil, graphite, dark chocolate, and smoked tobacco. Ripe, full-bodied, and brilliantly balanced on the palate, with both elegance and incredible opulence, it’s a hypothetical mix of Châteaux Canon and Lafite. This masterpiece of a Merlot can be drunk any time over the coming 20-30 years. Give bottles an hour in a decanter if drinking any time soon.”
Decanter 98 points “Such a pretty nose, floral, redolent also of autumn fruits and damsons, which over time in the glass releases the more oak driven mocha notes. The palate is compact, dense, the tannins are remarkably silky despite the youthfulness, the fruit is intensely ripe but not sweet. The overall impression is one of a circular wine, plush, hedonistic in the making, the flavours still in motion, becoming darker as they progress through the palate. There’s a freshness, a ‘tingle’ almost to the acidity mirroring the earlier picking regime, the efforts taken in the vineyard and at harvest to capture the essential freshness of Sonoma. The wine ends on black liquorice and coffee and the finish is seemingly endless – cut short only by the next wine. It’s a baby for sure. Drinking Window 2025 – 2050.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Arriving Friday, December 16th:

Verite La Muse, Sonoma County 2019 750ml $449 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 99 points
“The 2019 La Muse is a blend of 90% Merlot, 5% Cab Franc and 5% Malbec. Deep ruby-purple, it explodes with cassis, violets and aniseed, with wafts of thyme, tobacco and iron, offering new nuances with each return to the glass. The full-bodied palate is powerful and refined, with loads of rounded tannins, focused freshness and ethereal character. It’s exceptionally expressive and structured and should be very long lived in the cellar.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “The 2019 La Muse offers a luxurious and layered perfume of red apple, sweet tobacco, and fresh leather. The palate is generous, with velveteen texture, noes of cassis, violets, and fresh earth, and a weightless feel. The most open of the three presented by Verite, this is an incredible wine and will be fantastic to check in on over the next two or more decades.”
Decanter 94 points “Smooth and well defined, this Merlot-dominant wine has a nice delicacy to it. Lifted and bright, there is a sense of joy to this with excellent detail and definition to the fruit and the fine tannins. Clearly powerful with concentration but well delivered. I like the liquorice and the subtle herbal spiced edges – rosemary and cinnamon giving nuance as well as the slightly sweet but supple red and black cherry and blueberries fruit which mingle with scented dried flower notes. A refined style with a lifted finish that is really enjoyable. Ageing 16 months in French oak (95% new).”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $475

Verite La Joie, Sonoma County 2019 750ml $449 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 99 points
“The 2019 La Joie is an elegant expression that offers power, freshness and expressive, floral character. A blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot, it has a deep ruby color and opens slowly from black cherries and blueberries to accents of violets, ground coffee and licorice. The full-bodied palate has generous, grainy tannins, detailed, perfumed flavors and bright acidity, finishing with an alluring iron character. 2,500 cases were made.”
Jeb Dunnuck 99 points “Composed of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and the remainder of Petit Verdot, the 2019 La Joie is compact and unfolds more slowly in the glass. The nose is rich with graphite, sage oil, and black plum. The palate is full of kirsch, fresh leather, currant, and tobacco, with fine tannins that go for ages, along with the fruit and well-balanced acidity. This will warrant 3-5 years cellar to express its full potential over the following 20 years.”
Decanter 95 points “Grippy and structured, this is bold and powerful Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant wine with grippy tannins, a chalky texture almost with liquorice spice and blackcurrant fruit. I love the gentle sweetness here and the lifted acidity that keeps it all fresh. A complex and characterful style with plenty to like. On the rich side, but there is nuance here. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Ageing 16 months in French oak (95% new).”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $475

Verite Le Desir, Sonoma County 2019 750ml $449 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 100 points
“The 2019 Le Désir is an exceptional blend of 83% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot, 5% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, offering complex, layered flavors, soaring aromatics and very detailed expression. Deep ruby-purple in color, its aromas unfold slowly and offer new nuances with each return to the glass: Morello cherries, warm chocolate, dried thyme, desiccated roses and dried herbs. The full-bodied palate offers concentrated, floral fruits, pixelated tannins, bursts of fresh acidity and a very long finish with layer after layer of detailed flavor. 2,500 cases were made.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “The 2019 Le Desir is based on Cabernet Franc, with the remainder 8% Merlot, 5% Malbec, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is complex and layered, with hints of saddle leather, pencil shavings, tangy red cherry, and blackcurrant. The palate is full and elegantly structured, with mocha, red plum, and turned soil. This is an incredible wine with lots of underlying tension that will be a pleasure to revisit if afforded the opportunity. Drink over the next 20 or more years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $475

Verite Le Desir – La Joie – La Muse Assortment, Sonoma County $1,339 pre-arrival special, only 1 three-pack available
A unique, one-time deal; this mixed three-pack of Verite offers one bottle each of the 2019 La Joie, La Desir, and La Muse. See above for reviews.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $1,450

We’re open 10 AM – 6 PM daily

Order Online / By Phone / By Email

New Week – New Arrivals


Bow & Arrow Rhinestones Red, Willamette Valley 2021 750ml $24 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“To understand Rhinestones we have to talk about the Cheverny region of France’s Loire Valley where, by law, the red wines must be a blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir.  We follow this stricture with all the Pinot and Gamay fruit we source from Johan Vineyard.  The blend is determined by nature and vintage.  Aged in a mixture of concrete and old barriques, this wine is the flagship of the Bow & Arrow operation and communicates what we’re about as much as anything we make.  Effortlessly drinkable but rewards detective work if you’re in the mood.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Dominus Estate Christian Moueix, Napa Valley 2019 750ml $319 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Independent 100 points
“Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot, the 2019 Dominus was harvested from September 29 to October 10. It was aged in 40% new oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, the nose slowly unfurls to unveil beguiling floral notes of candied violets and rose oil over a core of crème de cassis, blackberry pie, and plum preserves, giving way to notions of licorice, Indian spices, iron ore, and crushed rocks. Full-bodied, the palate is jam-packed with taut, muscular black fruit layers, intertwined with gorgeous floral and exotic spice accents, and framed by firm, finely grained tannins with seamless freshness, finishing long and mineral-laced. Tightly coiled with so much latent energy waiting to explode, this is a spectacular expression of the vintage and Napanook vineyard. Still tightly coiled, give it a good 6-7 years in the cellar before broaching, and allow it a few hours in a decanter if consumed before 2032.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2019 Dominus is blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc, aged in 40% new French oak. Impressively dark-hued in the glass, it yields scents of cherries and cassis on the nose—or is it black cherries and redcurrants? Subtle notes of mocha, pencil shavings and almost Graves-like earthiness wind through the concentrated, medium to full-bodied palate, giving it a sense of savory gravitas, while the finish is silky and long, leaving a lingering residue of soft tannins and mouthwatering freshness.”

France – Loire

Vincent Gaudry Sancerre Le Tournebride, Loire 2020 750ml $41.90 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92+ points
“From 35-year-old vines planted on the hills of the commune of Sancerre, Saint-Satur and Sury-en-Vaux, the 2020 “Straight Outta” Sancerre Tournebride (identical with the Sancerre Le Tournebride) assembles all three Sancerre terroirs: terres blanches (Kimmeridgian marl), caillottes (weathered limestone) and flint (silex). Fermented in wooden casks and stainless steel and aged for about 10 months on the lees, this opens with a clear, rich and initially a bit lactic bouquet of ripe, white fruits (even honeydew melon aromas are displayed) and a hint of mocha. With more aeration, the nose becomes fresher and more citric as well as complex and mineral. On the palate, this is a full-bodied, elegant and refined but most of all generous and textural Sancerre with juice and power but also mineral grip and tension. I find the Tournebride a bit less pure and dramatic compared to the Mélodie, but it will probably satisfy more palates. 14% stated alcohol. Natural cork. Tasted in March 2022.” [The 2020 vintage bottling was named ‘Straight Outta Sancerre’ in homage to the rap album by N.W.A. and is labeled as such for a different importer than De Maison.]

Italy – Veneto

Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore, Veneto 2007 750ml $179 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2007 Valpolicella Superiore from the celebrated Monte Lodoletta vineyard is rock-tight with a midnight black appearance and aromas that emerge with fierce determination. The fascinating aromatic medley includes dark spice, prune, Spanish cedar, tar, black licorice, balsam herb and blackberry tart. The mouthfeel is plush and rich with super-tight tannins that grip nervously to the finish. It has only started its bottle evolution and requires more time to soften and develop. Drink 2017-2035.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Romano Dal Forno applies the same stringent quality standards on his so-called base wine as he does his top-tier Amarone. But referring to this Valpolicella Superiore as a “base wine” couldn’t be more incorrect. In fact, this singular expression occupies its very own category in which the utmost attention is paid to the smallest details. It opens with dark, inky concentration and amazing intensity, with black cherry, barbecue spice, leather and tobacco.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore, Veneto 2008 750ml $169 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“A dark, super-ripe wine, the 2008 Valpolicella Superiore is fabulous in this vintage. Smoke, tar, incense, licorice and blackberry jam hit the palate in a massive, intense Valpolicella loaded with class and personality. Even with all of the concentration, the 2008 is quite a bit less tannic than some recent vintages have been, which makes it accessible even today, especially if given a little air. There is a lot to admire in this drop-dead gorgeous Valpolicella from Romano Dal Forno.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2008 Valpolicella Superiore hails from the famed Monte Lodoletta cru and immediately struts its stuff: It opens to huge intensity, an inky appearance and tight tannic astringency. Great care is taken to transform each berry of fruit into this dense, syrupy wine that is redolent of bitter chocolate, dried fruit, blackberry preserves, baking spice and toasted herbs. The oak tannins dry every last drop of moisture from your mouth. The blend is 70% Covina and Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, 5% Oseleta and 5% Croatina aged 36 months in barrique. This wine has a long, long way to go. Don’t even think of popping the cork for five years or more. Drink 2018-2035.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore, Veneto 2009 750ml $159 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“Built like a tank, the 2009 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta is a masterful achievement. This wine shows so beautifully, especially in a warm but balanced vintage like 2009. The fruit is expressive and articulate with deep layers of blackberry preserves, dried cherry, dark chocolate, espresso bean, mesquite smoke and soy sauce. The mouthfeel is super rich and concentrated as the Dal Forno signature style would dictate. The tannic bite is still strong and this wine needs a few more years to stretch out its muscular build. I’d suggest drinking it after 2018.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Black cherries, plums, graphite, tapenade, melted road tar and game hits the palate as Romano Dal Forno’s 2009 Valpolicella Superiore shows off its personality. The 2009 brings together the signature richness of a wine made from 100% dried fruit with distinctly wild, almost Syrah-like overtones. Inky and intense, with considerable tannic backbone, the 2009 is really more of a junior Amarone than a Valpolicella. Readers will want to give this super-expressive wine another few years in the cellar, but there is a lot to like, even today.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore Vertical Collection, Veneto 07/08/09 $999 special, 1 mixed six-pack available
A unique, one-time deal; this vertical case pack offers two bottles each of the 2007, 2008, and 2009 vintages of the Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore. See above for reviews.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Italy – Piedmont – Vermouth / Aperitif

Cappellano Barolo Chinato, Piedmont (2016) NV 750ml $89 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 92 points
“[Review for prior release] We ended the meal with a Piedmontese classic, the always exceptionally good NV Cappellano Barolo Chinato. From the house that invented it, this is a Chinato of real pedigree: long, suave, complex and rich, featuring lovely, lingering notes of quinine and dark berries and a very typical resiny nuance (typical of this estate’s version of Chinato, that is). It provided a wonderful and very Langhe way to bring our dinner to a close.”


“This is the Saar and Florian Lauer is currently one of the greatest winemakers in this sacred place… Vintage 2021 is one of the first truly cool vintages in about a decade; it is a piquant middle-finger to our age of climate change and ubiquitous ripeness. This vintage is a time machine to a colder time. This vintage is fresh spring peas after a decade or two of foie gras. WARNING: I write the following sentence as a German wine fanatic and collector and not as an importer: I personally am going very deep in 2021. Maybe such an admission – putting your money where your mouth is, as it were – is meaningful to you personally, maybe it isn’t. I’m just telling you a fact. As an importer, however, I want to write something grander, a bit more philosophical and heady in that vaguely impactful way. So here it is: I think 2021 will prove to be one of the most defining, most consequential vintages of our era.” –Vom Boden (US Importer for Peter Lauer)

Peter Lauer Feils Riesling Fass 13 Grosse Lage GG, Mosel 2021 750ml $59 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Stuart Pigott 96 points
“Stunning nose of crisp pear, fresh basil and fern leaves dripping with water. Concentrated and compact with a ripeness and silkiness that are rare in this vintage. Everything fits together beautifully. Very long seamless finish. Sustainable. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Riesling Fass 18 Grosses Gewachs, Mosel 2021 750ml $59 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Stuart Pigott 94 points
“A very harmonious and well-structured dry Saar wine with a ton of mirabelle and fresh herbal aromas. The fine tannins underline all this beautifully. Long silky finish for a 2021 dry riesling. Sustainable. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Peter Lauer Schonfels Riesling Fass 11 Grosses Gewachs, Mosel 2021 750ml $59 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Stuart Pigott 95 points
“Very smoky with notes of cardamon, licorice and fresh sage. Stunning concentration on the sleek and compact palate. So much drive and wet stone minerality at the extremely long crystalline finish. Still really tightly wound, but the combination of depth and structure give it great potential. Sustainable. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Manfred and Katarina Prum make some of the finest and most sought after wines of the middle-Mosel. The Prum wines are high-wire acts of tension between fruit and intense minerality and display their terroir in the most expressive way. Part of this is that their parcels have lots of old, ungrafted vines and part of it is spontaneous fermentation and whatever magic the Prum family uses in the cellar. No matter what, these are always some of the finest and longest lived wines in Germany. 

Joh. Jos. Prum Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2021 750ml $41.90 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2021 750ml $54.50 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2021 750ml $59 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2021 375ml $46 special, 36+ half-bottles in stock now

The Other, Other Port: White

Known as White Ports, one could argue these should be classified as orange wines – the juice is left on the skins to extract tannins that helps protect the wine during its long aging. As Club Oenologique points out, Kopke is the leader of the style, releasing vintage expressions as well as fantastic NVs that are great value for the money. Drink on their own as a rich aperitif or digestif, or pair with rich appetizers and desserts. Club Oenologique recommends foie gras, hearty blue cheeses, or cake. These would also pair well with dried fruits, fruitcake, and onion tarts. 

White Ports In Stock Now:

Kopke Colheita White Port 2010 750ml $41.90 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Kopke Colheita White Port 2010 375ml $28 special, 11 half-bottles in stock now
Winery note
“An orangey-straw colour. Rich and intense on the nose, with notes of fresh tropical fruit, orange blossom and honeycomb enveloped in notes of smoke from its ageing in wood. In the mouth flavours of molasses, tangerine, apricot and raisins stand out, with a spicy edge making the finish balanced and lingering.”

These are the lowest listed prices in the USA today!

Kopke Dry White Port NV 750ml $20.90 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 89 points
“This attractive full-bodied wine has an unctuous texture and crystallized lemon flavors. It is soft and perfumed with just enough acidity at the end. -Roger Voss”

Kopke Fine White Port NV 750ml $18 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 88 points
“This smoothly textured, balanced wine is ripe and poised between sweetness and dryness. The sweetness comes from a honeyed character while the dryness comes through the spirit and spice. -Roger Voss”

Looking for Colheita or Tawny?

Check out our selections from Kopke recently reviewed by Club Oenologique’s International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC):

Kopke 40 Years Old Tawny Port 375ml $119 special, 3 half-bottles in stock now
Nick Room-IWSC 96 points
“Showing everything one should expect from a 40 year old. Plush flavoursome citrus fruits, muted sugar cane and figs. Mid weight with structured concentration and enjoyable weight. Red fruits carry through to a generous, slightly woody lengthy finish. Very good.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Kopke Colheita Tawny Port 1957 750ml $489 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Harriet Kininmonth-IWSC 98 points
“Still showing elegance and incredible complexity when considering the age. Soft and mellow, loaded with ripe soft stone fruit. Harmonious yet still has austere delights to savour. Still has development to come.”

Kopke Colheita Tawny Port 1978 750ml $119 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Nick Room-IWSC 97 points
“Excellent in all aspects. Caramel and molasses on the nose, palate abundant with deeper toffee, vanilla and ripe prune. Cedar spices combine with fine citrus fruit around a red fruit core. Balanced and with further evolution still to come. Seriously good.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $137.99

Cameron Winery fans alert!! What was hands-down the most exciting sparkling wine we’ve tasted from the Valley this year? The first release from Cameron Winery’s assistant winemaker (and, if you ask John Paul, the guy who actually makes the Cameron wines), Tom Sivilli. We’ve known it’s been in the works for a few years now – the wine spent four years en tirage/on the lees. We knew in our hearts it would be delicious, and it was thrilling to finally, FINALLY, confirm with our palates. 

Sivilli Wine Co Charlie’s Vineyard Blanc de Noirs Brut Zero, Dundee Hills 2018 750ml $41.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winery note
“100% Pinot Noir (Wadenswil and Coury clones) [dry farmed]. Inoculation in neutral French oak barrel. Full malo. Brut zero. Bottled 8/2019, disgorged 7/2021. 75 cases produced.”

The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Meunier, Willamette Valley 2018 750ml $39 special, 10 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 93 points
“Aromas of wild raspberries and fresh strawberries with touches of dried roses and leaves. Medium-bodied with fine, silky tannins. Some savory character to the fresh fruit. Soft yet textured on the palate with bright acidity and a racy finish. Drink now.”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Tannic and muscular, this rare varietal bottling is most concentrated in the back half, yet quite aromatic right out of the bottle. Red currant, rose hip, lemon tea and wild raspberry come to mind. The wine gains concentration and lingers through a long clean finish. -Paul Gregutt”
Fermented in neutral oak to 0.0% residual sugar. Only 356 cases produced.

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Racines La Rinconada Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills 2018 750ml $99 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Decanter 96 points
“This Sta. Rita Hills-focused label between Justin Willett and Étienne de Montille takes a ‘low and slow’ approach to the winemaking process, contrasting the relatively delicate, high-toned style of the Tyler wines. Pinot Noir at La Rinconada Vineyard tends to exude a burly and structured style, as is the case with the 2018 Racines bottling. Sourced from a plot just feet away from that which supplies Tyler, a savoury and soft nose introduces a weighty, wide and tannic showing that is built to last. Drinking Window 2022 – 2045.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Radovic Malvasia Malvazija Istarska, Istria del Carso 2020 750ml $33 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Aged for seven days on the skins, this is deeply impactful and fragrant, with a clinging waxy feel to the texture.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Jos. Christoffel Jr. Christoffel-Prum Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese ***, Mosel 2014 750ml $39 special, 25 bottles in stock now
Erderner Prälat occupies a mere 2.2 hectares. Entirely south-facing, the vineyard is surrounded by cliffs which insulate the vines – as a result, Prälat is one of the warmest plots in the region. Over time, it has also become one of the most sought-after vineyards. Given the limited space, only a few winemakers have access to the vineyard.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Franz Hirtzberger Setzberg Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2018 750ml $59 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93+ points
“From the Spitzer Graben, and thus picked pretty late on October 21, the 2018 Ried Setzberg Riesling Smaragd is intense and concentrated but coolish and spicy on the elegant and promising nose that represents the weathered gneiss soils and its coolish terroir perfectly. Precise ripe apricot aromas on the nose lead to an elegant fine and balanced, almost silky-textured, full-bodied palate, with lush and ripe but precise and elegant fruit and a long and intense, well-structured and salty finish. Tasted at the domain in September 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
I mean, you could pay $120.40 for it elsewhere…

Collector’s Corner:

One of the most prolific Grand Marques of Champagne, the house has become synonymous with quality and sustainability. Converting their estate vineyards to organic and biodynamic, these are easily the most meticulously farmed in Champagne. Favoring Chardonnay as the principle grape, the resulting wines are among the most age-worthy and elegant on the market, with a pervasive house style up and down their line. 

Roederer’s Cristal Bottlings In Stock Now:

#1 Top 100 Cellar Selections 2022 – Wine Enthusiast
Louis Roederer Cristal Millesime Brut, Champagne 2014 750ml $349 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 98 points
“This vivid Champagne shows up-front and linear definition, thanks to rapierlike acidity, with finely meshed flavors of ripe black cherry and mandarin orange fruit, raw almond, anise and cardamom spice as well as a touch of honeycomb, which all unfurl and expand on the fine, creamy palate. Sleek acidity continues through to the finish, with additional racy character provided by a streak of minerally saline and chalk, which gains momentum through the midpalate and rings out on the well-cut, lasting finish. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Drink now through 2040”
Antonio Galloni 98 points …

Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Rosé Millesime, Champagne 2013 750ml $619 special, 3 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 99 points
“A candidate for wine-of-the-vintage honors in Champagne, Roederer’s 2013 Cristal Rosé is showing brilliantly, unfurling in the glass with notes of crisp orchard fruit, white flowers, red berries, stone fruit, freshly baked bread and tangerine oil. Full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, the vintage’s bright girdling acids are amply cloaked in exuberant, expressive and notably concentrated fruit; so while this Cristal is as tensile and age-worthy as one would expect, it’s also impressively fleshy and generous given the year. Concluding with an intensely sapid finish, the 2013 isn’t as overtly structured as the muscular, tightly wound 2012: rather, it’s the 2013’s alliance of cut and flesh, precision and charm that’s so compelling this year. This is another banner vintage for what I consider the reigning champion of the region’s tête de cuvée bottlings, and it will be worth an effort to acquire.”
Antonio Galloni 98 points “The 2013 Cristal Rosé is searingly intense right out of the glass, just like the Blanc, except it has a bit more fleshiness because of the skin contact on the Pinot. Cristal Rosé has one of the best track records for aging in Champagne. I suspect the 2013 will join the ranks of the epic vintages, but it is painfully tight today. The blend is 55% Pinot Noir (from Aÿ) and 45% Chardonnay (from Avize and Mesnil) done in the classic Roederer infusion style in which Pinot Noir is vinified on the skins and then blended with Chardonnay to complete the fermentation. About 25% of the lots were done in oak, while malolactic fermentation was blocked. (Originally published in May 2021)”
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points; Wine & Spirits 98 points

Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque Edition Brut Millesime, Champagne 1999 750ml $1,245 special, 3 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points
“The nose has such beautiful, autolysis character with brown-mushroom and toasted-almond aromas. The nose has still-fresh lemons and oyster shell. Very smooth, pastry-like texture on the palate with even layers and a core of fresh lemons and peaches. The striking thing here is the balance and melted-together complexity. In a very great place. This spent seven years sur latte, seven sur pointe and was disgorged in 2014. Drink now.” [Reviewed 2019]
Antonio Galloni 97 points “Roederer’s 1999 Cristal Vinothèque is endowed with tremendous power and concentration, especially for a Champagne of its age. Palate staining minerals, chalk, white pepper, mint, citrus and orchard fruit soar out of the glass. Tasted next to the Rosé the Blanc has a slightly more toasty character along with more body and a stronger presence of the mousse, which in this wine wraps around the fruit. At the time, Cristal was made from 37 parcels. The Pinots were a blend from Aÿ (where the wines are naturally riper) and Verzenay, Verzy and Beaumont-sur-Vesle, (where Pinots are nervy and taut), while the Chardonnay was sourced from Avize, Mesnil and Cramant. Dosage is 7-8 grams per liter.” [Reviewed 2020]
Disgorgement dates may vary from reviews.

This is the only listing in the USA today for the 750ml!

Winery Library Releases Arriving in December:

Louis Roederer Cristal Millesime Brut, Champagne 2006 750ml $399 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Richard Juhlin-Decanter 97 points
“Fantastic from the start. A colossal power of beautiful rumbling Pinot maturity. It’s like chewing on the ripest grapes from Aÿ and Verzenay. At the same time ultra stylish: unmistakable Cristal essence of peach and mango sweetness, pineapple, coconut, vanilla, sprightly acidity and citrus blossom. Many similarities with 2002 but with a clearer Pinot touch.”
Wine Spectator 95 points; Wine Enthusiast 95 points 

Louis Roederer Cristal Millesime Brut, Champagne 2007 750ml $399 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 97+ points
“Long-time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon has produced yet another in a string of superb Champagnes with the 2007 Cristal. Rich, powerful and enveloping, the 2007 takes hold of all the senses and never lets up. The aromatics alone are captivating, but then the wine opens on the palate, revealing layer after layer of flavor to match a multi-dimensional, kaleidoscopic personality that will leave Champagne lovers weak at the knees. The 2007 is 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir, which is to say a bit more Chardonnay-leaning than is the norm. The 2007 is striking today, but it should also age effortlessly for several decades. It is also without question one of the very finest new releases of the year.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points 

Louis Roederer Cristal Millesime Brut, Champagne 2008 750ml $449 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 99 points
“The 2008 Cristal is one of the most complete, most dazzling Champagnes I have ever tasted. A stunning wine from any and all perspectives, the 2008 simply has it all. Spherical in construction, with superb persistence. The 2008 takes hold of all the senses and never gives up. One of the many things that makes the 2008 special is a combination of ripe fruit and bright, piercing acidity. Marzipan, lemon confit, dried flowers and orchard fruit all build into the explosive, resonant finish. “We learned from the mistakes of 1996, when we picked more on acid than ripeness, as was the norm in Champagne back then” Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon told me recently. “In 1996, the best fruit turned out to be the last picks, where the fruit was physiologically ripe. Today, we aim to pick all our fruit with that criteria.””
Wine Enthusiast 100 points; Jeb Dunnuck 100 points; Decanter 98 points; Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97+ points; Wine Spectator 97 points 

Looking for something a little more budget-friendly? Roederer’s second release of the new multi-vintage wine “Collection” is available and based on the stunning 2018 vintage. This is a baby tête de cuvee unlike anything else on the market from the Big Houses: sourced from estate grown fruit as well as fruit from long-time grower partners that, while delicious on release, offers promising things to come with more time in your cellar.

Louis Roederer Brut Collection 243, Champagne NV 750ml $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Louis Roederer Brut Collection 243, Champagne NV 375ml $31.90 special, 21 half-bottles in stock now
Audrey Frick-Jeb Dunnuck 93 points
“The NV Champagne Collection 243 Brut is the third release and is based on the 2018 vintage, with the addition of 30% of the perpetual reserve started in 2012 and 10% reserve wine that has been aged in oak. It is ripe and balanced, with yellow flowers, honeycomb, and plum, and it has elegant concentration and underlying tension, precise mousse, and rich salinity, with lingering notes of croissant and delicate smoke. This will be an exciting wine in the range to follow. Drink 2022-2037.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points “Based on the 2018 vintage and complemented by reserve wines from a solera established in 2012, as well as younger foudre-aged reserve wines, Roederer’s newly released NV Brut Collection 243 is a pillowy, enveloping Champagne evocative of crisp stone fruits, honeycomb, white flowers and buttery pastry. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and generous, with an ample core of fruit, bright acids and a saline finish, it will offer demonstrative drinking on release.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “A vibrant Champagne that’s fine and creamy on the palate, almost plush, but bright and well-balanced throughout. Reveals a chalky base note that underscores layers of ripe pear and nectarine fruit, mandarin orange peel, oyster shell and chamomile. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier. Drink now. 40,000 cases imported.”

Thank you from the team at Vinopolis!

Be well & drink well.