Sunday Night Newsletter 5-15-2022

In This Newsletter:

New Releases from Montegrossi

New Week – New Arrivals

Food & Wine Magazine’s May Picks for Oregon Pinot


Do Ferreiro:
Ancient Albarino Arriving Friday


New Arrival Special Feature:

New Releases from Rocca di Montegrossi

Rocca di Montegrossi’s family history in their home village of Monti dates back to the year 700. Credited with the “Original Chianti” blend, they’re a benchmark producer like no other, and is one of the highest elevation sites in the entire appellation. Half of their estate is still blanketed in the ancestral forest, all of which has been farmed organically since 2006. These factors converge to create Chianti of unmatched refinement, delivering the classic sour cherry, espresso, and leather with a backbone of terra cotta and dusty loam. These are big, rich versions of Chianti, with texture and density to spare, all while retaining a refreshing acidity due to the high elevation and dramatic diurnal temperature swings.  You’d swear these were Brunello di Montalcino—except their pricing is 20% below what they’d be if they had those labels. 

Never content to sit on their laurels, Montegrossi also produce a super Tuscan inspired blend derived from the small plantings of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon that grow onsite. In comparison to the cask aging seen by the Chianti classico, the Geremia sees a “Modern” vinification with entirely French oak barrels. It captures so much of what we love about the estate with big, rich fruit and a surprising amount of elegance.  This is a wine that would be twice as expensive if it were from Bordeaux (and probably thrice if it were from Napa), but the wines of Chianti offer superb value. 

Newly Arrived from Rocca di Montegrossi:

Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico DOCG 2019 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Decanter 92 points
“Owner Marco Ricasoli recalls the harvest of 2019 as unusually calm – one of the few in which he didn’t have to base his picking strategy on the weather forecast. While his wines never lack freshness, the 2019 is positively racy! Scents of blackberry and fennel are interlaced with smoke, and the palate brings together brambly fruit with fleshy red plum. This is mouthfilling and clean, with ripe, smooth tannins that are chalky textured – plus all of that vibrant acidity. Drinking Window 2022 – 2028.”
James Suckling 92 points “Plums, spices, mushrooms and dried herbs on the nose. It’s full-bodied with fine tannins. Juicy and textured with tangy acidity and spicy character. Flavorful finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink now.”
Antonio Galloni 91+ points “The 2019 Chianti Classico is an elegant, polished wine. Lifted aromatics, silky tannins and mid-weight structure give the 2019 its gracious personality. In 2019, the Chianti Classico is a bit restrained and less overt than it can be. That means it needs time in bottle to truly blossom. I would cellar the 2019 for at least a few years. The 2019 is so distinctive.”

Rocca di Montegrossi ‘Geremia’ Toscana IGT 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Rocca di Montegrossi ‘Geremia’ Toscana IGT 2017 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special, only 3 magnums available
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The 2017 Geremia is a revelation. It might be even better than the 2015 or 2016, which is saying a lot. Soaring aromatics make a strong first impression. In 2017, the fruit profile leans more into the red fruit end of the spectrum. The warm, dry year yielded a Geremia that is unusually open. I doubt too many of the estate’s fans will have a problem with that given how long these wines usually take to open. Today, the 2017 Geremia is a total pleasure bomb. Don’t miss it.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Rocca di Montegrossi ‘Ridolfo’ Toscana IGT 2015 1.5L ($199.95) $179 special
Antonio Galloni 98+ points
“The 2015 Ridolfo is a new Cabernet Sauvignon/Pugnitello blend from Marco Ricasoli bottled only in magnum. Vibrant and finely sculpted, the 2015 impresses right out of the gate. A whole range of savory aromatics, lavender, spice, licorice and mocha open with time in the glass. Sweet rose petal and cinnamon appear later, adding brightness and lift. Cabernet Sauvignon and Pugnitello are not obvious varieties to blend, as they are, on paper, more similar than complementary. Even so, the combination works so well. I can’t wait to see how this ages. The 2015 is a total knock-out!”
Wine & Spirits 96 points “Marco Ricasoli’s inaugural release of Ridolfo marries the elegance of cabernet sauvignon with pugnitello’s bright and spicy notes in a unique interpretation of Tuscan terroir. Its penetrating flavors of blackberry and cherry are crunchy and vibrant even in the warm 2015 vintage, those fruit tones underlined by notes of graphite that create a cool mineral sensation. The wine almost crackles with energy, its schistous tannins firm and flavorful. An exciting new addition to the realm of Tuscan red blends, this will be fascinating to follow as it develops over the next decade. Available only in magnum—a nod toward its expected aging potential.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Rocca di Montegrossi Gran Selezione Vigneto San Marcellino, Chianti Classico DOCG 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Rocca di Montegrossi Gran Selezione Vigneto San Marcellino, Chianti Classico DOCG 2016 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special, only 3 magnums available
Decanter 96 points
“Vigna San Marcellino is both youthfully fresh and maturely complex. It includes a healthy dose of the deeply coloured Pugnitello grape, and both this and the Sangiovese saw long post-fermentation macerations of over 30 days in 2016. Liquorice, tarragon and broom interlace with exuberant plum and understated toasted nuances that are seductive. Laden with black cherry and rich, velvety tannins, the palate is creamy in texture, while underlying chalkiness and saline minerality lend energy, leading to a sappy, refreshing finish. Drinking Window 2023 – 2038.”
Wine & Spirits 96 points “Chianti Classico’s superb 2016 vintage yielded some excellent wines, and Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi’s Gran Selezione is among the best we’ve tasted. The wine stands out for its combination of firm structure, elegant texture and vibrant flavors. The fruit tones are dark and plummy, a nod to the six percent of pugnitello in the blend, and the wine unfolds to reveal layers of licorice, tobacco and subtle spice. Fine tannins give shape to those rich flavors, and well-integrated acidity lifts the finish.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto San Marcellino is a dense, packed wine. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2016 is an infant. Super-ripe blue/purplish fruit, spice, leather, tobacco and menthol build in the glass. The 2016 is dense and opulent, and yet the acids pulse with energy, lending a feeling of translucence that becomes especially apparent on the finish. That combination makes for a compelling Gran Selezione that should age well for 15-20 years or more.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “A meaty, muscular version, this red displays black cherry, blackberry, tar, leather and iron aromas and flavors, offering a beam of fruit within a tightly wound, vibrant structure. Fine length. Sangiovese and Canaiolo. Best from 2024 through 2045. 1,450 cases made, 500 cases imported. — BS”

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Be well & drink well.

New Week – New Arrivals


Vincent Willamette Valley Rosé 2021 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Our first wine of the exciting 2021 vintage, this is mostly whole cluster pressed and old barrel fermented Pinot Gris from 1990s vines at Zenith Vineyard. I managed to secure a nice acre of Pinot Gris at Zenith for the long term so there’s more to come in the future too! This Rosé also contains small amounts of Pinot Noir and Gamay, for color and texture with the very mineral Gris. I really appreciate all the interest in our first Rosé last year, I think this one is even better and we have more of it. 12% alcohol. Three barrels produced.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Beckham Estate Vineyard Olivia’s Pinot Noir Rosé, Chehalem Mountains 2021 750ML ($31.95) $27 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Fruit from the dry farmed estate vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains aged in amphora.

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Kelley Fox Gruner Veltliner, Willamette Valley 2021 750ML ($39.95) $31.75 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“The Grüner was a really fun wine to produce, and I’m happy to offer this very small bottling to you. This wine was tank-fermented and is ML-complete. The colour is a highly transparent, radiant spun gold. I love looking at it in the glass. The nose is full of fresh, lush citrus with minerals. The texture is both rich and weightless, and yes, it has the classic Grüner finish of a touch of white pepper. It has wonderful acidity one might expect from an alpine wine. For me, this wine has resplendent energy.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Vincent Chardonnay Tardive, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“The Chardonnay Tardive has become a flagship bottling for me. The 2017 model will be featured (as the 2016 was last year) at this month’s Oregon Chardonnay Celebration in Newberg, OR, a weekend event put on by the same group that does the International Pinot Noir Celebration each summer. This 2018 Char-dive is again largely barrels of wine from the old 108 clone of Chardonnay from own-rooted vines at Dion and Andreas vineyards, with a touch of Dijon clone from Andreas and Brick House. The longer aging in barrel draws a broader texture into the wine, with yellow fruit and toasted hazelnut aromas and a touch of reduction. Broadly flavored with tart lemons and juicy acidity, drink now to five years. Seven barrels.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Ayres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2021 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Dark fruit and iodine notes with a light crisp body, this is one of the best values in the Valley. 

Ross & Bee Maloof Blend “Where ya PJs at” Rosé-ish Blend, Oregon 2021 750ML ($27.95) $24 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Distributor note
“Get into those soft pants and pour a glass! Is it orange wine? Yes. Is it pink? Also, yes. The Maloofs call it “rosé-ish.” I call it tasty-sunshine-I’m-done-for-the-day wine (it’s a mouthful, but it’s true). Winemaking – 80% Skin contact Pinot Gris 15% Direct pressed, barrel fermented riesling 5% Skin contact Schönburger. All of the Pinot Gris lots were fermented in open top fermenters on the skins with daily punch downs until dry (20 days on average). About 20% of each lot of pinot gris was fermented carbonically in sealed containers, for the same length of time as the open top ferments. The two methods from each vineyard were pressed off together, and then moved into neutral french oak. Riesling was fermented and aged in neutral oak barrels. Schonbürger was fermented on the skins until dry (18 days), and then pressed and aged in neutral french oak. All of the lots were blended in the early spring, and bottled unfined and unfiltered in late March. 30ppm total added sulfur. Additional Notes: This is sort of a “rosé” for us. As you’ll see on the back of the bottle it states “rose-ish”. We wanted to have the playfulness and functionality of a rosé without actually using any red fruit. Whether you call it white wine, orange wine, or rose, Where ya PJs at?, cause this thing is a slumber party!”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Cameron Winery Baird Orchard Sidre, Oregon 2021 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 24 bottles of cider in stock now 
Winery note
“Apple varieties: Coloradona, Dabinett, Golden Russet, Kingston Black, Piel de Sapa, Repinaldo do Liebana & Solarina. Finished in neutral white oak Pinot Noir barrels.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!


“Ancient” as in “one of the oldest vineyards in Sonoma”-ancient
Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Ancient Field Blend, Sonoma Valley 2019 750ML ($49.95) $37.70 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Bubbling over with personality yet remains focused and polished, this offers an array of currant and raspberry flavors accented by bitter chocolate, orange zest and smoked pepper beef. Finishes with briary, ripe tannins. Zinfandel, Grenache, Alicante Bouschet, Petite Sirah, Mourvèdre, Grand Noir, Syrah and Carignan. Drink now through 2032. —T.F.”

Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Bambino Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley 2019 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Opens with a fruit-bomb of wild berry briar patch before transitions into an appealingly rustic and structured zest fest, revealing heaps of licorice, roasted sage and forest floor accents that build toward medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2030. —T.F.”

Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Old Hill Ranch planted a block of Cabernet in 1983 on a rootstock known as “AXR”. Fast forward 20 years and the block was infected by phylloxera due to an undiagnosed susceptibility in AXR. This means that the block is in the process of dying, with the resulting wine being every bit of a “Swan song” you’d expect.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

France – Bordeaux

Chateau Belair-Monange, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2018 750ML ($279.95) $249 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 98 points
“Made from 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, the medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Belair Monange rolls effortlessly out of the glass with gregarious scents of black cherry preserves, stewed plums and boysenberries, plus suggestions of Indian spices, rose oil, Ceylon tea and garrigue, with a waft of tilled soil. The rich, seductive, full-bodied palate is laden with black fruit preserves and exotic spice layers, framed by velvety tannins and seamless freshness, finishing long and fragrant. Wonderfully hedonic and conceivably drinkable now, give it 4-5 years in the cellar to allow the earthy/savory nuances to fully emerge from within the fruit and drink it over the next 25 years or more.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “An incredible expression of Merlot grown on limestone soils, the 2018 Château Belair-Monange (90/10 Merlot and Cabernet Franc) sports a dense purple hue as well as powerful notes of blackcurrants, kirsch liqueur, flowery incense, chalky minerality, and white truffle. Rich, full-bodied, and beautifully concentrated, it’s a serious 2018 offering integrated oak, ripe yet building tannins, and one hell of a great finish. The finest vintage of this cuvée I’ve tasted, it’s a wine to seek out and hide in the cellar for a good 5-7 years. It’s going to evolve for 30-40 years.”
Decanter 97 points “Hugely serious; still clearly extremely young. With a gorgeously ripped muscular frame, the fruit is multi-layered and multi-faceted. So much power, with autumnal blackberry and blueberry, soft mocha and coffee, and a clear limestone edge. Great stuff. Drinking Window 2026 – 2045.”
Wine Enthusiast 97 points “Dense layers of black fruits mingle with dusty tannins in this wine. The powerful structure is beautifully balanced with ripe fruitiness in harmony with the concentration of the wine’s texture. This wine will age well. Drink from 2027. -Roger Voss”

France – Burgundy

Jean-Claude Bessin Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2018 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Decanter 95 points
“The domaine’s holdings extend over 2ha and are located next to Les Clos, with a west and north-west orientation. Combining vines of different ages and a mixture of stainless steel and oaked components, this is a wine that will reward patience. Vanilla spice, white flowers and subtle iodine notes combine beautifully on the palate here with salinity providing freshness on the finish. Drinking Window 2021 – 2028.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 94 points “The 2018 Chablis Valmur Grand Cru is lucid silver in hue. The bouquet is not as immediate as Bessin’s other 2018, taking its time to unfold, revealing citrus peel, oyster shell and dew-speckled green apple aromas that are beautifully defined. The palate is succinctly balanced, effortlessly carrying the weight of this Valmur. Wonderful intensity on the finish, yet linear and steely. You might deduce this to come from a much cooler growing season than it does. Top class – a Chablis that totally transcends the vintage.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Jean-Claude Bessin Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2019 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 18 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 96+ points
“The 2019 Chablis Grand Cru Valmur is another superb cuvée from Bessin. Wafting from the glass with notes of Anjou pear, crisp stone fruit, white flowers, pastry cream and wet stones. Full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, it’s textural and chiseled, with huge depth at the core and a long, resonant finish. As is often the case, this is one of the finest wines of the vintage.”

Jean-Claude Bessin La Forêt, Chablis Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Neal Martin-Vinous 91 points
“The 2018 Chablis La Forêt 1er Cru has an earthy and smoky bouquet, light touches of wild mint emerging with time in the glass. The palate is well balanced, offering grapefruit, mandarin and bitter lemon notes on the entry, then slightly honeyed toward the finish, but maintaining admirable tension throughout. Maybe it just lacks the persistence of Bessin’s Montmains or Fourchaume, yet this remains a very commendable La Forêt.”

Domaine Sylvain Pataille Marsannay, Cote de Nuits 2018 750ML ($59.95) $44 special, 12 bottles in stock now
“The 2018 Marsannay Rouge, which includes around 25% whole bunch, has a backward dark berry and briar bouquet with fine definition. It just requires a little more intensity and vigor. The medium-bodied palate offers mulberry and red plum notes, moderate acidity and meat juices infusing the red fruit on the ample finish. A little simple, perhaps, but it give much pleasure over the next five or six years.” -Neal Martin, Vinous

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Domaine Sylvain Pataille Marsannay ‘Clos du Roy’, Cote de Nuits 2018 750ML ($79.95) $64 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Burghound 90-92 points
“Outstanding Top Value. Once again there is an attractive coolness to the expressive and relatively elegant nose of plum liqueur, violet, lavender and a whiff of newly turned earth. The delicious, intense and solidly dense middle weight flavors possess an abundance of minerality on the youthfully austere and markedly firm but not hard finale. This too will need at least some patience as the supporting tannins are ripe but firm.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $72

France – Loire

Dry for a demi-sec this drinks like an amaro cocktail: spicy, bitter, and exotic. One of the most fascinating wines we’ve tasted this year!
Domaine Gigou La Bulle Sarthoise Demi- Sec Rouge, Loire NV 750ML ($24.95) $20.90 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Distributor note
“100% Pineau D’Aunis, destemmed, fermented with native yeast. Certified organic. Established in 1974 with four hectares in the Jasnieres appellation in the Loire. The domaine currently has 13 hectares of organically farmed land. Sylvie and Joel took over in 1974. Their son, Ludovic and daughter, Dorothee, took ove rin 2012 and converted to organic farming practices.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Italy – Tuscany

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“The Casanova di Neri 2017 Brunello di Montalcino delivers unexpected grace and a floral profile that is not common to find in this scorching-hot and dry vintage. In faithful Casanova di Neri fashion, the wine is bold and dark in appearance, and although the bouquet is dominated by purple and black fruits, there is a brief interlude of fresh garden rose or lilac. That little moment changes up the momentum of this wine in a most positive way by allowing for a harmony of low tones and high tones that are well matched here. The wine is robust, structured and velvety to the palate, but ultimately this expression is far more delicate than I would have ever expected for a 2017 Brunello. This is a nice surprise.”

Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points
“This is one of my all-time favorite Brunellos, and although personal tastes are fluid and may change from time to time, there is something timeless and solid about this wine. It’s like a touchstone. The Casanova di Neri 2017 Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova is graced with a similar interlude of elegant rose or crushed flower that we saw in the annata wine. It appears more prominently here, and with more shape and focused intensity. Make no mistake, Giacomo Neri builds wines for pleasure and sensual impact, and this wine (helped by a hot growing season and 15% alcohol) ticks all those boxes. But it also shows floral elegance and sour cherry freshness that defies our expectations of the vintage.”

Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Rosso di Montalcino 2018 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Elegant, graceful and fine, the Biondi-Santi 2018 Rosso di Montalcino offers a delicate approach to the senses and it spreads over the palate with polished and silky intensity. The acidity is elevated in this vintage. A handful of historic producers in Montalcino are bringing the Rosso category up to the next level, and the venerable house of Biondi-Santi is one of them. This was a somewhat unusual vintage with prolonged cool spells alternating with moments of intense heat. However, this wine shows even ripening and is quite vibrant and tangy in terms of its acidity. In spectacular Sangiovese style, the wine ends with lingering tones of wild cherry, sweet earth, potting soil and perfumed violet.”

Italy – Piedmont

Bruna Grimaldi Camilla, Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($41.95) $34.50 special, 36 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 94 points
“Sweet strawberry, orange peel and some flowers on the nose. Full-body with round, caressing tannins. Lightly dusty. Tight and pretty finish. Drink in 2024.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “This is vibrant and displays a beam of cherry and currant fruit flavors allied to savory elements of eucalyptus, iron, tobacco and white pepper. A solid grip of dusty tannins guards the finish. Best from 2025 through 2046. 2,500 cases made, 1,500 cases imported. — BS”
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “This opulent red has aromas of baked plum, toasted hazelnut, menthol and dark spice. The aromas carry on to the bold, concentrated palate along with licorice, the warmth of evident alcohol and a saline note. Showing the heat of the vintage, it’s brawny and already accessible. Drink through 2027. -Kerin O’Keefe”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $42


Weingut Keller Westhofener Morstein Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Rheinhessen 2020 750ML ($699.95) $579 special, 2 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points
“Extremely expressive nose with deep white-fruit, herbal and smoky aromas. Enormously concentrated, but very cool and pristine, thanks to the super-racy mineral acidity that gives the finish great power. Drinkable now, but best from 2023.”
Mosel Fine Wines 94+ points “The 2020er Morstein Riesling, as it is referred to on the consumer label, is a bone-dry wine made from 75-year-old vines and low yields (under 30 hl/ha) in one single old Fuder. It offers an aromatic, intense, and very complex nose of herbs, pineapple, grapefruit, mint, ginger, and a hint of camphor. The wine captures one’s attention as it proves hugely intense, compact, and dense on the palate. Notes of lemon and citrus are wrapped into plenty of spices and add to the feeling of razor-sharpness which emerges into the long and tight finish. There is also a light phenolic and powerful presence. This hugely impressive but still very primary dry Riesling will require a couple of years to fully show its potential. There is clear upside potential if it manages to gain finesse over time. 2025-2035+”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
“[The wines of weingut Hermann Ludes] are truly old-school Mosel Rieslings; in my mind these are the rustic, transparent, bracing – even a touch brutal – Mosel wines that were probably common decades ago. Yet this style has been nearly forgotten, pushed aside by the riper, fruitier, easier style of plush-and-giving Mosel wine…From the village-level Thörnich bottling on up, all the fruit is from steep slopes. Julian and his uncle own a bit more than four hectares in the Ritsch… The average vine age here is about 75 years old, many of the vines are ungrafted…

“What they seek, no matter the exact ripeness or level of residual sugar, is a wine that crackles with tension, that has rigor and structure. If the wines are too bracing, too brisk to be exactly legible – or even perhaps friendly! – in youth, they simply require two things that seem to be rarer and rarer every year, despite all our brilliant technologies and automated efficiencies: time and patience.” –Stephen Bitterolf, vom Boden

2022 winery library release!
Weingut Hermann Ludes Thörnicher Ritsch Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2004 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 6 bottles in stock now
AP #2

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

2022 winery library release!
Weingut Hermann Ludes Thörnicher Ritsch Riesling Spätlese, Mosel 1994 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 5 bottles in stock now
AP #3
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points
“[Reviewed Oct 2020] The 1994 Thörnicher Ritsch Riesling Spätlese is clear and concentrated on the elegant and aromatic yet refined nose that represents ripe, concentrated, healthy and floral-scented Riesling fruit intertwined with slatey, lemony and sweet woodruff notes. Round and generous on the palate, with a dense, medium-sweet and herbal flavored texture, this is a tight and complex, long and elegant Ritsch with a serious finish. A gorgeous wine for really all occasions. It has 8% alcohol yet is not overly sweet due to its mineral structure and lingering salinity.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

2022 winery library release!
Weingut Hermann Ludes Thörnicher Ritsch Riesling Kabinett Trocken, Mosel 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 4 bottles in stock now
AP #1

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

“In Germany many insiders consider Enderle & Moll the country’s single greatest producer of Pinot Noir. That’s a wild claim to be sure, but then you taste the wines and you think to yourself, “…yeah, alright, well maybe…” The wines are that compelling.” –Stephen Bitterolf, vom Boden

Enderle & Moll ‘Liaison’ Pinot Noir, Baden 2019 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 12 bottles in stock now
vom Boden importer note
“The Pinot Noirs are famously light, bright, energetic, detailed, ethereal, satiny, even if they can be broad-shouldered and powerful in a sneaky sort of way. Thus the mystery, the beauty and yes, all the damn fuss. At this point it’s said so often it’s beyond trite, but here we go: If you appreciate Burgundy these wines are worth checking out. Not because they taste like Burgundy, they don’t, but because they share a similar aesthetic of lightness matched to intensity, filtered through soil. Depending on the vintage, the estate can make up to four ‘Grand Crus.’ First, there are the two terroir-specific Pinots: a wine from limestone called ‘Muschelkalk’ and a bottling from colored sandstone called ‘Buntsandstein.’ Then, there is a tiny colored sandstone parcel they took over from this older lady named Ida; the barrels always had a unique quality to them, so when they can, they will bottle a ‘Buntsandstein Ida,’ honoring this small parcel… The ‘Liaison,’ a sort of middle-wine-premier-cru-style, is a blend from younger vines in the Grand Cru sites.”

Enderle & Moll Buntsandstein Pinot Noir, Baden 2020 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 3 bottles in stock now
vom Boden importer note
“Buntsandstein, or colored sandstone from prime parcels of vines around 60 years old. A nose that is purely and unmistakably both Enderle & Moll and Baden – perfumed with tomatoes and beets. This wine is a bit wider, a bit more enveloping. The granular sand dust from the soil here comes through – like sea spray while sitting at the beach, infused with the cherry daiquiris in hand (or is it white claws that everyone is drinking these days?). Texturally this wine is the most pronounced of the vintage—more grip, but by no means overwrought as we are talking Enderle & Moll’s deft hand here. There is a lot of umami reading as soy sauce and seaweed, beckoning you to drink more.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Enderle & Moll Buntsandstein ‘Ida’ Pinot Noir, Baden 2020 750ML ($74.95) $64 special, 3 bottles in stock now
vom Boden importer note
“Buntsandstein ‘Ida’, named lovingly after the former owner and caretaker of this small parcel planted around 50-60 years ago, with top clone material and farmed organic for many years. I have a sense there must be more clay here, because the wine just smells bigger, more textural – like it has more heft. This is really just outrageous; dripping with orange and tangerine oils – a splash of vanilla and really a beguiling lovely nose, wow: absolutely intoxicating. Chalky tannins, squared and dense, chewy even. Still very elegant and tense, but the most tapered of them—coiled at the moment, giving a sense of bounds of unlayering and density to unravel. The fruit here is skews on the cherry side with again lovely citrus oils that leave a certain freshness and minty coolness.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

“Shit – even the venerable Jancis Robinson has called [Enderle & Moll] ‘cult.'” –vom Boden
Enderle & Moll Muschelkalk Pinot Noir, Baden 2020 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 3 bottles in stock now
vom Boden importer note
“Muschelkalk, or shell limestone is their oldest Pinot noir vines planted in the early 1950’s—so 70+ years old—and thought to be the oldest in the area. This wine is quite simply breathtaking – a flash of well integrated fine wood on the nose (a clear reminder that Enderle & Moll sources all of their barrels from top estates in Burgundy) intwined with warm yet cooling spices. This is, year in and year out, one of their greatest wines, Grand Cru in every respect. The wine is seductive but not showy, elegance and restraint is paramount for their style. Forest floor and just picked mushrooms, savoury and satiny.”

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Weiser-Kuenstler Trabener Gaispfad Riesling Kabinett Trocken, Mosel 2020 750ML ($44.95) $36 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points
“The 2020er Trabener Gaispfad Riesling Kabinett Trocken is a fully dry wine made from fruit picked at 85° Oechsle on 80-year-old un-grafted vines. It offers a beautifully subtle and engaging nose made of herbs, spices, smoke, and only a hint of lemon at this early stage. The wine is light-footed yet packed with lemony and zesty flavors on the palate and leaves a stunningly focused and mouthwatering feel in the long and animating finish. This combination of lightness, raciness, and intensity is simply stunning! 2023-2035.”

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“The ‘3 En Rama’ range comprises a fino, from Jerez de la Frontera, another fino from El Puerto de Santa María and a manzanilla from Sanlúcar de Barrrameda. Sergio Martínez carefully selects the most outstanding casks from every single solera to create this exclusive range. To obtain the purest sherry, Lustua brings back the ‘En Rama’ style, which means bottling the wine straight from cask with on additional treatment. This process usually takes place in spring, when the layer of living yeast, known as ‘flor’ reaches its zenith. Thus, sherry’s natural character is fully maintained and the resulting wine is one of personality, influenced by the microclimate of the town in which it is aged.” – Winery Note

Emilio Lustau ‘3 En Rama’ Fino de Jerez de la Frontera Sherry, Andalucía 2021 Edition 500ML ($27.95) $24 special, 28 bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“The inland climate in the town of Jerez de la Frontera has an important influence in the development of the Finos aged in this area. Its long hot summers and mild winters, provide a more rounded and fuller style of wine.”

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Emilio Lustau ‘3 En Rama’ Fino de El Puerto de Santa María Sherry, Andalucía 2021 Edition 500ML ($27.95) $24 special, 28 bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“The coastal town of El Puerto de Santa María enjoys mild weather all the year round. This has a crucial influence on briny and light Finos aged therein since the “flor” grows in ideal environmental conditions.”

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Emilio Lustau ‘3 En Rama’ Manzanilla Sanlúcar de Barrameda Sherry, Andalucía 2021 Edition 500ML ($27.95) $24 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Winery Note
“Sanlúcar de Barrrameda sits between the Atlantic Ocean the estuary of the Guadalquivir River with Atlantic breezes coming off the ocean. Its microclimate impregnates the yeast growing on the surface of the Manzanilla with a rare sea salt character.”

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Quite the topic of conversation these days…
Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena 5º Ano, Ribera del Duero 2016 750ML ($219.95) $179 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2016 Valbuena was produced with a blend of 94% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) and 6% Merlot from 140 hectares dedicated to this wine. It fermented with indigenous yeasts, and the first year it matured in barrels (75% French, 25% American) and the second year in large oak vats. This is again a floral and elegant vintage of Valbuena, very much in line with what has happened in the best vintages since 2010. 2016 is going to be a wine that the public is going to like; it has an extroverted personality and is perfumed and generous, juicy and tasty and nicely textured, with fine-grained tannins and very focused and clean flavors. 2016 was a year of very good freshness in Ribera del Duero, a year they like even better than 2018. 182,882 bottles, 6,030 magnums and a few larger formats were produced. It was bottled in June 2019.”
Wine & Spirits 96 points “This is the second vintage of Valbuena for Gonzalo Iturriaga, the Rioja-born technical director of Vega-Sicilia. And if it is any indication of his talents, the young Iturriaga has a lot to contribute to this iconic Castilian estate. The fruit for Valbuena comes from vines on Vega-Sicilia’s north-facing hillside in Valladolid, below the parcels that go into Unico, and above the road that separates the hillside from the bodega itself and the richer soils approaching the Duero river. In 2016, it has the exuberant energy of spring, cool and sunny with scents of Queen Anne’s lace and wild anise. The floral fruit ranges from the high-toned brightness of an August tomato to the deeper tones of green figs and dark plums. Then, the spicy note of crystalized ginger in the finish has an earthiness that calls to mind the crystalized gypsum in the soil on this hill. A remarkably elegant take on Valbuena, this is a wine to covet for your cellar.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points “Dark violet. Powerful red and dark fruit preserve, pipe tobacco and potpourri aromas are complemented by exotic spice, mocha and incense flourishes. Sappy and energetic in character, offering palate-staining blackberry, cherry liqueur, floral pastille and spicecake flavors underscored by a vein of juicy acidity. Gently chewy tannins build steadily on an impressively long, focused and penetrating finish that leaves smoky mineral, floral and juicy dark berry notes behind.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “This red shows both power and finesse, with generous flavors of ripe red plum and currant accented with anise, cedar, olive and wild herb. Spice and loamy earth notes fine-tune the finish. Tinto Fino and Merlot. Drink now through 2040. 16,670 cases made, 540 cases imported. — GS”


Royal Tokaji ‘Mezes Maly’ Furmint Dry Great First Growth, Tokaj 2018 750ML ($39.95) $34.50 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Wilson Daniels importer note
“Mézes Mály (MAIZE-esh my) is arguably the world’s original “superstar” vineyard. The first classification of the already legendary vineyards of Tokaji took place in the 1730’s, the earliest of any wine region, and Mézes Mály was designated as a “Great First Growth” – one of only two vineyards with that classification. Royal Tokaji and Hugh Johnson jointly own this vineyard, which is the winery’s only vineyard with deep loess topsoil over volcanic bedrock. Vine age ranges from 20 to 60 years old.”

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Royal Tokaji ‘Szt. Tamas’ Furmint Dry First Growth, Tokaj 2018 750ML ($39.95) $34.50 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Wilson Daniels importer note
“Tokaji Vineyard Classification: In the 1730’s, 28 villages and their vineyards in Tokaj became the first European vineyards to be classified. This classification remains in effect today and was verified by the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture in 2013. Szt. Tamás 1st growth single-vineyard: Szt Tamás is one of the most expensive and celebrated vineyard hills in the region. Royal Tokaji own parcels totaling 16 hectares of this southwest facing vineyard with vine age ranging from 20 to 60 years. The soil is rich, red, clay interspersed with indigo and purple volcanic rocks on, and below, the surface.”

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Food & Wine Magazine’s

May Picks for Oregon Pinot

In Stock Now

Crowley Entre Nous Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2019 750ML ($49.95) $37 special, 11 bottles in stock now
“Tyson Crowley founded his eponymous winery in 2007, focusing on site-specific Pinot and Chardonnay. His Entre Nous bottling, saturated with flavor but taut and poised at the same time, is emblematic of his approach.” –Ray Isle, Food & Wine Magazine

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Lingua Franca ‘Avni’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special, 16 bottles in stock now
“Burgundy star Dominique Lafon consults here, so it’s not surprising that—as with many young Burgundies—there’s a hint of French oak in this wine right now. Over the next few months, it should meld with the wine’s beautifully focused red cherry and anise flavors.” –Ray Isle, Food & Wine Magazine

Celebrate Oregon Wine Month!

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Mike Etzel, the founder and winemaker of Sequitur, is a living legend in the Willamette Valley. He co-founded Beaux Frères in the late 1980s and was the winemaker there until recently passing the duties to his son. Never one to rest on his laurels or stay still, though, he began planting a vineyard adjacent to Beaux Frères in 2010—a project that became what we know as Sequitur. The winemaking style is exactly what you’d expect—these are wines that are made by the same hand that delivered so many high scores to Beaux Frères. Big, powerful and bold, these nevertheless have energy and grace that we think comes from the extra-attentive farming and unique clonal selection in the vineyard. In short order, Sequitur has established itself as one of the very best producers in the Willamette Valley and deserves your attention as such.

Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2018 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points
“Bright ruby-red. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and blue fruits, cherry pie, potpourri and exotic spices, all sharpened by a smoky mineral overtone. Deeply concentrated and energetic in the mouth, offering sappy, mineral- and spice-drenched black raspberry, cherry cola and rose pastille flavors that spread out steadily on the back half. Shows fine definition and finishes extremely long and sappy, with polished tannins and lingering floral and blue fruit liqueur notes. 25% new oak.”
James Suckling 97 points “A very succulent, concentrated pinot with a strong (40%) whole-cluster influence, delivering sappy, fresh and aromatic lift to the blueberry and ripe-cherry aromas. The palate has such succulent and assertive tannin drive, yet the textural interface remains silky and fluid. It has depth and volume and a very commanding finish. Give this some time. Try from 2024.”

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The next best price is $89.95

Reynvaan Family Vineyards’ side gig
Result of a Crush Claret, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Result of a Crush Claret, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($359.95) $259 special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 90 points
“Leafy herbs, plums, blueberries, and green herbs all emerge from the 2016 The Claret. It’s layered, rounded, and textured on the palate, with tons of fruit. With good complexity and a balanced, impeccably made style, it’s a terrific wine to drink over the coming 4-6 years. The blend of the 2016 is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 5% Cab Franc, all aged 18 months in 30% new French oak.”

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“… what’s striking me more and more of late is the dignity these wines have been showing. My marketing side—as pathetic as that is—keeps wanting to be playful about the novelties of the wines, but my human side keeps pausing before them, noticing their basic and unfussy truths.” –Terry Theise

Aubry Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 90 points
“The NV Brut from Aubry is such a pretty wine. Medium in body and understated, the Brut captures all the sophistication that is typical of these Champagnes. Hints of orchard fruit, spice, chamomile, tangerine oil and almond develop over time, but it is the wine’s balance that comes through. The heavy presence of red grapes is felt in both the flavor profile and overall weight. Best of all, the Brut is a fabulous value.”
Wine Spectator 90 points “Firm and tightly-knit, with a fine, zesty mousse and a subtle vein of smoky minerality layered accompanied by flavors of Mandarin orange peel, steeped apricot, lemon thyme and salted almond. Disgorged February 2021. Drink now. — AN”

Castell ‘in Villa takes full advantage of their estate’s high proportion of alluvial pebbles by crafting 100% Sangiovese with pervasive minerality and extensive aging trajectories, attributable to their meticulous production standards. 

Castell’in Villa Gazzarina Toscana IGT 2019 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Castell’in Villa Gazzarina Toscana IGT 2019 750ML ($239.95) $195 special (that’s only $16.25/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)     
100% Sangiovese vinified in stainless steel prior to elevage in traditional botti. Classic Chianti flavors of sour cherries, leather and terra cotta. 

Zorzal Eggo Blanc de Cal Tupungato 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez Wine Advocate 94 points
“2019 was cooler than 2018, and the 2019 Eggo Blanc de Cal is even fresher and stonier than the 2018 I tasted last time. This wine is never about the grape variety, and it’s like liquid chalk, even more so in 2019. It matured in concrete eggs for 10 months. This is always produced from a limestone-rich plot in the Tupungato Winelands. Half of the wine fermented with the skins, but it doesn’t have any “orange” characteristics. It’s sharp and super tasty. Amazing value. 7,775 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2019.”

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Do Ferreiro 

Ancient Albarino Arriving Friday

Coastal, northwestern Spain is one of the most exciting wine regions in the world.  After decades operating in obscurity, the wine world is starting to discover the maritime climate, amazing terroirs and unique grapes of Galicia.  As the world has noticed, money and technical ability have flowed in, creating the perfect environment for stunning, cool climate wines.  

Do Ferreiro works from Rías Baixas and produces the finest Albariño in the world.  Coming from the picturesque Val do Salnés sub-region on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, this is the ancestral home of Albariño. The granitic mountains and blankets of sea fog define the terroir of Val do Salnés, creating the building blocks for an invigorating and savory wine with surprising aging potential. These efforts pay off in spades as seen in their top bottling (Cepas Vellas) especially, which is sourced from a minuscule vineyard planted in 1785. 

These are wines that can challenge the finest of Chablis for complexity, personality and age-worthiness at prices that, while expensive for Spanish white wine, are bargains for the quality. While it’s tempting to stick the comparison with Chablis out there and call it a day, the wines of Do Ferreiro transcend genres and are more or less peerless in Spain. 

Arriving Friday, May 20th:

These vines were already over 120 years old when La Romanee-Conti was grafted… just saying
Do Ferreiro ‘Cepas Vellas’ Albariño, Rías Baixas 2020 750ML ($79.95) $64.50 pre-arrival special, only 11 bottles available
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 96 points
“I love the purity, nuance and balance of the 2020 Albariño Cepas Vellas. After a long time in the glass, there are hints of botrytis, dried apricots and beeswax, a little less than in the 2019. There is great complexity and balance here; it is one of the finest vintages of Cepas Vellas that I remember. This is produced with grapes from the ancient, centenary vines that surround the house and winery in Meaño. This is produced like the rest of the wines—a simple and natural process and aging in stainless steel with the fine lees. It has the austere texture of the granite soils. 8,000 bottles produced.”

Do Ferreiro Adina Albariño, Rías Baixas 2020 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2020 Adina is a different wine, as it comes from oxidized gneiss soils, a strip of red laminar and schist soils that produce wide and powerful wines but with lots of finesse. It has very soft, powdery tannins that make it nicely textured and good ripeness with 13.5% alcohol. This is a very balanced and harmonious vintage. It’s superb. It should also develop nicely in bottle. There are 2,000 bottles of this.”

Do Ferreiro Lourido Albariño, Rías Baixas 2020 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94+ points
“The 2019 was not bottled, so I tasted the 2020 Lourido, a very expressive Albariño from degraded granite soils that break like a pomegranate and bring very fine wines that are long and sharp and improve after two or three years in bottle when it connects the mid-palate with the acidity. Of course, it can be drunk young, but it’s linear and austere, with acidity but not the acidity that you get with very high yields and unripe grapes (there are many of those in the region). It’s nice that the wine shows the soil on the palate, an arrow to the back of the palate here. 1,600 bottles produced. Like previous vintages, this should develop nicely in bottle. I retasted the 2016, the first vintage they produced of this wine, and the wine is aging very slowly. I got the drinking window completely wrong!”

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