In This Newsletter:
A Golden Spanish Opportunity:
Bodegas Ego Goru Gold
New Deals on Stellar Spanish Values
from Viña Zorzal
New Delas Frères Offer
New Oregon Wine Month Specials
Trending Grill-Ready Wines
Dal Forno – Arriving This Month
A Golden Spanish Opportunity:
Bodegas Ego Goru Gold
Bodegas Ego ‘Goru Gold’, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($19.95) $11.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Bodegas Ego ‘Goru Gold’, Jumilla 2017 750ML ($199.95) $129 pre-arrival special (that’s only $10.75/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 93 points “($20) This red is sleek and solid, in the modern style. Bright cherry, berry and currant flavors mingle with licorice, black tea and mineral notes, giving way to a floral and minerally finish. The firm tannins are well-integrated and juicy acidity keeps this lively. Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Drink now through 2029. 7,400 cases made, 2,200 cases imported. — TM”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Brilliant purple. Smoke-accented cherry and blueberry on the nose, joined by hints of mocha, cola and vanilla that build in the glass. Sappy, alluringly sweet dark berry preserve and floral pastille flavors smoothly combine weight and vivacity. Finishes on a resonating black currant note, with gentle tannins, repeating spice and floral nuances and strong persistence. Aged for a year in new French and American oak barrels.”
New Deals on Stellar Spanish Values:
From Viña Zorzal
We’ve added new case pricing so you can stock up & save!
New Case Pricing:
Viña Zorzal Corral De Los Altos, Navarra 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Viña Zorzal Corral De Los Altos, Navarra 2018 750ML ($149.95) $135 special (that’s only $22.50/bottle!)
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 92 points “All the guest winemakers that take part in the Lecciones de Vuelo joint venture with Viña Zorzal are offered to produce their interpretation of the paraje Corral de los Altos in Fitero. The 2018 Corral de los Altos is Zorzal’s own interpretation of a 45-year-old plot of 2.1 hectares of Garnacha planted on a north-facing stony part of the village. The grapes fermented in stainless steel with some 25% full clusters and indigenous yeasts and matured in seven used (second and third use) 500-liter oak barrels. This has contained ripeness and a medium to full-bodied palate with the classical chalky tannins and texture from the limestone-rich soils and the length and tastiness they provide”
Viña Zorzal ‘Cuatro del Cuatro’, Navarra 2018 750ML ($36.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Viña Zorzal ‘Cuatro del Cuatro’, Navarra 2018 750ML ($199.95) $165 special (that’s only $27.50/bottle!)
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 94 points “The pure Graciano 2018 Cuatro del Cuatro was first produced in 2015 as an homage to the Sanz brothers’ father, who kept his Graciano vines when the majority ripped them up. They have seen that, with a soft vinification, the variety is not as rustic as most think and, in fact, can be quite elegant. 2018 was a tricky vintage for the variety, and the wine has moderate alcohol (13.3%), a very low pH (3.35) and notable acidity (six grams of tartaric acid per liter). It was produced with grapes grown in the village of Corella (especially from a vineyard planted in 1978), which has more Mediterranean influence that Fitero, the other village where they have the majority of their vineyards. This is a super serious Graciano, fresher than the majority of varietal bottlings out there, as they have lost the fear of harvesting it earlier, and it delivers a very spicy wine, with lots of black and even white peppercorns. I think this is very much in line with the 2016. It matured in used oak barrels of different sizes, and they did a barrel selection to produce 2,900 bottles of it.”
Viña Zorzal Garnacha, Navarra 2019 750ml ($17.95) $14 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Viña Zorzal Garnacha, Navarra 2019 750ml ($99.95) $75 special (that’s only $12.50/bottle!)
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 91 points “The entry-level red simply called 2019 Garnacha is what they define as their regional bottling, using grapes from the villages of de Corella, Cintruénigo and Fitero, produced in an approachable and easy-to-understand way. It had a gentle vinification, starting with grapes of moderate ripeness with a good pH, fermented with indigenous yeasts and using 20% full clusters. The difference in vintage is noticeable when tasted with a majority of 2018s; this is a clearly riper and more open vintage, with a more Mediterranean character, with sweet fruit and aromatic herbs. It reminds me of some of my favorite old-time unoaked Garnachas from Navarra. It has a serious palate, with freshness and chalky tannins and a serious finish. Great value!”
Viña Zorzal Graciano, Navarra 2018 750ml ($19.95) $16 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Viña Zorzal Graciano, Navarra 2018 750ml ($119.95) $85 special (that’s only $14.67/bottle!)
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2018 Graciano, the first wine they produced at the new Viña Zorzal in 2007, was produced with grapes from the village of Corella, and they want to show the expression of the grape in the village, more Mediterranean than Fitero, where they have a significant percentage of their vines. The spicy character of the wine and the lively palate are the expression of the Graciano in their village, what they have been trying to express since 2015. It fermented in stainless steel with moderate extraction and matured in used French oak barrels of different sizes for nine months. This is a very fresh vintage, and the wine is harmonious, spicy, with an herbal hint, with some dusty tannins, chalky and a bitter twist in the finish. I think the earlier harvest of the grape delivers wines that are more transparent, and this is quite stony and tasty. This is a very good value and a great introduction to Graciano”.
Viña Zorzal Mayaleto, Navarra 2018 750ml ($29.95) $26 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Viña Zorzal Mayaleto, Navarra 2018 750ml ($179.95) $139 special (that’s only $23.17/bottle!)
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 94 points “The really impressive and mineral 2018 Malayeto was produced with Garnacha from a single vineyard that produces wine of unusual elegance and minerality. This was the first plot they bottled separately, and this 2018 is the sixth vintage they have produced. It’s a 2.9-hectare plot planted 40 years ago, on the same slope as Corral de los Altos but at a higher altitude and therefore with different soils, surprisingly deep but with lots of calcium carbonate and fine gravel. This fermented in a combination of stainless steel and concrete with indigenous yeasts and matured in a 4,000-liter oak foudre and nine used 500-liter oak barrels for nine months. This wine clearly transcends its price. It’s serious but started quite shy and needed time to open up (it’s extremely young and just bottled), but there is great purity and detail, and it’s elegant and balanced, extremely harmonious. The palate is incredibly elegant, seamless, balanced, with very fine tannins, great integration of the oak and very good freshness, with citrus-like freshness (think blood orange skin). Most of the time, this is my go-to wine in Zorzal’s portfolio, a wine of great finesse in its finest vintage to date.”
Love Spanish reds?
We have 125 different options in stock. Shop the entire selection, including famous names like Comando G, Daniel Landi, Terroir al Límit and more, on our web store now.
Feudo Montoni’s 2015 Vrucara & GD Vajra’s 2015 Freisa
Without being hyperbolic in the least Feudo Montoni is an exceptional house. Beyond their first mentioning in the 1590’s it’s rare to find a producer whose wines reflect terroir, varietal character and quality farming practices across their entire portfolio. Sourced from the oldest part (120+ Years) of their organic, 80 hectare estate Vrucara is 100% Nero D’ Avola grown in the traditional Sicilian bushvine.From the first pour there are exuberant aromas of oregano, anise, ripe strawberry and blackberries intermingled with a lingering copal resin element that fills the glass. Full of verve, and whipsawing fruit character that begins in black raspberries before a metamorphosis into spiced Italian plums and espresso. Vrucara features incredible depth at play with high tannins and acid that hollows the palate with a long finish of rosemary and Mexican chocolate. This is a wine that demands a hearty pairing like steak but is versatile enough to be served alongside an appetizer like charred Brussels sprouts or prawns. In a sentence, Vrucara absolute old-world masterpiece for the price point that requires extensive decanting or extended bottle aging to fully enjoy properly.
Feudo Montoni ‘Vrucara’ Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “Tasted from magnum, the 2015 Sicilia Nero d’Avola Vrucara is a dark and penetrating wine with a chiseled and pungent side that delivers dried cherry and blackberry preserves. There is a point of ripeness, maybe even jammy cherry with lots of inky dark fruit. I knocked off a point or two compared to the previous edition because I am less a fan of that ripeness. You get cherry liqueur or cherry syrup sweetness on the close. However, this remains one of the benchmark bottles for Sicily’s banner grape Nero d’Avola.”
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 93+ points “Good full ruby-red. Aromas and flavors of red/dark berries, plum, smoke, coriander and herbs. Juicy, taut and precise, with musky notes that extend onto the long, very smooth back end.”
Much like Cabernet Franc, Freisa is often passed over in favor of its child grape: Nebbiolo. Once widely planted throughout Piedmonte, Freisa is now only found in in 1000 hectares across the region. With that relative scarcity in mind, Kye is a unique find. Sourced from a single vineyard in Barolo at 1100 feet above sea level, Kye delivers rustic aromas of turned loam, hyssop and seco tobacco leaf. Flavor profile is similar to Nebbiolo but with more emphasis on botanical and spice elements. In addition to a lip smacking fruit component evocative of fresh cranberry and bing cherries, there is an electrifying Szechuan pepper note that makes each taste mesmerizing. Acid and tannins are medium plus and perfectly harmonized after a handful of years in the bottle. There is plenty of room for Kye to continue evolving with more bottle aging, but provides immediate reward for the impatient. Given how this wine is sturdy without being overpowering, Kye is ready for a plethora of cuisine. Lebanese, Chinese or even pizza would be at home with this Northern Italian gem.
G.D. Vajra Freisa ‘Kye’ Langhe Rosso 2015 70ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92+ points “The 2015 Langhe Freisa Kyé is incredibly finessed. Once huge and bombastic, the Kyé has developed into a much more refined wine in recent vintages. The 2015 Kyé is dark and mysterious, not to mention quite closed in on itself. I won’t be surprised if there is more to this wine. Time will tell.”
Arriving Tomorrow – May 7th
Arriving Friday, May 7th:
Delas Freres Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes – Marquise de la Tourette, Rhone 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, only 12 bottles available
Wine & Spirits 96 points “Delas Frères owns 24 acres on the Hermitage hill, including some small parcels of marsanne planted in 1912 and 1918. Since 2013, Jacques Grange has been converting the farming here and in the domaine’s other vineyards to organic, a move he says he’s found to increase the energy in the wines. The performance of the wines we tasted for this issue gives credence to his impression, with this wine a standout example. The vintage was a difficult one, replete with heat waves, hail storms and drought, and yet the wine feels radiant. Fermented with ambient yeasts, it opens gradually, the initial wood tones fading as the wine grows golden and opulent in flavor. Honeysuckle scents and lemony acidity play around the juicy Cavaillon melon flavors, adding delicacy to the wine, while bitter-almond and mineral notes add a deep savor. It’s glorious now, but deserving of another decade in the cellar to harmonize.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “This intensely ripe but vibrant Syrah highlights plump black-currant and blackberry flavors as well as delicate notes of toasted nut, smoke and cedar. Fine, feathery tannins and an ample fruit profile suggest an expression of Hermitage that’s approachable in youth but will continue to gain perfume and depth with age as well. -Anna Lee C. Iijima”
Hot Wines from Delas Freres In Stock Now:
A blockbuster white
Delas Frères Condrieu Clos Boucher, Rhône 2017 750ML ($99.95) $69 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “Slightly deeper and richer, the 2017 Condrieu Clos Boucher offers beautiful notes of tangerine, honeyed limes, citrus, and brioche. It’s another fresher, elegant Condrieu that has bright acidity, medium body, and sensational balance. It’s as drinkable as they come and one of the gems in the vintage.”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Pale, shimmering gold. Incisive aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits, ginger and violet are complemented by suggestions of chalky minerals, fennel and white pepper. Juicy and sharply focused on the palate, offering concentrated pear, melon, white peach and Meyer lemon flavors that show impressive clarity and mineral drive. The pit fruit and floral notes come back emphatically on the vibrant finish, which hangs on with excellent, mineral-driven tenacity.”
The average price is $79
A powerful bottle of Northern Rhone Syrah from the Roederer team.
Delas Frères Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhône 2015 750ML ($44.95) $28 Super Subscriber Special
Case-6 Delas Frères Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon, Rhône 2015 750ML ($279.95) $156 Super Subscriber Special (that’s only $26/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “Inky and concentrated, the 2015 Saint-Joseph Francois de Tournon is no easy-drinking Saint-Joseph. It’s smoky, herbal and ashy all at once, yet it’s buoyed by ample black cherry fruit and vibrant acidity. This medium to full-bodied Syrah has plenty of tannins, but they’re ultimately silky and most apparent on the long, licorice-tinged finish. This is approachable now but should be even better in 3 years and should drink well for at least another 10 after that.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Both Saint Joseph releases are brilliant in 2015. The 2015 Saint Joseph François De Tournon comes vines around Tournon, Mauves, Saint-Jean-de-Muzols, and Vion, and is always destemmed and aged in 30% new barrels. This full-bodied, rounded, sexy beauty shows the power and fruit of the vintage. With classic notes of black and blue fruits, violets, incense and pepper, drink this textured, expansive, terrific Saint Joseph over the coming 10-15 years.”
The next best price is $39.99
The average price is $49
Shop the full list of wines in stock now from Delas on our web store!
When you’re ready to pick up, just park in our lot,
give us a call, & we’ll bring your order to your car.
(If another adult is picking up for you,
please let us know their name when placing your order.)
Oregon Wine Month Specials
We’ve added new wines to our incredible Oregon Wine Month sale!
J.K. Carriere Glass White Pinot Noir, Chehelam Mountains 2020 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 J.K. Carriere Glass White Pinot Noir, Chehelam Mountains 2020 750ML ($299.95) $236 special (that’s only $19.67/bottle!)
Winery note “Our ultimate summer sipper is sporting a new label in honor of its 20th anniversary. 100% Pinot intentionally pressed into a serious and dry rosé.”
VinopolNote: All estate fruit from the St. Dolores Vineyard.
Arriving & Re-Arriving Tomorrow:
Evesham Wood La Grive Bleue Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($29.95) $25.50 pre-arrival special
Winery note “The northernmost block at Le Puits Sec continues to produce a wine that is quite distinct from the rest of the Pinot Noir grown not the site. One significant difference is that the La Grive Bleue is all Dijon clones as opposed to the Pommard heavy res of Le Puits Sec, but there also seems to be slightly different terroir over here. Of the three Pinot Noir releases this Spring the La Grive Bleue shows the most vibrancy, restraint, and femininity. 2019’s concentration is there, but high tones and brightness accompany it.”
Vincent Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($21.95) Was $19.90, Now $18.50 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote: Vincent makes deeply profound WV Pinot Blanc made in a traditional Burgundian style. Naturally fermented and aged in neutral French oak with extended aging on the lees. This is always a staff favorite.
Now it’s even lower!
Belle Pente Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($19.95) Was $16.60, Now $15.50 pre-arrival special
Winery Note “We have always gravitated to a rich, ripe style of Pinot Gris inspired by the great wines of Alsace, and the warm 2015 growing season gave us exactly what we needed! Fans of innocuous, dilute, mass-produced Pinot Grigio may not find a lot to like in this wine. But if your reference point is a Grand Cru from Turckheim or Hunawihr, you’ve come to the right place!…The marine sedimentary soils of Yamhill-Carlton tend to impart a compelling savory saline quality and stony minerality to frame the apple and pear flavors and aromas of the Pinot gris grape. As per our normal protocol, roughly half of the wine is vinified and aged in wood (foudre & neutral barrel) and the other half in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation takes place slowly at cool temperatures and the wine is not bottled until right before the next harvest. It is then held for at least another year before release. The hybrid vinification, coupled with sur lie and bottle aging, creates a wine that has both richness and freshness. It is easy to enjoy on it’s own, and there is not a dish on the planet that it won’t compliment splendidly!”
A new release from Kelley Fox – very little wine was made in 2020, so if you love her wines, snap up all you can now!
Kelley Fox Willamette Blanc, Willamette Valley 2020 750ML ($29.95) $27 pre-arrival special
Unmacerated Weber Vineyard Pinot Noir with a splash of Chardonnay.
Winery note “This is a dry white wine lovingly produced from old vine Pinot Noir and from Chardonnay aged in neutral French oak barrels. 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay.”
The Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Reserve Chardonnay, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points “A series of plantings, spanning the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. The extra depth this wine carries is immediately apparent on the nose with ripe peaches and apricots, as well as orange citrus. The fleshy texture impresses, as does the very clear, peach flavors that hold, amid attractively grippy tannins. Drink over the next six to eight years.”
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2017 Chardonnay Original Vines has an incredibly alluring perfume, exploding with lemon drop, salted almonds, exotic spices and honeyed undertones. The medium-bodied palate is satiny with pure, intense flavors and addicting juicy acidity, and it finishes very long and mineral-driven. It’s stunning now but will age well in the cellar.”
The average price is $58
If there is a single producer from the Rhône that embodies incredible value, it is Saint Cosme. Whether the fruit hails from the Northern or Southern extremes of the valley, all of their wines over-perform.
Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2017 750ML ($49.95) $45 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “Offers mulled plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit mixed in with steeped black tea, sandalwood and tobacco leaf notes. A mineral edge adds cut and drive to the finish, while the black tea note smolders seductively. Built for the cellar. Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. Best from 2022 through 2036.”
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Still awaiting bottling during my June visit, the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape features bold notes of black cherries, cassis and spice cake. Owner Barruol says the Christmas cake is typical of La Crau. Full-bodied and voluptuous, with a long, fine and silky finish, this great effort provides one intense ride from start to finish.”
Case price for in-store pickup only.
M. Chapoutier Luberon La Ciboise Rouge, Rhone 2017 750ML ($19.95) $11.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 M. Chapoutier Luberon La Ciboise Rouge, Rhone 2017 750ML ($149.95) $119 special (that’s only $9.92/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Anna Lee C. Iijima-Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Notes of crisp raspberry, bramble and crushed stone introduce this full-bodied yet invigorating red. Blackberry and mulberry flavors are juicy yet vital, edged by hints of mineral and a zesty midpalate. Peppery, fine tannins linger on the finish. This lovely sip is ready now but should hold through 2023.”
The average price nationally is $17
Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 97 points “This delivers a lush, enticing blast of cassis and raspberry and boysenberry preserve flavors, carried by a silky structure that lets the fruit play out at length, giving adequate time for black tea, singed apple wood, dried anise and fruitcake notes to fill in throughout. Dreamy. Grenache. Best from 2020 through 2040.”
Domaine de Fontavin Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee David & Goliath, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $56 special, 28 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points “An impressive follow-up to the 2015 version, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape David et Goliath is full-bodied, creamy and plush, showing remarkable richness, length and purity, without excessive ripeness or weight. Cherry and peach fruit picks up hints of dried spices, thyme and bay leaf on the long finish. It’s almost all old-vine Grenache, sourced from the rolled stones of the Les Saummades lieu-dit and aged in demi-muids.”
Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape 2017 750ML ($74.95) $52.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is an awesome wine from Laurent, and while it shows the sunny, ripe, sexy style of the vintage, it never loses the elegance and purity that’s the hallmark of Charvin. Lots of kirsch, graphite, dried flowers, garrigue, and ample minerality flow to a medium to full-bodied, silky, incredibly well-balanced red that has a stacked mid-palate, building tannins, and a great finish. Give bottles 4-5 years of bottle age and it will cruise over the following two decades.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94-95 points “Brilliant magenta. An assertively perfumed bouquet of ripe red and blue fruits, Moroccan spices and incense carries a smoky overtone. Sweet, penetrating raspberry preserve, cherry, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors show impressive depth as well as vivacity. Displays superb clarity and floral thrust on the finish, which features smoothly interwoven tannins and lingering spiciness. This wine shows just how much complexity can be achieved, even in a hot vintage, in the absence of any oak, old or new.”
The average price is $65
M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon, Rhone 2013 750ML ($249.95) Was $219, Now $199 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98+ points “The star of the show in 2013 is the 2013 Ermitage le Pavillon. Coming from the west and eastern edges of the Bessards lieu-dit and aged in 30% new French oak, its sensational black/blue color is followed by the awesome bouquet of cassis, smoked earth, graphite and caramelized meats that could come from no other terroir in the world. Full-bodied, massive, dense, sexy and with a liquid rock-like character that comes out with time in the glass, it has sweet tannin and a blockbuster finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. It needs 5-6 years of cellaring and will have 30-40 years of more of ultimate longevity.”
Josh Raynolds 96 points “Saturated ruby. Pungent, spice- and mineral-accented aromas of dark fruits, candied violet and licorice pick up a peppery topnote in the glass. Sappy, incisive and pure, offering vivacious, deeply concentrated black raspberry and boysenberry flavors and a spicy topnote. The endless finish shows superb clarity and power, harmonious tannins and a strong mineral quality.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Racy and tightly coiled in feel, with a bright iron spine and tangy sanguine and pepper notes amid the core of cassis, bitter cherry and damson plum fruit. Shows terrific cut and precision. Minerality courses through the finish. Best from 2019 through 2030.”
Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2017 750ML ($119.95) Was $89, Now $75 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a bigger, richer, more opulent wine. Beautiful notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, graphite, and crushed violets, all flow to a full-bodied, Châteauneuf Du Pape that has a voluptuous, sexy texture, brilliant depth of fruit, fine tannins, and a purity of fruit that’s hard to find in this vintage. It’s a thrill a minute, and while it’s approachable today, it will keep for 15-20 years. 416 cases.”
Wine & Spirits 96 points “The Jaume family has been growing grapes in Chateauneuf-du-Pape since 1826; they now own four Rhone wineries, including Domaine Grand Veneur, established in 1976. This wine comes off the estate’s oldest vines, a blend of half Grenache, the rest mourvedre, syrah and small bits of other varieties, all the parcels farmed organically. It’s a stunning wine, exuberantly fresh in its red-berry flavors while sophisticated in its detail, weaving in notes of licorice and pepper, flowers and wood spice. Even after the bottle has been open for a couple of days, the wine’s freshness doesn’t flag, the smooth, fine tannins holding it steady. This should age well for a decade at least.”
Decanter 96 points “Grown on galets, the fruit for this wine is all destemmed and fermented in stainless steel before being aged for 16 months, half in concrete and half in new barriques. The strong Mourvèdre component comes through as deep, ripe dark fruits and violets. It’s full-bodied and dense with soft, lush tannins, and is held together by a beam of strong acidity, finishing long. A lithe, muscular, impressive wine that will last the course. Just 5,000 bottles made.”
The average price is $115
A Vinopolis-insider wine, we were thrilled to be able to get this back
Domaine Olivier Hillaire Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Les Terrasses’, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) Was $69, Now $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Terrasses is a fine example of old-vine Grenache from a parcel of vines near La Nerthe. Rose petals and black tea accent pristine cherry and raspberry fruit in this full-bodied but silky-lacy, delicate wine. Long, briny and refreshing on the finish, it’s deceptively drinkable but undoubtedly packs a wallop.”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Brilliant violet. Lively, mineral-accented red and blue fruit aromas are complemented by suggestions of lavender and vanilla. Silky and energetic on the palate, offering concentrated raspberry and boysenberry flavors that deepen and become spicier as the wine opens up. Closes sweet, energetic and very long, displaying harmonious tannins and lingering smoke and red berry liqueur notes.”
Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Hauts de Julien, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Famille Perrin Vinsobres Les Hauts de Julien, Rhone 2015 750ML ($299.95) $219 special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Vinsobres Les Hauts De Julien comes from the Vinsobres region, which is a cooler terroir located in the northern part of the southern Rhône. Based largely on very old vine Syrah blended with Grenache, it offers a vibrant purple color as well as a sensational bouquet of blueberries, cracked pepper, violets, lavender, and exotic spices. Incredibly textured, full-bodied, deep, and opulent, with awesome purity of fruit, it’s another sensational vintage for this cuvée that would pass undetected in a blind lineup of top Cornas. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.”
And don’t forget the bubbles!
Rouanne Brut Nature Rose Millesime,IGP Drome Comte de Grignan 2019 750ML ($31.95) $26 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winemaker Louis Barruol (also of Chateau de Saint Cosme) tasting note “At opening and pouring in the glass, the sound (yes, wines do have a “sound dimension”) delivered let you know about the energy which can be found in this bottle. The colour is light and clear, with greyish / blue reflections. The nose develops wonderful aromas of silex, wild strawberry and thyme. Plenty of mineral there and not just fruit: the limestone of Rouanne sings. Give some time and oxygen: you will see these scents evolve, get finer with more and more complexity. Let the wine tell you its story. In the mouth, the aromas approached on the nose can be found in the flavours. The tension lifts the gentleness and the roundness of our ripe fruits. This is fresh, with a slight hint of iode and imperceptible bitterness. It is “light” in a good way. It flies. Rouanne rosé Brut Nature is a wine of joy and elegance. A wine of party.”
Dal Forno – Arriving This Month
Romano Dal Forno , the current winemaker/owner, took over the farm in 1983. Risking everything, he invested a large amount in 1990 to update the winery and refine Dal Forno’s process. The extremely bold flavor of the Valpolicella Superiore is a great example of Dal Forno’s commitment to perfection and their respect for traditional winemaking. Just short of an Amarone, it’s made entirely with fruit that has been dried, though for less time than that legally required for Amarone. A key to the Dal Forno style seems to be an incredibly low yield from their vineyard: each bottle of Valpolicella takes six vines worth of grapes to produce!
Top Picks Arriving ETA May:
Only four half-bottles available!
Dal Forno Romano ‘Vigna Sere’ Rosso Passito 2004 375ML ($279.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 99 points “The 2004 Passito Rosso Vino Dolce Vigna Seré (500-mililiter) is a masterpiece that is impossible to repeat. In fact, the wine has not been produced since 2004. Even if a vintage as good as this did come along, we’d need to wait another 13 years before we could enjoy this level of maturity and evolution. Formally a Recioto della Valpolicella, this sweet red wine is made with air-dried fruit as local tradition dictates. Luckily no botrytis set in that year, because that would have eroded the wine’s deep and luscious color saturation. The bouquet delivers a generous flow of dark spice, bitter chocolate, espresso, raisin, plum, barbecue spice and teriyaki smoke. The concentration and layering of the wine are both rare and distinctive. The mouthfeel sees sweet flavors with a syrupy mouthfeel. The finish offers hints of caramelized brown sugar and savory hickory. The aging window is impossible to predict, but the wine is surely built to last. I can think of no other wine that comes close to matching this unique style.”
Antonio Galloni 98+ points “The 2004 Vigna Serè is the perfect conclusion to a vintage that will go down as one of Dal Forno’s most magical. Sweet, silky tannins support layers of super-refined, elegant fruit in this magical sweet red. Mocha, espresso, new leather, raspberry jam and spices emerge with time in the glass, but this is really a wine that shows off textural finesse more than anything else. I have tasted this wine many times since it was in barrel and later in bottle. It has never been anything less than spellbinding. It is one of the most magical sweet dessert wines I have ever tasted. At eight years of age the 2004 remains a an infant. (375 ml)”
Decanter 98 points “2010 is a more considered vintage compared to the outright opulence of 2009, but it’s no shrinking violet, especially in Dal Forno’s hands. This has a meaty nose with savoury hedgerow fruit , surprisingly open already. I had to put an exclamation mark after writing ‘elegant’ in my notes, as it seems incomprehensible that a wine of this magnitude could still have such balletic balance. It is broad and juicy, with chalky grip and clean, fresh acids followed by a hint of warmth on the long finish.”
James Suckling 97 points “Aromas of roses and other flowers with a deep fruit intensity. Full-bodied, dense and ultra-fine with a beautiful texture. Lots of new wood now but this will amalgamate with time into the wine. Fabulous potential. Drink or hold.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “This was an excellent vintage in much of Italy, but unfortunately the weather was not as pleasant in this specific area of the Valpolicella. The season saw a lot of rain, and a good amount of fruit was cut and left on the ground because it could not be used. Considering these difficulties, Michele Dal Forno tells me he is “more than happy with the results.” I tasted the 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta next to the 2009 vintage, and having these two wines side by side reinforces just how different they are. The 2010 vintages is sharper, more pointed and direct in comparison, and there is a tiny point of sourness on the close. This wine does not reach the same threshold for fullness, density or richness. It does come close. The wine’s residual sugar measures between 5 and 6 grams per liter, which is normal for this wine, and the bouquet is redolent of familiar black fruit, raisin and spice. However, the wine feels a bit stuck in its tracks at the moment and is evidently experiencing a shy phase in its evolution. It has retreated.”
Only eight bottles available!
Dal Forno Romano Amarone 2012 750ML ($419.95) $319 pre-arrival special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is a beautifully complete wine, even at this young stage in its life. You feel the youth of the wine in the tightness of the tannins and in the finely knit texture of its concentrated flavor profile. The big surprise is the wine’s fresh acidity that has been carefully safeguarded despite the heat of the vintage and the drying process so deftly executed at this landmark estate. The wine shows no sign of oxidation or evolution, not yet. There is intricate fruit layering with cherry, blackberry, spice and mesquite delivered with such precision, that level of detail defies the very bold and opulent essence of the wine. It has only just started its evolutionary journey.”
Decanter 96 points “Romano Dal Forno took control of his family’s 25ha in 1980, aged 22, quickly turning to Amarone maestro Giuseppe Quintarelli for advice and tutorship. Dal Forno focussed on a dramatic reduction of yields, replacing the oxidation-prone Molinara grape with the rare Oseleta, and set about introducing a system of manual sorting to remove less than perfect grapes. It takes nine vines to create one bottle of Dal Forno’s Amarone, with a drying period of three months leading to 15 days of fermentation in temperature-controlled steel tanks. Ageing takes place in new oak for 36 months, followed by another 24 months in bottle. It’s a blend of 60% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 10% Croatina and 10% Oseleta. Michael Garner: Exuberant, dense and chewy with peppery black fruit flavours, while showing some delicacy of aroma. Intense and will develop further, perhaps offering more power than grace. Andrew Jefford: It’s not showy on the nose but is super-attractive, and it just grows more so the more time you spend with it. On the palate it’s rich, deep, magnificently tannic and long – an absolutely unbridled Amarone, yet at the same time of extraordinary resonance, authority and subtlety. An Amarone masterclass! Monty Waldin: Its evident concentration really comes through on the palate, with a mix of smooth and slightly more savoury, drier tannins that mingle amicably under some ripely sweet red fruit, while finishing with a distinct brightness.”
Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore, Veneto 2013 750ML ($119.95) $94.50 pre-arrival special
Decanter 97 points “From one of the most iconic wineries in the Orientale, this is aged for two years in oak and a further three in bottle. A proper meditation wine, great with game, strong cheeses or a cigar. It has a huge nose of stewed red fruits, ethereal bramble forest fruits and blackberry jam. Generous, with spicy, bitter cherry-stone freshness. Full-bodied with a rich, intense, spicy undertone.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “This is a terrific wine that stood out—and stood tall—despite the fact that it was tasted alongside some of Dal Forno’s most important vintages of the top-shelf Amarone. If that’s not a full-on recommendation, I don’t know what is. The 2013 Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta oozes forth with thick concentration and an inky black color. The mouthfeel is thick and impenetrable, and the senses are treated to a long succession of black fruit, tar, spice, smoke, mesquite and barbecue flavors. The wine is full-bodied and very opulent, but it carries that massive intensity with grace and precision. This Valpolicella Superiore is very nicely done.”
Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta Valpolicella Superiore, Veneto 2014 750ML ($119.95) $94.50 pre-arrival special
Wine & Spirits 95 points “The 2014 growing season in Valpolicella was plagued by hail in June and copious rain through mid-October, leaving the grape skins fragile and, in the estimation of Romano Dal Forno, not suitable for making Amarone. Instead, he used all of the fruit he and his team could salvage to make this wine, selecting only the best bunches and drying them for 45 days. After fermentation, the wine rested in new oak barrels for two years and another three in bottle, developing a rich complexity that reads more like an Amarone than a typical Valpolicella. It unfolds with flavors of warmed cherry and dried plum layered with notes of espresso, dark chocolate and a savory hint of amaro. There’s a tart tinge to the fruit that enhances the wine’s drinkability and brightens those rich oak-derived flavors. Even with all of the estate’s fruit going into this Valpolicella, Dal Forno made only 27,000 bottles, 30 percent less than normal.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 94 points “The 2014 is a unique rendition of Dal Forno’s Valpolicella Superiore Monte Lodoletta. It’s a remarkably pretty wine, displaying crushed ripe strawberries and plums with cinnamon, clove, vanilla bean and a cooling hint of mint. The textures are velvety, coating all that they touch in glycerol fruit concentration, yet somehow coming across as zesty and spry, contrasting weight with saturating notes of tart blackberry and savory spice. There’s a bit of a lull in the midpalate, yet it hardly takes away from the experience. At times, the Monte Lodoletta can seem almost salty, especially through its long, mouthwatering finish, where hints of cherry pits and herbs linger. This atypical yet truly enjoyable expression is the result of the extremely difficult 2014 vintage, when hail damaged and reduced the crop in the lower-elevation vineyards, followed by rain from August through September. As a result, Dal Forno decided not to produce their Amarone, and to instead focus all of their attention on the Valpolicella. The result is a wine that no Dal Forno fan should miss, but be aware that production was down 30% from an average year.”
Vinopolis is an independent wine shop in Portland that opened in 2004. Our goal has always been to offer the finest, broadest, and largest selection of wines at the best prices to our customers in Portland, in Oregon, across the West Coast, and throughout the United States.
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