Thursday Newsletter-1-18-18

Featured New Arrival: Maison L’Envoye; January Clearance Sale: Giacosa; Xavier Vignon; Forge Cellars; Domaine Gramenon; Staff Picks: Donnhoff Edition; #Trending: Domaine de l’Edre; 2015 Clementin de Pape Clement; Pride of the Jura: Two Masterpieces from Stephane Tissot; Brovia; Arriving February 9th: Domaine Mee Godard Morgons; Late Breaking News: Arriving in August – Newly Reviewed Wines from Vincent Paris


This Just In!

Featured New Arrival

Best Price? You Bet!

Maison L’Envoye Two Messengers Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($27.95) $19 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “($30) Focused, complex and light-footed, with floral strawberry and cherry aromas and sleek flavors that accent the mineral and savory spice details. Drink now through 2022. 3,000 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $26.99!!


January Clearance Sale:

Giacosa Falletto

Falletto di Bruno Giacosa ‘Falletto’, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($219.95) $149 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2011 Barolo Falletto is a beautifully balanced and determined wine. It spends 30 months in oak and this warm vintage is already showing a quick bottle evolution. This was an early vintage: Fruit was harvested on September 23, which is ten days before average. It shows soft, luscious lines and ripe fruit flavors that are both generous and opulent. Yet, there is a healthy crunchiness and crackle in the mouth that makes for a long aging future ahead. Barolo Falletto closes with pretty aromas of dark fruit, spice and shaved truffle.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $180.95
The average listed price is $206

More Italian hits from the January Clearance sale:

Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2012 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $36 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94+ points “A ripe, powerful wine, the 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia offers a level of finesse that balances some of the more overt intensity of the year. Dark cherry, plum, spice, tobacco, menthol and licorice add shades of nuance as this beautifully delineated Rancia opens up in the glass. Because of its mid-weight structure, I expect the 2012 will give up its charms relatively early by Rancia standards, which means around age 15-20. The 2012 is not an obvious or explosive Rancia, rather is a wine built on compelling overall harmony.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $48

Produttori del Barbaresco Montestefano, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2011 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2011 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano is one of the least expressive of these wines. Inward, powerful and explosive, the 2011 is not in a mood to show much today, that is pretty clear. Still, there is an obvious energy here that is impossible to miss. A firm spine of tannin gives the wine much of its signature power. Dark red cherry, smoke, pomegranate and scorched earth blossom on the dramatic finish. A wine of real density and gravitas, the 2011 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano stands out for its pure, unbridled energy and overall intensity.” AG
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2011 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano is the biggest of the bunch. This wine delivers a lasting sense of structure and intensity that is especially apparent as this Barbaresco hits the palate. The bouquet exhibits signs of ripe fruit with soft layers of blackberry preserves and cherry liqueur. The wine’s tannic structure is solid and firmly stitched together, yet this wine is slightly softer and perhaps sweeter than the Riserva Muncagota, for example. This is yet another wine destined for long bottle-aging.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $49.99
The average price is $55

Produttori del Barbaresco Ovello, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2011 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $44, 22 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94+ points “The 2011 Barbaresco Riserva Ovello, from one of the coolest zones in Barbaresco, is superb. Here it is the wine’s precision and energy – both hard to come by in 2011 – that really stand out. Pine, mint, chalk, bright red berries, blood orange and white pepper are some of the signatures in a brilliant, finely-cut Barbaresco that captures the best of both the vintage and this site. Don’t miss it!” AG

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $57

Produttori del Barbaresco Pora, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2011 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “Broad and brooding, this muscular Barbaresco packs in black cherry, tar, licorice and spice flavors. More about power than finesse, with a long finish. Best from 2019 through 2035.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2011 Barbaresco Riserva Pora is sweet, round and sensual. Beautifully layered in the glass, the Pora is absolutely exquisite, with plenty of sweet red cherry, plum, mint and spice notes woven throughout. The Pora is typically the most open of the Produttori’s nine Riservas, as it is once again this year. There is so much to like here.” AG

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The average price is $57


Xavier Vignon

Few in the Southern Rhône can make wine like Xavier Vignon. Grand Veneur’s 100 Point Châteauneuf-du-Pape VV 2010, along with Raymond Usseglio’s 99 Point Cuvée Impériale 2010: Xavier fashioned both. Having studied at Montpellier’s prestigious winemaking school, and polished his skills in Napa, Bordeaux, and Australia, Xavier arrived in Châteauneuf in the late 1990s. Following his successes, and heeding industry advice, he began retaining specific barrels of  wines he’d crafted for some of his winery clients and blending his own line of wines. The wine world has since thanked Xavier for his contributions, and critics such as Robert Parker continuously praise his signature bottlings.

Xavier’s mission remains simple: to showcase, and exalt, the character of the Rhône Valley’s most celebrated appellations. The wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueyras, and Rasteau, for example, sing in their purest voices under the guidance of Xavier. His intuition and decades of experience as a Rhône winemaker pay off not just in 99-100 points, but likewise in his own brand of wines. We are offering an assortment of Xavier Vignon wines, all in the 90+ point range, at a fraction of what you’d pay for the wines Xavier makes as consultant to the grandees.

Top Picks in Stock Now from Xavier Vignon

Xavier Vignon Cotes du Rhone S.M. NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points “The NV Côtes du Rhône S.M. is thrilling stuff. Made from equal parts Grenache and Syrah and aged half in concrete and half in barrel, it offers a full-bodied, voluptuous and decadent style to go with overflowing notes of plum and darker fruits, licorice and violets. Gorgeous on all counts, it’s a shockingly good Côtes du Rhône to drink over the coming 4-6 years, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see it last even longer.”
Do we know the vintage blend?- if so, please add information as a vinopolnote

Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reserve VII IX X NV 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points “While I reviewed this NV Châteauneuf du Pape La Reserve VII IX X (a blend from the 2007, 2009 and 2010 vintages) last year, I was able to taste it again this go around, and it still blew me away. Fabulously full-bodied and decadent, with loads of lavender, incense, black raspberry and cured-meat nuances, it’s still youthful and vibrant, with notable freshness and purity. Enjoy this brilliant wine through 2028.”

Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Anonyme X 2010 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 21 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95+ points “The powerful, rich 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme reveals an off-the-chart level of extract, lots of glycerin (nearly 16% natural alcohol) and copious black cherry, blueberry, forest floor, lavender and graphite characteristics. This full-throttle red requires 3-4 years of cellaring and should keep for two decades.”

Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Anonyme X 2011 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points “The top wine of the estate, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme is a hidden gem in the vintage! A blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Counoise and Vaccarese, from 90-year-old vines and aged in one-third new barrels (although you wouldn’t know it), it possesses fabulous notes of blackberry and currant fruit, big minerality, roasted meats and leather. Full-bodied, with beautiful freshness, big tannin and a layered, thrillingly concentrated mid-palate, it will be better in another year or two, and have over 15 years of longevity. Drink 2015-2026.”

Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Anonyme X 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points “The top wine from the portfolio, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme offers thrilling purity and focus in its lively dark fruits, roasted meats and underbrush-scented bouquet. Full-bodied, ripe and textured, with fantastic polish and sweetness to its tannin, it has a supple, forward feel, yet will easily evolve for 10-15 years.”

Arriving in April from Xavier:

Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Anonyme X 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck – Rhone Report 96 points “The inky colored 2015 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Anonyme is a serious winner in the vintage. A blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre and the rest counoise, Vaccarese and Muscardin, it offers a huge nose of blackberry jam, garrigue, crushed violets, and incense. Ripe, unctuous and opulent, yet not over the top, it reminds me of the Trois Source cuvee from Vieille Julienne. This is a smoking good release that will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and shine of over a decade.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Xavier Vignon is one of the Rhône’s leading winemaking consultants, and so it’s no surprise he had access to some great fruit for his 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Anonyme. Tellingly, the blend entirely omits Syrah, containing 60% Grenache, 25% Mourvèdre, 8% Counoise, 4% Vaccarèse and 3% Muscardin. Floral notes and ripe cherries appear along licorice and vanilla (one-fourth of the wine was matured in new barriques), yet this is no drink-now version of CdP. This full-bodied wine boasts broad shoulders, a plush, creamy center and a muscular finish loaded with ripe tannins and spice. Give it a few years to mellow, and drink it over the next 15.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

We offer 60 different red wines to choose from in-stock now from the Southern Rhone – check out the full list on our web store!


Forge Cellars

A New Path for the Finger Lakes

The creation of Forge Cellars is the equivalent of when Drouhin bought land in Oregon, but for the Finger Lakes.  A project helmed by Louis Barroul of Chateau de Saint Cosme (in Gigondas), they’ve set their sights on making some of the finest wines in the New World and based on their first few vintages, we think they’re capable.  Forge makes wines from two grapes: Riesling, for which the Finger Lakes is highly regarded, and Pinot Noir, which Barroul and Co. are determined to build a ‘Grand Vin’ recognition.

Given the quality of the wines, we’re now on board with the Forge Cellar project—the Rieslings are really beautiful, done in a full bodied, rich style. Best yet, the pricing of all the wines is reasonable—we often see new regions in the US come in more expensive than their old world counterparts.  The Pinot Noir delivers a really fun comparison to Burgundy and to the history of Oregon.  The snappy, savory style definitely reminds us (and a few other tasters) of what Oregon tasted like when they first got into the wines, 15+ years ago.

These are certainly wines to watch and things we’re excited to have in the store.

Newly Reviewed Wines from Forge Cellars

New Review!
Forge Cellars ‘Les Allies’ Pinot Noir, Finger Lakes 2014 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 34 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 92 points– Cellar Selection “Patience will reward those who wait for this stunning wine to reveal itself. It’s initially smoky and closed, but time and aeration bring out penetrating black-cherry and berry flavors. It’s such a seductively perfumed wine with a lingering finish nuanced by spice and violet petals. High-toned acidity and fine upright tannins will keep this wine lively for many years to come.”

New Review!
Forge Cellars ‘Les Allies’ Riesling, Finger Lakes 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 34 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 91 points “Rich, with good intensity to the mix of apricot, nectarine and peach flavors, lined with bitter almond and ginger notes through the lengthy finish. Has weight and zip. Drink now through 2020. 262 cases made. “
Winery notes: “Every year Les Alliés evolves naturally by “uncovering” itself. Our indigenous yeast fermentations proceed very slowly. It’s not in spring, but in the summer after the vintage that we are finally able to move toward bottling the wines. Once fermentations are complete, our team begins diligently tasting through each of our 70 barrels and two tanks, giving each a detailed rating and review, and writing personal tasting notes.  When we talk about small batch and individualized fermentations, we really mean it — 70 separate, small French barriques from 10 individual vineyards, each with its own story and personality. Along the way, we decide that some very special barrels are stand-outs, and by consensus, the most exceptional of our Rieslings and Pinots.  This is the consensus that makes up Les Alliés — the allies, the partners, the united ones. We don’t “make” Les Alliés, we discover it together, and it’s an easy decision because it tells us what it wants to be.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Also In Stock Now from Forge Cellars

#31 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2017
Forge Cellars Riesling Classique, Finger Lakes 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 25 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 92 points “Weighty for a Riesling, with a rounded feel and layers of creamed yellow apple, white peach and persimmon flavors. Delivers energy and cut throughout, with lemon pith, citrus oil and chamomile accents filling in. Shows length and range through the finish. Drink now through 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Forge Cellars Leidenfrost Vineyard Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 91 points “On the richer side, with a mix of nectarine, tangerine and peach flavors that are broad but still have ample cut thanks to quinine, orange zest and honeysuckle notes zipping through the finish. Distinctive. Drink now through 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!3


Domaine Gramenon

Kermit Lynch’s Cult Cote du Rhone

What happens when a mother and son collaborate to make southern Rhone reds and whites from their young- and old-vine estate? Organic and biodynamic viticulture combine with family dedication, and the esprit of youth, to create beautifully fragrant and pure Rhone wines, without over-use of sulfur. A lot of heart goes into Gramenon’s wines and we’re proud to carry them in our shop.

In-Stock Now

Domaine Gramenon Cotes du Rhone Sierra du Sud, Rhone 2014 750ML ($34.95) $24.40 special, 36+ bottles available
Josh Raynolds 91 points “Deep ruby. A complex bouquet evokes musky red and dark berries, cherry pit, olive, dried flowers and pungent herbs. Chewy and focused on the palate, offering gently sweet raspberry, boysenberry, violet pastille and spicecake flavors that become livelier as the wine opens up. Pliant tannins give shape to a very long, spicy finish that features a lingering blue fruit note.”
Wine Advocate 91 points “A smokin’ southern Rhone is the 2014 Côtes du Rhône la Sierra du Sud, which is 100% Syrah, from 15- to 35-year-old vines, that was destemmed and aged in a combination of tank and barrels. Ground pepper, wild herbs, black cherries and the essence of blackberry fruit all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, ripe, layered and beautifully textured 2014. It has more depth and richness than most in the vintage and will keep for upwards of a decade.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $29


Staff Picks

Donnhoff Edition

Robert Parker calls Helmut Donnhoff “unquestionably one of the stars” in the world of German Rieslings. Situated between the villages of Niederhausen and Schlossbockelheim in the middle Nahe, the Dönnhoff family has been making wine since 1750, with Helmut Dönnhoff in charge of winemaking at the estate since 1971.In 1999 Helmut was awarded Gault Millau and Feinschmecker Winemaker of the Year, and in 2005 was named Wine Personality of the Year by Wine Advocate.

The dry and sweet wines alike have garnered praise and adoration around the world. And we’re unapologetically smitten, too.

First things first—don’t worry about how to pronounce the words “Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl.”  That is, for the purposes of enjoying the wine, completely irrelevant.  Instead, focus on the producer, Donnhoff, who’s acknowledged to be one of the two or three finest producers of Riesling in Germany.  Focus on the vintage, 2015, which is one of the best in recent memory—elegant and intense with bright, bracing acidity that’s perfect for balancing out a bit of residual sugar.  Also, focus on the price—this is a single vineyard wine for the same price as his generic QbA bottling.  Add it up and you end up with the (correct) conclusion that this is among the very best values in the world of German wine.  It’s a wine that’s incredibly versatile at the table and will age, effortlessly, for a decade, becoming more mineral driven with each passing year.  Just remember that all you have to do is ask for the Donnhoff “KKK”—oops, wait, strike that.  You might want to learn how to pronounce Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl Kabinett, after all.

Weingut Donnhoff Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett, Nahe2015 750ML ($27.95) $20.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
“The 2015 Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett has a “cooler acidity” than the Kahlenberg, says Helmut Dönnhoff, so he considers it as the better vineyard to produce a fruity Riesling with more residual sugar. The wine has a clear and open nose of ripe apples along with some flinty aromas. On the palate, the wine is very clear and piquant, but also generous in its precise, elegant fruit. The finish has a certain intensity and minerality, and this will come out even clearer in two or more years.” Wine Advocate
Terry Theise note “Savory, caroby, not so much “long” as unending; brown bread and smoke and salts.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

I had the opportunity to taste through a lineup of 2016 Skurnik Imports German wines recently, and (of course) the Donnhoff wines stole the show. I’m falling in love again with the Hermannshohle vineyard and all its potentials. The GG in particular stood out for its vibrant display. Though it’s a bit less hedonistic than the 2015’s opulent display, it’s no less of a wine in terms of quality.

The wine opens with verdant notes of fresh grass and verbena. Hints of tobacco are found beneath flavors of grapefruit skin and ripe pear. It has a zippy, lifted acidity with a waxy feel to the structure.  Such a poised and tense expression of the site offers excellent cellaring potential.

Weingut Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special, ETA late January
Grapelive 96 points “The 2016 Donnhoff Hermanshohle GG starts with subtle white flowers, loads of flinty spicy mineral and stone leading to a brisk youthful palate of steely citrus, peach and green apple with a core of lime, white currant, a hint of gooseberry and citron that highlights the extract. While tight, focused and compact now, it looks set to be a classic. Lingering melon, faint mango, saline and wet stone adds to the complexity of detail in a wine of true potential. I hope I get a chance to re-visit this beauty in 10 years, in the meantime don’t miss Donnhoff’s the Krotenpfuhl Kabinett, a stellar value. This Hermannshohle GG should be in your cellar, it has a rewarding future, I’d put it in the same league as Roulot Meursault and Raveneau Les Clos quality wise, drink from 2022-2035.
Terry Theise note “Cornelius describes this as a “grand dry wine with a Mona-Lisa smile,” but I usually find it less enigmatic, and in 2016 it is clearly, definitely and obviously fantastic. Intense yet filigree. Focused, and directed towards the conclusion of a complex argument, letting you follow the logic and the beauty of the thoughts, and then you perceive the grace of the language and you wish you could read it out loud to someone—to anyone. It’s not as electrifying as the ’15 was, it’s more deliberate. But that very sense of careful unfurling seems born of love.”



Domaine de l’Edre

Roussillon Delight!

It seems France’s Roussillon region was made to grow fine wine. Proximity to the vine’s favorite sea, the Mediterranean, and planted in classic limestone-clay soil, winemaking talent thrives in this area. Founded by Jacques Castany and Pascal Dieunidou in 2002 from inherited vines, Domaine de l’Edre produces ripe yet balanced and stylish wines of terrific character and terroir definition. Here’s the perfect match to a leg of lamb or even a pot au feu, to veggie dishes rich in grilled peppers and eggplant, and of course to charcuterie and cheese. Celebrate the French way of good living by uncorking a bottle of L’Edre Roussillon!

Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Case-6 Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($299.95) $239 special
(That’s only $39.83 per bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95 points “One of the wines of the vintage is the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Domaine de l’Edre. While this cuvee had a rustic edge in the past, today it’s incredibly polished and pure, with brilliant aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, licorice, crushed flowers and chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, yet elegant and balanced, it’s a classic Roussillon that can be enjoyed today or cellared for a decade.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $47.99


2015 Clementin de Pape Clement

2015 in Bordeaux is being recorded as one that hits the rare sweet spot for those who love to drink these wines. Landing, stylistically, somewhere between 2009 and 2010 where there is a lot of fruit present, but not as hedonistic as 2009, and well balanced with tannic structure and fine acidity, but not nearly as austere as 2010. Decanter described this vintage as a medium term drinker that will offer wine lovers a chance to explore this often overlooked region of Bordeaux.

Pape Clement shares some nice real estate, its closest neighbor being Haut-Brion, but until the winery’s management was taken over by Bernard Magrez the wines were difficult to find and the results were not always up to expectations. The thorough exploration revealed only the most basic updates to the winery’s techniques were needed to improve consistency and the results have been spectacular.

The 2015 Clementin de Pape Clement, the second wine of the estate, mirrors the plantings in the vineyard: 56/40 Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot, with a dash of Petit Verdot. Aromas that build upon ripe, abundant cherry fruit, followed by an Asian spice box and a tight whiff of smoke. Tannins are present but rounded and certain to be an integral part of this wine in the near future. A modest amount of cellar time is in store for these wines, yet it isn’t one to shy away from. Accessing the Clementin in its youth will not disappoint, but will certainly make you wonder what the next bottle will be like.

Le Clementin du Chateau Pape Clement, Pessac-Leognan 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 22 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 92-93 points “A firm and silky second wine with blueberry and blackberry aromas and flavors…Full body, bright and fresh. Fine tannins.”


Pride of the Jura

Two Masterpieces from Stephane Tissot

Vin Jaune is the most prized style of wine from the (suddenly fashionable) Jura region, in Alpine France.  Aged for a minimum of six years and three months without topping up, it develops a nutty, slightly sherried character that it is famous for, though it has a lot more weight and texture than any dry sherry.  It’s a natural and classic pairing with Comte cheese and with Chicken with Morels (and Vin Jaune) sauce and other hearty cheese and cream based winter fare.

So without further ado, two wines from Stephane Tissot, a master of the style.  One is from the fabled Chateau-Chalon appellation and the other bears the slightly more humble “Vin Jaune” designation, but is his prestige cuvee.  Both are incredible wines that will age effortlessly for the next 30+ years or be spectacular now with a few hours in a decanter and a plate of rich, hearty food.

Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Arbois Vin Jaune ‘La Vasee’, Jura 2008 620ML ($89.95) $79 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2008 Arbois Vin Jaune La Vasée was closed and austere — a fresh style of vin jaune. It is salty, so this would be ideal with oysters. This is both powerful and concentrated with lots of iodine; it is a very salty, marine, characterful wine, and is sharp.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $86

Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Chateau-Chalon, Jura 2008 620ML ($99.95) $79 special, 21 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points “When tasted next to the other vin jaunes from the same vintage, the 2008 Château Chalon felt very different, and you noticed the extra freshness of Chalon compared to Arbois. It has more green hazelnut, citrus and morel aromas, and is already showing some notes of curry. It is fine, straight and elegant. This is simply superb.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!



We are asked time and again for good wine at an affordable price. So often, we must delve into new territory (literally or figuratively, willingly or unwillingly…) by exploring off the beaten path appellations with increasingly unheard of varietals. But dammit, can’t we just have a classic, affordable wine from a familiar appellation?

This is where Neil Rosenthal’s imports picks up the slack. Sure, a few of his producers have skyrocketing prices and cult-like status, but most offer incredible value without compromising quality (or the need to convince yourself that you actually like cloudy, skin-contact Gewurz blended with unpronounceable indigenous varietals…)

Brovia is a hidden gem of an estate that’s been with the Rosenthal portfolio since 1978. They hit all the right notes in terms of thoughtful vineyard management (organic without certification, careful pruning, and hand harvesting) and are unapologetically classic in their winemaking (long and slow fermentation and long aging in large barrels and, subsequently, in bottle).

Perhaps it’s that it takes a few years for the wines to come around (they’re classically styled, after all) or that they don’t shriek at you for attention from the glass. Even Antonio Galloni felt the need to revise his initial review of the 2013 Barolo.

Goes to show the wines deserve a second look.

And lucky you, we have several wines and several vintages in stock:

Brovia Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2012 750ML ($51.95) $46 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni “Brovia’s 2012 Barolo is classy, polished and absolutely delicious. With a little bit of air, the 2012 can be enjoyed now, but it also has enough freshness and balance to drink well for at least a handful of years. I have seen Brovia’s straight Barolo age well, so I won’t be surprised if that turns out to be the case here as well. Floral and red stone fruit notes give the 2012 much of its freshness and mid-weight feel. This is an especially lifted, gracious Barolo for the vintage.”

Brovia Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni “I had a chance to taste this again a few weeks ago. What a wine. Brovia’s 2013 Barolo is gorgeous. Deep, ample and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2013 possesses terrific expansiveness in every dimension. An exotic bouquet laced with hints of orange peel, cinnamon, pomegranate, kirsch and mint melds into a core of rich, red stone fruits in a Barolo of pedigree and total class. The straight Brovia Barolo is built on a core of fruit from the Brea Cru in Serralunga (the part outside the Ca’ Mia parcel), with the addition of about 30% juice that is leftover after the casks for the single vineyard Barolos have been filled. Right now, the 2013 shows up at around $50 a bottle on Wine-Searcher, which makes it one of the very finest values in high-end wine. Don’t miss it…”

Brovia ‘Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia’, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Lavender, mint, sage, smoke, tobacco and plums are all laced together in the 2011 Barolo Brea Vigna Ca’Mia. As always, the Ca’Mia is a decidedly vertical Barolo built on a spine of persistent tannin, but in 2011 there is a little bit of added polish that serves to soften the contours. Tucked off the main road, Brea remains one of the least well-known vineyards in Serralunga. The 2011 is a great wine to start exploring some of the nuances of this site. A huge finish that brings together power and voluptuousness captures the pure radiance of the year.” AG

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $75

Brovia Garblet Sue Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2011 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2011 Barolo Garblèt Sue’ is remarkably polished and sophisticated, two qualities that are rarely found in this Castiglione Falletto site, where the wines tend to be much more sinewy and virile. White pepper, pomegranate and sweet red cherries are some of the notes that open up in the glass. The flavors remain bright, focused and beautifully delineated in the glass. I very much like the sense of energy here, although I have to admit, the softer edges of 2011 are incredibly alluring.” AG

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $70

Brovia Garblet Sue Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2013 Barolo Garblèt Sue’ is another striking wine. In most vintages, the Garblèt is a bit nervous and compact, especially in the mid-palate, where the wine sometimes lacks depth, which, in turn, exposes the tannins. The 2013, on the other hand, is wonderfully full, luscious and textured, while expressing all the signatures that make wines from this site so special. There is plenty of tannin and drive to ensure many years of exceptional drinking. Scents of iron, smoke, herbs and licorice add the closing shades of nuances. What a gorgeous wine this is.”

Brovia Villero, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($89.95) $66 special, 25 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2011 Barolo Villero exhibits a full body and thick concentration. Ultimately, this is one of my favorite wines from Brovia in this vintage. I love the muscle and heft that the wine shows, and the fact it delivers that power with the utmost elegance. Nothing is heavy or overdone here. You really get a sense of the quality of fruit achieved in the Villero vineyard. The wine shows integrated tannins and impeccable dark fruit balance.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2011 Barolo Villero is one of the most structured wines in the range. Here the firm tannins and ample frame both suggest the 2011 will drink well for many years, once the tannins start softening. Orange peel, wild flowers, red stone fruits and spices flesh out on the creamy finish. It’s always interesting to taste the Villero next to the Rocche, as the two sites are pretty close to the other, yet the wines are remarkably different. Here the heat of the year is quite evident, while the Rocche benefits from greater ventilation and therefore a bit more freshness.” AG

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $69.99
The average price is $76

Brovia Vignavillej Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 13 bottles in stock now
“Dolcetto is one of those perennially underrated wines that never quite achieves the level of desirable. Yet when the grapes are grown conscientiously in the right places, and the wine made carefully, dolcetto can be delightful. This one from Brovia, a fine Barolo producer, is rich and mouthfilling; deliciously bitter, yet with a fruity sweetness and underlying mineral flavors.” –Eric Asimov, New York Times
“Harvested from classic clay-limestone soils from plots in Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba, some planted in 1981 and the other portion in 1993. The grapes are crushed and fermented in stainless steel at 29 degrees Celsius for a period of a week to 10 days; then aged in stainless steel for seven to nine months before the bottling (unfiltered).”–Importer note

Brovia Valmaggione Nebbiolo d’Alba, Piedmont 2012 750ML ($37.95) $33 special, 25 bottles in stock now
“Sorry to double down with the superlatives, but for me, this is the most exciting wine the Brovia family bottles.  It is the cheapest, lowest abv%, highest elevation, most northerly, most north facing Nebbiolo bottling in the family’s lineup — and the most limited production wine they make.  Always a huge winner for me.  “Valmaggione” (the actual name of the vineyard is ValmaggioRe, but the printer misspelled the label during the first vintage and the Brovia family decided to stick with it as a joke) is a parcel in Vezza d’Alba that produces some very expensive and sought after wines by more modernist producers like Sandrone.  Super steep, sandy soils with great drainage that make for a wine with pronounced freshness and lift. No oak, no extended élevage. Pure, great wine.”–Importer Notes

This is the only listing in the USA today!

A fan of Importer Neal Rosenthal? We are. Don’t miss the new Yves Cuilleron offer that is arriving in February. You can see the complete list below or click here for full notes and reviews:

cuilleron spread sheet


Arriving February 9th

Domaine Mee Godard Morgon Corcelette, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($34.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Vivid red. Fresh, mineral-tinged red berry and floral pastille scents pick up a smoky element with air. Pure and incisive, offering sappy raspberry and cherry flavors and a touch of lavender. Closes taut, stony and impressively long, with building sweetness and silky tannins lending grip.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $29

Domaine Mee Godard Morgon Cote de Py, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($37.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Bright ruby-red. Heady, mineral-accented aromas of ripe cherry and red berries, with a peppery nuance adding vivacity. At once concentrated and lively, offering intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a sneaky suggestion of spicecake. Picks up a sexy lavender pastille quality on the incisive, sharply focused finish, which hangs on with outstanding tenacity and building minerality.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Late Breaking News!

Arriving in August

Newly Reviewed Wines from Vincent Paris

“Vincent Paris has been working in Cornas for more than a decade, but still qualifies (in my opinion) as one of the young guys. His prized parcel is in La Geynale, a plot of 100-year-old vines facing due south. His 2015s are classically firm, structured wines that demand cellaring, while the 2016s are more flattering to taste yet still express their terroirs. Paris says he used to do more pigeage but has cut back in favor of gentler extraction techniques. The wines are still plenty dark and concentrated but perhaps a bit less austere as a result.” –Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2016 750ML ($419.95) $359 pre-arrival special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2016 Cornas Granit 30 had been blended and was in tank awaiting bottling during my visit. Medium to full-bodied, it’s already almost drinkable, showing attractive and classic notes of crushed stone, blood and cherries, reasonably supple tannins and charming blueberries on the finish.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
The average price for any vintage nationally is $39!

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $55 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Tasted from tank prior to bottling, the 2016 Cornas Granit 60 has the potential to eclipse the 2015. The nose is an exciting blend of flowers, minerals and fruit, while the palate is full-bodied and generous without the hardness or austerity of the 2015. This standout 2016 finishes long, plush and bright. With only about 5,000 bottles made, shrewd buyers will snap it up on release.”

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas La Geynale, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “There are only about 3,000 bottles of the stunning 2016 Cornas la Geynale. Tasted from tank prior to bottling, it looks every bit the equal of the 2015—oozing with concentrated purple fruit and crushed stone but without that vintage’s massive tannins. The 100-year-old vines Paris works with at this site face south and achieved terrific ripeness, making the wine approachable relatively young.”

Thanks for reading!