Belle Glos Subscriber Special
Staff Pick: Old School, Approachable Graves
What DRC and Dujac Drink in the Summer: Triennes
A Trio of Exceptional Deals (Tranche, Barolo, Burgundy)
A New Grapelive Review for a Beaujolais Favorite
New April Sale Wines from Cote Rotie and Cava
Two Oregon Classics Arriving Today
The More Affordable Araujo
Jamet 2×2: Great Vintages and Values
Olivier Bernstein’s Rare Jewels of Burgundy (2015)
Two 2016’s From the California Icon
Belle Glos ‘Las Alturas Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands 2016 750ML ($54.95) $44—Subscriber Price: $39
Winery note “Deep ruby red in color with intriguing aromas of sun-warmed blackberries, ripe plums, with hints of black licorice. A complexity of dark berry fruits unfold on the palate; blackberries and bing cherries along with dark chocolate flavors. Vanilla and cedar oak undertones on the mid-palate further enhance the wine. The overall impression is rich with refined tannins, firm acidity and explosive layers of ripe fruit.”
Winery note “The color is a deep scarlet-red with lush aromas of blackberry bramble, nutmeg, and hint of caramel. The wine is fresh and exuberant in the mouth with sumptuous strawberry jam, ripe black cherry, cranberry and warm gingerbread. It is perfectly balanced with refreshing acidity, velvety tannins and a hint of toffee carrying through its long finish. When asked to describe this wine, I simply say it’s like a taste of Christmas, all year long!”
Ends Monday, April 16th (or when sold out)
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Old School, Approachable Graves
I admit, up front, to not drinking as much Bordeaux as I should. It’s a region I love, but traditional wines require time and/or are incredibly pricey if the wines are ready to drink. That’s why I was really excited to try this 2005 Grand Bos from Graves the other day. It’s got all of the things I like in classic Bordeaux—dusty fruit, some minerality and a freshness that pairs well with a variety of foods beyond steak. I really enjoy drinking wines like this. I’m not going to pretend this is the most complex wine out there—it’s not going to change your world (unless all you’ve had is young, modern/spoofy Bordeaux), but it’s an incredibly satisfying thing to drink and is priced very appropriately. I’m going to keep drinking them as long as we have them in stock, and you should too.
Chateau du Grand Bos, Graves 2005 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
International Wine Report 90 points “The 2005 Chateau du Grand Bos offers aromas and flavors blackberry and dried cherries fruit followed by crushed stones and tobacco notes. Balanced and focused with a pretty finish that lingers. 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc make up the final blend. (Best 2013-2019) – May, 2013.”
Drink on Summer Vacation?
Whichever way it actually happened, the result is Triennes, a fantastic producer of Provencal wines. Stylistically, they’re exactly what you’d expect if two legends of Burgundy produced some delicious wines for summer—the Viognier is one of the prettiest, brightest examples of the grape and the rosé is an archetype of the Provencal variety. These are delicious wines that are perfect for spring and summer wherever you are and they arrive soon.
Domaine de Triennes Rose, IGP Var 2017 750ML ($19.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Domaine de Triennes Rose, IGP Var 2017 750ML ($219.95) $149 pre-arrival special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Case-12 Domaine de Triennes Sainte – Fleur Viognier, IGP Var 2016 750ML ($239.95) $149 pre-arrival special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Arriving April 19th:
Tranche Cellars Celilo Vineyard Chardonnay, Columbia Gorge 2011 750ML ($39.95) $16.60 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Tranche Cellars Celilo Vineyard Chardonnay, Columbia Gorge 2011 750ML ($399.95) $179 pre-arrival special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 94 points “Another new wine that doesn’t fit into the above categories, the 2011 Chardonnay comes from a dry farmed vineyard located on the Washington/Oregon border, in the Columbia Gorge AVA. Spending 12 months in 40% new French oak and with Montrachet-like richness and depth, it’s loaded with ripe apple, citrus, mineral, toasted nut and brioche aromas on the nose. This flows to a medium to full-bodied Chardonnay that has gorgeous mid-palate depth, awesome precision and purity, and a blockbuster finish. A total gem, it should shine for 4-5 years. Drink now-2018.”
The next best price is $28.13
The average price is $37
Guido Porro Gianetto, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($47.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The 2011 Barolo Gianetto is expressive and open throughout, with pretty spiced and floral notes that make a positive first impression. The theme of openness continues on the mid-palate, where the wine is expressive, generous and inviting. I don’t expect the 2011 to be especially ageworthy, but it is quite delicious today. Sweet red cherry, plum, tobacco and sweet mint notes grace the finish.”
The next best price is $38.75
Domaine Francois Lumpp A Vigne Rouge, Givry Premier Cru (Red) 2013 750ML ($49.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Domaine Francois Lumpp A Vigne Rouge, Givry Premier Cru (Red) 2013 750ML ($399.95) $319 pre-arrival special (that’s only $26.58/bottle!)
Burghound 89 points “Here the expressive nose is both cooler and more restrained with its pretty and relatively high-toned nose of raspberry, cherry and tea scents. There is both good richness and verve to the delicious and delineated middle weight flavors that possess a hint of minerality on the lingering if slightly tangy and dusty finale. This is pretty but less complex and could also be enjoyed young.”
VinopolNote: Underatement! If this was a Beaune wine, it would have 91 points. The A Vigne Rouge vineyard is an outperformer. From limestone soils and with a south facing hillside exposure. Limpp’s holding is at the center of the vineyard. An unbeatable Tuesday night Burgundy.
The next best price is $32.98
For a Beaujolais Favorite
Grapelive 93 points “One of the newest stars on the Beaujolais seen, Anne-Sophie Dubois makes deeply pure and flavorful expressions with this one from the Cru Fleurie that gives wonderful floral perfume and a vintage, in 2015 that is ripe and concentrated, but with elegant class and texturally beautiful. The Clepsydre, named after an ancient water clock, once used in old Egypt, because Anne-Sophie believes it needs time to fully develop and blossom, is grown on pink granite soils, from a 60+ year old plot of high density vines, which gives a stylish mineral streak and heightened aromatics, she destemmed this 100% Gamay, with native yeast, cold ferments and neutral cask (4-7 old barrels) aging for about 13 months, all unfined and unfiltered. This 2015 is hedonistically dark in color with a black/purple saturation in the glass and a clear bouquet of violets and red rose petals which leads to a full palate of black plum, sweet cherry, strawberry and lingering tangy currant with a hint of walnut, mure and star anise. This is a weightless sensation that hides the density of mouth feel and a burst of energetic natural acidity that brightens the whole wine, everything is gloriously seamless and it’s personality and charm is quite additive, Dubois, imported by Thomas Calder (Pruf Rock) and Sacred Thirst, has a lovely touch with Gamay and this Fleurie is almost to Dutraive quality! This is a winemaker to keep an eye on, and if you are a Gamay fan you’ll want to explore her wines, especially this one, it should go for a decade with ease, I love this stuff! ($28 Est.)”
Louis Barruol Cote Rotie Neve, Rhone 2013 750ML ($59.95) $44 Clearance Price
Josh Raynolds 93 points “(made from fruit grown on a single site of the same name on the schist soils of the northern Côte Brune sector of the appellation; vinified entirely from whole clusters): Bright purple. Smoke- and mineral-tinged dark fruit aromas complement floral, olive and spice elements that gain strength with air. Sappy and focused on the palate, offering lively blackberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of candied licorice. Puts on weight with air and finishes spicy, broad and very long, with fine-grained tannins adding shape and grip.”
The next best price is $56.25
Jeb Dunnuck – Wine Advocate 92 points “From the Cote Brune side of the appellation, from the lieu-dit la Viaillere, the 2013 Cote Rotie la Viaillere is more ripe, sexy and textured than the Neve releases, and has fabulous notes of kirsch, black raspberries, peppery spice, licorice and garrigue. Not destemmed and raised in used barrels, this beauty bucks the vintage stereotype and is medium to full-bodied, has ripe tannin and a seamless, forward texture that makes it already hard to resist. Nevertheless, it will have 10-12 years of overall longevity.”
The next best price is $56.25
Case-12 El Cep Marques de Gelida Gran Reserva Brut Cava, Catalonia 2012 750ML ($219.95) $119 Clearance Price (that’s only $9.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points “(aged on its lees for 40 months prior to disgorgement) Limpid yellow. Aromas of ripe pear, peach and honeydew melon on the nose; a subtle ginger nuance emerges with air. Supple and broad on entry, then more taut in the midpalate, offering juicy orchard and pit fruit flavors and a refreshing hint of bitter quinine. Finishes dry and spicy, delivering a touch of bitterness, strong mineral cut and very good cling.”
The next best price is $18.74
The next best price is $20.18
Adelsheim Vineyard Breaking Ground Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains 2014 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
Josh Raynolds 91 points “Vivid red. Intense mineral- and spice-accented aromas of juicy red berries and fresh flowers pick up a hint of smokiness with air. Shows excellent clarity and spicy lift on the palate; sappy black raspberry and floral pastille flavors deepen and spread out on the back half. Finishes very long and sweet, offering smooth tannins and an incisive jolt of juicy acidity that lends refreshing cut.”
Roserock Zephirine Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2015 750ML ($59.95) $51.90 special
James Suckling 98 points “Incredible aromas of chamomile, hibiscus, fruit tea, lavender, dried strawberries, cherries, lemons and light white chocolate. Medium-bodied but with crazily formed tannins that are like velvety strings and are surrounded by vivacious acidity. A phenomenal, awe-inspiring finish. An indisputably unique wine. Drink from 2020.”
Eisele Vineyard’s Entry Wines
The Eisele Sauvignon is considered by many to be the finest example of the grape in the United States. It packs richness and intensity into a vibrant package and benefits from a few years of bottle age. It’s expensive, sure, but this is the cream of the crop.
The Altagracia is the second wine of the estate and shows the house style and class in spades. It’s made for earlier drinkability than the mainline Cabernet, but still shows the quality of the terroir. It may represent one of the best values in California Cabernet as well—it’s well equal to a lot of wines priced $50-70 higher. Araujo hit the 2015 version out of the park and it should stack up as one of the best Altagracia’s in a long time.
Arriving in May:
Eisele Vineyard (Araujo) Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Eisele Vineyard (Araujo) Altagracia Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($899.95) $759 pre-arrival special (that’s only $126.50/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 94 points “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia has slightly muted black cherries, crushed black plums and cassis with hints of licorice, black soil and cracked pepper plus a waft of tapenade. Medium to full-bodied, rich and expressive in the mouth, it delivers a lot of layers and wonderfully fine tannins, finishing long and earthy.”
Azienda Agricola Paitin:
History in the Folded Hills of Piedmont
The Elia family purchased their vineyards in 1796. From atop the hill where the winery sits, you can overlook the two main vineyard sites and understand the difference in microclimate, soil type and techniques for farming. The Bricco di Nieve side of the hill is steep, breezy and has beautiful older vines that produce the gorgeous sori Paitin Barbaresco. The other side of the hill has the looser iron rich soil that is the Serra vineyard. Tasting the two Barbaresco side by side is a lesson in site location and the unique qualities that can be shown, just a stone’s throw away.
Secondo Pasquero-Elia and his two sons, Giovanni and Silvano have enlisted enologist Dante Scaglione (Bruno Giacosa) to draw even more from such an amazing site. The results offer a glimpse into the future of the winery and the wines to come. The wines are solid, deep, and built to last – echoing the family and their tie to their home and spectacular vineyards.
Arriving ETA Late April
Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Serra’, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 750ML ($41.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Serra’, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 750ML ($399.95) $359 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Currant, strawberry, cherry, floral and leafy flavors are the highlights of this racy, elegant red. Balanced on the firm side, with excellent length. Best from 2020 through 2032. 800 cases made.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Intense aromas and flavors of pure cherry, raspberry and flowers introduce this silky, delicate red, which is firmly structured, with dusty, assertive tannins. Notes of tobacco and mineral are woven into the long, detailed aftertaste. Best from 2021 through 2033. 1,200 cases made.”
Two Great Vintages
Two Excellent Entry Bottlings
Some Northern Rhone producers’ lower end cuvees are from vines much farther afield, so it’s wonderful to get a chance to drink Jamet from properly classic Northern Rhone terroirs. Both these wines show the house style (or lack of a style—these aren’t “made” wines) as well as the character of that particular part of the Northern Rhone that Jamet is known for. Both 2015 and ’16 are epic vintages, with the former showing more power and the latter more finesse. It’s rare to see vintages of this quality back to back and even rarer to have them both for sale at the same time. These arrive in May and we’re expecting a lot of interest, so grab them now.
Arriving ETA May:
Domaine Jamet Cotes du Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 91-92 points “Very good syrah-based cuvée (100%) with plump ripe-blackberry and black-cherry fruits on offer, plus hints of blueberries. A refined and restrained style that’s really measured, fleshy, vibrant and energetic. Great wine. Drink now.”
Josh Raynolds 90 points “(10% whole clusters): Deep ruby. Ripe red fruits and floral pastilles on the fragrant nose, with black pepper and licorice nuances emerging slowly. Silky and open-knit, offering appealing sweet black raspberry and cherry flavors that are energized by a jolt of cracked pepper. Finishes sweet and round, with sneaky tannins and a lingering suggestion of candied violet.”
VinopolNote: Jamet’s Cotes du Rhone is Syrah grown in Condrieu.
Domaine Jamet Cotes du Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 90+ points “I loved the 2016 Côtes du Rhône, which has already been bottled. Slightly closed aromatically yet with a deep, rich style as well as peppery herbs and dark fruit, this 100% Syrah needs a year or two of bottle age but is beautiful wine and ideal for readers looking to get a taste of this estate for not much buck.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2016 Cotes du Rhone comes from Syrah vines grown just outside Côte Rôtie and spends up to a year in older oak prior to bottling. It’s slightly more concentrated than the straight Syrah IGP (which comes from young vines), offering medium body, a plump, succulent mouthfeel and notes of cherries, violets and tapenade. It should drink well for 4-5 years.”
VinopolNote: Jamet’s Cotes du Rhone is Syrah grown in Condrieu.
Domaine Jamet Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes 2015 750ML ($39.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 91 points “Domaine Jamet (now run by Corinne, Jean-Paul and Loic after the split with Jean-Luc) continues to be a cult legend. This highly prized Cote-Rotie house [is] making amazingly soulful, pure Syrahs that have depth and grace. After trying Jean-Luc’s version I was thrilled to get a chance to sample the true Domaine Collines Rhodaniennes example, especially since I also just tasted the glorious Domaine Jamet Cote-Rotie (in a blind tasting where I first thought it was Grand Cru Burgundy such was the grace and class shown by that fantastic bottle), which was mind-blowing. The 2015 Jamet entry level Syrah is a dark beauty showing refined details with a fan dance of seduction and moody charms. It gets off the line with tangy red and blue fruits, light reduction, herbs de Provence, delicate floral tones, peppercorns and lavender oil with a slight note of graphite/camphor along with iron ore leading to the vital palate of tart currant, boysenberry, bright cherry, blueberry and tangy plum. Fun, vibrant and polished, this is made from all de-stemmed Syrah. It is light/medium bodied, fermented with native yeasts and hand crafted with a gentle touch and care to highlight its purity. (It doesn’t have much in the way of oak.) It is wonderfully pure, lively and heavenly to experience.”
James Suckling 90 points “This has bright summer berry fruits on the nose, while older oak (225- and 500-liter barrels) adds very subtle spices. This holds fresh though with just some gentle pepperiness, showcasing a smooth raspberry and strawberry palate. Pastry-like tannins are delightful, meanwhile, and there’s also good balance here. Very fresh and elegant. Drink now. Blended in tank and tasted just before bottling. De-stemmed 100%.”
Jeb Dunnuck 90 points “Coming from higher elevation parcels just outside Côte Rôtie, the 100% Syrah 2015 Valine is a juicy, ripe, straight up delicious Syrah. Deeply colored, with lots of blackberry, peppery herbs, and earthy aromas and flavors, this medium-bodied effort has good acidity, plenty of fruit and texture, and a good finish. It’s a serious wine that’s well worth drinking. It will keep for at least 4-6 years.”
Domaine Jamet Syrah, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes 2016 750ML ($41.95) $38 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 90 points “More forward and supple than the Cotes du Rhône cuvée, the 2016 IGP Collines Rhodaniennes Syrah comes from vines around the estate and offers textbook Jamet notes of pepper, game, olive tapenade, and violets, with lovely raspberry fruit. Elegant, medium-bodied and seamless, drink it over the coming 3-4 years.”
Cult Wines of Burgundy
Arriving ETA Late April:
Olivier Bernstein Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($419.95) $369 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 95 points “The cherry and raspberry flavors take on a slight confectionary quality in this lean, taut red. Though in lock-down today, there is concentrated fruit at the core and a long, vibrant finish. Spicy aftertaste. Best from 2021 through 2035. 43 cases imported.”
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “Moderately saturated bright red. Subtler on the nose than the Champeaux, showing a penetrating perfume to the aromas of raspberry liqueur and flowers. Plush, sweet and stuffed with red berries, spices and dried flowers, offering outstanding volume while maintaining its shape and avoiding any impression of heaviness. Quite spherical in the middle palate, then suave on the back end, finishing with late-arriving fine-grained tannins and resounding length. (This is a blend of Charmes and Mazoyères, from two different owners.)”
Olivier Bernstein Les Champeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 95 points “Smoky oak is well-integrated into bright black cherry, black currant and mineral flavors, backed by firm, resonant tannins. Fresh and linear, with a long, fruit- and spice-tinged aftertaste. Should reward patience. Best from 2023 through 2038. 28 cases imported.”
Wine Spectator 98 points “A brilliant red, bursting with cherry, strawberry, floral and mineral aromas and flavors, backed by a firm structure, with an overall sense of elegance, restraint and understated power. This will need a few years to reveal all its charms, yet remains long and focused. Best from 2023 through 2040. 28 cases imported.”
Stephen Tanzer 95+ points “Medium red. Deeper, musky, rather backward nose offers soil-inflected aromas of black cherry, coffee, mocha and minerals but a bit less energy and peppery lift than the Bonnes-Mares. Then wonderfully silky and thick in the mouth, and surprisingly lively and expressive considering the nose. Conveys terrific energy and peppery pungency to its flavors of dark raspberry, black cherry, licorice and crushed rock. There’s a positive and very sexy wildness here that may become more pronounced with time in the cellar. Finishes with outstanding length.”
Thanks for reading!