2015 Resonance-Just Arrived!
Mother’s Day Champagne Deals
Cameron’s Dundee Hills: First Offer
Biondi-Santi’s Old Testament Brunello
The Hottest Rosé of the Spring
May Sale: The Deals Continue
Staff Pick: Sumoll Tide
Summer of Brunello—the 2013’s Arrive All Summer
Mother’s Day Champagne Deals
The Aubry Sable rosé is a wine of delicacy, precision and grace—exactly what we want to see in rosé Champagne. This is a step up from their classic NV rosé that’s so popular and is perhaps a bit drier and crisper than that staple. Like many Aubry wines, it’s got some of the more obscure Champagne varieties in it which serve to give the wine depth and nuance that’s always hard to place. It’s a delicious wine at an even better price.
The Deutz “Cuvee William” is the Deutz house’s answer to the Dom Perignons and Grande Dames of the world—their prestige cuvee. As you’d expect for Deutz, the wine is full and rich, with a Pinot focus in the blend. 2006 was an excellent vintage for this wine and is entering a great drinking window right now, with enough depth to age for another decade, if you can keep your hands off of it.
Champagne Aubry ‘Sable’ Premier Cru Rose Brut, Champagne 2012 750ML ($99.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The pale-colored 2012 Brut Sablé Rosé Nicolas Francois Aubry is striking in its beauty. The non-dosage style adds briskness, but there is just enough richness to the fruit to balance things out. Cranberry, white pepper and chalky notes add lift and overall precision. The 2012 is 30% Meunier and Pinot Noir done in a co-fermentation, along with 25% Petit Meslier, 20% Arbanne, 10% Chardonnay and 5% still Meunier fermented as red wine.”
The next best price is $81.24
The average price is $91
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2006 Brut Millésimé William Deutz captures the weight, power and freshness that is the signature of the best wines of the year. A rich, ample wine, the William Deutz exudes resonance in its enveloping, layered fruit. All the elements come together effortlessly. There is enough structure to support another decade of very fine drinking. The weight of the Pinot comes through loud and clear on the mid-palate and substantial, resonant finish.”
Cameron Dundee Hills
The Dundee Hills is a tier up in quality and price from the Willamette Valley bottling and is sourced from Abbey Ridge and Clos Electrique. It’s got all of the style of the higher end Cameron bottlings and a more immediate approachability. The 2016 looks to be yet another spectacular version—we bought all the winery would let us have (as usual).
Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($29.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Old Testament Brunello
Biondi-Santi makes the most coveted wines in Brunello, wines that other estates are judged against. Their estate, Il Greppo, occupies some of the most hallowed ground in the Brunello appellation, in the heart of Montalcino. Their standards are high (they rarely release riservas) and their style can only be described as classic. The wines are powerful, but not overwrought, elegant but emphatic. These are the wines that Brunello lovers dream about.
We just secured a small parcel of Biondi-Santi Annata, including the legend-in-the-making 2010 and two back vintages. This is a bit of a coup. The Biondi-Santi wines are hard enough to come by at release, much less as back vintage bottles from good years. These are wines to pay attention to and to stock up on while they’re available.
Arriving May 18th:
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2007 750ML ($199.95) $139 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino is gorgeous. The estate’s preference for picking on the early side is one of the factors that help balance some of the fleshiness of the vintage. This is an especially silky, supple Brunello from Biondi-Santi. The overt personality of the year comes through, but not at the expense of the house’s style. Floral notes reappear to frame the elegant, expressive finish.”
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2008 750ML ($199.95) $139 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata 94+ points “(13% alcohol): Good full ruby-red with a garnet rim. Brooding nose opens slowly with aeration to offer delicate hints of lively red cherry, underbrush and flint. Rich, dense and suave, with outstandingly precise red berry and mineral flavors complicated by delicate notes of licorice, chestnut and underbrush. Finishes extremely long and pure, with a seamless quality to the classic sangiovese flavors. A knockout: this is Brunello 101 for anyone wishing to understand–or to make–a great sangiovese wine. Brunello doesn’t get much better than this in 2008. Another very fine addition to the legacy of Franco Biondi-Santi, who passed away this year.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Annata is a real knock-out. Rose petals, mint, sweet spices and flowers are some of the first notes that open up in the glass. Almost indescribably beautiful, the 2010 is a classic, austere Biondi Santi Brunello built to age. Although the 2010 is going to require considerable patience, its pedigree is quite apparent today. The 2010 constantly changes in the glass, revealing different shades of its multi-faceted personality, while the long, saline-infused finish is a thing of real beauty.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Biondi-Santi is a benchmark for great Brunello. The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Annata does a great job of presenting classic Sangiovese characteristics in the context of a classic vintage. This wine shows extreme finesse and elegance with a silky approach that is nudged gently forward by delicate tones of wild berry, dried blueberry, pressed rose, wet earth, grilled herb and toasted almond. The acidity is beautifully balanced and the tannins are firm but silky. This wine benefits from the right DNA for long aging potential.”
The Hottest Rosé This Spring
Whichever way it actually happened, the result is Triennes, a fantastic producer of Provencal wines. The rosé, in particular, is always one of the best, pale and crisp. It’s been one of our bestsellers this spring, and if you haven’t tried it before, you should!
Domaine de Triennes Rose, IGP Var 2017 750ML ($19.95) $14 special
Case-12 Domaine de Triennes Rose, IGP Var 2017 750ML ($219.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
May Sale: The Great Deals Continue!
Le Macchiole ‘Paleo’ Bolgheri, Tuscany 2000 750ML ($99.95) $39 Clearance Price
Antonio Galloni 91 points “[Reviewed Apr 2014] Smoke, menthol, licorice, incense and grilled herbs all meld together in the 2000 Paleo Rosso. The 2000 retains good freshness and vibrancy, even if it lacks the personality of the years that follow. Grilled herbs, cassis and plums flesh out on the finish. Overall, the 2000 is a bit on the soft, delicate side, which suggests any remaining bottles should be enjoyed sooner rather than later. The 2000 is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc, the highest amount of Franc ever in the blend up to this point.[Vinopolis note: the back label just reads Cabernet Franc]”
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2000 Paleo, a classic Bordeaux blend in this vintage, shows a high toast, vanilla-laced nose of cassis, blackberries, and Cabernet Franc herbs, and a supple, well concentrated palate of ripe fruit, minerals, and tar. The depth and intensity of 1999 are not here, but no one else achieved them in 2000 either. Drink: 2005-2018.”
Wine Spectator 90 points “Rich currant, blackberry and bark aromas follow through to a full-bodied palate, with loads of fruit and round, velvety tannins. Very long and rich. Paleo is slowly changing to a classic Bolgheri Cab blend, and the wine is much better. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.”
The next best price is $80.99
Wine Advocate 91 points “From the bottom of the Loibenberg and preselections of the single-vineyard Rieslings, the 2015 Riesling Smaragd Dürnsteiner opens with a very clear, intense and aromatic bouquet of crushed stones, smoke, herbs and white fruits. Medium to full-bodied, cool and fresh on the palate, this is a very mineral but also aromatic and fruit-driven Riesling with great elegance and finesse and a long and salty finish with purity and stimulating grip.”
The next best price is $35.94
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2014 Eggo Blanc de Cal is pure Sauvignon Blanc from two different vineyards in Gualtallary. The full clusters are pressed and the must was fermented and aged in contact with the lees for nine to ten months in their famous egg-shaped cement vats. This is more subtle and earthy, less Sauvignon, with the fruit expressing itself in a lower-pitched voice, more of a baritone. It’s also has a little wider, pungent and powerful character in the mouth. This is only around 13% alcohol, and even though in 2014 it didn’t go through malolactic fermentation, it’s still a very light and fresh wine. Groundbreaking Sauvignon. 4,800 bottles were produced, fruit of two eggs.” LG
Wine Advocate 92 points “Clear, deep and dense, but multilayered on the nose, the 2013 Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Loibner Steinertal displays herbal-scented notes of legumes and super-ripe as well as concentrated Veltliner berries. Full-bodied, powerful and rich, but also very elegant and fresh with finesse on the palate, this well-structured, mineral wine is already accessible but should gain even more finesse with further bottle age.”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 92 points “Site-typical sweet/smoky pungency of Szechuan pepper mingles in the nose with high-toned almond extract and intimations of muskmelon, apple and papaya that go on to inform an expansive palate. Cooling green herb inflections lend lovely counterpoint to the impression of tropical fruits, resulting in a soothingly sustained though also subtly peppery finish.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2015 Gigondas Cuvee Louisiane comes from a site located just beside the domaine, which is a mix of clay and sandy soils. Aged all in foudre, it boasts terrific notes of framboise, spring flowers, black raspberries and orange blossom (which I normally find more in the Les Souteyrades release). This full-bodied, deep, layered 2015 has a big mid-palate, is impeccably balanced and shows the purity and finesse that’s common in the vintage.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “My pick of the cuvées in 2015 is the 2015 Gigondas La Louisiane, a blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and the rest Cinsault and Syrah. From south-facing slopes of red clay and sand, this shows incredible detail in its aromas of garrigue and raspberries, then folds in richer notes of dark chocolate. This is full-bodied and velvety in feel, with just a hint of warmth on the finish. It should drink well for a decade, possibly longer.”
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Great Cabernet/Syrah/Chardonnay/etc. seems to be easy to find and it all tastes, to one degree or another, like the grape more than something intrinsically of the place it’s from. So called “International” grapes make delicious wine, but for me, the chance to taste something uniquely of a place is really something exciting. Autocton, a small winery in Catalonia, is working to preserve traditional grapes and wine which is uniquely Catalan. The wine that I’m highlighting today is mostly made from a grape called Sumol, with a little bit of Ull de Llebre (which, tellingly, is the Catalan—not Spanish—word for Tempranillo). The wine itself is both dark fruited and also lively on the palate—with dusty flavors and a good spine of acidity and tannin. This is something that seems to speak to the food of fall and winter, but would be delicious with a steak or chicken off the grill, as well.
Autocton Celler ‘’ Negre, Catalonia 2015 750ML ($19.95) $16 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Winery note “Autocton negre is a red wine made from indigenous, native very old vines of 80% Sumoll and 20% Ull de Llebre. Harvested and selected by hand, the wine is aged for 10 months in 300 and 400 liter French oak barrels.”
The next best price is $19.95
The Heralded 2013 Vintage
Arrives All Summer Long
“Although the best 2013 Brunellos will undoubtedly age well, the majority of them offer surprising early appeal, owing to their balance, ripe fruit and aromatic expressiveness, so you will not necessarily have to defer gratification if you purchase these wines. In fact, thanks to their freshness and gracefulness, the 2013s will prove very successful as restaurant by-the-glass pours as well as versatile at the dinner table.
“A surprising number of producers I visited or spoke to told me they believed the 2013 vintage to be close in quality to the much more famous 2010…. Overall, 2013 will be remembered as a vintage of very classic, sleek wines not unlike those of 2008, but I’d say the 2013s show more flesh and dimension.” –Ian D’Agata, Vinous
Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($44.95) $36 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “This cuts more of a broad swath than its peers, yet remains graveful, evoking strawberry, cherry, tobacco and stony mineral flavors. Long and dense in structure, with a tobacco- and under-brush-tinged finish. Best from 2021 through 2033.”
Arriving ETA June:
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata – Vinous 94 points “Luminous deep red. Captivating aromas of sweet red berries, cinnamon, violet and licorice. Then also very fruity in the mouth; refined, juicy red plum and raspberry flavors linger brightly on the fresh back end. Has a delightful red fruit cocktail quality that makes it practically impossible to put the glass back down. And though it is simply bursting at the seams with early appeal, this truly lovely Brunello will also age well. Unless my memory fails me, this may well be the best entry-level wine from Casanova di Neri that I have ever tasted.”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 93+ points “It’s that time of year: get your Neri on. This blockbuster Montalcino estate has released another fantastic collection of new wines, including the 2013 Brunello di Montalcino. Beautifully executed, the wine oozes forth from the glass with round, supple and velvety fruit. This Brunello Annata is luscious and deep, with millefoglie aromatic layering that peels back slowly and carefully. The mouthfeel is less elaborate compared to the estate’s top expressions, but the bouquet does much to push this score into the low nineties. Some 80,000 bottles were produced.”
James Suckling 93 points “This is a typical 2013 with a sweetness of fruit and plums. Citrus undertones. Medium to full body, ultra-fine tannins and a lively finish. Drink or hold.”
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata – Vinous 95 points “Bright red. Pure, refined red cherry and wild strawberry aromas and flavors complicated by sweet spices and aromatic herbs. Deep and multilayered, the wine boasts polished tannins and a harmonious acid spine that lifts and extends the red fruit on the long, suave finish. An essence of Sant’Angelo in Colle with bigger body and palate weight than, for example, the Brunellos of Montosoli, but still sleek and refined as the best wines of Sant’Angelo in Colle can be. The cool-climate-styled 2013 vintage is precisely the type of year in which Il Poggione excels: this lovely, focused wine is the best classico Brunello from Il Poggione in years. Superb.”
Arriving ETA July:
Altesino Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata – Vinous 93 points “Bright red. Extremely perfumed aromas of violet and raspberry on the enticing nose. Then more raspberry, but also blueberry and strawberry flavors and a strong juicy fruit-cocktail-like quality on the palate that persists nicely. Really lovely Brunello bursting at the seams with fresh bright fruit, and already utterly irresistible now. I had trouble not gulping my glass down all at once.”
Altesino Montosoli, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2013 750ml ($119.95) $85 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata – Vinous 97 points “Good full pale ruby-red. Knockout aromas and flavors of red cherry, raspberry, licorice and minerals, complicated by hints of iris and violet. Extremely suave and polished on the extremely long, pure, mineral finish. Deeper, richer, more tannic and longer than the lovely 2013 Brunello Classico from Altesino, this is an absolutely beautiful Brunello. I especially like that the pristine, refined aromas and flavors of the famed Montosoli site are showcased to maximum effect here. One of the best Brunellos of the vintage.”
Arriving ETA August:
Lisini Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($59.95) $48 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 96 points “Exuding cherry, strawberry and floral flavors tinged with iron, earth ans spice notes, this ripe red is elegant in profile, tightly wound and deftly balanced, ending with a kick of fruit, spice and mineral elements. Best from 2020 through 2037.”
James Suckling 96 points “Fantastic aromas of orange peel and dark berry with plenty of plum and cherry. Sweet tobacco and mushrooms. Full body, juicy and fruity with firm tannins and a fresh finish. Complex and gorgeous. Fine and very long. Drink now.”
Arriving ETA September:
Tenuta di Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata – Vinous 94 points “Palish red. The intensely floral nose (violet, peony, iris, rose) also offers aromas of red cherry and incense. Dense but juicy, showing a sappy quality, but plenty of extract nicely frames the red fruit and candied violet flavors. The long finish is given added punch by strong underlying minerality. Very attractive wine of impeccable balance. Well done.”
Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata – Vinous 97 points “Luminous red. High-pitched aromas of sour red cherry, raspberry, rose, stainless steel, white pepper and minerals. Dense and silky in texture but displays great juiciness, clarity and floral lift; the lively but harmonious acidity really lifts and frames the bright red and mineral flavors. Totally saturates the palate and yet comes off as virtually weightless. This hauntingly beautiful wine showcases everything Brunello can be when made from an ultra-competent producer farming Sangiovese vines that grow in what is a real grand cru section of the much too large Brunello di Montalcino denomination.”
Arriving ETA Fall:
Casanova di Neri Tenuta Nuova, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2013 750ML ($134.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata – Vinous 95+ points “Bright deep red. The youthfully reticent nose hints at flinty red cherry, blueberry, graphite, cedar and pepper. Then flavors similar to the aromas, and a tight acid spine and serious but polished tannins nicely extending and framing the brooding fruit notes and peppery flintiness on the long, deep, complex finish. A truly outstanding Tenuta Nuova Brunello that seems less fruit-forward and more shut down than usual but holds exciting promise. Interestingly, some of this wine’s elements, such as its flinty nuances, reminded me of Casanova di Neri’s Cerretalto Brunello (made with grapes grown at the opposite end of the Montalcino territory). I guess my palate needs to take a vacation. This knockout wine will age splendidly and will likely merit an even higher score in eight to ten years’ time.”
Thank you for reading!