Tuesday VinopolPick 8-29-17

Profile: Puech Haut; Loewenstein’s State of Slate; Friday for Fourrier; Staff Picks; Baumard’s Chenin Stars; Old School Outsider in Brunello; Louis Latour Pre-Arrivals; K Vintners: Klassy With a “K”


Puech Haut

Up Close & Personal

Chateau Peuch Haut is the vision of a man obsessed with greatness.  From business to big-game hunting, only the best will do for Gerald Bru.  He brings this same obsessive pursuit of the best things to his ownership of Peuch Haut.  Now with property in both Saint-Drezery and neighboring Pic Saint Loup (and over 50 hectares planted), his search for the best terroirs in Southern France continues to evolve.

Stylistically, these are powerful, full-bore wines.  Phillp Cambie, the superstar consultant, manages the winemaking and the wines show his style clearly.  The reds are rich and bold, with density and aromatic complexity to make you sniff the glass for hours.  The rose is crisp and light, with all of the qualities you’d want from something from Provence.

In Stock Now from Chateau Puech Haut:

Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Prestige Rose, Languedoc-Roussillon 2016 750ML ($19.95) $16 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Prestige Rose, Languedoc-Roussillon2016 1.5L ($49.95) $39 special, 13 magnums in stock now
Wine Advocate 92 points “Beautiful as always, the 2016 Saint Drezery Prestige Rose offers clean, crisp notes of white peach, strawberries and hints of flowers. It’s a terrific, medium-bodied, elegant beauty to buy by the case.”

Chateau Puech-Haut Pic Saint-Loup La Closerie du Pic, Languedoc-Roussillon 2014 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 34 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “Still not yet bottled (I tasted it from barrel last year as well), the 2014 Languedoc Pic Saint Loup Closerie du Pic is a blend of mostly Syrah and Mourvèdre, with a splash of Grenache. It got a big “wow” in my notes and has fabulous, fresh, lively notes of dark fruits, crushed rocks and spring flowers. There’s notable oak on the nose, but it’s beautifully integrated and lends a polish and richness to its texture. Full-bodied, with ripe tannin and a great finish, this is a sensational Pic Saint Loup that will drink well right out of the gate, yet evolve for 7-8 years or more.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $27

Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Prestige Rouge, Languedoc-Roussillon 2013 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Prestige Rouge, Languedoc-Roussillon 2013 750ML ($249.95) $199 special, 8 cases in stock now (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2013 Coteaux du Languedoc Prestige (which was already in bottle at the time of this tasting) is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah aged all in concrete tank. Fresh, elegant and thrillingly pure, with first rate aromas of blackberry, fresh plum, licorice and ground herbs, it is decidedly sexy and forward, yet stays perfectly balanced, with juicy acidity and fine tannin on the finish. Easily one of the top estates in the Languedoc (if not southern France), Chateau Puech Haut lies just outside the village of Saint-Drezery and is owned and run by Gerard Bru, with consulting help from Philippe Cambie. They produce a number of cuvees, with their entry level efforts representing superb values, and their top cuvees being able to stand toe to toe with the greatest wines in the world.”



vom Blauem Schiefer

If you’ve just awoken from a Rumpelstiltskin like slumber, the 2015 vintage from the Mosel is tremendous. This might well be the vintage that converts me to a Riesling believer, for good. The latest bottle that absolutely floored me is the vomBlauem Schiefer from Heymann-Loewenstein. I’ve been in touch with a client who worked this harvest for Heymann-Loewenstein, and she’s been absolutely chomping at the bit to get these bottles. She spoke with such reverence of the different vineyards that held the blue slate that I had to take her enthusiasm to heart and had to try one.

It’s hard to effectively describe the simultaneous intensity and lacy loveliness of this wine. The mineral component is so clear and well defined – salinity, rich slate notes – and yet the fruit is absolute perfection. Herbs and spices that are suspended between citrus and green apple; all of this is so seamless that it seems silly to try and pick out individual components of the wine. Drinking this now is such a treat that holding it for five or more years seems like a punishment.

Break out the spaetzle; here’s the vom Blauem Schiefer we’re offering today:

Heymann-Loewenstein ‘von Blauem Schiefer’ Riesling, Mosel 2015 750ML ($44.95) $33 special, 29 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2015 Riesling Vom Blauen Schiefer opens with a beautifully clear and slatey bouquet of perfectly ripe Riesling flavors. The wine is round, piquant and salty on the palate, reveals picture book finesse and transparency and is extremely stimulating in its dry but perfectly balanced finish. The aftertaste is pretty long and already complex. If you are looking for a picture book wine of the terraced Lower Mosel, this is the one you have to taste. Thirteen percent of alcohol can hardly taste lighter and more stimulating.”
David Schildknecht – Vinous 90 points “Scents of fennel and basil along with intimations of crushed stone set the stage for a relatively cool, restrained set of flavors. Yet the palate is richly textured, lush and expansive. Piquant and incisive notes of lemon peel and mustard seed offer invigoration on a soothingly yet stimulatingly sustained finish suffused with cooling green herbs and vividly underlain with wet stone. The primary sources for this “blue slate” bottling are nowadays the Weisenberg and Fahrberg, immediately upstream from the Uhlen (which is divided between the communes of Winningen and Kobern), along with vineyards in Klotten, a good 20 miles upstream from Kobern, that are farmed by the family of a former Heymann-Löwenstein stagiaire.”
VinopolNote: Soil is blue slate, brownish clay with iron oxide

This is the only listing in the USA today!

We offer 9 different wines from Heyman-Loewenstein in stock now and 8 different wines arriving next month, including the late-release wine listed below. Visit our web store for the complete list!

Heymann-Loewenstein Uhlen ‘R’ Roth Lay Riesling, Mosel 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special, ETA September
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “Tasted from the barrel and still dusty in its ripe golden color, the 2015 Riesling Uhlen R ‘VDP Grosse Lage’ (which is always bottled late) combines super ripe, rich and intense tropical fruit aromas (pineapples) with the spicy flavors of red (iron-rich) slate. The palate, however, is stunningly pure and finessed, highly elegant and almost light whereas the finish is very long, full of salt, grip and tension. A great promise!”
Mosel Fine Wines 94 points “This delivers an stunning nose with great depth, cool aromatics and finesse as notes of spices, mint, dried herbs, white peach, citrus peel and smoke and flowery elements emerge from the glass. The wine starts on the cool and fresh side on the palate, and only gradually develops its structure and intensity as it unfolds. It offers great length and intensity without ever being overpowering. The after-taste is just subtly and delicately tart. This dry Riesling is quite a tour de force and amply confirms our initial high expectations from cask (see Issue No 32 for the initial tasting note). 2022-2035.”

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Fourrier Arriving Friday

Coveted 2015’s From One of Burgundy’s Hottest Winemakers
Everything was in place for greatness when Jean-Marie Fourrier took over his family’s domaine in 1994. Vineyard holdings in Gevrey-Chambertin, including Premiers Crus and Griottes, plus Premier Cru vines in Morey, Chambolle, and Vougeot make a fine way to start. Much of it is old vines, planted between the World Wars, except the Clos Saint-Jacques which dates back to 1910: all native rootstock instead of clones. Add to this Jean-Marie’s formative years as an intern at Domaine Drouhin Oregon, and, most importantly, at the estate of the fabled Burgundian master, Henri Jayer. Although Fourrier practices total destemming and uses only 20% new oak no matter the wine, the idea of perfection in the vineyard and winery echoes the principles of Mr. Jayer.

Massale selection (again, no clones), ploughed vineyards, severe winter pruning (to avoid leaf pulling and green harvests later on), a vibrating sorting table, pigeage but no pumping over (to preserve the wine’s solid material, not just the liquid), harvests based on phenolics rather than on Brix, young (under 30 years) vine fruit sold instead of included—all of this helps explain why Fourrier wines are today some of the most sought-after Burgundies. They represent some of the best from the Côte de Nuits, the Côte d’Or, France and le monde entier, and of the Pinot Noir variety itself. A chance to taste one of Jean-Marie’s wines means fully comprehending Burgundy’s tradition of supremacy.

Arriving Friday:

Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 89-92 points “(from the north side of the village; the Aux Echézeaux is from the extreme south side): Bright medium red. Red fruits, animal fur and game lifted by a floral element on the nose. Plush and seamless; a step up in thickness and suavity from the Aux Echézeaux, with its deep raspberry fruit complicated by a mineral component. Mouthfilling but not heavy, finishing quite long, with tannins totally supported by fruit.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $98

Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Aux Echezeaux Vieilles Vignes, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Burghound 89-91 points -Outstanding-“This is earthier still with its well-layered nose of cassis, humus and sauvage hints. There is excellent detail to the more obviously mineral-driven flavors that are a lovely combination of power and punch, all wrapped in a wonderfully refreshing, firm and well-balanced finale. Worth considering.”

Domaine Fourrier Morey-Saint-Denis Clos Solon Vieilles Vignes 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 89-90 points “Bright dark red. Very fresh aromas of blueberry and menthol plus a hint of game. Concentrated and seamless, with its crushed purple fruit flavors complicated by a suggestion of fresh blood. Offers a lovely combination of thickness and acidity and finishes with a firm tannic spine. This cool site did very well in 2015.”

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Domaine Fourrier Les Champeaux Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($279.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92-94 points “Medium red. Tighter and less fruity than the last couple of Gevrey premier crus, with restrained dark fruit flavors gaining in floral perfume with aeration. Combines impressive opulence and viscosity with superb inner-mouth energy, with a crushed blueberry flavor dominating. Turns more toward crunchy red fruits on the very long back end, which offers terrific mineral pungency and fully supported tannins.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Fourrier Les Cherbaudes Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91-93 points “Healthy full red. Cherry and boysenberry fruit aromas are lifted by rose petal and violet, with a gamey nuance adding complexity. Silky on entry, with its cherry and raspberry flavors enlivened by pungent minerality. In a distinctly rocky yet smooth style, like a baby Griottes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $200

Domaine Fourrier La Combe Aux Moines Vieilles Vignes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($219.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92-94 points “Medium red. Restrained aromas of raspberry, cranberry and game, plus a whiff of leathery reduction. Plush wine with a seamless texture, conveying lovely sucrosité and spicy lift to its red berry flavors. The leathery element repeats in the mouth. This soil-driven premier cru shows an almost confectionery character but finishes with a firm tannic spine.”

Domaine Fourrier Clos Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($899.95) $699 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91-93 points “Good medium red. Musky aromas of tart cherry stomp and raspberry; less floral and more earthy than the Cherbaudes. Densely packed and aromatic, with sweet raspberry fruit accented by white pepper and a touch of orange zest. Finishes with firm but suave tannins and excellent energy and lift. This wine is a prime example of how the cooler spots frequently outperformed in 2015.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $800
The average price is $836

Domaine Fourrier Les Petits Vougeots Vieilles Vignes, Vougeot Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special
Burghound 90-93 points “As is often the case chez Fourrier this is almost as aromatically elegant with a compositionally similar nose though this displays more event floral nuances at present. Here too there is first-rate detail and punch to the racy and wonderfully refined flavors that culminate in a dusty and ever-so-mildly austere finale. A Vougeot of grace and finesse but don’t underestimate its ability to repay extended keeping.”
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 90-92 points “Bright, moderately saturated medium red. Perfumed aromas and flavors of red cherry, strawberry, game and rose petal. Plush and silky on the palate, with lovely balancing acidity framing and energizing the fruit. Finishes with seamless, fully integrated tannins and sneaky length. Fourrier describes this wine as “a smaller-scaled Amoureuses in style”–and now, through his négociant business, he also offers a real Amoureuses.”

Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieille Vigne 2015 750ML ($999.95) $899 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 94-96 points “Good deep red. Dark and slightly wild on the nose but inexpressive today. Shows the added concentration and weight of the hot vintage but less of the coolness of the vineyards exposed to the Combe de Lavaut. Flavors of purple and black fruits and crushed rock hint at violet but can’t quite match the sheer floral éclat of the Clos Saint-Jacques. This wine had been racked more recently than most of the rest and was tighter as a result. Although it’s less harmonious today, its powerful spine of acids and tannins should ensure a long and graceful evolution in bottle.”

Can’t Wait?

In Stock Now from Domaine Fourrier

Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2009 750ML ($199.95) $179 special, 12 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2009 Gevrey-Chambertin floats on the palate in its finessed, well-articulated fruit. Subtle and ethereal through to the finish, the wine captures the essence and nobility of Gevrey. With time in the glass the fruit turns darker and the wine puts on weight, showing tons of pedigree and dazzling overall harmony.”
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91 points “Good deep red. Musky aroma of raspberry, blueberry, smoke, crushed rock and game. At once sweet and taut, with an impression of lift and energy rare for the vintage. Really lovely fruit here. Fourrier told me he liked the effect of elevage in mostly older casks in 2009. “More new oak would have speeded up the evolution of the wines,” he explained. “That would have required using more sulfur dioxide but we still would have lost fruit.””

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

Domaine Fourrier Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2010 750ML ($219.95) $199 special, 12 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91 points “Good bright, full red. High-pitched aromas of tangy red and darker berries and rose petal, complemented by lower-toned earth and smoke notes. Boasts terrific volume for village wine: dense, salty and soil-driven, with raspberry fruit complicated by earth and minerals. Really stimulates the taste buds on the smooth, long, lightly saline finish. Terrific village wine.”

Domaine Fourrier Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieille Vigne 2014 750ML ($1199.95) $899 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “The 2014 Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru has a very intense bouquet with maraschino, blueberry and violets blossoming in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe black fruit, blueberry and a hint of balsamic, leading to a quite a structured and dense finish that just needs a touch more finesse. I think that will develop with time. Superb.”


Staff Picks

I know there’s some debate on the wine forums about whether letting a wine breathe for a couple hours or even a few (gasp!) days is worthwhile. I’ll admit to being in the all-for-it camp. There are times when I just can’t wait the years or decades it takes for a wine from my cellar to truly come into its own. So I must confess that I opened a bottle of 2015 Dr. Thanisch Doctor Kabinett just after it arrived and drank it over five days. There’s much talk over the high pedigree of the Doctor vineyard, and it’s rare to find an affordable example from the site. I’ll leave it to the illustrious John Gilman to tack on all of the divine superlatives, but let me throw my hat into the ring by saying they are all rightly deserved and become even more evident as the hours and days pass. There’s layer upon layer of bright, fresh citrus fruits, floral nuances and brilliant minerality captured in a simply charming balance of sweetness and acidity. Should the wine offer nothing more in its lifetime but these fruity essences, it would be well worth the entry fee. But when such a glorious estate, vineyard and vintage combine, magic will most certainly be found far, far down the road.

Wwe Dr. H. Thanisch Erben Thanisch Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2015 750ML ($39.95) $36 special, 21 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 95 points “Given the penchant for the great terroir of the Doctor vineyard to not show all of its layers of complexity until it has spent several years in bottle, the glorious early expressiveness of the 2015 Kabinett (and Spätlese as well) from the Thanisch family this year fully underscores just how special this vintage will be seen as the decades flow away. The 2015 Doctor Kabinett is a brilliant wine in the making, delivering a superb bouquet of apple, a touch of white cherry, a very complex base of soil, bee pollen, incipient notes of laurel and a topnote of lime zest. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and shows the broader shoulders of the Doctor vineyard, but with great filigree and classic Kabinett sensibilities at the same time. The wine is rock solid at the core, pure and transparent, with outstanding cut and grip on the laser-like and racy finish. This will be a very, very long-lived and stunning vintage of Doctor Kabinett!”
Wine Advocate 92 points “Thanisch’s 2015 Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett is very clear and still reductive on the nose, with flinty sulfur notes, bright fruit aromas and very good definition. Round, lush and juicy but also fine, mineral and salty, this is a delicate, filigreed and elegant Kabinett with a good mineral structure and a mouthwatering salty finish. A classic!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $41.99

I love the intentionally oxidized wines of the Jura (which admittedly can be a bit of an acquired taste).  The flor (or veil, in the local parlance) of wild yeasts that form on top of the wines produce lots of glutamates, the foundation of umami, and so these richly textured wines have a savoriness and power that makes them stop-in-your-tracks captivating.  These are wines that are perfect with all manner of savory but delicate goodies—the mushrooms and aged cheeses of the world.  You can serve them with roast chicken as easily as grilled white fish (well, you can serve nearly anything with roast chicken to be fair). You can, and should, age them, as well—especially this example from Chateau-Chalon master Tissot, though no one would fault you for drinking it or its Arbois brother young.

Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Chateau-Chalon, Jura 2008 620ML ($99.95) $79 special, 20 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 lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $104.95

Benedicte & Stephane Tissot Arbois Vin Jaune ‘La Vasee’, Jura 2008 620ML ($89.95) $79 special, 16 bottles available
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!


Baumard Savennieres

94 Point Bone Dry Chenin Built to Last

Arriving Friday September 1st:

For many lovers of dry Loire Chenin, their first taste of Savennieres was a bottling from Baumard, which makes sense—they’re the standard bearers for the appellation and one of our favorite producers.  The estate dates back to the 1600’s and as a result, holds some of the most prime land in Savennieres and Quarts du Chaume.

If you’ve had these wines before, feel free to skip to the list of wines at the end, but if not—these are wines to pay attention to.  Savennieres is perhaps the most regal of the dry Chenin Blanc appellations—coiled and steely, with deep mineral flavors.  Over time (and with air) the wine becomes generous and richer—like someone whose friendship must be earned.

Luckily, you can just go out and buy the Baumard Savennieres—no earning trust or friendship here.  You should do both—buy some, drink some but also hide some from yourself and watch the wine blossom with time.

Domaine des Baumard Savennieres, Loire 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Domaine des Baumard Savennieres, Loire 2015 750ML ($319.95) $259 pre-arrival special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 94 points “Alluring, with quince, creamed pear, verbena and green almond flavors allied to a creamy texture, all offset beautifully through the finish by light quinine and mineral hints. Approachable, but this seems built for the cellar. Best from 2018 through 2030.”


Arriving in December

“Best Ever” Brunello

Roy Welland, heralded owner of cult NY restaurant Cru purchased Casanuova delle Cerbaie in 2008. Yes, yes, American goes to Europe to make wine. Let’s hang a lantern on that and move on to say that no expense was spared to revitalize this estate with the eye towards crafting traditional wines (elevage is strictly in large Slovenian oak barrels).

How deep is Welland’s passion for the area? The winery’s web site is all in Italian. We take that as a pretty good sign…

Casanuova delle Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 96 points “Beautiful clarity on the nose with lavender, raspberry and violet aromas. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a long, fresh and simply fantastic finish. Best ever. Better in 2021.”


Louis Latour: Negoce Nonpareil

Arriving in December

Louis Latour Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($279.95) $229 pre-arrival special, 6 bottles available
James Suckling 98 points “Aromas of lemon peel, light lilacs and orange blossom. Full body and flavors of stones and chalk with sea-salt undertones. The length and creamy texture capture your attention. Layered and beautiful. Just a baby now. Try in 2022.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($149.95) $126 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 97 points “So perfumed with exotic, tropical-fruit aromas that draw you into the glass. Full-bodied, layered and textured with soft creamy tannins and light stone and walnut undertones. Gun flint. Always a fantastic white. So constant. Drink or hold.”

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

Louis Latour Les Mitans, Volnay Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points “Incredible aromas of crushed strawberries, blueberries and flowers. Full body, full and linear tannins and a silky, caressing finish. Always compressed and refined. Drink in 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $79.94

Louis Latour Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru Les Quatre Journaux 2015 750ML ($499.95) $399 pre-arrival special, 6 bottles available
James Suckling 98 points “So perfumed and aromatic with fabulous character of flowers, dark berries and chalk. Full-bodied and voluptuous. Ripe and velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. A wine with great potential and depth. Flamboyant. Drink in 2022.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $441

Louis Latour Cuvee Heritiers Latour Chambertin Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($279.95) $229 pre-arrival special, 6 bottles available
James Suckling 97 points “So much dried-flower character on the nose with dark fruit and zest of orange peel. Full body, soft and velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. So sexy and delicious already. A little more than 100 cases made. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $275.94

Louis Latour Vignes Franches, Beaune Premier Cru 2015 1.5L ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special, 6 magnums available
James Suckling 95 points “Subtle aromas of bark, mushrooms and light strawberries follow through to a medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and light vanilla-bean character, even chocolate. Glorious. Drink in 2020, but this is already gorgeous.”

This is the only listing in the USA today for the magnum!


Summer Shipping Special:

Midwest, East, & South

For the summer season we are offering UPS Three Day Select Service for the price of UPS Ground for shipments normally traveling 4 or more business days by ground.

Free service upgrade only applies on single orders purchased and shipped during the promotional period.  Additional fees will apply to orders held for any reason until after the promotional period and shipped by Three Day Select.  Offer not valid on items purchased before the promotional period or on pre-arrival items that arrive after the promotional period ends.


Charles Smith:

Washington State’s Bad-Boy Wine-star

Charles Smith knows a thing or two about rock stars, and he ought to—he used to manage them.  Then, one day, on a motorcycle trip, he rode through Walla Walla and was struck by the majesty of the terrain and the vineyards.  Within a few years, he had returned to open a winery.

His first vintage was 1999 and he produced a mere 300 cases of Syrah under his label ‘K Vintners’ and the winery has grown by leaps and bounds since then.  By our count, K makes more than 15 wines, most of them single vineyard Syrah, and that doesn’t count the several side projects he’s involved in such as Substance and Sixto.

At this point, Charles Smith is one of the defining wine makers for what might be the modern Washington style.  His wines are big, rich, and ripe but polished. They show distinct differences between the vineyards and always have a hint of that savory, bacony quality that Syrah can bring to the table like nothing else.  The only thing we can complain about is that we can’t carry them more often.

We have a broad selection of the Charles Smith & K Vintners wines and wanted to highlight them here—you won’t find a shop with more of Charles’ wines at prices like these:

In Stock Now:

Charles Smith ‘Sixto’ Moxee Chardonnay, Washington State 2012 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points “Focused, juicy and long, this red is packed with cherry, floral, tobacco and underbrush flavors. Still a bit tight now, but stays long. The sweet fruit returns on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2030.” WS

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Charles Smith Substance Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2015 750ML ($19.95) $14.80 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck – Wine Advocate 92 points “One of the best values I’ve tasted in a long time, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon from the team at K Vintners was hand-harvested, natively fermented and aged all in French oak. Smoking good notes of cassis, black currants and hints of plum all emerge from this rich, beautifully textured, layered beauty that has solid tannic grip, a silky, elegant texture and a great finish. It has real elegance and finesse and is a dark fruited, unctuous beauty to drink over the coming 3-4 years.”

Charles Smith K Vintners ‘M.C.K. Motor City Kitty’ Syrah, Washington 2014 750ML ($39.95) $36 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Charles Smith K Vintners ‘M.C.K. Motor City Kitty’ Syrah, Washington 2014 750ML ($479.95) $399 special, 5 cases in stock now (that’s only $33.25/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95 points “Named after a cat owned by Charles when he was living in Walla Walla, the 2014 M C K Syrah sports a deep purple color as well as ripe, decadent notes of black fruits, plums, graphite, crushed rock and licorice. Big, sexy, seamless and pure, with present, yet ripe tannin, drink it through 2024. It’s worth noting that this comes completely from the River Rock vineyard in this vintage. As usual, it’s a crazy value.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points –Editors’ Choice– “This aromatically brooding wine brings aromas of brown stems, scorched earth, smoked meat, iron, violets, orange peel and blue and black fruit. The flavors coat the palate from end to end with silky soft, unabashedly appealing fruit and savory notes. It hits the delicious gong hard, with an enduring finish.”

Charles Smith K Vintners The Creator Cabernet – Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points “An 80/20 Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah blend from the Powerline Vineyard, the 2014 The Creator is killer stuff. Cassis, black olive, crushed rock, dusty earth and graphite characteristics emerge from this wild, gamey, full-bodied and impeccably balanced red. It stays lightly textured and graceful, with fine tannin, but it’s a big, rich wine that’s going to benefit from short term cellaring and keep for 15-20 years.”

Charles Smith K Vintners The Hustler Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2012 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “Still in barrel at the time of this tasting, the 2012 Syrah The Hustler is a blockbuster-styled Syrah that’s overflowing with notions of sweet red and black fruits, toasted bread, cured meats and cedar. Only made in special vintages (it was previously made in ’03, ’07 and ’09) and aged 38 months in French oak, it’s full-bodied, decadent and layered, with a weightless, elegant, seamless feel. Coming all from the Morrison Lane Vineyard (it’s actually the Morrison Lane Syrah with extended barrel aging), it should be ready to go on release and dish out tons of pleasure over the following decade or more. The extended elevage has given this a more upfront feel, yet I suspect it will also allow it age more slowly as well.”

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

Charles Smith K Vintners Powerline Estate Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94-97 points “A new cuvee that’s all from the Powerline Vineyard in the southern part of the Walla Walla Valley, the 2014 Syrah Powerline is all from the Phelps clone, was fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged in puncheons. One of the more bloody, meaty, iron-laced and savory Syrahs in the lineup, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a thick, unctuous texture, ripe tannin and a finish that makes your heart beat a touch faster. Give bottles a few years in the cellar and enjoy over the following decade.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “A knockout Syrah, precise and impeccably built but explosive with personality. Smoky roasted meat and floral blackberry aromas combine with bold, supple flavors of dark plum, pepper and licorice. The tannins are big but polished. Drink now through 2024.”

Charles Smith K Vintners ‘Guido’, Walla Walla Valley 2012 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2012 Sangiovese Guido sports a translucent ruby color to go with outstanding notes of black cherries, dried herbs, rose petal and cured meats. It’s nicely balanced, has classic typicity and will have a decade of longevity” JD

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

Charles Smith K Vintners ‘El Jefe’ Stoneridge Vineyard Tempranillo, Washington 2013 750ML ($69.95) $56.50 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 100% varietal 2013 El Jefe Tempranillo Stoneridge Vineyard (23 months in 40% new oak) is another terrific example of this variety in Washington, and while there’s not many Tempranillo based releases out there, the ones that are, are seriously good. This 2013 gives up lots of darker fruits (black currants maybe), lots of spicy oak, toasted spice and licorice to go with a full-bodied, elegant, sexy profile on the palate. It continues to open up with time in the glass, and the tannin, while present, are incredibly polished and perfectly ripe. Feel free to drink bottles anytime over the coming decade.”

Arriving in September:

Charles Smith K Vintners The Cattle King Syrah, Snipes Mountain 2014 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 99 points “Coming from the Upland Vineyard on Snipes Mountain, the 2014 Syrah Cattle King is a huge, powerful, unctuous beast that gives up decadent notes of black and blue fruits, freshly crushed rocks, graphite, iron and licorice. Unctuous, sexy and with gorgeous purity, it carries itself with incredible grace and elegance, without ever being over the top. It flirts with perfection and is one of the highlights of the vintage—and the region. Give it a few years and drink through 2029.”

Charles Smith K Vintners The Hidden Syrah, Wahluke Slope 2014 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 99 points “I continue to feel that this is one of the top Syrahs coming out Washington today, and it certainly doesn’t get the notoriety it deserves. The 2014 Syrah The Hidden Northridge Vineyard is up there with the best of them and comes from a 93-acre vineyard that lies on a south-facing, gravel slope in the foothills of the Saddle Mountain range. This is one of the warmest and driest regions in the state. This deep ruby/purple tinged effort offers a sensational, deep, rich and concentrated style that closes down quickly in the glass. Black cherries, wet earth, lavender and incense characteristics dominate the bouquet, and it has a core of sweet fruit, ripe tannin and a blockbuster finish. Give bottles 2-4 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following decade or more.”