Vinopolis Black Friday 11-27-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

New Black Friday Specials
(Austria, Alsace and More!)

Black Friday Specials:
National Best Prices on Gaja
Castello di Gabbiano’s Top Wine at $20+ Off the Next Best Price
Top Notch Meursault Under $25
Our California Pinot & Syrah Offer of the Year

Champagne Season Starts Now

Collector’s Corner: Get a Jump Start on Holiday Gifting

Burgundy Bin End Sale


New Black Friday Specials

On Top Wines from Austria, Alsace (and some Rosé!)

Pichler-Krutzler Kellerberg Riesling, Wachau 2014 750ML ($69.95) Was $49, Now $44 Black Friday Special, 9 bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht–Vinous 95 points
“White peach, fresh lemon and tangerine mingle with lemon grass, peach kernel and Szechuan peppercorn in an aromatic display that anticipates the complexity and pungency of this wine’s lusciously juicy, polished, palpably lees-enriched but piquant palate. A faint hint of sweetness from close to a dozen grams of residual sugar perfectly supports ripe fruit that carries into a long, vibrant, salivary-gland-milking finish, in which smoky Latakia tobacco is added to the aforementioned array. Palpably high extract and the influence of full lees through summer combine with the residual sugar to buffer a level of acidity, at nine grams, that would count as elevated even on the Mosel.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Pichler-Krutzler Wunderburg Riesling, Wachau 2012 750ML ($59.95) Was $38, Now $29 Black Friday Special, 9 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Harvested in early November and subject to very slow fermentation that finished with 13% alcohol and from which a lot of CO2 was left behind even in January of 2013, the Pichler- Krutzler 2012 Riesling Wunderburg offers satiny texture and surprising fullness yet at the same time the transparency to nuance characteristic of all of the best wines in the present collection. Szechuan pepper, crushed stone, bittersweet flowers and peach kernel are perceived through a clear, juicy, luscious matrix of lime and white peach, leading to a finish not only refreshing and invigorating but almost fiery in its incisive intensity even as it remains rich in ripe fruit. Look for this beauty to yet grow in stature and to prove worth following through at least 2022. In Pichler and Krutzler’s conscientious and talented hands, this little-known site is starting to live up to its name (“miracle castle”)!”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Weingut Hirsch Ried Heiligenstein Riesling, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($69.95) Was $49, Now $39 Black Friday Special, 9 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 94 points
“The perfumed, otherworldly scent of blood orange works its charm on the nose of this lovely wine. The palate is equally juicy and aromatic: tart and soft, edgy and pliant, plump and lip-smacking, juicy and bracing. The palate is streamlined and fresh, hinting constantly at this world of flavor, if you only give in to it—so moreish, so long.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points “Hirsch’s 2015 Kamptal Riesling Heiligenstein 1ÖTW opens with a great nose that blends perfectly ripe white and yellow fruit aromas with the typical stony/flinty Heiligenstein terroir flavor. Full-bodied, rich and piquant on the silky textured palate, the 2015 reveals remarkably fine acidity, great finesse and a very long and salty finish that is also pure and finely aromatic. The 13% alcohol comes along light and vital, and the tension in the finish is full of positive vibrations. A great dry Riesling from one of the world’s most spectacular vineyards for Riesling. Highly recommended!”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points “Last tasted from tank, slightly ahead of its July bottling, this leads with effusive and alluring scents of buddleia and freesia. The palate impression is oily, rich, peachy and nutty, but remains transparent to crystalline nuances and incorporates inner-mouth echoes of heady floral perfume. Peach kernel piquancy and smoky, alkaline notes reminiscent of Loire Chenin Blanc add counterpoint to the lusciously lingering, at once soothing, shimmering and vibrantly stimulating finish. One could long for the brightness and mouthwatering scallop-like briny sweetness of the 2014, whose rating I would now upgrade by a point from last year’s assessment, but this gorgeous 2015 will provide years of self-indulgence and fascination, especially if followed in parallel with the evolving 2014 and 2013.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $50

Weingut Hirsch Ried Gaisberg Riesling, Kamptal 2015 750ML ($69.95) Was $49, Now $36 Black Friday Special, 7 bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93-94 points
“The haunting, esterous nose suggests rowan and white peach accompanied by kirsch and blueberry distillates. Firmer in feel than the corresponding Heiligenstein but bursting with midpalate flavor, this finishes with downright reverberative intensity; eye-watering brightness such as one least expects from 2015, not to mention mouthwatering salinity and consummate sheer refreshment. It seems to leave behind a load of crystalline stone and an alkaline residue you’ll have to scrape from your teeth.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “The nose just gives a gentle hint of ripe apricot. The palate, on the other hand, speaks freely of zesty citrus: ripe lemon and fresh Seville orange, full of tart zestiness and refreshing zing. This is slender and linear, taut but chock-full of fruit. There is drive and energy and total refreshment.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Agathe Bursin Gewurztraminer Zinnkoepfle Vendanges Tardives, Alsace Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49 Black Friday Special, 16 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 93 points
“Luminous straw-yellow. Truly lovely floral lift complements grapefruit and kumquat notes on the perfumed nose. Boasts a strong mineral underpinning to its white stone and tropical fruit flavors, complicated by hints of sweet spices. Another very beautiful wine from Agathe Bursin in 2016. All the grapes at VT and SGN levels of sweetness were picked on November 9, 10, and 12. This boasts 4 g/L total acidity and 73 g/L, so though certainly a sweet wine, it is not a thick, super-sticky wine.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Agathe Bursin Gewurztraminer Zinnkoepfle, Alsace Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $36 Black Friday Special, 22 bottles in stock now
: The Zinnkoepflé vineyard has been recognized as a top site since the beginning of vine cultivation in Alsace.  Known especially for Gewürztraminer and Riesling, the vineyard sits in a protected area that allows for exceptional sun exposure while limiting risk of botrytis and other problems.  The shelly-limestone soils provide for great acidity, so wines from here are always both rich and racy—a rare and impressive combination.
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Agathe Bursin Gewurztraminer Zinnkoepfle Selection de Grains Nobles, Alsace Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($89.95) Was $79, Now $71.90 Black Friday Special, 9 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 95 points
“Medium golden yellow. Very typical Gewürz nose of ripe tropical fruit, sweet spices, smoky bacon and orange oil. Then rich, dense and sweet, offering bitter orange marmalade and lemon peel flavors complicated by notes of cane sugar, guava and kumquat. Finishes suave and quite luscious, at once opulent and yet light on its feet. This has terrific sugar-acid balance (4.1 g/L total acidity and 92 g/L residual sugar).”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling Brand, Alsace Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($99.95) Was $69, Now $66 Black Friday Special, 11 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points
“A dense and linear riesling with sliced limes, lemons and flint. Bright and precise. Full-bodied, layered and beautiful. Great finish to this. Big and flavorful. Yet not showy. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cote du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2018 750ML ($17.95) Was $14, Now $11.90 Black Friday Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points
“Light vivid orange. Deeply perfumed raspberry, tangerine and candied rose scents are accompanied by a slowly building hint of succulent herbs. Broad and fleshy on the palate, offering bitter cherry and red berry preserve flavors and a refreshingly spicy touch of white pepper. Finishes velvety and long, displaying resonating florality and an energizing jolt of dusty minerals.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Rose, Rhone 2018 750ML ($27.95) Was $24, Now $21.90 Black Friday Special, 25 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91 points
“Limpid orange-pink. Bright and energetic on the nose, displaying fresh red berry and floral scents and subtle garrigue and mineral nuances. Silky, focused and lively in the mouth, offering zesty strawberry and bitter cherry flavors that deepen and pick up a hint of blood orange with aeration. The minerally note comes back strong on the finish, which lingers with impressive, floral-driven tenacity.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Terre de Maimbray Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($27.95) Was $24, Now $20.90 Black Friday Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points
“Pale, shimmering pink. Vibrant, mineral-accented red currant, strawberry and blood orange aromas are complemented by a suave floral nuance. Shows impressive energy and precision on the palate, which displays intense citrus fruit, red berry and floral pastille flavors supported a bracing spine of dusty minerality. The floral note comes back strong on the bright, focused finish, which leaves a building mineral note behind.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Chateau de Manissy ‘La Belle Etoile’ Rose, Rhone 2018 750ML ($14.95) Was $11.90, Now $9.90 Black Friday Special, 20 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“Covering an area of 1.5ha, this site is bathed by the sun and swept by the mistral on a flat plain that rich in limestone with a clay subsoil. Entirely hand-harvested organic grapes that have a cold maceration before being pressed. Low temperature fermentation with indigenous yeasts, which allow the yeast to develop its fruit flavors. Aged in stainless steel tank. Given the name “beautiful star” by the Manissy Brotherhood’s missionary priest, the grapes originate from organically certified vineyards owned by wine-maker Florian André’s mother.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Chateau Gassier Cotes de Provence ‘Esprit Gassier’ Rose 2018 750ML ($21.95) Was $18, Now $16 Black Friday Special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points
“Vivid orange-pink. High-pitched strawberry, peach and jasmine scents are complemented by building floral and herb nuances. Silky and energetic on the palate, offering fresh red berry and pit fruit flavors and a hint of bitter orange pith. Finishes silky and precise, displaying very good persistence and a repeating floral note.”
Wine Enthusiast 90 points “This wine is the heart of the production from this estate. The blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Vermentino creates a wonderful freshness, while also showing richness and a touch of spice. It is intensely fruity and ready to drink now.”


Please Note

Vinopolis Will Be Closed for Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 28th

We will resume normal business hours (10-6)
on Friday, November 29th


Black Friday Special

National Best Prices on Gaja

Gaja is a name that requires no context in discussion—like Latour or DRC, it’s understood which estate is meant and that the wines are epic, change-your-dinner-plans events.  Angelo Gaja is one of the primary reasons we care about Barbaresco today and the wines bearing his name remain the most treasured and collectible of the region.

Arriving Friday. Supplies on all are severely limited.  Buy now to ensure fulfillment!

Gaja Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($289.95) $189 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“Gaja’s 2016 Barbaresco is positively stellar. A wine of poise and grace, the 2016 has so much to offer. Expressive spice and floral notes open up first, but what really stands out is the wine’s nuance and delineation. There is a sense of translucency to the 2016 that is impossible to miss. Sweet red cherry, mint, cinnamon and rose petal develop in the glass, adding further shades of nuance. Quite simply, the 2016 is one of the very finest Gaja Barbarescos in recent memory. This is such a gorgeous wine. Don’t miss it.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “I tasted this wine over two sittings, one at the winery and one at my home office a few weeks later. Although I can’t claim any extraordinary differences between the two sessions, I noticed a few minimal shifts that are essential to understanding the wine’s future aging ability. The 2016 Barbaresco starts off slow at first, showing a small margin of aromatic evolution in the glass. But come back two hours later, and you can almost hear the soft sounds of the symphony playing just below the surface. The 2016 vintage is characterized by the solid intensity and firmness of its aromas, which transcend fruit and veer toward balsamic herb, licorice, tar and smoke instead. The tannins offer a moment of sweetness and softness, before you are aware of their undeniable firmness. In all, there is a certain glossiness or satiny quality to the mouthfeel that underlines the wine’s carefully crafted integration. I would describe this as a classic and also a somewhat austere Barbaresco that fully deserves extra cellar time to stretch those tight muscles and grow in volume. This wine will award those who wait.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “This gorgeous red evokes rose, strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruit, shaded by tobacco, tar and wild thyme notes. Pure, sleek and intense, with a firm base of tannins and vibrant acidity for support. This should evolve beautifully. Be patient. Best from 2022 through 2043. 1,800 cases imported.”
James Suckling 96 points “This is all about finesse with power. Such great length here with ever so refined tannins and precise strawberry, cedar, dried-rose and mineral character. Medium body. Fresh and vivid finish. Hard not to drink now, but wait until at least 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $268
Gaja Sperss Langhe – Barolo, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($319.95) $219 pre-arrival special, only 24 bottles available!
James Suckling 95 points
“More forward and in a more earthly realm than the dizzying heights of the Conteisa this vintage, but it’s so endearing and immediately delights. The aromas range from elderberries and black cherries to brambleberries and Chinese spices. Full-bodied and structured with powerful tannins that encase bright and forthright blue fruit, which is polished over by a sheen of glimmering acidity. Long finish. Delicious now, but better in 2022.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “This is a slightly more subdued vintage of this legendary wine, albeit just as sophisticated as past editions. The 2014 Barolo Sperss opens to gorgeous aromas of dark fruit, wet earth and white truffle. The vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba produced much less fruit than average and suffered from bouts of downy mildew during the rainy seasons. But Serralunga d’Alba fruit is also harvested late, and that extra time was important for achieving grape ripeness targets. The wine presents depth and complexity within the context of a thinner vintage. Having said that, the bouquet is spectacular.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $247.99
The average price is $293

Highlights In Stock Now from Gaja:

Gaja Ca’Marcanda ‘Camarcanda’ Bolgheri, Tuscany 2010 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2010 Bolgheri Camarcanda is an exceptional wine with a level of aromatic intensity and integrity that is impossible to exaggerate. The blend is Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, in that order of importance. The bouquet is impeccable and refined, with deep layers of Morello cherry, cassis, dried blackberry and spice that peel back in quick succession. The oak component is beautifully integrated, imparting notes of chocolate and tobacco that complete this beautiful portrait of Tuscan winemaking. Hold this bottle for a few more years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $147

Gaja Costa Russi Langhe-Barbaresco, Piedmont 2006 750ML ($499.95) $299 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“Good full red. Reticent strawberry and plum aromas are complicated by a medicinal component. Rounder and sweeter than the normale, but also showing excellent inner-mouth lift for all its fullness. This very broad, fine-grained wine finishes with a juicy quality and excellent structure. In spite of its firm tannins, this makes the young ’07 come off as a bit drier by comparison.”
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2006 Langhe Costa Russi is a bit reticent at first, and two of the three bottles I tasted showed elements of reduction that eventually blew off. A gorgeous center of soft perfumed fruit lies behind the slightly unfocused bouquet. The wine reveals notable clarity and detail once it opens up in the glass, with dark cherries, flowers and minerals that linger on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Black Friday Special

Castello di Gabbiano at $20+ Off the Next Best Price

When we get a chance to offer a wine for more than $20 off the next best price, we’re very, very interested.  When that producer is an icon of their region and the bottling is one of their very best—we’re in all the way. In this case, we’re offering two vintages of Castello di Gabbiano’s top Chianti Gran Selezione (the excellent “Bellezza” bottling at prices that are stunning compared to the rest of the market.

Castello di Gabbiano is one of the most notable producers of Chianti Classico—a historic estate that’s pushed forward into the 21st century as one of the most important producers of Chianti out there.  Their top wine is the Chianti Gran Selezione “Bellezza,” a 100% Sangiovese that challenges the best in Brunello and Chianti.  These are wines that drink well young but also will reward bottle age.

We’re offering a mini-vertical of the wines from two excellent vintages at astounding pricing—up to $22 less than the next best price online.  These will run you less than $25/btl by the six-pack, and at that price are some of the best buys in the world of wine.  They just arrived, perfect for December drinking.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2012 750ML ($59.95) $28 special
Case-6 Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2012 750ML ($359.95) $149 special (that’s only $24.83/bottle!)
James Suckling 92 points
“A wine with a wonderful depth of fruit but slightly marked by the new wood. Full body, round and silky tannins and a medium finish. This needs two or three years to come together in the bottle. A solid red.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Editor’s Choice. Baked plum, Asian spice, vanilla and menthol aromas carry the nose. The elegantly structured palate offers fleshy black cherry, licorice, mint and well-integrated French oak alongside fine-grained tannins that lend firm, polished support. A coffee note marks the finish.”
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The 2012 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Bellezza is plump, juicy and expressive. Succulent red cherries, plums, sweet spices, leather and smoke flesh out nicely in the glass. The aromatics are slightly forward, which leads me to believe the 2012 will not be a long-term ager. Still, today the Bellezza is attractive and immediate, both qualities that make it an excellent choice for near term drinking.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
The average listed price across all vintages is $43
Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2013 750ML ($59.95) $28 special
Case-6 Castello di Gabbiano Bellezza, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2013 750ML ($359.95) ($359.95) $149 special (that’s only $24.83/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 92 points
“This is settling into a nice groove, in a contemporary style, offering plum, black cherry, earth and tobacco flavors, framed by spicy oak. Balanced and beefy, with a long, spice-tinged aftertaste. Drink now through 2027. 2,000 cases made, 1,350 cases imported.”
James Suckling 92 points “Plenty of new wood at the moment with berry and chocolate undertones. Full body, round and juicy tannins and a flavorful finish. A little overdone but still outstanding. Drink now.”
Antonio Galloni 91 points “Gabbiano’s 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Bellezza is terrific. Succulent red cherry, woodsmoke, tobacco and licorice all flesh out in this soft, open-knit Riserva. A sheen of oak does not really seem to add much and in fact masks some of the purity of the fruit. Even so, the 2013 is very nicely done in this style.”
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “Made entirely with Sangiovese, this opens with aromas of black plum, vanilla, eucalyptus and a touch of ginger. The savory, balanced palate doles out ripe black cherry, licorice, white pepper and cedar alongside fine-grained tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $46.99
Black Friday Special

Top Notch Meursault Under $25

The Matrot family crafts the well-known Thierry et Pascale Matrot Burgundies. These are delicious wines, farmed with care (and organically without certification), and available for incredible prices, especially on our Black Friday sale. What’s less well known is that sometimes the domaine bottles the same exact wines under the smaller label, Pierre Matrot, for confusing legal reasons that only Burgundy wines seem to engender.

Here’s Clive Coates, Master of Wine and author of the definitive book on Burgundy: The Wines of Burgundy, on the subject: “For legal and inheritance reasons there are two domaines here, though everything is made by Thierry Matrot and his wife Pascale. Sometimes theirs is labeled as Pierre Matrot, Thierry’s father: this includes all the Blagny, red and white. The larger remainder, Joseph Matrot, is bought by Thierry and Pascale and is now sold under their label… Other wines can have either label. But it is all the same wine.”

Or Allen Meadows of Burghound on the subject: “Note that ‘Domaines Matrot’ refers to Domaine Pierre Matrot and Domaine Thierry et Pascale Matrot. Thierry Matrot is the winemaker for both and the wines are identical.”

This legalistic twisting is all in your favor. Why? Because the smaller label gets overlooked by wine buyers, retailers and importers alike. That means a savvy wine shop like us can swoop in and buy out the inventory for a song.

The “Thierry et Pascale Matrot” label is selling for $69.99 on Wine Searcher. We’re offering the Pierre Matrot label for under $25/bottle by the case. It’s the three for one offer of the season that would be absurd to pass up. Especially one proclaimed ‘outstanding’ and ‘recommended’ by Burghound.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Pierre Matrot Meursault, Cote de Beaune 2014 750ML ($59.95) $29 special
Case-12 Pierre Matrot Meursault, Cote de Beaune 2014 750ML ($699.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 90 points
“Lean, racy and savory, offering mineral-inflected apple and citrus flavors. Tightens up, with a long aftertaste echoing the fruit, mineral and oyster shell accents. Best from 2018 through 2024. 420 cases imported.”
Burghound 89 points “OUTSTANDING. An ultra-fresh and attractively well-layered nose features notes of hazelnut, pear, white peach and floral scents. There is once again good volume coupled with excellent delineation on the tension and mineral-inflected medium-bodied flavors that deliver really lovely depth and length for a villages level wine. Recommended.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $69.99 (for the identical wine labeled as Thierry et Pascale Matrot)

Sale Price Limited to Stock on Hand

Black Friday Special

Our California Pinot & Syrah Offer of the Year

Chateau St. Jean Benoist Ranch Wines for a Fraction of Other Listings

50% & 75% Off the Next Best Prices!
Chateau St. Jean is well known for their budget-friendly varietal wines, but their single vineyard collection features the terroir of Benoist Ranch, a coveted property in the Sonoma Coast where the cool maritime climate produces wines of richness, intensity and balance. It makes for fantastic juice, particularly in the 2014 vintage, which was a true winner for Pinot Noir and other reds from Sonoma.

The best part? We’re making their elite cuvee budget friendly for you. We’re offering the Syrah at over half off the next best price and the Pinot for almost 75% off the next best price!

Buy now before it’s all snapped up.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Chateau St Jean Benoist Ranch Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2014 750ML ($69.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Chateau St Jean Benoist Ranch Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 750ML ($799.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $70
That’s over $50 more PER BOTTLE by the case
Chateau St Jean Benoist Ranch Syrah, Sonoma County 2014 750ML ($59.95) $24 special
Case-12 Chateau St Jean Benoist Ranch Syrah, Sonoma County 2014 750ML ($599.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
James Suckling 94 points
“This is a big and rich wine with lots of dried berry and chocolate character. Full body, layered and rich. Very long and flavorful. Drink now.”
Wine Advocate 93 points “Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Syrah Benoist Ranch has notes of preserved plums, blueberry pie and black forest cake with hints of Indian spices, violets and charcoal. Medium to full-bodied, the structure on the mouth is seamless and fine, defining the berry preserves flavors and finishing long and perfumed.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $50
That’s almost $30 more PER BOTTLE by the case!
Champagne Season Starts Now

Just like Thanksgiving is the unofficial starting time to put up a Christmas tree, it also marks the beginning of what we think of as Champagne Season (though, we’ll note, Champagne is awesome all year).  Between parties, holiday gifting and special meals, we go through an incredible quantity of great Champagne this time of year.  To help kick things off right, we’ve got a selection of our favorite Champagnes for gifting/special occasions below, plus a few of our favorites for big gatherings, but you can also view the entire selection in our webstore.

Special Occasion/Gifting Wines
Krug Brut, Champagne (Gift Box Packaged) 2004 750ML ($299.95) $259 special
Antonio Galloni 97+ points
“Krug’s 2004 Vintage is absolutely mesmerizing. Layers of bright, chiseled fruit open up effortlessly as the wine fleshes out with time in the glass. Persistent and beautifully focused, with a translucent sense of energy, the 2004 captures all the best qualities of the year. Moreover, the 2004 is clearly superior to the consistently underwhelming 2002 and the best Krug Vintage since 1996. Readers who can find it should not hesitate, as it is a magical bottle.”
Wine Advocate 97 points “Combining subtleness with complexity, the coolish Krug 2004 Brut opens with a highly elegant, fascinatingly clear, bright and refreshing bouquet of ripe (apple) fruits. Dense and round, with a delicate mineral soul, the pure but perfectly balanced 2004 reveals great finesse and weightless elegance with a long and round finish. This is a gorgeous Krug vintage that is 14 years old but still on the rise. Tasted from ID 316034 in New York in November 2018.”-SR
Decanter 97 points “This is the current and latest vintage release from Krug, and is a fitting successor to 2002, though it’s very different in style – unusually, the blend contains more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir. Despite this, it is hallmark Krug with its oxidative profile. It has a luminous freshness and good density without heaviness. There’s a controlled power to this poised, vinous, linear 2004, displaying candied fruits, minerals, gingerbread, white chocolate, caramel and marzipan. This has a long, dry autolytic finish, great balance and lovely bead. Disgorged just after the next, and very different, vintage we tasted, the Krug 2003. Drinking Window 2017-2037.”

Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($339.95) $249 special
Case-6 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($1,699.95) $1,439 special (that’s only $239.83/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 100 points
“Top Cellar Selection. This latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable: Apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Roederer’s own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic, the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years. Drink from 2020.”
James Suckling 100 points “Disgorged October 2016 and will be the first Cristal to be released ten years from harvest when it is offered in 2018. 35 parcels used from a possible 45 in this vintage. The assemblage is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach, lemon and yellow grapefruit, and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas. The yeast characters are also super fresh, and there are subtle woody notes, with a hint of vanilla bean and light spices. The palate is super long, and very pure, powerful and focused. It drives deep and taut. Pinot noir is a strong core and the chardonnay sits at the edge offering lemon and white nectarine sorbet flavors. Staggeringly concentrated, yet the balance makes it seem airy and light. Acidity is perfectly positioned, and the power is intense and long. This is an ultra precise Cristal, finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Impressive on release, this will be at its best drinking from 2025.”
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “The 2008 Cristal is a perfect wine, and Champagne simple does not get any better. This incredible wine offers a beautiful perfume of clean, crisp fruits, layers of complexity in its toasted spice and white flowers, and an utterly seamless, yet powerful style on the palate. This is a rich, decadent expression of Cristal yet it’s still crystalline and elegant, with no sensation of weight, and it just glides over the palate. Haut Couture at its finest and this majestic, profound, legendary Cristal can be drunk anytime over the coming 2-3 decades.”
Antonio Galloni 98+ points “The 2008 Cristal is a wine that takes over all the senses and never lets up. The brilliance and cut of the Chardonnay finds an extra kick of resonance from the Pinot Noir to carry the mid palate and finish in this stunningly beautiful, chiseled Champagne. Lemon oil, almond, flowers, dried herbs and Mirabelle plum are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop as the 2008 shows off its pedigree. The 2008 is a regal, towering Champagne from Roederer. That’s all there is to it.”

Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millenaires, Champagne 2004 750ML ($199.95) $169 special
Decanter 97 points
“It says much that Charles Heidsieck went for the 2004, not the richer 2002, as the long-awaited successor to the epic 1995 Millenaires – the ’04 has an admirable beauty and finesse in the classic mould that fits the style of this wine so well. It’s an intriguing blend of great Chardonnays from Oger, Mesnil, Avize and Cramant, but also from Vertus, a premier cru punching above its weight. Vanilla and butter flatter this wine famously, but there’s no oak. It has controlled richness, with precision and purity ruling over the green and tropical fruits. A magnificent champagne with impressively elegant acidity, a triumph now and for years to come. Disgorged in 2016. Drinking Window 2020 – 2035.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “A seamless Champagne, showing a texture of raw silk, this weaves vibrant acidity with an expressive range of glazed apple and poached white cherry fruit flavors, with pickled ginger and saffron spice details and rich notes of pastry cream, toast and coffee liqueur. More about finesse than power, this is long and creamy on the mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2028. [Reviewed Dec 2018]”

Deutz “Amour de Deutz” Blanc de Blancs Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($199.95) $159 special
Decanter 97 points
“Amour was created by Deutz’s long-standing managing director, Fabrice Rosset. It’s a prestige blanc de blancs which is only made in the best years, so there was little surprise when Deutz produced an Amour from the highly acclaimed 2008 vintage. This really has it all: freshness, extract, power, balance and concentration. Already, the primary nose shows chamomile and iris, while the palate is crammed with white fruits, nougat, chamomile, candied fruit and minerals. Deutz’s signature spine-tingling acidity balances out the weight and creamy texture of this generous, well structured fizz. It’s fabulous as an aperitif now but it will also develop well into old age as a gastronomic wine with delicate seafood dishes. 40,000 bottles produced.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The citrus-colored 2008 Amour de Deutz Brut Millésime is still yeasty on the nose, but very clear and elegant on the palate. This is a super pure and mineral, well-balanced Millésime with a long, intense and persistent finish. This is full of tension and finesse. A great wine.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “[Review is for 375ml] This wine is rich and surprisingly full-bodied. It comes from a great Champagne vintage, giving it both intensity and an acidity built for longterm aging. This half-bottle version is filling out, showing almond flavors yet retaining its citrus edge. Drink from 2019.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2008 Brut Millésimé Amour de Deutz is gorgeous. Bright and focused in the glass, the 2008 is full of nuance. A hint of reduction adds complexity without overpowering the wine. Crushed rocks, lemon confit and passion fruit flavors offer an appealing interplay of brightness and more overt flavors. The Amour is one of the more open, accessible 2008s readers will come across at this stage. Today, it is particularly expressive.”

Deutz “Amour de Deutz” Rose Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2008 Brut Rosé Millésimé Amour de Deutz is gorgeous and crystalline in the glass, as Champagnes from this vintage tend to be. Light on its feet yet also quite intense, the 2008 exudes energy in its finely sculpted red berry, floral and mineral-infused notes. The 2008 could use a bit more time in bottle to soften, but it is undeniably beautiful, even at this early stage.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “Deutz’ Millésime 2008 Amour de Deutz Rosé Brut shows a pale but brilliant salmon color and a clear, delicate bouquet of discreet red fruits as well as very fine spicy and floral notes. The palate is highly delicate and fresh, firmly structured and nicely dry, with good, dense, aromatic and well-structured length. However, the wine is still young and not yet perfectly round.” [Review is for lot LA112D32216]
Wine Spectator 93 points “Spring blossom and mineral notes waft through the flavors of white cherry, star fruit and marzipan in this elegant rosé Champagne, while the sleek acidity is finely meshed and carries the flavor range on the lacy finish. Drink now through 2028.”

Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($179.95) $139 special
Case-6 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($999.95) $799 special (that’s only $133.17/bottle!)
Decanter 97 points
“A classic, slow-maturing year picked into October. It’s a pale, pristine hue – a beautifully assembled mix of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Aÿ, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzy, Verzenay and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, combining saline-wrapped orchard fruits with great Pinot Noir subtlety yet strength. THE aperitif Champagne, but also try with sea trout. Drinking Window 2020 – 2030.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “An elegant Champagne, powered by a sculpted frame of acidity and minerality, this wears the refined, lacy mousse and well-meshed flavors of black currant, lemon curd, toast and marzipan like finely tailored clothing. Fresh and lasting, with hints of spice and smoke on the finish. Disgorged August 2016. Drink now through 2033.”

Great Champagnes to Buy in Bulk
Charles Heidsieck Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92 points
“($69) Based on the 2010 vintage and disgorged in 2018 with 11 grams per liter dosage, the latest release of the NV Brut Réserve incorporates fully 40% of reserve wines that average ten years of age. It’s an excellent Champagne, wafting from the glass with a complex bouquet of brioche, waxy lemon rind, mandarin and dried white flowers. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, rich but precise, with a brisk mousse, a generous core of fruit and a precise, elegantly chalky finish. This cuvée just goes from strength to strength, and for now, it remains a great value, considering its depth and complexity.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 1.5L ($99.95) $89 special
John Gilman 90 points
“I believe that this bottle of André Clouet “Silver” Blanc de Noirs non-vintage Brut Nature is from the base year of 2013, as it has a small code printed on the back of the neck label that says “LS13”. In any case, the wine is quite good, showing that lovely structural rounding from a bit of additional aging in the cellars. The bouquet offers up scents of apple, nectarine, bread dough, a good base of soil and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and nicely balanced, with refined mousse, bright, nicely-integrated acids and a long, complex finish. This is a quite good bottle of Brut Nature. 2019-2030+.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Thierry Triolet Cuvee Grande Reserve Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) $36 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points
“Pale gold. Intense citrus and orchard fruit aromas are complicated by notes of honeysuckle, tarragon and iodine. Chewy tangerine and pear skin flavors become silkier and spicier with aeration. Shows a seductive floral quality on the clinging finish, which features a dusty mineral nuance and a touch of buttered toast.”

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



Collector’s Corner

Get a Jump Start on Holiday Gifting

(To Yourself and Others)

In Stock Now:

Anytime you can get Bonneau, it’s a bit of a coup—especially ’05 Celestins.
Henri Bonneau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve des Celestins, Rhone 2005 750ML ($799.95) $599 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points
“A big, muscular Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the 2005 Henri Bonneau Réserve des Célestins delivers a thrilling array of plum, crème de cassis, roasted garrigue, blood, and hints of graphite on the nose. Absolutely compelling aromatically, with awesome typicity and complexity, this full-bodied, structured effort is thick and rich on the palate, with a layered, concentrated mid-palate, integrated acidity, and blockbuster length on the finish. Given the almost voluptuous texture and quality of fruit, this is a profound drink now; nevertheless, it will benefit from 5-7 years of bottle age, and keep for 2 decades or more. If I had to choose one bottle to represents the essence of traditionally made Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this would be it!”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points “Full ruby. Huge, room-filling bouquet of blackberry compote, cherry, potpourri and cured tobacco, along with an intense spicy quality and a hint of orange zest. Palate-staining dark fruit flavors are braced by a strong mineral component and complicated by star anise and candied lavender nuances. Refuses to let up on the finish, which emphatically echoes the dark berry and lavender notes. There are tannins lurking in here but they’re buried beneath this wine’s powerful fruit.”

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

’77 remains a legendary year for Port for a reason and Fladgate absolutely crushed it.
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 1977 750ML ($349.95) $299 special
Note on condition of bottles: labels and bottles show wear and tear of 40 years in cellar.
Wine Spectator 97 points “Good ruby color still. The nose is fresh, with lots of crushed berry and plum, with a hint of piecrust. Full-bodied, with firm tannins and a caressing texture. This delivers loads of complex fruit and spiciness. Medium-sweet. A beauty. Will improve for decades, but why wait? ’77/’85/’97 blind Port retrospective. Drink now.”
Robert Parker 96 points “This house must certainly be the Latour of Portugal. Their ports are remarkably backward yet still impressive when young. Of all the vintage ports, those of Taylor need the longest time to mature and even when fully mature seem to have an inner strength and firmness that keep them going for decades. Their tawnys are also among the very best, though somewhat expensive. The 1977 has consistently been at the top of my list of vintage ports in this great vintage, although the Dow, Graham, and Fonseca are equally splendid. It is a mammoth, opaque, statuesque vintage port of remarkable depth and power, but is should not be touched before 2000.”

Chapoutier’s Pavillon is a flagship bottling of Hermitage and ’13 is a great vintage.
M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon, Rhone 2013 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Wine Advocate 98+ points
“The star of the show in 2013 is the 2013 Ermitage le Pavillon. Coming from the west and eastern edges of the Bessards lieu-dit and aged in 30% new French oak, its sensational black/blue color is followed by the awesome bouquet of cassis, smoked earth, graphite and caramelized meats that could come from no other terroir in the world. Full-bodied, massive, dense, sexy and with a liquid rock-like character that comes out with time in the glass, it has sweet tannin and a blockbuster finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. It needs 5-6 years of cellaring and will have 30-40 years of more of ultimate longevity.”
Josh Raynolds 96 points “Saturated ruby. Pungent, spice- and mineral-accented aromas of dark fruits, candied violet and licorice pick up a peppery topnote in the glass. Sappy, incisive and pure, offering vivacious, deeply concentrated black raspberry and boysenberry flavors and a spicy topnote. The endless finish shows superb clarity and power, harmonious tannins and a strong mineral quality.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Racy and tightly coiled in feel, with a bright iron spine and tangy sanguine and pepper notes amid the core of cassis, bitter cherry and damson plum fruit. Shows terrific cut and precision. Minerality courses through the finish. Best from 2019 through 2030.”

This is a Merlot built to challenge Petrus and L’Evangile.
Kapcsandy Family Winery Roberta’s Reserve, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($499.95) $399 special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“Made from 100% Merlot, the 2015 Merlot Roberta’s Reserve has a deep garnet-purple color and gorgeous nose of black plums, warm blueberries and mocha with touches of anise, red roses and spice box. Medium to full-bodied and densely packed with layers of blue and black fruits and perfumed notions, it has a firm yet plush backbone to support and a very long, layered finish.”
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 96 points “Saturated ruby-red. Brooding, medicinal scents of dark cherry, menthol and licorice. Boasts outstanding breadth and density of material, with its expressive flavors of black cherry, dark berries, spices and bitter chocolate complicated by salty minerality and lifted by a subtle floral quality. This distinctly soil-driven wine is showing more personality today than the ’16 and should reach its plane of peak drinkability earlier. And yet my sample tightened up in the glass to show a rather powerful tannic spine. (14.4% alcohol; 100% Merlot; from fruit harvested three weeks earlier than in 2016; 88% new French, 3% new Hungarian and 9% second-fill French)”
Robert Parker 95-98 points “Their 100% Merlot cuvée, the 2015 Merlot Roberta’s Reserve, is another fabulous product with outstanding purity, great balance, loads of chocolate, black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, silky, juicy tannins and terrific concentration, depth and overall balance. It will also be approachable upon release and last 20-25 years.”

The only collectible rosé?
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Rosado, Rioja DOCa 2009 750ML ($299.95) $199 special
James Suckling 95 points
“Attractive, sweetly aromatic, red-floral perfume with dried red cherries and some dried strawberries, too. Only hints of leather here. The palate has a beautifully fresh, succulent and elegantly focused feel with a long sleeve of dried-cherry flavor and gently nutty notes to close. Dry, long and mouthwatering finish. Drink now.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94 points “Light bright amber-hued orange. Mineral- and spice-accented red currant and cherry scents, joined by building herb and floral nuances. Shows noteworthy depth as well as energy to the bitter cherry, succulent herb, spicecake and blood orange flavors, which turn sweeter as the wine stretches out. Finishes extremely long and chewy, with resonating floral and red fruit character and a lingering suggestion of fennel. Aged for four years in neutral American oak barrels and racked twice a year.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93+ points “The unique and personal 2009 Viña Tondonia Rosado Gran Reserva is a little darker than the 2008 I tasted next to it. It also feels a little riper and nuttier, with some traces of ripe apricots and flowers. It’s also fuller and not as sharp as the 2008 and has a dry, chalky/stony palate. These are unique wines that develop in bottle for a long time. 14,200 bottles were filled in April 2015.”

Old, old, Colheita Port is a rare thing indeed and Burmester excels in the style.
Burmester Colheita Port, Portugal 1952 750ML ($449.95) $349 special
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“This is an astonishing wine for its age. It shines with fruit and with rich toffee flavors that are balanced by acidity. It’s a warm, ripe wine, intense and concentrated. The dryness of such a long wood aging (the wine was only bottled in 2015) is really only a background to the richness.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 1952 Colheita, bottled in November 2015, is a field blend coming in at 127.9 grams per liter of residual sugar. When people talk about old Tawnies being dried out, maybe they should taste this. Lush, surprisingly fresh and enticingly sweet on the finish, this is a rather elegant Burmester that is perfectly balanced and very friendly, yet nicely concentrated. It proves its age by the fine tension on the finish coupled with the complex medley of flavors that old Tawnies produce. The acidity gives this some life and vigor that many others do not have. It retains that classic, long finish. This seems so young and lively that it will be hard to stop drinking it. It doesn’t immediately make you go “wow,” but it is so easy to drink that you may not stop until there’s none left.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Burgundy Bin End Sale
We have a ton of Burgundy available right now. Between wines that are in stock and pre-arrival offerings, you have your choice of 528 different bottlings to purchase.  Unfortunately, when you have that many wines to choose from a few slip through the cracks—and so we’re doing a bin end sale on some delicious but overlooked bottles of Burgundy.  From village wines to grand crus, red to white, we’ve dropping prices on a bunch of different bottles that need a bit of extra love.  We’ve got the full list below, but you can also shop the entire sale in our web store if you want to jump straight to it.
Thanks for reading!