Vinopolis February 24 Newsletter

February 24, 2014

Jump Start Sale


Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes 2007 ($349.95) $279 special
Robert Parker 100 points
 “The perfect 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes (tasted on four separate occasions) is composed of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and the rest Mourvedre and other authorized varietals from 60- to 100+-year-old vines. The wine is aged in both tank (75%) and small oak barrels (25%). Its inky/purple color is followed by a phenomenal nose of spring flowers, creme de cassis, blackberries, boysenberries, licorice, truffles, and spice. Displaying massive body, incredible freshness, laser-like focus from the excellent acids, and a finish that goes on well past a minute, this prodigious Chateauneuf du Pape is the most extraordinary wine yet made at this estate. While accessible (as most 2007s are), ideally it needs 4-5 years of cellaring, and should keep for three decades.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today.
The average listed price is $310 / bottle

Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Chaupin 2010 ($149.95) $119 special
Robert Parker 98 points 
“The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Chaupin rivals the 2007 Chaupin (to date the best Chaupin I have yet tasted). Made from 100% Grenache (3/4 destemmed), it boasts a dense black/purple color as well as unbelievable notes of raspberries, black cherries, licorice, truffles, camphor, forest floor and garrigue. This wine is stunningly concentrated, incredibly noble, precise and expansive on the palate with mouth-saturating intensity, glycerin and extract. It is an amazing example of impeccably grown old vine Grenache translated into a natural yet full-throttle red.”

This matches the lowest listed price in the USA today.
A listed price @ $110 / bottle represents torn labels

Westrey Abbey Ridge Pinot Noir 2012 ($39.95) $36 special
Westrey Oracle Pinot Noir 2011 ($29.95) $26 special

Va Piano Bruno’s Merlot 2011 ($24.95) $19.90 special
Winemaker’s Note “Showcasing fruit from Walla Walla & Columbia Valley’s, our Merlot highlights many of the vintage characteristics of the 2011 growing season. With a vibrant ruby color, an earthiness initially emanates from the glass along with candied cherries and a hint of clove spice on the nose. Incredibly smooth on the palate, you’ll experience hints of tobacco, sweet vanilla and herbal overtones. The perfect everyday medium-bodied wine for light pasta dishes, a meat and cheese plate or sipping on the porch with friends.”

Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet Combettes 2011 ($119.95) $99 special
Burghound 93 points 
‘SWEET SPOT OUTSTANDING’ “(the first vintage of this wine for Boillot, following his recent purchase of this parcel):  Pale green-tinged color.  Sexy aromas of lemon, lime, ripe stone fruits and hazelnut.  Lush and fine-grained, with silky flavors of stone fruits and hazelnut.  Can’t quite match the Folatieres for finesse, but this has more volume and power.”

Henri Boillot Volnay Caillerets 2011 ($119.95) $99 special
Burghound 94 points 
‘DON’T MISS! OUTSTANDING’ “In contrast to the jovial expressiveness of the prior wines this is much more reserved with its ripe yet cool aromas of dark berry fruit liqueur, spice and wet stone. The silky and equally cool and restrained middle weight flavors offer outstanding definition on the rich, energetic and hugely long saline-infused finish. This is one seriously impressive Caillerets but note well that it’s built to age.”

Henri Boillot Pommard 2010 ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 90-92 points
 “The 2010 Pommard is pure sensuality. Sweet roses, dark red fruit and spices wrap around the palate in this supple, refined wine. The Pommard impresses for its elegance and richness. It is a beautiful and highly representative 2010. Sweet floral notes linger on the finish. The Pommard is made from vines in Clos Blanc, a 1er Cru vineyard. – Henri Boillot turned out a superb set of 2010 reds. Best of all, readers won’t have to shell out a fortune to enjoy them, as a number of the more modestly priced wines far exceed the quality of their respective appellations”

Henri Boillot Savigny Lavieres 2010 ($59.95) $49 special
Burghound 94 points 
‘DON’T MISS! OUTSTANDING’ “A strikingly well-layered, elegant and pure nose of honeysuckle, apple, pear and notably ripe white orchard fruit aromas are trimmed in soft wood. There is a lovely sense of freshness to the cool and restrained yet succulent medium weight flavors that possess a highly sophisticated mouth feel before terminating in a balanced, classy and stunningly intense finish. This offers absolutely crystalline purity and epitomizes Pucelles at its finest.”

Henri Boillot Volnay 2010 ($59.95) $49 special
Burghound 90 points
 ‘OUTSTANDING TOP VALUE’ “This is more aromatically reserved with an elegant nose of red and dark pinot fruit, earth and an interesting note of smoked tea. There is even more refinement to the mouth feel of the lightly mineral-infused medium-bodied flavors that possess a dusty and rather serious finish of impeccable balance and persistence. This may be labeled as a villages but it’s easily of 1er quality.”

Henri Boillot Pommard Rugiens 2011 ($119.95) $99 special
Stephen Tanzer 91-94 points 
“Bright dark red with ruby highlights.  Noble perfume of redcurrant, tobacco, mint, spices and medicinal herbs.  Peppery, spicy and dynamic; not at all a thick style but light on its feet and youthfully imploded.  Finishes very long and subtle, with a medicinal juicy element and a very firm tannic backbone.  This will need extended bottle aging.”

Henri Boillot Volnay Chevrets 2011 ($99.95) $77 special
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points 
“Bright red-ruby.  Rather brooding aromas of cassis, blackberry, smoke and licorice are pure and discreet.  Surprisingly rich on entry, then lush and seamless in the middle, but with very good acidity framing and lifting the black fruit and game flavors.  The powerful, rising finish features building tannins and a distinct thick-skinned character.  The old vines in Boillot’s parcel were strongly affected by millerandage, which largely explains this wine’s extra measure of texture and concentration.”

Henri Boillot Volnay Santenots 2011 ($119.95) $99 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points
 “Deep red-ruby.  Black raspberry, dark chocolate, game and a wild hint of leather on the nose, with a floral element emerging with air.  Sweet, rich, broad and deep, boasting a velour-like, utterly mouthfilling texture that’s rare for the vintage.  Excellent acidity gives this firmly tannic, very long wine terrific energy and lift.  Very strong Santenots.”

Georges Noellat Vosne Romanee Beaux Monts 2009 ($99.95) $79 special
Georges Noellat Vosne Romanee Beaux Monts 1985 ($179.95) $149 special

Dominique Lafon Beaune Epenottes 2010 ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 91 points
 “The 2010 Beaune Epenottes fleshes out beautifully in the glass with dark red berries, spices and licorice. This is an incredibly expressive, layered wine built on a serious core of fruit buffered by the vibrant minerality of the year. Anticipated maturity: 2012+.”

Chateau De La Tour Clos De Vougeot 2009 ($199.95) $149 special
Burghound 94 points
 “Visible but reasonably well-integrated wood sets off somber, very ripe and distinctly earthy dark berry fruit liqueur aromas. There is impressive richness to the powerful broad-shouldered flavors that brim with dry extract that does an excellent job of buffering the very firm tannins on the beautifully balanced, long and quite serious finish.”

Chateau De La Tour Clos De Vougeot 2010 ($179.95) $139 special
Burghound 92-95 points 
“Deep ruby. Here the wood is relatively generous and less well-integrated though the aromatic profile of the ever-so-slightly riper nose is otherwise quite similar. There is more size, weight, power and concentration to the imposingly constructed flavors that are both supported and shaped by the tightly wound and extremely firm tannins, all wrapped in a mouth coating and hugely persistent finish. This displays terrific potential but it is a wine to buy only if you have the wherewithal and patience to wait.”

Dominique Laurent Bonnes Mares 2010 ($329.95) $269 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points 
“(from 100-year-old vines):  Deep red with ruby highlights.  Wild, slightly reduced aroma dominated by black raspberry.  Sappy, saline and mouthfilling, with the black fruit flavors carrying through on the palate.  Most impressive today on the extremely long aftertaste, which features substantial dusty tannins and strong soil tones.  Has the material to handle its 100% new oak.”

Dominique Laurent Grands Echezeaux 2010 ($399.95) $329 special
Stephen Tanzer 93-96 points 
“(from the same pinot material as the Echezeaux, with the vines owned by two cousins): Good bright, full red. Crushed black cherry and subtle earth tones on the pure, vibrant nose; more closed than the Echezeaux. Darker in fruit character, with distinctly rocky notes of minerals, violet and rose petal. Showing less obvious texture than the Echezeaux but this offers greater finesse. Very long and aromatic on the aftertaste, with tannins barely noticeable today. These vines are situated very close to Musigny, according to Laurent.”

Jean Marc Bouley Volnay 2010 ($49.95) $39 special
Burghound 88-91 points 
“This offers a big step up in both aromatic complexity as well as elegance with its cool red berry fruit nose replete with violet and anise hints. There is good richness and fine volume with ample mid-palate concentration to the refined middle weight flavors as the supporting tannins possess a very fine grain, all wrapped in a balanced, intense and solidly long finish. There is a touch of youthful austerity but I suspect that the backend will flesh out relatively quickly.”

Jean Jacques Confuron Chambolle-Musigny 2010 ($64.95) $49 special
Burghound 87-90 points 
“A very pretty and perfumed nose features notes of raspberry, violets and cassis that are in keeping with the solidly ripe, rich and agreeably round flavors that possess good volume yet a delicate mouth feel, all wrapped in a broad and utterly delicious finish. This generous offering is very Chambollesque in character.”

Meo Camuzet Clos De Vougeot 2010 ($349.95) $279 special
Burghound 92-95 points 
“This is slightly riper with hints of menthol to the densely fruited nose of cassis, plum and black berry liqueur aromas. There is a high degree of phenolic maturity to the structural elements that shape the very rich, mouth coating and hugely long finish. While this is not quite as youthfully austere as it usually is, it’s still going to require close to 20 years of cellar time so this is by no means forward. Once again, the quality is exceptional and this is another wine that could match, or even surpass, its 2005 counterpart.”

Faiveley Corton Clos De Corton 2011 ($199.95) $149 special
Stephen Tanzer 93-96 points 
“Good deep red. A bit darker on the nose than the grand crus from Gevrey-Chambertin, offering explosive aromas of crushed raspberry, black cherry, exotic spices and a touch of smoke. Compellingly rich and seamless in the mouth, with terrific sappy verve to the urgent flavors of red berries, minerals and game. The very long, slowly rising finish boasts outstanding energy and thrust and saturates the mouth with sweet perfume.”

Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin Cazetiers 2011 ($99.95) $79 special
Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin Cazetiers 2011 1.5L ($199.95) $169 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points 
“Good bright, full red. Knockout perfume of raspberry and rose petal offers an element of lift that I associate more with Clos Saint-Jacques. Then sappy and vibrant in the mouth, with outstanding purity and salty intensity to the flavors of red fruits and blood orange. Utterly fine-grained premier cru with perfectly harmonious acidity. The very long, rising finish features terrific floral, mineral lift. A great Cazetiers in the making.”

Faiveley Nuits St Georges Les St Georges 2011 ($129.95) $109 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points 
“Bright, deep red.  Lovely high-pitched perfume of cranberry, raspberry, rose petal and crushed stone, accented by a pungent whiff of blood orange.  Silky, sweet and seamless, conveying an impression of density without any weight.  Broad, savory and dry on the back half, finishing with wonderfully suave tannins and outstanding building length.  Superb.”

Faiveley Puligny- Montrachet Folatieres 2011 ($99.95) $79 special
Burghound 90-93 points
 ‘OUTSTANDING’ “A beautifully complex, cool and elegant nose of acacia blossom, white orchard fruit and plenty of wet stone nuances complements the equally stony, intense and ultra-pure medium weight flavors that possess outstanding detail and verve. I very much like the balance and refinement and this should be accessible young as there is fine mid-palate concentration and plenty of extract which imparts a fleshy mouth feel.”

Faiveley Volnay Santenots 2011 ($79.95) $66 special
Burghound 90-92 points 
“As would typically be the case this is notably riper than the Frémiets with notes of cassis, plum and black cherry. There is equally good phenolic maturity to the quite solidly structured and even robust flavors that exhibit a taut muscularity before terminating in a delicious and complex finish. This is much less refined and mineral-driven but there is just more depth and a bit more persistence as well though patience will be necessary”

Domaine Des Lambrays Clos Des Lambrays 2011 ($199.950) $179 special
Stephen Tanzer 94 points 
“Bright, deep red. Showy nose melds cherry, raspberry, white pepper, coffee, spices and smoky underbrush. Utterly suave, silky and fine-grained, but with firm tannins giving the fairly full mid-palate plenty of support for two decades or more of positive development in bottle. Most impressive today on the very long, subtle, rising finish, which leaves the mouth feeling refreshed.”
Burghound 93 points “This offers a further step up in aromatic complexity with its ripe and expressive nose of red berry fruit liqueur, cassis, plum and violets. There is a very suave and seductive texture to the medium weight plus flavors that possess an abundance of mouth coating extract, all wrapped in a long, balanced and delicious finish where a touch of wood is in evidence. This is certainly very good but somewhat curiously it does not seem to separate itself as much as usual from the Les Loups though it is clearly more structured.”

Jacques Selosse Exquise Sec NV ($299.95) $249 special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “Pale gold with a slow bead. Exotically perfumed, complex bouquet of dried orchard fruits, licorice, white flowers, iodine and peat; this smells like a great Campbeltown whisky, like Springbank. Mellow pear, yellow plum and honeysuckle flavors are lifted by a suave citrus note, which adds energy and cut. This is a high-dosage wine, but the impression is more of delicacy than sweetness. Finishes on a strong mineral note, with excellent persistence.”

Larcis-Ducasse St Emilion 2010 ($179.95) $149 special
Robert Parker 98+ points 
“The wine boasts 14.6% natural alcohol and is a final blend of roughly three-fourths Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, cropped at a ridiculously low 19 hectoliters per hectare. Notes of licorice, garrigue, incense, smoked meats, espresso, creme de cassis and blackberry liqueur jump from the glass of this unbelievably intense wine. Remarkably full, with compelling freshness and precision, this is a fabulous effort in 2010. It will probably close down over the next several years, and not re-emerge for at least a decade, something that often happens with the bigger, richer, more muscular St.-Emilions from the limestone hillsides and plateaux. This is one of the superstars of the vintage and a profound wine. Drink it between 2020 and 2045”

Clarence Haut Brion 2009 ($199.95) $169 special
Robert Parker 92 points
 “The second wine, the 2009 Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, is almost as large a cuvee as the grand vin. This 7,000-case cuvee is a blend of 46% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest small quantities of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Once again the burning ember/scorched earth characteristic that often comes from Haut-Brion is found in the second wine, along with more kirsch and cassis, fewer nuances and less complexity than its bigger sibling. The wine is full-bodied with the minerality offered by this terroir as well as plenty of sweet tannins. This is the finest second wine Haut-Brion has produced since the astonishing 1989 Bahans-Haut-Brion. Enjoy it over the next two decades.”

Cos D’Estournel St-Estephe 2003 ($399.95) $319 special
Robert Parker 98 points 
“The prodigious, fantastic 2003 Cos d’Estournel is a candidate for ‘wine of the vintage.’ A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon (unusually high for this chateau), 30% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, 17,500 cases were produced from low yields. “An inky/blue/purple color is accompanied by a compelling perfume of black fruits, subtle smoke, pain grille, incense, and flowers. With extraordinary richness, full body, and remarkable freshness, elegance, and persistence, this is one of the finest wines ever made by this estate. The good news is that it will be drinkable at a young age yet evolve for three decades or more. Kudos to winemaker Jean-Guillaume Prats and owner Michel Reybier.”

Chateau Leoville Barton St Julien 2003 ($229.95) $179 special
Wine Spectator 98 points 
“Intense blackberry and cherry, with hints of currant. Toasted oak and sweet tobacco too. Roses and other flowers, such as lilacs. Full-bodied, with masses of tannins yet incredibly long and seductive. Best after 2012.”

Leoville Las Cases St Julien 2003 ($279.95) $219 special
Wine Spectator 97 points 
“Incredible nose of crushed berry, licorice, violets and lightly toasted oak. Pure crème de cassis. Full-bodied, with big, velvety tannins and a long, long finish. Solid. Best after 2011.”

Chateau Pontet Canet Pauillac 2003 ($219.95) $199 special
Robert Parker 95 points
 “One cannot say enough about the labors of proprietor Alfred Tesseron, who has personally overseen the dramatic increase in quality of the wines at Pontet-Canet which started in a significant manner with 1994. This is a classic Pauillac-styled wine (meaning oodles of cassis flavors), as one might expect from a vineyard on the plateau of Pauillac, across the street from Mouton-Rothschild.”

Ducru Beaucaillou St Julien 2009 ($299.95) $359 special
Robert Parker 100 points
 “The 2009 Ducru Beaucaillou will eclipse the brilliant wines produced in 2005, 2003 and 2000. It will be interesting to see how the 2009 fares against the 2010 after twenty years of aging, but my money is on the 2009. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot that achieved 13.5% natural alcohol, this inky purple, unctuous wine possesses classic aromas of graphite, creme de cassis, blueberries, violets, licorice and Christmas fruitcake. Full-bodied and intense with Ducru’s inimitable elegance and purity, it should firm up in the bottle after 7-10 years of cellaring and last for 40-50 years. Magnificent!”

Chateau Pontet Canet Pauillac 2010 ($349.95) $299 special
Robert Parker 100 points
 “An astounding, compelling wine with the classic Pauillac nose more often associated with its cross-street neighbor, Mouton-Rothschild, creme de cassis, there are also some violets and other assorted floral notes. The wine has off-the-charts massiveness and intensity but never comes across as heavy, overbearing or astringent. The freshness, laser-like precision, and full-bodied, massive richness and extract are simply remarkable to behold and experience. It is very easy, to become jaded tasting such great wines from a great vintage, but it is really a privilege to taste something as amazing as this…Talk about an estate that is on top of its game!…Kudos to Pontet-Canet!”

Chateau Pavie Saint Emilion 2003 ($379.95) $319 special
Robert Parker 98+ points 
“This 92-acre vineyard, which enjoys an impeccable southern orientation, is composed of limestone on the upper slopes, clay and limestone in the middle, and sand and clay at the base. Proprietor Gerard Perse, who has done a brilliant job since acquiring the estate in 1998, continues to push the envelope of quality to higher and higher heights. Planted with 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes receive kid glove treatment with hand-harvesting into small plastic lugs, two triage tables, and aging for 28 months in 100% new oak that is purchased in advance, then air-dried and coopered according to Perse’s specifications. In short, the man is a perfectionist, and the quality of all the estates he owns has soared dramatically.”

Chapelle D’Ausone St Emilion 2009 ($319.95) $279 special
Robert Parker 92 points 
“Representing nearly half of the production, this estate’s second wine, the 2009 La Chapelle d’Ausone, is an extraordinary effort. Better than many of the grand vins made during the 1970s and 1980s, it is an equal part blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc revealing an inky/blue/purple color along with notes of incense, blueberries, raspberries and crushed rocks (which give the wine a distinctive minerality). Medium to full-bodied as well as exceptionally pure, broad and opulent, it should drink well for two decades or more.”

Chateau Larmande Saint Emilion 2010 ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “Dense and slightly chewy in style, with a strong briary edge to the warm currant confiture and steeped black cherry fruit. A strong roasted alder note on the finish keeps the grippy feel going. This may ultimately lack finesse in the end, even after cellaring, but has some guts and character for sure. Best from 2015 through 2026.”

Eglise-Clinet La Petit Eglise Pomerol 2010 ($99.95) $79 special
Second wine of Chateau l’Eglise-Clinet

Chateau D’Yquem Sauternes 1995 ($299.95) $249 special
Neal Martin Wine Journal 95-97 points 
“Tasted at the chateau. O.K. – I think this is better than the 1990! Intense hue. Brilliant expressive apricot/orangey nose with tonnes of botrytis. Unctuous and fat. Slightly lower in acidity than other vintages. Very concentrated with an incredibly intense finish.”

Chapoutier Cote Rotie La Mordoree 2010 ($179.95) $133 special
Wine Spectator 97 points 
“Packed, with layers of charcoal and tar covering the well-endowed core of braised fig, blackberry pâte de fruit and pastis-soaked plum for now. Alder, olive and bay line the finish, with a terrific graphite spine lending support. Best from 2019 through 2030.”

Chapoutier Chateauneuf Du Pape Barbe Rac 2010 ($119.95) $89 special
Robert Parker 96 points 
“A magnificent effort, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac boasts huge notes of kirsch, exotic herbs, lavender, cedar, fig, black cherry, black currant, licorice and roasted meats. This flamboyant, rich, full-throttle Chateauneuf du Pape should age well for two decades. It will be interesting to follow this wine’s evolution alongside the brilliant 2009 and 2007 Barbe Racs.”

Rabasse Cotes du Rhone 2011 ($17.95) $11.90 special
Importer Note
“This wine is made from 35% Grenache (vines of 10-40 years of age), 15% Syrah (10-30 years of age) and 50% Carignan (20-40 years of age). Forty hectolitres of wine is made per hectare producing a wine of some concentration and balance. It will keep for 2 to 5 years depending on the vintage and manner of storage. It is vinified in reinforced concrete tanks. Serving temperature 15 to 16 °C. The vines all grow on the lower reaches of hillsides facing directly south for maximum sunshine. This is a delicious fruity and aromatic red wine, which will complement any meal- from simple uncomplicated dishes to more complex preparations.”

St. Damien Gigondas La Louisiane 2011 ($34.95) $27 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Inky ruby.  Black and blue fruits on the heady spicy, floral nose.  Offers lush blackberry and mulberry flavors and a touch of mocha, picking up smokiness with air.  Sweet and silky in texture, finishing with strong cut, clarity and cling.  The fruit here seems to have already absorbed the tannins.”

St. Damien Gigondas Les Souteyrades 2011 ($36.95) $29 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“Vivid red.  Highly perfumed aromas of candied red fruits and lavender, with a deeper cherry pit quality gaining power with aeration.  Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering juicy raspberry and boysenberry flavors complicated by sassafras and allspice.  In an exotic style, with plenty of upfront appeal.  Finishes sappy and long, with gentle tannins adding grip.”

Domaine Bory Rivesaltes 1927 ($119.95) $99 special

Castello Dei Rampolla Vigna D’Alceo 2008 ($219.95) $189 special
James Suckling 100 points “Love this. Fabulous aromas of currants and blackberries. Hints of licorice, Indian spices and dried violets. Full-bodied, ultra-fine tannins and amazing fruit, yet so vibrant, racy and balanced. The structure of Margaux with the style of Rampolla. Best ever. Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. From organically grown grapes.”

Mauro Molino Barbera D’Alba 2012 ($17.95) $11.90 special
Mauro Molino Barolo 2009 ($44.95) $36 special
Wine Advocate 90 points 
“The entry-level 2009 Barolo proves to be an elegant and understated wine that needs more time to open. It presents a slow succession of aromas, including dark fruit, cassis, licorice, raw spice and powdered chocolate. Firm but silky tannins hold it together nicely. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2023…90” WA 6/13 “Founded in 1982, Mauro Molino is a young estate that is already seeing the participation of a second generation. Father Mauro Molino works alongside his 29-year-old son Matteo and 24-year-old daughter Martina, who both caught the winemaking bug at an early age. They own 13 hectares of vines, most of which are located in the township of La Morra.”


     New Flash Sales    
Here now – All in limited supply – distributor close-outs

Long Shadows Dance Chardonnay 2011 ($34.95) $26 special
Wine Advocate 91 points
 “Coming all from the estate’s The Benches Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, the 2011 Chardonnay Dance is a 100% barrel-fermented Chardonnay that spent one year in 50% new French oak. Possessing gorgeous Montrachet-like aromas and flavors of toasted nut, brioche, buttered peaches and hints of apple, it is a serious Chardonnay that has medium-bodied richness, a rounded, supple texture and good freshness. Like so many Washington State Chardonnays, it lacks that extra degree of cut and precision on the palate that’s present in the top Chardonnays of the world; nevertheless, it is certainly an outstanding effort that will drink nicely for 3-4 years. Drink now-2016.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The average listed price is $32 / bottle

Sequel Syrah Columbia Valley 2008 1.5L ($119.95) $79 special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points 
“Bursting with sweet toast from the barrel aging, this offers ripe and pretty berry fruit, deep and long, with highlights of oolong tea. The alcohol is not intrusive, and the acidity keeps it buoyed and lively.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The next best listed price is $100.80 / bottle

Failla Chardonnay Keefer Ranch 2009 ($49.95) $29 special
Wine Spectator 91 points 
“Delivers a clean, fresh, vibrant beam of citrus-laced tropical fruit that’s tight and focused, with very subtle touches of light oak and an engagingly long, detailed finish. This has a nice depth of flavor to balance the acidity. Drink now through 2017.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The average listed price is $42 / bottle

Failla Chardonnay Haynes Vineyard 2011 ($59.95) $39 special
Stephen Tanzer 91+ points
 “Bright yellow.  Aromas of lemon and orange blossom, mirabelle, menthol and medicinal herbs.  Superripe and densely packed, with a slightly edgy character to the youthful flavors of mirabelle, spices, tangerine, crystallized lemon peel and wet stone.  Then tightens up dramatically on the dusty, tactile, bracing finish.  Best on the nose today, but this distinctive chardonnay shows a certain delicacy for all its richness.  I’d like to revisit it in five years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The next best listed price is $52.99 / bottle

Failla Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard 2011 ($49.95) $29 special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “(from the F Block, the same parcel that goes into the Kongsgaard chardonnay):  Bright yellow.  Aromas of mirabelle and medicinal herbs; smells a bit like Chartreuse.   Surprisingly big, rich and sweet but with terrific acidity giving cut to the intense lemon curd, wet stone and wild herb flavors.  Superb texture and energy here.  Finishes with palate-staining length.  The rainfall on June 3 and 4 drastically cut the potential size of the crop here, and the harvest took place very early, on September 7.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The average listed price is $50 / bottle

Failla Occidental Pinot Noir 2009 ($69.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 92+ points 
“Deep ruby-red.  Crushed blackberry, violet and black tea on the nose.  A smooth, sweet and very primary fruit bomb in the mouth, but with sappy acidity leavening the wine’s density.  This bracing, extremely unevolved wine seems almost like a barrel sample today.  Finishes with plenty of ripe tannins.  This has a rather low pH in the 3.4 range, with high acidity, notes Ehren Jordan.  Should be long-lived.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The nest lowest factually available listed price is $69.99 / bottle

Marie-Courtin Efflorescence Extra Brut NV (2007) ($79.95) $59 special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
 “Bright yellow-gold.  Dried lemon, pear skin, honeysuckle and minerals on the highly perfumed nose.  Chewy, concentrated citrus and orchard fruit flavors give way to succulent melon and nectarine in the mid-palate and pick up an exotic anise quality with air.  The dry finish shows intense mineral cut, leaving lively lemon zest and pear notes behind.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today

Domaines Ott Blanc 2009 ($39.95) $27 special
Wine Enthusiast 90 points 
“Produced from the Clos Mireille, within sight of the Mediterranean, this fresh-faced wine shows peach and citrus flavors rounded by ripeness, although with an attractive tangy aftertaste.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The average listed price is $37 / bottle

Peza Do Rei Mencia 2009 ($19.95) $9.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 90 points 
“Saturated ruby.  Intense, mineral-accented aromas of red and dark berries, licorice and black cardamom.  Picks up spice and floral notes with air and shows bright raspberry and blackberry fruit.  Zesty acidity adds lift to the finish, which leaves traces of minerals and cracked pepper behind.  I really like this wine’s vivacity.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today

Txomin Etxaniz Txakoli 2012 ($24.95) $16 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points 
“(75% hondarrabi zuri and 25% hondarrabi beltza):  Pale, green-tinged straw.  Lively, mineral-inflected aromas of lime zest, lemongrass, pine and quinine.  Youthfully intense and palate-staining, with excellent cut and depth to its citrus fruit and mineral flavors.  Shows very good clarity and complexity and finishes with striking energy and persistence.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The average listed price is $22 / bottle

Martinsancho Rueda Verdejo 2011 ($17.95) $11.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Pale yellow.  Vibrant, mineral-inflected aromas and flavors of citrus fruits and green apple, with quinine and white pepper nuances.  Dry and racy, offering zesty lift and a long, focused finish.  This pure, energetic wine will work with all sorts of seafood dishes or with fresh cheeses.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The average listed price is $18 / bottle
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Staff Picks 

Potel Aviron Moulin A Vent VV 2010 ($21.95) $17 staff pick special
This juicy Beaujolais has a perfume of bitter-sweet blood orange marmalade, with very fine tannins.  Its light acidity makes this wine an easy drinker and a nice alternative to Pinot Noir.

Von Winning Estate Riesling 2012 ($21.95) $18 staff pick special
Appealing floral nose, notes of pear and lemon with crisp acidity. A touch of minerality made this stand out. Perfectly balanced and a great example of a dry Riesling.



Arriving This Week – Here by Friday 28th

Domaine Serene Pinot Noir Evenstad Reserve 2010 ($79.95) $69 special
Wine Spectator 95 points , #3 Top 100 2013 
“Vibrant, focused and deliciously complex, offering raspberry, cherry, cinnamon, mocha and subtle sage notes rolling through the long and expressive finish. Deft. Drink now through 2020.”

Liger-Belair Bourgogne Rouge 2011 ($27.95) $20.90 special
Importer notes
 “this has really intense raspberry fruit in the mouth with a plump and charming feel. It has fine, balancing acidity and is very pure.”

T. Liger-Belair Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2011 ($199.95) $166 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points
 “Bright, dark red-ruby.  Vibrant aromas of blackberry, licorice and wild herbs, along with a smoky carbon suggestion.  Densely packed and highly concentrated, with a firm tannic spine giving shape and definition to the fresh dark berry flavors.  Plenty of stuffing here for balance but this very closed wine will probably need up to a decade of bottle aging to blossom.”

T. Liger-Belair Nuits St Georges Les Saint Georges 2011 ($149.95) $109 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points 
“(all of the barrels for this wine were made from oak planted in white, limestone-rich soils):  Bright red.  Locked up tight on the nose.  Very rich, sappy and concentrated but with a medicinal reserve to the black fruit and spice flavors.  Quite backward today and dominated by its structure.  Most impressive on the very long, firm, mouth-saturing finish, which leaves the taste buds quivering.  Incidentally, Liger-Belair replanted half of his Saint-Georges in April of 2011 due to the severe loss of vines he suffered during the sharp frost in December of 2009.  He produced just 25 hectoliters per hectare of Saint-Georges in 2011 and 11 in 2012.”

T. Liger-Belair Richebourg Grand Cru 2011 ($479.95) $389 special
Stephen Tanzer 93-96 points 
“Deep, bright red with a hint of ruby.  Very fresh, pure aromas and flavors of black raspberry, cassis, minerals and flowers.  Combines outstanding density with nearly brutal medicinal reserve:  if the Clos Vougeot is a baby, this is a fetus.  Incredibly tangy wine with outstanding intensity and energy.  Expands dramatically on the sappy, chewy back half, spreading out horizontally to coat the palate with leaving any impression of weight.  With its ripe, chewy tannins and powerful crushed stone character, this really leaves the taste buds humming.”

Alvear Pedro Ximenez de Anada 2011 375ml ($59.95) $59 special
Robert Parker 100 points 
“Alvear’s 2011 Pedro Ximenez de Anada is the most amazing Pedro Ximenez I have ever tasted. It may also be one of the first to be vintage-dated. The grapes were hand-harvested in September, then allowed to dry in the sunshine until they began fermentation, which is ultimately arrested by the addition of spirits. The wine spent six months in large American oak prior to being bottled. It is an amazing effort that looks like molasses. Notes of macerated figs, chocolate and caramelized tropical fruits emerge from this full-bodied, unctuously-textured wine. While sweet, it has enough acidity to balance out its richness. This astonishing 2011 Pedro Ximenez will last as long as any reader of this newsletter.”


Beauty – Beyond Skin Deep – Here Now

Dugat-Py Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2003 ($699.95) $599 special 1 bottle available
Robert Parker 95 points 
“Boisterous aromas of spices and waxy black cherries galore burst from the glass of the 2003 Charmes-Chambertin. Its fabulously oily texture combined with its power, concentration, and length make this rich, expansive beauty a delight to taste. Myriad spices are intermingled with red and black fruits in its sensual, long character.”

Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfortino 2005 1.5L ($999.95) $899 special 1 magnum available
James Suckling 98 points 
“Incredibly polished Monfortino. The tannins caress your palate. Aromas of marzipan and dark fruits with orange peel and cedar. Dried fruits. Extremely floral as well. Full-bodied, with super fine tannins and a great elegance. You can drink now but will age for ages…98”

Vietti Barbaresco Masseria 2007 1.5L ($299.95) $199 special 5 magnums available
Antonio Galloni 95 points 
“The 2007 Barbaresco Masseria flows gracefully from the glass with fabulous aromas of crushed flowers, berries, spices and minerals. It is a wonderfully perfumed, elegant Barbaresco of the highest level. Supple and open today, it promises to drink well to age twenty, if not significantly longer. Hints of the profound 1989 Barolo Rocche – one of the all time greats here – lingers on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.”

Valdespino Amontillado Coliseo VORS NV ($399.95) $349 special 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 99 points
 “The NV Amontillado Coliseo VORS, is an extremely old (much older than the 30 years certified by the VORS classification) and concentrated wine. It is unique, as its origin is from Sanlucar de Barrameda, mainly from the Pago Miraflores, which produced very sharp wines. Dark mahogany colored, with a bright green border, is very aromatic, balsamic and complex, with wild herbs, candied orange rind, spices and dates. The palate is extremely concentrated, dry, and intense but it has no edges, with lively acidity and an eternal finish. It’s an extreme wine, some might find it too much, but it’s certainly unique and among the greatest wines in the world, to be sipped slowly and in tiny quantities. One of the greatest Amontillados in existence today. Drink 2013-2025.” Peter Liem–“A complex demanding wine averaging over 60 years of age. This actually originates as a manzanilla, spending 15 to 20 years in Sanlucar before being blended and aged in Jerez. The result is an amontillado of tremendous finesse, balancing its vivid concentration with a stelly, racy structure”

Valdespino Palo Cortado Cardenal VORS NV 375ml($169.95) $159 special 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 99 points 
“The NV Palo Cortado Cardenal VORS, like the whole VORS collection from Valdespino is outstanding. It is fed from the solera of the Palo Cortado C.P. where the Palomino grapes come from the Macharnudo Alto vineyard, fermented in American oak botas. It’s 22% alcohol and has nine grams of (undetectable) residual sugar which makes it very drinkable. It’s a monumental wine of dark mahogany color with a green edge, a complex, ever-changing, concentrated, clean and delineated nose of spices, dark chocolate, Cuban cigar and balsamic notes of incense, and a sharp, saline palate. It is highly concentrated, powerful and clean, with an eternal, lingering aftertaste. Deciding between Coliseo and Cardenal might be splitting hairs, and as much as I love Coliseo, I felt Cardenal was just one notch above. At the quality helm of Palo Cortado. Drink 2013-2025.” WA Peter Liem– “Its palo cortado counterpart is the Cardenal, a wine of similar age and equally multi-faceted complexity, although, with its richer girth and more velvety texture on the palate, it comes off as less forbidding. It essentially represents the ultimate conclusion of Valdespino’s expression of the Marcharnudo vineyard.”



Time to Say Goodbye

Lamadrid Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($17.95) $9.90 special
Wine Advocate 90 points 
“The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon spent 8 months in new French and American oak inner-staves. Fragrant aromas of Asian spices, incense, cassis, tobacco, and violets inform the nose of a layered, spicy, nicely balanced wine with a forward personality. Drink this excellent value over the next 3-4 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $15 / Bottle