Vinopolis – February 8th, 2016

Highlight New Arrival; New Arrivals; Staff Highlight; Arriving This Week; Michel Lafarge; 2015 Rose Pre-Arrivals; Presenting Domaine Arlaud


Happy New Year!
We wish a happy and prosperous Year of the Monkey to our Asian friends.


Featured New Arrival

Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2011 750ML ($57.95) $41.90 special
Case-12 Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2011 750ML ($549.95) $432 special (that’s only $36/bottle!)
Case-6 Castello di Ama ‘San Lorenzo’, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2011 750ML ($259.95) $233 special (that’s only $38.83/bottle!)
James Suckling 96 points “This has a dusty character on the nose with soil, dried fruit and blueberry. Flowers too. Full body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Tight and structured. Shows wonderful depth of fruit and beauty. Chewy. Better in 2016.” JS

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $47


New Arrivals

Brick House Vineyards ‘Cascadia’ Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge 2012 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Spectator 91 points “This sleek, open-textured and inviting white is light on its feet, showing apricot-tinged pear and spice flavors and finishing with finesse. Appealing now, but should develop depth with cellaring. Drink now through 2019. 520 cases made.”WS
David Schildknecht -Wine Advocate 90-91 points “Last tasted from barrels (old demi-muids) in July, the pieces that will have become Tunnell’s 2012 Chardonnay Cascadia – from several clones (some top-grafted to older vines) – display fresh apple laced with candied lime peel and garlanded with honeysuckle. There is a lovely sense of lift and primary refreshment allied to textural caress and subtly creamy lees-enhancement. This is going to be a deliciously versatile wine for enjoying through at least 2017. (I won’t of course report until next year on Tunnell’s 2012 Pinots, but can’t help mentioning already that from barrel they are an extremely impressive group.)”DS

Swick Wines Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
VinopolNote: A blend of three vineyards: Medici, Cancilla and Fairsing.
Winery note “Medici Vineyard Chehalem Mountains AVA (50%): Medici Vineyard is the red fruited backbone to the wine and adds a lot of the bright cherry flavors and forest floor aromas. From 39 year old Pommard clone Pinot Noir situated at 750 feet elevation. Cancilla Vineyard Cherry Grove, Oregon (40%): Ken Cancilla organically farms his 20 acres meticulously all by himself. An ocean influenced vineyard on the northwest corner of the Willamette Valley AVA. His vineyard adds the minerality and acid backbone along with the freshness from whole cluster fermentations. Fairsing Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton AVA (10%): Pure Y-C Pinot! Dark purple and blue fruits with mocha and espresso flavors and fine lengthy tannins. This adds the body and skeleton to the wine while adding the complexity of the darker fruit profile.”

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Bow & Arrow Hughes Hollow Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 750ML ($37.95) $33 special
Vinopolnote: This cuvee takes the place of the winery’s fantastic Medici Vineyard bottling. Pinot Noir made right here in Portland with transparency, consistency, and soul! Strawberry fruit, tinged with spice and herbs, make this another lovely addition to the Bow & Arrow family.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Resonance Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Light and focused, showing distinctive subtlety. A layer of crinkly tannins underlies a pulsing core of mineral-accented cherry and red berry flavors, hinting at cinnamon as the finish lingers gently.” HS
VinopolNote: Maison Louis Jadot’s first venture outside France since their inception in 1859. First vineyard purchased outside France since 1826. Made by famed Jadot Winemaker, Jacques Lardière. Dry-farmed vineyard with original rootstock farmed Biodynamically.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $63
Swick Wines Les Sous-Bois Underwood Pinot Noir, Columbia Gorge – Washington 2014 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Winery Note: “This wine comes from a 5 acre vineyard situated at 1500 feet elevation beneath Underwood Mountain on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge, directly across from Hood River. Deep volcanic soils, windy days and cold nights produce tiny Wädenswil and Pommard clone clusters with thicker skins and intense acidity.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Chateau Aney, Haut Medoc 2010 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
Importer note “Château Aney was built in 1850 by the family that gave it its name, just five years before the wine classification system was initiated in Bordeaux. The domaine thrived and earned Cru Bourgeois status, but by the mid-twentieth century the land was no longer being farmed and the château had fallen into disrepair. In 1972 Jean Raimond and his son, Pierre, bought the property, rehabilitated the vineyards, and refurbished the winery and cellars. This marked a new era for Château Aney; which fittingly achieved Cru Bourgeois status for a second time in 1978. Today Pierre runs the estate along with his son, David, producing wines of class and elegance. The wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot planted in 1976.”

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Domaine Blachon Saint-Joseph Hommage Roger, Rhone 2012 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Importer note “Forget what’s trending and all that “wow factor” stuff. What you have here is Saint-Joseph from the very kernel of appellation. Pull the cork and pour this wine to let it seduce you. A garnet purple with tones almost black projects from the glass. In the bouquet find aromas of violet and white pepper; while on the palate it is a smooth and supple wine. Distinct minerality and fruits that recall black raspberry and dark plum lead to a finish that stays with you long after your taste. With very few exceptions, you just can’t get Syrah like this from anywhere else.”
Virgona Salina Bianco IGT, Sicily 2013 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
“Selected Insolia and Catarratto grapes originate from the hills of Malfa (Salina). The wine is clear and bright, soft-yellow colored with some greenish hints. The fragrances reminds us of wild flowers and honey. The taste reminds us of a light refinement in wood with an floral finish. It is a dry wine ideal as an aperitif, and an excellent accompaniment to seafood appetizers, shellfishes, roasted and grilled fish.”

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Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Blanco, Rioja DOCa 1981 750ML ($249.95) $189 special
Neal Martin – Wine Advocate 95 points “The 1981 Vina Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva has a complex bouquet of barley sugar, candle wax, dandelion and a touch of melon. The palate is medium-bodied with fine acidity, dried honey and a touch of lemongrass than lends it edge. The finish is bone dry, beautifully defined and persistent in the mouth. Drink now-2030+”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 93 points “The richly-colored 1981 1981 Viña Tondonia Blanco Gran Reserva captures the essence of this house’s wines. It is a wine of great complexity as well as contrasts. At once mature yet seemingly ageless, full-bodied yet somehow also miraculously delicate, it displays evolved sensations of earthiness, smoke, roasted nuts and dried apricots in a more oxidative style with great persistence on the palate and enough acidity to make me think it will drink well for at least another ten or so years.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 93 points “True gold, but remarkably youthful for its age. W ild, complex bouquet of pungent flowers, succulent herbs, orange peel, violet, vanilla, toasted nuts and baking spices. Rich, deep and beautifully concentrated, with surprising energy to the ripe pear and poached apple flavors complemented by marzipan and vanilla. This actually tightens up on the finish, showing a lingering exotic, spicy character. You could drink this right now or even hold it for a few more years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $238
Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza, Tupungato, Argentina 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2013 Eggo Tinto de Tiza fermented in cement eggs and matured on the skins for six months. It’s mostly Malbec with 8-10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from Gualtallary. This wine was first produced in 2012, from grapes grown on more calcareous parts of the vineyard. The wine is pure, mineral, subtle, elegant and harmonious. The palate is electric with a purity of flavors, great freshness and length that has a chalky minerality amplified by the freshness of the year. Tiza is the Spanish word for chalk. If you want to understand what the fuss is about the Michelini brothers, their egg-fermented wines and the Gualtallary soils, this is a perfect example. This is a wine to buy by the case, as this quality is rarely found at this price.” LG

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Zorzal Gran Terroir Malbec, Tupungato 2013 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Zorzal Gran Terroir Malbec, Tupungato 2013 750ML ($299.95) $239 special (that’s only $19.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2013 Gran Terroir Malbec is a blend from different vineyards in Gualtallary, the highest part of the department of Tupungato in the Valle de Uco. The grapes fermented in cement vats and matured in used oak barrels for approximately one year. It’s very perfumed and spicy, aromatic in a way that makes you go to the glass over and over again. The palate has the 2013 electricity and the Gualtallary chalkiness making for supple, tasty and saline flavors and a very long finish. Simply superb!” LG

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Revisiting Some Favorites
This Week’s Re-Arrivals

CROWLEY PINOT BLANC 2014 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Winery note “We work with family owned vineyards and prefer cooler, high elevation sites. Our friends and growers are committed to non-irrigated and low impact farming. We are members of the Deep Roots Coalition and our primary vineyard sources are LIVE certified or certified organic. In the winery our highest priority is to create the most direct evidence of both vintage and place while making elegant and exciting wines. This means (wine geek alert!) minimal acid additions, no extraction enzyme, employing native yeasts, extended aging in mostly neutral oak and minimal fining or filtration. We value purity of expression over stylized wines and hold essential the belief that we cannot improve on nature.”
VinopolNote: There will be no 2015 Pinot Blanc released by Crowley Wines.

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Crowley Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2012 750ML ($47.95) $38 special
Josh Raynolds 91 points “Deep red. A highly perfumed nose evokes fresh red berries, Asian spices and candied rose. Suave and silky in the mouth, offering mineral-accented, gently sweet raspberry and cherry flavors and a touch of cola. This very well focused wine finishes with supple tannins, no excess fat and echoing notes of spices and juicy red fruits.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $44

Crowley La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 93 points “Vivid ruby-red. Suave and expansive on the nose, but with noteworthy verve to the aromas of red berry liqueur, floral pastilles and incense. Lithe and appealingly sweet in the mouth, offering juicy raspberry and cherry flavors that deepen and gain power in the mid-palate. Finishes round, seamless and spicy, with gentle tannins and excellent cling.”

Brick House Vineyards Chardonnay, Ribbon Ridge 2013 750ML ($29.95) $26 special

Brick House Vineyards ‘Les Dijonnais’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2013 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Fresh and expressive, soft in texture, this offers generous flavors of cherry, raspberry and clove that linger effortlessly against velvety tannins. Drink now through 2023.” WS

Brick House Vineyards Select Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2013 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special
Winemaker Notes “When Mother Nature offers a bountiful year, we routinely bottle this entry level Pinot Noir. As the name implies, the “Select” is a selection of barrels representing all the vineyard blocks on the farm at the discretion of the winemaker. The most easy-going and approachable of all our Pinot Noirs, the “Select” is a moderately priced, estate grown wine and a worthy accompaniment to a casual meal of salmon, lamb or wild game.”

Slow Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($31.95) $28 special
VinopolNote: This is a special cuvee crafted by Grochau Cellars in support of Slow Food Portland. The wine is a blend of single barrels submitted by eleven WV wineries including Ayres, Evesham Wood, J Christopher, Cameron and Westrey. The wine is bright, fresh, and balanced, showing aromas of cherries and anise.

Cadence Winery Bel Canto Cara Mia Vineyard Red, Columbia Valley 2012 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “I think the most approachable in the lineup, the 2012 Bel Canto has a complex, perfumed style in its dried flowers, dried spices, vanilla and black cherry and black raspberry-like fruit profile. A blend of 84% Cabernet Franc, 8% Merlot and 8% Petit Verdot that spent 20 months in 50% new French oak, it’s full-bodied, concentrated and structured on the palate, yet has perfect balance and a great texture. Few in the US are doing Cabernet Franc better this, and I suspect it will hold nicely for 15-20 years.” JD

Cadence Winery Coda, Red Mountain 2013 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91 points “(80% from Ben Smith and Gaye McNutt’s Cara Mia vineyard): Bright ruby-red. Lovely floral lift to the aromas of red berries and cocoa powder. Juicy, sweet and suave, conveying noteworthy purity and cut to its red fruit flavors. Really a remarkable value–and production of this entry-level wine is up to 1,250 cases in 2013.” ST


Staff Favorite
Produttori del Barbaresco 2011

Two of us from the shop opened this up on Thanksgiving eve, pouring little tastes as we mapped out what would become a lovely dinner with all sorts of dishes, new friends, and a wide array of wines. This one was truly one of the standouts, so much so that we had to hide the bottle so as to not drink it all before the dinner even came to fruition.

With that, as cooking began and thirsts resurfaced, this humble bottle from the legendary Produttori estate came back to reward our efforts. Overnight, the bright strawberry fruit held strong while secondary notes of cedar, blackberry, baking spice, and mocha emerged. The spice and earth, tannin and texture intermingled in this way that was so surprising and yet familiar; a reminder as to why we spent so many hours studying and seeking out wines to begin with.

That feeling conjured up memories of stocking a wine shop’s cellar on the Lower East Side in New York. While in college, I worked thirty hours per week in that basement, culling importer names off of the invoices and memorizing appellations and vineyards from the cardboard boxes I’d been tasked with organizing.

I digress. Our feast was nearly ready, and that bottle was empty but for a drop, perhaps two. With everyone else in the dining room, I discreetly raised that bottle and offered cheers to that kid in that wine shop basement, feeling a little less estranged from him, from that exciting time. Dinner was served, and a friend called for me to bring a bottle of wine to the table. I took that last sip, tucked some napkins under my elbow, and took a seat at the table.

No one noticed the splotch of red wine on my shirt. Rather, no one cared to mention it.

Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG’, Piedmont 2011 750ML ($37.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles available
Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Barbaresco DOCG’, Piedmont 2011 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special, 8 magnums available
Wine Spectator 93 points “Marked by ripe cherry, strawberry, floral and tar flavors, this red is graceful and detailed, with the fruit intensity persisting on the finish. This is well-integrated, and just needs time for the tannins to soften. Excellent length. Best from 2018 through 2030.” WS

Almost Here!
Wines Arriving This Week

WillaKenzie Estate ‘Terres Basses’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2011 750ML ($59.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points “Ruby-red. Aromas of black raspberry, cherry-cola and lavender pastille, with smoke and musky herb overtones and a touch of vanilla. Silky and sweet, showing good depth and vivacity to its fresh dark berry and blood orange flavors. Nicely concentrated for the vintage, finishing with noteworthy power and length and fine-grained tannins that add grip. This suave wine saw 50% new oak.” JR

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

WillaKenzie Estate ‘Triple Black Slopes’ Pinot Noir 2011 750ML ($59.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points ‘Bright ruby-red. Smoky cherry and black raspberry aromas are sharpened by white pepper and minerals. Shows very good clarity and depth on the palate, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors and a hint of bitter chocolate. Closes with repeating smokiness, a hint of vanilla and even tannins. I suspect that this sexy pinot will hold nicely for at least another four or five years but it’s also pretty easy to drink now.” JR

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $45.54
Christophe Mignon Brut 2008 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2008 Pur Meunier is all about focus and understatement. Floral and lifted in style, the 2008 shows the more aromatic, nuanced side of Meunier, along with lovely textural finesse and impeccable overall balance to match. There is so much to like here. Disgorged March 2014, non-dosé.”

Jerome Prevost La Closerie Les Beguines NV (2013) 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Importer’s note: “Relatively new on the scene, Jerome Prévost, and his estate called Champagne La Closerie, is part of a small but growing group of tiny producers making intense, vinous-styled Champagnes. Rather than follow the traditional Champagne model of blending grapes, vintages, and vineyards to produce a “standardized” product, Prevost (as well as some other of these “Champagne Renegades”) produce single vineyard, single-vintage and single varietal wines. In his case, this means 100% Pinot Meunier all from his two hectare vineyard of Les Beguines in Gueux, and all from a single vintage which is disgorged once a year in the fall.”
Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Les Chaignots, Nuit Saint Georges Premier Cru 2011 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni “93 points Mugneret-Gibourg’s 2011 Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Chaignots is remarkably polished and refined in this vintage. Sweet rose petals, spices and red berries emerge from a gracious Burgundy that shows the more finessed side of Nuits. This is one of the more classically structured 2011s readers will come across. Today, the Chaignots is drop-dead gorgeous. Dried rose petals, sage, mint and crushed raspberries linger on the close.” AG

Philippe Pacalet Moulin-a-Vent 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Vinopolnote: A new Cru Beaujolais cuvee from the star Burgundian; Pacalet is a natural winemaker and negociant who carefully chooses his vineyard sources on a yearly basis, rejects industrial winemaking techniques, and takes close consideration of individual terroirs.

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Clos Fourtet, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points –#9 2015 Top 100–“Gorgeous, with a pure, unadorned violet aroma giving way to very ripe and stylish plum, boysenberry and blackberry fruit. Offers a suave mouthfeel, with anise and tobacco hints filling the background. A finely stitched chalk note extends the finish. Not shy on depth, and sneakily long.”
Robert Parker 95 points “Having just had the 2003 and 2005 from my cellar, I can attest to the magnificent turnaround in quality this famous estate on the eastern side of St.-Emilion has achieved. All of it is attributable to its dynamic proprietor, Philippe Cuvelier. The 2012 Clos Fourtet (usually 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc) has beautiful blackberry and blueberry fruit and an inky purple color. With flawless integration of acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol, a full-bodied mouthfeel and stunning richness, this is impressive and certainly one of the vintage’s top wines. It should evolve beautifully for 15-20 years, and be drinkable in 3-4. Yields were a modest 32 hectoliters per hectare with the alcohol at 14%.” RP

Vignobles Brunier Domaine Les Pallieres Gigondas Terrasses du Diable 2011 750ML ($49.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Vignobles Brunier Domaine Les Pallieres Gigondas Terrasses du Diable 2011 750ML ($479.95) $359 pre-arrival special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 93 points “Vivid ruby. Heady scents of candied cherry, raspberry preserves, anise and potpourri. Shows a darker profile in the mouth, offering palate-staining blackberry and bitter cherry flavors and a strong floral quality. Picks up smokiness with air and finishes with superb focus and length and youthful tannic grip. No question that this is one of the best wines I tasted from Gigondas this year.” JR

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $42.99

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ML ($99.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 1.5L ($199.95) $179 pre-arrival special
#4 Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2015
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a striking wine that shows uncompromising varietal pureness, albeit in a most concentrated and elaborate form. This is what great Sangiovese is all about. There’s so much happening on the nose and the wine brings you to cherry, spice, licorice, cured meat, pressed rose and grilled meat in equal measure. No one element overpowers the next. The mouthfeel is also tight and bright with the kind of fruit intensity that promises long cellar aging. This Brunello is only at the beginning of a long road ahead. The longer the wine stays in the glass, the more it offers in terms of complexity and intensity. This is a true standout that can be enjoyed for up to 20 years ahead.” ML
Wine Spectator 95 points “Rich, with excellent density, ripe cherry and plum fruit, and a well-integrated structure. Licorice, earth and tobacco notes add depth while this cruises to a long, tobacco- and mineral-tinged finish. Shows balance and grip. Best from 2018 through 2033.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $86

Dunham Cellars Lewis Estate Vineyard Syrah, Columbia Valley 2011 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “Another terrific effort, and one of the strongest Syrahs in the vintage, the 2011 Syrah Lewis Vineyard is 100% Syrah that spent 30 months in 90% new French oak, which you’d never know by tasting it. Gorgeous blackberry, blueberry, wild herbs, licorice, chocolate and hints of crushed rock all emerge from this beauty, and it flows onto the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, bright acidity and a seamless, elegant profile. It’s enjoyable now, but will shine for another decade at least as well.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $74.95

Den Hoed ‘Marie’s View’ Red, Horse Heaven Hills 2009 750ML ($79.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “Along the same lines, the 2009 Marie’s View is a tweaked blend of 25% each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot, with the balance Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese aged for 24 months in half new French oak. Perfumed and complex, with notions of liquid violets, sappy herbs, red and black fruits and exotic spices, this beauty hits the palate with a full-bodied, sweetly fruited, yet elegant profile that stays light and weightless. A thrilling, hedonistic drink, it will continue to deliver the goods through 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $62.96
The average price is $76

Fidelitas Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley 2012 750ML ($69.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 91 points “The classic 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Mountain is more evolved and open than the single-vineyard releases. Giving up plenty of toasted bread, spice-box, cured meats, vanilla and red currants, it’s full-bodied, rounded and textured, with good tannin. Aged in 40% new French and American oak, I suspect it will evolve more rapidly than the more pricey releases, yet it should still have 10-15 years of overall longevity.”

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The next best price is $75!

Fidelitas ‘Optu’ Red, Red Mountain 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 re-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “This appealing blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (77%), Merlot (13%), Cabernet Franc (7%) and Petit Verdot offers notes of bittersweet chocolate, dark cherry, herbs, black licorice, floral notes and coffee. It’s power-packed and concentrated with layered dark fruit flavors, with a fine sense of tension between the fruit, acid and tannins. Cellar Selection.” WE

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Apex Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley 2012 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Supple, open-textured and generous, with pure currant and blackberry flavors on a deftly balanced frame. Violet nuances linger against powdery tannins on the finish. Drink now through 2022.”

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Mark Ryan Winery Dead Horse Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain 2013 750ML ($59.95) $44 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “More straightforward and focused, with lots of mineral nuances intermixed with graphite, ground herbs, black cherry and blackberry fruit, the 2013 Dead Horse Ciel du Cheval Vineyard (87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and a splash of Petit Verdot) is full-bodied, structured and backward, yet certainly has potential. Holding things a little closer to the vest at the moment, I suspect it is best left alone for 3-4 years once released.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $53

Mark Ryan Winery Long Haul Proprietary Red, Red Mountain 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2012 Long Haul Ciel du Cheval Vineyard is another terrific Bordeaux blend from this team. Made from 49% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, it was vinified in stainless steel and aged in once used French oak barrels. It exhibits subtle hints of coffee bean in its red and black fruits, roasted meats, spice and licorice-styled bouquet, and picks up more and more floral nuances with time. Full-bodied, tight, focused and a little backward, it opens up nicely in the glass, has integrated acidity and a clean finish. Give it 2-4 years and drink it through 2032.”

Mark Ryan Winery Lost Soul Syrah, Yakima Valley 2013 750ML ($59.95) $44 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2013 Lost Soul Syrah should be as good as the ’12, if not better. Inky purple in color, it exhibits lots of cooler-climate notes of pepper, bouquet garni, crushed rock and pure blackberry fruit. Aged in 40% new French oak puncheons and all from the Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, it’s rich, medium to full-bodied, and perfectly balanced, with lively acidity and no shortage of texture or depth. It should benefit from short-term cellaring and age gracefully.”

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Boudreaux Cellars Merlot, Columbia Valley 2009 750ML ($59.95) $44 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92 points “All of Rob’s 2009s showed strangely last year, and I was happy that he resubmitted them this go around. Starting out, the 2009 Columbia Valley Merlot is a beauty and shows none of the volatile notes I found last year. Cassis, lead pencil, tobacco and floral notes all come together nicely in this full-bodied, elegant and layered red. Seeing 24 months in 40% new French oak, it should have a decade or more of prime drinking.”

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Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz, Columbia Valley 2011 750ML ($69.95) $47 pre-arrival special
Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz, Columbia Valley 2011 1.5L ($129.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “(67% merlot, 28% cabernet sauvignon and 5% petit verdot; aged in 65% new oak): Good bright, deep red. Redcurrant, cocoa powder and musky tobacco on the nose. Gentle and creamy in the mouth for 2011, with harmonious ripe acidity framing the sweet red berry, cherry and cocoa powder flavors. This floral merlot-based wine is supported by firm acids and tannins but comes across as quite feminine in style. Betz notes that 2011 was a very good year for merlot.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $60


Arriving Late February

Domaine Bois de Boursan Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points “Deep ruby. Deeply pitched aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, olive paste and smoky minerals, along with hints of cola and licorice. Plush and creamy on the palate, with juicy boysenberry, cherry liqueur and mocha flavors picking up a spicy quality with air. Velvety tannins build through the finish, which lingers with good tenacity and appealing sweetness.”

Domaine Bois de Boursan Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee des Felix 2010 750ML ($89.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Robert Parker 95 points “Absolutely magnificent is the opaque ruby/purple 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Felix. Notes of root beer/beet root interwoven with roasted Provencal herbs, black currants and even blacker fruits such as blackberries are prominent in this full-bodied, concentrated wine, which has fabulous fruit, sumptuous, a deep, multi-layered texture and a sensational finish of close to 40+ seconds. Acidity is present and there is precision and uplift to the big, bold flavors the 2010 Cuvee de Felix possesses. Drink it over the next 15+ years.” RP


Michel Lafarge
Stunning Volnay, No Exceptions

The influx of money into Burgundy hasn’t seemed to taint Michel Lafarge. With all the attention, the flashiness, the scrambling for the wines, it seems as though Msr. Lafarge kept his head down and did his work – good, solid work – rather than letting it all get the best of him. Vintage to vintage, the wines have displayed an incredible degree of consistency and depth; some look to him before all else to truly understand a vintage.

The Lafarge family has counted a vigneron among its ranks since the 18th century, and began bottling their efforts in the early 1900’s. Wine in barrel was sold to metropolitan restaurants as early as the 1850’s. When Burgundian began to employ chemical farming in the 1950’s, Lafarge wanted no part of it – an act, or inaction, which led like-minded vignerons to follow suit. The domaine began to utilize biodynamic farming techniques in the mid-90’s, an effort which now includes Lafarge’s son and his wife, Frédéric and Chantal.

To this day, the wines from the estate are rightfully held in the highest regard. They’re graceful and substantial, though have been known to require time. We’re proud to offer an array of his wines across a few vintages, all seen below.

Michel Lafarge Wines Available Here Now:

Domaine Michel Lafarge L’Exception Bourgogne Passe-tout-grains 2010 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 4 bottles available
“A well-layered, ripe and fresh nose combines pepper, earth and red berry fruit aromas. There is good verve to the equally fresh and detailed flavors that display limited rusticity and very good depth in the context of the appellation.”—Burghound

Domaine Michel Lafarge L’Exception Bourgogne Passe-tout-grains 2011 750ML ($34.95) $26 special, 11 bottles available
“An exceptionally fresh nose of red berry fruit, earth, floral and pepper notes leads to delicious, clean, energetic and detailed flavors that possess fine intensity and persistence for what this is.”—Burghound

Domaine Michel Lafarge Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2005 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 88-89 points “In the realm of pure Pinot, the Lafarge 2005 Bourgogne also offers excellent value and unusual quality for its humble class, assisted in this instance, of course, by the character of the vintage. Concentrated, bright, bitter-edged black fruit aromas and flavors are accompanied by grilled meat and chalky minerality. This displays cut and clarity and an undeniable Volnay elegance in its mouth watering finish.” DS

Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 2010 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 89-91 points “The 2010 Volnay blossoms onto the palate with refined dark red berries. This is a supple, generous Volnay endowed with gorgeous inner perfume and terrific overall balance. A juicy, generous finish rounds things out in style. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.” WA

Domaine Michel Lafarge Meursault 2010 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 20 bottles available
Burghound 89-91 points “This is also quite pretty though aromatically very different as here the nose speaks of distinct Meursault-like scents that run the gamut from classic hazelnut to yellow orchard fruit to pear to floral hints. There is excellent richness to the attractively textured, sappy and mouth coating medium-bodied flavors that possess excellent complexity for a villages level wine. Worth considering.” BH

Domaine Michel Lafarge Meursault 2012 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 8 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 89-91 points “Lafarge’s 2012 Meursault is laced with expressive yellow stone fruits, slate and smoke. There is a lot to like in the 2012, most notably the wine’s pure energy and terrific balance, both commendable at this level.” AG


2015 Roses!
New Additions to Our Growing Lineup

Domaines Figueirasse Gris de Gris Rose, IGP Sable de Camargue 2015 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Importer notes: “For more than a century, the Saumade family has cared for vines on the sandy shores of the Camargue delta in the south of France. ‘Gris de Gris des Sables’ is special to the Camargue, a rosé de pressurage and blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan grapes. Vineyards are but 200 yards from the sea, and soils exclusively sand. Grapes are harvested by hand and at night, when temperatures are coolest. Juice is fermented at low temperatures on indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks, and bottled in early winter.”–Importer Notes

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rose, Provence 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Importer notes: “With its perch at the highest point in the appellation, its impeccable terroir and unforgettable amphitheatre of vines, Pibarnon unquestionably crafts the finest Mourvèdre-based wines in Bandol. This noble blend of Mourvèdre and Cinsault is a special selection of fruit from vines between 30 and 50 years old. Winemaker Eric de Saint-Victor presses his Cinsault grapes directly; Mourvèdre grapes are in contrast placed in tank, and free-run juice (rosé de saignée) is drawn off. The wines are blended after fermenting on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks, and then aged for six months in tank. Unique in its category, Pibarnon Rosé can age impressively, and is often at its peak within two to three years.”

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Dragon Provence Rose Grand Cuvee 2015 750ML ($19.95) $16 pre-arrival special
Importer notes: “While much of Provence is a patchwork of different terroirs, the estate’s high-altitude vineyards, located in the hills up above the Côte d’Azur, are singular in that the soils are almost exclusively limestone, as in Burgundy. ‘Grande Cuvée’ brings together Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle, a southern white grape. Grapes are pressed (rosé de pressurage) then fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks; the wine also undergoes malolactic fermentation.”

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Mas De Gourgonnier Baux De Provence Rose 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Importer’s note: “The Cartier family has cultivated grain, grape vines and olive trees in Provence since the eighteenth century. Mas de Gourgonnier was also one of the first certified organic estates in Provence, in the early 1970s. This hand-picked, organic blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, Mourvèdre and Cabernet Sauvignon is first destemmed and lightly crushed, then macerated for eight to 12 hours. The juice is removed from the must (rosé de saignée) and fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled tanks. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered, with little added sulfur.”

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Le Clos du Caillou Cotes du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Importer’ note: “Of all the terroir in the Côtes du Rhône, the “clos” of Caillou has to be one of the most exceptional. Completely surrounded by Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards, this walled parcel is essentially identical in terroir and exposition but was left out of appellation in the 1930s. This rosé is a selection of younger vines that grow in the “clos” on sandy, mineral soils. Counoise and Mourvèdre grapes are hand-harvested and pressed directly (rosé de pressurage), then fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks.”

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Mattes Sabran Corbieres Rose Duc Narbonne 2015 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Importer’s note: “The size of Mattes-Sabran’s vineyards in the region of Corbières in the Languedoc is a legacy of the estate’s ancient role as the seat of the duke of Narbonne. Yet vine-growing and winemaking here truly stretches back centuries; parts of the ancient Roman “Via Domitia” run through the estate. This full-flavored, pure Syrah wine is hand-harvested and pressed directly (rosé de pressurage). Juice is fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
This is in addition to the 17 roses from 2015 we already offer. Call the shop at 503-223-6002 or keep reading the newsletter to stay abreast with all of our 2015 rose offerings!


Presenting: Domaine Arlaud
Burgundian Trailblazers
Arriving September 2016

Joseph Arlaud, originally from the Ardeche, met his wife Renée Amiot in her native Burgundy during World War II. They married once combat ended, receiving vineyards as a wedding gift from family. For almost forty years, Arlaud oversaw winemaking at his estate. In 1966, he acquired the 14th-century salt barn of Nuits-Saint-Georges for use as the domaine’s cellar; that barn is now proudly displayed on the wines’ labels.

The Arlauds’ son Hervé took the reins in 1982, accelerating the pace of vineyard acquisition and teaching his children – the third generation – about winemaking. Come 1997, his son Cyprien assumed control of the estate. Domaine Arlaud ceased use of herbicides in 1999 and assumed a fully organic winemaking practice in 2004. By 2014, the Domaine was the first-ever biodynamic and organic-certified winery in Morey St. Denis.

The estate employs the use of two horses to plow between the vines. The Arlauds are very sensitive to the issue of soil compaction and work against it through plowing, minimal use of machines, and hand-harvesting. Native yeast fermentation is mandatory, with no yeast, enzyme, tannin, or other such additives permitted. There is no racking or fining, with bottling done in accordance with moon cycles.

Domaine Arlaud boasts holdings across some of Burgundy’s finest vineyards; we’re fortunate to be able to offer the following four cuvees, arriving in September:

Domaine Arlaud Aux Combottes, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Neil Martin – Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Combottes has an entrancing bouquet that perhaps expresses the essence of Pinot Noir better than any of Arlaud’s premier crus at this nascent stage. It just soars from the glass with vivacious red berry fruits. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin and perfectly judged acidity. There is impressive body and presence to this Gevrey Combottes that fully exploits one of the best premier crus after Clos Saint Jacques. This is an outstanding wine.” NM

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Domaine Arlaud Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2013 750ML ($169.95) $133 pre-arrival special
Neil Martin – Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2013 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru has a perfumed, floral bouquet that is quintessential Charmes-Chambertin really. It is very well defined and pure with small dark cherries, blueberry and iris scents. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin structure, a citric thread of acidity and an austere and “serious” finish that is more Morey-like in style. There is a lovely sense of salinity on the aftertaste that begs you to take another sip. I actually prefer this to the Clos-de-la-Roche this year.” NM

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $150.95

Domaine Arlaud Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2013 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Neil Martin – Wine Advocate 93-95+ points “The 2013 Clos St Denis Grand Cru possesses an outstanding bouquet that has wonderful delineation and complexity, a melange of red and black fruit, each infused with mineral/cold stone scents. There is an effortless element about the palate that is harmonious and supremely focused. The filigree tannin and wrapped in a silky texture and there is frisson and energy on the finish. There is plenty of substance here and so it will deserve several years in bottle. It may merit a higher score in the future.” NM

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $210.95

Domaine Arlaud Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2013 750ML ($299.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92-95 points “(13.2% alcohol; from vines on the Chambolle side of the appellation, on white soil, according to Arlaud): Healthy bright red. Highly nuanced nose combines pungent minerality, crushed stone, raspberry, cherry, fresh blood, white pepper and peony; just a touch of reduction here. Dense, layered and rich; at once fully ripe and totally dry. Seems more filled in today than the Clos Saint-Denis, consistent with the character of these two grand crus. Very rich and very long, finishing with serious tannic clout and great terroir perfume. Here’s a 2013 that’s definitely in the style of 2010.” ST

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