Vinopolis Friday Night Newsletter 12-9-22

 In This Newsletter:

Your opportunity to own a little magic!

New arrival

Wines we love right now for under $20

Guy Charlemagne Champagne

Are you in search of a show stopping centerpiece for your holiday festivities? Look no further. 

Say yes to life and treat yourself to a gorgeous 9L bottle of Schramsberg. That’s right, 9 whole liters of pure joy, on special this holiday season for $899. Only one lucky person will be able to go home with our 2016 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, North Coast, 9L. Buy it before it’s gone. This is the only bottle on sale now in the country.

Truly more than a wine, this bottle is an experience and guaranteed to be an unforgettable and hopefully unregrettable purchase.  

In case you’re not already sold, consider the value this bottle could bring to your holiday plans.
Nervous your parents will start pressuring you to reproduce over Christmas dinner?
Distract them with a 9 LITER BOTTLE OF SCHRAMSBERG. 
Jealous of your high achieving brother talking about his new boat?
Overshadow his success with your 9 LITER BOTTLE OF SCHRAMSBERG.
Have a work holiday party coming up that you’d rather not remember the next morning?

Make this holiday season sparkle. You know what to do. 

Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, North Coast 2016 9L, holiday special $899, only one bottle available
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
“Complexity and layering make this wine especially interesting as it goes from aromas of apple, butter and vanilla to deeper toast and baked apple on the palate. It’s medium in body, has tantalizing acidity and a lingering finish. Best through 2026.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “Sleek, with pinpoint focus, offering harmonious Meyer lemon, candied almond and fresh ginger flavors that fan out on the crisp finish. Drink now. 36,209 cases made.”
Wine Advocate 90 points“The nose of the 2016 Blanc de Blancs is bright and fresh, with scents of quince peel, red apples, floral perfume, brioche and a nutty undercurrent. The light-bodied palate is dry with energetic mousse and a nice balance of mineral and tirage character, finishing with fantastic freshness. 36,209 cases produced. The Blanc de Blancs was the first cuvée Schramsberg produced, in 1965.”


If you’re no fun and don’t want to purchase a 9 Liter Bottle of Schramsberg, here are other large format sparkling wines available now at Vinopolis. 

Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Millesime, Champagne 2004 1.5L $279 special, 8 bottles available
James Suckling 95 points
“A very fine-textured Champagne with lovely density and finesse. The bubbles roll off the palate. Full body. Extremely creamy and flavorful. Shows wonderful finesse and a lovely, chalky, lemon-curd and brioche aftertaste. Drink now.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Pommery’s prestige Champagne is named after one of the great Champagne widows of the 19th century who took over when her husband, Alexandre Pommery, died. It is a rich, mature wine, with toast and almond flavors as much as fruit. Full of mineral Chardonnay (60% of the blend), this ripe wine is very ready to drink.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Bright and minerally, featuring smoke and pastry dough notes layered with lemon curd and pureed black currant details, riding the lively bead. Offers a creamy finish, with a lightly floral overtone. Drink now through 2024. 16,666 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut, Champagne 2004 1.5L $379 special, 8 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
” A blend of 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay, this is opulent and full bodied, with toast and wood flavors. Rich and ripe, this beautiful wine is generous and still young, with just a touch of bitterness at the end. -Roger Voss.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “Bollinger’s 2004 Brut La Grand Année is a beautiful wine with a lot of vintage character, but the style is a bit less oxidative than Bollinger fans are likely to expect. Pears, hazelnuts, spices and crushed rocks all flow through to the tense, vibrant finish. It will be interesting to see if the 2004 puts on weight in the bottle, as so many wines from this vintage have. Today, it is bright, linear and quite pretty. Green apples, pears and flowers all add lift on the close.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2004 Grande Année Brut was disgorged in November 2013 and offers a clear, very refined, and complex though still closed bouquet with fruity aromas of fresh and stewed apples, yellow grapefruit, kaki, walnuts, tobacco, herbal tea, nougat and spicy flavors; everything is discreet here, subtle, perfectly melted together and smoky, very smoky. On the palate, this Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blend wine is highly complex and elegant, firmly structured and quite long. This is an excellent Champagne.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Firm, with well-cut acidity and a fine texture, this is aromatic, delivering a skein of ground spice and graphite notes that mesh seamlessly with the flavors of black currant, black cherry, toasted almond, financier, honey and smoky mineral. Offers a long, mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2024. 3,000 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Christophe Baron ‘Le Dessus du Bois Marie’ Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne 2016 1.5L $279 special, 1 bottle available
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2016 Brut Nature Le Dessus Du Bois Marie (Magnum) is a wine of cut and precision. Lemon confit, spice, baked apple tart and pear notes abound. Here the expression is all about energy, tension and delineation. Tangerine oil, spice, crushed rocks and white flowers add the closing shades of complexity. Disgorged: March, 2020.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Disgorged in March 2020 without dosage, Baron’s 2016 Brut Nature Le Dessus du Bois Marie is showing nicely, wafting from the glass with delicately exotic aromas of mandarin orange, pear, musky peach, clear honey and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, satiny and vinous, it’s fleshy and saline, with an enveloping core of fruit, lively acids and a long, mouthwatering finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Christophe Baron ‘Le Dessus du Bois Marie’ Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne 2017 1.5L $259 special, 4 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2017 Brut Nature Le Dessus Du Bois Marie (Magnum) is bright, focused and incredibly energetic. Soaring mineral and saline notes cut through a core of orchard fruit, citrus, white flowers, mint, crushed rocks and spice. The Dessus Du Bois is just fabulous. All it needs is time, but all the elements are there for it to be tremendous in a few years’ time. Actually, it already is. Floral and mineral notes reappear on the finish, adding notable lift. Yields were less affected here, which explains the wine’s freshness. Disgorged: May 2021.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “One of the lighter hued releases, the 2017 Champagne Le Dessus Du Bois Marie has a clean, vibrant bouquet of ripe orchard fruits, tangerine, toasted bread, and honeyed almonds. Absolutely gorgeous on the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, has a layered, rich, yet seamless mousse, everything in the right places, and one heck of a great finish. Bravo.”
Wine advocate 95+ points “The 2017 Brut Nature Le Dessus du Bois Marie has also turned out nicely, unwinding in the glass with scents of crisp orchard fruit, tangerine oil, honeycomb, yellow plums and freshly baked bread. Full-bodied, vinous and textural, it’s rich and incisive, with a tightly coiled core of concentrated fruit and a long, saline and delicately exotic finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 3L $279 special, 9 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points
“The latest release of André Clouet’s NV Brut Grand Réserve Grand Cru is showing well, exhibiting a nicely integrated bouquet of red apple, ripe citrus fruit, honeycomb and blanched almonds, followed by a medium to full-bodied, enveloping palate with a fine mousse, ripe but racy acids and an elegant, understated profile, concluding with a well-defined finish. This is a stylish, harmonious wine that makes for a fine introduction to the Clouet portfolio.” 

New arrival
Bodegas Breca ‘Breca’ Garnacha Old Vines, Calatayud 2017 750ml $15.50 special, 36+ bottles available
Case-12 Bodegas Breca ‘Breca’ Garnacha Old Vines, Calatayud 2017 750ml $169 special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
Case-6 Bodegas Breca ‘Breca’ Garnacha Old Vines, Calatayud 2017 750ml $88 special (that’s only $14.67/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points
“All old vine Garnacha from the Calatayud region of Spain, the 2017 Breca was all destemmed and brought up in larger French oak barrels. It’s another head turner offering rocking red and blue fruits, melted licorice, peppery herbs, and spicy, earth-like aromas and flavors. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and wonderfully textured, it could cost twice the price and still be a good value. Buy a case and enjoy bottles over the coming 3-5 years. This is a killer wine.”

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Wines we love right now for under $20 
Vinyes d’en Gabriel L’Heravi, Montsant 2017 750ml $14 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“L’Heravi Joven is seductive, a rich cherry colour with hints of purple. It has a potent bouquet, with notes of red fruit, wild herbs and just a touch of sweet confectionery. In the mouth it is smooth and elegant, with intense flavours accompanied by freshness and nicely integrated tannins. It will continue to display its qualities over the next 3 years or so.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bodegas Nekeas ‘El Chaparral de Vega Sindoa’, Navarra 2018 750ml $14 special, 28 bottles in stock now 
Vinous- Josh Raynolds 92 points
“Deep garnet. Mineral-tinged cherry, raspberry, vanilla and exotic spice aromas show excellent clarity and take on a smoky nuance with air. Appealingly sweet and expansive on the palate, offering juicy red fruit, rose pastille and spicecake flavors energized by a minerally topnote. Shows impressive energy and florality on the persistent finish, which is given shape by polished, even tannins.”

El Cep ‘Ot’ Blanc de Terrier, Penedes 2020 750ml $11.90 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Vinous 90 points
“Pale yellow. Fresh pear and honeydew melon on the fragrant nose, along with a subtle floral nuance. Silky and open-knit, showing good depth and a touch of waxiness to the ripe orchard and citrus fruit flavors. The melon note comes back on a smooth, persistent finish that features a refreshing bitter orange zest flourish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine des Tourelles Rouge, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 2019 $16 special, 28 bottles in stock now
No reviews for the 2019 vintage. 2018 vintage review provided for reference.
Decanter 93 points “Mediterranean-like character with lots of vibrant redcurrant, raspberry and herbal notes. Floral, restrained and quite finely textured on the palate. Drinking Window 2021 – 2026.”

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

Ovum ‘Old Love’, Oregon 2020 750ml $18.50 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Tom Cannavan 93 points-
“An organic blend of mostly Riesling made in a variety of vessels from concrete eggs to Austrian oak to amphora, blended with a little Gewurztraminer. There is certainly some aromatic perfume here, hints of lychee and summer blossom, lime and a touch of mango exotics. But the amphora/egg ageing and, I presume, wild yeast ferment does add that dimension of yeasty, light earthy character too. In the mouth there’s surely a little residual sugar, but such a phalanx of iodine, mineral salts and zesty lemon flavours that the wine is savoury and multi-layered, fresh and juicy with lovely hints of orange and chamomile into a long finish. Unusual and delicious.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Guy Charlemagne champagne

Having trouble finding Guy Charlemagne in the US? We’re lucky here at Vinopolis to have limited stock of this exclusive champagne producer and ready to transfer that luck over to you. 

Situated in Mesnil-sur-Oger in the heart of Côte des Blancs, you’ll find the eagle crested champagne house of Guy Charlemagne. This Champagne producer is special, turning out artisanal, traditionally structured and refined champagnes using grapes from some of the most sought after terroir in the world. 

The Charlemagne family has been making wine in Mesnil-sur-Oger since 1892, five generations bringing new breath to their land, while continuing the tradition of producing world class champagne. Through this evolution, Guy Charlemagne has maintained the status of Récoltant Manipulants, or “grower champage”. Grower champagnes differ greatly from Champagnes houses, which typically source their grapes from many different growers spread throughout various regions. Grower champagnes have the advantage of crafting concentrated expressions of land they exclusively own. These wines are rare in the US, making up only 5% of champagne imported into the country (Wine Folly, 2014). On top of that, shockingly little information can be found on Guy Charlemagne online, making this truly a hidden gem champagne producer, limited to those in the know.

Esteemed wine critic Peter Liem does a wonderful write up on Guy Charlemagne in his book Champagne: The Essential Guide to the Wines, Producers, and Terroirs of the Iconic Region “Phillippe Charlemagne took over this Le Mesnilsur-Oger estate from his father, Guy in 1988, and today, he farms about 37 acres (15 hectares) not only in the Côte des Blancs but also in the Côte de Sézanne and Vitryat. Both his nonvintage Brut Classic ($) and Brut Nature ($) are exclusively from the Côte de Sézanne, blended from both chardonnay and pinot noir, while the more elegantly textured Réserve Blanc de Blancs ($) is from Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. At the top of the range is Mesnillésime ($$), a vintage-dated blanc de blancs from Charlemagne’s oldest vines in Le Mesnil: like all of his wines, it’s brisk and racy, although it has a layered depth of fruit and a prominent chalkiness to counter its high acidity.”

All of Guy Charlemagne’s grapes are sourced from their independently owned 15 hectares of vineyards, predominately Grand Cru class. Their portfolio features Chardonnay dominate champagnes sourced from Côtes des Blancs, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger crus, complimented with pinot noir sourced from the vineyards of Sézanne, Glannes, Mancy and Cuis. Impressively, the average age of their vines is 42, but some are much older. The magnum opus of Guy Charlemagne is the Brut Mesnillesime Grand Cru, made with 100% chardonnay hand harvested from sixty year old vines from the chalky, limestone soil of Mesnil-sur-Oger. Champagne expert and author Richard Juhlin says of the Mesnillesime Grand Cru “The prestige wine Mesnillésime is a super-concentrated wine from 60 year old vines, where half of the wine has been through malolactic fermentation in steel tanks, while the other half is fermented in oak casks with the malic acidity intact. Mesnillésime is a wine for every serious collector. This is a grower to watch with the greatest respect in the future.”

Here is what we have at Vinopolis in stock now 

Guy Charlemagne Mesnillesime Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2014 750ml $119 special, 36+ bottles available 
Winery note
“A Grand Champagne with character from the Côte des Blancs terroir, specifically from Le Mesnil sur Oger (limestone parcels averaging 60 years of age). This champagne produced from first press of Le Mesnil sur Oger Grand Cru juices, highlights the exact characteristic of our village. Jewel of the Charlemagne house, this vintage wine combines both authenticity and the search for perfect quality. Elegantly presented with exceptional labelling, this Mesnillesime cuvee is produced with rigorous vinification, partially in oak barrels without malolactic fermentation, and a very light dosage of 4 grams per liter. Matured for 6 years in our chalk underground cellars, this cuvee highlights the excellence of our production. Chardonnay, the only grape here, shows what balance, harmony and purity can mean. A rare champagne for unforgettable moments. Pale yellow with green hues. Persistent mousse with very fine bubbles. Powerful yet elegant nose dominated by acacia honey eventually shows notes of candied lemon, smoke and a blend of pepper. Unctuous, lightly oaked and complex on the palate, candied fruit and citrus aromas pave the way to a fresh, vanilla finish.”

Guy Charlemagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Reserve Brut NV 750ml $48 special, 36+ bottles available 
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
“This Champagne is made exclusively from the Charlemagne holdings in grand cru vineyards of the Côte des Blancs. With the classic steely edge that is balanced by a softer dosage, the wine is both fruity and structured. The bottling is ready although it is sure to develop some delicious mature flavors.”
Winery note “The Reserve Brut cuvée is from the Le Mesnil sur Oger and Oger, Côte des Blancs terroir, both with their limestone soils. This brut champagne is made solely with Chardonnay from our 100% Grand Crus. A champagne where lightness and finesse play the lead role, made from a reserve wine blend and light dosage at around 8 grams per litre. This gives it longevity and subtle aromas. Vinified in thermo regulated stainless steel and matured between two and three years in our underground cellars, the Cuvée Reserve Brut is a harmonious wine, wholesome, full-bodied with very mineral aromas. It possesses an elegance and vivacity which will allow for the best pairings but it will be particularly appreciated as an aperitif. Pale yellow color, steady stream of fine bubbles, bright. Very citrusy nose, where acacia and rose water balance each other out. Creamy mouth with an exceptional length, the citrus notes (lime and pink grapefruit) give it freshness before melting into notes of fresh hazelnuts and yeasty brioche. This wine will be appreciated both during aperitif or with an appetizer of warm oysters.”

Guy Charlemagne Brut Classic, Champagne NV 750ml $39 special, 36+ bottles available 
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
“This ripe, balanced and fruity wine has good acidity as well as a poised and elegant layer of white fruits. Fruitiness contrasts with the more textured character that comes through with orange zest and a tight aftertaste. Drink now. -Roger Voss”
Winery note “From the chalky-clay terroir of Sezanne, this brut champagne is a blend of 50% chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir brings body and structure, whereas Chardonnay brings finesse and elegance. Vinified in thermo regulated stainless steel and matured for two years in our underground cellars from different reserve wines, this Brut Extra’s dosage is around 8 grams per litre. It is a highly pleasurable wine with balance and breeding. Straw yellow colour. Steadily rising bubbles. Powerful nose with yellow flower notes and ripe summer fruit (cherry plum). Smooth on the palate with pear and ripe citrus aromas (mandarin). Very good length that ends on a fresh menthol note. Ideal aperitif wine.”

Thank you from the team at Vinopolis!

Be well & drink well.