Vinopolis July 14 Newsletter

July 14, 2014
Keep reading for Vinopolis’ Guide to Summer Wines at great prices!


Jump Start Sale 

Achaval Ferrer Finca Bella Vista Mendoza Malbec 2010 ($119.95) $99 special
#10 WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100 OF 2012 Wine Spectator 95 points
 “Dark and powerful, yet elegant, with a delicious core of crushed raspberry, blackberry and damson plum notes tightly woven with silky tannins. The minerally finish lingers on with layered flavors of wildflowers, melted licorice and spice box. Drink now through 2020.”


Arriving Tomorrow :

Achaval Ferrer Finca Mirador Uco Valley Malbec 2011 ($124.95) $99 special
Wine Spectator 96 points
 “This pure, racy red exhibits a dark side, with layers of spice, graphite and maduro tobacco to the crushed raspberry, blackberry and concentrated cassis fruit. Needs time in the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2022.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~ New Week New Arrivals

Lorelle Pinot Grigio Horse Heaven Hills 2013 ($14.95) $11.90 special
Lorelle Pinot Noir Rose 2013 ($17.95) $14 special
Lorelle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 ($19.95) $16 special

J. Albin is a small, family owned and operated winery with vineyards planted in 1981. They handcraft Estate-grown Pinot noir, Pinot gris, Saignee Rosé and sparkling wines of great finesse and unique style for their Lorelle brand.

Kalems Down Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills 2012 ($19.95) $16 special

An extension of the J. Albin wine collection, this Cabernet is produced from WA grapes at J.Albin’s estate.

Hazel Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2013 ($17.95) $14 special Vinopolpick A new label from Ayres; essentially an early release of some of the wine held for their $20 Ayres WV Pinot Noir

Walla Walla Vintners Columbia Valley Cabernet Franc 2012 ($31.95) $27 special
From the winery
 “Best of Show/Double Gold Medal – Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition, June 2014 : This plump Cabernet Franc contains 84% Franc and 14% Merlot plus a 2% dollop of Carmenére. The Weinbau and Sagemoor Vineyards are the primary source for the Franc with a smaller amount coming from the Grove and Dwelley Vineyards. The Merlot comes from Spring Creek and Kilian Vineyards; the Carmenere was farmed at Dwelley Vineyard. This sassy wine begins with a violet nose bridged by a mid-palate of ox-heart cherry, black raspberry and wild strawberry. The burnt brown sugar finish is a knock out.”

Walla Walla Vintners Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 ($41.95) $36 special
From the winery 
“You’ll enjoy sipping this deep rooted old vine Cabernet Sauvignon from a grand cru vineyard. The leaping nose of seared beef welcomes you to an opening of black licorice, fig jam with a lengthy mid-palate of cassis, black cherry and a boomeranging finish of ripe strawberries and Linzer torte. This age-worthy grande dame is composed of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon from Blocks 3 & 9 – both planted in 1972, 12% Block 4 Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc from Block 2.”

K Vintners Stoneridge Columbia Valley Merlot 2010 ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 93 points 
“First produced in 2009, the 2010 Merlot Stoneridge Vineyard would be a perfect introduction into the Bordeaux blends of this estate. Spending 26 months in 50% new French oak, it offers up a ripe, rich array of plum sauce, black olive, kirsch, cedar and gravel to go with a soft, supple and beautifully fruited palate. Medium-bodied, with an approachable feel, it nevertheless has a great mid-palate and at least a decade of longevity. Drink now-2020.”

K Vintners Clifton Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope 2011 ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 92-94 points
 “Loaded with potential, it exhibits a dense, full-bodied profile to go with already complex aromas and flavors. Showing the freshness of the vintage with its juicy, integrated acidity, it has beautiful ripeness, no hard edges and superb overall balance.  It should be reasonably approachable on release and age gracefully. Drink 2015-2026.”

Januik Weinbau Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Wahluke Slope 2011 ($47.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 91 points
 “Offers vibrant, focused, flavors centered on blackberry and spice, with overlays of black olive and fresh sage. The finish rolls on against refined tannins. Drink now through 2020. 285 cases made.”

Joseph Swan Vineyards Mancini Ranch Russian River Valley Zinfandel 2008 ($34.95) $28 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Inky ruby.  Pungent cherry and dark berries, pipe tobacco, flowers and underbrush on the nose.  Creamy cherry and cassis flavors are lifted by zesty minerality and show very good focus.  Becomes richer on the finish, which leaves cherry compote and spicecake notes behind.”

Joseph Swan Ziegler Vineyard Russian River Valley Zinfandel 2009 ($34.95) $28 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
” Vivid ruby. Intense red and dark berry aromas are lifted by peppery spice and rose accents, with a bright mineral overtone adding energy. Fresh, incisive and floral on the palate, offering blackberry and bitter cherry flavors that coat the palate and pick up a subtle, refreshingly bitter orange marmalade quality. Sweeter on the chewy finish, leaving behind dark berry and licorice notes.”

Davenne Cremant de Bourgone NV ($26.95) $21.90 special
John Gilman 91 points
 “Clotilde Davenne is a full-time winemaker at a well-known Chablis estate, but she moonlights on her small, 8.5 hectare Crémant de Bourgogne project in the Yonne. Many of her vines are quite old, and it shows in the intensity of flavor in her wines. Her non-vintage Extra Brut is really very fine, offering up a very Champagne-like nose of green apple, pink grapefruit, a beautifully complex base of limestone, warm bread and a touch of lime peel in the upper register. On the palate the wine is medium-full, bright and bouncy, with a fine core of fruit, impressive complexity, frothy mousse (which is decidedly more elegant than some Grower Champagnes I sampled for this report!) and a long, crisp and soil-driven finish. I would be very surprised if a wine this well-balanced did not age extremely well. This is truly outstanding sparkling wine and an absolute steal!”

Domaine Leroy Bourgogne Blanc 2009 ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator
 “Floral aromas add interest to this vibrant, lime- and apple-infused white. A hint of seashore leads to a racy finish.”

William Fevre Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2004 ($179.95) $149 special
Burghound 95 points 
“Stylistically, this closely resembles the Valmur with its ultra elegant and pure aromas featuring white flowers, oyster shell and subtle spice notes that perfectly complement the round, powerful, rich and full-bodied flavors that coating the mouth and culminate in a saliva-inducing, incredibly intense finish that reminded me more than a little of a great Corton-Charlemagne. This just oozes minerality and the texture is minerally to the point of this resembling a block of stone. A great Les Clos”

William Fevre Les Preuses, Chablis Grand Cru 2009 ($99.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The 2009 Chablis Les Preuses is one of the most complete wines in this lineup. It possesses striking delineation of aromas and flavors, with nuance after nuance that emerge in the glass. It is another of the weightless wines here in that it is full of flavor but never heavy. Intense notes of minerality and smokiness grace the textured, sublime finish. This is a fabulous effort from Fevre and Didier Seguier. The Preuses is made from two parcels; the first an east-facing steep slope, the second a flatter parcel richer in clay with a southwest exposure. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019. ”
Burghound 95 points ” discreet touch of wood sets off fresh, cool and reserved aromas that are elegant, airy and citrusy before merging into rich, intense, pure and admirably precise medium-bodied flavors that possess really lovely balance and superb length. While there is also an almost invisible hint of wood on the backend, it should be absorbed quickly and overall, this is a spherical wine of perfect proportions and class.”

William Fevre Vaudesir, Chablis Grand Cru 2009 ($89.95) $79 special
Burghound 94 points 
“A mildly exotic and atypically reticent nose that is ripe yet airy showcases aromas of orange peel, peach and hints of roasted nut and iodine, before leading to rich, even opulent medium plus weight flavors that are delicious, round and strikingly persistent on the mouth coating and moderately austere finish. This has really come together since I last saw it and like the Bougros, this is quite a bit more refined than I’m used to seeing. An excellent example.”

Domaine de la Pousse D’or Volnay Clos de la Bousse d’Or Premier Cru 2008 ($149.95) $119 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
 “The 2008 Volnay Clos de la Bousse d’Or is impeccable from start to finish. Elegant, refined aromatics weave into layers of fruit as this substantial Volnay shows off its class and purity. The finish is supple and delicate, with plenty of reserve. Anticipated maturity: 2023-2038.”

Domaine Vincent Paris Granit 30 Cornas 2012 ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 92-95 points
 “Looking first at the 2012s, the Cornas Granit 30 offers a gorgeous bouquet of spring flowers, liquid rock and assorted black and blue fruits in its stylish, perfumed and elegant style. Full-bodied, rich and still youthfully grapy, this pure, balanced and classically styled Cornas will benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for 15-20 years.”

Domaine Vincent Paris Granit 60 Cornas Vieilles Vignes 2012 ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 94-97 points
 “Similarly styled, yet slightly richer and more tannic, the 2012 Cornas Granit 60 has incredible notes of black raspberry, powdered rock, graphite, licorice and liquid violets. Also full-bodied, with superb concentration and depth, as well as a firm tannic spine, this gorgeous effort should be given 4-5 years of bottle age and consumed over the following 10-15 years.”

La Garrigue Cotes Du Rhone Cuvee Romaine 2012 ($19.95) $16 special
Wine Advocate 91 points 
“A year-in, year-out spectacular value, the 2012 Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Romaine is a blend of 65% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah that spends 10-12 months in concrete prior to bottling. A custom cuvee made by importer Eric Solomon and consultant Philippe Cambie, it comes from 60- to 90-year-old vines and is basically a declassified Vacqueyras (at a Cotes du Rhone price). Loaded with garrigue, saddle leather, herbes de Provence and both kirsch and blackberry fruit, it is medium to full-bodied, layered and supple on the palate, with fine tannin emerging on the finish. Showing the vintage nicely and loaded with character, it should be purchased by the case and consumed over the coming 4-6 years.”

Domaine Claude Riffault Sancerre Les Boucauds 2013 ($31.95) $27 special
From the winery 
“Situated just next to the estate, this location contains half of our Sauvignon Blanc plots. The vines are between 10 and 50 years old and grow in clay-limestone marl soil. Known locally as “Terre Blanches”, this clay soil dates back to the Kimmeridgian age of the secondary Jurassic era, 140 million years ago. On the nose, the wine reveals aromas of white fleshed fruit and citrus. The generosity of the soil has resulted in a wine that is full-bodied on the palate. The fine minerality and acidity gives the wine freshness. It can be enjoyed on its own or with shell-fish or fish dishes.”

Galantin Bandol Rose 2013 ($24.95) $19 special
Importer notes
 “The Domaine Le Galantin Rose is a classic Provencal rose with delightful fresh berry fruit flavors and a crisp finish. It is composed of 50% Cinsault, 25% Mourvedre and 25% Grenache. After the grapes are hand-harvested from their organic vineyards, they cool down the bunches to 50 degress for a two day cold soak in order to extract fruit, color and aromatics. The juice is then racked off and the grapes are pressed to stainless steel tanks. 10% of the wine is Saignee, the rest come from grapes treated as for making white wine. Bandol rosé is an excellent accompaniment to bouillabaisse and other fish and shellfish dishes.”

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2013 375ML ($29.95) $24 special
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2013 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2013 1.5LITER ($119.95) $89 special
From the winery 
“An intense fruit and floral nose make this an attractive rose. The palate is rounded and full with fruity aromas of peach and pomegranate, followed by delicate spice notes and a pleasant freshness created by acidic balance.”

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Paganelli 2006 ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Advocate 97 points
 “The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Paganelli is huge, powerful and totally implosive. The seductive allure of the 2007 is nowhere to be found. Instead, the 2006 is built on a serious spine of formidable tannin and dark red/black fruit. Hints of tar, licorice, rose petals and tobacco inform the powerful, virile finish. The 2006 is going to require considerable patience, but it is clearly a jewel of a wine, even at this early stage. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2046.”

Burlotto Vino Rosato Elatis 2013 ($21.95) $17 special
Winery notes :
 The Burlotto Elatis Vino Rosato is a blend of 55% Nebbiolo, 35% Pelaverga Piccolo di Verduno and 10% Barbera. The grapes are de-stemmed and lightly crushed before undergoing a cold maceration of grapes on skins. The alcoholic fermentation is carried out in stainless steel tanks (temperature controlled to around 16-18 degrees Celsius (without seeds or skins). The wine is matured in stainless steel, on lees, for six months.”

Elvio Tintero Moscato d’Asti Sori Gramella 2013 ($17.95) $14 special
Winery notes 
“Moscato, aromatic and crisp, the wine is known for parties and events. The aromas are complex and aromatic flowers reminiscent of orange and sage, linden and acacia, in addition to fishing and ripe apricot.The taste is balanced in its sweetness, mellow, soft and velvety.”

Elvio Tintero Barbaresco 2010 ($24.95) $21.90 special
Winery notes
 “Garnet red color with orange reflections; characteristic aroma, pleasant and intense; dry, full, robust, austere but velvety. 100% Nebbiolo, aged in large oak barrels for 20 months. Serve at 18-20 degrees with egg pasta, risotto, meat dishes and aged cheeses.”

Benevelli Piero Dolcetto d’Alba Vigna Costa 2012 ($21.95) $18 special
Winery notes
 “Deep red with violet hues Scent in perfume: Intense with hints of cherry, blueberry, roses and spices Flavour: Full-bodied, harmonic with dry soft pleasant finish”

Benevelli Piero Barolo Ravera 2008 ($59.95) $49 special
Importer notes
 “Vines planted in 1960. All vineyards are in the commune of Monforte and are hand harvested. During fermentation the wines are pumped over 3 times a day. Delestage every other day during alcoholic fermentation. Submerged-cap maceration lasts 20-25 days, depending on the vintage. Aged in second-passage barriques for one year, then in 10-year-old oak botti (40 hL, 20 hL, and 15 hL) for 15 months. Aged 8-10 months in bottle before release.”

Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico 2005 ($99.95) $89 special
Importer notes
 “Nothing is ever hurried at Quintarelli. The wines take their time and are given the time they need. In the still, quiet calm of the family cellars above the town of Negrar, along the winding via del Cerè, deep in the Valpolicella zone, the wine from the family’s hillside vineyards ages patiently and gracefully in large casks until it is ready. Every release is a masterpiece, a testament to time, tradition, skill, and passion, the creations of a master artisan. You can’t really compare these wines to any other in the region, or anywhere else in the world. They really are in a class and a category all their own.”

Drei Dona (Tenuta la Palazza) Magnificat Cabernet Sauvignon Emilia-Romagna 2008 ($39.95) $21.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 90 (+?) points
 “Saturated ruby-red.  Pure aromas of black fruits, violet, graphite and herbs, plus a sexy note of sweet vanillin oak.  Large-scaled and thick, with mouthcoating tannins and palate-staining black fruit and herbal flavors.  The finish is long and pure and features great verve for such a big wine, but I would have liked a little more sweet fruit.”

La Viarte Friulano 2012 ($24.95) $21.90 special
Winery notes
 “Pale yellow color vibrant and shiny. Perfume broad and balanced with a rich bouquet. Taste dry at the entrance and in the end, well-structured yet soft, strong character, in favor of vintage finds an intense and typical almond aftertaste.”

La Viarte Ribolla Gialla 2012 ($24.95) $21.90 special
Winery notes
 “Brilliant straw yellow. Nose large and safe, unique, and delicious scent of flowers soapwort. Taste dry, cool, well packed and safe, good acidity, typical character of Ribolla, which acts as a shoulder for a great property.”

Fescenino Ribera del Duero 2013 ($17.95) $14 special

La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2004 1.5LITER ($89.95) $79 special
WINE SPECTATOR #22 WINE OF THE YEAR Wine Spectator 94 points “Cedar, tobacco and spice hints frame dried cherry, berry and vanilla notes in this silky red. The flavors mingle nicely, framed by juicy acidity and light but firm tannins. The wine has a lovely, weightless intensity. A fine example of the traditional style. Drink now through 2020.”

Grupo Artevino Vina Izadi Rioja Reserva 2009 ($21.95) $18 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “(all tempranillo; aged in French and American oak for 14 months):  Opaque ruby.  Pungent aromas of blackcurrant, cherry-cola and white pepper, plus a subtle floral topnote.  Round and velvety on the palate, offering pleasantly bitter dark berry skin flavors complemented by mocha and candied rose notes.  Becomes brighter, spicier and more red-fruity with air, finishing with excellent cut and tangy persistence.”

Oremus Tokaji Late Harvest Furmint 2011 375ML ($37.95) $29 special
Importer notes
 “Oremus painstakingly harvests and selects by hand, making the Aszú wines in the old style, something that sets this estate apart from many others in the region. The winery is proud to have an ancient tunnel/cellar system extending for multiple kilometers. This system dates back to the 13th century, and in 2002, it became a World Heritage Site .These tunnels house Oremus Gönci (136-liter oak) barrels during the aging process. For the Late Harvest wines, during the harvest, bunches of grapes containing a majority of botrytised grapes are individually selected and pressed. The must is fermented and aged in oak barrels, lending the wine a unique elegance.”

Oremus Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2005 500ML ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The 2005 Oremus Tokaji Aszu 5-Puttonyos was marked by slowly shrivelling grapes on the vine after what had been cooler vintage. It was matured in oak for 30 months. It has a complex bouquet that is very different from the 2006, with extrovert scents of mango, baked gingerbread, mandarin and fig, and is slightly more oxidative in style when compared to the 2006. The palate is very intense on the entry, with orange rind, apricot and quince. This is very focused, perhaps bestowed with more weight and length than the 2006, with a bitter kiss of sour lemon on the finish. This is a beautiful aszu, but the 2005 has just a little more finesse and edginess. Drink now-2040.”



Arriving This Week

Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2013 ($31.95) $28 special
Domaine Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2013 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special
From the winery
 “Planted on the soils, Gamay expresses notes of violets and aromas of black cherries. The Morgon generally develops three dominant flavors: Cherry, licorice and violet.”


Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2010 ($179.95) $149 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
 “The 2010 Barolo Lazzarito is impeccably polished, silky and refined, especially for a Serralunga Barolo. Mint, violets, black fruit, smoke and deep layers of spices are some of the many notes that flesh out on the inviting, textured finish. Today, the Lazzarito is incredibly primary to the point of being raw and undeveloped, but it is explosive, bursting with energy and flat-out great. This is also the first recent vintage I can remember tasting where the French oak is more in line with the other single-vineyard Barolos.”

Vietti Barolo Brunate 2010 ($189.95) $159 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points
 “Dark red fruit, iron, new leather and smoke all jump from the 2010 Barolo Brunate. A huge, dense, powerful Barolo, the 2010 Brunate boasts stunning depth and sheer richness. At the same time, though, it is incredibly polished for such a big wine. The Brunate brings together the power of the Lazzarito, but with a greater sense of textural polish and finesse that is typical of the Rocche. In 2010, the Brunate is all about balance and harmony.”

Vietti Barolo Rocche 2010 ($219.95) $199 special
Antonio Galloni 99 points
 “A wine of exquisite beauty, the 2010 Barolo Rocche is pure silk on the palate. The 2010 is incredibly dense, dark and powerful for a young Rocche. With time in the glass, the Rocche opens up nicely, showing the full breadth of its potential and pedigree. Stunning in the glass and impeccable throughout, the 2010 Rocche is firing on all cylinders. Sweet rose petals, mint, spices and licorice are woven into the breathtaking, perfumed finish.”

Rizzi Barbaresco Nervo Fondetta, Barbaresco DOCG 2010 ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points 
“Rizzi’s 2010 Barbaresco Nervo Fondetta is another terrific wine from Treiso. Sweet, balsamic and beautifully layered, the 2010 impresses for its exceptional overall balance. Dark plum and cherry notes flesh out in the glass, followed by sweet tobacco, licorice, spice and menthol notes. Sweet floral notes ring out on the finish. As always, the Rizzi style is built on immediacy, and there is plenty of that here, but at the same time, the 2010 boasts plenty of energy and class.”

Rizzi Pajore, Barbaresco DOCG 2010 ($49.95) $41.90 special
Antonio Galloni 93+ points 
“The 2010 Barbaresco Pajorè is the best wine I have ever tasted from Rizzi. Layers of deep, balsamic-inflected aromas and flavors wrap around the palate in a rich, expressive Barbaresco. Menthol, pine, minerals and cloves inform the striking, vivid finish. This plush, harmonious Barbaresco from one of the best sites in Treiso is firing on all cylinders.”


Azelia di Luigi Scavino Barolo DOCG 2010 ($37.95) $31.90 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points
 “Azelia Barolo is produced from 2.5 Ha of vineyards in both Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba.  The Nebbiolo is fermented for 15 days on the skins and spends 24 months is ‘botti grande’ large wood cask.  Azelia’s base Barolo is not produced from the young vines of the estate, these Nebbiolo vines are 25 to 40 years old!  Historically an incredible Barolo value, receives tremendous accolades from the wine press, can age for 12 to 15 years.  900 to 1,100 cases produced a year depending on the vintage.”

Azelia di Luigi Scavino Bricco Fiasco, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($99.95) $79 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points
 “Azelia’s 2010 Barolo Bricco Fiasco is incredibly polished in this vintage. Dried roses, crushed berries, tobacco, mint and spices are woven together in a fabric of nearly indescribable class and elegance. The ferrous notes and massive tannins typical of this Barolo are nearly completely covered with layers of deeply expressive, perfumed nuances that captivate all the senses. This is a super-classic feeling Bricco Fiasco from Azelia. I never thought I would describe a Bricco Fiasco Barolo as seductive, but Azelia’s 2010 is that, and a lot more.”

Azelia di Luigi Scavino Margheria, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($89.95) $71.90 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
 “The 2010 Barolo Margheria comes across as quite compact at this stage but then again, it is a young Serralunga Barolo. Iron, graphite, smoke and crushed rocks seem to resonate off a core of expressive dark fruit in a muscular, implosive Barolo endowed with tremendous depth and intensity. With time in the glass the wine’s inner perfume and sweetness begin to emerge, accompanied by expressive floral and savory notes that add tons of pure appeal. The 2010 is going to require considerable patience, but there is a lot to look forward to. Layers of chalk and limestone inflected minerality support to the building finish. The Margheria is aged entirely in cask, which among other things, means the malolactic fermentation is done the spring after harvest, later than the other Azelia’s Barolos.”

Azelia di Luigi Scavino ‘San Rocco’, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($89.95) $71.90 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
 “Dark cherry, plum, smoke, menthol, melted road tar and graphite meld together in the 2010 Barolo San Rocco. A big, explosive wine, the 2010 blossoms in the glass with layers of deep, expressive fruit. The San Rocco is usually a wine of volume and breadth, at it is again in 2010. The firm Serralunga tannins are present, but they are also beautifully balanced. I can’t wait to see how the 2010 develops. Today, the San Rocco is young, young, young.”


New Arrivals
Saint Cosme 2012

“Without a doubt, the leading estate in Gigondas is Louis Barruol’s Chateau Saint-Cosme. Located just outside the village, he releases an assortment of world class Gigondas, as well as a number of value priced, negotiate-styled Cotes du Rhone efforts that always deliver high-quality (these are normally released under his Saint-Cosme label and do not say Chateau Saint-Cosme). Both 2011 and 2012 are incredibly strong here and readers should not miss these wines!” Jebb Dunnuck, in The Wine Advocate

The Saint Cosme estate is located in the heart of Gigondas in the Southern Rhone.  The Chateau is surrounded by 37 acres of old-vine vineyard land.  It is no surprise that the vines average an impressive 60 years in age, coming from an estate that was founded in 1490 and saw 14 successive generations of the Barruol family manage it.  The estate is in the middle of two geological faults, resulting in a wide variety of soil types.  The microclimate is quite cool for the region; grapes are usually harvested later than other estates in the area. 

In 1995, Louis Barruol took over from his father, Henri.  He expanded the business to include a negociant label for Rhone Valley wines.   He takes a very active role in managing the vineyards, personally overseeing pruning, ripening and harvests.  He oversaw the expansion of the wine cellar in 2007 into ancient Roman tunnels.  Instead of destroying them to make room for a modern cellar, he saw the value in their longevity and ability to maintain the ideal humitidy and temperature for aging wine.

From the family-owned vineyards that line the foothills of the Dentelles-de-Montmirail mountains, Barruol produces several Gigondas wines.  These wines are powerful and rich with a striking elegance.  The Le Poste vineyard surrounds the estate’s chapel and was replanted by Louis’ father Henri in 1963.  It is composed of several parcels of Grenache and one of Clairette.  The vineyard was one the first purchased by the family in 1490 along with the estate.  The soil is limestone yellow mall with many fossils.  The winemaker writes that this vineyard makes the most feminine and elegant wine of the estate.  Le Claux and the Hominis Fides vineyards were first recognized in 1902.  Le Claux, planted in 1870, was scheduled to be ripped out in 1914 because the vines no longer produced large yields.  The War and several deaths in the family prevented its destruction.  The soil is yellow limestone clay and gravel.  Now Le Claux is celebrated for its old vines that produce tiny, concentrated yields.  It produces the most Burgundian character, with finesse and complexity.  The Hominis Fides vineyard is composed of the oldest vines in the estate.  It is made of sandy limestone soil that the winemaker believes help contribute to the fine tannins in the Grenache.  It is their “most deep and enigmatic wine.”

Saint Cosme wines – Available Now

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas 2012 ($44.95) $38 special 2+ cases available
Wine Advocate 90-92 points
 “Moving to the releases in barrel, the 2012 Gigondas (60% Grenache and the balance mostly Mourvedre, with some Syrah) has plenty of potential, with juicy black raspberry, sweet spice, licorice and toasty notes as well as medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. Nicely balanced, it shows the purity of the vintage, as well as a relatively approachable style that should allow it to drink nicely on release.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides 2012 ($119.95) $89 special 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93-96 points 
“Despite coming from sandy soils, the 2012 Gigondas Hominis Fides has a masculine, structured and almost burly profile. Underbrush, black raspberry, crushed rock, pepper and black licorice are just some of the notions here, and it hits the palate with full-bodied authority and richness. I expect it will flesh out nicely once in bottle, but it should still warrant 2-3 years in the cellar and have the capacity to keep for 20 years.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Claux 2012 ($119.95) $89 special 9 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93-96 points
 “More aromatic and complex compared to the Valbelle, the 2012 Gigondas Le Claux exhibits notions of potpourri, leather, graphite and flowers to go with a full-bodied, elegant and pure profile on the palate. It too doesn’t lack for fruit or structure and should have 15-20 years of ultimate longevity.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Le Poste 2012 ($119.95) $99 special 11 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94-97 points
 “The 2012 Gigondas Le Poste might just be the star of the three single vineyards in 2012. More fine and elegant, with thrilling lavender, flowers, forest floor and sweet berry fruit, it is full-bodied, seamless and carries masses of fine tannin in its pure, refined texture. Gorgeous all around, it too should have upward of two decades of longevity.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Valbelle 2012 ($79.95) $66 special 9 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92-94 points
 “A bigger, richer effort, the 2012 Gigondas Valbelle is brilliant! Seamless, full-bodied, rich and beautifully textured, as well as with considerable structure, it offers notions of creamy raspberry, creme de cassis, toast and licorice in its impressive, layered personality. It got a big “Wow” in the notes and should be a wine to grab up on release.”

Chateau de Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone Les Deux Albion 2012 ($24.95) $21.90 special 2 cases available


Bring any of the wines below to your next summer party or cookout!


Light Whites

J&H Selbach Riesling Kabinett Piesporter 2012($17.95) $11.90 special
 The wines are J&H Selbach are made with everyday enjoyment in mind, with or without food. Traditional off-dry style, low alcohol, delicately fruity apple and citrus aromas with a lingering crisp finish.

Donnhoff Estate Riesling Trocken 2012 ($23.95) $18 special
From the winery
 “A dry Riesling wine, very typical of our estate. Wonderfully fresh and well defined, elegant with a tingling minerality. A delicious wine for everyday with moderate alcohol and very soothing acidity.”

Inama Soave Classico 2012 ($17.95) $14 special
From the winery
“Light yellow colour. Elegant nose of sweet field flowers: camomile, elder flower, iris. Mineral on the palate with sweet almond on the finish.”

Teixeiro Vinho Verde 2012 ($11.95) $8 special
This crisp, clean and slightly effervescent white from Portugal is a perfect summertime sipper. Pleasant citrus fruit and hints of minerals with a lively acidity on the finish.

William Fevre Chablis Vaulorent 1er Cru 2010 ($74.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points 
“The 2010 Chablis Vaulorent is striking. It shows plenty of richness but very little in the way of excess  weight. There is plenty of depth waiting to emerge from this expressive, mineral-drenched Chablis. Mint, flowers and white stone fruits wrap around the pure, beautifully delineated finish. Anticipated maturity: 2013+.”

Omero Pinot Gris 2013 ($21.95) $19 special
From the winery (on 2012)
 “Estate grown, refined. Aromas of ripe strawberry, and rose hips, with a rich, bright red fruit dominate palate, balanced by subtle herbaceous notes.”

Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay The Cutrer 2010 ($39.95) $33 special
Producer Notes:
 “This wine is a classic California – clean and fresh.  It has a rich texture that is big, round and creamy, and balanced with the hallmark Sonoma-Cutrer acidity.  Aromas of honey, caramel, and toasted nuts are accented with allspice, peach and baked apple.  Flavors of ripe peaches and hazelnut and apple are layered with crème brulee, toasty oak and subtle hints of spice.”

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.”


Cooling Reds

Chateau Thivin Cote De Brouilly 2010 ($24.95) $19 special
Wine Advocate 89-90 points
 “While Claude Geoffroy again from 2010 intended to bottle small quantities of several single-site wines, he presented to me only one 2010 Cote de Brouilly, representing the assemblage that will be sold in the U.S. Tiny Maine blueberries mingle with blackberry and huckleberry for a refreshing if tart- and bitter-edged performance, a cooling sense of high-toned herbal concentrate and a wet stone as well as crystalline sense of mineral impingement adding intrigue and allure. As polished in texture as it is penetrating in finish, this promises to be deliciously versatile over at least the next half dozen years, as witness a long line of predecessors with similar personalities from this estate.”

Liger-Belair Moulin A Vent Vieilles Vignes 2010 ($31.95) $23.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“Vivid ruby.  Raspberry, cherry, licorice and violet on the assertively perfumed nose and in the mouth.  Juicy and precise, with very good depth, energy and building spiciness.  Lingers with impressive tenacity, showing finishing notes of spices and flowers.  I find this year’s bottling of this wine far more vibrant and incisive than its ’09 sibling.”

Jean-Paul Thevenet Morgon Vieilles Vignes 2010 ($34.95) $27.50 special
Wine Advocate 90+ points 
“Jean-Paul Thevenet’s 2010 Morgon Vieilles Vignes prominently displays exuberant, tart, seedy red raspberry, and sour cherry with its pit. Roasted nuttiness and marrow-rich beef stock-like carnal elements well-up on the otherwise lively and juicy as well as polished palate, and a streak of salinity helps serve for a mouthwatering not to mention bright and piquant finish. I suspect that this will add richness as it puts distance between itself and bottling. Certainly it has energy and juice to spare, and I would expect it to perform well for at least 3-4 more years.”

Crowley Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2012 ($24.95) $21.90 special
From the winery
 “The 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir has dark color and fruit notes to go with clean lines and decent complexity.Though this wine strikes a richer chord, it also seems to have a fair amount of layering, possibly due to vines’ struggle for moisture. The 2012 also received (for the first time) our older vine Pommard from the Four Winds Vineyard, the Pinot counterpart to the Chardonnay. As with the Chardonnay, the tendency of the Pinot from Four Winds is to be leaner and exhibit mineral tones. This fruit certainly offsets the extreme dry year and helped keep this wine fresh and lighter on the palate. ”

Ransom Pinot Noir Selection 2012 ($24.95) $21.90 special
From the winery 
“A selection of four exceptional vineyards in the Willamette Valley, the 2012 Selection Pinot Noir reads like an idyll to its picturesque home. A rich garnet color in the glass, the wine opens with lush, vibrant aromas of black cherry, Nootka rose and forest floor. Savory flavors of elderberry and sarsaparilla balance a mineral vein and sweet earth on a palate deftly punctuated with fine velveteen tannins and juicy acidity. The finish is long and resonant. Exceptional now, we believe it will continue to evolve for at least a decade. ”

Gorrondona Bizkaiako Txakolina Tinto 2013 ($29.95) $27 special
Wine Advocate 90 points
 “The 2013 Gorrondona Tinto is a rarity, a red Txakoli produced exclusively with the red local grape Hondarrabi Beltza that fermented with indigenous yeast and went through malolactic in vat. It has an herbal nose, not unlike other Atlantic reds from southwest France or the Loire, a bit wild with some chili pepper and floral notes. It has certain elegance, with fine grained tannins. A red for blue fish? Drink now-2016.”

Mas Jullien Terrasses Du Larzac Rouge 2010 ($59.95) $49 special
Robert Parker 94 points 
“The 2010 Coteaux du Languedoc Terrasses du Larzac is another superb example of this cuvee. Cassis, currant bud, massive minerality and a distinct iron/bloody quality all emerge from the glass, and this full-bodied, dense, concentrated and structured 2010 has fantastic tension and an overall energetic vibe. It needs another 2-3 years of cellaring and will have 15 years or more of ultimate longevity.”


Dry Roses

Bodegas Muga Rioja Rosado 2013 ($14.95) $10.90 special
From the winery
 “From vineyards at the foot of the Montes Obarenses, within the Rioja Alta region, planted on clay, limestone and alluvial soils. A twelve-hour maceration of the grapes precedes a 25-day fermentation in 1000 litre barrels to produce a delicate rosé. The Muga Rosé is a deep salmon colour, with intensely fresh, strawberry, raspberry and orange peel aromas. The domination of the Garnacha grape provides plenty of warm, spicy fruit with crisp acidity.”

Chateau De Calavon D’aix En Provence Rose 2013 ($21.95) $18 special
Chateau notes:
 “Château de Calavon, a domain of 115 acres, is located in Lambesc, in the heart of the Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence appellation. It is the first winery to be founded in this village. Owned by the Audibert family for five generations, it is now run by Michel Audibert and his team.  The vines are planted on terraces facing southeast, in stony soil that is a mixture of limestone and clay. The grape varieties grown for rosé wines are Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, and Cinsault. No pesticides, herbicides, or chemical products are used in the vineyards, as the estate is in the process of converting to organic production.”

Cameron Ramato Pinot Gris Rose 2013 ($27.95) $24 special
Winery note:
 “Rame:  Italian for copper, ramato:  copper-colored.  Ramato is a copper-colored Pinot grigio made in the tradition of north-eastern Italy.  A very tricky wine to pull off, the resulting lovely light orange libation is a blend of complex herbal aromas and stunning mouth feel.  Very limited production.”

Bergstrom Pinot Noir Rose 2013 ($29.95) $24 special
From the winery
 “The 2013 Bergström Wines Rosé of Pinot Noir has a pink grapefruit color and showcases elegant aromas of citrus, strawberry, marshmallows, tangerines and apples. In the mouth the wine is rich and suave and has tremendous fresh red apple flavors. The hot and dry 2013 vintage yielded a round, concentrated Rosé that is not as high in acid as previous years. As a result, this wine is irresistible now and delicious if served cool but not chilled. Extremely quaffable and friendly, this Rosé will drink very well upon release. ”

Domaine Berangeraie Cahors Rose 2013 ($11.95) $9.90 special
From the winery 
“Very aromatic rosé (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry). A very pronounced grenadine color and a rich, winey and creamy mouth Malbec and amyl (strawberry, pineapple, pear) for the Syrah. Drink as an aperitif or with a grill, a salad, sweet or salty, or an exotic fruit salad.”

Peyrassol Commanderie De Peyrassol Rose 2013 ($24.95) $21.90 special
From the winery 
“A classic, the ‘Commanderie de Peyrassol’ vintage comes from vines with an average age of 25. Perfectly suited to the renowned cuisine of the French, these fresh, balanced and fruity wines honour the Provencal soil and are accessible to all different palates.  The rosés, with refreshing coolness, conjure up red fruits.”

Domaine Pepiere La Pepie Rose 2013 ($19.95) $16 special
Importer notes 
“Clean, mineral-laden and inviting, this wonderful wine is a perfect aperitif. 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cot. ”

Crisp Champagne

Moet Chandon Brut Imperial NV ($49.95) $33 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “The minerally undertow imparts a subtle, smoky note that blends with flavors of dried pineapple, biscuit, salted almond and white peach. A balanced version, with a fine bead and well-honed acidity. Drink now through 2018.”

Chartogne-Taillet Brut Cuvee St Anne NV ($44.95) $34.90 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “Full-bodied and powerful, offering toast and malt aromas followed by honey, roasted almond and ginger flavors. Rich, this finishes dry, with a long aftertaste of honey and nut.”

Jose Michel Brut Pinot Meunier NV ($49.95) $39 special
Peter Liem 
“About half of Michel’s vineyards are planted with meunier, and he’s been making champagne from pure meunier for over 50 years. Today he makes a cuvée entirely from pinot meunier, blended from vines both in Moussy, the Coteaux Sud d’Epernay, and the Aisne valley to the west… if you’ve never tasted a pure meunier, this is a fine introduction to the variety. It shows a classic build, with broad, low-pitched flavors of apple, grapefruit pith and wheat bread, backed by hints of a savory, umami-like earthiness.”

L. Aubry Champagne Brut Premier Cru NV ($41.95) $36 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Bright straw.  Pungent aromas of Meyer lemon, pear and fig, with a gingery accent adding lift.  Sappy, penetrating citrus fruit and floral flavors are given a refreshingly bitter character by notes of pear skin and peach pit, with a waxy note coming up on the back half.  A smoky nuance lingers on the finish, which shows very good clarity and length.”

Moet Chandon Grand Vintage Brut Rose 2004 ($89.95) $59 special
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
 “This serious, ripe offering is packed with red berry and stone fruit flavors. It also has complex touches of toast and acidity, producing a sense of dryness. This is finely balanced and is now ready to drink, but it will also likely age for a few more years.”

Staff Picks


Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses 2002 ($34.95) $28 staff pick special
“Lovely wine that is the essence of old-school Loire Valley Cabernet Franc. Intense green pepper and herbal aromas are well balanced by fresh dark cherry and subtle smoky notes. Mild tannins and bright minerality give this wine a lovely finish that would be perfect for any evening by the grill.”



JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese 2012 375ml ($29.95) $21.90 staff pick special
“Wehlen Sonnenuhr is one of the best known vineyards in the Mosel. Rich and creamy with plenty of ripe peach nuances, backed by refreshing acidity and minerality. Still young, it has great aging potential over next 15-20 years.”




Here this Week

Domaine de Villaine

Domaine de Villaine, owned and operated by Aubert de Villaine since the 1970s, is located in Bouzeron, nestled in the Côte Chalonnaise region between Chassagne-Montrachet to the north and Rully and Mercurey to the south. Planted with vines by the monks of Cluny in the Middle Ages, this small, sunny valley has a rich and lengthy tradition of producing quality wines which reflect their exceptional terroir. While working with the traditional Burgundy grapes, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, De Villaine also produces Aligote, a varietal seen in other regions in Burgundy, and famed in Bouzeron in particular. Produced at its highest quality in Bouzeron, Aligote is known for its distinctive floral characteristics and dry yet round body.

The de Villaines farm three appellations within the Côte Chalonaise, namely Bouzeron (Aligoté), Rully (Chardonnay) and Mercurey (Pinot Noir). Here, vines are grown exclusively on the slopes: the nutrient-poor, limestone-rich soil allows precise yield control, while a warm microclimate favors ripening of the grapes. Winemaking at Domaine de Villaine is traditonal is the purest sense of the word: manual harvesting and strict sorting, and a combined use of oak and tanks. Very little use of new oak allows what, in de Villaine’s opion, is a natural expression of the wine. Their single-vineyard parcels are stunning examples of what this complex and amazing terroir can yield. Though their wines are quite enjoyable young, their ability to age well is what one might expect from a master such as de Villaine.

De Villaine Wines – Arriving July 18th

De Villaine Bouzeron Aligote 2012 ($34.95) $29 special
From the winery
 “True to its varietal nature, our Bouzeron is a liveley, fruity wine, but it also has a finesse and roundness that spring from the essential nature of the terroir. These qualities lend it great versatility. To best appreciate the freshness and fruit, our Bouzeron would be drunk young, within two or three years. To allow the wine to fully develop fullness and “fatness”, age it for up to ten years.”

De Villaine Bourgogne Blanc Les Clous Aime 2012 ($39.95) $33 special
From the winery 
“Les clous Aimé is a vin de garde- it’s meant to be aged. It is made from the fruit of old vines on a predominantly limestone terroir, and in its youth displays a pure mineral character.”

De Villaine Bourgogne La Digoine 2012 ($49.95) $39 special
From the winery
 “La Digoine is a site at the foot of a slope, known for centuries to provide the deep soil and growing conditions necessary for excellent red wine.Our vineyard here is planted in moderate-yield Pinot Noir.La Digoine can be drunk very young. Within two or three months of bottling, it demonstrates immediate appeal with red berry fruit and a balance of roundness, structure, and lenght on the palate.”

De Villaine Bourgogne Rouge Les Clous 2012 ($44.95) $37 special
Importer notes 
“ A new wine from De Villaine. Careful selection and sorting of the grapes is done in the vineyard. Wine is fermented and aged in wood cuves with a minimum 2/3 of the stems, depending on the vintage. The wine stays in cuve for 10 to 12 days, so as to add extra skin tannins and just a little tannin from the seeds and stems. After alcoholic fermentation, the wine and must are separated and the must is pressed. The pressed must is tasted separately and sometimes blended back into the wine. The wine is raised for 10 to 12 months depending on the vintage”

De Villaine Mercury Rouge Les Montots 2012 ($51.95) $45 special
From the winery 
“Les Montots is situated on fairly steep slope with southern exposure, planted with a selection of Pinot Noir vines from Nuits-Saint-Georges chosen for teir aromatic qualities and moderate yield.Les Montots is a Mercurey of its own kind, structured and viforous, deep with a dark ruby color.
It will open up gradually with age, revealing the breadth of its complexity only after five to seven years. Depending on the vintage and your cellar, it will age and develop for fifteen to twenty years.’

~~~~~~~~~~~~ Time to Say Goodbye

As the World Cup has drawn to a close, celebrate with this Special Edition Champagne


Final 6 bottles!

Taittinger Champagne Brut Reserve FIFA World Cup Edition NV ($79.95) $61.90 special

Taittinger, one of the great Champagne houses, has just released a special edition of their exceptional non-vintage wine, commemorating the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Each bottle comes packed in its own individual gift carton and has a special label, featuring holograms of ‘bouncing footballs’ in place of the standard ‘bubble’ design.