Vinopolis March 10 Newsletter

March 10, 2014

Jump Start Sale

Peter Liem- When it is not Champagne:
“Huet makes one of my favorite sparklers outside of Champagne—it’s a magical, intensely expressive wine, and ridiculously inexpensive for the quality.”

Huet Vouvray Petillant Sec 1998 ($49.95) $24 special, specially Cellar released from Domaines Huet!

The Huet Petillant today, and since 2002 is made with the so-called “Methode Ancestrale’ wherein the initial fermentation is arrested before completion by chilling, the wine is bottled and fermentation completes in the bottle yielding CO2, IE bubbles. This 1998 was one of the final vintages that Huet’s master wine maker, Noel Pinguet, employed the more Champagne-like “Methode Traditionelle” wherein the initial wine is fermented to dryness, and then in bottling is re-charged with sufficient sugar and yeast to facilitate a renewed fermentation in bottle. At Huet then and now, the base wine is made from young vines in their renowned Vouvray vineyards; and the pre-2002 Petillants were recharged for bottle fermentation by blending in finished Vouvray Moelleux and additional native yeasts.

This is so much more than sparkling Vouvray in terms of both finesse and concentration .  It bests many entry-level Champagnes in terms of complexity, balance and expression of autolytic flavors, arising from sur lie aging. It is Champagne with the sense of another place – its very Vouvray-ness. A Petillant has lower gas pressure than Champagne, after a few minutes the wine will appear still. What doesn’t dissipate is senses of nuts, baked apples, spice, beeswax, ripe pear, and honey. All this with a backbone of minerality. Complex and quaffable both.


This is by far the lowest visible listing in the USA
The next best listing will cost you more than double- $48.99


Patricia Green Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ($21.95) $18 special

Beaux Freres Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2012 ($59.95) $51.90 special
Update- initial stocks sold out, more arriving Friday.

Sea Smoke ‘Southing’ Pinot Noir 2007 ($59.95) $49 special, only 2 bottles

Chester-Kidder Red Columbia Valley 2010 ($59.95) $41.90 special

Sequel Syrah Columbia Valley 2010 ($59.95) $41.90 special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The best vintage of this cuvee to date, the 2010 Syrah Sequel, made by John Duval of John Duval Wines in Barossa, is a blend of 93% Syrah and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 18 months in 65% new French oak. Inky purple in color, it is decidedly meaty on the nose, with layers of black fruit, smoked meat, pepper and toast all emerging from the glass. Classy and rich on the palate, it dishes out a medium to full-bodied texture, great acidity and a blockbuster finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. Despite the overall richness level, the overall profile here is downright elegant and perfectly balanced; while already delicious, it will evolve gracefully for over a decade. Drink now-2020.”

Feather Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2011 ($69.95) $51.90 special
Pedestal Merlot Columbia Valley 2011 ($69.95) $51.90 special
Pirouette Red Wine Columbia Valley 2011 ($59.95) $46.60 special

Saggi Red Wine Columbia Valley 2010 ($49.95) $36.60 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points 
“Good bright red-ruby.  Crushed bitter cherry, strawberry, redcurrant and chocolate on the musky nose, along with a floral nuance.  Suave, creamy and seamless on the palate, with ripe strawberry fruit complemented by an inviting floral element.  Nicely filled in but without any excess weight.  Finishes saline, tactile and firm, with impressive lingering sweetness.  Boasts plenty of early sex appeal.”

Mauro Molino Barolo Vigna Conca 2009 ($79.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 92 points 
“Showing balance and beautiful intensity, the 2009 Barolo Vigna Conca shows wonderful results: Dark concentration and richness are supported by generous cherry, blackberry, spice, licorice, cola and dried mint. The wine presents long, sweeping flavors that are supported by firm tannins and bright acidity. The wine will reward those who wait. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.”

Cantina Del Pino Barbaresco Ovello 2004 ($59.95) $49 special, only 2 bottles left
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “I have been looking forward to tasting the estate’s 2004 Barbaresco Ovello for some time. It is an exceptional wine that expresses the pedigree of the vintage in its sweet, expansive personality. Ripe dark fruit, toasted oak and balsamic nuances are all woven together in a powerful, structured style. Ovello is one of the cooler micro-climates in Barbaresco and this wine remains quite powerful and tannic today. It should develop beautifully over the following years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024.”

Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric Del Fiasc 2004 ($119.95) $99 special, only 4 bottles left
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “The estate’s 2004 Barolo Bric del Fiasc is another awesome wine. Initially linear on entry, it explodes on the palate with a compelling array of dark fruit, smoke, tar, licorice, new leather, plums and baking spices. Although Bric del Fiasc is typically a wine that relies on power, the 2004 is notably refined and elegant, with sweet silky tannins that support the fruit from start to finish. Simply put, this is a remarkable wine from Enrico Scavino. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022.”

Paolo Scavino Barolo Carobric 2004 ($79.95) $59 special, only 3 bottles left
Wine Advocate 94 points 
“Scavino’s 2004 Barolo Carobric comes across as classic in its expression of violets, black cherries, minerals and sweet toasted oak. It too offers gorgeous inner sweetness to its fruit, but it is more focused and less concentrated than the other 2004 Barolos. This is a beautifully proportioned, vibrant Barolo that is sure to find many admirers. Carobric is made from a blend of Rocche di Castiglione, Bric del Fiasc and Cannubi This bottling has often suffered an identity crisis among the single-vineyard wines in the lineup but in recent years its personality has gradually begun to show its potential. The 2004 is a terrific effort. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024.”

Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra 2004 ($119.95) $99 special, only 2 bottles left
Wine Advocate 97 points
 “The 2004 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra sweeps across the palate with stunning depth and expansiveness in its dark cherries, menthol, spices, chocolate and sweet toasted oak. It offers exceptional length and delineation, with a note of freshness that provides lift on the close. It is a profound effort from Domenico Clerico. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024.”

FX Pichler Gruner Loibner Steinertal 2012 ($59.95) $49 special Falstaff 93-95 points
FX Pichler Gruner Smaragd Urgestein 2012 ($44.95) $36 special Falstaff 93 points
FX Pichler Gruner Loibner Klostersatz 2012 ($39.95) $33 special Falstaff 91 points
FX Pichler Gruner Frauenweingarten 2012 ($39.95) $33 special Falstaff 92 points
FX Pichler Gruner Veltliner M Smaragd 2012 ($109.95) $89 special
FX Pichler Gruner Veltliner M Smaragd 2012 375ML ($59.95) $49 special
FX Pichler Gruner Kellerberg Smaragd 2012 ($89.95) $79 special Falstaff 96-98 points
FX Pichler Gruner Loibenberg Smaragd 2012 ($59.95) $47 special Falstaff 94-96 points
FX Pichler Gruner Durnsteiner Liebenberg 2012 ($69.95) $55 special Falstaff 92-94 points


FX Pichler Riesling Oberhauser Smaragd 2012 ($49.95) $39 special Falstaff 93 points
FX Pichler Riesling Loibner Burgstall 2012 ($39.95) $33 special
FX Pichler Riesling Steinertal 2012 ($69.95) $59 special Falstaff 93-95 points
FX Pichler Riesling Loibenberg 2012 ($69.95) $59 special Falstaff 94-96 points
FX Pichler Riesling Kellerberg 2012 ($109.95) $89 special

JF Mugnier Nuits Marechale Blanc 2011 ($119.95) $69 special
Burghound 87-89 points 
“There is enough wood to notice on the otherwise very fresh and pure nose of white peach, pear and soft floral aromas. There is good volume to the very round and rich medium weight flavors that possess good mid-palate concentration and an attractive texture, all wrapped in a lightly mineral-infused finish that offers moderate depth and length. This is very forward and should drink well almost immediately.”JF Mugnier Nuits St Georges Marechale 2011 ($119.95) $77 special
JF Mugnier Nuits St Georges Marechale 2011 375ML ($54.95) $41.90 special
JF Mugnier Nuits St Georges Marechale 2011 1.5L ($199.95) $149 special
Burghound 90-92 points
 “A pure and appealingly fresh nose of relatively elegant red berry fruit is liberally laced with earth and spice hints. There is a lilting mouth feel to the energetic, intense and equally pure medium-bodied flavors that possess plenty of that beguiling sense of underlying tension that makes wines like this so refreshing. There isn’t the class of the Fuées but this is really very good plus I very much like the balance and harmony of the firm and lingering finish.”JF Mugnier Chambolle Musigny 2011 ($119.95) $89 special
Burghound 89-91 points 
“A distinctly floral nose combines with ripe red pinot fruit and plum scents before merging into fresh and attractively energetic flavors that possess good detail on the saline-infused finish. The mouth feel here is really quite refined as the tannins are notably fine-grained. Lovely juice.”

Mugnier Chambolle Musigny Les Fuees 2011 ($299.95) $179 special
Burghound 90 points
 “In the same fashion as the Chambolle villages this also seems to lack a bit of aromatic freshness to the otherwise appealingly layered nose of red and dark pinot fruit. There is good intensity to the middle weight flavors that brim with both a fine minerality and plenty of palate coating dry extract. There is good precision and detail to the impeccably well-balanced, long and delicious finish.”

JF Mugnier Bonnes Mares 2011 ($499.95) $389 special
Burghound 93 points
 “This is easily the freshest wine to this point with its splendidly complex aromas of mostly red currant, plum and spice nuances. There is a pleasingly rich and seductive texture to the tautly muscular and well-concentrated broad-shouldered flavors where the supporting tannins are seamlessly well-integrated on the serious, moderately austere and stunningly persistent finish. This will need plenty of time but the upside development potential is first-rate.”

Digioia-Royer Chambolle Groseilles 2011 ($149.95) $119 special
Digioia-Royer Chambolle Gruenchers 2011 ($149.95) $119 special

Forges Savennieres Roche Aux Moines 2011 ($24.95) $20.90 special

Landron La Louvetrie Muscadet Sur Lie 2012 ($14.95) $11.90 special

Bernard Baudry Chinon Croix Boissee 2011 ($39.95) $31.90 special
Bernard Baudry Chinon Clos Guillot 2011 ($31.95) $26 special
Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges 2012 ($19.95) $16 special

Valdespino Moscatel Toneles NV 375ML ($299.95) $269 special only 2 bottles
Wine Advocate 100 points 
“The NV Moscatel Toneles has reached a mythical status locally in Spain. It’s an extremely old, concentrated and powerful sweet wine that was long forgotten, because there was no market for it. The color is dark brown, almost opaque with amber-green edges. The ever-changing nose is an explosion of spices (curry and cinnamon) and noble woods, and from the sheer concentration it displays a myriad of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, balsamic herbs and even a note of coconut. After some time in the glass the roasted orange notes of Muscat come back intermixed with very spicy incense notes. Give it more time and it smells of camphor. It’s fascinating to smell it over the course of a few hours? even days. The palate is immensely concentrated, with the alcohol perfectly integrated and the extreme sweetness compensated by a piercing acidity that reminds me of some century-old Madeiras. It ends with an acute coffee note. The aftertaste is eternal. It is exceptional that such an old wine (it could be over 80 years of average age) keeps the freshness and balance, but when this happens, the wine is exceptional. A world-class sweet wine that shows what aged Muscat is able for. With its 430 grams of residual sugar, this wine is indestructible, but only 100 bottles are withdrawn and bottled yearly from a single, large cask. Drink 2013-2034.”

Bodegas Tradicion Fino NV ($49.95) $39 special
Wine Advocate 92 points 
“The NV Fino Viejo Tradición is purchased from suppliers, it averages 12 years old, and is used to feed their Amontillado, but the (limited) market demand for this kind of wine has convinced them of producing 1,500 bottles now, and they will bottle another 1,500 in October. Unfiltered, unfined, this would have been considered a Fino Amontillado in the past. Golden color, pungent and powerful nose, with flower notes, it has a big palate, but it’s still a Fino–a fine wine– it’s old, extremely complex, low in acidity, but keeping the freshness, a little saline with the typical bitter end. This should have an interesting evolution in bottle. Drink 2013-2016.”

Bodegas Tradicion Palo Cortado VORS NV ($109.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The NV Palo Cortado Tradición VORS, averages 32 years of age, which they consider the correct age for Palo Cortado, so it is not just an old Sherry. Light amber-colored, the nose has a sweet sensation, apricots, and almonds but then the mouth is very dry and saline, fine and light, with flavors of hazelnut, a little varnish, very elegant, intense, pungent, a little spirity. It has a delineated palate, superb intensity, and very long finish. Classical, elegant, clean, intense and delicate could be common descriptors for all their wines. A textbook Palo Cortado. Drink 2013-2019.”

Bodegas Tradicion Oloroso VORS NV ($84.95) $71.90 special
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “The single vintage wines are different, but they are not necessarily better than the solera wines. In fact I preferred the Oloroso VORS to the two single-vintage; I found it more complex and fluid, while the single vintages were more concentrated and powerful, but not as nuanced. I’m talking about the NV Tradición Oloroso VORS, on average 45-50 years old, which gives the wine a concentration of glycerin and dry extract that is amazing. Silky, very interesting to see the wine that has been blended over the years is more complex. The proverbial iron fist in a velvet glove, it is full-bodied, and still follows the same, clean, elegant, precise line of the rest of the wines from Tradición. Drink 2013-2025.”

Bodegas Tradicion Amontillado VORS NV ($79.95) $69 special
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “The NV Tradición Amontillado VORS, certainly has the more complex and subtle nose of all these VORS and is on average 45 years old. It has a very clean nose, with elegance and complexity, powerful but subtle notes of hazelnuts, honey and even some dates. The medium-bodied palate shows a sharp wine with strong salinity, it has the power and the lightness, in a very difficult combination. Drink 2013-2020.”

Bodegas Tradicion Cream VOS NV ($79.95) $69 special
“This is the most recent addition to the portfolio (so new that it has yet to be reviewed) and completely transcends the Cream category. It also represents the only blend bottled by the bodega with 70% coming from 35+ year old Oloroso barrels and 30% from young 5 year old PX barrels. Here the intensity of old Oloroso blends seamlessly with the dried fruit concentration of the Pedro Ximenex, creating a wine that appeals to both dessert wine drinkers and those seeking a pairing for sturdier main dishes. Being a VOS, it is certified by the Consejo Regulador to be greater than 20 years average age at bottling, an extremely rare Cream sherry indeed.”–Importer Notes

Bodegas Tradicion Pedro Ximenez VOS NV ($89.95) $79 special
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “The NV Tradición Pedro Ximenez 20 anos VOS, produced from Pedro Ximenez grapes and aged in a solera for an average of 23-25 years (which was originally purchased from Domecq & Harveys), is bottled ‘young’ to preserve the character of the grapes and make it more drinkable. The alcohol is also kept at the allowed minimum of 15%. It lacks the rancio notes of others, and is looking for the balance between age and fruit, raisins, dates, dried plums, cappuccino coffee, and licorice while following the clean and precise profile of all the wines they produce. The palate is equally balanced and elegant. This little monster has around 420 grams of sugar, and should be served at 12-14 degrees C. The wine gets more focused with a little time in the glass. Drink 2013-2018.”

Bodegas Tradicion Oloroso Anada 1970 ($379.95) $249 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “There are only six bodegas in Jerez with approved añadas, single-vintage wines and only Gonzalez-Byass, Lustau and Tradición have any in the market. Tradición doesn’t want to release anything younger than 20 years old. The 1970 Oloroso Añada is being released right now. Older, more concentrated, more refined, these wines benefit from air (they need a big glass, not a small tasting glass), as they are always initially closed and need a little time to get rid of some reductive aromas. The complexity of aromas next to the 1975 is amazing, and it is extremely powerful on the palate. The volume loss to get to VORS is 45%. They become more concentrated and with a very high extract. Drink 2013-2030.”

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Special Feature:- Beaujolais Tour
Cru Vineyards in Moulin-a-Vent

The Beaujolais region in France is best known for its production of red wine from the Gamay grape, an early ripener.  It lies just south of the Macon region of Burgundy between the Massif Central and the Alps.  In general, the region is warm with cooling breezes that help grapes develop phenolic ripeness while still maintaining acidity.  Beaujolais wines are typically highly aromatic, expressing floral and red fruit notes.  There are 10 Crus each producing distinct wines due to the unique and varied terroir.  The Crus range from producing light bodied to dark and rich styles, and some of the best improve after 5 or more years of aging.

Below, we will discuss the unique attributes of the Crus.  The Beaujolais Crus are listed as follows from north to south: Saint-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly.

The northern-most appellation Saint-Amour produces the lightest Cru Beaujolais wines.  In 1946, it was one of the last crus to be designated.  The hilly landscape is composed of clay soils with schist, granite and limestone.  The wines have a marked minerality.  The appellation is named for a Roman soldier who founded a monastery in the area, Saint Amateur (the word amateur refers to platonic love).

Juliénas is one of the northernly crus and produces rich wines with floral, fruit and spice aromas.  The appellation of Juliénas is named for Julius Caesar.  It, too, has a 2,000 year history of being under vine dating at least as far back as the Gallo-Roman period.  The soil here varies greatly from granite hills to richer clay soil near the river.  These wines are best at least a couple years after their release.

Chénas is the smallest Crus at one square mile.  It is named after the oak trees that once covered the area (chenes).  The forests were replaced with vines in the 14th Century by royal decree.  The appellation is warm and dry, and the temperature is moderated by cooling Mediterranean breezes that help maintain acidity.  The vines are planted along the slopes of Mont Remont in nutrient-poor soil.  The wines are floral with earthy and spicy characteristics.  Their rich structure gives them the potential to age well for up to a decade.

Moulin-à-Vent was granted AOC status in 1936, though it has a long history of grape growing and its area was designated in 1924.  It takes its name from the iconic windmill (moulin-a-vent in French) located among the hills of vineyards.  It is considered one of the best crus of Beaujolais and is renowned for its longevity, richness and complexity.  It has pink granite soils veined with gore and manganese, which restricts the growth of vines thereby concentrating flavors and aromas in grapes.  Vineyards face south or southeast to capture sunlight, while cooling Mediterranean breezes help grapes maintain their acidity.  These wines are floral and fruity in youth before developing richer floral and spice notes and eventually taking on truffle, musk and game aromas in their maturity.

The Fleurie appellation was named for the Roman General Floricum.  Benedictine monks planted the first vineyards in the Middle Ages.  It is known for its pink granite soil and elegant, fruity wines.  On the higher steep slopes, the vines are grown in dry, sandy soil, and the wines are more delicate and silky.  On the lower slopes, the soil is denser, producing more structured wines.  Within the appellation are 13 named vineyards (climats).  One of the most famous is Les Moriers which produces powerful and floral wines.  Fleurie is home to the oldest cooperative in Beaujolais, La Cave des Producteurs des Grands Vins de Fleurie, which was founded in 1927.  Many of the producers in the region use a technique known as gridding in which the cap is held beneath the surface of the juice to extract more color, flavor and tannin.

In Morgon, the soil is rich in iron oxide which imparts meaty and dark aromas in the wines.  Slight soil variation helps to create distinction between the six different named vineyards.  Of these, Corcelette is known to produce wines full of red currant and floral aromas.  Cote du Py is well regarded for its ageability and its dark raspberry aromas.  Morgon wines can age for 5 to 10 years, or more.

Regnie was the last Beaujolais Cru to be named as an AOC in 1988.  It produces some of the lightest and most aromatic wines from its pink granite slopes and more structured, denser wines from the clay soils found on lower elevations.  Its climate is warm with dry and cooling breezes.  The wines are best enjoyed between 3-5 years after harvest.

The Côte de Brouilly appellation is for vineyards higher on the hill than the larger Brouilly appellation.  The takes its name from Mont Brouilly, whose slopes and the surrounding area are home to Gamay plantings.  The hill is named after a Roman, Brulius, who is credited with bringing vines to the region almost 2,000 years ago.  The soil is composed of granite, schist and an ancient volcanic rock from the Palaeozoic era, Diorite, credited with imparting a unique quality to the wines.  The soils are nutrient-poor and fast-draining, causing the vines to struggle, and thereby reducing yields.  With south and south-east facing vineyards, the grapes receive excellent sunlight and ripen earlier than other Crus.  The resulting wines are richer than the Brouilly appellation, expressing more floral notes.


Beaujolais Wines Available Here Now:

Cedric Vincent Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes 2010 ($21.95) $16 special, 3+ cases available
John Gilman 91+ points 
“I had absolutely loved Cédric Vincent 2010 old vine bottling of Beaujolais at the start of the year and the wine has blossomed beautifully over the course of the year and is every bit as superb today as it was in January, with a fair bit of its tannin having fallen away and the wine now wide open on the attack. The outstanding bouquet is deep, bright and beautifully classic in its aromatic mélange of black cherries, woodsmoke, a touch of dark berry, really lovely, dark soil tones, blossoming notes of nutskin, pepper and a lovely topnote of fresh thyme. On the palate the wine is medium-full, bright and sappy at the core, with beautiful transparency and soil signature, modest tannins, tangy acids and truly exceptional length and grip on the complex and palate staining finish. This is very serious Beaujolais that is drinking very well today, but is just beginning to show the first vestiges of its autumnal layer of secondary complexity and will continue to improve for many years to come. Lovely wine. 2012-2025+.”

Trenel Saint Amour 2010 ($27.95) $21.90 special, 8 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 90 points 
“Named after a Roman centurion rather than a god of love, Saint-Amour produces structured Beaujolais. This wine with its sold tannins and firm structure proves the point. It is concentrated, its acidity and mineral red fruit character dominating at this stage and showing how it does need to age over the next year or two.”

Aufranc Julienas Les Cerisiers 2012 ($17.95) $14 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 89 points
 “This wine’s name translates to ‘cherry,’ and cherries are in its aroma along with spice. The palate shows a juicy, forward fruity character, a tang of acidity and soft tannins.”

Lucien Le Moine Chenas 2011 1.5 L ($149.95) $133 special, 3 magnums available
Wine Advocate 92-93+ points 
“…it mingles striking wisteria perfume with scents and flavors of blueberry, pomegranate, black raspberry and smoked meat. Mouthwateringly salt-tinged and with crystalline suggestions of stony counterpoint, its infectiously juicy primary fruit informs a silken-texture palate and strikingly vibrant and persistent finish.”

Domaine Foretal Moulin A Vent 2010 ($21.95) $18 special, 9 bottles available 

Duboeuf Moulin A Vent Rosiers 2011 ($17.95) $14 special, 23 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points 
“[($.95) $18 list] Representing one of numerous multi-generational collaborations with Duboeuf, the 2011 Moulin-a-Vent Domaine des Rosiers — from parcels in the commune of Chenas including a portion of La Rochelle, and raised in a mixture of barrel and tank — is pungently resinous in its expression of dried herbs and more subtle in its smoky black tea and spicy, oak-related elements, which are nicely woven into an overtly dense palate presentation saturated with cassis and beet root, and suffused with fine tannins. Finishing with cut, juicily mouth-coating persistence, invigoratingly peppery bite, and saliva-inducing salt- and iodine-tinged shrimp shell reduction, this superb value promises to reward at least through 2016. (Jun 2013)”

Jacky Janodet Moulin-A-Vent 2008 ($24.95) $16 special, 3 bottles available
Aromas of dark red fruit, black pepper and black currant. Taught black cherry, raspberry and a peppery spice begin the palate, followed with mineral, fine tannins and focused acidity. After a bit of time to open it gains a bit of weight and shows more dark fruit and structure. A great example of the value in Cru Beaujolais, this is a wine that will continue to evolve and improve for years to come. I could drink this wine every day and never tire of it.

Jadot Moulin A Vent Chateau Jacques 2011 ($21.95) $16 special, 36 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points
 “Reflecting (as explained in my introductory notes) the inclusion of all of Chateau des Jacques’s fruit from Champs de Cour and Clos des Thorins as well as the usual selected lots from all of their other Clos holdings, a generic 2011 Moulin-a-Vent mingles ripe dark cherry, plum and cassis with marrow-rich savory suggestions of meat stock. Salt, stone, iodine, mocha and toasted nuts add intrigue to a sustained finish in this lovely, tenderly textured and relatively gentle offering that pales slightly only in comparison with the active impingement that characterizes this year’s Chenas and Fleurie tasted immediately before. Incidentally, this was brought-up in one-third each in new barriques, used barriques and tank, in contrast with the nearly 100% new barrels in which the estate’s single vineyard Moulin-a-Vents continue to be raised. An outstanding value, it should reward following at least through 2017 and quite possibly beyond.”

Jadot Moulin-a-Vent Rochegres 2009 ($41.95) $37 special, 27 bottles available
Robert Parker 93-94 points 
“Intriguing suggestions of crushed stone and iodine mingle with blackberry and cherry in the nose of the Chateau des Jacques 2009 Moulin-a-Vent Clos de Rochegres, from a site that features thin, iron-rich soil over hard granite mother rock at the summit of its appellation. This has a very different shape from any of its stable mates, round and enveloping, yet at the same time exhibiting vibratory energy, and depth of marrow and mineral matter, not to mention sweet fruit. Palate-staining in its persistence, this memorable and extraordinary value should prove a monument to its vintage worth following for 8, 10 ? (who can say really how many?) years.”

Liger-Belair Moulin a Vent La Roche 2010 ($44.95) $33 special, 3+ cases available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Deep, bright ruby. Candied red and dark berries on the nose, with notes of violet and star anise adding complexity. Juicy and gently sweet, offering plush black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a broad, velvety texture. A weighty but energetic Beaujolais that finishes with intense spiciness and a lingering note of floral pastilles.”

Liger-Belair Moulin a Vent VV 2010 ($31.95) $23.90 special, 3+ cases available
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.”

Potel Aviron Moulin a Vent VV 2010 ($21.95) $17 special, 5 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Bright ruby-red. Pungent aromas of cherry pit and black raspberry are lifted by a hint of blood orange. Deeply pitched dark fruit flavors pick up spiciness and energy with air, along with a hint of dried violet. Show very good sweetness and energy on the finish, which features fine-grained tannins and a refreshingly bitter edge.”

Vissoux Moulin a Vent Les Trois Roches 2010 ($29.95) $21.90 special, 18 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer & Wine Advocate 91 points 
“Bright violet color. Pungent aromas of red and dark berry preserves, with musky herb and lavender nuances building with air. Juicy, palate-staining black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors show subtle sweetness and very good clarity. Finishes with noteworthy energy and focus, leaving licorice and cherry pit notes behind.”

Chignard Fleurie Les Moriers 2011 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special, 9 magnums available
Wine Advocate & Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Bright violet color. A seductively perfumed bouquet evokes red and dark berries, lavender, Asian spices and smoky minerals. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering vibrant black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that gain sweetness with air. The mineral quality comes back strong on the finish, which features silky tannins and a zesty floral pastille nuance.”

Domaine Des Nugues Fleurie 2010 ($24.95) $19.90 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 91 points
 “An impressive wine, finely balanced between fragrant red fruits and firm tannins. It shows how structured a Fleurie can be, the acidity cutting through the firm structure. This is a wine for aging, over 4 years, when it will round out and bring out the rich texture.”

Bouland Morgon Corcelette V.V. 2011 ($27.95) $21.90 special, 3+ cases available
John Gilman 94 points
 “Daniel Bouland’s small parcel in the lieu à dit of Corcelette was planted almost entirely in 1925, making these venerable vines eighty-six years of age in the 2011 vintage. The old vines have done an admirable job in this classic vintage, offering up a deep, complex and nicely reserved nose of cassis, black cherries, stony soil tones, woodsmoke, a touch of espresso and lovely topnotes of fresh thyme and sage. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and beautifully focused, with a rock solid core of pure black fruit, bright acids, excellent focus and balance and a very, very long, tangy and modestly tannic finish. This is one of those bottlings of Morgon that will go on forever and ever- based on its truly exceptional balance, more than on its overtly tannic structure, as it is one of the more politely-structured Morgons of the vintage. A complete classic. 2014-2050.”

Bouland Morgon Cuvee De Lys 2011 ($29.95) $26 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points 
“The Bouland 2011 Morgon De Lys Vieilles Vignes reveals complex aromatics with its ripe cassis and black raspberry, distilled berry overtones, saline, alkaline, maritime, stony, crystalline minerality, and mouthwatering evocations of roast meat pan scrapings and soy – all features delivered on a saliva-inducing, richly textured yet dynamic and refreshing palate. There is a marrowy, fat-rich depth here that dovetails delightfully with the wine’s textural allure and is complemented by the counterpoint of fresh berry tartness and bracing, shimmering mineral impingements. Look for strong showings from this extraordinary value through at least 2018”

Desvignes Morgon Javernieres 2010 ($31.95) $27 special, 18 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Vivid purple. Displays aromas of black raspberry, cherry and candied licorice, with slight smokiness and building spice notes. Deeply pitched yet vibrant dark berry flavors are lifted by cracked pepper and mineral qualities. Closes gently chewy and long, with excellent clarity and lingering spiciness”

Desvignes Morgon Javernieres 2011 ($31.95) $27 special, 16 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Brilliant ruby. Hugely aromatic nose displays scents of smoky dark berries, potpourri and minerals. Broad and chewy on the palate, offering bitter cherry and blackberry flavors and a touch of fruitcake. Richer than the straight Cote du Py bottling, finishing with impressive power, grip and spicy persistence.”

Duboeuf Morgon Versauds 2011 ($14.95) $11.90 special, 13 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points
 “Reflecting more than 40 years’ collaboration spanning three generations of the Poulard family, Duboeuf’s 2011 Morgon Domaine des Versauds combines ripe black raspberry with beet root for a sweet and earthy palate presence tinged with a bite of black pepper and hints of peat, black tea and smoked meat that contribute to a mouthwateringly savory and invigorating finish. There is a positive sense of extract or density here yet infectious juiciness and buoyancy, too. Hints of iris and wet stone in the empty glass add to the imposing complexity offered by this extraordinary value. Enjoy it through at least 2015.”

Guy Breton Morgon 2009 ($34.95) $29.50 special, 28 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91-92 points
 “Breton’s 2009 Morgon Vieilles Vignes is one of those wines of its vintage positively peachy in its expression of sheer ripeness, boasting as well intense red raspberry and cherry, nut extracts, inner-mouth florality and spices (like its Regnie sibling), but also dark chocolate and toasted pecan underlying richness as well as suggestions of crushed stone and forest floor. There is lovely lift to the long finish and ample sense of brightness and refreshment to accompany its plush texture and glyceral richness, thus belying the wine’s low sulfur. I would expect this beauty to be worth following for 5-6 years”

Jadot Morgon Cote Du Py 2011 ($34.95) $29 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points 
“Chateau des Jacques’s 2011 Morgon Cote de Py – at only 13.4%, still the highest in alcohol of their vintage collection – leads with intimations of charred, roasted red meats and crushed stone along with sandalwood- and fruit pit-tinged, concentrated, ripe dark cherry and purple plum. Infectiously juicy, palpably dense, and finely tannic, this finishes with a luscious, dynamic, sustained exchange of stony, carnal, peaty and fruity elements…92”

Guy Breton Regnie 2009 ($29.95) $27.50 special, 9 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90-91 points
 “Breton is (rightfully) becoming something of a regional star, and not only do his wines command a respectable price, he also makes a statement about its appellation’s potential with a 2009 Regnie that costs as much as his wine from across the line in Morgon. From tank, this boasted vivid, bright red raspberry and cherry, with (for Breton typical) low-sulfur seeming to accentuate the purity of fruit and encourage a caressing texture without sacrificing any sense of refreshment. Almond and pistachio extract; brown spices, bittersweet inner-mouth iris florality, and invigorating salinity add allure. The sense of richness no doubt comes with fairly high alcohol (Breton was not present when I tasted, and I did not have chance to inquire about the level of this or his corresponding Morgon) but there is neither heat nor roughness.”

Chanrion Cote De Brouilly 2009 ($22.95) $18.90 special, 12 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“Bright ruby. Lively red and dark berry and floral aromas are complicated by notes of cinnamon, musky herbs and minerals. Fresh and focused on entry, then deeper in the middle palate, showing dense black raspberry fruit and a touch of bitter cherry. Delivers a solid punch but comes off as lithe and elegant, finishing with strong cut and a persistent tangy quality.”

Chateau Thivin Cote De Brouilly 2009 1.5L ($59.95) $49 special, 4 magnums available
Wine Advocate 90-91 points 
‘The 2009 Cote de Brouilly blend for the U.S. (tasted in final but as yet un-bottled form in June, after the individual lots had been tasted from cask in April) features blueberry and elderberry with pungent mint, marjoram, lavender, moss, wood smoke, and distilled berry overtones. Toasted pecan, carob, salt, crushed stone and tart berry skin lend stimulation to a fascinating palate performance of density yet refreshing levity, and this finishes with saliva-inducing persistence. In contrast with most Beaujolais crus of its vintage, I suspect it is apt to evolve with an emphasis on mineral savor rather than overt fruitiness. It should evolve satisfyingly for at least half a dozen years.”

Chateau Thivin Cote De Brouilly 2010 ($24.95) $19 special, 3+ cases available
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.”


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Montille Madness
Domaine Montille vineyards

Domaine de Montille Puligny Montrachet Cailleret 2006 ($149.95) $99 special, only 1 bottle
Stephen Tanzer 93 points 
“Spring flowers, crushed stone and white truffle on the nose. Concentrated and round but with real verve to its racy flavors of apple, pear, minerals and stone. This densely packed wine mounts slowly and saturates the palate on the very long, floral finish.”

Domaine de Montille Puligny Montrachet Cailleret 2007 ($169.95) $119 special, only 2 bottles
Stephen Tanzer 94 points 
“Knockout nose combines pineapple, smoke, violet and menthol. Tightly wound and densely packed, with superb intensity to the pineapple, lemon and powdered stone flavors. Wonderfully silky and fine-grained wine with racy acidity providing precision and detail. Really saturates every millimeter of the palate and excites the taste buds. This is just 12.8% alcohol, but who needs more?”

Domaine de Montille Puligny Montrachet Cailleret 2009 ($189.95) $119 special, only 2 bottles
Burghound 93 points
 “Not surprisingly, this offers a big step up in aromatic elegance with its aromas of dried acacia blossom, citrus rind, spice and wet stone where the latter element also characterizes the supple, round and intense medium-bodied flavors that possess excellent complexity and genuinely striking length. This very classy effort should age well over the medium-term.”

Domaine de Montille Puligny Montrachet Cailleret 2010 ($169.95) $119 special, 9 bottles
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points 
“Pale, green-tinged yellow.  Ripe yellow fruits and acacia blossom on the nose.  Rich, ripe and sweet, with apricot, peach and spice flavors framed by lively acidity.  A strong powdered stone quality gives this very juicy wine an impression of chewiness without weight.  Savory and very long on the finish.  Offers outstanding potential.”

Domaine de Montille Clos de Vougeot 2011 ($199.95) $125 special, 6 bottles
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points
 “(vinified entirely with whole clusters; 40% new oak):  Good full red.  Lovely high-pitched aromas of black cherry, blackberry, licorice and violet.  Deep, sappy and vinous, with an enticing savory/sweet quality to the intense flavors of wild dark berries, violet and graphite.  Finishes with firm-edged tannins, a very primary medicinal black cherry note, and lovely floral lift.  This will need at least four or five years of bottle aging.  Chef de cave Sieve noted that the domain owns parcels on either side of the tower in Clos Vougeot, with part of its vines located in a frost pocket that was hit hard in December of 2009.”

Domaine de Montille Corton Clos du Roi 2009 ($199.95) $119 special, only 1 bottle
Stephen Tanzer 92-95 points
 “Good deep red. Very ripe yet delicate aromas of red fruits, earth and chocolate. Silky-sweet and impressively concentrated, conveying an impression of fullness without weight. Really outrageously perfumed fruit here, with lovely lift. Finishes with a medicinal quality that suggests this very deep wine is holding plenty in reserve. More evidence of how well the Corton hillside did in 2009.”

Domaine de Montille Corton Clos du Roi 2010 ($179.95) $119 special, only 1 bottle
Stephen Tanzer 91-94 points
 “(two-thirds vendange entier; 50% new oak; this and the subsequent wines were tasted from cask):  Bright medium red.  Slightly high-toned aromas of candied cherry, spices and underbrush.  Round, ripe and broad, with a medicinal reserve giving the wine a classically dry aspect.  But the wine’s red fruit flavors blow by the ripe, building tannins.  Not at all a sweet style of Burgundy, but subtle, long and soil-inflected.”

Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Grands Epenots 2009 ($129.95) $79 special, only 1 bottle
Burghound 93 points
“A discrete touch of wood sets off a seductively spicy nose of warm earth, floral notes and red currant that leads to very fresh and pure medium weight plus flavors that possess plenty of mid-palate concentration on the delicious, intense and lingering finish. This is not a big Epenots by the standards of the appellation but there is excellent flavor authority and I very much like the sophisticated mouth feel. Recommended.”

Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Rugiens 2006 ($139.95) $79 special, only 3 bottles
Wine Spectator 90 points 
“A mix of sweet berry, cherry and spice flavors are integrated with the silky texture in this elegant red. The tannins lend support, in a balanced, harmonious way. Detailed finish. Best from 2011 through 2020. 358 cases made.”

Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Brouillards 2010 ($109.95) $69 special, 6 bottles
Burghound 89-92 points  
“Rose petal and lavender nuances add an elegant top note to the lightly spiced and earthy red berry aromas that include cherry and raspberry. The detailed, racy and wonderfully energetic middle weight flavors possess a discreet minerality that runs to the very end of the firm, delicious and mildly austere finish. This persistent effort is very Volnay in character yet with that little hint of mid-palate robustness that indicates that it is Brouillards.”

Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Champans 2009 ($119.95) $89 special, 5 bottles
Burghound 92 points
 “This offers a notable step up in aromatic breadth with intense floral nuances as well as earth, wet stone, underbrush and a hint of spice. The rich, powerful and focused flavors possess plenty of dry extract that confers a velvety texture to the mid-palate yet the moderately austere finish is quite fine, indeed almost delicate. A lovely effort that should age beautifully”

Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Mitans 2011 ($129.95) $89 special, 12 bottles
Stephen Tanzer 90-92 points 
“(100% vendange entier; 20% new oak; small, concentrated berries from old vines):  Good medium red.  Lovely subtle perfume of cherry and raspberry liqueur lifted by a peppery element.  Sweet, dense and lively but restrained on the palate, with distinctly dark flavors of blueberry, licorice and bitter chocolate.  The brooding finish features broad, palate-coating tannins.  I like the peppery stem element here as it contributes energy without overpowering the wine’s fruit.”

Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Taillepieds 2011 ($139.95) $89 special, 12 bottles
Burghound 91-94 points 
 “There is enough reduction present to mask the nuances of the nose though the floral character does sneak past the funk. There is a wonderfully silky texture to the intense mineral and soil-inflected medium-bodied flavors that display really lovely delineation on the moderately austere and very firmly structured finish that delivers outstanding depth and length. This should improve for years to come and this is really most impressive.”


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St Theodoric Chateauneuf St. Theodoric Chateauneuf du Pape Guigasse 2011 ($59.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
 ” Looking at the 2011s, both of which showed much better from bottle than barrel, the 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Guigasse (100% Grenache from sandy soils) has a Rayas-like perfume of sweet red cherries, currants, white pepper, spring flowers and underbrush. Fermented with 100% whole-cluster and aged all in neutral, larger barrels, this medium to full-bodied, dense and beautifully textured effort is superb now, yet should easily have 10-12 years of ultimate longevity. Drink now-2023..” 56 bottles here today


Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape 2011 ($59.95) $49 special
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points 
“Bright ruby.  Intense, perfumed aromas of red berries, minerals and smoky garrigue.  Offers juicy raspberry and cherry flavors and a sexy note of lavender pastille, with a late kick of white pepper adding lift.  Closes with very good clarity and length, showing only a hint of tannins.  This wine will be very appealing soon after release.” 40 bottles here today

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 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Staff Picks
Phillippe Alliet Chinon 2011 ($24.95) $21.90 special
This entry level wine from Alliet is a truly great value Chinon. Soft and very well balanced. Subtle dark berry and herb notes and a bright peppery finish. This medium bodied wine is very approachable now and could easill be cellared longer.

Mauro Molino Barolo Vigna Conca 2009 ($79.95) $59 special
“The Mauro Molino Barolo Vigna Conca 2009 single vineyard wine sees three years in oak barriques, 50% of which is new.  The result is a wine with rich tannins and a restrained fruit presence with hints of vanilla, chocolate and crushed blackberries that is drinking nicely now with some aeration.”


Time to say Goodbye

Fontodi Flaccianello Toscana 2009 ($139.95) $79 special
Wine Spectator 96 points
 “The first impression of this red is purity and finesse, as black currant, raspberry and violet aromas and flavors stay focused and persistent. An earthy leather element and mineral notes chime in on the finish, backed by a vibrant structure. Sangiovese. Best from 2015 through 2032.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $127 / bottle