Vinopolis March 31 Newsletter

March 31, 2014

Jump Start Sale


Gaja Ca Marcada Magari 2010 ($79.95) $51.90 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “Showing spectacular traits of the vintage, the 2010 Magari (50% Merlot and 25% each Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc) is a dark and modern wine with a thick fabric of dark fruit, blackberry preserves, spice and tobacco woven tightly together. The mouthfeel is exceedingly plush and there’s a sweet oak note of toasted almond or Spanish cedar on the close. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2026.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA.
The average listed price in the USA is near 50% higher- $75

Boedecker “Oregon” Pinot Noir 2012 ($21.95) $17 special

Bergstrom Pinot Noir Rose 2013 ($29.95) $24 special
Bergstrom Pinot Noir Silice Vineyard 2012 ($69.95) $59 special

Crowley Wines Chardonnay Willamette Valley 2012 ($24.95) $21.90 special Vinopolpick
Wow! Really. This wine would be credible @ $49. A crowd pleaser with intensity.

Walter Scott Chardonnay ‘Cuvee Anne’ Bieze Vineyard 2012 ($39.95) $33 special
Walter Scott Pinot Noir ‘Dumb Ox’ Eola Springs Vineyard 2012 ($44.95) $37 special
Walter Scott Pinot Noir Clos des Oiseaux 2012 ($39.95) $33 special Vinopolpick

The Clos des Oiseaux is a recently  remanaged and never before heard of couple acres adjacent to Cristom. Dark fruited and impeccably balanced. This couple acres appears to us destined to be a prized name in future Oregon wine lore.

Leonetti Merlot Walla Walla 2012 ($99.95) $79 special
Leonetti Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla 2011 ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
 “Already complex and up-front, without the density found in the 2010, the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon is still gorgeous. Loaded with leafy tobacco, cassis, saddle leather and mineral aromas and flavors, it is ripe, rounded and has sweet tannin on the finish. It should round into form with a year or two of release and have 12-15 years of ultimate longevity.”

Efeste Big Papa Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($59.95) $44 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “At the top of heap, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Big Papa – Old Block is all Cabernet and spent 20 months in 80% new French oak. Incredibly rich, layered and pure, it boasts first-rate aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, toasted bread, coffee bean and mint as well as a full-bodied, elegant and thrillingly textured mouthfeel. The quality of tannin here is superb and while already approachable, this beauty will continue to shine for another 10-12 years. Drink now-2025”

Reynvaan Stonessence Syrah 2011 ($89.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 95-98 points 
“The most impressive of the barrel samples, the 2011 Syrah Stonessence (first made in 2009) is Matt’s take of 100% Syrah from the Rocks Region of the Walla Walla Valley. Aged 18 months in 25% new French oak, it should be a candidate for the wine of the vintage once released and delivers off the hook aromas and flavors, as well as textural richness and depth on the palate. Notions of plum sauce, currants, salted beef, game and herbs all emerge from the glass and this full-bodied, seamless and layered effort should be given 2-3 years in the cellar on release and consumed over the following decade.”

Reynvaan In The Rocks Syrah 2011 ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
 “A notch up on the richness scale, the 2011 Syrah In The Rocks is a knockout blend of 94% Syrah and 6% Viognier that will spend 18 months in 25% new French oak. Complex and exotic, with notions of mossy river rock, toasted nut, peppered steak and soy sauce that are supported by a rocking core of berry fruit, this full-bodied, voluptuously styled 2011 has brilliant mid-palate depth, loads of fruit and a seamless finish. It should be reasonably approachable on release and deliver the goods for 10-12 years or more. Drink now-2023.”

Reynvaan The Unnamed Syrah 2011 ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 93-95 points
 “A co-fermented blend of 94% Syrah and 6% Grenache Blanc, the 2011 Syrah The Unnamed is a seamless, elegant and medium to full-bodied effort that offers superb aromas of blackberry, pepper, spring flowers and underbrush-driven aromatics. It shows the best of the vintage and is a supple, delicious and perfectly balanced Syrah that will drink nicely for 10-12 years. Drink now-2023.”

Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012 ($37.95) $29 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
 “Failla’s 2012 Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast) is wonderfully tense and vibrant, especially within the context of the vintage. Lemon oil and floral notes jump from the glass in a graceful, chiseled Chardonnay long on class. The Chardonnay is done in equal parts stainless steel, barrel and concrete egg.”

Kosta Browne Chardonnay One Sixteen 2011 ($79.95) $59 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Green-tinged gold. A complex bouquet evokes lime, lemongrass and white flowers, with a smoky, leesy overtone. Spicy, firm and precise, offering lively citrus zest flavors and a deeper touch of honeydew. Packs a punch but comes off lithe and nervy, with an exotic coconut quality and a lingering floral note on the very long finish.”

Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2011 ($99.95) $79 special
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Vivid red. Sexy, smoke- and spice-accented aromas of candied red berries, vanilla and rose pastille. Juicy and expansive, offering vibrant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of star anise. Very fresh, with excellent finishing clarity and sneaky tannins. There’s “a lot of Gap’s Crown” fruit in here, according to Browne.”

Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River 2011 ($99.95) $79 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Deep ruby. Heady scents of raspberry, cherry-cola, floral oil, Asian spices and vanilla. Juicy and penetrating, with superb inner-mouth perfume to its sweet red fruit and candied rose flavors. Becomes spicier with air and finishes with excellent clarity, breadth and persistence.”

Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Santa Lucia 2011 ($99.95) $79 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 ” Full ruby. A powerfully scented bouquet displays smoky black raspberry, cherry, licorice and oak spices. Pliant dark berry flavors gain energy with air, taking a turn to zestier raspberry and bitter cherry. Impressively deep but focused and energetic pinot, with excellent finishing lift and lingering spiciness.”

Dominus Estate Napa Valley Red 2011 ($179.95) $149 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “Savory herbs, menthol, smoke and licorice are some of the aromas that open up in the glass in the 2011 Dominus. This is a relatively immediate, expressive Dominus with plenty of near-term appeal. The style is open and succulent for the year, with lovely balance and poise. Crushed rose petals and dried herbs linger in the close. With time in the glass, the 2011 fleshes out nicely. In 2011 Dominus is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc… As always, I tasted two bottles of each wine; the first was double decanted about 18 hours in advance, the other opened shortly before the tasting. I consistently preferred the double decanted bottles, and suggest readers follow the same approach when drinking these wines young.”

Colgin IX Estate Syrah 2010 ($499.95) $319 special
Robert Parker 100 points
 “The 2010 IX Estate Syrah is one of the most compelling Syrahs ever made in California. It ranks alongside some of the perfect Syrahs from Sine Qua Non in Santa Ynez and the Santa Rita Hills. Tasting like liquified steak au poivre with blackberry and blueberry sauce, this amazing wine reveals staggering aromas of flowers, bouquet garni, melted asphalt, licorice, pepper and meaty notes. It should drink well for 15+ years assuming you have that much patience.”

Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Burgberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($69.95) $69 special

Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Pittermannchen Riesling Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($79.95) $49 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points “Tropical fruit, persimmon and lemon oil on the nose, with a floral twist. Intense, full-bodied papaya fruit is highlighted by flinty minerality. Rich and concentrated on the finish. A bit youthfully closed today, but with excellent potential.”

Auguste Clape Cornas 2011 ($119.95) $99 special
Auguste Clape Cornas 2011 1.5L ($249.95) $199 special
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “Moving to the current releases that are in bottle, the 2011 Cornas belies the vintage’s forward, mid-weight stereotype with its massive, deep and layer profile. Possessing brilliant minerality, as well as notions of dry aged beef, cracked pepper, forest floor and sweet black currants, this full-bodied beauty has a stacked mid-palate, big structure and masses of sweet tannin on the finish. The minerality is really something here and this is reminiscent of filling your mouth with granite pebbles. It’s a resounding success in the vintage and will deliver the goods for upwards of two decades.”

Chateau Beausejour ‘Pentimino’ Montagne St Emilion ($29.95) $24 special



Highlight Almost Arrival
Here on Friday April 04


Isole e Olena Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione de Marchi 2008 ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 97+ points
 “At the beginning of what promises to be a long drinking window, the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione De Marchi is stunning. Savory herbs, tar, licorice, cassis, graphite and melted road tar seduce the intellectual and hedonistic senses in a wine that has everything. A vibrant, powerful, structured wine underpinned by intense saline notes, the 2008 possesses remarkable finesse and fabulous overall balance. This is another fabulous wine from Paolo De Marchi.”
Vinopolnotes- arriving Friday April 04; this is the lowest listed price in the USA today; the next best listed priced is $79.99. $66 pre-arrival special applies to pre-arrival purchases completed  before Friday April 04. After arrival price effective April 04 will be $71.90.


Second Crusade Mounted

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge 2009 ($41.95) $33 special
Wine Spectator 91 point
s “This is focused on its graphite and slate flavors, with crisp accents of dried raspberry and cherry in the background. Cream and cocoa powder notes linger on the refined finish, supported by medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2018.”

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge 2010 ($41.95) $29 special
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge 2010 375ml ($24.95) $18 special
Wine Spectator 90 points
 “Notes of sanguine and rosemary line the core of taut cherry preserves and red currant paste. A singed alder hint flitters through the finish, showing good persistence. Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan. Drink now through 2020.”

Domaine Tempier Bandol La Migoua 2010 ($69.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “Packed but racy, with a gorgeous note of cassis-soaked rosemary adding lift to the core of steeped plum, black currant and roasted alder notes. The long, taut finish has drive, revealing an echo of freshly seared meat that should meld beautifully with age. Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. ”

Domaine Tempier Bandol La Tourtine 2010 ($69.95) $49 special, only 9 bottles remaining
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “Densely packed, with a brooding feel, offering plum eau-de-vie, kirsch and blackberry paste notes held in check behind a wall of charcoal, loam and singed rosemary sprig. Features ample, fine-grained grip, revealing a mouthwatering sanguine echo at the very end. Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault. ”

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge Cabassaou 2010 ($99.95) $79 special, only 11 bottles remaining
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “The pure, solid core of kirsch and blackberry pâte de fruit is studded with rosemary, bitter plum, ganache and anise notes. This slowly yields to extra juniper, iron and sanguine accents that play out through the long, layered finish. This needs time to unwind fully. Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. ”



Flash Sales

Joseph Carr Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2012 ($19.95) $11.90 special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price is over 40% higher- $17

Two Hands Angel’s Share Shiraz 2012 ($39.95) $21.90 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “Dark and dense in color, opening a bit in texture, with grippy tannins wound around a solid core of blackberry and red plum flavors, lingering on the expressive finish. Drink now through 2020. ”

               This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The average list price is more than 1/3 higher- $30


Chapoutier La Ciboise Rouge Cotes Luberon 2012 ($14.95) $9.90 special
Wine Spectator 88 points
 “A fresh, floral style, with a violet note leading the cherry and red currant fruit. Flickers of white pepper and warm stone appear on the pretty finish.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA
You would pay 30% higher anywhere else




Champagne Special


“De Sousa’s Champagnes are bold, assertive and rich, while also demonstrating a marked complexity and finesse. It’s no accident that De Sousa is found in many of France’s best restaurants, as the refined demeanor of the wines seems to naturally complement the sophistication of haute cuisine.”
 – Peter Liem,

The history of De Sousa Champagne begins several generations ago when Manuel De Sousa, a soldier from Braga, Portugal, came to France to fight with the Allied army during World War I. He went back to Portugal after the war was over. Economic times were so tough, however, that he decided to return to France with his wife and newborn son, eventually settling in Avize. As fate would have it, he passed away at age 29 from a sudden brain tumour. Manuel’s son Antoine later married Zoémie Bonville, the daughter of grape growers in Avize. So was born the De Sousa & Fils estate which, since 1986, has been managed by Antoine’s son, Erick de Sousa.

Erick De Sousa farms 9.2 hectares of vines spread over 42 plots. Most are in the vicinity of Avize but also in the Montagne de Reims and small holdings in the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte de Bar. Three quarters of the De Sousa vines are over 40 years of age. Some are 60 and 70 years old. Conversion to organic methods began in 1989, just three years after Erick took over from his father. Yields from these old vineyards are incredibly low. In 1999, de Sousa began farming his land biodynamically, lowering yields even further. The vineyards are ploughed with a horse to help prevent the soils from becoming compact and to promote healthy insect life underground. Because of this labor intensive work with the soils, the vines often descend up to 10 or 12 meters. These deep roots extract salts and trace minerals like potassium and magnesium from the chalk. This gives additional minerality to the Champagne.

All of De Sousa’s Champagnes are fermented using indigenous yeasts. They go through full malolactic fermentation. Many of the wines are fermented and aged in enamel-lined steel tanks. Since 1995, however, he has fermented the wines from his oldest vines in 225-liter oak barrels. In the cellars, riddling is still done by hand, along with an extra shaking of the bottle on its lees deposit, which provides even greater concentration.

De Sousa Champagne Tradition Brut NV ($39.95) $33 special 4 bottles available
Josh Raynolds 91 points
 “Light, bright gold.  Buttered toast and poached pear on the deeply scented nose and in the mouth.  Broad and fleshy in texture but showing impressive vivacity for its heft.  A bitter lemon pith quality adds lift and bite to the finish, which leaves smoky minerals and buttery brioche behind.  I’d serve this substantial Champagne with a richly sauced poultry, lobster or mushroom-based dish.”

De Sousa  Reserve Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut NV ($59.95) $39 special 5 bottles available
De Sousa  Reserve Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut NV 1.5 LITER ($119.95) $89 special 11 bottles available
Josh Raynolds 91 points 
 “Light, bright yellow. Exotically perfume of nectarine, poached pear, brioche, anise and chamomile. Deep, round and fleshy, with powerful orchard and pit fruit flavors braced by a jolt of smoky minerals on the back half. Smoothly blends richness and vivacity, finishing with excellent clarity and toasty persistence.”

De Sousa Champagne Rose Grand Cru Brut NV ($69.95) $39 special 24+ bottles available
Josh Raynolds 91 points
 “Dark pink, with a hint of onion skin; the color of a red wine from Arbois, even darker than some. Deep and smoky on the nose, with a spicy, vinous raspberry and cherry tone verging on Burgundian in character. Quite spicy, the cherry and wild berry flavors tinged by notes of clove, mace, cracked pepper and cayenne. A singular wine that would go perfectly with pungent cheeses or cured meats”

De Sousa Champagne Cuvee 3A Grand Cru Brut NV ($69.95) $39 special 15 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
 “With grapes from the three villages of Aÿ, Avize and Ambonnay, this blend of 50/50 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is a strict and firm wine, very aromatic, beautifully ripe with some roundness. Flavors of tropical fruits mix with concentrated minerality. For aging.”

De Sousa Cuvee Caudalies Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut NV ($79.95) $49 special 12 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 94 points
 “A blend of 13 vintages, beautifully ripe and round, even with some maturity. Fresh citric fruit cuts through the richness and flavors of pineapple. There is a tang in the texture, an almost chewy structure. Age this wine for a year or two.”

De Sousa Caudalies Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut 2006 ($179.95) $119 special 9 bottles available
Caudalies is a Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagne that has been fermented in oak (15% new) and comes from 50 year-old Chardonnay vines. One of the few Champagnes that will benefit from decanting and aeration, the Caudalies is an eloquent testament to the quality of the Chardonnay grape, its personality informed by notes of white pepper, citric fruit, hazelnut, herbs, chalk, honey and stone fruits.




Patricia Green Eason Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004 1.5L ($119.95) $89 special 2 bottles available

Ken Wright Guadalupe Pinot Noir 2011 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special, 1 bottle available
Ken Wright Shea Pinot Noir 2012 1.5L ($119.95) $89 special 7 bottles available
Ken Wright Nysa Pinot Noir 2012 1.5L ($119.95) $89 special 4 bottles available

Ayres Pioneer Pinot Noir 2011 1.5L ($89.95) $72 special 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Bright red. Intense red and dark berry scents are complicated by notes of potpourri and sandalwood. Smooth and open-knit, offering vibrant black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a hint of white pepper. A bitter orange zest note adds a gripping sensation to the finish, which hangs on with very good tenacity and only a hint of tannins.”

Betz Cabernet Sauvignon Pere de Famille 2003 1.5L ($249.95) $219 special 1 bottle available
Wine Enthusiast 95 points
 “Firm, chewy, young, tight and yet quite supple and fulfilling, this stunning Cabernet is packed with a rainbow of fruit flavors-blueberry, black currant and black cherry-that open into a seamless, beautifully proportioned wine. The scents and flavors run the gamut from citrus peel to clove to oy to chocolate, espresso and beyond.”

Hospices De Beaune Rousseau-Deslandes 2011 1.5L ($249.95) $219 special, 3 bottles available
Beaune Premier Cru, Elevage by Lucien Le Moine

Domaine et Selection Bonnes Mares Elevage Ponsot 2009 1.5l ($799.95) $699 special, 2 bottles available

Pierre Yves Colin-Morey Criots Batard Montrachet 2011 1.5L ($899.95) $699 special 1 bottle available

Faiveley Corton Clos De Corton 2006 1.5L ($279.95) $219 special, 3 bottles available
Burghound 91-93 points
 “Discreet if not invisible wood frames earthy red pinot fruit that leads to serious, vibrant and wonderfully intense flavors that possess impressive size and weight and a bit less rusticity than usual, all wrapped in a gorgeously long and deep finish. I find it interesting that this is a bit less structured than a number of the grands crus in the range as this is normally among the most age worthy wines here, not that this is exactly a shrinking violet.”

JF Mugnier Nuits St Georges Marechale 2011 1.5L ($199.95) $149 special, 3 bottles available
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.”

Figeac St. Emilion 2005 1.5L ($349.95) $269 special, 7 bottles available
Wine Spectator 95 points
 “This is subtle and complex, showing blackberry, fresh tobacco and light vanilla, with a hint of Indian spices. Full-bodied, with super well-integrated tannins and a finish that lasts for minutes. Refined and classy. The best modern wine from this producer. Best after 2015.”

Haut Bages Liberal Pauillac 2006 1.5L ($139.95) $99 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “Dark ruby purple in color, with aromas of currant and dried flowers. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and a delicious finish. Tight now, but pretty and balanced. Best after 2012.”

Saint Cosme Chateauneuf-Du-Pape 2010 1.5L ($119.95) $99 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 points
 “Densely packed, with a core of baker’s chocolate, espresso, bay, licorice root, black currant preserves and steeped fig. A strong, almost rigid charcoal spine carries the finish, surrounded by ample flesh, lingering minerality and a smoldering feel. A backward, old-school version built for long cellaring. Best from 2017 through 2030.”

Pegau Chateauneuf De Pape Cuvee Reservee 2010 1.5L ($249.95) $199 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Spectator 97 points, #7 WOTY 2013 
“Looking at the 2010s and a brilliant vintage for Laurence, the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape offers up classic Pegau aromas and flavors of ripe dark fruits, garrigue, cured meats, tobacco leaf, saddle leather and hints of game. Full-bodied and beautifully concentrated, it offers a seamless, layered profile on the palate with thrilling mid-palate depth, sweet, yet substantial tannin, and a blockbuster finish that stays fresh and beautifully focused. Quite polished by this estates standards, it nevertheless screams southern France and I doubt it’s possible to have too much of this beauty in the cellar. It will absolutely thrill over the coming 2-3 decades”

Usseglio Chateauneuf Du Pape Mon Aieul 2010 1.5L ($249.95) $219 special, 9 bottles available
Robert Parker 97 points 
“The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul (cropped at 12-16 hectoliters per hectare) comes from the estate’s finest vineyards in the southern part of the appellation (Les Grandes Serres), the eastern sector (the famed La Crau) and the northern sector (Guigasse). The wine is aged primarily in stainless steel tanks with a small percent (less than 20%) kept in 600-liter demi-muids. Despite the 16.5% natural alcohol, there is not a trace of heat in this wine. It is stunningly concentrated with great intensity as well as classic blueberry, peppery, incense, camphor, fig and licorice characteristics. Rich and full-bodied with slightly more freshness than their profound 2007, the 2010 Mon Aieul should age effortlessly for two decades.”

Delas Freres Hermitage Tourette 2009 1.5L ($279.95) $219 special, 9 bottles available
Robert Parker 98 points
 “The magnificent 2009 Hermitage Domaine des Tourettes boasts a black/purple color as well as a wonderful nose of creosote, incense, charcoal, blackberry jam, acacia flowers, white chocolate and a hint of espresso roast. Full-bodied and unctuously textured with low acidity and magnificent density, this 2009 can be drunk in 5-6 years or cellared for 30-50 years.”

Vincent Couche Brut 2002 1.5L ($119.95) $79 special, 14 bottles available
A. Margaine Blanc De Blancs 2006 1.5L ($159.95) $137 special, 13 bottles available

Billiot Reserve Brut Grand Cru NV 1.5L ($149.95) $89 special, 20 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points “Richly spiced, with a skein of ground clove, ginger and cardamom winding through flavors of dried apricot and apple, currant candy, passion fruit and lemon zest. Beautiful texture and balance here, followed by a long and mouthwatering, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020. 300 cases imported.”

Fleury Brut Nature Symphonie D’Europe 1990 1.5L ($379.95) $299 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The 1990 Extra Brut Symphonie d’Europe (Pinot Noir) opens with the most extraordinary bouquet. Smoke, graphite, apricot jam and honeysuckle all burst from the glass. Floral notes develop later, adding lift and freshness, but this remains a rich, full-bodied wine endowed with stunning power and plenty of unbridled intensity. Honey, almonds and flowers are some of the many nuances that are wrapped into the layered, textured finish. This is yet another great showing from Fleury.”

Pierre Peters Cuvee Reserve Blanc De Blancs 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special, 24+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “The NV Brut Cuvee de Reserve is striking. It shows fabulous cut and definition in its fruit, expressive aromatics all backed up by plenty of underlying structure. A bright, mineral laced finish rounds things out in style. This is superb entry-level wine from one of Champagne’s top producers. The Cuvee Reserve is 100% Chardonnay. This year’s release is based on 2008 (60%), with reserve wines going back to 1988, precisely 1988, 1990, 1993 and 1995-2007 (except 1999 and 2003). ”

Vilmart Brut Grand Cellier D’Or 2006 1.5L ($279.95) $219 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points 
“The 2006 Brut Cuvee Grand Cellier d’Or is a striking wine endowed with tons of class and sheer depth. It shows considerable power in its freshly cut flowers, spices and rich Chardonnay fruit. All of the aromas and flavors build effortlessly to a creamy finish layered with smoke, minerals and ash. This is a fabulous wine in every way, but it will require at least a few more years in bottle. The 2006 is 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir from Les Blanches Voies Bas. The wine spent 10 months in barrel and a total of four years on its lees.”

Bodegas Muga Rioja Prado Enea 2004 1.5L ($129.95) $99 special, 13 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
 “80% tempranillo, with garnacha, mazuelo and graciano):  Dark ruby.  An intensely perfumed nose displays cherry-cola, cassis, licorice and woodsmoke, with a sexy floral quality and very good focus.  Juicy, penetrating dark fruit flavors are given spine by tangy acidity and pick up bitter chocolate and spicecake nuances with air.  Supple tannins add shape to the very long, sappy, smoke-accented finish.  This is still a baby.”

Emilio Moro Malleolus Valderramiro 2008 1.5L ($249.95) $199.90 special 1 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93-96 points
  “The 2008 Malleolus de Valderramiro will be bottled soon. It is slightly lighter in color than the 2009 as well as a bit more structured. It lacks the unctuousness of the 2009 but is nonetheless an outstanding young wine. The Moro family believes that frost in the last week of harvest kept the 2008 vintage from being at the same level as 2009.”

Clerico Langhe Rosso Arte 2011 1.5L ($89.95) $69 special, 24+ bottles available

Clerico is one of the most respected names in all Barolo, and his wines are renowned for both winemaking of the highest quality and for exceptional character, deriving from outstanding vineyard holdings in four of the greatest crus of Monforte:  Ginestra, Bussia, Pajana and Mosconi. The  Barrique-aged Nebbiolo/Barbera blend “Arte” was the original “super-Piedmont” wine; Marc de Grazia and Clerico devised this blend together in 1983.

Ca Del Baio Barbaresco Asili 2005 1.5L ($119.95) $99 special 3 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 93 points 
“The estate’s 2005 Barbaresco Asili opens with a beguiling profile of dried roses, spices and raspberries. It possesses a compelling inner sweetness supported by finessed, silky-textured tannins. This bottling offers notable elegance and class, but then again, it is Asili. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.”

Ca Del Baio Barbaresco Asili 2009 1.5L ($89.95) $69 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The 2009 Barbaresco Asili caresses the palate with soft, open fruit and a resonant personality that is quite striking. The essence of red berries, rose petals and sweet spices blossom in the glass. This is an especially vibrant style for the year, with excellent freshness, color and balance. Firm tannins support a highly attractive, delineated finish. The 2009 should be an absolute beauty in another few years, once the tannins soften. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024. I was deeply impressed with the wines I tasted from Ca’del Baio this year. As always, the house style favors a juicy, fruit-forward expression of Nebbiolo.”

Produtorri del Barbaresco Ovello 2004 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The 2004 Ovello is deep, dense and incredibly primary. Although the wine clearly possesses remarkable stuffing, there is very little tertiary development here. With air, suggestions of menthol, pine, spices and licorice gradually emerge, but this remains a wine in need of serious bottle age. Lingering notes of sweetness resonate on the long finish. This austere, but beautiful Barbaresco is destined to develop beautifully in the bottle and should offer glorious drinking down the road. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.”

Produttori Del Barbaresco Montestefano 2008 1.5L ($139.95) $119 special, 11 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95+ points
 “The 2008 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano is exquisite and harmonious from start to finish. Among the more structured 2008s, the Montestefano is the wine that most hides its tannin, as the fruit is intensely perfumed, rich and totally seductive. Today the Montestefano provides the illusion of being relatively accessible, but it is virtually certain to shut down in bottle. The 2008 boasts striking aromatics, seemingly endless layers of fruit and power to burn. Readers can think of the Montestefano as a synthesis of Montefico, Ovello and Rabaja. Not bad, to say the least. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2048.”

Vietti Barolo Brunate 2006 1.5L ($399.95) $319 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate & Stephen Tanzer 95 points
 “Good medium red. Perfumed aromas of camphor, brown spices and menthol. Silky-sweet and aromatic in the mouth, with lovely class and a light touch for a wine with such a plush texture-no doubt due to a mineral element that reminded me of Musigny. Very intensely flavored, suave Brunate with an impressive rising finish. A superb showing: this has the structure for a slow evolution in bottle but the complexity to give it considerable early appeal.”

Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2007 1.5L ($449.95) $349 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96+ points 
“The 2007 Barolo Lazzarito is a superb, plush wine loaded with dark fruit, flowers of all sorts, sweet menthol and minerals, all of which flow through to the long, powerful finish. The wine’s inner perfume emerges over time, adding even more nuance and subtlety to this big Barolo. The 2007 Lazzarito is far from an open, easygoing wine, in fact it needs time, and lots of it. Anticipated maturity: 2022-2042.”

Elio Grasso Barolo Riserva Runcot 2004 1.5L ($329.95) $249 special, 7 bottles available
Wine Spectator 98 points
 “Sweet spices introduce this concentrated red, whose deep, sappy flavors of cherry and plum mesh effortlessly with the supple texture. Licorice and mineral notes play around the edges, while the tannins are well-integrated. Stays bright and long on the finish. Best from 2013 through 2035.”

Giacosa Barbaresco Asili 2005 1.5L ($399.95) $319 special 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “Giacosa’s 2005 Barbaresco Asili is noticeably rounder, sweeter and denser than the Santo Stefano. It shows remarkable balance and harmony in an incredibly pure, graceful style. The tannins are so finessed and elegant it is hard to actually perceive them on the palate. Here too, the wine shows awesome inner balance and poise. Sweet raspberries, flowers, roses and spices are just some of the nuances that emerge from this incredibly delicious, promising Barbaresco. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2025.”

Voerzio Barolo Riserva Capalot Brunate 1999 1.5L ($599.95) $379 special, 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 95+ points
 “Full, deep ruby-red. Restrained but highly complex nose melds strawberry, raspberry, currant, mocha and dried flowers; less exuberant today than the Samassa. But the sweetest and lushest in the mouth of these ’99s: hugely rich, creamy and seamless but with terrific supporting vinosity giving it a lightness of touch.”



Big Baroli
Pre-arrival offer – Arriving Late April

Elio Grasso’s sprawling hillside estate

Elio Grasso Barolo Ginestra Casa Mate 2010 ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 97 points
 “Dark red cherries, plums, smoke, tar, menthol and licorice all take shape in the 2010 Barolo Ginestra Vigna Casa Matè. Today the 2010 is painfully young and less expressive than the Gavarini, but equally promising. A generous, resonant wine, the 2010 blossoms in all directions with seemingly endless layers of dark, balsamic-inflected fruit. Today, the Casa Matè is closed and shut down, but it has all the qualities to develop into a spectacular Barolo. The future is bright, especially for readers who can be patient.”

Elio Grasso Barolo Ginestra Gavarni Chiniera 2010 ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 98 points
 “The 2010 Barolo Gavarini Vigna Chiniera is a wine of breathtaking purity and finesse. The year that comes to mind is 2008, but the 2010 has a more classic sense of structure, tannic cut and intensity. Bright red berries, crushed rocks, mint and dried flowers are some of the many notes that linger in the glass. Sweet floral notes begin to emerge over time but the 2010 is a reticent, austere wine built for the cellar. Razor-precise veins of acidity and minerality support the brilliant, crystalline finish. This is an especially thrilling Gavarini, but readers are going to have to be patient. The 2010 is a wine to buy and forget about for a decade, perhaps longer. Hints of the 1989 and its extraordinary perfume linger on the finish. Gianluca Grasso adds that for the first time in 2010 he had the courage to pick this fruit a few days later than normal…98”




The Best of Failla 2012
Pre-arrival offers – here mid- April

Failla Chardonnay Estate Vineyard Fort Ross – Seaview Sonoma 2012 ($47.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “One of the standouts in this range, the 2012 Chardonnay Estate Vineyard is endowed with striking minerality and energy to match the pure depth of the fruit. This is a distinctly broad, yet implosive Chardonnay typical of the coast that needs time for the flavors to fully flesh out. Failla’s Estate vineyard is planted with a combination of Hyde, Wente and Mount Eden clones.”

Failla Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard Napa 2012 ($51.95) $41.90 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “The 2012 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard, from one of the great sites in Napa Valley, is also one of the most classic California Chardonnays in this range. Lemon peel, pastry, flowers and sweet spices meld together in a textured, inviting Chardonnay built on texture. A wine of stunning balance and pure voluptuousness, the 2012 boasts fabulous balance and tons of personality. This is pure Hudson, not to mention a drop-dead gorgeous beauty.”

Failla Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
 “An addition to the range, Failla’s 2012 Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard, is fabulous. Dark red stone fruit, smoke tobacco and licorice jump from the glass in a vivid, structured Pinot endowed with stunning depth and nuance. The balance of fruit and minerality is simply compelling. Winemakers continue to be attracted to Savoy, Cliff Lede’s vineyard in Anderson Valley. Few have made such a gorgeous wine on their first try. This is a great start from Failla.”



Marcarini Barolo La Serra 2010 ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 91-93 points
 “Marcarini’s 2010 Barolo La Serra is laced with freshly cut flowers, mint, crushed rocks and red fruit. High-toned floral and spice notes abound in a bright, chiseled Barolo built for the cellar. The vivid, crystalline finish is particularly of note.”

Marcarini Barolo Brunate 2010 ($49.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points
 “Bright, dark red.  Pungent, high-pitched aromas of bitter cherry, blackberry, mint, blood orange and white peach.  Then dense, sweet and pliant yet penetrating thanks to terrific vibrant acidity.  For a medium-bodied wine, this communicates an impression of strong dry extract.  The firm tannins arrive late, allowing the wine’s finishing fruit to expand and stain the palate.  Classic 2010 energy here.”


Staff Picks


Carre L’oiseliniere Muscadet Ramee Sur Lie 2012 ($14.95) $11.90 special
Muscadet is the go to wine for seafood dishes and this wine is no exception. Aromas of grass and citrus are backed up beautifully by notes of chalk and lemon peel. A slightly richer body makes this wine enjoyable with food or on its own.

Lopez Heredia Tondonia Rsva Rioja 2001 375ml ($29.95) $24 special
The Tondonia Vineyard is the most prized vineyard of the over 130 year old winery that produces the iconic old-school style of Rioja.  The wine opens with notes of dried Bing cherries and leaves lingering notes of soft tobacco.  The bottle size provides an excellent introduction to a long established and highly regarded Rioja producer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Time to say Goodbye

Bruna Grimaldi Barolo Camilla 2009 ($37.95) $26.60 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The lovely 2009 Barolo Camilla opens to characteristic Nebbiolo aromas of wild berry, dried mint, licorice tar and pressed rose. The wine is elegant and feminine overall with fine, silky tannins at the rear. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today