Vinopolis May 19 Newsletter

 May 19, 2014

Jump Start Sale
More Champagne – Arriving Tomorrow

Summer at Legras & Haas’ vineyards in Ricey

In a world of great grower-producers, Legras & Haas has proven to be a stand out. Seven generations of vine growers and three generations of wine makers have created the Legras & Haas brand. Meeting in 1967 as young winemakers, Brigitte Haas and Francois Legras founded their Legras & Haas Champagne house in 1991, with 37 hectares of vines across Chouilly and Aÿ that had been previously cared for by Legras’ family for over two hundred years.

With the some of the highest regarded terroirs in Champagne, Legras & Haas produce an elegant portfolio of Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Champagnes. The philosophy of Legras & Haas is based in the vineyard, believing it is crucial to know the history and background of a vineyard to make the best champagne possible. The family has a great deal of respect for their vineyards and practice sustainable farming methods throughout their vineyards. Enormous care is also taken in their winemaking, with each variety and parcel fermented separately in small stainless steel tanks. After fermentation, the wines are left to settle naturally, in tank, for seven months before they are placed in bottle, where they spend a minimum of three years in bottle before disgorgement. For twenty years, the Legras & Haas house has made every effort to produce outstanding champagnes. Today, Francois and Brigitte’s sons Remi and Olivier run the business with the same passion for terroir and quality champagne.


LeGras & Haas Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru Chouilly ($49.95) $33 jump start special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Light, bright yellow. Ripe citrus and orchard fruit aromas are lifted by notes of chalk and lemongrass. Fleshy but dry and tangy on the palate, offering vibrant Meyer lemon and pear flavors and a subtle toastiness. Shows impressive clarity and vivacity on the finish, which leaves dusty mineral and sweet butter notes behind”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The next lowest listed price is 50% higher- $49!
The average price listed is $52


Haden Fig Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2013 ($19.95) $16 special
Haden Fig Willamette Valley Pinot Gris Rose 2013 ($19.95) $16 special

Matello Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2013 ($19.95) $16 special
Matello Willamette Valley Rose of Pinot Noir 2013 ($19.95) $16 special

Evesham Wood Eola-Amity Hills Blanc du Puits Sec 2013 ($19.95) $16 special
Evesham Willamette Valley Wood Chardonnay 2013 ($19.95) $16 special
Evesham Wood Willamette Valley Tempranillo Rose 2013 ($17.95) $14 special

Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut 2002 ($399.95) $333 special
Winery notes “Madame Bollinger created this legendary wine with the 1952 vintage, giving the world the opportunity to taste a champagne aged on the lees for an exceptionally long time. Bollinger R.D. allows wine connoisseurs a very special moment, when very recently disgorged wine is as fresh and aromatic as ever. It is a small revolution in the world of Champagne. Aromas of ripe fruit and a discreet note of honey are followed by roasted notes and cocoa, which give way to flavors of star anise and nutmeg. Full-bodied and rich, Bollinger R.D. 2002 is a powerful, well-balanced wine with persistent flavor”

Dominique Laurent Grands-Echezaux Grand Cru 2010 ($399.95) $329 special
Stephen Tanzer 93-96 points
 “(from the same pinot material as the Echezeaux, with the vines owned by two cousins): Good bright, full red. Crushed black cherry and subtle earth tones on the pure, vibrant nose; more closed than the Echezeaux. Darker in fruit character, with distinctly rocky notes of minerals, violet and rose petal. Showing less obvious texture than the Echezeaux but this offers greater finesse. Very long and aromatic on the aftertaste, with tannins barely noticeable today. These vines are situated very close to Musigny, according to Laurent.”

Chateau Pape Clement Pessac-Leognan 2008 ($179.95) $149 special
Robert Parker 95 points
 “One of the top successes of the vintage, this blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot was harvested between October 8 and 24. The late harvest ensured perfect ripeness as evidenced by the sweet bouquet of black cherries, lead pencil shavings, cassis and subtle barbecue smoke. Well-balanced with good acidity, ripe tannins, medium to full body and a layered mouthfeel, this excellent 2008 can be drunk now and over the next 15+ years.”

Chateau Pape Clement Pessac-Leognan 2010 ($349.95) $299 special
Robert Parker 100 points
 “I certainly underrated the 2010 Pape Clement from barrel, rating it only 93-95+. (Thank God I put a ‘plus’ there!) Having tasted it four times in Bordeaux, and rating it perfect three times and 99 the fourth time, this final blend of 51% Merlot, 47.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1.5% Petit Verdot is perfection in a bottle. Tipping the scales at 14.5% natural alcohol, there are 8,000 cases of it. Its sublime elegance, the power, the medium to full-bodied texture, the silky tannins, the subtle notes of smoke, lead pencil shavings, black currants, charcoal, camphor, blueberry and cassis fruit are all remarkable. It is a rich, full-throttle wine, but the elegance and the great terroir of Pape Clement come through in abundance. It is slightly more developed and evolved than the 2005 was at a similar point in its evolution, but it certainly needs another 5-7 years to develop further nuances, which it surely will. This wine will last 30-40+ years. Kudos to proprietor Bernard Magrez, who has built an empire based on high quality more than any other characteristic.”

Chateau Leoville Poyferre Saint-Julien 2009 3L ($1799.95) $1499 special
Robert Parker 100 points
 “One of the more flamboyant and sumptuous wines of the vintage, this inky/purple-colored St.-Julien reveals thrilling levels of opulence, richness and aromatic pleasures. A soaring bouquet of creme de cassis, charcoal, graphite and spring flowers is followed by a super-concentrated wine with silky tannins, stunning amounts of glycerin, a voluptuous, multilayered mouthfeel and nearly 14% natural alcohol. Displaying fabulous definition for such a big, plump, massive, concentrated effort, I suspect the tannin levels are high even though they are largely concealed by lavish amounts of fruit, glycerin and extract. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2040”

Chateau Certan de May de Certan Pomerol 2005 ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Spectator 94 points
 “Blackberry and green tobacco aromas, with hints of coffee bean, follow through to a full body, with big, velvety tannins and a complex finish of dark chocolate and berry. Chewy and muscular, yet caressing and pretty.”

Chateau Leoville-Las Cases ‘Clos du Marquis’ Saint-Julien 2006 ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “Offers violet and blackberry on the nose, with tar. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a fruity, minerally aftertaste. Long and silky. Very serious for the vintage. Best after 2013.”

Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Rose 2013 ($39.95) $33 special
Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Rose 2013 1.5L ($89.95) $69 special

Azelia di Luigi Scavino Vigneto Punta Barbera d’Alba 2010 ($29.95) $24 special
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2010 Barbera d’Alba Punta shows just enough evolution of fruit to render that subtle air of sophistication that distinguishes it. Black cherry, raspberry and blackberry preserves are laced with spice, dark clove and tobacco. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2017.”

Bartolo Mascarello Barbera d’Alba 2011 ($59.95) $49 special
Stephen Tanzer 90 points 
“(14.5 alcohol; bottled the month before my visit):  Bright, dark red.  Sappy cherry and flint aromas are complicated by smoke and leather nuances.  Rich, fat and silky-sweet, with smoke, mineral and spice notes giving this wine considerable complexity.  Finishes with sweet, fine-grained tannins and good acidity and grip.”

Bartolo Mascarello Dolcetto D’alba 2012 ($31.95) $28 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points, Stephen Tanzer 90 points 
“Good bright red.  Sappy red cherry aroma shows a liqueur-like quality but remains very fresh.  Sweet, sappy and youthful, with very good balance and depth to the cherry, mineral, saline and smoke flavors.  Finishes with very fine-grained tannins.  Maria-Teresa noted that 2012 was a warmer season than 2013 but that the alcohol levels were lower across the board than those of the three previous vintages.  A major success for 2012 dolcetto.”

Giorgio Pelissero Long Now Langhe Rosso 2006 ($59.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
 “Dark and brooding, featuring saturated black currant, wild herb and mineral aromas and flavors, just hinting at animal. This is backward and tightly structured with tannins, yet also concentrated and long, with sweetness prevailing in the end. Needs time. Nebbiolo and Barbera. Best from 2015 through 2040.”

Giovanni Rosso Cerretta Barolo 2007($69.95) $59 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
 “Simply compelling from start to finish, exhibiting raspberry, cherry and floral aromas and flavors that are pure and focused, with support from the solid yet ripe tannins. This shows fruit and a silky texture up front, with structure on the back end, coming together on the long, fruit and spice tinged aftertaste. Best from 2015 through 2032.”

Gaja Sperss Langhe Nebbiolo 2008 375ml ($149.95) $119 special
Gaja Sperss Langhe Nebbiolo 2008 750ml ($299.95) $249 special
Wine Advocate 96+ points
 “The 2008 Sperss is exotic, dark and totally seductive. Black cherries, mint, licorice, flowers, spices and juniper berries meld together in the glass, all supported by firm, insistent tannins. Today the Sperss has begun to shut down in bottle. It isn’t anywhere near as expressive as the Conteisa, but that will come in time. There is so much to look forward to, but readers will have to be patient. In time, the 2008 Sperss will be yet another viscerally thrilling wine. Sperss is made from the Marenca and Rivette vineyards in Serralunga. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2048.”

Sergio Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2006 ($119.95) $99 special
James Suckling 98 points 
“Incredible nose of wet earth, spices, dark chocolate and blueberries. Stunning. Full body, with superfine tannins and polished texture. Balance and harmony. Better in three or four years.12/12.”

Podere Orma ‘Orma’ IGT Bolgheri 2010 ($69.95) $59 special
James Suckling 96 points
 “There is something so subtle and rich here with chocolate, red chilies and ripe plums on the nose. Full body, with velvety tannins and a juicy finish. This is so delicious now but better in 2017. Best ever from here. A blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc. From Bolgheri. Just next door to Ornellaia.”

Marchesi Antinori Solaia Toscana IGT 2010 ($299.95) $249 special
Antonio Galloni 97+ points, Wine Advocate 97 points
 “The 2010 Solaia is even better than the Tignanello. Here, too, it is the wine’s energy and sheer vibrancy that stand out most. Blackberry jam, graphite, tar, espresso, violets, crushed rocks and spices all take shape in the glass. The 2010 is a wine I have followed since its infancy, and it has never failed to deliver the goods. Earlier this year I had a chance to taste every vintage of Solaia back to the inaugural 1978. It is still early, but there is little question the 2010 is one of the greatest – if not the single greatest – Solaia ever made.”

Colterenzio-Schreckbichl ‘Thurner’ Pinot Bianco 2012 ($17.95) $14 special

Sustainable & biodynamic

Bodegas Muga Rioja Rosado 2013 ($14.95) $10.90 special
Bodegas Muga Rioja Rosado 2013 1.5L ($29.95) $26 special

Bodegas Maurodos San Roman Toro 2009 ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2009 San Roman comes from 45-year-old bush vines or older in San Roman, Morales de Toro, Arjujillo, Villaester and El Pego between 720 and 760 meters and sees 24 months in new and used French (70%) and American (30%) oak. It offers a very seductive bouquet with luscious red berry fruit – raspberry, wild strawberry infused with crushed violets that open with aeration. The palate is full-bodied and very well-balanced, ripe succulent tannins, plush blueberry and black cherries forming the core followed by a silky, ripe, sensual, velvety smooth finish. Modern in style, but extremely well-crafted, this is a sensational, delicious Toro red.”



Almost Arrivals
Here Tomorrow

Vouvray Sec – The Undisputed Champions:


Philippe Foreau Domaine Clos Naudin Vouvray Sec 2010 ($39.95) $26 best in USA special

Domaines Huet Le Haut-Lieu Vouvray Sec 2012 ($29.95) $21.90 best in USA special




More Almost Arrivals
Spanish Plunder

Here Tomorrow



Olivares Altos de la Hoya 2011 ($14.95) $10.90 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Bright purple. Black raspberry and cassis aromas, with spicy mineral and floral elements gaining power with air. Powerful dark fruit flavors are sweetened by vanilla and cola nuances and lifted by juicy acidity. Impressively velvety wine, with very good finishing breadth and lingering spiciness. Plenty of bang for the buck here.”

Alvaro Palacios Camins Priorat 2012 ($21.95) $18 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Inky ruby. Aromas of blackberry, cola and spicy oak. Sweet and intense in the mouth, offering weighty dark berry flavors complicated by Asian spices. The fleshy, broad finish features smooth tannins and appealingly sweet black and blue fruit qualities.”

Riesling of the Week

The hallmark of the Selbach Oster estate are 3 old parcels that Selbach-Oster harvests en-bloc; or, as single pickings, with no selections pulled from the vineyard prior to harvesting. Anrecht, our highlight today, Schmitt and Rotlay are the top quality parcels of the three main vineyards Himmelreich, Schmitt and Sonnenuhr in the Zeltingen/ Mosel valley. All are old parcels high on their respective slopes and post trained on their original rootstock.  Typically, Auslese is selected by successive passes through the vineyard—picking fruit for Kabinett and Spätlese first and leaving the healthiest berries on the vine to concentrate.  For the en-bloc wines selection of this type is avoided, in order to maintain a holistic flavor profile that contains that of ultra-ripe grapes, optimally ripe, and of lesser-ripe ones which has the ability to reflect a complete terroir of both place and moment.  Johannes Selbach owner and winemaker of Selbach-Oster offers a very limited amount of Riesling from each parcel to express the optimal terroir of each individual vineyard. Because his approach in winemaking is minimal, Johannes Selbach will allow his wines to ferment naturally, as slow or as complete as manifest, resulting in dry wines in some vintages and fruity in others. Selbach-Oster Anrecht, Schmitt and Rotlay are master pieces of Riesling with long aging potential, one of the best the Mosel has to offer and very collectable!

Selbach-Oster Riesling Zeltinger Himmelreich ‘Anrecht’ 2011 ($39.95) $31.90 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The block-picked, lightly-botrytized Selbach 2011 Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Anrecht leads with a gorgeous though subtle amalgam of apple blossom, chamomile, sweet lime, pear nectar, and quince preserves, all of which reconvene on a silken-textured, subtly creamy and oily yet admirably juicy and utterly transparent palate, through which shimmer stony, smoky and saline notes. Allying a Kabinett-like sense of levity, primary juiciness and mineral interaction with the richness of flavor typical for a great Auslese – at just 7.5% alcohol yet not dominated by its sheer sweetness! – this perfectly illustrates precisely the point of block picking that captures all of the sorts of ripeness that are out there and layers them on the palate to render a masterpiece of counterpoint and harmony. Expect this to be worth following for a quarter century, though who can really tell, absent any recent track record for such a wine.”


Staff Pick Special:

Suzy’s Pick of Vinopolis’ Vermouths & Apertif

Byrrh Grand Quinquina ($23.95) $19 special
The Byrrh is a rarity in many ways.  It is a quinquina (which uses chinchona bark for the bittering agent) that is red-wine based, whereas many red aperitifs are colored with caramel.  Despite wide popularity before Prohibition, it is not typically imported into the US anymore, so we are excited to present it.  It was originally created in 1866 in the Roussillon from Carignan and Grenache grapes.  It shows rich notes of dried plums and cinnamon and has a full body and lush sweetness.

Lillet Rose ($21.95) $18.90 special
Lillet Blanc ($23.95) $19.90 special

The two Lillet aperitifs come from the Bordeaux region of France using regional grapes.  The base wine is matured in oak and flavored with sweet and bitter oranges.  The aperitifs are less bitter in flavor than most with a gentle sweetness that is not cloying.  The Rose incorporates some of the Lillet Rouge for color and a pretty strawberry and lemon aroma.  The Blanc has a more focused citrus aroma.  I enjoy both over ice with a spritz of lemon and seltzer.

Dolin Vermouth de Chambery Dry ($17.95) $14 special
The Dolin vermouths are produced using an herbal recipe from 1821 and wormwood as their bitter agent.  The dry is easily the driest of the aperitifs featured here, though it does have some sweetness.  It makes a superb mixer for dry martinis or to spice up ginger ale.  It has delicate herbal notes from the Alpine botanicals infused in the wine.

Carpano Bianco Vermouth 1 Liter ($24.95) $21.90 special
The Carpano Bianco just arrived this week.  It has distinct notes of eucalyptus, fresh fennel and ginger that linger refreshingly on the palate.   Enjoy it over ice or mixed with Prosecco.

Cocchi Americano ($19.95) $16.60 special
Cocchi Americano is easy to love: it’s a balanced blend of sweetness, bitterness and refreshing herbal notes.  This is my favorite to enjoy chilled on its own or with seltzer and lime.  Its base wine is Moscato di Asti, which imparts floral aromas.  Its bittering agent is gentian and cinchona bark.

More Vermouths & Apertifs available
See the whole selection online at:



Champagne of the Week


The Fleury Family: Owner Jean-Pierre with daughter Morgane, Fleury’s sommelier, with his sons Benoit and Jean-Sebastian, vigneron and cellar master 

Champagne Fleury has been run by the Fleury family for over a century, with each generation contributing to its reputation for innovation. Founded in 1895, Fleury continues to lead the growing Côte des Bars region in the south of Champagne and is one the original ( and some would suggest best) producer of Biodynamic Champagne. All 15 hectares that Fleury own are cultivated using biodynamics, making them the largest biodynamic producer in the entire Champagne region.  The Cepages Blanc, our highlight today, is 100% Chardonnay produced from Fleury’s small amount of Chardonnay plantings, from vines averaging 20 years of age in clay and limestone soils. The wines are fermented in oak, riddled by hand and slowly matured under cork, an approach that, paired with the natural methods in the vineyard, pays off in wines that retain firmness and freshness as they age. An outstanding value for lovers of grower Champagne!

Fleury Champagne Brut Cepages Blanc 2004 ($79.95) $69 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “Another gorgeous wine, the 2004 Brut Cepages Blancs (Chardonnay) is stunningly beautiful. Rich, deep and layered, the 2004 comes alive in the glass. Lemon, dried flowers and hazelnuts wrap around the palate as this complex, utterly beguiling wine shows off its considerable personality and pedigree. Chalky notes frame the finish. This is without question one of the very best wines I have ever tasted from Fleury.”


Hello – Goodbye
Arriving this week – Gone this week

Fratelli Brovia Barolo Rocche del Brovia 2008 ($99.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points 
“The 2008 Barolo Rocche dei Brovia emerges from the glass with freshly cut flowers, dark red berries and licorice. The Rocche is usually the most open of the Baroli here, but the cold year and the relatively recent bottling make the wine a bit reticent today. It nevertheless shows gorgeous mid-palate pliancy married to the firm, insistent tannins of the year. Exotic, spiced notes are woven into the cool, reticent yet immensely appealing finish. This is a super-classic, multi-dimensional Barolo from Brovia with a very bright future.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $86 / bottle


Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 2009 ($119.95) $79 special
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “The 2009 Le Pergole Torte is flat-out great. Layers of fruit wrap around the palate in this flashy, seductive Pergole Torte. There are no hard edges to be found. Sweet red cherries, roses, spices and mint are layered into the silky, radiant finish. The 2009 is a wine of extraordinary elegance. Today the 2009 comes across as a smaller scaled version of the 2007. This is also the first year of biological farming at Montevertine. Despite the heat spikes in August, Martino Manetti waited until October 12 to bring the Sangiovese in.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA
The average listed price in the USA is $113 / bottle