Vinopolis Midweek Addition 6-26-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Rare Back Vintage Bionic Frog

New Reviews for Vinopolis Favorites

Trending Wines

The Rubies of France: Southern French Red Value Gems

Large Format Italian Dreams

Rosé of the Day: Chinon’s Lighter Side

Arriving Friday: Vincent Paris’ Top Wines

Four Days Left in the June Sale

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Rare Back Vintage Bionic Frog

We’ve acquired more Cayuse! It’s always cause for celebration, but especially when the Cayuse is Bionic Frog (and especially when it’s back-vintage Frog).  Combined with the tranche that came in a few weeks ago, we’re up to twelve different Cayuse bottlings in stock now.  You can view them all in our webstore, or keep reading for highlights and the full list.

Just Arrived, In Stock Now:

Only four bottles available
Cayuse Vineyards Bionic Frog Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($319.95) $279 special
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points
“Pure perfection in a glass, the 2016 Syrah Bionic Frog is another magical wine from this estate and is as good as it gets. Crème de cassis, rose petals, menthol, ash, and smoky, meaty, soy sauce notes all emerge from this singular wine. Full-bodied, expansive, and powerful yet weightless on the palate, it has ultra-fine tannins, a brilliant finish, and a singular, magical character. It matches the otherworldly 2014 and 2010 and is one of the wines of the vintage.”

Only one bottle available
Cayuse Vineyards Bionic Frog Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2008 750ML ($319.95) $279 special
Wine Advocate 97 points
“I thought the 2008 Syrah Bionic Frog was insanely good. Checking in at 14.4% natural alcohol (the 2009 was 14.7 and the 2010 14.8), it has soaring notes of cassis, black raspberries, violets, white flowers, mint and olives to go with a full-bodied, ultra-pure, silky, yet concentrated and layered feel on the palate. One of the more elegant, silky and finesse driven examples of this cuvee, it has heavenly aromatics and will have upward of two decades of longevity.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Only two bottles available
Cayuse Vineyards Bionic Frog Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2011 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2011 Syrah Bionic Frog is another rocking Syrah from Christophe that does everything right. Creme de cassis, blackberry, smoked earth, toasted spice and violets emerge from the glass, and it flows onto the palate with full-bodied richness, beautiful purity of fruit and brilliant length. Gaining more minerality with time in the glass, it will continue to flesh out nicely with another handful of years in the cellar, and have two decades of ultimate longevity.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


New Reviews for Vinopolis Favorites

In Stock Now:

Ayres Lewis Rogers Lane Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($39.95) $36 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Bright magenta. Displays spice-accented aromas of black raspberry, cola, pungent flowers and incense, along with an energizing, spicy topnote. Sappy and expansive in the mouth, offering appealingly sweet dark berry and cherry liqueur, spicecake and floral pastille flavors that show impressive depth and an undercurrent of smoky minerality. Delivers a suave blend of power and vivacity and finishes very long and smooth, with repeating florality and velvety, slow-building tannins.”

Ayres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90 points
“Vivid red. Ripe cherry, boysenberry and floral scents are complemented by hints of cola, mocha and dark chocolate. Displays lively red/blue fruit, lavender and spicecake flavors that show very good clarity and lift thanks to a spine of juicy acidity. The floral quality carries through a long, sappy finish that’s shaped by smooth, even tannins.”

Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas La Louisiane Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $36 special
Grapelive 95 points
“The awesome 2016 La Louisiane old vine cuvee from Saint-Damien is an intensely dark purply Rhone blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, plus a 5% remaining balance of Cinsault and Syrahwith amazing depth and complex, while still being wonderfully easy to drink, a hallmark of this vintage. Layered with blackberry/raspberry, boysenberry, plum and pomegranate fruits and a sweet nose of lilac and roses flows across the palate with hints of kirsch, anise, garrigue (lavender/sage) and a touch of exotic spices. This beauty of a Gigondas is from all organic vines set on sandy clay and red old alluvium soils with broken cailloux (round rocks) strewn throughout which shows in the lovely color, density and depth here and these vines, primary Grenache over 70 years old, this parcel was planted in 1942, give this wine ripe tannin and age worthy structure. With air the Gigondas La Louisiane gains a meaty power with sanguine, leather and peppery elements adding some soulful charm to this fantastic year’s silken and expressive fruit.…One of the great values of the Southern Rhone, Domaine Saint-Damien, run by Joel, and his son Romain Saurel….The Saurel’s, with Romain now much more involved in the winemaking, keep things simple in the cellar trying to focus on the terroir and the vineyards, use traditional techniques, and with this wine used native yeast vinification with maceration lasting for about 6 weeks in concrete vats, with regular pump overs before racking to large foudre where it was aged just over a year. They really put a lot of attention to detail in the vineyards so they can pick a bit later without losing the energy of the wine which they bottle unfined and unfiltered, and while full bodied and richly textured it has superb balance and rustic charms with mineral/stone and earthy elements adding a contrast to the opulent fruit. This 2016 gets better and better in the glass, it’s a wine that expresses everything that it can and has that extra bit more that puts it in that special place among wines a level of greatness that is not pretentious, but magical, especially if you are a Grenache lover! Drink this glorious vintage for the next 10 to 15 years, though as mentioned it is hard to resist even now!”

Arriving ETA September:

New Wine Spectator Insider Review!
Paolo Scavino Monvigliero, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points
“A supple, perfumed red, with a smoky Lapsang souchong tea note underly-ing the cherry and currant flavors. Delicate and firm, showing fine balance and a vibrant finish. This is all about elegance and finesse. Best from 2021 through 2042.—B.S”

See our complete offer of Paolo Scavino wines arriving in September, including the 2015 Ravera & Bric del Fiasc!



Trending Wines

Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2013 750ML ($79.95) $49 special
Case-6 Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2013 750ML ($299.95) $259 special
Robert Parker 92+ points
“The single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the highest elevation (400-1000 feet) is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Ridge. It displays blacker fruit, loads of plums, blueberry and blackberry, a deep, full-bodied, mouthfeel, rich, concentrated, moderately high tannin, a nice minerality and plenty of black fruits. These are all well-built and potentially very long-lived wines of 25-30 or more years. This wine needs a good 4-5 years of cellaring.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Weingut Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs Trocken, Mosel 2013 750ML ($69.95) $47 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Very clear, discreet and refined on the nose – where the 2013 Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling GG displays fine stone and fruit aromas of lemons and green apples. Lean and vital but also intense, rich and juicy on the palate, this is a lovely pure, straightforward, piquant and very salty expression of the Karthäuserhofberg terroir and the 2013 vintage. This long-distance runner has more fruit intensity than the Edition and reveals a very fine raciness and a complex finish with lingering lemon aromas.” WA
John Gilman 93+ points “The 2013 Grosses Gewächs is showing as beautifully this year as it did a year ago, wafting from the glass in a salty constellation of tart pear, pink grapefruit, plenty of smokiness, dried flowers, a touch of lemongrass and lovely slate-driven salinity. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish and absolutely seamless, with fine youthful complexity, a lovely core, bright acids and a very long, refined and racy finish. This is a touch lower in alcohol than the 2014 version (11.5 versus twelve percent), but is just a tad more tightly-knit and complete. A fine bottle in the making. 2020-2050. 93+.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $64.95
Chateau Quinault L’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Case-12 Chateau Quinault L’Enclos, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009 750ML ($699.95) $519 special
James Suckling 93 points
“A soft and fruity wine, with orange peel and berries and plums. Full body, with super fine tannins and a fruity finish. Refined and very pretty. Structured in the end. Fresh. Succulent. A style away from the over extracted one a few years ago. Try after 2018.” JS
Wine Spectator 92 points “This is very distinctive, with live-wire acidity running through the core of damson plum, linzer torte and blackberry fruit that’s framed by a mouthwatering roasted apple wood note. The long and driven finish has a piercing iron edge and a smoldering tobacco note that adds to the dramatic profile. Best from 2015 through 2025.” WA
Robert Parker 90-92 points “Now owned by the proprietors of Cheval Blanc, the 2009 Quinault l’Enclos (composed of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) exhibits an opaque purple color, notes of licorice, incense, raspberries, and black cherries, medium body, elegant, stylish flavors, and no hint of oak. This is a beautifully made, pure, deep wine that continues to confirm what Dr. Alain Raynaud suspected when he bought this property in 1997. The naysayers all said this terroir was suspect, but that has been proven wrong by the wines that have been produced. This 2009 should drink well for 10-20 years. (Tasted once.)”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Pax Griffin’s Lair Syrah, Sonoma Coast 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“One of the many highlights of this range, Pax’s 2015 Syrah Griffin’s Lair Vineyard is powerful and explosive in the glass, conveying a compelling sense of vertical energy. Dried flowers, tobacco, menthol, licorice, spice and leather add myriad shades of nuance to a beautifully delineated, expressive Syrah. This cool site in the Petaluma Gap gracefully handled the rigors of the warm vintage while yielding a wine endowed with terrific freshness and structure.”
Winery Note “Our 14th vintage working with this incredible site that introduced us to the Petaluma Wind Gap. Also, the first wine we have released from this site since Jim Griffin has passed and Joan Griffin has sold the property. Two people that we and all other Syrah lovers owe a tremendous debt of gratitude.  Black fruit, iodine, tar and a floral display of violets and white flowers frame this exotic Syrah. The palate weight is huge but lifted by the cool breezes that keep the acidity naturally high in this coastal vineyard. Iodine and salt air components ground the wine in coastal California, but the leather, tar and violets hint at a different landscape across the Atlantic. A wine that drinks very young and probably will for another 5+ years, drink one this spring with some lamb and squirrel the rest away for another occasion down the road.”
Weingut Keller Limestone Riesling, Rheinhessen 2018 750ML ($31.95) $28 special
John Gilman 91 points
“The Limestone Riesling QbA this year is essentially the same wine as the Riesling Trocken bottling, except this cuvée has one full gram higher acidity and finished its fermentation at twenty-one grams of sugar. The wine is superb, offering up a complex bouquet of pink grapefruit, passion fruit, pulverized limestone, apple blossoms and a delicate topnote of wild yeasts. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish, complex and beautifully balanced, with a lovely core of fruit, fine focus and grip and lovely bounce on the long, succulent and flat out delicious finish. Just a lovely wine. 2020-2045.”

Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus ‘Laurel’, Priorat DOCa 2016 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points
“The 2016 Laurel is sensational stuff and, in truth, matches several older vintages of the grand vin in quality. A blend of 80% Grenache, 15% Syrah, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 16 months in a mix of oak, concrete, and amphora, this deep purple-colored beauty offers up a fresh, vibrant bouquet of blueberries, crisp plums, violets, and spring flowers. Possessing full-bodied richness, beautiful depth of fruit and richness, and a fresh, elegant style, it’s a brilliant wine that’s going to evolve gracefully for 10-15 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The Rubies of FranceSouthern French Red Value Gems

Southern France may be blessed with more vinous values than any other place on earth.  The combination of a warm, Mediterranean climate, old vines and winemaking know-how means that it’s possible to find treasure after treasure.  The Rhone and Languedoc-Roussillon provide rich, textured reds galore (most based on Grenache/Syrah blends) at prices that seem shocking to those of us familiar with winery economics.  It often seems like it should be barely possible to make these wines for the prices involved, let alone ship them several thousand miles.  We’ve got a selection of our favorites below, but you can see all of our red Rhone here and all the wines from the Languedoc here in our webstore.In Stock Now:

Domaine Lafage ‘Tessellae’ Carignan Vieilles Vignes, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points “Moving to the reds, the 2017 Côtes Catalanes Tessellae Carignan (100% Carignan) comes from the Agly Valley and was brought up all in tank. Blackberries, leather, dried herbs, and licorice notes all emerge from this spicy, medium-bodied, silky Carignan that has terrific purity and elegance. It’s another wine from Jean-Marc that over-delivers. Drink it over the coming couple of years.”

Domaine Lafage Cotes du Roussillon ‘Tessellae’ Old Vines Rouge 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points
“The GSM of the estate, the 2017 Tessellae Old Vines checks in as 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 10% Mourvèdre brought up mostly in concrete. Blackberries, kirsch, spice, incense, dried flowers, and baking spice notes all flow to a full-bodied, gorgeously texture effort. It’s another gem from this team.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Chateau Pesquie Ventoux Terrasses, Rhone 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14.75 special
Case-12 Chateau Pesquie Ventoux Terrasses, Rhone 2016 750ML ($199.95) $156 special (that’s only $13/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points
“A year in, year out no-brainer is the Terrasses cuvee from this estate, and the 2016 Ventoux Terrasses is no exception. A blend of 70/30 Grenache and Syrah, it offers a terrific perfume of black cherries, wild herbs, dried flowers, and spice. This gives way to a plum, sexy, beautifully textured red that has surprising minerality, medium-bodied depth and richness and fine tannin. I finished a case of the 2005 just last year, and it was still going strong, so while there’s no need to cellar bottle, it will keep nicely for 7-8 years.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “A bit more “serious” than the Edition 1912M, the 2016 Ventoux Terrasses delivers what longtime admirers have come to expect from the estate: ample fruit, complexity, weight and charm. Peppered raspberries and hints of garrigue drive the wine from start to finish, bolstered by fine, silky tannins and balanced acids. This solid value blend of Grenache and Syrah should drink well for 4-5 years from vintage.”

Domaine de Fontbonau Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Rhone 2010 750ML ($27.95) $18 special
Case-6 Domaine de Fontbonau Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Rhone 2010 750ML ($149.95) $99 special (that’s only $16.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Domaine de Fontbonau Cotes du Rhone Rouge, Rhone 2010 750ML ($279.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 91+ points
“Medium garnet-purple colored, the nose is of warm berries, black cherry compote and dried Provence herb aromas with hints of cumin seed, cardamom and violets. Full, opulent and seductive on the palate, it is superbly structured with a nice acid backbone and a medium to firm level of very finely grained tannins, finishing long and spicy. Delicious now, it should develop beautifully to 2020+.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone, Rhone 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone, Rhone 2017 750ML ($189.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Grapelive 92 points
“Saint Cosme’s Cotes-du-Rhone, grown on a mix of soils, including red clay, pebbles and limestone sands all hillside vines is partial whole cluster and all tank raised. Always a wine of value and purity it gives a ton of character, personality and never disappoints in any vintage, and this one is an exceptional year. In 2017, low yields produced wines with lots of intensity and depth with hedonistic density, but with vibrant fresh detail, with what Barruol notes, adds crunchiness and salinity to this beautiful red wine. This 2017, which is an amazing follow up to the great 2015 and 2016 versions that I loved, delivers boysenberry, sweet blueberry and plum fruit as well as savory spices, a touch of meat, black licorice and a inner perfume of violets and lavender. Rounded tannins give structure, making this wine perform at a higher level than one would expect and this vintage in particular will age well, maybe a decade or more, impressive for the price!”
James Suckling 91 points “Beautiful, garrigue herbs and flowers across fragrant, red berries. The palate has a very deep-set, plush and ripe core of dark-berry flavors, amid glossy, ripe tannins. Great value. Drink or hold.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “The 100% Syrah 2017 Cotes du Rhone is a bargain superstar, offering hints of smoke, cracked pepper, blueberries and black olives. It’s medium to full-bodied, with a long, supple finish. For the $20 (or less) I’ve seen it selling for, you’re not going to find a better Syrah.”

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

Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2016 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2016 750ML ($199.95) $156 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“A wine that almost always over-delivers, the 2016 Côtes du Roussillon Bastide Miraflors is, I suspect, the finest vintage for this cuvée to date (it’s in the same league as the off-the-charts 2015). A blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache from Lesquerde and Saint Martin de Fenouillet (both in the northern part of the Roussillon), aged all in older barrels and concrete tanks, it boasts rockstar notes of ripe blackberry fruits, spice, dried garrigue, and hints of chocolate. Possessing a full-bodied, layered mouthfeel, sweet tannins, and sensational purity, it’s another one of those values that almost seems too good to be true. Drink it any time over the coming 3-4 years.”

Domaine Garon Cotes du Rhone ‘La Part des Vivants’ 2017 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 special
: This blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan delivers a rich, full-bodied version of a Cotes du Rhone.  Made by the talented Garon family, it’s seductive and lush, with a beautiful blend of black and red fruits supplemented with just a hint of garrigue.

This is the only listing in the USA today!


Large Format Italian Dreams

Italy is the source of some of our favorite wines, from the casual to the collectible, and we’ve built quite the assortment of large format bottles that reflect our love and curiosity. From accessible, affordable bottles like Passopisciaro’s Etna Rosso to rare, collectible gems like Voerzio’s (bottled only in magnum) Capalot Riserva, we’ve got something for every table and cellar. Plus, we’ve even got some larger formats like 3L and 5L bottles that are just begging to go in your cellar.  We’ve got some highlights below, but you can see all the magnums in the web store (from Italy or otherwise) right here.

In Stock Now:

Produttori del Barbaresco Montestefano, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “This is full-bodied, displaying cherry, licorice, wild herb, iron and tobacco notes. The dense tannins take over and dominate the finish now, despite this remaining fresh and long. Full-bodied and minerally. Best from 2025 through 2040.”
Wine Enthusiast 96 pointsEditor’s Choice “New leather, camphor, forest berry, dried rose and culinary spice are some of the aromas you’ll find on this exceptional red. The firmly structured, poised palate doles out juicy cranberry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise framed in tightly-knit, refined tannins while bright acidity provides energy and balance. Drink 2020–2033.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “A dark, brooding wine, the 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano comes across as quite virile today, with huge tannins and equally imposing dark fruit. Smoke, leather, licorice and game add to an impression of raw, almost unrestrained, power. There is not a whole lot of finesse here at least not now. The Montestefano is a wine painted in broad brush strokes that emphasize power over elegance. Then again, that is Montestefano. Readers should be in no rush to open the 2013.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The final wine in this portfolio of amazing single-vineyard expressions is the 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano. This is the densest and darkest of them all, and I would therefore suggest that the longest drinking window be reserved for this expression. Montestefano is shaped as an amphitheater of vines that locks in the summer heat and sees less wind compared to Montefico. This is a solid and firm wine with deep, dark intensity and solid tannins that form an unyielding backbone. You should hold onto this bottle for at least 5 more years before popping the cork.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Passopisciaro Passorosso Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily 2014 1.5L ($99.95) $79 special
Ian D’agata–Vinous 97 points
“Bright red-ruby. The captivating nose combines strawberry, raspberry, minerals, violet and flint aromas. Creamy-sweet but amazingly light on its feet, offering palate-staining, perfumed flavors of soft red berries, ripe red cherry, vanilla, aromatic herbs and crushed rock. Rich, ripe and suave, but displays a penetrating, saline and energetic quality that gives this beauty a three-dimensional mouthfeel and a light-on-its-feet quality. Finishes with great length and wonderfully polished tannins. Absolute knockout wine: from a memorable vintage on Etna, this is most likely the best Passorosso ever (in earlier vintages, it used to be called simply Passopisciaro). Mainly Nerello Mascalese.”
Grapelive 95 points “Passopisciaro is one of Sicily’s stars, making volcanic reds that are often compared to the finest Premier Crus of Burgundy. None of that seemed possible back in 2000, when Passopisciaro founder, Andrea Franchetti [of Tenuta di Trinoro in Tuscany] first visited Sicily. He searched out an estate and finally picked out abandoned vineyards on the northern side of Mount Etna. [It offers] the unique characteristics of high-elevation terraces of highly varied black [and] lava soils that give these amazing wines their terroir character. In recent years Franchetti’s Passopisciaro, all biodynamic, has been one of world’s most talked about estates, making a wine of real impact from Etna’s Nerello Mascalese grape. [He crafts] a fuller bodied version with a touch more extract and a darker hue than some of his neighbors, while still being true to traditional norms and using grapes from Cru sites known locally as Contradas. Passopisciaro does five single-vineyard bottlings from each contrada that Franchetti gets fruit from, these include Rampante, Sciaranuova, Guardiola, Porcaria, and Chiappemacine, as well as doing this multi site Etna Rosso cuvee Passorosso, which is now a DOC. This 2014 Passopisciaro Passorosso is 100% Nerello Mascalese from vines that were planted between 1913-1943. It was fermented using specially picked yeast in cold stainless steel vats before finishing malos and aging in French casks, mostly neutral big barrels, for 18 months, finishing at a serious 15% natural alcohol, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. The 2014 Passorosso is richly textured, with classic smoky notes and spicy red fruits before opening up and gaining layer after layer including macerated cherries, strawberry, plum and raspberry fruits along with licorice, lavender oil, red pepper and flinty mineral tones. This medium/full pure Nerello Mascalese has a beautiful and textural glycerin and wonderful length. Its palate is luxurious and satiny, while still having serious impact and vitality. This is a winery to discover if you haven’t yet!”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!

Roberto Voerzio Riserva Vecchie Viti dei Capalot e Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2004 1.5L ($699.95) $499 special
Antonio Galloni 98 points
“Voerzio no longer makes his Barolo Riserva Vecchie Viti dei Capalot e delle Brunate. The 2004 is a great reminder of just how fabulous this wine was. A huge, vertical wine, the 2004 boasts magnificent depth and overall intensity. The flavors are boldly sketched in a dramatic Barolo built on pure muscle. A host of black cherry, cloves, smoke, menthol, tar and blackberry jam flow through to the intense finish. Beguiling and powerful, the 2004 will provide fascinating drinking for the next 10-15 years, perhaps longer. Of all the 2004s here, this is the wine that has had the most positive evolution in bottle.” (05/2015)
This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Marcarini Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2013 3L ($319.95) $279 special
Marcarini Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2013 5L ($599.95) $519 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points
“The 2013 Barolo Brunate is laced with the essence of dark cherry, herb, licorice, sage, tobacco and menthol. The aromatic intensity, intrigue and textural depth of Brunate comes through nicely. Deep, rich and beautifully layered, the 2013 offers lovely depth and balance in the classic understated Marcarini style.”
This is the lowest listed price for a 3L or 5L in the USA today!
Poderi Oddero Vigna Rionda, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2007 1.5L ($499.95) $419 special
James Suckling 96 points
“This is drinking wonderfully now with so much depth of fruit and lots of juicy character. Full body, layered and intense. Plenty of dark berry and chocolate. Fantastic. Drink or hold.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “This wine is released ten years after the harvest, giving consumers the opportunity to buy an older vintage of Barolo that has been stored carefully back at the winery. Older-release wines like this are becoming ever more popular in the Langhe. The 2007 Barolo Riserva Vignarionda is a powerful and exuberant expression that shows the density and the inner energy of Serralunga d’Alba. Blackberry and dark cherry lift from the bouquet to reveal pretty undertones of spice, leather and savory tobacco. Only 2,763 750-milliliter bottles, 200 magnums and 20 jeroboams were produced. This wine offers a very special taste of Nebbiolo.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “After 10 years, this is ready to enjoy. However, despite the sweet cherry fruit, leather, woodsy and mineral flavors, there are still dense tannins. This is moving in the right direction, mellowing gracefully and lingering with a long, fresh, tobacco- and mineral-tinged aftertaste. Best from 2020 through 2034. 150 cases made.”La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 1.5L ($119.95) $99 special
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino is elegant, balanced and bright. The pretty luminosity of the wine’s appearance helps to underline this positive impression. The bouquet is nuanced and layered with dried fruit aromas that segue to spice, tar and balsam herb. You get sassy aromas of licorice, tar and cola on the close.”
Ian D’agata-Vinous 93+ points “Bright red. Pure and very flinty nuances complement aromas and flavors of strawberry-rhubarb and wild berries on the nose and palate. Dense and juicy and boasting a focused, penetrating mouthfeel, this finishes long and clean with a very strong note of licorice. Best classico Brunello from La Gerla in some time.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Pian dell’Orino Bassolino di Sopra, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2007 1.5L ($349.95) $279 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The estate’s 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Bassolino di Sopra 1500 emerges from the glass with endless layers of fruit. A pure, voluptuous 2007, the Bassolino di Sopra 1500 is rich, round and seamless. Deeply spiced notes develop in the glass as the wine shows off its striking personality. I am not a huge fan of extended time in oak for wines of such purity, but the 2007 handles its 48 months in barrel quite nicely, although it is naturally shaped by its aging regime, especially from a textural perspective. The 2007 is made exclusively from the estate’s holdings in Pian Bossolino, but that site has also been trademarked by another winery, hence the slight name variation here.”
This is the only listing for a magnum in the USA today!
Produttori del Barbaresco Ovello, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2013 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The Produttori’s 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Ovello is all power, tension and nerve. Even so, the 2013 is remarkably civilized and much less austere than young Ovello Barbarescos usually are. Scents of cranberry, white pepper and mint give the wine its signature high-toned aromatics. The Ovello has a Volnay-like purity to its fruit, with Nebbiolo tannins and structure, of course. If that sounds appealing, well, it is. Vivid, sculpted and impossibly beautiful, the Ovello is simply magnificent.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This red starts out with bright cherry, strawberry, rose and mineral flavors, allied to a refined, linear frame. Harmonious now and should be ready soon, but the vivid structure will serve it well into the future. Best from 2023 through 2037.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Wild berry, camphor, moist earth and violet aromas unfold in the glass. The structured, refined palate delivers juicy Marasca cherry, crushed raspberry, orange slice and white pepper alongside polished tannins and bright acidity. A soothing licorice note lingers on the finish. Drink through 2028.”
This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!



Rosé of the DayChinon’s Lighter Side

Chinon is the source of some of our favorite rosé and none is better value than Plouzeau’s.  Pale pink, it’s got the snappy, red-berry fruit and peach of lightly macerated Franc with a touch of the rosemary and thyme the variety brings to the table as well.  Even better, it’s extremely well priced, so this is one to buy by the case and drink with gusto over the summer.

In Stock Now:

M Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14.40 special
Case-12 M Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($199.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
VinopolNote “While Chinon is best known for its lovely, savory bistro reds, a few producers make dynamite rosé from the AOC as well.  Plouzeau is one of those that makes excellent rosé, and the 2018 version is tops. As a red, some don’t love Chinon because of its herbal, savory streak, but that’s tempered in rosé form, turning into a lovely background note of thyme or rosemary to complement the bright juicy fruit.  This is dry and crisp—and more importantly budget friendly.  It’s one of the best values in the rosé world, especially if you buy it by the case!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Vincent Paris’ Top Wines

Arriving Friday

It’s pretty clear that Vincent Paris is the next “it” winemaker in the Northern Rhone.  Working primarily in Cornas, the wines have everything we love about Northern Rhone Syrah packaged in a clean, direct style.  He has the benefit of incredible vineyard material, too, as he now works the vineyards his uncle, Robert Michel, made famous.  Stylistically, there’s definitely some of that old-school Michel rusticity, but overall, his wines are far more polished and in line with what we think of as good modern Cornas. Don’t look for new oak here, though there is an elegance about them that has always impressed us.

He makes several wines from Cornas and we’re pleased we get to offer the range, but we’re happy to feature his top two wines today, the Granit 60 and La Geynale.  The “60” is from some of his steepest vineyards and is an introspective, powerful wine with great class and poise.  The Geynale, by comparison is all raw emotion and feral power.  Made from Robert Michel’s old vines and done 100% whole-cluster, it’s uncivilized in the best ways.

The 2017 versions of both of these wines remind us of 2015 or 2011—bigger, bolder versions with great fruit intensity.  ’17 is shaping up to be yet another fantastic year, especially at the lower end of the scale.  Even appellations like Crozes and St. Joseph are bigger and more powerful—more reminiscent of Cornas or Cote Rotie than usual. Both the top wines, arriving Friday, and the ’17’s in stock show off why he’s considered to be such a superstar in the Northern Rhone.  Stock up accordingly.

Arriving Friday:

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60, Rhone 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 93-95+ points “Similar colored, the 2017 Cornas Granit 60 comes from further up the slope and older vines. It offers a deeper, richer bouquet of black and blue fruits, smoked earth, violets, and ground pepper. Deep, full-bodied, thrillingly pure and elegant, yet still with classic Cornas density, power, and length, it’s another gem of a wine from this incredibly talented winemaker.”

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas La Geynale, Rhone 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points “The 2017 Cornas Geynale is the only wine in the lineup to not be destemmed and it comes all from the La Geynale lieu-dit. Deep saturated purple-colored, with beautiful notes of blackcurrants, smoked herbs, earth, pepper, and tons of meatiness, it’s certainly the most classic in style, as well as structured and tannic. Give this full-bodied beauty 2-4 years of bottle age and it’s going to drink nicely for 10-15 years or more. It’s an awesome wine for the true Cornas lovers out there.”

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Can’t wait? Check out these awesome wines from Vincent Paris, in stock now:

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas La Geynale, Rhone 2016 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95-97 points ” (vines over 100 years old vines and no new oak) Brilliant purple. A complex, expansive bouquet evokes fresh black and blue fruits, Asian spices, incense, smoky minerals and olive paste. Deeply concentrated yet lively boysenberry, cherry pie, spicecake and bitter chocolate flavors are underscored by a building mineral quality. Shows a compelling blend of depth and litheness and finishes on a youthfully tannic note, displaying remarkable clarity and insistent mineral character. I don’t think I have ever tasted as profound a wine as this one from Vincent Paris, who seems to be one of the most underrated and under-the-radar producers in the northern Rhône.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2016 Cornas Geynale comes all from a single vineyard (the Geynale lieu-dit) and is never destemmed. It has rockingly old school notes of currants, cedarwood, ground pepper, and cured meats. Deep, rich, layered, beautifully textured on the palate, it’s just loaded with charm, has terrific balance, no hard edges, and a big finish. It’s surprisingly accessible (this cuvée almost always requires short-term cellaring) but is going to cruise for two decades on its balance.”
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “There are only about 3,000 bottles of the stunning 2016 Cornas la Geynale. Tasted from tank prior to bottling, it looks every bit the equal of the 2015—oozing with concentrated purple fruit and crushed stone but without that vintage’s massive tannins. The 100-year-old vines Paris works with at this site face south and achieved terrific ripeness, making the wine approachable relatively young.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 60, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95+ points “The 2016 Cornas Granit 60 is more backward and reticent, with smoky dark fruits, earthy minerality, pepper, and bouquet garni aromas and flavors. Deep, pure, and concentrated, it’s a big, rich wine, yet it stays polished and elegant on the palate, with a straight, focused style that builds with time in the glass. Just a brilliant wine, it can be drunk today with incredible pleasure or cellared for 10-15 years. Bravo!”
Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Tasted from tank prior to bottling, the 2016 Cornas Granit 60 has the potential to eclipse the 2015. The nose is an exciting blend of flowers, minerals and fruit, while the palate is full-bodied and generous without the hardness or austerity of the 2015. This standout 2016 finishes long, plush and bright. With only about 5,000 bottles made, shrewd buyers will snap it up on release.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93-95 points “(no new oak) Inky ruby. Smoke-accented black and blue fruits, licorice and olive on the intensely perfumed nose. Plush, sweet and broad on the palate, offering sweet blackberry, cassis and spicecake flavors that are energized by a vein of juicy acidity. Shows excellent depth as well as energy and finishes extremely long and smooth; rounded tannins build steadily and add shape and gentle grip to the lush, creamy dark fruit.”Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points “The 2017 Cornas Granit 30 shows a fresher, elegant, polished style as well as perfumed notes of black raspberries, crème de cassis, crushed violets, and hints of bouquet garni. Floral, elegant, and medium-bodied, it’s just a pretty, elegant, juicy wine that’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and drink nicely for a decade.”

Domaine Vincent Paris Cornas Granit 30, Rhone 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92-94 points “(no new oak) Opaque ruby. Potent, mineral-accented dark berry scents are complicated by floral oil and peppery spice nuances. Smooth and seamless on the palate, offering gently sweet black raspberry, blueberry and violet pastille flavors that become livelier with air. Sappy and open-knit, closing with solid thrust, silky, even tannins and strong persistence.”
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points “The 2016 Cornas Granit 30 is another winner from this estate. Ultra-pure notes of cassis, blackberries, leafy herbs, liquid violets and pepper all emerge from the glass. It’s balanced, medium to full-bodied, and textured on the palate, with the balance and purity that this estate has become known for front and center.”
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2016 Cornas Granit 30 had been blended and was in tank awaiting bottling during my visit. Medium to full-bodied, it’s already almost drinkable, showing attractive and classic notes of crushed stone, blood and cherries, reasonably supple tannins and charming blueberries on the finish.”

Want to see all 11 different bottlings, in stock and arriving soon, available from Vincent Paris? You can view them in our web store, here.

Four Days Left in the June Sale

June is almost over and when it goes, so do the June Sale prices!  We’ve got 22 awesome bottlings in the sale this month and you can see them all in our web store or you can view some highlights (then the complete list) below.

In Stock Now:

A classic of Beaujolais at a steal of a price.
Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($31.95) Was $28, Now $24 June Sale Special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2017 Côte de Brouilly is superb, unfurling in the glass with aromas of ripe cassis, candied violets and plums. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, rich and concentrated, structured around fine-grained but chewy tannins and tangy balancing acids, with considerable depth and substance at the core. The wine is still quite primary and will need some time to come together, but it’s an excellent rendition of this storied cuvée that resembles the 2011 vintage.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $29
Top tier Tete du Cuvee from a Grande Marque at this price? Yep.
Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque – Fleur de Champagne Brut, Champagne 2011 750ML ($179.95) $108 June Sale special
Case-6 Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque – Fleur de Champagne Brut, Champagne 2011 750ML ($959.95) $599 June Sale special (that’s only $99.83/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 94 points
“Always a light, ethereal style of wine, this is also very fresh and still young. It will age with its taut minerality from the Chardonnay in the blend. A softer background will become toasty over the next few years. The vintage date on this bottle is 200 years after the foundation of this producer. Drink from 2021.”Lovely now as a Sauternes slayer, lovely in 20 years as a budget-friendly cellar treasure
Muller-Catoir Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten Riesling Auslese, Pfalz 2015 375ML ($39.95) Was $33, Now $29 June Sale Special, only 13 half-bottles remaining.
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2015 Riesling Auslese Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten is super pure and fine on the nobly concentrated, stony nose with its honey and bright fruit aromas. Rich, sweet, lush and piquant on the palate, this is an excellent Auslese with great finesse and a lingering piquancy. Despite its sweetness, this is a very stimulating and pure Auslese with great ageing potential. 2022-2050.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Think of this as classed growth St. Estephe and it looks like a steal.
Isole e Olena Collezione Privata Cabernet Sauvignon Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2014 750ML ($89.95) Was $69, Now $59 June Sale Special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“A regal wine, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione Privata from Isole e Olena soars out of the glass with tremendous aromatic and palate intensity. Deceptive in its mid-weight structure, the 2014 has so much to offer. Once again, De Marchi crafted a Cabernet Sauvignon that exudes character. Today, the 2014 is vivid but also intensely saline and clenched. Another few years in bottle should do the trick. This fruit was brought in during the last week of October and first week of November, quite late, even by the standards of the year.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $76

Thanks for reading!