Vinopolis Midweek Addition 6-5-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Cayuse Selling Fast!

Stars of the New California: Pax and Arnot-Roberts

Mellen Meyer – June Sale Bubbly Star

Burgundy Vineyard Spotlight: Charmes-Chambertin

Rosé of the Day (Lafage Comes In Pink!)

Trending Wines

“Squarely in My Top Tier of the Region’s Producers”

Top German Pinot and More from Rising Star Thörle

June Sale Roundup


Cayuse Selling Fast!

Yesterday’s Cayuse offer is going fast!  Four wines have already sold out and a number are almost there, as well.  If you missed the newsletter yesterday, we just brought in a fantastic block of older Cayuse with excellent provenance that’s do-not-miss.

Cayuse is one of the most in-demand wineries in North America, producing wines from both Rhone and Bordeaux varieties that are among the finest in the world.  We’re always on the hunt for more of these hyper-rare bottlings—especially when we can source back vintages

We’ve got the full list below but you can also click here to view all the wines in our webstore.

Stars of the New California

Pax and Arnot-Roberts

The evolution of the “New California” has been one of the most exciting developments in the wine world.  The term refers to the growing number of producers trying to make lower alcohol, less ripe wines from the Golden State, often working with less famous vineyards and very old vines.  The results have been worth paying attention to, especially for lovers of European wines.  We’re proud to feature the collection of two vanguard wineries, Pax and Arnot-Roberts, who have helped define what it means to be a part of this movement.  These are wines that are hard to source outside the wineries’ mailing lists or at trendy restaurants—we’re excited to offer them today.


Pax Mahle is a true superstar in the world of California wine.  His eponymous label, Pax, achieved widespread acclaim and then imploded due to a dispute between the principal partners.  Pax went on to form Wind Gap and again his wines drew the spotlight and press—this time in part because he was moving away from the ripe, powerful wines he had made his early name with.

He’s finally restored his namesake brand, Pax, to the market. The latest incarnation offers wines that might be described as a hybrid of the two styles that brought him to fame.  Bright, refreshing and electric, these nonetheless have more richness and power than Wind Gap.  Don’t miss out.

In Stock Now:

Pax Mahle Griffin’s Lair Syrah, Sonoma Coast 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 24 bottles in stock now
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.”

Pax Mahle Castelli-Knight Ranch Syrah, Russian River Valley 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 23 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2015 Syrah Castelli-Knight Ranch is sensual, open-knit and quite inviting. Blood orange, star anise and spice add gorgeous aromatic nuance to the rich, layered fruit. Ample, silky and creamy, the 2015 is a real pleasure to taste today. The combination of a north-facing site with a warm microclimate yields a wonderfully complete and nuanced wine. All the elements simply fall into place in a refined, gracious Syrah that will drink well upon release.”

Pax Mahle North Coast Syrah 2017 750ML ($41.95) $33 special, 33 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2017 Syrah (North Coast) is a new wine in the range that essentially replaces The Hermit. Ripe, open-knit and expressive, the North Coast is made in a radiant, inviting style that can be enjoyed with minimal cellaring. Moreover, it is a real overachiever, as Pax only bottled the Armagh as a vineyard-designate in 2017. Vineyard sites in the North Coast Syrah are Nellessen Vineyard, Castelli-Knight Ranch, Griffin’s Lair, Walker Vine Hill, Alder Springs Vineyard, Montgomery Road Ridgetop, and Majik Vineyard.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $37.99

Pax Mahle Valdiguie Quail Run Vineyard, Solano County 2018 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 90-92 points
“Another very pretty wine in this range, the 2018 Valdiguie is bright, focused and wonderfully energetic. Rose petal, lavender and sweet dark cherry all grace this exquisite, vibrant Valdiguie from Pax. The 2018 is shaping up to be a gem. I tasted it from tank just prior to bottling.”

Pax Mahle Fannuchi-Wood Road Vineyard Trousseau Gris (Rose), Sonoma County 2018 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 89-91 points
“I tasted the 2018 Trousseau Gris Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard from tank prior to filtration and bottling. Today, the 2018 appears to have a bit more energy and verve than the 2017, but some of that may be attributable simply to the wine’s youth. In any event, the 2018 is shaping up to be another very pretty and delicious wine from Pax Mahle.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Arnot-Roberts has been one of the vanguard producers of the “New California” movement, making some of the best wines in the United States.  Started by childhood friends Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts in 2001, they’ve quickly established themselves as fine producers of restrained, elegant California wines.  In 2013 the San Francisco Chronicle named them “Winemakers of the Year” in recognition of the quality and consistency of the wines they’re producing.

If you’ve never had the these before, don’t expect soft fruity wines.  Everything they touch has a backbone to it—a spine of acid and tannin that makes you think of the great wines of France far quicker than their California neighbors.  These are serious wines with serious structures, built to age.  Due to an agreement with our distributor, we can’t list all of the wines on the website (we’ll note which ones don’t have a link) so please give us a call (503-223-6002) or reply to this email (always an option for all the wines) if you’d like to order.

In Stock Now:

Arnot-Roberts Sonoma Coast Syrah, California 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2017 Syrah (Sonoma Coast) is a gorgeous wine and a huge overachiever in its peer group. Bright red cherry and plum fruit, rose petal, lavender and spice abound in this super-expressive, pliant Syrah. The purity of the flavors is simply remarkable. Medium in body, gracious and beautifully perfumed, the 2017 is a rock-star wine.”

Arnot-Roberts Sonoma Coast Syrah, California 2016 750ML ($49.95) $36 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2016 Syrah (Sonoma Coast) is dazzling. Inky and dark in its fruit profile, but also light on its feet, the 2016 is all class. Hints of lavender, black pepper, mint and cloves grace the palate in an exquisite, mid-weight Syrah that emphasizes freshness and nuance. Deceptively medium in body, the 2016 has enough underpinnings of structure to drink well for many years. This is a fabulous appellation-level Syrah.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $40
Arnot-Roberts Watson Ranch Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($44.95) $39 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2017 Chardonnay Watson Ranch is a gorgeous wine. Apricot, chamomile, dried flowers, sage and dried pear are all laced together in this super-expressive, inviting Chardonnay. Readers should be prepared to cellar the 2017, as it is quite closed today. Bright saline notes add freshness and zip to this super-expressive Chardonnay.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $43
Not listed on website, please call/email to order:
Arnot-Roberts Fellom Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Fellom Ranch is sensual and nuanced, with tremendous textural finesse. Over the last few years, Duncan Arnot and Nathan Roberts seem to have given this wine an extra degree of elegance – especially in the tannins – that other vintages did not always show. Time in the glass brings out a range of floral, earthy, spiced and cedary notes that are typical of Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernets, along with layers of dimension that flesh out effortlessly.”

Not listed on website, please call/email to order:
Arnot-Roberts Coastlands Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2017 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2017 Pinot Noir Coastlands Vineyard is another gorgeous wine in this range. Silky, radiant and supple, the 2017 offers a striking combination of fruit richness and the more floral/savory qualities that make this site so distinctive. Dark red cherry, rose petal, sage, mint and lavender meld together in a mid-weight yet rich Pinot loaded with personality. It’s always interesting to taste wines from this Sonoma Coast vineyard that is best known for wines made by Williams-Selyem and proprietor Ross Cobb himself. I loved it.”

This is lower than any listed prices in the USA today!
The next best price is $74.99
The average listed price is $81

Mellen Meyer

June Sale Bubbly Star

The Mellen Meyer wines are everything we want local bubbly to be—high quality, fairly priced and inspired by, but not trying to copy, Champagne.  This is a wine that massively over delivers for under $30 and for $26 (the June Sale price) you absolutely have to check it out.

In Stock Now:

Mellen Meyer Brut Sparkling, Willamette Valley NV 750ML ($34.95) Was $29, Now $26 June Sale Special
KWG8 – Tasting Pour
“From a small Willamette Valley producer specializing only in sparkling wine try this traditional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend for a dry, crisp elegant sparkling at a good price.  Smells of green apples with a salty tart palate.”
Winery note “Grapes sourced from Johan Vineyard, Van Duzer Corridor and Dundee Hills. 35% Chardonnay, 65% Pinot Noir fermented in neutral French and Oregon oak. 25 months in tirage, 8 grams/ liter dosage. 350 cases produced.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Want to see all the wines in our June Sale? Just click here for the entire list online or read to the end of the newsletter for the full list.
Burgundy Vineyard Spotlight


The Grand Crus of Chambertin probably don’t need any extra press (Chambertin, as we’ve all heard a million times, was Napoleon’s favorite wine), but Charmes always seems to be a bit outside of the spotlight.  As you’d expect of a vineyard with a name like “Charmes” the wines tend to be a bit less tannic and more approachable than from Le Chambertin, with more floral overtones and brighter fruit.

That immediate appeal, combined with the lower pricing relative to Chambertin proper, makes Charmes one of the best buys in Grand Cru Burgundy.  The wines hit their peak earlier (10-25 years) and are absolutely glorious with this (relatively) short-term cellaring.  Unless you’re willing to wait for 30+ years, you’re better off buying Charmes than its bigger named sibling—and the pricing difference means that’s something we’re very happy to do. We offer a great collection of top producers’ Charmes-Chambertin in stock right now and are happy to offer these highlights to you today.

In Stock Now:

Only five bottles available
Domaine Arlaud Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2014 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“A powerful, dense version, evoking cherry, currant and spice flavors, with underlying accents of mineral and tobacco. Tight and chalky on the finish, but showing promise. Best from 2020 through 2040.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Only two bottles available
Olivier Bernstein Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($419.95) $369 special
Wine Spectator 95 points
“The cherry and raspberry flavors take on a slight confectionary quality in this lean, taut red. Though in lock-down today, there is concentrated fruit at the core and a long, vibrant finish. Spicy aftertaste. Best from 2021 through 2035. 43 cases imported.”
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “Moderately saturated bright red. Subtler on the nose than the Champeaux, showing a penetrating perfume to the aromas of raspberry liqueur and flowers. Plush, sweet and stuffed with red berries, spices and dried flowers, offering outstanding volume while maintaining its shape and avoiding any impression of heaviness. Quite spherical in the middle palate, then suave on the back end, finishing with late-arriving fine-grained tannins and resounding length. (This is a blend of Charmes and Mazoyères, from two different owners.)”

Only twelve bottles available
Domaine Philippe Charlopin Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2013 750ML ($249.95) $199 special
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Bright and focused, exhibiting spicy black cherry, raspberry, earth, smoke, vanilla and toast aromas and flavors. Bracing acidity offsets the lush texture, driving this to a long, expansive finish. Best from 2019 through 2030.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Only three bottles available
Claude Dugat Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($349.95) $319 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2011 Charmes-Chambertin is pure pleasure. Black cherries, plums, cloves, violets and new leather are all woven together in a fabric of notable class. Here it is the wine’s extraordinary textural finesse and overall harmony that take over all of the senses. There is so much to like here, including the wine’s generous, inviting personality. The Charmes has really come on strong over the last year.” AG

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $362

Only six bottles available
Claude Dugat Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2013 750ML ($349.95) $319 special
Wine Advocate 91-93 points
“The 2013 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru has an attractive marine influence on the nose, which takes you straight out to sea. The palate is medium-bodied with much redder fruit than the Gevrey-Lavaux ’13: not complex, but nicely balanced with a lithe, harmonious finish that feels gentle, almost understated. I like that.” NM
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91+ points “Deep red-ruby. Nicely ripe aromas of black cherry, minerals and licorice. Supple and sweet on entry, then more strict in the middle palate, with its red fruit flavors showing a strong saline element. Sappy and broad but a bit youthfully dry in the early going, finishing with slightly peppery tannins.”

Only three bottles available
Domaine Dujac Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2014 750ML ($499.95) $299 special
John Gilman 93-94+ points
“The 2014 Charmes-Chambertin was also late finishing up its malo, and unlike the Eche´zeaux, it was not all that happy about being tasted. This wine had not yet absorbed all its new wood and was showing a bit chewy, but all the constituent components are in place for this wine to snap into place with a bit more elevage. The nose is a promising blend of black cherries, cassis, grilled meat, espresso, dark soil tones and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, long and rock solid at the core, with fine focus and soil signature, ripe tannins and a long, chewy and adolescent finish.”
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2014 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru has an exquisite bouquet with blackberry, bilberry and cassis fruit. This is very elegant and linear, great precision here. The palate is very well balanced, structured with citrus-infused blackcurrant fruit. There is that titillating prickle of salinity on the finish, a Mazoyères-like Charmes that should age well over the next 15-20 years.”

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

Only twelve bottles available
Joseph Faiveley Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Burghound 92-94 points
“(from Charmes proper; from yields of only 18 hl/ha). Much more subtle though by no means invisible oak sets off beautifully layered aromas of plum, spice, earth and a whiff of underbrush character. There is terrific richness and density to the velvet-textured and voluminous flavors that possess a real sense of mid-palate density thanks to the abundant level of dry extract that also buffers the moderately firm tannic spine. This is at once a relatively elegant version of the appellation yet it is also altogether serious. (92-94)/2028+
Stephen Tanzer 91-93 points “(partly from purchased grapes and the rest from a 60-year-old massale selection in both Charmes and Mazoyères–the same “Magnien selection” as the Lavaux Saint-Jacques; 100% destemmed; aging in 60% new oak and 40% once-used barrels): Dark red. Ripe, slightly high-toned aromas of almost liqueur-like dark fruit salad. Juicy on entry, then dense, sappy and dry, displaying lovely definition and cut. Very firm but with an element of perfume that makes it approachable now. Finishes complex and long, with supple tannins. Technical directly Jérôme Flous says that this is “the closest in style among our wines to Rousseau’s.” There’s certainly an element of softness to it.”

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

Only four bottles available
Frederic Magnien Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2012 750ML ($219.95) $169 special
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92-95 points
“Good bright red. Complex nose melds cherry, rose petal, leather, game and minerals, plus a whiff of sexy new oak. Tightly wound but with lovely sweetness to its red fruit and rose petal flavors. A silky texture is given cut and energy by harmonious ripe acidity. Finishes saline and long, with very suave tannins. A lovely Charmes, from the lieu-dit Aux Charmes in Charmes and the upper part of Mazoyeres just below Latricieres, according to Magnien.” ST



Rosé of the Day

Lafage Comes In Pink!

Lafage is a best-selling producer here at Vinopolis because of their perennial-value “Bastide Miraflors,” a robust red that’s a giant crowd pleaser.  Little known, though, is their excellent rosé—a fact that needs to change.  This is pale and crisp, crafted to be a perfect patio wine on warm days when the breeze is just so.  Anyone who’s loved their reds owes it to themselves to try this charming rosé.

In Stock Now:

Domaine Lafage Miraflors Rose, Cotes du Roussillon 2018 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points
“Light pink-colored, the 2018 Miraflors Rosé is another great vintage for this cuvée. It has beautiful white peach, orange zest, and salty sea breeze aromas and flavors in its vibrant, crisp profile. It’s as pure and vibrant as it gets, a classic, Provençal-style beauty to drink over the coming summer months.”

Domaine Lafage Miraflors Rose, Cotes du Roussillon 2017 1.5L ($31.95) $21.90 special
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points
“The 2017 Miraflors Rosé is another beauty that’s loaded with fresh, crisp, vibrant strawberry and raspberry fruit. Clean, pure, textured and elegant on the palate, with gorgeous purity, it’s a rocking rosé that does everything right. The blend is 70% Mourvèdre and 30% Grenache Gris brought up all in tank. Hats off to vigneron Jean-Marc Lafage for another smoking good rosé!”

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


Trending Wines

Top-tier Grand Cru Chablis from an excellent producer and year.
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Stephen Tanzer 92+ points
“Much less expressive on the nose than the Blanchots but still with noteworthy incipient complexity to the aromas of citrus peel, white flowers, wet stone, white pepper and clove. Boasts terrific grain and thrust, but this youthfully dry, uncompromising wine is downright brooding today in spite of its essential light touch. Incisive flavors of citrus fruits, white flowers and ginger are further lifted by subtle herbal accents. This is excellent.”
Burghound 92 points “In contrast to the Vaudésir this is much better with much more evident Chablis character on the green fruit and citrus-infused nose that displays an appealing hint of mineral-reduction. There is excellent punch and detail to the relatively rich and powerful flavors that possess reasonably good mid-palate concentration before culminating in a notably stony and lingering finish that is presently quite tightly wound. This is definitely going to require a few years to further flesh out and develop better depth but the balance and underlying material are present for that to occur.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $74.99
An outstanding vintage from a legendary Napa name.
Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($249.95) $188 special
James Suckling 97 points
“This has amazing aromas of red licorice, tar, lead pencil, dark berries and blackberries. Full body, a very soft texture and fine-grained tannins. Lovely freshness and brightness. Sweet and sour underneath. A wine that gives such enjoyment already but it will improve nicely in the bottle.”
Connoisseurs Guide 97 points “One of the most consistent producers of collectable Cabernets over the years, Diamond Creek has come up big in 2015 with a brace of truly outstanding wines. At the very top of the list, the Red Rock Terrace bottling is a beautifully composed effort of extraordinary depth and focus. Its incisive, pure cassis qualities merge with perfectly fit elements of loam, stony soils, creamy oak and accents of raspberries, and never once does it trade in flamboyant ripeness. It is, in fact, a wine of remarkable polish and cohesion right down to the fine, seamlessly integrated tannins that afford it the structure to age for two decades if not more, and those fortunate few who manage to hide a few bottles away should not consider drinking even one until another six to ten years have passed”

Classically bright and fresh—a top value rosé.
Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence Rose 2018 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Case-12 Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence Rose 2018 750ML ($219.95) $169 special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)

2019 Best in Show; 2019 Best Value – James Suckling
James Suckling 93 points “The nose here is immediately captivating with its freshness, focus and interest. It suggests sea salt, thyme, freshly squeezed nectarines and a touch of well-executed, lifted citrus. The palate shows some good density and the fruit/acid balance is played out nicely. Medium-bodied and sleek and refreshing. Makes you come back for more. Routas on the money as always. Drink now.”

From former DeLille winemaker Chris Peterson, this is a knockout.
Avennia Gravura Red, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Case-6 Avennia Gravura Red, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($239.95) $199 special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The 2016 Gravura checks in as 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, aged 20 months in 60% new French oak. It’s another rock star of a wine from Chris that sports a saturated purple color, complex notes of blackberries, black cherries, damp earth, and spring flowers, hints of subtle oak, medium body, and perfect balance. Drink this seamless blend over the coming 10-15 years.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “(about 60% new oak; bottled in June): Bright dark red. Aromas of dark berries, licorice and hot rocks. Plush, smooth and concentrated, with something distinctly old-fashioned about its flavors of black fruits and spices complicated by leather, minerals and warm stones. A good portion of these vines date back to the early 1970s, says winemaker Peterson. Conveys a captivating sweetness owing to its glyceral character and slower wild-yeast fermentation but this is classically dry at less than one gram per liter of residual sugar. (14.6% alcohol)”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $41.99
A special bottle of Rioja from a great vintage.
R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Case-6 R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2006 750ML ($249.95) $199 special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The red flagship 2006 Viña Tondonia Reserva was inspired by the vineyards of the Médoc but produced with local grapes, 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, which achieved 13% alcohol in 2006. It always matures in used American oak barriques for some six years. The oldest of all the reds I tasted, it was also the one with more freshness, which speaks to the quality of the vineyard. This takes the lion’s share of the 400,000 bottles the winery produces, with some 220,000 bottles filled over a period of 12 consecutive days in May 2014.”
James Suckling 94 points “This is a remarkably lively wine for a 12-year-old Rioja with notes of licorice and dried cherries and a very elegant tannin structure that runs through the medium to full body of this red like a silk thread. The dry finish is long and polished. Drink or hold.”

Arriving Friday, selling fast!
Marziano Abbona Papa Celso, Dolcetto di Dogliani DOCG 2017 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2017 Dogliani Papà Celso is a drop-dead gorgeous stunner. One of the most compelling wines in all of Italy, the Papà Celso captures the essence of Dolcetto from Dogliani in stunning style. The warm, dry year concentrated the flavors and textures, and yet all of the signatures are very much in place. A rush of black cherry jam, game, smoke, leather, and licorice infuse this super-expressive, beautifully delineated wine from Marziano Abbona. Don’t miss it.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $27.99

Hot wine, arriving Friday!
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2016 750ML ($59.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Decanter Magazine 97 points
“The south-facing Rancia vineyard reaches altitudes of 420 metres, overlooking the lower-lying vineyards of Colli Senesi. It boasts complex soils of calcareous clay layered with the chalky white limestone-like alberese and schistose galestro. This 2016 vintage is simply stunning. It’s stately yet gracious, with personality for days, leading with a sumptuous nose of smoke, exotic spice and iron-rich earth. Ripe fruit coats the mouth yet it remains buoyant and tangy as chalky tannins charge in to frame the palate. A seductive wine with an appetising, savoury edge and a long, long life ahead. Drinking Window 2023 – 2041.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia knocks it out of the park. Like the other new releases from Fèlsina, this pure expression of Sangiovese needs more time to evolve and improve with bottle age. But even at this young stage, you are made fully aware of the beautiful intensity and complexity of the quality fruit at its core. There is so much energy and tension here, further reinforced by the fresh acidity of the vintage. There are vibrant tones of wild cherry, raspberry and spice, followed up by white truffle and tilled earth.”

“Squarely in My Top Tier of the Region’s Producers”

“Profound, layered and sexy wines”

Exciting 2016s from Clos du Caillou

If you don’t have a case of each wine in your cellar yet, you are seriously missing out on the best values in Chateauneuf and Cotes du Rhone in the shop. Sure, there’s plenty of highly lauded and handsomely pointed 2016 Chateauneufs in the $100+++ range. But isn’t it more fun to find an epic estate that doesn’t command those prices?

Enter Clos du Caillou.

They’ve flown unnoticed by buyers (though certainly not by the reviewers!) while the big names just raised their prices. Perhaps it’s because the estate is so small and hard to find. Fortunately, as longtime fans of the estate, we had these specially imported just so we could offer them to you.

The estate is one of the favorites of top reviewers for the region and the CDP can be had for just under $50 a bottle. What’s not to love?

“Longtime winemaker Bruno Gaspard hit a home run with his 2016s, which show more depth and flesh than the outstanding 2015s that were made here… This estate is squarely in my top tier of the region’s producers and, relatively speaking, pricing is extremely, even ridiculously fair” – Josh Raynolds, Vinous

“The Southern Rhône has been blessed with great wines in several recent vintages. Certainly, 2016 is among the best ever, drawing comparisons to 1990 and 1978, but 2015 and 2017 aren’t far behind… The consistent high quality of this estate’s wines makes it a perennial favorite of mine… Winemaker Bruno Gaspard admits 2016 is a good vintage, grinning when asked about it. ‘It’s not too solar, not heavy,’ he said.… Although two potentially perfect red Châteauneuf-du-Papes lead the list, don’t overlook the various Côtes du Rhône bottlings, which often represent great value” – Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate

“Under the helm of Bruno Gaspard (with help from Philippe Cambie), Domaine du Clos du Caillou continues to make some of the most profound, layered and sexy wines of this sun-drenched appellation.” – Jeb Dunnuck

In Stock Now:

Le Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Safres, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points
“Sourced from the lieu-dit of Les Bédines, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Safres is 95% Grenache, with the remainder being a mix of other permitted varieties. Like the other wines from Le Clos du Caillou, it shows great intensity and purity. Flowering garrigue accents black cherry fruit in this full-bodied, fresh, vibrant and intense wine, which ends with a burst of bright orange zest and waves of silky tannins.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Safres comes from more sandstone soils and is mostly Grenache. Spice strawberries, kirsch, dried herbs, flowers, and ample sandy, stony notes all emerge from this fleshy, medium to full-bodied, structured wine that has the classic weightless texture of the estate. This beauty has an exotic edge as well as a distinct salinity and is the finest version of this cuvée to date.”
James Suckling 94 points “Immense, seamless depth. Alluring, fresh, dark-plum, spice and chocolate aromas and flavors. The tannins are immaculately plush, long and even. Superb. From organically grown grapes. Drink in 2020.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $57
Le Clos du Caillou Cotes du Rhone Les Quartz, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) $26 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Exceeding my prebottling expectations, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone Les Quartz is a terrific effort that puts many Châteauneufs to shame. Aromas of crushed stone and raspberries mark the nose of this 85-15 Grenache-Syrah blend. It’s full-bodied and rich, with hints of chocolaty ripeness balanced by citrus zest on the lengthy finish.”
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Spice, loamy soil, dried red fruits, and plenty of dried floral notes all emerge from the 2016 Côtes du Rhône Les Quartz, which shows more and more minerality with time in the glass. It’s elegant and seamless on the palate, with building tannin, and is a terrific introduction into the wines of this estate.”

This is the low, low, lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $39.99
Top German Pinot, Riesling and Sylvaner

From Rising Star Thörle

You’d be forgiven for not having heard about Thörle—yet.  The estate has been on the radar of hard-core German wine fans for a few years now, producing intensely concentrated whites and also some of the best Pinot Noir to come out of the country.  The comparisons with Keller have been inevitable, too—like Klaus-Peter, Christoph seems to make impressive wines no matter the price level or grape that he works with, and his location in the Rheinhessen (the same region as Keller) with similarly limestone-heavy soils only deepens the similarities.

The big difference is that while Pinot Noir from Keller is coveted but scarce, it’s a major part of the Thörle portfolio, coming from a number of different grand cru terroirs and doing one of the best Cote d’Or impressions you’ll see.  Thörle’s top wines would be at home in a tasting of top Premier and Grand Cru red Burgundies—except that they’re priced $50+ below their peers in France.  Likewise, the top Riesling, from the Hölle vineyard, is every bit the equal of the top GG’s from Dönnhoff, Wittmann, and other top producers in Germany, but is still less than $37 by the six-pack.  These wines are currently barely listed for sale anywhere else in the US (and certainly not at these prices) and arrive this summer, so if you want a chance at them, act quickly—in a few years these prices are going to seem ridiculously low.

Arriving ETA June:


Thörle Saulheimer Holle Riesling, Rheinhessen 2017 750ML ($44.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Thörle Saulheimer Holle Riesling, Rheinhessen 2017 750ML ($259.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $36.50/bottle!)
Stuart Pigott – 96 points
“Still youthful, but this has a complex stone-fruit nose. Concentrated and racy with great energy at the very long, chalky finish. Great aging potential. Drink or hold.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Thörle Saulheimer Probstey Silvaner, Rheinhessen 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Stuart Pigott – 94 points
“Still quite yeasty from long maturation on lees, but that accentuates the smoky and herbal complexity of this remarkable dry silvaner. Just a hint of oak in support of the creamy, mid-weight body and long, silky finish. Drink or hold.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Pinot Noirs:

Thörle Saulheimer Holle Spatburgunder, Rheinhessen 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Stuart Pigott – 96 points
“More root and sous-bois character than the other 2016 Thörle pinot noirs. This is so fine and so deep, so cool and so elegant that you might easily assume it comes from the Côte d’Or! Great tannins build like a giant wave and sweep you through the super- long finish. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next lowest price is $59.99
Thörle Saulheimer Probstey Spatburgunder, Rheinhessen 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Stuart Pigott – 95 points
Still quite closed on the nose, because this has just been bottled. However, on the palate there’s a sensational harmony of fine-grained tannins and perfectly ripe fruit, yet the wine has just 12.5 per cent alcohol. Great, chalky dry finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next lowest price is $49.99
Thörle ‘Kalkstein’ Saulheimer Spatburgunder, Rheinhessen 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Stuart Pigott – 94 points
“This has a ravishing black cherry note with hints of leather and smoke. For a pinot noir in this price category, there’s great concentration, polished tannins and a long, complex finish. Drink or hold.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

June Sale Recap

June is heating up and so is the June Sale!  Check out all the June Sale wines below or by clicking here to view them in our website!

Thanks for reading!