Bow & Arrow – New to the July Sale
Rebholz: Singular and Profound
Re-Arrival of a 95 Point Vinopolis Value Favorite
Rose of the Day: Budget Bandol
New Wine Spectator Insider Reviews
Il Poggione’s Classic Brunello
New Grapelive Reviews
Including Latour, Bouley,
St. Cosme, L’Hetre and More!
First Offer: Rare Back Vintage Beaucastel
July Sale Roundup
New to the July Sale!
Bow & Arrow
The other major puzzle that Scott seems to have cracked is affordability. We often see wines from the US marketed as ‘daily drinkers’ in style but the wines are priced at $30++, well north of a comparable wine from Europe. With Bow & Arrow, though, we’re pleased as punch that a delicious local wine is cheaper than most of the competition from Europe. (and delicious—that’s important, too). His Gamay comes in solidly under $18 and most of his other wines check in under $25. To make his wines even sweeter deals, we’re adding three of them to our July Sale.
We’ve cut prices on three great bottlings—the mineral, crisp, Sancerre-ringer La Chenaie Sauvignon Blanc, the savory and juicy Air Guitar blend and his top wine, the Hughes Hollow Pinot. All three are very Loire-inspired, with fresh, tangy profiles and beautiful aromatics. They’re all in stock right now, ready for your next meal.
In Stock Now:
Bow & Arrow Le Chenaie Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Eola Amity Hills 2017 750ML ($29.95) Was $24, Now $21.90 July Sale Special
Winery Note “Proof that Sauvignon Blanc made the right way can be terroir wine, the short distance between Union School and La Chenaie belies the profoundly different ways in which the two sites express themselves. We make the two wines exactly the same way but the Eola-Amity Hills highlights wholly different attributes in Sauvignon Blanc. This expression is more sophisticated than its southern brother and incorporates a savory aspect we find fascinating. Texturally is carries more weight and depth without being ponderous. Reminiscent of stone fruit, guava, mint and a whiff of Rum Agricole.”
Winery Note “One of the greatest underdog stories in this region’s wine history. Cynically planted on a north facing slope some 30 years ago it wasn’t even given a name. It was just buried in some big houses Pinot for color and bulk. We came along and convinced the owner to switch to Organic farming and sell us the Gamay block also planted on the site. The Pinot was part of the deal however and despite begrudgingly accepting it the wine has proven to be the best source of this noble variety we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. The most sophisticated wine the cellar produces every year. Always reminds me of cinnamon, hibiscus, raspberry blossoms and black tea.”
Winery Note “Like Rhinestones, the name Air Guitar is a self deprecating poke at attempting French style wines in America. The “least likely to exist” of all of our Willamette Valley sourced wines, this is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from Borgo Pass Vineyard and Cabernet Franc from Johan Vineyard. Don’t let the playful nature of the wine’s label fool you -this is our most profound expression of red wine from this region and the one that rewards the most patience. Aged 10 to 12 months in puncheon. ”
Now it’s even lower!
Want to see all the wines in the July Sale? Just head to our webstore to see the full list or read to the bottom of the newsletter for all the wines.
That principle still holds at the estate of Ökonomierat Rebholz, now in the third generation of producing wines that are resolutely dry, mineral and reflective of their terroirs. Even during a period of time when the fashion in Germany was for sweeter and sweeter bottlings, Rehbolz held firm in their specialization in dry whites and dramatic Pinot Noir. Located in the southern part of the Pfalz region, their estate vineyards rest mostly on limestone (with a touch of sandstone in some of the GG vineyards, as well) and that land yields some of the most impressive wine in Europe every year.
Their 2017’s are masterpieces, packed with dense minerality that is allied to a vitality seemingly directly tied to the organically-farmed vineyards. Whether the two GG Rieslings, or the just-as-impressive Pinot Blanc (Weisburgunder), these are wines that quicken the pulse of any lover of top tier white wine. We’re excited to inform you that these hard-to-find gems have arrived and are ready to occupy a prime place in your cellar.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Okonomierat Rebholz ‘Ganz Horn-im Sonnenschein’ Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($99.95) $69 special
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling .com 97 points “At once ripe and generous at the front, yet austere and radical at the finish, this is a super-straight and mineral wine that needs some time to give its best. From biodynamically grown grapes. Respekt certified. Drink in 2019.”
Decanter 95 points “Gravelly, sandy soil makes for subtle but concentrated citrus flavours in the Ganz Horn site. A coolness emanates from the glass as the nose is gentle and shows subtle hints of citrus. The mouthfeel is lacy, with zesty lemon and a grounded, dancing dryness pervaded by limpid acidity. This is slender and sinuous and hooks you with its citrus charm.”
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling .com 97 points “In order to describe the herbal notes in the nose of this wine to you properly, I would need to spend the whole evening studying them! Rose hips and wild berries, plus a hint of passion fruit. Crystalline finish. From biodynamically grown grapes. Respekt certified. Drink or hold.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This dry Riesling combines power and grace, with a fierce attack of zesty floral and mineral notes, expressing kumquat and nectarine details midpalate. Shows an impressive concentration of flavors packed on an elegant frame, with an underlying mineral streak running from start to finish. This is well-toned and full of energy. Best from 2022 through 2034.”
Stuart Pigott-jamessuckling .com 97 points “This proves that pinot blanc really can give a great dry white wine. Crazy, exotic fruit in the nose, but not a jot too much. Then comes the enormously concentrated palate and a finish that literally takes your breath away. From biodynamically grown grapes. Respekt certified. Great aging potential. Drink or hold.”
In Stock Now:
Feudi di San Gregorio ‘Rubrato’ Aglianico Irpinia, Campania 2015 750ML ($21.95) $17.75 special
Case-12 Feudi di San Gregorio ‘Rubrato’ Aglianico Irpinia, Campania 2015 750ML ($249.95) $184 special (that’s only $15.33/bottle!)
James Suckling 95 points “This shows such a beautiful density and texture with licorice and blackberry character. Full and layered yet always tight and focused. A fantastic young red. Drink or hold.”
Bastide Blanche: Budget Bandol
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Domaine de la Bastide Blanche Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Domaine de la Bastide Blanche Bandol Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($259.95) $219 special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “Continuing its consistent excellence, this domaine’s 2018 Bandol Rose looks to be another fine performance. Crushed stone, underripe peach and pineapple notes mark the nose, while the medium-bodied palate is creamy and rich, with just enough pepper and licorice-tinged spice on the finish to provide freshness and length.(JC)”
Want to see all 90+ roses available right now? Just head to our webstore to see the entire list of options.
New Wine Spectator Insider Reviews
Colene Clemens Vineyards ‘Dopp Creek’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
Paolo Scavino Prapo, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 93 points
If you’re unfamiliar with the wines of Il Poggione, let’s catch you up quickly. They are a classic Brunello Brunello producer working with very traditional methods in the subzone of Sant’Angelo in Colle, a region that tends to produce wines with big, bold personality. Whereas some of Il Poggione’s neighbors take this natural abundance and add plenty of new wood and extraction, the attitude at Il Poggione is much more minimalist. The resulting wines are both crowd pleasing (rich fruit, up front aromatics) and intellectually stimulating (age-worthy, not obstructed by new oak) in way that is nearly unique in Brunello outside of names that trade for significantly more money per bottle.
That combo, and that pricing, is what makes Il Poggione a contradiction in the best way—a traditional Brunello that’s often approachable young. An ageworthy wine that doesn’t have to be aged. A wine that’s top tier collectible and respected while remaining in the reasonable stratosphere of affordability. It’s a lot for a wine to be, but luckily there it is and we’ve stocked up. We have the top tier 2012 and ’13 vintages in stock now and are excited to offer you excellent pricing on these fine wines.
In Stock Now:
“precisely the type of year in which Il Poggione excels”
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Case-6 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($419.95) $369 special (that’s only $61.50/bottle!)
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino lives up to the impeccable reputation garnered by this estate over the years. This is a profound and beautifully rendered Sangiovese that delivers bold and luscious fruit quality with black cherry and spicy plum at the start. The bouquet follows through with mild oak notes of smoke, tar and toasted nut. There is another aromatic component that includes crushed stone and dried herb or mint. This Brunello shows elegant evolution in the glass and promises a very long aging future ahead. Some 200,000 bottles were made, so it should be easy to locate this excellent wine.”
Ian D’agata – Vinous 95 points “Bright red. Pure, refined red cherry and wild strawberry aromas and flavors complicated by sweet spices and aromatic herbs. Deep and multilayered, the wine boasts polished tannins and a harmonious acid spine that lifts and extends the red fruit on the long, suave finish. An essence of Sant’Angelo in Colle with bigger body and palate weight than, for example, the Brunellos of Montosoli, but still sleek and refined as the best wines of Sant’Angelo in Colle can be. The cool-climate-styled 2013 vintage is precisely the type of year in which Il Poggione excels: this lovely, focused wine is the best classico Brunello from Il Poggione in years. Superb.”
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($89.95) $51.50 special
Wine Advocate 95+ points “Il Poggione is a Brunello superstar and a vintage like this reveals every reason why that affirmation is true. From the second the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino pours into the glass, you know you are in for something special. The wine is darkly saturated and rich in appearance. Absent are those slightly amber or browning hues you often get with Sangiovese in a hot vintage. Nor does the wine show flat or tired characteristics. Instead, the quality of fruit is vibrant and rich. This is a healthy, generous and exuberant Brunello with dark density and succulent fruit flavors that are followed by integrated spice and tobacco. The balance is impressive and one thing you get here is fresh acidity. This is not to be underestimated, because the acidity quota in the 2012 vintage across the appellation is not as high or evident as usual. This is one of the year’s best Brunellos.”
Grapelive 93 points “I’m a huge Cassis Blanc fan. I think it is one of the great wines of France, one of the wine world’s best kept secrets, and Clos Ste. Magdeleine is one of the best producers, imported by the famed Kermit Lynch. This elite Provence winery makes stunning versions and this 2017 absolutely rocks my world! Clos Saint Magdeleine, now run by Fancois Sack, was originally founded by Jules Savon, who won the Gold Medal for the domaine at the World’s Fair in 1900 and put this estate on the map. The Sack family, who have been in charge for four generations, continue to make awesome wines in this picturesque village on the Mediterranean sea, not far from both Bandol and Marseille, where Cassis is a favorite at the best bistros and cafes… The vineyards of Clos Sainte Magdeleine [are] particularly stunning, and a place I hope to visit in person. These vineyards jut out on to a private cape to meet majestic shoreline and spectacular limestone cliffs, poised above gorgeously beauty of the sparkling, azure Mediterranean, which even from pictures is breathtaking, I can only imagine witnessing it in the flesh. It is well known that only a handful of vignerons today are fortunate enough to produce A.O.C. Cassis, with Domaine Bagnol and Clos Sainte Magdeleine being the top. The small quantities available are largely consumed locally, making it hard to find, but well worth searching out, especially this one. The 2017 Cassis Blanc is made from organic grapes, about 40% Marsanne, 30% Ugni blanc, 25% Clairette and 5% Bourboulenc… I always find that the basic cuvee with its higher percentage of Clairette Blanc is the most interesting to my tastes and seems have a bit more vitality and intriguing aromatics with a wonderful mineral quality, while the upper end single vineyard/parcel Bel-Arme (with much more Marsanne) offers a more textural feeling and is fuller. While still fabulous, I much prefer the regular Cassis and its refreshing form, especially this warm vintage. The all organic Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Blanc is all de-stemmed and gravity pressed and then the juice is fermented and aged in 100% temperature-controlled stainless steel tank with some lees contact and with full malos. Aged in total for between 14 to 18 months in tank, Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Blanc’s success lies in, as Kermit Lynch puts it, an uncanny ability to capture a dichotomous nerve and sun-kissed unctuousness, making it both incredibly food-friendly and delicious entirely on its own, of which I complete agree with. Bright with layers of lime, tangerine, orange blossom, wet and saline rich stones, a touch of almond oil, verbena and unripe peach/apricot along with zippy acidity and clove spice this vintage has a hint of ripe apply creaminess from the Marsanne when in warms in the glass giving the impression of serious intention without taking away from the fantastic energy. This is brilliant wine and perfection on a warm evening. Drink over the next 3 to 5 years, though there is no reason to wait.”
Cameron Winery ‘Ribbon Ridge’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Case-12 Cameron Winery ‘Ribbon Ridge’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 2017 750ML ($299.95) $259 special (that’s only $21.58/bottle!)
Grapelive 93 points “Very different from his Dundee Hills bottlings, John Paul’s Cameron Ribbon Ridge Pinot shows terroir and darker black fruit profile, which seems highlighted by the Marine Sedimentary soils, though there is a family resemblance in its slight reductive presence in the glass and Burgundy-like class. As Paul Notes, the grapes for this wine are sourced from two distinct vineyards: Foster Farms Vineyard and Armstrong Vineyard in the Ribbon Ridge AVA. The young vine Foster Farms site was planted in 2006, and is lovingly tended by famed cider apple grower Alan Foster. The Armstrong Vineyard was recently converted to dry-farming. Both give this wine its soul and complexity. Paul adds, fruit from Ribbon Ridge is always intense with loads of structure, making for a bold and gripping personality in the wine(s), but vintage is always key. This beautiful and lacy 2017 is stunner with a poise in the glass that is remarkable in this price point. This is a killer bottle of Pinot for the money, no wonder it sells out so fast. Part of the Deep Roots Coalition, Cameron is committed to dry farming for many obvious reasons, quality and intensity of the grapes through smaller yields and the less diluting of flavors and terroir transmission, plus he is concerned for the environment and wasting water is something he wants to avoid as that water usually means taking away from areas that need it, the [add] on effect is it saves salmon streams as well. Bursting with blackberry, plum and dark cherry fruits, a hint of sweet smoke and earthy tones this vintage of Cameron’s Ribbon Ridge is a thrilling wine with pure old world character… As with all of the Cameron wines, the winemaking is tradition Burgundy all the way with native yeasts used for primary fermentations and long elevages, usually between 18 and 20 months in barrique, that are seasoned with a couple of fills. The winery is very particular about its wood and Cameron’s choice of barrels, as Paul puts it, is equally crucial to the quality of the final product. For both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay he usually select barrels from a wonderful cooper he discovered, who lives in the village of Saint Romain in Burgundy. His name is Claude Gillet and together with his children and several master coopers they turn out some of the most exquisite wine barrels to be found. In fact every year Claude and his son, Laurent, visit [the] winery, taste the wines in barrels and make recommendations for choice of forest, toast level and all of the other minutia that go into crafting an oak barrel that suits Cameron’s style. John Paul believes that barrels reach their perfection only after a couple vintages, he prefers to utilize used cooperage which is between 1-3 years old for [his] most precious cuvées and even older for the regional or village wines, like this one. Drink this Pinot over the next 5 to 7 years.”
Arriving Friday, July 26th:
Azienda Agricola La Torre Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 95 points “The 2016 is going to be legendary in Tuscany. We are seeing the top wines already getting unbelievably good press, but there are also some killer deals on lesser known wines, especially wines like this gorgeous deep fruited and elegant La Torre Rosso di Montalcino. [Such wines] are incredible and offer a wonderful value for much less than their Brunello version. Lighter on its feet than the Brunello(s) the Rosso [shows] style and grace, it shows a complex array of flavors and a sense of never-ending length with a beautiful rose petal perfume and exotic spices. This La Torre has, what it is cliche to say, Burgundy class in the glass with ripe tannins and a gorgeous garnet/ruby hue that seduces the senses with layers of black cherry, raspberry, strawberry and plum fruits to begin on its open and generous palate with gains structure with air as well as highlighting the background elements, mineral notes and light earthiness. Additionally there is classic anise, fine cigar tobacco wrapper, sandalwood and lingering dried flowers and cranberry/currant, making for a lovely Sangiovese wine that gets even better with food, bringing out more depth and fruit intensity. There is almost nothing to fault here and the detailing and mouth feel is exceptional in this remarkable Rosso di Montalcino. This is a wine that needs to be taken out of the “Baby Brunello” box; it is really next level stuff on its own. The La Torre winery was founded not all that long ago by Italian standards back in 1976 by Giuseppe Ananìa, who purchased the La Torre estate from the famous Ciacci family of Montalcino. Now Luigi Anania, Giuseppe’s son, is the present owner and producer of the wines of La Torre. The estate is located in the commune of La Sesta, approximately 8 kilometers south of Montalcino, which is in the highest altitude section of the Brunello appellation. La Torre make four main wines, all from organic vines: Brunello di Montalcino (with a Riserva in the best years as well), Rosso di Montalcino, with the Brunello and Rosso being exclusively Sangiovese Grosso (Brunello Clone) by law, as well as a Rosso di Toscano and a Rosso di Toscano “Ampelio” which have touches of Ciliegiolo and Alicante added to a mainline of Sangiovese. The wines are all made from all grapes that are de-stemmed prior to fermentations and only indigenous yeasts are used before an extended 20 maceration on the skins. Ferments are done in a combination of steel and oak with an 18 month elevage being in large oak casks of French origin, with only about 10% of the ultimate cuvée being aged in small French barrels. Made for more early drinking pleasure and a sublime vintage really show here and I absolute love this stuff. Judging it purely on its intent and delivery it is fantastic, drink this brilliantly crafted beauty over the next 3 to 5 years.”
Cameron Winery Clos Electrique Blanc, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
VinopolNote: The Clos Electrique is Cameron’s estate vineyard, named after the electric deer fence that surrounds it. This is planted to a mix of clones and is vinified traditionally—no racking and all in older barrels. This is crisp and coiled, with distinct minerality and a lot of power in a lithe frame. Like most vintages of the Electrique Blanc, this is quite good now but will be stellar in a few years.
Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages R.I. Rectificando Invenies 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Advocate 98 points “As always, the 100% Syrah 2015 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Lesquerde Rectificando Invenies (Ri) shows more minerality than the VIT release and offers blockbuster styled aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, crushed rocks, toasted bread and chocolate. Made in a voluptuous, pedal-to-the-metal style, with huge fruit and texture, it has building tannin and an uber sexy, incredibly layered and decadent palate. Drink it anytime over the coming decade. This cuvee was completely destemmed and aged 18 months in demi-muids.”
Domaine Vocoret et Fils Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Case-6 Domaine Vocoret et Fils Valmur, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($349.95) $299 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.”
The next best price is $74.99
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese #7 Halbtrocken, Mosel 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “I harbor fond memories of halbtrocken Merkelbach Würzgartens long past, so perhaps you’ll think I was overly influenced simply by having once again seen those words on a bottle of their Riesling. But its contents certainly left me wishing that they would let this happen in their cellar more often. A classic Würzgarten nose of fresh strawberry and lime adds hints of more Erden-typical tarragon and sassafras. Subtly silken in feel, this finishes buoyant and lusciously long, with animating, bright primary juiciness and transparency to shimmering impingements of stones and mineral salts. Incidentally, it weighs in at a mere 10% alcohol, a reminder that the Merkelbachs pick for Spätlese at must weights that most of today’s top Mosel growers would deem appropriate for Kabinett. A prime example of what I call “hidden sweetness” – residual sugar playing a supportive and catalytic role while not engendering any overt sense of sweetness – this will perform brilliantly at table as well as in your cellar.”
Library Private Reserve is always a treat.
Beringer Vineyards Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2009 750ML ($159.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is a beautifully balanced wine. Firm yet well-integrated tannins frame a core of dark red berries, flowers, mint, spices and licorice. The Reserve shows lovely inner perfume and mid-palate juiciness. It should drink well with a minimum of cellaring. The main vineyards in the 2009 are Home (37%), Lampyridae (23%), Vogt (14%), Chabot (11%) and Rancho del Oso (9%). Each lot was aged separately for about two years before the final blend was assembled.”
Vinous – Stephen Tanzer 93+ points “(includes 2.5% petit verdot): Good full ruby. Pure but tight nose shows a medicinal reserve. Then tight and penetrating in the mouth, with noteworthy intensity to the blackberry and menthol flavors. Much less open and showy today than the Bancroft cabernet, revealing little in the way of easy sweetness. This seriously structured wine finishes with substantial firm tannins, excellent breadth and a suggestion of chocolatey richness, and should be long-lived. “A blend of the best of the best,” according to winemaker Laurie Hook, who added that she’s looking for “intensity, complexity, depth, persistence, elegance.”
James Suckling 92 points “The purity of fruit is bright and focused with strawberries and spices. Medium body, firm and silky tannins and a fresh finish. Crisp and pretty. Drink or hold.”
l’Hetre, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Case-6 l’Hetre, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon 2016 750ML ($159.95) $119 special (that’s only $19.83/bottle!)
Julia Harding MW – jancisrobinson.com “L’Hêtre 2016 Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux is the first release of this wine from the organically farmed estate perched at 100 m on the end of the St-Philippe d’Aiguilhe limestone plateau, the highest point in Bordeaux…‘Rich in blackcurrant fruit with a savoury dark glow to make it more than just fruit. Just a touch of smoky char even though the oak is well in the background, a seductive fruit sweetness. On the palate, this is beautifully balanced, the alcohol perfectly integrated in the tannic structure and fruit core with a fresh tang that runs through the middle. There’s a cool fluidity to it even with its depth and length. Fine, dry, lingering and savoury aftertaste. Impressive first vintage with a promising future in the bottle. I opened this on a Sunday evening and it was still tasting fresh and vibrant four days later. This is a very classy wine, and the tannins tell you everything: fine, definite, building in the mouth but in perfect balance with the fruit and freshness. Blue-blooded Castillon. Catch it while you can.'”
Case-12 l’Hetre ‘La Raison d’Hetre’, Cotes de Bordeaux Castillon 2016 750ML ($259.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Julia Harding MW – jancisrobinson.com “There is a second wine, Raison d’Hêtre, made from the younger vines and lower slopes. It’s a little lighter in body and tasted as if it had a little more of the Cabernets in the blend though the proportions are the same, but this was perhaps just slightly less ripe Merlot fruit.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Lovely bay leaf, pepper, lavender and tobacco notes impart texture and range as they wrap around a core of solid black currant and fig fruit. Shows a grippy charcoal feel through the finish. Very solid. Best from 2015 through 2024. 835 cases imported.-JM”
Wine Advocate 92 points “Another great traditional cuvee, the 2012 Gigondas shows the house style with its savory dark fruits, ground herbs, pepper and mineral-like bouquet. Medium to full-bodied, voluptuous and gorgeously textured, it can be drunk now or cellared for a decade.”
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas, Rhone 2014 1.5L ($99.95) $79 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Sports solid, charcoal-edged grip from the get-go, with roasted alder and savory notes forming a robust frame around the chewy-edged currant, plum and bitter cherry paste flavors. The long, dark, smoldering finish lets the woodsy and herb accents stride through. Shows the cool-weather profile of the vintage. Best from 2018 through 2024. 3,700 cases made.”
Case-12 Chateau de Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2017 750ML ($359.95) $279 special (that’s only $23.25/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 90-92 points “The inky colored 2017 Crozes Hermitage isn’t far off the 2016 and has a darker fruited, peppery, charcoal, and licorice-driven style. It’s medium to full-bodied, straight and focused on the palate, yet has terrific ripeness.”
Fine Wine Review 92-95 points “49 hl/ha. Here, too, the vines are younger than most of the estate’s other vines, being only about 30 years-old. The nose is stony and pure. The mouth shows dark fruits and it is sleeker than that of the Champans. The wine shows excellent energy and penetration and one can feel the limestone in the vineyard. The wine also shows good minearlity and length. It should age well.”
Fine Wine Review 90-94 points “10 hl/ha. Bouley owns the only part of the Grands Champs that is classified as premier cru. The nose is powerful with red fruits and some spiciness. The mouth is medium light with elegance, good length and spicy red and dark fruits. ”
Fine Wine Review 90-94 points “26.7 hl/ha. No SO2 yet added. The nose shows spiced blackberries. The mouth is dense with good structure, very deep blackberry fruit, and overall balance. It is a very good representation of wine from the Santenots vineyard.”
Fine Wine Review 88-92 points “5.25 hl/ha here. The nose shows ripe crushed blackberry fruit. The mouth is dense and pure with good structure to support the wild blackberry fruit. If this wine were available in any quantity, it would be a no-brainer.”
Fine Wine Review 89-91 points “The yield for this wine is 8.3 hl/ha. So far, there’s been no SO2 added to this wine. The nose and mouth both show red fruits. In the mouth, the wine is long and salty with good density and balance.”
Rare Back Vintage Beaucastel
Beaucastel is unusual in Chateauneuf for the high percentage of Mourvèdre used in the blend, resulting in dark wines with a rich earthiness that balances the otherwise generous fruit. Even before Chateauneuf du Pape was collectible or sought after as a region, the wines from this venerable estate were in high demand—and that demand continues today. We’re excited to announce that we’ve secured some library Beaucastel, from the excellent 2012 vintage, arriving this fall. The wine is in an excellent place right now—just entering the beginning of prime time drinking but capable of aging for another two decades. Buy it now and drink up while you’re waiting for your ’15’s and ’16’s to come around.
Arriving ETA November:
Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2012 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points “What I think might end up being the best Beaucastel since the 1990 or 2001, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape offers a full-bodied, decadent style to go with awesome black and blue fruits, garrigue, licorice, crushed flowers and violets. The purity here is truly something, and it has fabulous mid-palate concentration, building tannin and massive texture. Given all of the fruit and texture here, it will no doubt drink well in its youth, but it should still be alive and kicking after two decades as well.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Warm raspberry and boysenberry confiture aromas and flavors are dominant in this lush, inviting style, but there’s plenty of dried star anise, bay leaf, licorice root, worn leather and roasted juniper notes to fill out the chorus. The finish turns youthfully grippy, with a tarry edge holding sway and adding serious length. Try now, but cellar for maximum effect. Best from 2018 through 2030. 8,350 cases made.”
Jancis Robinson 18/20 “Pre-assemblage. Very dark crimson. Vibrant colour is almost black. Black olives and smoked bacon. Extremely vibrant on the nose too. Luscious ripe fruit on the front palate almost completely covers the tannins. Really quite remarkable. What a different wine from the 2011! Sumptuous.”