Top Rose Picks for Thanksgiving
Best Value Bubbly for All the Holidays
West Coast Cellar Gems
#Trending Wines of the Weekend
New Arrivals, Including:
Pierre Peters, Jaboulet, Georg Breuer, Burlotto & More!
The Pinnacle of Gevrey-Chambertin
Top Rosés for Thanksgiving
Tavel is a classic Thanksgiving pairing. This is tops.
Domaine Lafond Tavel Roc-Epine Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Domaine Lafond Tavel Roc-Epine Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($249.95) $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points “A dependable producer of Tavel and Lirac (and Châteauneuf-du-Pape), the Lafonds have turned out a spice-driven 2017 Tavel that’s bottled under screwcap. Hints of allspice and clove accent watermelon and red berry flavors, while the palate is medium to full-bodied and richly textured, leading into a long, silky finish. Bravo!”
Wine & Spirits 92 points “The Lafonds turned out a lush 2017 Tavel from their organically farmed vineyards, a wine that balances its sunny generosity with refreshing acidity. It has the girth for meaty dishes, with berry notes that bring red meat to mind, but the herbal and earthy flavors have enough restraint to work with fish, too.”
A perpetual favorite for light, slightly herbal, rose.
M Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2017 750ML ($17.95) $11.90 special
Josh Raynolds 90 points “Light, bright orange. Vibrant, mineral-accented aromas of fresh red berries, orange pith and rose oil on the tightly focused nose. Dry and nervy in the mouth, offering lively strawberry, cherry and citrus zest flavors that show very good clarity and minerally cut. Closes brisk and long, with resonating floral and red fruit notes and a hint of succulent herbs.”
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 2017 version just landed. 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.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Big, bold and powerful rosé made by the Chateauneuf masters.
Domaine de la Janasse Cotes du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2016 750ML ($19.95) $11.90 special
Jeb Dunnuck 90 points “Made in a more Tavel than Côtes du Rhône style, the raspberry colored 2016 Côtes du Rhône Rose offers lots of strawberry fruit, medium-bodied richness, a supple, textured style and clean finish. It too has the freshness and purity to handle a summer day, but will also shine on the dinner table.”
Importer notes “The Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé from Domaine de la Janasse is made by bleeding the tanks and vats of the Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge. It is a blend of mainly Grenache, with Cinsault, Syrah and Counoise. After the wine is bled, it finished fermentation and aging in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks.”
A classic Rhone rosé, all peachy and berries with a dry finish.
Domaine Charvin Cotes du Rhone Rose, Rhone 2017 750ML ($21.95) $16.60 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points “Light lurid orange. Mineral-accented red berry and floral aromas are complemented by a subtle mineral element that gains power as the wine opens up. Juicy and expansive in the mouth, showing appealingly sweet raspberry, tangerine and lavender flavors and seamless texture. Concentrated yet lively in style, finishing with strong mineral thrust and a suave floral echo.”
VinopolNote “Charvin remains one of the best producers of old school, traditional Chateauneuf du Pape (the 2013, in stock now, is savory, gutsy and delicious). They also make a fantastic Cotes du Rhone rosé, all peaches and cherries on the nose. On the palate you get more of the same with a touch of citrus zest and a bright crisp finish. This wine is nicely medium bodied and one of those that you can pair with everything from grilled fish to hamburgers and grilled lamb. Like their reds, this is made from organically farmed grapes and fermented with indigenous yeasts.”
The archetype for Provencal rosé. Delicious stuff.
Chateau de Calavon Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Chateau de Calavon Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rose, Provence 2017 750ML ($249.95) $179 special (that’s only $14.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points “Light bright orange. Mineral-tinged red fruit and peach aromas show very good clarity and pick up a subtle floral nuance with air. Juicy and light on its feet, offering zesty strawberry and orange pith flavors that slowly deepen as the wine stretches out. Lingers with strong persistence on the incisive finish, leaving an appealingly sweet strawberry note behind.”
Wine Advocate 90 points “A blend of 65% Cinsault, 20% Grenache and 15% Syrah, Calavon’s 2017 Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rose is another solid rosé effort from the portfolio of American importer Peter Weygandt. This one is medium-bodied, quite taut and perfumed, with hints of garrigue, stone fruit and lingering citrus on the finish.”
Looking for low-sulfur, more Natural rosé. Check this out.
Philippe Tessier Rose D’aunis, Loire 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Our Best Value Champagne
For All Holiday Occasions
Within Bouzy and Ambonnay, Maison Andre Clouet occupies just 8 hectares of vines along gentle sloping land. Focusing on Pinot noir Champagnes, Clouet’s wines tend to be of a rich and concentrated style; adorned in rather lavish packaging, their hyper-ornate labels are reminiscent of the family’s ancestor who was the printer to Louis XV’s royal court at Versailles.
What makes them particularly wonderful wines to work with (other than that brilliant packaging) is how obviously good they are. There are some wines whose subtlety leads to disappointment in the casual drinker, but the Andre Clouet wines are obviously delicious Champagne of extremely high quality. These are wines that seasoned wine geeks can enjoy, but so can your mother in-law who normally only drinks White Star (and she’ll think you’ve given her something much more expensive than her usual).
In Stock Now:
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 3L ($319.95) $269 special
Importer note “Initially showing a very fresh bouquet of high toned fruits with hints of hazelnuts and yeasty aromas, the Grande Réserve cuvée displays highly structured red fruit notes on the palate for which the area is so famous. Long lees aging, low dosage and Grand Cru Pinot Noir fruit combine for an opulent yet balanced Champagne.”
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 3L ($319.95) $289 special
Grapelive 93 points “This is some sensationally great bubbly! Jean-François Clouet, who was born and raised in Bouzy, still lives in the 18th century village house built by his ancestors. He takes his lineage seriously and respects his family’s traditions and that of the region, [Bouzy, where he] is a renowned grower producer. Clouet makes a full range of intense and stylish Champagnes, all of which come [from] family plots mostly comprised of 100% Pinot Noir from Clouet’s lieux-dits in the Bouzy zone. The André Clouet “Silver” Grand Cru Brut Nature is a non-vintage, zero dosage Champagne of exceptional class and delicacy. It’s a severe and high-toned 100% Pinot bubbly from mid-slopes around the village of Bouzy set on the chalky limestone and clay. It went through full malo and was aged on its lees in neutral French oak barrel. [This adds] to the surprise of its crisp detail, considering its malo/wood winemaking fashion, though like a great Burgundy it changes and gains with time in the glass adding richness to the tight form it initially shows. If ever there was a Champagne that fits all my wants and desires, then this Clouet, fits the bill. I adore Extra Bruts and Non Dosage styles absolutely best of all and this Andre Clouet Silver kills it for the price! Lemony briskness leads the way with hints of hazelnut, brioche and wet river stones adding a touch of white cherry, unripe apple and cool green melon, all lifted by the pure tight beading of its electric mousse. The Pinot Noir gives a bite of extract which makes this a fantastic food Champagne. It is perfect for oysters, sushi and mussels in spicy broth. It’s not for everyone, but damn it’s good. It’s without question a thinker’s sparkler not a crowd pleaser, which just makes it that much more special.”
Andre Clouet Un Jour de 1911… Brut, ChampagneNV 750ML ($89.95) $75 special
Importer note “The domaine’s tête de cuvée is comprised of 100% pinot noir from Clouet’s ten best lieux-dits in the Grand Cru vineyard of Bouzy. Production is limited to no more than 1911 bottles per disgorgement.”
Andre Clouet Grand Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Importer note “Generous and fine. Another Champagne from Clouet that achieves both structure and opulence, yet remains focused. Plenty of bright red fruit, and very obviously Pinot Noir, yet with the finesse that make a great rosé Champagne so exceptional.”
100% Chardonnay, bottled one year after harvest. Disgorged on order.
Andre Clouet ‘Dream Vintage’ Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
100% Chardonnay, bottled one year after harvest. Disgorged on order.
Andre Clouet The V6 Experience Brut, Champagne 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
A new cuvee that spent 6 years sur lattes.
The next best price is $68
Andre Clouet ‘Le Clos’ Bouzy Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2008 1.5L ($379.95) $319 pre-arrival special
VinopolNote: Only 250 cases of this rare bottling were produced, all from one of the four walled Grand Cru vineyards in Champagne. 100% Pinot Noir, aged 8 years sur latte, from a great vintage.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards Insignia, Napa Valley 2007 1.5L ($699.95) $599 special
Wine Advocate 100 points “Deep garnet colored with a lingering hint of purple, the 2007 Insignia Proprietary Red Wine reveals the most seductive crème de cassis, Black Forest cake and licorice notions with touches of violets, eucalyptus, chocolate box and unsmoked cigars plus a waft of cedar chest. Full-bodied with tantalizing opulence yet compelling restraint, the palate beautifully juxtaposes the rich, ripe fruit with wonderful freshness and a firm yet plush backbone, finishing beautifully perfumed.”
Only two bottles available
Inglenook Reserve Cask Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 1991 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Rubicon Estate Inglenook ‘Rubicon’ Red, Rutherford 2001 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Dark, smooth, rich and complex, with a silky texture leading to a core of ripe plum, black cherry, smoky oak and wild berry flavors, finishing with a long, intricate aftertaste. This is a wine that grows on you. Best from 2006 through 2012. 5,230 cases made.”
Robert Parker 91 points “Notes of roasted herbs, damp earth, licorice, black currants, sweet cherries and a Provencal-like garrigue character emerge from the dense, full-bodied, masculine 2001 Rubicon. This big, deep red still has some tannins to shed, but it is revealing considerable complexity as well as pleasure. It should hit its prime in another 4-5 years and last for two decades.”
Wine Enthusiast 98 points “Fragrant, showing cascades of violets, caramelized new oak, sweet cherry pie, cocoa and cassis aromas. In the mouth, it’s unctuous, and floods the palate with sweet, savory flavors. Has a youthful jamminess right now, which will melt off and refine as time goes by. Such is the elegance and balance that cellaring it for 20 years will be no problem. This is the best Rubicon ever.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “The nose leaps out of the glass: fat, meaty and jammy, laden with ripe, seductive fruit. The palate impression is still young, firm and tight, with tart loganberry fruit that has a nice tang to it. It’s all wrapped in big, toasty layers of oak, with coffee, bitter chocolate and licorice running through the long finish. This one needs more time to knit itself together and open up.”
Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley 2000 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Rich, supple and fleshy, a lovely Cabernet that spills over with plum-scented berry and espresso flavors that linger enticingly on the rich, polished finish. The oak is present but not overwhelming. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.”
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “Bursting with fragrant, powerful berries and spice, this wine still shows the edges of youth, with the new oak a bit jagged and the tannins slightly green and chalky. But all it needs is time (or air!) and there is no denying that this is a jammy, juicy, just plain delicious mouthful of wine with a masterful hand at the wheel.”
Leonetti Cellar Merlot, Walla Walla Valley 1991 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “Ripe, rich and concentrated, yet it remains extraordinarily well balanced, harmonious and elegant. Starts off with plum, currant and black cherry flavors, then offers shades of hazelnut, vanilla and spice nuances, finishing with a velvety aftertaste.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Almost light in texture, remarkably supple and appealing for its chocolate-scented berry flavors, which pick up intensity on the ultrasmooth finish. More elegant and subtle that most previous vintages, although less powerful.”
#Trending Wines of the Weekend
Classic Beaujolais from a great vintage.
Joseph Drouhin Domaine des Hospices de Belleville Fleurie, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
James Suckling 93 points “This is very linear and refined with beautiful tannins and minerality. Medium-bodied, very pretty and focused. Tight and polished. Serious.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Vivid ruby. Very fresh and expressive on the nose, offering intense cherry and red berry liqueur qualities and a smoky mineral overtone. Shows very good freshness and thrust on the palate; vivacious raspberry and bitter cherry flavors become sweeter on the back half. Displays excellent clarity and delineation and closes long and sweet, featuring lingering red fruit character and harmonious tannins.”
Big, rich Russian River Pinot at a great price.
The Calling Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 2014 750ML ($39.95) $19 special
Case-12 The Calling Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 2014 750ML ($419.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 91 points “A generously fruity, just-ripe and refined wine, this offers classic notions of the appellation in a warm, welcoming vintage, from rhubarb, cranberry and cherry to cola spice and clove. Still young, it shows an intensity that should meld and mellow in the bottle in short order.”
The next best price is $32.99
Classic, fresh, Pinot Blanc. It’s slightly nutty and quite mineral—delicious.
Selbach-Oster Pinot Blanc Dry, Mosel 2016 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 89 points “This bottling now encompasses some vines in Wehlener Klosterberg (epicenter of Markus Molitor’s memorable Pinot Blancs) as well as those long established by the Selbachs in Zeltinger Himmelreich. It’s raised largely in tank, supplemented by fuder. Apple blossom, corn shoot and smoky hints of toasted nuts combine for a pungent nose, which segues into a palate Pinot Blanc-typical in its delightful combination of textural creaminess and fresh apple juiciness. Due to hail in the parcel of Himmelreich where most of this was grown, the Selbachs ended up picking it in two tranches to compensate for late ripening of secondary buds. The upshot is 12.5% alcohol yet a welcome sense of buoyancy, and a tension of richness and tartness that is pleasantly stimulating on the seriously sustained finish.”
Terry Theise note “This is being used by a restaurant group (with impeccable taste!) and for a while Johannes was worried we’d gobble up the supply and leave the group gasping and flopping on the beach. Nah, I’m only a little greedy. The ’16 is a beauty, toasty and mineral, a super vintage for a wine with some qui behind it. It’s steep-slope grown and made in discreet wood, so you get “recognizable” PB flavor but with the mineral energy of slate. There’s a long finish of really clean shrimp-stock, and the salty mid palate suggests just-caught monkfish.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The Prisoner, reprised.
Orin Swift 8 Years In The Desert (Zinfandel) , Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
VinopolNote: The 2nd vintage of winemaker David Phinney’s newest Zinfandel-based project!
Gutsy Syrah at a great price.
Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Mise en Bouche, Rhone 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Grapelive 92 points “One of the Northern Rhone’s best kept secrets and producer of some of finest values in the region, Domaine Emmanuel Darnaud crafts some excellent Syrah(s) from his tiny set of parcels in the Crozes-Hermitage area. He started his domaine in 2001 with just postage stamp (sized block) of vines but worked his way up to a more serious set of vineyards. [They are] all on the southern side of Crozes-Hermitage set on the zone’s glacial alluviums of mostly smooth pebbles. His painstaking work in the vineyard yields amazing results. How he can sell this beautiful and authentic wine at under $20 is one of the great and most pleasurable mysteries in the world of Syrah! The 2016 is utterly delicious with an earthy intensity that starts with porcini/truffle and gamey Crozes purity before opening to beautiful violets and blueberry notes. Darnaud’s Crozes Mise en Bouche is a fine example of time and place, yummy from start to finish adding bright peppery spice, a touch of anise, dried herbs and damson plum as well as mineral notes and a touch of kirsch. Lighter in frame than some, there’s no whimpiness, but rustic layers of classic Northern Rhone Syrah at its best. Fermented in concrete vats and rested in small barrels, this 100% Syrah, 100% de-stemmed cuvee [is one that] you’d never guess it had one third new oak such is the refinement and quality of fruit found here. This is a vintage to buy as much as you can. It drinks lovely now, and should easily go for a decade too! Search this one out; it’s a winner, and a no brainer for the price!”
Jeb Dunnuck 90-92 points “The 2016 Crozes-Hermitage Mise En Bouche comes from the southern parts of the appellation and is aging in a mix of tank, used barrels and foudre. It offers terrific red and black fruits, spice, tapenade and peppery herb aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness, moderate tannin and a great finish. It’s a hidden little gem in the vintage.”
Charming and delightful. A beautiful bottle.
Pierre Peters Cuvee Rose for Albane Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($129.95) $99 special
Importer note “2015 base with 15% reserve wine from perpetual reserve. 55% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Meunier saignee. Aged sur latte for 24+ months. From Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger Grand Cru and Cumieres 1er Cru.”
Winemaker’s note “An innovation and small revolution for our family house which produced exclusively Blancs de Blancs Champagnes prior to 2007, this Cuvée is a blend of Chardonnay from Le Mesnil and a wonderful “Rosé de Saignée” giving birth to a Rosé Champagne in keeping with the Pierre Peters style: full of freshness, purity and elegance.”
This was sold out—new stock just arrived!
Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle, Rhone 2015 750ML ($319.95) $236 special
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “Lastly, and a legendary wine in the making, the 2015 Hermitage La Chapelle is reminiscent of the 1990 with its full-bodied, opulently, sexy, yet concentrated style. Offering sensational notes of blackcurrants, smoked herbs, beef blood, and chocolate, it’s a huge yet elegant wine that has masses of sweet tannin, incredible purity and finesse, and a killer finish. It’s the finest wine from this estate in close to 30 years. Hats off to Caroline Fray and Jacques Desvernois!”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 98 points “Bright purple. Explosive, smoke- and spice-accented blueberry, cherry cola, incense and smoky mineral aromas show outstanding delineation and pick up a hint of olive with aeration. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering deeply concentrated dark berry liqueur, fruitcake and floral pastille flavors, along with a suggestion of star anise. The remarkably long, penetrating finish features strong minerally cut, an echo of sweet blue fruit and harmonious tannins that come in late and fold effortlessly into the deeply concentrated fruit. At this stage, this is a contender for the wine of the vintage, at least by estimation.”
Wine Advocate 97-100 points “A wine that might surpass the 2009 and 2010 is the 2015 Hermitage La Chapelle, which has more than a passing resemblance to the 1990. This inky black/blue-colored Hermitage offers an off-the-charts array of blackberries, blueberries, crushed rocks, wood smoke and charred meats. Thick, unctuous, full-bodied and incredibly layered, with sweet tannin, it’s a tour de force that’s going to have three to four decades of longevity.”
A monument to dry Riesling, one of the Rheingau’s finest.
Georg Breuer Rauenthal Nonnenberg Riesling Trocken, Rheingau 2015 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points “This offers a superb even if still slightly backward nose of yellow peach, grapefruit puree, pear, aniseed herbs and earthy spices. The wine is hugely impressive even if on the reserved side of things on the palate as minerals, some pear and citrusy fruits only wait to integrate in a few years’ time. The finish, while completely backward, is just heaven, with great freshness, mineral depth and huge precision. This is a stunning Nonnenberg in the making! 2025-2035+”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93 points “Bittersweetly perfumed iris, gentian and buddleia mingle with green herbs and sea breeze on a haunting nose, and the buoyant, silken-textured palate perpetuates those elements in luscious liquid form, underlain by wet stone. Superbly long, the finish is like a gently undulating carpet of flowers on stone. Comparing this 2015 with the severe constraints of its youthful 2014 counterpart, what a difference a year makes!”
A fantastic deal for more delicate dry Riesling.
Georg Breuer Rauenthal Estate Riesling Trocken, Rheingau 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
David Schildknecht–Vinous 92 points “Scents of iris and gentian mingle with intimations of the fresh lemon and lime that then dominate on a bright, buoyant, silken-textured palate transparent to shimmeringly crystalline mineral nuances. At just 11.3 percent alcohol, the wine conveys delightful buoyancy perfectly suited to its prominent florality. It finishes with near-endless juiciness and persistent floral inhalations for an exhilarating and consummately refreshing performance.”
Mosel Fine Wines 91+ points “This develops a slightly backward but hugely impressive feel of pear, candied grapefruit, bergamot, minerals, and fine herbs. The wine is nicely elegant with great but not overpowering presence on the palate and leaves a ravishing feel of passion fruit, minerals and aniseed herbs in the long and pear-infused finish. This is a spectacular rendition of the Rauenthal Estate and one which will give more than a hint of the Grand Vin for of fraction of its costs. We would not be surprised if, in fine, it will even exceed our high expectations, especially if it develops aromatically: It is that impressive! 2020-2030”
More power that the Rauenthal, a classic dry Rheingau
Georg Breuer Rudesheim Estate Riesling, Rheingau 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points “This bright-yellow colored wine took a while to develop its first balance but offers after some airing a gorgeous nose of grapefruit, apple, pear, mango and some aniseed herbs. What is remarkable about this wine is how finely sizzled it comes over on the palate and in the long and remarkably airy finish. This is a little beauty of elegance and freshness with true “Grand Vin” traits. 2020-2030”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 90 points “Lime and ripe peach on the nose anticipate the juicy abundance of fruit on a clear, polished palate, set off by stony and alkaline undertones. The finish is bright and tangy, with mouthwatering salinity and delightful buoyancy.”
Burlotto Sauvignon Blanc “Dives”, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
The ultimate pizza wine?
G. B. Burlotto “Mores” Langhe Rosso, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Importer Note “Mores is a co-fermanted blend of 50% Nebbiolo and 50% Barbera. The Barbera functions very well in softening the tannins of the Nebbiolo and contributing bright acidity and berry flavors. This is a stunning red wine, whether you are a Barolo lover or not, it has all the depth, body, length of finish and finesse you would expect from a glass of fine red. Give it a try!”
G.B. Burlotto Verduno Pelaverga, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19.50 special
Just released, this 2011 Barolo is an absolute stunner.
Massolino Vigna Rionda Riserva, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($159.95) $138 special
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “Killer notes of kirsch, blackberries, tapenade, and exotic spices all emerge from the 2011 Barolo Vigna Rionda Riserva, which is medium to full-bodied, silky, sexy and elegant on the palate. First made in 1982, this cuvée comes from roughly seven different parcels in the Vigna Rionda vineyard, which covers 2.3 hectares in Serralunga. Aged 3.5 years in Slovenian oak followed by 2.5 years in bottle, it’s gorgeously polished, elegant and layered, with incredible charm and character. With fine, sweet tannin, integrated acidity, no hard edges, and a great finish, it’s a sensational Barolo to enjoy over the coming two decades or more.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “Massolino’s 2011 Barolo Riserva Vigna Rionda is a more than worthy follow up to the stellar 2010. Silky, perfumed and incredibly inviting, the 2011 will also give up its considerable charms much earlier. Sweet red cherry, rose petal, spice, hard candy and mint give the 2011 its inner sweetness. Above all else, the 2011 captures a compelling middle ground that balances the warmth of the year with a classic sense of structure. The 2011 is a racy, alluring Rionda that is going to be nearly impossible to resist, even young.”
The Pinnacle of Gevrey-Chambertin
Gevrey-Chambertin and its grand crus are some of the superstars of Burgundy, second only to Vosne in fame and glory. Chambertin was Napoleon’s favorite wine and that legacy has continued through to this day—wines from the village are still very special, from top to bottom. These are robust, powerful bottles of Pinot Noir, especially from a house like Rousseau, which are pure class and some of the best wine experiences you can have.
We are always on the hunt for their wines—as you’d expect they’re maddeningly scarce and correspondingly expensive, but we recently hit the jackpot and now have 29 different bottlings arriving at the end of the month. You can click here to view a full list of them on our website, or look below for a few highlights.
Arriving Later This Month:
Only two bottles available
Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($1799.95) $1599 pre-arrival special
Burghound 96 points “This is completely different from the Bèze aromatically speaking as here the nose is brooding and recalcitrant and only aggressive swirling liberates fresh scents of spice, wet stone, game and dark berry fruits. There is outstanding richness to the powerful and impressively scaled flavors that possess an abundance of dry extract that imparts a velvety quality to the mid-palate while also buffering the tightly wound core of firm tannins on the driving mineral-inflected and hugely persistent finish. This is a stunner of a wine and one of the great wines of the 2011 vintage.”
Only one bottle available
Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Chambertin Clos-de-Beze Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2008 750ML ($1799.95) $1599 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96+ points “Rousseau’s 2008 Chambertin-Clos de Beze is off the charts. Textured and layered throughout, this exquisite, captivating wine graces the palate with endless fruit framed by silky, refined tannins. All of the elements build effortlessly to the dazzling, impeccably crafted finish. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038.”
Burghound 95 points “This is every bit as elegant as the Clos St. Jacques but even deeper and broader with incredibly complex and refined red berry fruit, plum and violet aromas that are relatively cool and are in keeping with the balanced, refined and mouth coating flavors that possess superb depth and excellent finishing intensity on the explosive and gorgeously persistent finish. This is a really lovely ’08 that should improve for out to two decades.”
Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Chambertin Clos-de-Beze Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($1799.95) $1499 pre-arrival special
Burghound 95 points “A potently expressive nose blends both wood and natural spice together with distinctly cool, pure and ripe wild red berries, earth and underbrush. The palate impression is a gorgeous combination of power and refinement along with flat out superb complexity on the explosively long, focused and beautifully well-balanced finish. The supporting structure is dense but fine and this should prove to be a moderately long-lived example.” BH
Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Clos Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2005 750ML ($1399.95) $1199 pre-arrival special
David Schildknecht 94-96 points “With the 2005 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.-Jacques (which by its position in tastings here the Rousseaus conspicuously rate as grand cru) we arrive at the first wine that is matured in new wood. Pure, sweet, fresh black cherry fruit, marrowy and enveloping carnal richness, mysteriously enticing florality, low-toned, chalky minerality and accents of black tea and star anise are featured in this remarkably seamless wine. Meat, minerals and mystery dominate a finish that is profoundly layered yet preserves sheer palate-cleansing refreshment and positively vibrates with vividly fresh fruit intensity. Rousseau owns around one third of this great site, meaning that there are over a thousand cases of this phenomenal wine to ransack the marketplace in search of, then sock away for at least a decade and preferably two. It is always the last-harvested site, says Eric Rousseau, and in 2005 his roughly twenty veteran pickers could certainly afford to wait and richly rewarded us for it.”
Burghound 94 points “A ripe yet cool and wonderfully fresh nose is composed of mostly red berry fruit, discreet spice and earth, all of which is trimmed in an extremely subtle touch of oak. There is fine delineation and plenty of minerality on the utterly delicious middle weight flavors that are perhaps a bit less powerful than one might expect in the context of the vintage on the impeccably well-balanced and gorgeously long finish. This is a wonderfully harmonious effort that is very much still on the way up but among the 3 Rousseau “big boys”, this is the closest one to being able to enjoy now. That said, another 5 to 8 years will certainly return benefits.”
Only one bottle available
Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Clos Saint-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($999.95) $779 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94-97 points “Rousseau’s 2013 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques possesses gorgeous aromatic lift and energy. Polished and refined throughout, the 2013 is super-expressive. Winemaker Frédéric Robert adds that the grapes were especially small in 2013, with virtually no juice. Once again, Rousseau’s Clos St. Jacques looks to be one of the wines of the vintage.”
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 95+ points “Good deep red. Much less reduced on the nose than Ruchottes, offering captivating, high-pitched perfume of raspberry, rose petal, blood orange and crushed stone. On the palate, the tangy raspberry, red cherry and mineral flavors show a penetrating character and superb lift without any weightiness or hardness. Finishes with very fine-grained tannins and mounting floral perfume. This brisk, cool, aristocratic wine is built for a graceful evolution in bottle.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2005 Clos des Ruchottes is far too young to approach at the moment and like many others, it appears to be closing up. Here, the aromatics are closed, broody and stubborn, only reluctantly offering fleeting glimpses of black cherries, incense and minerals. The palate is very pure but distant at the moment, a prodigy without a tongue. But the signs are all here: a firm backbone, layer upon layer of fruit, but a wine that is more impressive than pleasurable at the moment. Got some in your cellar? Keep it there, you lucky thing. Drink 2020-2040+. Tasted September 2013.”