Vinopolis Monday Newsletter (2/6/2023)

 In This Newsletter:

New Arrivals

Alsatian Pinot Gris

Featured- Chateau Malescot-St-Exupery

Sangiovese for every price point

Rosé Sale Underway

Collector’s Corner


New Arrivals

Nifty and thrifty new arrivals! They’re coming in tomorrow, February 7th. 

Bodegas Breca ‘Breca’ Garnacha Old Vines, Calatayud 2019 750ml $16 special, 36+ bottles in stock 
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points
“I loved the nose on the 2019 Breca, which is loaded with spicy red and black fruits as well as notes of sandalwood, dried flowers, herbes de Provence, and some chalky, mineral-like nuances. Beautiful on the palate as well, this medium to full-bodied, elegant, balanced, straight-up gorgeous Garnacha is best drunk over the coming 3-5 years.”

Bodegas Muga ‘El Anden de la Estacion’ Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2018 750ml $19 special, 36+ bottles in stock 
Case-12 Bodegas Muga ‘El Anden de la Estacion’ Crianza, Rioja DOCa 2018 $199 special, 36+ bottles in stock
No reviews available for the 2018. 2019 review provided for reference. 
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2019 El Andén de la Estación is a new red that takes advantage of the Barrio de la Estación, the train station neighborhood of Haro. It’s a Crianza with less extraction, looking for the elegance and finesse of the classical Rioja wines. It’s a blend of Tempranillo from their younger vines and Garnacha (that they buy) that matured in French and European barrels for 14 months. It’s a quaffable red with lots of Garnacha character (it might represent up to 30% of the blend, by far the highest in Garnacha from the portfolio). It’s floral, juicy and expressive, very open and approachable. This is delicious and still quite complex.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Sierra Cantabria Seleccion, Rioja DOCa 2019 750ml $14 special, 36+ bottles in stock 
Case-12 Sierra Cantabria Seleccion, Rioja DOCa 2019 750ml $149 special (that’s only $12.41/bottle)
James Suckling 93 points
“This is rather luscious, yet it’s firm and poised with fantastic depth of fruit and structure. Berry and plum with some bark and earth that finishes strongly. So attractive at the end. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

The prestigious Pinot Gris of Alsace
There’s so much more to discover in Alsace other than Riesling! Pinot Gris wines from Alsace are heavy, expressive, full-bodied wines. The cool growing conditions allow sharp acidity to develop, adding a palatable layer to the dense wines. Overall, Pinot Gris is a great grape for the region and offers some really unique, highly aromatic expressions for Alsace. 
Here is just some of what we have in stock now at Vinopolis. 

Domaine l’Agape Expression Pinot Gris,  Alsace 2018 750ml $19.90 special, 16 bottles in stock 
Importer note
“Produced from owned plots in Riquewhir dominated by granite soils. The vines vary from 15-33 years old. Aged in large wood barrels to allow for aeration. This rich and honeyed, barely off-dry Pinot Gris is draws the very best out of this grape. Apricot notes and orange peel combine with earth and spices. (normally 50% stainless, 50% wood). Approx 500 cases produced annually.”
Importer note “Domaine Agape was founded a decade ago by fourth-generation Alsatian winemaker Vincent Sipp.  The domaine comprises approximately 10 hectares spread across some of Alsace’s top vineyard sites, including over three hectares of grand crus.  Sipp’s winemaking philosophy emphasizes sustainable, organic methods in the vineyard and true expression of Alsace’s native varietals, with the entire domaine converting to Bio-Organic methods in 2017.  All of Domaine Agape’s wines are made from estate-grown grapes and are authentic representations of Alsace’s varied terroirs.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Agathe Bursin Pinot Gris Dirstelberg, Alsace 2021 750ml $29 special, 20 bottles in stock 
The Disrstelberg vineyard is mostly composed of pink sandstone and is known as a high quality vineyard for a variety of grapes.  The wines from the site tend to be linear and crisp, with good varietal character.  Unlike many Alsatian producers, Bursin errs on the side of delicacy and raciness rather than pick too late and allow the wines to become rich and flabby for the sake of “power.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris Clos des Capucins, Alsace 2019 750ml $39 special, 27 bottles in stock 
Wine Spectator 90 points
“A light-bodied version, with snappy acidity creating a lively frame for the flavors of nectarine, Asian pear, rose petal and spicy mineral. A hint of almond shows on the juicy finish. Drink now. 300 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris Clos des Capucins Cuvee Sainte Catherine, Alsace 2019 $45 special, 11 bottles in stock 
Wine Spectator 92 points
“A compact version, creamy and light- to medium-bodied, with a spine of sleek acidity enlivening the finely knit flavors of apricot, green almond and star fruit. Hints of pink grapefruit zest and ground ginger play on the stony, mineral-driven finish. Drink now through 2019. 100 cases imported. “

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Chateau Malescot-St-Exupery

Château Malescot-St-Exupery has been recognized as a premier wine producer in Bordeaux since it’s classification as a 3rd Margaux Grand Cru Classé during the famous 18555 ranking system. High end, modern equipment allows the winery to continue evolving and producing great wine while staying true to their roots. This producer has a solid quality to price ratio compared to similar wineries in the appellation. These are classic Bordeaux wines at a great price, enjoy!

Pre-Arrival Late February;  
Chateau Malescot-St-Exupery, Margaux 2019 750ml $79 special, 11 bottles in stock 
Vinous 96 points
“The 2019 Malescot Saint Exupéry has a well-defined bouquet, although it does not quite possess the intensity that it showed from barrel. Touches of licorice and allspice gently unfold with time. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, and lightly spiced with white pepper and clove toward the detailed, persistent finish. This is a serious Margaux that deserves time in bottle.”

In stock now; 
Chateau Malescot-St-Exupery, Margaux 2018 750ml $89 special, 12 bottles in stock 
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2018 Malescot Saint Exupéry is every bit as compelling as it was from barrel. Powerful and incisive, the 2018 is a driving, potent Margaux that dazzles from the first taste. Iron, smoke, new leather, licorice, pressed rose petal and cedar all open in the glass, conveying tremendous nuance and a ton of character.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The medium to deep garnet-purple colored 2018 Malescot St. Exupery leaps from the glass with expressive scents of baked blackberries, Morello cherries and boysenberries with hints of blackcurrant cordial, dark chocolate, licorice and tilled soil. The medium to full-bodied palate has impressive intensity without heaviness, delivering mouth-coating black fruits and a firm, grainy texture, finishing with a refreshing earthy lift.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “I loved the 2018 Château Malescot Saint Exupéry from barrel two years ago, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint from bottle today. Based on 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this deeply hued beauty boasts smoking good notes of blackcurrants, smoked tobacco, chocolate, and spice. Full-bodied and impressively concentrated, it has a stacked mid-palate, ripe, sweet yet certainly present tannins, a terrific sense of freshness, and a great finish. It’s going to fun comparing this and the 2016 over the coming two decades! While there’s some up-front accessibility and charm here, it really needs 4-6 years of bottle age and is going to have 20-25 years of overall longevity. This is gem of a wine that’s well worth seeking out.”

Chateau Malescot-St-Exupery, Margaux 2016 750ml $99 special, 12 bottles in stock 
Chateau Malescot-St-Exupery, Margaux 2016 1.5L $179 special, 6 bottles in stock 
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“The ruby/plum-colored 2016 Château Malescot Saint-Exupéry comes from vines in the heart of the Margaux appellation and is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It’s a total rock star of wine and has fabulous notes of crème de cassis, barbecue smoke, graphite, and sandalwood that build beautifully with time in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, layered, and seamless, it’s incredibly impressive and I’d wager up with the finest vintages ever from this estate. Give it a few years and enjoy over the following 20-25. Bravo!”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2016 Malescot Saint Exupéry has a well-defined bouquet of ample red currant, cranberry and strawberry fruit laced with rose petal and hints of graphite. There is something almost Saint Julien–like about the aromatics. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, graphite-infused black fruit, and quite linear and poised, but it conveys a genuine sense of energy and tension toward the classic finish. A magnificent Margaux.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Malescot St. Exupery sings of cassis, fragrant earth, tobacco and lilacs with a compelling waft of mocha. Medium to full-bodied and strutting loads of expressive fruit layers at this youthful stage, it’s framed by ripe, grainy tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing with great length and depth.”

Chateau Malescot-St-Exupery, Margaux 2015 750ml $119 special, 14 bottles in stock 
James Suckling 97 points
“Some very rich and ripe red and dark berries here make for an impressive, engaging nose that has charming violet undertones. The palate is velvety and supple, while super smooth tannins deliver a long and plush, plum-soaked finish. Great wine and already drinking well. Try from 2023.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “One of the highlights of the vintage, the 2015 Malescot Saint Exupéry is superb. Grilled herbs, smoke, black cherry, lavender, menthol and graphite literally explode from this glass. Huge swaths of tannin give the wine its shape and big, ample frame. Iron, smoke, graphite, grilled herbs and licorice punctuate the huge, powerful finish. Readers should be in no rush to open the 2015, as it is likely to require at least a handful of years to become approachable.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Lovely steeped plum, fig and blackberry fruit is melded thoroughly with notes of alder, lilac and warm tar, giving this both treble and bass, while velvety tannins carry the finish with ease. Offers a long sanguine detail through the finish. Best from 2022 through 2040. 8,871 cases made.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Malescot St. Exupery is scented of chocolate-covered cherries, cassis and red plums with touches of earth and bay leaves. Medium to full-bodied with ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of expressive fruit, it finishes long and pure.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Sangiovese for every price point 

An Italian classic. Here are four different staff picked productions of Sangiovese to fit every budget. 

Castell’in Villa Gazzarina Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2019 750ml $18 special, 36 bottles in stock 
Case-6 Castell’in Villa Gazzarina Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2019 750ml $99 special (that’s only $16.5/bottle)
Case-12 Castell’in Villa Gazzarina Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2019 750ml $189 special (that’s only $15.75/bottle)
100% Sangiovese vinified in stainless steel prior to elevage in traditional botti. Classic Chianti flavors of sour cherries, leather and terra cotta.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

I Fabbri Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ml $34.50 special, 7 bottles in stock 
Winery Note
“100% Lamole Sangiovese grosso.  Intense ruby red color; ample scent of good intensity and persistence with typical notes of red fruits combined with floral hints of violets. The taste is harmonious, of great structure; red fruit and oak combined in a pleasant and persistent finish. Aging is in 500-liter barrels of French oak from the central massif for 12 months.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

I Fabbri Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ml $59 special, 10 bottles in stock 
Winery Note
“100% Sangiovese di Lamole. Extremely elegant wine with an intense ruby red color and light garnet reflections, a typical, persistent aroma with hints of red and purple fruit and hints of oak. Great harmony, finesse and elegance. Aging in a 1500-liter tonneau of French oak from the central massif for 24 months”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Castello di Ama Vigneto Bellavista, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2018 750ml $249 special, 6 bottles in stock 
Vinous 98 points
“The 2018 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto Bellavista marries Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera, a combination that works so well. The Bellavista is a powerful, vertical wine endowed with explosive and tremendous energy. Like all the top wines, it needs the better part of a decade to show all it’s got. Gravel, smoke, leather, licorice and scorched earth. 2026 – 2041”
James Suckling 97 points “This is a very deep and serious Chianti Classico with bark, dark-mushroom and blackberry aromas that follow through to a full body with very polished and integrated tannins that are long and classy. A sophisticated and glorious wine. Drink in 2024 and onwards, but already very pretty.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “A rich, intense red, displaying black cherry, blackberry, menthol, iron and graphite flavors, this is polished and expressive, yet with beefy tannins lining the chalky finish. All the components are there—this just needs time. Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera. Best from 2024 through 2040.”

Rosé Sale Underway
We have the best rosé selection around! Why wait for spring? 

We’re having a huge sale on Rosé throughout the entire month of February.

Sale Began at 4pm on Friday, January 20th 
Sale Ends at 6pm on Tuesday, February 28th 
5% off 6-11 bottles and/or large format rosés. 

10% off 12 or more bottles and/or large formats of rosés. 

Discount will not display online, we will adjust your invoice before charging your card.
Discount does not apply to pre-arrival wines or to case discounts. 
This is first come / first served and limited to stock on hand.

Buying a case-6 unlocks an additional 5% discount on 1-5 additional bottles of rosé purchased. Buying a case-12 unlocks an additional 10% discount on all additional bottles of rosé purchased. 

This sale applies to ALL rosé wines. That’s over 85 wines and thousands of bottles discounted! Here are a few recommendations to get you started.

Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado, Getariako Txakolina 2021 750ml $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock 
Vinous 91 points
“Pale orange. Finely etched red berry, citrus zest and floral aromas, along with building herb and mineral flourishes. Taut and nervy in the mouth, offering sappy strawberry, cherry and tangerine flavors that show fine delineation and spicy lift. Closes firm and right, with persistent red fruit notes and a refreshingly bitter edge.”
De Maison importer note “The iconic Ameztoi Rubentis rosé is a field blend of the local, indigenous hondarrabi zuri and hondarrabi beltza varieties, grown on traditional trellises high on the slopes rising above Getaria, an ancient Basque fishing village on Spain’s rugged northern coast. In the 2000s, when almost all of the other local wineries gave up on the indigenous red hondarrabi beltza vines, the Ameztoi family retained their old vines, in turn, lending their rosé such exceptional vibrancy and complexity. Rubentis, the region’s first pink wine, was inspired by the historic claret style wines which were once produced in the area long before the current global craze made rosé famous. The backbone of the blend comes from an old hondarrabi beltza vineyard planted in 1840, preserved by the Ameztoi family for generations. Ameztoi Rubentis is an authentic original, a wine that is often imitated but never replicated.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Bastide du Claux Luberon Poudriere Rose, Rhône 2021 750ml $21.90 special, 22 bottles in stock 
Rosenthal Wine Merchant importer note
“Côtes du Luberon Rosé: is a real standout, offering the ethereal pale salmon color and bright salty snap we’ve come to love about Provençal rosé, but without the confected, “commercial,” overly aromatically exuberant character that sometimes mars those wines. Sylvain picks all of the grapes at “rosé ripeness,” aiming for balancing acidity and brightness rather than sun-drenched ripeness. It’s composed of 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, and 10% each Carignan and Syrah, from vines between 25 and 60 years of age. All of the grapes are pressed directly, and the majority undergo no maceration, with a portion of Grenache and Cinsault spending six or so hours on their skins after the pressing. Everything is done in cement, and the wine ferments naturally. This is a non-flashy rosé of great mineral character, showing its soil influence clearly, and offering subtle red fruits and vigorous acidity on the palate.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Chateau de Manissy ‘La Belle Etoile’ Rose, Rhône 2020 750ml $9.90 special, 6 bottles in stock 
Vinous 89 points
“Pale orange-pink. Lively and focused on the nose, displaying fresh strawberry, white peach and orange zest scents, with floral and mineral nuances. Red berry and pit fruit flavors show sharp detail and a bracing hint of juicy acidity. The floral note repeats on the tight finish, which lingers with good tenacity.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois en Provence Rose 2021 750ml $14.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock 
James Suckling 91 points
“Pale rose-tinted rosé with aromas of buttercups, white strawberries, pink grapefruit and wet stones. Light-bodied with fresh acidity and a creamy, delicate palate. Elegant. Drink now.”

Domaine Charvin Cotes du Rhone Rose, Rhône 2021 750ml $19 special, 13 bottles in stock 
Vinous 91 points
“Pale orange. Expressive, spice-tinged red berry, blood orange and pit fruit aromas are accompanied by building mineral and floral nuances. Taut and energetic on the palate, offering intense strawberry, orange zest and lavender flavors that are braced by a spine of chalky minerality. Finishes very long and precise, with repeating red fruit and floral notes and firm, minerally tension.”

Collector’s Corner
Dominio de Pingus ‘Pingus’, Ribera del Duero 2019 750ml $1199 special, 3 bottles in stock 
Wine Advocate 99 points
“I tasted the bottled 2019 Pingus two weeks after bottling. Even at this early stage and after the operation, the wine is super harmonious and elegant. They really outdid themselves here and produced an amazingly fresh, aromatic and harmonious wine in a warm vintage. It’s incredibly textured, with refined, very fine-grained and chalky tannins. It’s very balanced, and there’s no excess of anything; it has 14% alcohol, perfect ripeness and a velvety mouthfeel. It gets more floral with time in the glass, getting nuanced and really interesting. It delivers what the barrel sample promised one year ago, when the wine already surprised me. I think the word that best describes this wine is precision—it’s clean, focused, balanced and delineated. Bravo! 7,900 bottles produced. It was bottled in September 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

BOND Vecina Napa Valley 2003 750ml $379 special, 5 bottles in stock 
Robert parker 2003 96+ points
“The vineyard closest to the great Harlan Estate is Vecina, situated in the western foothills on the Oakville Crossroad overlooking the valley. From this 11-acre site, the 2003 Vecina comes closest in style to Harlan Estate, appearing like a hypothetical blend of a St. Estephe and Pauillac. A formidable wine, it reveals plenty of new saddle leather, creme de cassis, scorched earth and volcanic-like characteristics in addition to notes of blackberries, Chinese black tea and graphite. Powerful, intense and backward, it needs 2-5 years of bottle age and should last for two decades thereafter. It is a tour de force in winemaking!”

Chateau Montrose, Saint-Estèphe 2016 750ml $249 special, 11 bottles in stock 
Jeb Dunuck 100 points
“Unquestionably one of the top 2-3 wines of the vintage, the 2016 Château Montrose is a monument in the making. Checking in as a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 7% Cabernet Franc raised in 60% new French oak (the balance was in once-used barrels) and representing a tiny 36% of the production, this deep purple-colored 2016 possesses powerful, incredibly classic Saint-Estephe notes of creme de cassis, graphite, damp earth, lead pencil shavings, and burning embers. With a powerful, full-bodied style on the palate, a huge mid-palate, lots of underlying structure and tannic grip, and perfect balance, this magical wine will need upwards of a decade or cellaring and keep for 40-50 years.”
Wine Advocate 99 points “Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2016 Montrose is a little youthfully shy to begin, but with coaxing, it unfurls to reveal the most beguiling scents of wilted roses, oolong tea, crushed rocks, wild sage, star anise and candied violets over a wonderfully pristine, well-defined core of crushed blackcurrants, black raspberries and kirsch plus wafts of pencil lead and wood smoke. The taut, muscular, medium to full-bodied palate straddles jaw-dropping intensity and finesse superbly, featuring a solid backbone of ripe tannins and giving a firm frame right through the incredibly long, exquisitely nuanced finish.”
Vinous 99 points “The 2016 Montrose has a tightly wound bouquet that is extremely well focused. This is one of the most pixelated aromatics I can remember on a Montrose at this stage, featuring blackberry, boysenberry and cedar and real mineralité underneath. The palate is medium-bodied with fine density and wonderful salinity. There is tremendous precision with razor-sharp tannin, and a brightness on the finish that is exceptional. This is a Montrose that will comfortably sit alongside the canon of great vintages from this Saint-Estèphe estate. As my score implies, it’s up there with the first growths.” Stunning.”
Pian dell’Orino Bassolino di Sopra, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 750ml $599 special, 1 bottle in stock 
Wine Advocate 100 points
“The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Bassolino di Sopra is the equivalent of the estate’s Riserva. Only 3,000 bottles were made and the wine was not produced in 2009 or 2008. Nor will it be made in 2011 or 2013. Future editions are 2012 and 2015. Bassolino di Sopra is silky and smooth, but it also has a fine textural fabric that gives the wine an enormous sense of tactile intensity in terms of mouthfeel. This is a magnificent achievement with an extreme sense of purity and freshness that is elegant and streamlined. The bouquet reveals slight and miniature shifts in its evolution that keep your curiosity as you contemplate the wine in the glass. Wild berry is followed by a steady stream of balsam herb, cola, crushed oyster shell and delicate floral tones. The vineyards are located between 330 and 370 meters above sea level with limestone deposits and red soils. Farming is biodynamic.”
Atonio Galloni 97 points “Pian dell’Orino 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Bassolino di Sopra is shaping up to be another of the wines of the vintage. Lavender, spices, menthol, tobacco and dark stone fruits meld together in a vivid Brunello of extraordinary beauty. Tasted alongside the Versante Amiata, the Bassolino di Sopra presents darker tonalities of fruit, a more vertical sense of structure support by spine of firm tannin, and a powerful personality. The 2010 is a fascinating wine to follow, as it becomes weightless and refined with the passage of time. Sadly, I could not spend all afternoon with the Bassolino di Sopra, but this is a deep, contemplative Brunello that will thrill readers for many, many years.”

Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Beerenauslese, Mosel 2017 750ml $399 special, 12 bottles in stock 
Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Beerenauslese, Mosel 2017 375ml $199 special, 19 bottles in stock 
Wine Advocate 100 points
“The 2017 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Beerenauslese * (Golden Capsule) is intense, fine and flinty on the highly precise nose with crunchy slate and grapefruit notes. Dense and concentrated on the palate, it has sweet but elegant and highly refined fruit intertwined with salty-finessed slate salinity and delicate acidity. This is a beautifully balanced BA from Molitor’s most important grand cru vineyard. Many readers might prefer its sweet and charming richness to the delicate finesse and crystallinity of the Würzgarten BA, which will be ready to drink sooner. But this Zeltinger Sonnenuhr in turn will gain even more finesse and drinkability over the years. Tasted at the domain in April 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

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Be well & drink well.