Vinopolis Newsletter – 3-28-16

Wines, Bond Wines; Myriad New Arrivals – Including (but not limited to): Angela Estate, Drouhin Oregon, Cayuse, Sine Qua Non; Back Vintages from Dunn Vineyards, Chateau Montelena, and Philip Tongi; Melga, Blankiet, Colgin, Quilceda Creek, Ruinart, Clos du Clocher, Clos Fourtet, Domaine Moreau, Philippe Charlopin, Delas Freres, Domaine Jamet, Il Poggione, Antoniolo… 76 New Arrivals in Total!; Dom Perignon Re-Arrival; Vega Sicilia + Hacienda Monasterio Pre-Arrivals


Bond Estates Pluribus Red, Napa Valley 2004 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 2 bottles available
Robert Parker 98 points:
“Perhaps the wine that jumped the most in score from when I first tasted these wines out of bottle in 2008, is the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Pluribus. Rated 94 back in 2008, it’s now a solid 98 and knocking on the door of perfection. This wine comes from a Spring Mountain vineyard northwest of the charming town of St. Helena. It has gorgeous notes of graphite, acacia flowers, blueberry liqueur, scorched earth and hot stones. Reminiscent of a top Graves, it is another full-bodied, rich, concentrated wine with good acidity as well as fabulous purity and concentration. I had not seen the Graves-like character in this wine prior to bottling and post-bottling, but it is there now. This stunner is open for business and its fragrance and suppleness suggest drinking it over the next two decades.”

Bond Estates St Eden Red, Napa Valley 2004 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 2 bottles available
Robert Parker 98 points
“The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Eden, which comes from a valley floor vineyard in Oakville, is another dead ringer for a great Pauillac, possibly a young Mouton. Dense bluish/purple in color with stunning notes of cedarwood, unsmoked high-quality cigar tobacco, creme de cassis and espresso roast, this wine has fabulous fruit, density and a full-bodied, youthful mouthfeel, wonderful balance and purity, and a terrific finish that goes on for close to a minute. This is also relatively open, but slightly more structured than the Melbury. There’s no sense deferring gratification, so I would suggest drinking it over the next 15-20 years, possibly longer.”

Bond Estates Melbury Red, Napa Valley 2004 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 2 bottles available
96 points Robert Parker:
“The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Melbury comes from Pritchard Hill and is aged 22 months in 100% new French oak. (About 600-700 cases of each of these wines are produced.) The 2004 Melbury is showing even better than it was early on. It is very open-knit for a Bond wine at age ten and that’s a good thing, since we all want to drink these wines in our lifetime. This comes across as a Napa version of the famed Pauillac Pontet-Canet, with terrific licorice, cedarwood, blackberry, creme de cassis, toast, spice box and lead pencil notes in the aromatics and flavors of this drinkable, full-bodied, opulent wine that is strutting its stuff splendidly. It should drink well for another 15 or more years given its sensational richness and overall equilibrium”

Bond Estates Vecina Red, Napa Valley 2004 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 2 bottles available
Robert Parker 96 points:
“The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Vecina emerges from an 11-acre western Oakville hillside not far from the famed Harlan Estate. This wine, which I rated identically in 2008, has a huge nose of bouquet garni, roasted meats and is clearly the spiciest of all the Bond 2004s. It is full-bodied, viscous and thick, with some tannins still to resolve in the finish. Again, there’s no reason to defer gratification because of the incredibly complex aromas as well as flavors. Some new saddle leather also makes an appearance in this multidimensional, full and impressive wine. This is a terrific example of great Napa viticulture combined with extraordinary craftsmanship from Bob Levy and Michel Rolland, with a long-term vision provided by the inimitable Bill Harlan. Drink this wine over the next 2-3 decades.”

Drouhin Oregon Roserock Vineyard Eola- Amity Chardonnay 2014 750ML ($34.95) $28 special

The Chardonnay was fermented half in barrel and half in tank.
Winery note
“Our Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay cuvée is drawn from Roserock’s three estate Chardonnay blocks. It clearly conveys winemaker Véronique Drouhin’s dedication to elegance and finesse, and continues a long tradition of producing fine wines.”

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Drouhin Oregon Roserock Vineyard Eola-Amity Pinot Noir 2014 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Aged for 12 months in barrel, 20% new French oak.
Winery note
“Our Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir cuvée is drawn from Roserock’s 35 estate Pinot Noir blocks. It clearly conveys winemaker Véronique Drouhin’s dedication to elegance and finesse, and continues a long tradition of producing fine wines.”
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Domaine Drouhin Arthur Chardonnay, Dundee Hills 2013 750ML ($37.95) $30.90 special
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “From 20-year-old, Dijon clone estate vines, this substantial, tongue-gripping Chardonnay has intense depth of flavor. A luscious mix of grapefruit, apple, melon, spice and mineral elements, it drives down through the palate and never quits.”

Domaine Drouhin Laurene Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2012 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 93 points “Bright ruby. Heady red and dark fruit liqueur, candied rose, allspice and woodsmoke scents show excellent clarity and a complicating hint of licorice. Palate-staining blackberry and spicecake flavors open nicely in the middle palate, picking up floral pastille and cola nuances and a hint of black tea. Rich and broad but energetic too, finishing with powerful spicy thrust and velvety tannins.” JR

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Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2014 750ML ($44.95) $38 special
Winery Notes “True to its growing season, our 2014 Dundee Hills is a medium-deep garnet color, with a dark core. On the nose, the wine is refined, with clear notes of spice, rose, black cherry, plum, and sweet red fruits, all wrapped in an earthiness that lends a surprising rustic touch. On the palate, the aromatics follow through with layered spice, white pepper, dark cherry and black berry, framed by youthful tannins. The finish is long and the texture has real depth.”

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Angela Estate Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2013 750ML ($44.95) $33 special
Wine Enthusiast 92 points –Cellar Selection– “The label does not bear the name Angela Vineyard, but the fruit is estate grown. This is a tight, focused, young red wine, with tangy raspberry fruit that touches on black cherry. Vivid and penetrating, it needs plenty of time to breathe, and as it does it reveals subtle layers of mocha and caramel. This has the bones to age. Drink now through 2030.”
Winery note “From our flagship vineyard, Angela Estate planted in 2006 on ancient marine sedimentary soils with Wadenswil, Dijon 777 & 115.  This gorgeous 2012 vintage made by Ken Wright exhibits all of the beautiful floral and spice elements we typically see on this site; rose petal, plum, hibiscus, root beer / cherry cola, mouth-filling juicy red raspberry and a seamless white pepper finish.  The body and tannins have a medium-plus intensity exhibiting flavors of white pepper spice, plum skin, stewed cherries, cedar shavings, root beer candy, nutmeg, wet fresh mulch and dried rose hips. A divine wine and perfect generous vintage.  Ideal growing conditions, long hang time and perfectly ripe fruit has created a lush, full and velvety Pinot Noir.”
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Angela Estate Abbott Claim Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2012 750ML ($59.95) $39 special
Wine Enthusiast 94 points –Editor’s Choice–“Here is a powerful young wine with concentrated plum and cherry fruit. It’s beautifully built around perfectly ripened tannins that provide solid support without being intrusive. Compact and well proportioned, it lingers with highlights of espresso grounds, dark chocolate and black tea.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “This earthy style plays a woodsy, coffee and spice character against a core of black cherry, lingonberry and licorice flavors. The finish lingers against firm yet unobtrusive tannins.”
Great Northwest Wine “Why is this one of the finest wines in Oregon? Perhaps because Ken Wright is behind it. This won a unanimous double gold medal at the Great Northwest Wine Competition.”
Winery note “The site of a portion of the original John F. Abbott Donation Land Claim awarded on May 27, 1860.  This 16-acre vineyard was planted in 2001 with Pinot Noir clones:  Pommard, 777 and 115, on ancient Marine Sedimentary soils that were once ancient ocean bed. This wine is lush and plush, displaying rich fruit and deeply intense color with complex savory truffle notes. Flavors of red current, cherry cola, ripe raspberry, sweet pipe tobacco, rose petal make this a more collegiate complement to our Angela Estate pinot noir.   1340 cases produced.”

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Elemental Cellars Passe-Tout-Grains 2014 750ML ($21.95) $18 special

Vinopolnote: A Pinot-Gamay blend modeled after the classic Burgundian ‘Passetoutgrains’ bottlings made by a husband-wife team in the Willamette Valley.

(Charles Smith) Substance Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2014 750ML ($21.95)
$16 special
Wine Advocate 90-92 points “Tasted out of barrel, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon should be just as good as the 2013. Seeing all native yeast, 42 days on skins, 12 months in French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it offers classic plum and blackberry fruit intermixed with ample licorice, toasted bread and violet aromas and flavors. Concentrated, balanced and the real deal, buy it by the case and drink it over the coming 4-5 years. Readers need to check out these latest Charles Smith offerings released under the Substance label. These are all handpicked, see native ferments and aging in French oak barrels (the white sees some concrete), so while they sell for a song, they’re legit.”

Cayuse Vineyards Cailloux Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94-97 points
“Starting off the 2013 Syrahs from barrel, the 755-case 2013 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard was cofermented with 5% Viognier and is aged in twice-used French oak. It offers a ripe, voluptuous style in its ground pepper, smoked meats, peat and sweet dark fruits. These give way to a full-bodied Syrah that has solid concentration and good tannin. The Viognier here normally gives this cuvee some early charm, but it should evolve gracefully as well.” JD

Cayuse Vineyards En Cerise Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95-97 points
“The 2013 Syrah en Cerise, of which there’s only 361 cases to go around, sees almost all neutral oak and is always 100% Syrah. Peppery, classic rocks, peat moss, violets and plenty of sweet black cherry and cassis aromas all show here. It is full-bodied, layered, sexy and gorgeously textured on the palate. The texture here is classic Cayuse, and it has fine, sweet tannin that come through on the finish.”

Merry Edwards Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley 2013 750ML ($49.95)
$33 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Light, smooth and lovely, with succulent white peach, pear, citrus and melon flavors that really sing with purity, showing juicy acidity and complexity. Whiffs of mango and white flowers complete the picture. Drink now. 9,975 cases made.”

Sine Qua Non Resiste White Blend, California 2013 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 92 points “A rich, voluptuous white, the 2013 White Wine Résisté is built on pure texture. Honey, apricot pit, succulent peaches and mint all race from the glass. The high acidity of the Petite Manseng adds a kick of brightness on the finish. The blend is 45% Roussanne, 26% Chardonnay, 14% Petite Manseng, 10% Viognier and 5% Marsanne; 40% from Eleven Confessions, 29% Cumulus and 31% Bien Nacido.”
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Three Wine Company Old Vines Zinfandel, Contra Costa County 2013 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Vinopolnote: Our Zinfandel is sourced from ancient vineyards in Contra Costa County. This wine is a blend of 76% Zinfandel, 13%  Carignane, 5% Petite Sirah, 4% Mataro, and 2% Alicante Bouschet. All the grapes in this blend come from vineyard blocks with extremely sandy-loam soils. The soil types of our pre-Phylloxera vines include Hanford Sandy Loam and Delhi Sandy Loam.
With an average age of vines over 100 years of which all are still being dry-farmed, there is a concentration of ripe blackberries and spice with a minerality (dusty berry) sneaking through. The Petite Sirah adds to this a firm tannin backbone along with boysenberries and pepper while the Carignane adds a pronounced fleshy mouth feel along with dark cherries and coffee notes. Our Mataro comes from vines that are now over 120 years old and add spice elements, violets, and complex phenolic structures that enhance the overall mouth feel and age ability of this wine. Enjoy this wine now or cellar in a cool location for 5-7 years.

Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Robert Parker 95 points “The enormous 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is a super-powerful, fabulously-concentrated, 50-year wine. Aromas and flavors of blackberry/cassis jam, minerals, and subtle oak are found in this extravagantly rich, gargantuan Cabernet Sauvignon that should age effortlessly for half a century. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050.” RP

Philip Togni Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 1997 750ML ($299.95) $279 special
Robert Parker 98 points “The 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon has to be one of the great buys left for profound Napa Cabernet. He’s done the aging for you, and of course the wine is still an adolescent in terms of aging potential. Brilliant notes of cedar, spice box, cassis, smoke, and licorice soar from the glass, as if this wine were pretending to be a first-growth Pauillac. Full-bodied, powerful, still with a boatload of tannin to resolve, and just a faint lightening of the dense purple color at the rim, this is a brilliant wine from a vintage that produced relatively quick-evolving wines, but no such thing is tolerated at Philip Togni. This is a great Cabernet Sauvignon with the exuberance, purity, and richness of fruit that Napa provides, but with a Bordeaux structure that Togni, with his Bordeaux upbringing, somehow builds into the wine. This wine will continue to drink well for at least another 30+ years.”

Philip Togni Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley2003 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon is just beginning to enter its early plateau of maturity that will last another 10-15 years. Smoke, tobacco, licorice, incense emerge from the glass, followed by hints of white pepper and orange peel that add intrigue and exoticism. The 2003 is relatively supple and open for a Togni Cabernet, but it also has enough depth to continue to drink nicely for years.”

Philip Togni Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2004 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Robert Parker 95+ points “The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, comes from steep mountain vineyards at the top of the Napa side of Spring Mountain. Aromas of black olives, tapenade, creme de cassis, licorice and truffles emerge from this opaque ruby/purple-colored, youthful 2004. Togni’s spiritual reference point is Bordeaux more than Napa Valley, and his wines seem to represent a hypothetical melange of those two distinctive schools of wine. Still backward, but rich, full-bodied and promising, this brilliant 2004 is 5-7 years away from its adolescence; it should age for 30-40 years.”

Chateau Montelena The Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2002 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Robert Parker 96+ points “This appears to be one of the great efforts from Chateau Montelena, something I think I was correct about when I gave it an “in the bottle” rating in 2006 of 95+. It is still an amazingly young wine that came from old vines on the famous St. George rootstock that did not require replanting because of the phylloxera epidemic that swept through Napa in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Despite its lofty 14.4% alcohol (high by Montelena standards) and the overall flamboyance of the 2002 vintage, it needs another 4-6 years of cellaring. This young, classic Cabernet Sauvignon represents the quintessential traditional school of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. It possesses an inky/blue/purple color in addition to a tight, but promising nose of black currants, crushed rocks, earth and spice. Rich, full-bodied, pure and brilliantly executed, with perfect harmony, this is a sensational yet forebodingly backward, youthful Cabernet Sauvignon that needs 4-6 years of cellaring and should keep another quarter of a century.” RP

Chateau Montelena The Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2003 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
Robert Parker 94+ points “A big wine from the Barrett family (14.2% alcohol), this 2003 exhibits earthy black currant fruit, the restrained but intense Montelena style, full body, good richness and impeccable balance, purity and density. The color is a healthy dark ruby/purple and the wine shows lots of cassis. In spite of the restrained aromatics, the palate is rich, full-bodied, substantial and persuasive. This 2003 is approachable now, but it will be even more gorgeous 15, 20 and 25 years from now. This is a heritage wine from this great estate in northern Napa Valley.” RP

Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2012 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is brilliant. Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, mostly from the famous Champoux Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills, it was aged all in new oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered. It offers a captivating bouquet of black cherry liqueur and cassis-like fruit, Asian spice, coffee bean and lead pencil shavings to go with a full-bodied, ripe, seamless and hedonistic style on the palate. One of the more approachable, opulent examples of this cuvee, it has no hard edges, plenty of tannin and a massive, heady finish. Give it 2-4 years in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2032.” JD

Melka ‘Mekerra’, Knights Valley 2011 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Spectator 89 points “Presents the sage, herb and dill side of Cabernet Franc, with a dusty berry and cedary oak edge. Ends with a subtle touch of mocha, gaining richness and depth amid the firm, chewy tannins. Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Best from 2015 through 2024.”

Blankiet Estate Paradise Hills Vineyard Proprietary Red, Napa Valley 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 1 bottle remaining
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 95 points
“Savory herbs, menthol, licorice, plums and new leather lead to dark red and black fruit in the 2011 Blankiet Estate Proprietary Red Paradise Hills Vineyard. Another impeccable, gracious wine, Blankiet’s 2011 Proprietary Red Paradise Hills Vineyard impresses for its creaminess and volume. Hints of orange peel, rose petals and savory herbs add further dimensions of expression. This dark, brooding wine needs time to settle down, but it starts coming together nicely with time in the glass, so a few more years in bottle will help tremendously. The 2011 is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and drops of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.”

Blankiet Estate Paradise Hills Vineyard Rive Droite, Napa Valley 2011 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 1 bottle remaining
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 93 points
“The Merlot-based 2011 Rive Droite Paradise Hills Vineyard is one of the silkiest, most polished wines readers will find in this vintage. A sweet, intensely floral, Pinot-inflected bouquet melds into small red berries, flowers, mint, licorice and spices. The style is medium-bodied and supremely graceful, with layers of fruit that flesh out beautifully in the glass. Violets, lavender and rose petals linger on the sublime, layered finish. The 2011 has really come together nicely since I last tasted it this past Spring. The blend is 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc.”

Blankiet Estate Paradise Hills Vineyard Rive Droite, Napa Valley 2012 750ML ($349.95) $289 special, 1 bottle remaining
Robert Parker 99 points
“Another compelling wine was the 2012 Rive Droite, which is Blankiet’s homage to Right Bank Pomerols from Bordeaux. A blend of 95.8% Merlot and 4.2% Cabernet Franc, there are 380 cases of this sexpot of a wine. This could easily be mistaken for a Napa Valley version of Petrus. Loads of mulberry fruit, licorice, crème de cassis, mocha and toffee are present in this huge, full-bodied, super-opulent and luscious wine. This is about as seductive and rich as dry wine can be, and the wine can be drunk now or cellared for another 15-20 years. This is a killer effort! Their cuvée of all the culled out lots is called the Prince of Hearts.”

Colgin Cellars IX Estate Syrah, Napa Valley 2012 750ML ($279.95) $249 special
Robert Parker 98 points “The wine that probably gets ignored, but shouldn’t be, is their small production of 350-400 cases of Syrah from their estate vineyard. The 2012 IX Syrah Estate blew me away, and I’ve said many times that it always tastes as if it’s co-fermented with Viognier, but it is always 100% Syrah. It has a honeysuckle, flowery, almost white/peachy component in the blackberry and meaty aromatics that always throw me off. The wine is aged in small oak, but the oak is concealed by the lavish amount of fruit, glycerin and extract. This is a super-intense, massive, yet elegant and complex Syrah that should drink well for 10-15 years.”
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Sine Qua Non Raven Series Syrah No. 5, Santa Barbara County 2006 750ML ($319.95) $269 special
Robert Parker 96 points “The 2006 Raven Series Syrah, a blend of 93% Syrah, 5% Grenache, and 2% Viognier that spends just under two years in French oak. Offering a dense purple color, gorgeous fruit, and a sweet perfume of graphite, blackberries, blueberries, charcoal, licorice, tar, and new oak, it is a dense, full-bodied, well-endowed, beautifully layered, pure Syrah that should drink well for 10-15 years.”

Sine Qua Non Poker Face Syrah, Santa Barbara County 2004 750ML ($699.95) $599 special
Jeb Dunnuck-Wine Advocate 97 points “Starting off the Syrah-based wines, the 2004 Poker Face (Syrah) is aging beautifully. A blend of 96% Syrah, 2.5% Mourvedre and 1.5% Viognier (from the Eleven Confessions, White Hawk, Alban, Bien Nacido, and Alta Mesa vineyards) that was aged in 80% new French oak, it offers up a perfumed, fresh bouquet of sweet blackberry liqueur, creme de cassis, spring flowers and licorice that gives way to a full-bodied, seamless, gorgeously textured feel on the palate. Rich and decadent, it has notable, yet beautifully integrated acidity and stays remarkably fresh, detailed and even elegant. It still needs a lengthy decant to shine, and will continue to thrill over the coming decade or so.”

Dom Ruinart Rose Millesime 2002 750ML ($399.95)
$289 special
Antonio Galloni 96+ points “A mysterious, beguiling beauty, the 2002 Dom Ruinart Rosé boasts fabulous intensity and pure resonance. Tangerine, exotic spices, mint, crushed rose petals and sweet red berries blossom in the glass. Still, my impression is that the 2002 is holding back much of its ultimate potential, as it remains tight and much less expressive than so many other wines of the year. When the 2002 finally emerges fully, it is going to be truly monumental.”

Anne Sophie Dubois Fleurie Clepsydre 2014 750ML ($29.95)
$26 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2014 Fleurie Clepsydre was cropped at 20 hectoliter per hectare due to poor flowering on the 60- to 80-year-old vines. It has a slightly richer and more opulent nose than the Alchemiste without losing any of its precision. The palate is medium-bodied with fleshy, ripe tannin, well-judged acidity and a gentle grip upon the structured finish. This has great potential: a very natural and refined Fleurie courtesy of Anne-Sophie Dubois.”

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Anne Sophie Dubois Fleurie l’Alchimiste 2014 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Importer note “Anne-Sophie Dubois is part of a young generation of rising star vignerons in Beaujolais. Based in the heart of Fleurie, Anne-Sophies wines epitomize delicacy and finesse, with a style and approach aligned with the Gamay grown in the area. Having learned winemaking in Volnay, she draws from her experience there to achieve beautiful expressions of Gamay; full of depth and aromatic complexity without over-extracting and drawing out harsh tannins and phenolics. She refrains from using new oak, and prefers to utilize cement vats and larger neutral oak casks for fermentation and aging. The resulting wines are renditions of gamay abound with fruit, finesse and exquisite balance.”
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Clos Fourtet, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2012 750ML ($149.95)
$119 special
Wine Spectator 94 points —#9 Top 100 in 2015 “Gorgeous, with a pure, unadorned violet aroma giving way to very ripe and stylish plum, boysenberry and blackberry fruit. Offers a suave mouthfeel, with anise and tobacco hints filling the background. A finely stitched chalk note extends the finish. Not shy on depth, and sneakily long. Best from 2017 through 2030. 3,500 cases made.”JM
Robert Parker 95 points “Having just had the 2003 and 2005 from my cellar, I can attest to the magnificent turnaround in quality this famous estate on the eastern side of St.-Emilion has achieved. All of it is attributable to its dynamic proprietor, Philippe Cuvelier. The 2012 Clos Fourtet (usually 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc) has beautiful blackberry and blueberry fruit and an inky purple color. With flawless integration of acidity, tannin, wood and alcohol, a full-bodied mouthfeel and stunning richness, this is impressive and certainly one of the vintage’s top wines. It should evolve beautifully for 15-20 years, and be drinkable in 3-4. Yields were a modest 32 hectoliters per hectare with the alcohol at 14%.”

Melka Metisse Le Chatelet Vineyard Majestique, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2011 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Winery note: Philippe Melka learned his trade through work at Chateau Haut Brion, Dominus Estate, and Chateau Petrus, among others. He and his wife Cherie split time between Bordeaux and Napa Valley as winemakers. Le Chatelet Vineyard is planted to their two favorite varietals on two different soil types – Cabernet franc on limestone and Merlot on clay.

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Clos du Clocher, Pomerol 2010 750ML ($119.95) $89 special
James Suckling 93 points “Attractive nose with dark cherries, blueberries and chocolate. Some cool stony mineral notes and raw licorice when opening. Full with intensely juicy fruit on the palate with a layered texture. Polished fine tannins and a long finish with a ripe juicy acidity and outstanding complexity. Drink from 2016.” JS

Domaine Bernard Moreau et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune 2013 750ML ($59.95)
$49 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2013 Chassagne Montrachet had been fined the previous week and was just about to be bottled. Raised in 20-25% new oak, this, the largest cuvee of the domaine at 30% of production, undergoes a longer barrel aging than the Saint Aubin En Remilly. It has a delightful bouquet: clean and pure with apricot and light fig scents infusing the citrus fruit. The palate offers commendable weight in the mouth, and as usual, the acidity here is very finely judged and lends the finish impressive tension. It might not have the complexity of Moreau’s impressive premier cru, however, there is style and panache about this Chassagne Village, which comes highly recommended.” WA

Domaine Philippe Charlopin-Parizot Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2013 750ML ($349.95) $299 special
Burghound 93-95 points “Dont miss! Reduction flattens the fruit. Here too there is excellent volume and almost painful intensity to the broad-shouldered, concentrated and mineral-driven flavors that culminate in an explosively long, driving and highly persistent finish. This is a seriously impressive effort and as it often is chez Charlopin, it’s the best wine in the range in 2013.”

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Domaine Philippe Charlopin-Parizot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2013 750ML ($249.95) $219 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.”

Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Meursault Charmes, Meursault Premier Cru 2012 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Meursault Charmes, Meursault Premier Cru 2012 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special
Importer’ note: “This cuvée is one of the gems of the domaine, a complete expression of this vineyard’s special character as Bitouzet’s holdings fall within two separate sites: one from the high part (“du Haut”) and another from the lower section (“du Bas”). The two parcels are vinified separately and then blended together before bottling to create the whole. The lower section provides a stony minerality and an almost tannic expression; the upper section yields explosive aromatics as well as a round, buttery mouthfeel. The two parcels make up a total of 0.55 hectare; the vines were planted in 1944 and another section in 1987. The soil is a pebbly limestone with sand and loam consistency. Two barrels are reserved for the US market and, at our request, magnums and occasionally double magnums are prepared.”
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Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Les Perrieres, Meursault Premier Cru 2012 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Les Perrieres, Meursault Premier Cru 2012 1.5L ($199.95) $179 special
Importer note: Perhaps the consistently greatest white wine from the Bitouzet-Prieur domaine, the “Perrieres” is firmly mineral, quite spicy and more elegant than the Charmes; a great wine of class and breed with remarkable density and a wine of extraordinary potential. Two barrels are reserved for the US market; magnums are always drawn for our use and double magnums are also prepared on occasion. The Bitouzets own 0.28 hectares of vines here in the part of the vineyard known as “Perrieres Dessous” and their vines were planted in 1983.

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Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay, Cote de Beaune 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay, Cote de Beaune 2013 375ML ($27.95) $24 special

Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 88 points “Moderately saturated medium red. A touch of reduction as well as a liqueur-like hint of ripeness to the musky redcurrant aroma. Lush and nicely concentrated, with the redcurrant and mineral flavors showing a slight cough medicine quality and a saline nuance. This needs a couple years in bottle to loosen up.”
Importer notes: In their home village, the Bitouzets own 2.2 hectares of vines at the village level. The vines, planted at various stages (1961, 1987, 2003) are principally found in the two neighboring sites of “Ez Echards” and “Les Aussy” which both sit immediately underneath the 1er Cru “Ronceret”. This Volnay has excellent ruby-red color; it is fresh, fruity with exuberant red berry fruit that spreads on the palate; and, it is lightly tannic in the finish to let one know this is from Volnay.
The 750ML is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Delas Freres Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos 2004 750ML ($59.95)
$49 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 89 points “Medium red. Strong mineral notes accent fresh cherry and earthier tobacco and floral aromas. Solid and firmly structured, with a racy quality to the bright cherry and rhubarb flavors. This should age very well.”
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Delas Freres Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos 2006 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Robert Parker 92 points “The stunning, dense ruby/purple-tinged 2006 Crozes-Hermitage Les Clos exhibits smoky, roasted meat, garrigue, blackberry, cassis, new saddle leather, and charcoal aromas, sweet tannins, full-bodied power, and reserves of concentration and fruit. Consume it over the next decade. This cuvee has become one of the top three or four wines of the appellation. ”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Very racy, with dark fig and black cherry fruit crushed together, while hints of iron, mesquite and tobacco fill out the finish. Shows great drive and precision, despite its ample toast.”

Delas Freres Crozes-Hermitage Le Clos 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 93+ points “Similar to the Domaine des Grands Chemins, yet with additional structure, the inky purple/ruby colored 2013 Crozes Hermitage le Clos has lots of minerality in its smoky, meaty, dark fruited profile. Medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated, structured yet balanced, give it 2-4 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following decade or more.”

Domaine Jamet Cote Rotie, Rhone 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Domaine Jamet Cote Rotie, Rhone 2013 1.5L ($319.95) $279 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 94 points “Inky ruby. A vibrant spice- and mineral-accented bouquet evokes ripe black raspberry and blueberry, candied flowers, incense and peppery spices. Sweet, palate-staining red and blue fruit compote and violet pastille flavors are complicated by notes of cracked pepper and bitter chocolate, with a spicecake nuance gaining strength in the glass. Velvety, pliant tannins add gentle grip to a strikingly long and incisive finish that strongly repeats the floral and mineral notes.”

Vignobles Brunier Domaine Les Pallieres Gigondas Terrasses du Diable 2011 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Case-12 Vignobles Brunier Domaine Les Pallieres Gigondas Terrasses du Diable 2011 750ML ($479.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 93 points
“Vivid ruby. Heady scents of candied cherry, raspberry preserves, anise and potpourri. Shows a darker profile in the mouth, offering palate-staining blackberry and bitter cherry flavors and a strong floral quality. Picks up smokiness with air and finishes with superb focus and length and youthful tannic grip. No question that this is one of the best wines I tasted from Gigondas this year.” JR
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $40.60
Domaine Saint Damien Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes 2012 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special
Wine Advocate 89 points “Already in bottle, the 2012 Cotes du Rhone exhibits knockout notes of roasted herbs, ripe red and black fruits, licorice and spice to go with a medium-bodied, sweetly fruited, upfront and decidedly delicious profile. Quaffable in the best sense of the word, buy it in multiple bottle lots and enjoy it over the coming couple of years.”  JD

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Chateau du Cayrou, Cahors 2012 750ML ($18.95)
$16.60 special
Vinopolnote: Chateau du Cayrou is a family vineyard spanning 30 hectares; vines are 35 years old, with 90% Cot and 10% Merlot. This wine is a balanced, earthy, layered example of the elegance of France’s interpretation of Malbec.

Domaine Comte Abbatucci Barbarossa Blanc, Corsica NV (2012) 750ML ($79.95) $33 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “Abbatucci’s 2012 br constitutes a tank-rendered blanc de noir from the Barbarossa vines his father planted in the early 1960s. Scents and flavors of apricot, pineapple and pink grapefruit are prominently reinforced by piquancy of pit, core, pip and rind, so that the mid-palate effect here – while lush and expansive – is simultaneously zesty and tactilely prickling. Accompanying candied citrus rinds and bitter-edged licorice offers a tannic sense of graininess that accentuates this wine’s invigorating persistence. I have no experience or even reliable word on how previous renditions have fared in bottle, but if fortune favors you with the opportunity and liquidity, enjoy this wine in its youth, but also explore its potential by cellaring a couple of bottles.”

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The next best price is $39.60
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 1.5L ($199.95)
$179 special
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a striking wine that shows uncompromising varietal pureness, albeit in a most concentrated and elaborate form. This is what great Sangiovese is all about. There’s so much happening on the nose and the wine brings you to cherry, spice, licorice, cured meat, pressed rose and grilled meat in equal measure. No one element overpowers the next. The mouthfeel is also tight and bright with the kind of fruit intensity that promises long cellar aging. This Brunello is only at the beginning of a long road ahead. The longer the wine stays in the glass, the more it offers in terms of complexity and intensity. This is a true standout that can be enjoyed for up to 20 years ahead.” ML
Wine Spectator 95 points —#4 Top 100 in 2015“Rich, with excellent density, ripe cherry and plum fruit, and a well-integrated structure. Licorice, earth and tobacco notes add depth while this cruises to a long, tobacco- and mineral-tinged finish. Shows balance and grip. Best from 2018 through 2033.”

Tenuta Sette Ponti Podere Orma ‘Orma’ Bolgheri 2010 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
James Suckling 96 points “There is something so subtle and rich here with chocolate, red chilies and ripe plums on the nose. Full body, with velvety tannins and a juicy finish. This is so delicious now but better in 2017. Best ever from here. A blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc. From Bolgheri. Just next door to Ornellaia.”JS

Isole e Olena Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2006 375ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2006 Vin Santo is quite powerful and viscous in the glass, perhaps a bit more so than is the norm. An exotic mélange of dried fig, honey, sage, baking spices and sweet herbs are all thrust forward. This is one of the most intense Vin Santos I can remember tasting at Isole e Olena. The 220 grams of residual sugar are clearly felt in the wine’s heft, yet all the elements are in the right place.” AG

Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Occhio di Pernice 2004 375ML ($79.95) $69 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “A refined style, silky in texture and complex in flavor, with honey, caramel, fig paste, dried apricot, tobacco and clove notes boosted by vivid acidity. This cascades to a long aftertaste of dried fruit and spice. Very pure and harmonious. Drink now through 2020. 87 cases made.” WS

Podere Grattamacco L’Alberello Bolgheri Superiore 2011 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “Boasting a round and generous bouquet, the 2011 Bolgheri Superiore L’Alberello is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc and a small percentage of Petit Verdot. It sees long maceration with manual stirring and 18 months in barrique. The results are austere and persuasive, especially in terms of the natural richness and texture of the mouthfeel. The finish is soft and supple, with enough tannic grip to keep the wine firmly planted on the palate. Endnotes of blackberry and exotic spice drive forward a long finish. It could use more bottle evolution.” ML

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Poggio Antico Madre Toscana IGT 2010 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Dark and brooding, offering black cherry, plum, licorice and leather flavors allied to a dense texture. Solid, yet fluid enough to allow the tobacco and spice flavors to linger in the aftertaste. Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2016 through 2024. 220 cases imported.”–BS
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Poggio Antico Rosso di Montalcino 2013 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
Wine Spectator 91 points “Rich and satisfying, with cherry, strawberry, floral and spice flavors, singed by loam and tobacco accents. Balanced and long, this remains vibrant and focused on the lingering aftertaste. Drink now through 2020. 300 cases imported.”–BS
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Poggio Antico Lemartine Toscana IGT 2012 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “A striking wine, the 2012 Lemartine jumps from the glass with cassis, graphite violets, lavender, sweet spices and French oak. The 2012 boasts superb purity in its fruit and expressive aromatics, all supported by fabulous underlying structure. I very much like the sense of energy and power here. Lemartine is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. In 2012, everything just works.”

Cascina Corte Langhe Barbera 2012 750ML ($21.95)
$18 special
Winery note: The color is dark ruby ​​red, almost impenetrable, lively and engaging. The nose reveals the typical personality of the grape, expressing a complex and intense bouquet of fruity aromas ( blackberry, black cherry ) and especially spicy ( vanilla, pepper ) . In the mouth the traditional acidity acts as a bank to a subject voluminous and rich. It ends along and character, with nice return of the fruit. Native yeast fermentation and organic viticulture.”

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Cascina Corte Dogliani Pirochetta Vecchie Vigne 2012 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Winery note: “Purple-red in colour with violet-ruby flashes. Deep and vertical on the nose with fruity aromas which intermingle to create a pervasive, balanced bouquet. Cherries, plums and redcurrants are subsequently replaced by notes of spice and liquorice. The palate is forthright and full of character with tannins well to the fore, though it maintains plenty of softness and roundness. The finish is long and lingering. Demonstrably capable of ageing well for years. Native yeast fermentation and organic viticulture.”

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Cascina Corte Dolcetto di Dogliani 2013 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Winery note: “The color is intense ruby ​​red , with fresh red fruit aromas. Cherries, sour cherries, currants and raspberries draw a remarkable aromatic profile of intensity. The palate enjoys a lovely balance between tannin and floral accents.  Very fresh and easy to drink, this is an ideal wine for opening up a meal. Native yeast fermentation and organic viticulture.”
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Cascina Corte Langhe Nebbiolo 2012 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Winery note: Garnet red with a nose of dried rose, violets, and wet earth . The mouth is smooth, rather than powerful , with very fine tannin. The sprawling hills of Dogliani make for a very expressive and unique interpretation of northern Italian Nebbiolo. Native yeast fermentation and organic viticulture.”
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Petterino Gattinara 2001 750ML ($44.95) $34.50 special
Importer’s note: Marco Petterino is a tiny, and very much under-the-radar producer of the DOCG of Gattinara. With a mere 2½ hectares of vineyards in total, spread out among several parcels, his production is about 1300 cs per year. Petterino’s holdings are exceptional for the appellation with vineyards in three of the top cru’s in Gattinara – Permolone, Castelle and Guardie which are all are southwest-facing.

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Petterino Gattinara 2005 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Importer note “Sourced from southwest-facing vineyards of Permolone, Castelle and Guardie in Gattinara.  The soil is rich in minerals due to the presence of sediment and glacial runoff from Monte Rossa (Granites, porphyries, quartzes and numerous ferrous minerals).  15 day fermentation and maceration, with aging of 3 years in oak barrels of 25hl; afterwards stainless steel tanks and minimum 6 months in bottles.”

Antoniolo Vigneto Castelle, Gattinara DOCG 2010 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “A huge, dark wine, the 2010 Gattinara Le Castelle shows the more virile, imposing side of Nebbiolo. This is a decidedly brooding, virile Gattinara built on density and pure, unbridled power. Smoke, tar, licorice and tobacco meld into a core of intense black fruit, all supported by massive tannins that ensure the 2010 will drink well for many years to come. Even with all of the palate-staining intensity and structure, the 2010 boasts superb purity and exceptional balance. The Le Castelle is not at all subtle, but it sure is beautiful.” AG

Antoniolo Gattinara DOCG, Piedmont 2010 750ML ($44.95) $33 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The 2010 Gattinara is a lovely wine at this level. Energetic and chiseled, the 2010 offers plenty of brightness in its red fleshed stone fruit character. Mint, pine, crushed rocks and wild flowers all add to an the wine’s aromatic, lifted personality. This is a gorgeous entry-level Gattinara from Antoniolo.”

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Antoniolo ‘Osso San Grato’, Gattinara DOCG 2010 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2010 Gattinara Osso San Grato is quite possibly the single greatest wine I have ever tasted from Antoniolo. A wine of exquisite beauty, the 2010 has all the qualities that make Nebbiolo such a temptress; seductive aromatics, finely sculpted fruit and a finish that lasts forever. The 2010 isn’t huge, but rather it is a wine that captivates all the senses with its extraordinary beauty. Silky, perfumed and exquisite from the very first taste, this translucent, pure Gattinara will thrill readers for several decades. It has been nothing less than superb both times I have tasted it. Hints of sage, rosemary, menthol and new leather add the final shades of nuance. Quite simply, the 2010 Osso San Grato is a reference-point wine for Nebbiolo, Gattinara, Piedmont and Italy.”
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Antoniolo San Francesco, Gattinara DOCG 2010 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2010 Gattinara San Francesco is the most accessible of the estate’s three single-vineyard Gattinaras. Another intense, powerful wine, the San Francesco occasionally also show a more tender, welcoming side of its personality. Sweet tobacco, licorice and dried herbs all add nuance to the beautifully textured. There is a level of sweetness and openness to the San Francesco that the other wines don’t offer, at least not today.”

Contrade di Taurasi Cantine Lonardo ‘Grecomusc’ Campania IGT 2013 750ML ($31.95)
$26 special
Ian D’agata–Vinous 90 points “Dark yellow. Intense pear, baked apple and sweet spice notes on the aromatic nose. Bright and fresh, with tactile orchard fruit and stony flavors complicated by a savory quality. The very long finish shows a repeating lemony nuance and peppery zing. Outstanding stuff. Lonardo deserves praise from wine lovers everywhere for having resuscitated Grecomusc’, a rare aromatic white variety from Campania.”
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oradori Fontanasanta Manzoni Bianco Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT 2014 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Vinopolnote: Manzoni Bianco is, effectively, a cross between Pinot Bianco and Riesling. Foradori grows these vines in the hills above Trento, where they’re planted in calcareous clay. Native yeast fermentation, with a  week of maceration in concrete tanks followed by twelve months of aging in acacia casks.
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D’Oliveiras Verdelho Vintage Madeira 1986 750ML ($149.95)
$119 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “This is loaded with dried mango and apricot flavors, flanked by notes of cinnamon and allspice. Dry, with plenty of seductive smoky accents. The bright finish offers citrus zest, dried rosemary and sea salt hints. Drink now through 2030.”

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Jose Antonio Garcia Unculin, Bierzo 2014 750ML ($24.95)
$18.80 special
Wine Advocate 89 points “The fruit-driven 2013 Unculín is pure, unoaked Mencía from Valtuille, juicy and fresh with notes of cherries, raspberries and licorice with a medium-bodied palate with a velvety texture, unnoticeable tannins, fresh acidity and good length and persistence. A great, young Mencía. 15,000 bottles were produced.” – LG 01/2015
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Celler del Roure ‘Vermell’, Valencia 2012 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Wine Advocate 90 points “A new red wine, the 2012 Vermell is a blend of 40% Monastrell, 40% Garnacha Tintorera and 20% Mandó from lyre-pruned vines on sandy soils at 550 meters altitude. It was fermented in stainless-steel vats with indigenous yeasts and matured for four months in buried 2,600-liter terra-cotta amphorae. The nose is sharp, pure and elegant with great freshness, aromas of red berries, licorice, aromatic herbs and some of the telltale Monastrell notes of esparto grass. The palate is medium-bodied, precise and focused, though not terribly complex. It is really tasty with a lacy texture making it very easy to drink.”

Finca Villacreces ‘Pruno’, Ribera del Duero 2013 750ML ($24.95) $18.80 special
Robert Parker 93 points “I’ve loved this wine in the past and the 2013, a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 12 months in French oak, is stunning, simply over-delivering in so many different ways. This wine, which offers up copious quantities, of blueberry, black raspberry and black currant fruit, licorice, graphite and meaty notes, offers fabulous aromatics, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful, pure texture and a long, heady finish with subtle oak. What’s amazing is the French oak is all two-year-old, super-expensive Darnajou barrels. For $20 this is another amazing offering from Spain and from importer Eric Solomon.”

Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Atalayas Vineyard Chardonnay, Casablanca Valley 2012 750ML ($21.95)
$11.90 special
Case-12 Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Atalayas Vineyard Chardonnay, Casablanca Valley 2012 750ML ($199.95) $119 special (that’s only $9.92/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 91 points
“Big, rich and lusciously spiced, delivering loads of well-integrated tropical and white fruit flavors. Very buttery, showing an engaging minerality on the finish. Drink now through 2018. 6,158 cases made.”

Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Apalta Vineyard Carmenere, Apalta, Chile 2012 750ML ($21.95) $11.90 special
Case-12 Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Apalta Vineyard Carmenere, Apalta, Chile 2012 750ML ($199.95) $119 special (that’s only $9.92/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 91 points
“Dense and powerful, this hits squarely with deep blackberry aromas matched by brushy, herbal notes. It’s a wide-bodied load with full but soft tannins and tons of extract. Toast, bitter chocolate and baking-spice flavors accent core blackberry fruit, while the finish tastes of coffee and feels a bit hot. Drink through 2019.”

Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon, Apalta, Chile 2013 750ML ($21.95) $11.90 special
Case-12 Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon, Apalta, Chile 2013 750ML ($199.95) $119 special (that’s only $9.92/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 90 points
“Offers mouthfilling richness, with sinewy and concentrated flavors of dried cherry, mint and raspberry, featuring green olive notes. Minerally finish. Drink now through 2018.”

Dom Perignon Brut 2006 750ML ($179.95) $149 special
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2006 Dom Pérignon is a beautifully balanced, harmonious Dom Pérignon that strikes an incredibly appealing stylistic middle ground. Rich, voluptuous and creamy, the 2006 shows off fabulous intensity in a style that brings together the ripeness of 2002 with the greater sense of verve and overall freshness that is such a signature of the 2004. Bass notes and a feeling of phenolic grip on the finish recall the 2003, as the Pinot Noir is particularly expressive today. After an irregular summer that saw elevated temperatures in July followed by cooler, damp conditions in August, more favorable weather returned in September, pushing maturation ahead and leading to a long, protracted harvest. The 2006 falls into the family of riper, more voluptuous Dom Pérignons, but without veering into the level of opulence seen in vintages such as 2002.”
Richard Juhlin 97 points (English Translation) “It’s not often you fall backwards when a wine is first launched on the market. This time both me and my friends, who got to try this jewel at my champagne bar, fell in love instantly. It is all here so beautifully orchestrated in this incredibly well-balanced and flowing rich symphony. It is so voluptuously charming and welcoming immediately, but at the same time so complex that the interest in what you will discover in the next gulp never ceases. Here are all the pillars that I perceive a Dom Pérignon should have. A gigantic large and intense aroma, a silk caressing structure and a dazzling grand finale. Notes from the sea, roasted nuts, coffee, brioche, tropical green fruits, stone fruit, green apples, sweet orange citrus, gunpowder, nougat, mushroom cream and black truffle are all there like a perfectly tailored tuxedo. Love at first sight.”


Just a reminder about our current shipping specials during this season:

We offer flat rate shipping on any size single order / single shipment

-to Oregon for $17,
Washington & Idaho for $20,
California for $25
These rates do not apply to orders held in storage here for any reason.
Multiple orders consolidated into one shipment do not qualify for flat rate shipping.



Ribera del Duero


With Pingus owner/ winemaker Peter Sisseck consulting since 1990 and his colleague Carlos de la Fuente managing day-to-day tasks, Hacienda Monasterio is one of the most solid ventures within the appellation, their wines enjoying an enviable price positioning among Ribera’s producers. Hacienda Monasterio is an estate wine project, and one of the great names in Ribera del Duero . All grapes come from their own surrounding vineyards which currently total 95 hectares. It is located in Pesquera de Duero in the province of Valladolid, close to Valbuena’s monastery and also close to Vega Sicilia, of which it was part in the 19th century.

Hacienda Monasterio Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($44.95) $36.60 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Hacienda Monasterio Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($479.95) $399 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points “The current vintage for the crianza is 2012. The 2012 Crianza, from a dry vintage, resulted much fresher than expected, fresher than 2009 and 2011 in fact. The vines are dry-farmed and were planted some 22 years ago, and you might say they have matured by now. The approximate mixture of grapes in their vineyards is mostly Tempranillo with some 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Malbec, and it’s more or less the blend in this wine. The Cabernet works well, providing finesse and some acidity to the Tempranillo….The wine matured in 20% new French oak barrels for some 20 months. There are no traces of the barriques and the nose took me to the Riberas of yesteryear, with some subtle rusticity; it’s ripe without excess and there’s good balance between fruit, spices and perhaps something earthy. The palate is extremely balanced, medium-bodied with very fine tannins, tasty, approachable and long. This could very well be the best crianza ever produced at Monasterio. This has to be one of the bargains of the vintage in Ribera, given the quality it deliver”
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Vega Sicilia Unico Gran Reserva, Ribera del Duero 2008 750ML ($379.95) $279 pre-arrival special
Jancis Robinson 19+/20 points “95% Tinto Fino, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. 14 months in large wooden vats, 18 months in new barrels, 8 months in used casks and 24 months in large wooden foudres (French/American) prior to ageing in bottle before commercial release. Deep garnet with a wide smudgy rim. Spicy and laced with sweet chocolate. A certain untamed quality to the fine dark fruit. Peppery and highly seasoned but that doesn’t batter the fruit, which is more like blackberry than cherry or cassis. As on several of the wines from this stable, there’s a savoury dark-olive quality. Tannins are thick, resolved but not yet fine/elegant. Still remarkably not ready for the fullest expression of pleasure but it is clearly moving towards refinement and already has wonderful length. (JH)14.5% Drink 2019-2038”
Wine Advocate 96 points” It’s a fresher, more mineral version of Vega, and very much Vega in character. It has a certain aroma that I cannot define that I also found in the 2011 Valbuena. The palate is surprisingly polished; the wine is quite accessible from now on, with fine tannins and a subtle thread of acidity going through the core. This is a lighter version of Único, but one style I like very much; it’s a wine that should drink well throughout its life.”

Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena 5, Ribera del Duero 2011 750ML ($159.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Jancis Robinson 18/20 points “Ribera del Duero 5º = released 5th year after harvest. 100% Tinto Fino. Aged 5 months in large wooden barrels, 18 months in new French/US oak, 3 months in used casks, then 5 months in vats before bottling. The colour of elderberry juice. Spice, sweet tobacco and dark dark fruit that has both fruit and savoury qualities. Starting to release its elegant aromas even though on the palate it is dark, dry and refined. Paper fine and yet compact tannins, depth from very fine layers. Youthful but already sophisticated. (JH)14.5% Drink 2018-2030
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2011 Valbuena was fermented plot by plot, something they started after a deep soil study in the 2010 vintage. 2011 was a very warm and ripe vintage in the zone, and the challenge was to keep the freshness. There are more black fruit aromas, subtle spices and hints of complexity, as well as tertiary aromas that are quite classic and turn more balsamic with time in the glass. Again, this is very different form the 2012 Alión, rounder, riper, richer, more polished, mellow, soft, quite exuberant and hedonistic. ”
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‘wine can be a better teacher than ink,
and banter is often better than books.’

– stephen fry