Vinopolis Newsletter 4-29-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

New Arrivals
Including Goodfellow, Eyrie,
Reynvaan, Avennia, Dominus,
Raffault, Planeta and More!

Rosé of the Day: Beautiful Cassis

#Trending Wines

The Barolo of Sicily

Two High Scoring 2016 Bordeaux Highlights

New Week – New Arrivals


More Durant in the blend this year, this is always one of the prettiest and best-value Willamette Valley Chards out there. 
Goodfellow Family Cellars Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special
Winery note
“Durant Vineyard in the Dundee Hills AVA is planted in Volcanic soils, on a sheltered east facing slope. Whistling Ridge Vineyard in the Ribbon Ridge AVA is an exposed, ridge top vineyard planted in shallow marine-sedimentary soils. Both are sustainably farmed by the Oregonians who own the land.”

2017 is a dynamite white vintage in the Willamette and this delivers again.
The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Gris, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Winery note
“This vintage is highly aromatic, with dense layers of lime, pea shoots, and white strawberry, finishing with a spicy uplift. The texture is round and full. The forepalate is dominated by ripe lychee and passionfruit that hint at sweetness – although the wine is absolutely dry. Flavors of dried sea grass, kiwi, and currants fill out the rich and very long finish. Complex, precise, and substantial, this latest release form Eyrie continues to define the best of Oregon Pinot gris.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
One of the most interesting rosés in the store, it’s delicious.
J.K. Carriere Glass White Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Winery note
“Think summer patio and a turn-of-the-century dry rosé Champagne with no bubbles. Light pink quartz is the color. Citrus flowers, cucumber and grapefruit present on the nose. Fresh lime, Cointreau … oh hell, I would be remiss to not mention that it flat out tastes like a perfectly balanced Margarita. Get it, and yourself, to the patio, stat! Fermentation: 100% Pinot noir, whole cluster pressed and barrel fermented to dry using a long, slow, low-temperature, wild-yeast regimen. Those native yeasts metabolized the sugar under the pressure of clean carbon dioxide, thus delivering massive high-tone fruit esters that make it seem all sweet fruit in spite of its dry, as the winemaker, nature. Elevage: 100% barrel aged in older French oak barrels. Aged using lees addition and incorporating Champagne methodologies from 100 years ago to strip color and broaden an earthy mid-palate, similar to a rosé Champagne from that era, without the bubbles. Racked once and filtered prior to bottling January 2019. Vineyards: Three great high elevation Pinot noir vineyards represented: Temperance Hill from the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, as well as our own St. Dolores Estate and Barron-Wahl from the slopes of the Chehalem Mountains AVA.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
We could barely keep this in stock last year.  This year’s is as good.
The Eyrie Vineyards Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($21.95) $19 special
Winery note
“This  wine  is  made  from  organically  grown,  ungrafted  vines  from  dry-farmed  vineyards in the Dundee and Eola Amity Hills. The attentive vineyard practices we demand focus on rigorous training of the vines, minimal interference with the ecosystem, and on picking at the optimal time.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
We’re always on the hunt for half-bottles of good Oregon Pinot.
J.K. Carriere Vespidae Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 375ML ($24.95) $20.90 special
Winery Note
“The wine projects a medium garnet color. Full roses   (floral), ripe resinous cherry, caramel, pepper spice and mossy forest laden the nose. After a few minutes it’s almost coffee/toffee in its dark linearity.  In the mouth the wine is elegant and intense dark cherry/pomegranate, short of sweet and shy of bitter. The acidity sings vibrantly, yet just a brush of tannin lays it balanced on the palate. This is our flagship bottling and represents two very pure vineyards. Our St. Dolores Estate (7 years) brought structure plus juicy and, Temperance Hill (36 years) brought old-vine complexity plus beautiful acid.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Only 2 bottles remaining!
Domaine Drouhin Roserock Zephirine Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2016 750ML ($69.95) $51.90 special
Top 100 Wine In 2018 –
James Suckling 97 points
“Super pure aromas of vibrant, red and darker cherries and subtle, foresty complexity. The palate has a very supple, lithe and juicy feel with abundant and intense, concentrated and very pure, red and black-cherry flavors. Drink or hold.”

The Cabernet is the most underrated of the Reynvaan lineup
Reynvaan Family Vineyards ‘The Classic’ Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points
“The 2016 The Classic checks in as 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot, and the balance Cabernet Franc. This ruby/plum-colored effort offers up an awesome bouquet of blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, truffle, tapenade, and damp earth that changes and develops beautifully with time in the glass. It’s elegant, seamless and light on its feet, yet also powerful and textured. It’s brilliant Cabernet Sauvignon from this estate to drink over the coming 15-20+ years.”

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A Cayuse clone at half the price.
Reynvaan Family Vineyards In The Rocks Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points
“Made from 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier, all from the Rocks region of Walla Walla, the 2016 Syrah Estate In The Rocks is slightly deeper colored than the Contender release and has an incredibly complete, balanced style that checks in near the top of the vintage. Blackberries, ground pepper, olive, and smoked meat notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, ultra-fine, pure Syrah that has a terrific mid-palate, superb balance, and a great, great finish. Reminding me of a mature Hermitage with its aromatic style and complexity, it’s great today and will be great in 15 years.”

Avennia and Chris Peterson are making waves, big waves, in Washington wine.
Avennia Sestina Red, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Case-6 Avennia Sestina Red, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($449.95) $369 special (that’s only $61.50/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 95+ points
“The 2016 Sestina checks in as 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc that saw 21 months in 48% new French oak before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. It shows the purity and elegance of the vintage beautifully and offers classic Cabernet notes of crème de cassis, lead pencil, crushed rocks, and tobacco leaf. With beautiful balance and that more elegant, finesse-driven style of the estate, it packs plenty of fruit and is a seamless wine that will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for 15-20 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is over $10 more @ $79.99
A steal of a wine that could pass as 3rd growth Bordeaux.
Avennia Gravura Red, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Case-6 Avennia Gravura Red, Columbia Valley 2016 750ML ($239.95) $199 special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The 2016 Gravura checks in as 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc, aged 20 months in 60% new French oak. It’s another rock star of a wine from Chris that sports a saturated purple color, complex notes of blackberries, black cherries, damp earth, and spring flowers, hints of subtle oak, medium body, and perfect balance. Drink this seamless blend over the coming 10-15 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $41.99
We wish every sub $40 CdP tasted this good.
Avennia Justine Red, Yakima Valley 2016 750L ($41.95) $36 special
Case-6 Avennia Justine Red, Yakima Valley 2016 750ML ($239.95) $199 special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 92 points
“The 2016 Justine is the Southern Rhône blend of the estate, checking in as 56% Grenache, 32% Mourvèdre, and 12% Syrah aged 20% in concrete and the balance in neutral French oak. This medium ruby-colored effort offers a thrilling bouquet of kirsch liqueur, herbes de Provence, ground pepper, and spice. It’s elegant, medium-bodied, and seamless on the palate, with rocking levels of fruit and texture. Drink it over the coming decade.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $40.99
Rosé from an all-star winemaker—in a can!  IN A CAN!!! Hike with this.
Broc Cellars Love Rose, Suisun Valley 2018 375ML CAN ($14.95) $10.90 special
Case-4 Broc Cellars Love Rose, Suisun Valley 2018 375ML CAN ($44.95) $37 special

Half-bottle sized can
80% Valdiguié, 14% Zinfandel, 6% Trousseau from the Solano Vineyard (Valdiguié), Arrowhead Mountain (Zinfandel), Wirth Vineyard (Trousseau). “The wine is not spritzy, just a little prickly” –Chris Brocway

This is the only listing in the USA today for the can!
Perhaps the best Dominus ever.
Dominus Estate, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($349.95) $289 special
Dominus Estate, Napa Valley 2015 375ML ($179.95) $159 special
Wine Advocate 100 points
“Bottled in July 2017 and composed of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the Dominus 2015 Proprietary Red Wine leaps from the glass with notes of fresh wild blueberries, crushed blackberries and black currant juice with touches of wild thyme, underbrush, iron ore and aniseed with wafts of lavender and pencil lead. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has incredible energy and vivacity, with the firm, pixelated tannins and lively backbone skillfully framing the muscular fruit, finishing with wonderful length and depth.”
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “The 2015 Dominus is a flawless, perfect wine as well as a legend in the making. A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc, from dry-farmed vines and brought up in just 40% new French oak, its ruby/purple color is followed by an extraordinary bouquet of blackcurrants, crème de cassis, damp earth, smoke tobacco, and spring flowers. Reminding me of the 2015 Château Margaux with its incredible mix of elegance and power, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, stunning purity of fruit, building tannins, and awesome length. This sensational textured and voluptuous Dominus drink well today yet will evolve for 25-30 years or more.”
James Suckling 98 points “A phenomenal red from the vintage with sandalwood, roses, currants, blackberries and blackcurrants. Full-bodied, extremely structured and intense with a great finish. The tannins are so polished and poised. Shows tension and beauty throughout. Straight and focused. Drink in 2022.”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2015 Dominus is fabulous. Explosive and alluring on the palate, the 2015 possesses stunning texture and intensity. Blueberry jam, cloves, menthol, licorice and graphite are some of the many nuances that develop over time. In 2015 Dominus artfully balances the richness of the year with the classic structural elements that are such a signature of this wine.”

France – Loire

A modern benchmark in Chinon, now in large format.
Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses, Loire 2014 1.5L ($79.95) $66 special
Wine Enthusiast 94 points
“Chalk soil on the slope up to the plateau above the town of Chinon gives this organic wine its mineral texture, which is allied to great fruit and spice. Wood aging lends generous, ripe tannins, the layers of black fruits are impressive and have aged well. Enjoy this fine wine now.”

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Italy – Siciliy
A treat from Sicily! Perfectly fresh and elegant—and at a price to stock up with.
Planeta Rose Siclia, Sicily 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-6 Planeta Rose Siclia, Sicily 2018 750ML ($89.95) $71.90 special (that’s only $11.98/bottle!)
Winery note
“50% Nero d’Avola 50% Syrah. Our Rosé, fresh and fruity, represents all the feelings of a Sicilian summer. Its colour is that of a summer sunset. The fresh aromas of strawberry make it a marvelously friendly wine, and easy to drink. Enjoy Planeta’s Rosé in good company, as an aperitif with tapas, raw fish, fresh salads or alone with seasonal fruit.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
One of the best values in sparkling wine.
Agusti Torello Mata Brut Reserva Cava, Catalonia 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Importer note
“A blend of 45% Macabeu, 34% Parellada and 21% Xarel-lo, the vintage-dated 2015 Brut Reserva was disgorged in October of 2018, having spent three years on the lees. The resulting wine is an excellent example of what Cava can be. The nose is clean and fruity with hints of apple, caramel and fresh herbs. The palate is elegant and balanced with well-integrated bubbles and excellent balance. Four grams dosage, 5.9 acidity and only 11.5% alcohol. Yum!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $21

Rosé of the Day

Cassis is one of the most singularly beautiful places on earth, so it makes (emotional, if not logical) sense that the wines from the village are similarly stunning in their beauty and purity.  Perhaps our favorite from the town is the version offered up by the Domain du Bagnol, whose estate is perched on hillside (mountainside, really) that overlooks the village and the sparkling blue waters just beyond.  The wine seems to capture this, with elegant, crystalline fruit and a hint of sea-side air.  The 2018 version just arrived and is as wonderful as ever.

In Stock Now:

Domaine du Bagnol Cassis Rose, Provence 2018 750ML ($39.95) $29 special
Domaine du Bagnol Cassis Rose, Provence 2018 1.5L ($66.95) $59 special
Importer note
“The 2018 Cassis Rosé (40% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre, 25% Cinsault) is downright crystalline, with impeccably chiseled fruit and blatant salinity contributing to a sense of refreshing focus. More nimble and sprightly than the richer-toned 2017, this vintage captures the breezy beauty of Cassis itself, and it is hard to imagine a better rosé coming from this zone. As always, this was produced solely via direct-pressing, and aged in temperature-controlled stainless steel on its lees.”


Newly arrived & supremely drinkable
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Rosso Etna, Sicily 2016 750ML ($26.95) $19.75 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
“Star anise, violet, crushed herb and Mediterranean brush aromas align with a whiff of crushed stone. It’s silky smooth, offering juicy raspberry, wild strawberry, dark spice and white pepper framed in lithe, polished tannins. Fresh acidity lends balance while a flinty mineral note energizes the finish. Drink through 2026.”
James Suckling 92 points “Extremely floral on the nose with lemon-leaf and dried-flower notes that highlight the fruit. Full-bodied, firm and silky with a beautiful finish. Drink now or hold.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
The average price nationally is $22
Rivals the 2010 and 2013 for Rancia of the decade.
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2016 750ML ($59.95) $46 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94-97+ points
“The 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is yet another magnificent wine in this range from Fèlsina. Silky, gracious and inviting, the 2016 starts off gradually and then builds, gaining volume and explosiveness with air. A wine of breadth, textural intensity and pure power, the 2016 Rancia is shaping up to be epic. That’s pretty much all there is to it.”
Wine & Spirits 94 points “Brisk acidity and orange-peel accents propel this wine’s saturated red cherry flavors. The wine is a lively expression of Tuscan terroir, brimming with notes of fennel and sage, brightened by chalky mineral tones. It’s ageworthy, yet hard to resist now.”

Looking for big, rich, powerful Champagne? Look no further. 
Vilmart & Cie ‘Coeur de Cuvee’ Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($179.95) $115 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“A racy, exuberant wine, the 2009 Coeur de Cuvée offers up a super-appealing mélange of apricot, butter, baked apple tart and vanillin. The combination of the ripe, warm vintage along with fermentation and aging in small French oak barrels yielded an especially opulent Coeur de Cuvée with plenty of exotic and tropical overtones. The 2009 will be ready to drink with minimal cellaring.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $151
We love Alsatian Gewurtztraminer.  This is tops.
Agathe Bursin Gewurztraminer Dirstelberg, Alsace 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 28 bottles in stock now
Light gold. Aromas of grapefruit, rose petal, mint, and spices, plus a light tropical fruit note. Then delicate and easygoing, displaying moderately complex floral flavors and a silky texture. Closes off-dry and accessible, with decent length, but it is not an especially opulent or showy Gewürz (18 g/L r.s. and 4.3 g/L total acidity).” – Ian D’Agata, Vinous
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.”

Finding this wine at this price is like winning a Barolo lottery.
Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia Cicala, Barolo DOCG 2008 750ML ($179.95) $119 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2008 Barolo Cicala is beautifully focused and vibrant from start to finish. It boasts fabulous energy and sheer tension in its ripe red berries, spices, crushed flowers and mint. All the elements come together beautifully in the pure, delineated Barolo. Huge, powerful tannins provide the backdrop for layers of cool, mineral-infused fruit. There is a pulsating energy to the Cicala that is absolutely irresistible. This is another fabulous showing.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “There’s fine depth to this red, like a grand cru red Burgundy, with a silky texture framing black cherry, black currant and tar flavors. Solidly built, this features a deceptively charming exterior that conceals firm tannins. The finish evokes violet and black cherry notes. Best from 2016 through 2035. 250 cases imported.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average listed price is $154
The OG Conterno’s Barbera’s may be the best value in profound Piemonte wine.
Giacomo Conterno Vigna Francia Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2016 750ML ($99.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Giacomo Conterno Vigna Francia Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont 2016 1.5L ($179.95) $119 special, 3 magnums in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“Conterno’s 2016 Barbera d’Alba Francia is a wine of extreme finesse and nuance. It is also dark, inward and mysterious in that it is nowhere near ready to show all of its cards. In most vintages, Francia is a bit more floral and mineral, but in 2016 it is the purity of the fruit that is most striking. I imagine the typical Francia nuances will develop with a few more years in bottle.”

The average listed price is $76

The Barolo of Sicily

Etna has become the newest hottest region in Sicily, and for good reason.  Jancis Robinson even called it “the Burgundy of the Mediterranean,” which is an apt description of most of the new wines coming off of the high altitude slopes of Sicily’s volcano.  There is another traditional style of wine made on Etna as well, though, one that tends to have a foot in Barolo rather than in Burgundy, and its best practitioner is Calabretta. With Burgundy and Barolo prices climbing through the roof, now is a great time to explore those regions that seem to be lost in time.

Calabretta was founded in 1900 and for the majority of the time since then only sold wine in barrel or in demijohns to private customers (who would bottle the wine themselves) or to local restaurants.  Since the beginning, the farming has been organic, without chemical pesticides or herbicides—dated for a majority of the life of the winery and suddenly in vogue now.  In 1997, the third and fourth generation of the family decided that the future lay in bottling estate wines and releasing them under a family label.

The one thing that didn’t change when Calabretta started bottling was a commitment to old-school vinification and aging.  Macerations of up to 60 days are common as is long aging in botti (often up to 6 years for the high end wine).  The wines are powerful and structured but, unlike wines from lower altitudes, maintain a freshness and vibrancy to them.

In Stock Now:

Calabretta ‘Cappuccio’ Rosso Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily 2013 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Importer note
“Since the winery’s founding in 1900, the Calabretta family has farmed and produced wines from Etna’s ancient indigenous varieties—including Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio—in the mountain’s unique noble vineyards. Historically, the family had sold its wine in sfuso or in barrel to restaurants and to private customers, many of whom travelled long distances to pick up their wine. But in 1997, third and fourth-generation father and son Massimo and Massimiliano Calabretta decided to bottle their best wine under their own label to ensure the winemaking traditions of their family and Etna would not be lost.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Calabretta Nerello Mascalese Vigne Vecchie Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2007 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 90 points
“Deep red-ruby. Underbrush, tar and licorice dominate the red fruit aromas and flavors. A hint of shoepolish emerges on the long tactile and slightly warm finish. This big wine has plenty of personality but I would have liked a little more grace. (15% alcohol)”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Calabretta Nerello Mascalese Vigne Vecchie Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2008 750ML ($37.95) $33 special
Importer Note
“Massimiliano Calabretta holds more in common with some of the stalwarts of traditional Barolo production than he does with most of his fellow Etna producers. He ages his wine in large neutral oak botti and holds his wine back for years in bottle before release. There are no recipes but some vintages age for as long as 12 (between cask and bottle) years in the cellar before release. With the 2004 vintage, Massimiliano decided to begin bottling what had formerly been his Etna Rosso as Nerello Mascalese Vigne Vecchie. In the past the DOCG board would sometimes reject one or two of his botti saying they were not “typical Etna Rosso” — in those cases he was forced to declassify that wine even though he felt it was up to his own standards. Rather than take a chance to continue be forced to declassify wine, he decided to bottle everything as IGT so that he could make his own decisions accordingly to his own taste – and not be forced to change his style.”

Calabretta Nonna Concetta Nerello Mascalese Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
“Calabretta’s top cuvee, this is always a masterpiece of an Etna Rosso, built for the long haul in the cellar.  Buy with confidence and age for at least a decade before cracking into this one.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Calabretta ‘Piede Franco’ Ungrafted Rosso, Sicily 2015 750ML ($54.95) $46 special
Ian D’agata-Vinous 91+ points
“Bright dark red. Camphor and herbs complicate red cherry and berries on the nose. Dense and youthfully chewy with brooding flavors of red fruit and spicy herbs. Finishes long and savory with a tactile mouthfeel. This is deeper than the regular (not made from ungrafted vines) Rosso, but is also currently less well delineated. (12.5% alcohol)”

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Calabretta Pinot Nero Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($34.95) $26 special
Winery note
“[Translated] Pinot Noir: the ‘enfant terrible’ of world viticulture returns to the Etna area… It is planted in a vineyard where the temperature changes between day and night are more than 20 ° C, the wind beats undeterred and the sun warms and illuminates the leaves.  The production of grapes per plant is extremely low and the fermentation is cured and studied specifically to better develop the sensory qualities of this wonderful grape.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Calabretta ‘Gaio Gaio’ Rosso, Sicily 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Winery note
“[Translated] A red wine from young, newly planted vineyards in the Calderara district by a rigorous selection massale. Fruity, floral, and slightly spicy. Dedicated to my father when he was a child (Gaio).”
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Two High Scoring 2016 Bordeaux Highlights

“Looking back over 20-plus en primeurs, some stick in the memory more than others. Great vintages – and by that I mean truly great and not the Bordeaux definition that translates as “forthcoming” – are lodged at the forefront of my mind. I remember the heady aromas of the Right Bank 1998s from barrel, the density of the 2000s that stained my teeth purple and the pedigree of the maturing 2005s. I will not forget the sumptuous 2009s that made that primeur so enjoyable, or the classicism and girder-like tannins of the 2010s that made for an arduous but rewarding tasting from barrel.

“Likewise, I shall always remember my first impression of the 2016s: their elegance, purity and poise, the intensity of fruit, the articulation of respective terroirs, and that oft-forgotten virtue, how bloomin’ delicious they tasted. My overriding feeling was that Bordeaux had been heading towards the 2016 vintage since the late 1990s. It was a year when everything just came together at the right moments” –Neal Martin, Vinous

While the futures period for the 2016 vintage is already officially over, we’re very much still securing excellent wines from this landmark year.  We’re excited to offer two epic wines from the right bank: Vieux Chateau Certan and Canon (the latter in 375ml’s).  Both arrive in the fall and look to be some of the highlights of the vintage.

Arriving ETA Fall

Chateau Canon, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2016 375ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Half Bottle
Wine Advocate 98+ points “Composed of 74% Merlot and 26% Cabernet Franc and aged for 18 months in 70% new French barriques, the 2016 Canon is medium to deep garnet-purple in color, and—WOW—it opens with the most stunning perfume of violets, red roses and kirsch, giving way to a core of black cherry preserves, chocolate box, licorice, warm plums and Chinese five spice plus an earthy waft of underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is completely filled with expressive, perfumed black berry layers accented by lively red fruits and exotic spices, supported by impressively fine-grained tannins and fantastic tension, finishing very long with jaw-dropping energy. Tasted three times, I had one opportunity to taste the 2015 and 2016 Canon side by side. While I love the bold, rich, seductive nature of the 2015, this 2016 kicks it up a notch in terms of polish, precision, depth and persistence. Most notably, the superbly ripe, exquisitely fine-grained tannins on this 2016 bring to the table a whole other level of sophistication. Bravo!”
Wine Enthusiast 98 points “This wine is impressive both from its structure and its fruit, one of the stars of the vintage in Saint-Émilion. It has great weight, concentration as well as style and aging potential. The ripe fruit shines through the structure, promising an elegant maturity. Drink from 2025.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 97 points “The 2016 Canon has the unenviable task of following the astonishing 2015, and it does a damn good job, even if it doesn’t reach the same ethereal heights. There is a pleasing strictness and poise on the nose; this is less immediate than the 2015, yet intellectual, a Canon that expresses its terroir rather than tons of fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, a fine bead of acidity, a smooth texture and a slightly savory but persistent finish, which feels a little plusher than the 2015, implying that this might drink a little earlier. But there is unquestionably immense breeding locked into this rejuvenated Saint-Émilion, which is now firmly ensconced among the top-flight Right Banks.”
James Suckling 97 points “Complex aromas of blackberries, iodine, oyster shell and wet earth. Ever so perfumed. Full-bodied, yet reserved and tight with very silky tannins that are energized and minerally. Takes off at the end. The freshness lifts it. Try after 2024.”

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Vieux Chateau Certan, Pomerol 2016 750ML ($399.95) $349 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin-Vinous 100 points
“The 2016 Vieux Château Certan is the first vintage to be entirely bottled by the estate’s own bottling machine (just in case that ever comes up in a wine quiz). Alexandre Thienpont mentioned that he assiduously left out the stressed vines, and he places this above his more hedonistic 2015. The wine takes a few minutes to open in the glass, but boy, is it worth the wait: it reveals pixelated red fruit (crushed strawberry and raspberry) and crushed stone, plus a hint of graphite emanating from the Cabernets. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, slightly chalky tannin that frames pure black and red fruit infused with graphite and almost flint-like notes. This is one of the most mineral-driven VCCs that I have encountered in over 20 years, with dizzying precision on the finish. A very intellectual Pomerol, in the realm of the profound.”
Wine Advocate 100 points “The 2016 Vieux Château Certan is blended of 85% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep garnet-purple in color, it leaps from the glass with pristine, vivid notions of candied violets, chocolate-covered cherries, blackberry compote and mulberries with fragrant touches of raspberry leaves, crushed rocks, licorice, cumin seed and yeast extract plus a waft of red roses. Medium to full-bodied and beautifully elegant, the palate builds from a quiet intensity to an incredibly well-sustained aria of crunchy red and black cherries notes plus tons of floral undertones, framed by exquisitely soft yet firm tannins and seamless freshness, finishing very long with lingering mineral and floral sparks. How does this 2016 compare to the also amazing 2015 vintage? Stylistically they are very different, as my notes on each should convey, but beyond this I am struck by the incredible harmony and seamlessness of the 2016 along with its amazing depth and energy this year. Bravo!”

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