Vinopolis Newsletter 6-14-24 PM

 In This Newsletter:

New Arrivals
Turley, Alain Graillot, K Vintners, Espectacle, Peyrassol, and much more!

Arriving Late June
Classic Barolos from Domenico Clerico
New Arrivals
Turley Wine Cellars.
Turley Wine Cellars White Zinfandel, Napa Valley, USA 2023 750ml $24 special, 12 bottles available
Winery Note “We select a few of our Zinfandel vines to pick early (at 19 brix) to make this vivid, dry rosé. Pale rose petals and fraise du bois with a touch of petrichor on the nose. The palate is high in acid, low in alcohol, well-structured and thoroughly refreshing. Fermented in stainless steel, then aged only in used French barriques. Though akin to Provençal rosés in the way it’s made, this wine is distinctly Californian. White Zinfandel has a good heart but a bad reputation; hopefully we can help change that.”
Wine Advocate “The 2023 White Zinfandel (Rose) is as expressive as one could expect for the style, sourced from 60-year-old head-trained vines in Lodi. It is medium to deep salmon-pink in color, bursting from the glass with preserved stone fruit and tropical fruit aromas that include grilled yellow peaches, guava and touches of dried herbs and flowers. The palate is light-bodied and straightforward, with gently textural ripe fruit flavors that transition to a short but refreshing, spice-tinged finish.”
Turley Wine Cellars Cedarman Vineyard Zinfandel, Howell Mountain, USA 2022 750ml $41.90 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94+ Points “Blended with 22% Petite Sirah, the 2022 Zinfandel Cedarman hails from Rattlesnake Ridge and Dragon Vineyards high atop Howell Mountain. Medium to deep ruby in the glass, the nose combines extremely ripe black fruits and loamy earth with botanical, herbal notes that meld with floral top notes after time in the glass. The palate follows the fruit-laden foreshadowing of the nose with massive saturation and intensity and transiting to a chewy, sinewy finish lined with juicy acidity nestled into a long, detailed finish. Lovers of a sumptuous style will find much to love upon release, although a few years in the cellar could provide an additional layer of nuance.”
Turley Wine Cellars Kirschenmann Vineyard Zinfandel, Lodi, USA 2022 750ml $44.50 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93+ Points “Owned by winemaker Tegan Passalacqua since 2012, this site was planted in 1915 on white sand soils on limestone bedrock. The 2022 Zinfandel Kirschenmann Vineyard opens with a slight reduction that gives way to ripe wild berries, dried orange peel, potpourri and tea leaves after significant aeration. The palate is medium-bodied, plump and quite generous at this stage, leading to an elegant, sweet-fruited and floral finish that begins on an evasive note but swells and builds in amplitude over time. Given the initial reduction and performance of the finish, this should benefit significantly from 2-3 years in bottle. It includes Mondeuse Noire, Carignan and Cinsault.”
Turley Wine Cellars Pesenti Vineyard Zinfandel, Paso Robles, USA 2022 750ml $49 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 Points “Medium ruby in the glass, the 2022 Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard is refined and pure on the nose, leading with varietally classic aromas of yellow peach, wild red berry jam, touches of woodsmoke and tomato leaves and a mix of earth-driven, evergreen aromas. The palate clearly shows its warm-climate origins with its rich, concentrated, explosively perfumed red fruit flavors. It admirably retains precision despite this massive frame and is lined with fine-grained, generous tannins. The finish is led by peachy, fruit-driven perfume with just enough tangy acidity to prop up the long, juicy finish that calls you back to the glass.”
Rutherford Hill.
Fermented and matured in a mix of new and used oak barrels and stainless steel, this Sauvignon Blanc represents Rutherford’s first bottling of Sauvignon Blanc from their most recent acquisition, the “Anthony J. Terlato” Estate Vineyard.
Rutherford Hill A.J.T. Collection Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, USA 2022 750ml $21.90 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 Points “Stunning, this exuberant, generous version shows notes of passion fruit, Key lime, dried pineapple and orange blossoms, along with grated ginger. Reveals a hint of sea salt minerality on the long, expressive finish, where toasted herb accents linger.”
Lowest price in the USA!
HDV Hyde de Villaine ‘Belle Cousine’ Carneros Red, Napa Valley, USA 2020 750ml $99 special, 6 bottles available
James Suckling 94 Points “Blended from 65% cabernet sauvignon and 35% merlot, this elegant, balanced wine offers red fruit, racy tannins, minerality and fresh and crunchy blackcurrants on a full body. Fine-grained tannins enhance the wine’s cool and compact character. Drink or hold.”
HDV Hyde de Villaine Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay, Carneros, USA 2021 750ml $89 special, 12 bottles available
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 97 Points “The 2021 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard is fabulous. Rich and dramatic, with tremendous textural intensity, the 2021 possesses remarkable depth. Tangerine oil, mint, white flowers, honey and hazelnut are all amplified. This mind-blowing, dynamic Chardonnay is an absolute stunner. Give it a year or two to come together. (Drink between 2023-2031)”

Charles Smith K Vintners ‘The Boy’ Grenache, Walla Walla Valley, USA 2021 750ml $44.50 special, 30 bottles available
James Suckling 99 Points “Super smooth and mouth-filling but also lacy and filigreed, the wine combines powerful, broad and ripe strawberries, red plums and cedar on a full body blanketed in soft tannins but with fresh acidity. Aged 18 months on the lees in neutral, large-format barrels. Drink now or hold.”
 Lowest price in the USA!

Clos Mogador.
Clos Mogador ‘Nelin’, Priorat DOCa, Spain 2021 750ml $75 special, 24 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 Points “Marking the 20th anniversary of this white wine, the 2021 Nelin was produced with Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Picapoll white and Cariñena Blanca … It’s balsamic, eminently Mediterranean and ripe … and notes of hay and straw, aromatic herbs and waxy apples. It has volume and density but with the freshness from a cooler year. It’s approachable but should develop a lot more complexity with time in bottle.”
Clos Mogador Vinya Classificada, Priorat DOCa, Spain 2021 750ml $99 special, 24 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98 Points “The eponymous red 2021 Clos Mogador fermented with some 30% full clusters trying to give it more freshness (but without noticing the stems) with a long maceration (40 to 50 days) and (almost) no punching down, with less extraction. There’s been a progressive change in the vineyard (they removed the south-facing Cabernet Sauvignon), and they increased Cariñena (around 30%), which in the future will be almost as much as Garnacha. It has aromatic complexity and a beautiful texture. It matured in 2,000-liter oak foudres and a small part in barrel and later in concrete … The tannins are also a lot more elegant, and the wine comes through as very balanced.”
Rothchild y Vega Sicilia Macan.
Rothchild y Vega Sicilia Macan Rioja DOCa, Spain 2018 750ml $99 special, 10 bottles available
Luis Gutierrez Wine Advocate 94+ Points “The wine is serious and harmonious, which was a challenge, and winemaker Gonzalo Iturriaga told me that they had to be very careful and sort and select the grapes. It’s textured and elegant, a style that follows the path of the 2016; it’s elegant but with depth, managing the élevage in foudre better, which was a learning process they started in 2016.”
Rothchild y Vega Sicilia Macan Rioja DOCa, Spain 2019 750ml $99 special, 12 bottles available
Robert Parker-Wine Advocate 94 Points “2019 was a more concentrated and powerful year that was warmer and drier … The wine is very powerful and dense, with a big structure and plenty of tannins. The oak is still noticeable in the aromatics. Give it some more time in bottle, and enjoy with powerful food.”
Lowest listed price in the USA!
Espectacle del Montsant.
Espectacle del Montsant, Montsant, Spain 2021 750ml $119 special, 36 bottles available
Wine Advocate 99 Points “As 2021 was a much cooler year, the wine is more elegant than ever (following the cooler years like 2014), textured and with very fine tannins. It has an intoxicating nose of red fruit and blood orange, violets and a spicy twist with pungent flavors and a finish that is dominated by violet pastille and is pungent, intense, clean and very long. It’s multi-layered, precise, nuanced and ever-changing in the glass. It has to be one of the most elegant and finest vintages of Espectacle, with the natural freshness from the year. Bravo!”
Lowest listed price in the USA!

Alain Graillot.
Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, Rhone, France 2022 750ml $44.50 special, 12 bottles available
No reviews for the 2022 vintage. Recent review provided for reference.
Decanter 93 Points “Very clean and neat on the nose. Medium- to full-bodied. Good sense of purity, and fresher and neater than the vintage might suggest. Touch of lanolin on the finish, lightly nutty. Very drinkable, very well balanced.”
Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone, France 2021 750ml $44.50 special, 24 bottles available
John Gilman 93 Points “The 2021 Crozes-Hermitage from Domaine Alain Graillot is a superb wine (as always) … On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very elegant in profile, with an excellent core of black fruit, fine mineral drive and grip, fine-grained tannins and a long, complex well balanced and peppery finish. First class Crozes that deserves at least a handful of years in the cellar to soften up its backend tannins a bit. This is my favorite Graillot straight Crozes since the beautiful 1989 version!”
Domaine Alain Graillot Saint-Joseph Rouge, Rhone, France 2021 750ml $59 special, 6 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 90 Points “The 2021 Saint Joseph is classic stuff, offering perfumed, peppery aromatics of black raspberries, bouquet garni, and spring flowers. These carry to the palate, where it’s medium-bodied and has a lively, elegant mouthfeel, a distinct sense of minerality, and a good finish.”
Château Peyrassol.
Chateau Peyrassol Rouge, Cotes de Provence, France 2020 750ml $51.90 special, 11 bottles available
Importer Note “60% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Grenache. With its purple tints, this wine gives off notes of ripe Syrah from the first nose: licorice, pepper, and peony then give way to a beautiful procession of small red and black fruits. The palate is beautifully mature, supported by velvety tannins and smooth acidity. Intense flavors of red fruit, blackberry, and spices caress the palate until the round, fleshy finish. A vintage of fine balance and noble elegance.”
Chateau Peyrassol Rose, Cotes de Provence, France 2023 750ml $39 special, 12 bottles available
Importer note “Varietal Composition: 55% Cinsault, 25% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, 5% Tibouren. Very pale lynchee pink color. The nose is fine and elegant. Complex, it releases long aromas of white-fleshed fruit, citrus fruit and white flowers. The palate is straightforward and clean: fine and silky, it is at once tender, delicate and lively. The freshness of the finish underpins the measured volume and a touch of salinity harmonises the whole.”
…also newly arrived from France:
Domaine de l’Idylle Gamay, Vin de Savoie, France 2023 750ml $17.50 special, 12 bottles available
Winery Note “Beautiful ruby ​​red color, lively, fresh nose. Bouquet of red fruits, easy to drink and fruity on the palate.”
This is the only listing in the USA
Domaine Montrose Solis Lumen Orange, France 2023 750ml $17.50 special, 12 bottles available
Winery Note “Comprised of 90% Muscat petits grains and 10% grenache gris, this Orange wine’s rich aromas and tannins will perfectly complement your aperitifs with friends, Asian cuisine and cheese platters.”
La Bastide des Oliviers ‘Cuvee Classique’ Rose, Coteaux Varois, France 2023 750ml $16 special, 12 bottles available
Winery Note “Hailing from the Coteaux Varois in Provence, this Rose is Cinsault and Grenache driven, complemented with Carignan and Syrah. Organically farmed and harvested by hand, it is made with great artisanal care. Both bright and generous with stone fruit flavors, it is the perfect ‘summer all year round’ wine.”

Tenimenti Angelini Val di Suga Poggio al Granchio, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Italy 2019 750ml $89 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 Points  “A deep well of blackberry, black currant and cherry fruit marks this succulent red, with accents of wild rosemary and mineral. Well-delineated and complex, echoing the fruit and savory notes on the long finish. Shows superb balance and harmony.”
Eric Guido-Vinous 95 Points “The 2019 Brunello di Montalcino Poggio al Granchio pulls the taster close to the glass to take in its beguiling aromatics. Rose and clove aromas give way to cinnamon-dusted red currants and a lifting hint of camphor. It’s elegant in style with silken textural depths and ripe wild berry fruits that saturate, all balanced by a stream of brisk acidity. Saline minerals stain the palate as the 2019 finishes long and structured. It holds its power in reserve as a pleasantly bitter tinge mingles with fine-grained tannins to create a youthfully tense sensation. This is a Poggio al Granchio for the ages. Bury your bottles deep.”
Faraone ‘Le Vigne di Faraone’ Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, Italy 2023 750ml $19 special, 12 bottles available
Not reviewed yet, 2021 rating provided for reference
Wine Enthusiast 92 Points “A dark Cerasuolo that could be easily mistaken for a light red: 48 hours on the skins is enough time for the anthocyanin-rich Montepulciano to release Nebbiolo-like shades. The hearty aromas of dark cherry, smoke, liquorice and rust lead to a full-bodied palate loaded with luscious flavours of pomegranate and bramble. A mineral tang underpins the structure and extends the deep, tactile and slightly earthy finish.”
Fidora ‘Monte Tabor’ Valpolicella Ripasso, Veneto, Italy 2019 750ml $24 special, 24 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 92 Points “Revealing a pretty and lifted nose, this wine pops with classic cherry aromas intertwined with mixed herbs and subtle hints of bitter cocoa. The lush palate boasts a core of fruit, complemented by a touch of coffee, as well as tobacco and savory spice. Fine tannins underscore its solid structure.”
Lowest price in the USA
 staff pick  Loredan Gasparini Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, Veneto, Italy 750ml $16 special, 24 bottles available
CS-12 Loredan Gasparini Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG 750ml $168 special, 2 cases available
James Suckling 92 Points “[Reviewed Oct 2021] Lots of initial froth here, which takes a while to subside and allow the lovely lemon and lemon blossom aromas to rise out of the glass. There are hints of licoricy chalk here, too. On the rather dense palate, the chalk turns to fresh cream and the lemon is absorbed into the creamy mineral texture with enough fizz to keep the sparkle up. Lovely, enduring and creamy yet biting finish. This is very fine Prosecco. Drink now.”
Lowest price in the USA!

Royal Tokaji ‘Mezes Maly’ (Great 1st Growth) Furmint Dry, Tokaj, Hungary  2022 750ml $39 special, 12 bottles available
Importer Tasting Note “Mézes Mály Furmint is a sleek, concentrated wine with elegance and a subtle floral character – hints of spice, and plenty of white peach and apricot fruit all balanced by refreshing, crisp acidity and a lingering finish.”
Winery Note “Mézes Mály is one of just two vineyards classified as a Great First Growth. Its volcanic bedrock is overlaid with deep loess soil, giving elegance, finesse and floral notes to its wines. Royal Tokaji owns 11 of its 19 hectares, facing south with views to the Great Plain in the distance. Mézes Mály Furmint is a sleek, concentrated wine with elegancy and a subtle floral character, hints of spice, and plenty of white peach and apricot fruit all balanced by refreshing, crisp acidity and a lingering finish.”
Royal Tokaji Urgaya (1st Growth) Dry Furmint, Tokaj, Hungary 2022 750ml $39 special, 6 bottles available
Importer Note “Úrágya, means “God’s bed”. The vineyard sits in a dip between two extinct volcanoes to the west of Mád. Viewed from our village it is where we see the sun “go to sleep” every night. 2022 was an early vintage with good balance, elegance and power in the dry wines, and creamy richness in the sweets. Drought conditions through the vintage and relatively higher temperatures conducted to an early harvest – from the end of August until mid-September. We achieved high quality by picking our grapes at the optimum moment, enabling perfect balance. The unique volcanic soil builds the structure, backbone and minerality of this delicious dry wine. Maturation in oak barrels adds further complexity and roundness.”
Arriving Late June
Domenico Clerico.

“Among all these new releases from 2020 in this report, Domenico Clerico has been among the most successful in terms of interpreting the vintage.” – Moncia Lerner The Wine Advocate, April 2024
“This year’s tasting of Domenico Clerico’s releases was exhilarating and full of surprises. Winemaker Oscar Arrivabene and winery owner Giuliana Viberti Clerico have made an important decision in terms of winemaking that has radically changed the taste profile of these wines for the better. They have abandoned small oak barrique for the most part and embraced more reductive 5,000-liter oak botti instead. The change is immediately identifiable, as the seamless quality of the oak integration is apparent upon your first sip. Other little tweaks to maintain freshness have also been made.” –Wilson Daniel’s, Importer.
 HOT DEAL!  Clerico Barolo del Comune di Monforte d’Alba 2020 750ml $49 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 Points “Spiced cranberry and blood orange peel off the top of the Domenico Clerico 2020 Barolo del Comune di Monforte d’Alba. This vintage is open and front-loaded overall; however, it does touch on all the main elements atop the Nebbiolo playlist. The wine is lean with young tannins. All said and done, the oak is graciously underplayed, and all the wine needs is another year or two in bottle to allow the fruit to flesh out. It ages in large oak casks with about 10% in barrique.”
Domenico Clerico Aeroplan Servaj, Barolo DOCG, Italy 2020 750ml $125 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97+ Points “The 2020 Barolo Aeroplan Servaj offers a bright and elegant fruit profile with tart fruit, blackcurrant, spice, cola, licorice and candied orange peel. It feels ironed out and smooth, folding softly over the palate initially yet ending with firm structure and framing. This wine normally represents a selection of fruit from Baudana in Serralunga d’Alba (planted in 1994), but the big change this year is that Aeroplan Servaj only sees fruit picked in the coolest parts of the vineyard.”
Domenico Clerico Barolo Bricotto, Barolo DOCG, Italy 2020 750ml $149 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97+ Points “This wine stands out for its elegance and ephemeral personality. The Domenico Clerico 2020 Barolo Bussia Bricotto has a pretty fruit profile with cherry cola, dried strawberry and a fragrant floral character of rose or hibiscus. The fruit takes center stage, and there is some light spice with shadings of cinnamon stick and nutmeg. The wine has good acidity and structure. This was the first vineyard purchased by the late Domenico Clerico in 1976, and this is the new, restyled version.”
Domenico Clerico Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Barolo DOCG, Italy 2020 750ml $119 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97 Points “The Domenico Clerico 2020 Barolo Ginestra Ciabot Mentin shows really great balance in terms of the oak integration. For the first time, the estate has decided to use large oak casks (removing the barrique entirely), and the results are extraordinary. There is a lot of dark fruit, like cranberry and currant, that holds tight and defines the wine throughout. There is black tea and spice, but these tones work with the fruit not against it. It finishes smooth, with glossy tannins, pretty acidity and a much brighter and lighter overall personality.”
Domenico Clerico Pajana, Barolo DOCG, Italy 2020 750ml $108 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 Points “The Domenico Clerico 2020 Barolo Ginestra Pajana shows great balance between dark fruit and integrated spice from increasingly hands-off oak aging. The results are impeccably smooth, and the fruit remains bright, very vibrant. It closes dry with smoky tar and licorice. However, the Pajana holds a big fruit profile, and it carries throughout. The combination of fruit and tannins roll over the palate, making this an important, age-worthy Barolo. These vineyards were planted in 1971 with about half re-planted in 1991. This vintage represents the first time that the Clerico team has worked exclusively with 5,000-liter oak botti, and this important tweak brings beautiful results.”
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Be well & drink well.