Vinopolis Newsletter: 7-27-16

Jump Start Sale: Zorzal; Newly Arrived: Crowley; Spanish Trending Alert; Staff Picks; Flash Rose Sale: Henri Bonnaud; Arriving Tomorrow: Old School/Old Vine Domaine la Milliere CDP & CDR; New Chardonnay/Chablis Reviews from Vinous Media: Varner, Pattes Loup, Domaine Servin & Gilbert Picq; Champagne Tarlant; Elio Altare – Arriving in August; Subscriber-Only Brunello Sale

Sale Ends Midnight, July 31st
Prices Going South of the Equator


An Argentinian Tour de Force
Zorzal Zummer Zale
Jump Start Sale: Zorzal

The world of wine seems ever-expanding. From Washington, to Australia, to South America, the discovery of new producers and growing regions unfolds like a map. Less than ten years ago, a new winery called Zorzal appeared in Argentina’s emergent Valle de Uco. Zorzal’s trio of Michelini brothers blended the freedom of New World winemaking with an appreciation for fine Old World wines and classic varieties. Then, in 2012, the global wine community took note of Zorzal: Robert Parker awarded their 2008 Porfiado, made in the winery’s inaugural vintage, 94 points. Two years later, Wine & Spirits Magazine includedZorzal’s Tinto de Tiza 2012 in its list of the best 100 wines for 2014. The nameZorzal had earned its place in the world atlas of fine wine.The ultra-modern, gravity-fed Zorzal winery and its 173 acres of vineyard lie in Gualtallary, some 50 miles east of Santiago de Chile, on the east side of the snow-capped Andes. Arid and sunny at 4400 feet above sea level, with cool breezes coming off the mountains, this is a wonderful place to ripen wine grapes. The calcareous, alluvial soil contains a high amount of rocks and chalky pebbles, plus some sand, providing a complex home for Malbec, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and more. Hand harvesting and sustainable vineyard practices ensure healthy fruit, which Zorzal likes to pick earlier than neighboring producers, to preserve acidity and freshness. In the winery “Fruit before oak,” says Zorzal, “austerity before exuberance.” Currently, Zorzal makes about 30,000 cases per year.

The wines of Zorzal combine tradition with progress, Old World with New, structure and fruit with acidity and minerality, and debut with fame. Vinopolis stands behind Zorzal’s universally-appealing, terroir-driven wines, and is proud to support them in the USA. To us, these wines resemble and reflect those of the Loire, while remaining uniquely Argentine. Think of them as avant-garde Loire wines, yet richer, bolder, and less astringent. Pop open a few bottles and see what we and the Wine Advocate are talking about. Get some cases now before this boutique winery becomes exclusive: Zorzal, the Valle de Uco, and Argentina are definitely on the map now.

The entire line from Zorzal is on sale, but only until Sunday midnight – all listed below:

Zorzal Eggo Blanc de Cal, Tupungato, Argentina 2014 750ML ($29.95) Was $24, Now $20.90
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2014 Eggo Blanc de Cal is pure Sauvignon Blanc from two different vineyards in Gualtallary. The full clusters are pressed and the must was fermented and aged in contact with the lees for nine to ten months in their famous egg-shaped cement vats. This is more subtle and earthy, less Sauvignon, with the fruit expressing itself in a lower-pitched voice, more of a baritone. It’s also has a little wider, pungent and powerful character in the mouth. This is only around 13% alcohol, and even though in 2014 it didn’t go through malolactic fermentation, it’s still a very light and fresh wine. Groundbreaking Sauvignon. 4,800 bottles were produced, fruit of two eggs.” LG

Zorzal Eggo Franco Cabernet Franc, Tupungato, Argentina 2015 750ML ($34.95) Was $27, Now $21.90
No reviews yet on the 2015. Here is the Wine Advocate on the 2014: 94 points
“There is a Cabernet Franc in the Eggo range, and I tasted the 2014 Eggo Franco, produced with grapes from Tupungato Winelands in Gualtallary, a place that defines itself as a wine country club that touts a combination of real estate, vineyards and sport facilities, including golf and polo! The vines were only planted in 2008 (everything in Gualtallary is really new). There are some 300 hectares of vines there, in one of the best parts of Gualtallary. They have three-hectare plots owned by mostly foreign investors and most of the highly sought after grapes are sold. Zorzal has agreements to buy grapes (and control the viticulture) of 20 of these plots. Incredibly perfumed for a Cabernet Franc, as the nose is very floral and made me think of a Malbec rather than a Cabernet Franc. The spiciness of all these Eggo wines comes from the grapes and the fermentation and aging in cement, as none of the wines see any oak. And I tell you one thing, you do not miss the oak or the complexity or anything, it’s all here. This is the first year for this vertical, fresh, tremendous Cabernet Franc. Well done, bravo! 2,200 bottles produced. The Michelini brothers keep producing fresh, elegant and terroir-driven wines from their base in Gualtallary. The range seems to be growing almost infinitely, as their creativity also seem to have no limits”

Zorzal Eggo Filoso Pinot, Tupungato, Argentina 2014 750ML ($29.95) Was $24, Now $20.90
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2014 Eggo Filoso Pinot Noir is produced with fruit from Gualtallary. It fermented after carbonic maceration in cement vats and like the whole Eggo line, it matured in cement eggs for some nine months and never saw any oak. Pale-colored, floral and showing a lactic touch, it is earthier than the Gran Terroir. The palate is medium-bodied, with floral flavors, very good acidity and a fine texture.”

Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza, Tupungato, Argentina 2014 750ML ($39.95) Was $33, Now $29
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2014 Eggo Tinto de Tiza is a blend from three different vineyards in Tupungato Winelands in Gualtallary. It’s a blend of mostly Malbec with some Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. As is the case with the whole Eggo range, the wine didn’t see any oak, and in this case it was matured in egg-shaped cement vats for one year. There are violets, plums, dark cherries and something earthy. This is slightly riper than the 2013. The medium-bodied palate has is fresh with a silky texture, pure flavors and a mineral-driven finish. At this price I’d buy it by the case. Super!”

Zorzal Terroir Unico Pinot Noir, Tupungato, Argentina 2013 750ML ($17.95) Was $14, Now $11.90
Wine Advocate 91 points
“The 2013 Terroir Unico Pinot Noir follows the idea of the Terroir Unico range, to show the pure expression of the grape and the place in a line of unoaked wines. This was 20-30% whole-cluster fermented and is very pale colored, almost a rose, very perfumed, with aromas of red fruit and flowers opening to a light to medium-bodied palate, high acidity (blood orange), and a pure, fresh finish. Highly drinkable. Can the price be real?”

This Just In…….
…….Crowley 2014 WV Pinot


Crowley Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
VinopolNote: The 2014 Willamette Valley is all first-press wine comprised mostly of Pommard clone Pinot with some Dijon and the last of the Gehrts Vineyard (now that Jadot has purchased the vineyard). The WV was aged in barrel for over 16 months before bottling. It’s a lighter styled Pinot with highly perfumed notes of cranberries, garrigue and fresh flowers. It’s medium to light bodied with very finely grained tannins that coat the palate and a refreshing acidity. The entire range of 2014s from Crowley has benefitted from the new entry-level wine, A La Votre, made from 9 barrels of press wine. Consequently, each of the 2014s is a step up in quality. -Suzanne

Spanish Trending Alert!
Alvaro Palacios ‘Les Terrasses’ Velles Vinyes, Priorat DOCa 2013 750ML ($41.95) $28 special
Case-12 Alvaro Palacios ‘Les Terrasses’ Velles Vinyes, Priorat DOCa 2013 750ML ($449.95) $299 special (that’s only $24.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2013 Les Terrasses Velles Vinyes, from a rainy year and a late harvest that resulted in perfect ripeness and low yields, is a blend of 55% Garnacha and 45% Cariñena. You might find labels and literature referring Cariñena to as Samsó, something that is wrong and creates confusion since Samsó is the Catalan name for Cinsault. The grapes are sourced from different villages (Gratallops, La Vilella Baixa, Bellmunt, El Lloar, El Molar, Porrera, Scala Dei, Torroja and Poboleda) all of them grown on schist llicorella soils, fermented in a combination of oak and cement vats with natural yeasts and matured in barrique for one year. It has a meaty nose with aromas that transported me to the Northern Rhône, showing smoky bacon intermixed with violets and really well-integrated oak resulting in a very fine and elegant impression. It seems more refined than other vintages of Les Terrasses, lighter and more elegant with none of the volatility or oak of yesteryear. It is really fine, polished and is without edges. Somehow within the Atlantic vintage you can see the Mediterranean character. Awesome Terrasses and good value for Priorat. 95,500 bottles produced.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Brilliant ruby. A complex bouquet evokes raspberry and blackberry preserves, Indian spices, potpourri and smoky minerals. Deep, seamless and powerful, with lively fresh black raspberry, boysenberry and spicecake flavors, and a candied violet note that builds with air. The gently tannic finish shows excellent length and clarity.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $39

Descendientes de J. Palacios Petalos, Bierzo, Spain 2013 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Case-12 Descendientes de J. Palacios Petalos, Bierzo, Spain 2013 750ML ($249.95) $199 special (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
#53 Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2015
Wine Advocate 92 points
“Always among the best values of Spain, the 2013 Pétalos del Bierzo has an extra degree of freshness in a cool vintage, and some time in bottle always does this wine wonders. It’s aromatic, open and expressive, with floral aromas and bright fruit, wild strawberries and violets. This is always a subtle, medium-bodied wine, with fine tannins, sleek acidity and a fine minerality. Ready now.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “Expressive black cherry, currant, licorice, mineral and smoke flavors mingle in this focused red.  The texture is gentle but firm, with well-integrated tannins and racy acidity providing structure.  A compact wine that shows good intensity.  Drink now through 2023.”TM

Bodegas Allegro con Spirito Monte Hiniesta, Toro 2010 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
Case-12 Bodegas Allegro con Spirito Monte Hiniesta, Toro 10 750ML ($179.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle and the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The palate is medium-bodied with ripe, succulent, fleshy tannins that are caressing in the mouth. There is plump, ripe red berry fruit, red currant, raspberry and a touch of balsamic at the finish. This is just as good as the succeeding vintage. Drink 2014-2019.” WA
VinopolNote: The Spanish region of Toro produces powerful red wines from Tempranillo, which is known locally as the Tinto de Toro clone.  Tinto has thicker skins and lower general acidity, offering wines of a more robust and darker in style than typical Rioja and Ribera del Deuro expressions.  Juan Antonio Gernandez founded his winery in 2000 and runs the bodega with his wife.  This bottling is produced from grapes grown in clay, limestone and stony soils.  The vines average over 75 years in age.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2011 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2011 750ML ($299.95) $236 special (that’s only $19.67/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 91+ points
“The 2011 Reserva is mostly Tempranillo complemented with some 20% Garnacha, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. There are no stainless-steel vats at Muga, so everything is fermented in oak vats and this wine is then aged for one year in new French oak barrels and a further year in used ones (three to six years old), fined with egg white and bottled. It is a Rioja that mixes the traditional and modern character with ripe fruit and contains oak aromas that are quite spicy and have some toast and smoke that should integrate with a bit of time in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied, has clean flavors that are balanced with sweet tannins. This is easy to drink, pleasant but not banal, and delivers a lot for its price. An impressive half-million bottles are produced of this wine, which is sold as Crianza in Spain and as Reserva in the rest of the world. Year after year, one of the most reliable and affordable Reservas.” LGBodega Bernabeleva Navaherreros Garnacha, Madrid 2012 750ML ($24.95) $16 special
Case-12 Bodega Bernabeleva Navaherreros Garnacha, Madrid  2012 750ML ($219.95) $169 special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points
“(100% garnacha): Brilliant ruby-red. Fresh, intensely perfumed red and dark berries on the nose, with mineral, camphor and floral nuances building in the glass. Spicy raspberry and boysenberry flavors pack a solid punch but carry no excess weight. Finishes with very good spicy lift, fine-grained tannins and mineral-driven persistence.” JR

Staff Picks

Altesino Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2011 750ML ($59.95) $49 special*
Since 2002, Elisabetta Gnudi Angelini has owned the Altesino estate and works with Pietro Rivella and Paolo Caciorgna to produce the lineup of Brunellos, Rossos and ‘Super Tuscan’ style wines. Her 2011 Brunello di Montalcino, a longtime favorite at the shop, delivers with grace and power. The grapes are harvested from the estate vineyards of Montosoli, Macina, Pianezzine and Castelnuovo dell’Abate, which were planted in 1981, 1987 and 1999. Part of its distinctive style comes from the lack of new oak: this wine is all aged in old Slavonian barrels. The wine offers plenty of dark, smoky berry notes with wild herbs and dark spices. It’s an impressively complex Brunello offering notes of fresh cut flowers and dark chocolate as the wine sits in the glass. While this wine can age for a decade at least, if you can’t resist it tonight I suggest a healthy 2-4 hour decant to let the wine open and soften some of the tannin. –Suzanne
*Subscribers only: take 10% off this wine and all other in-stock Brunellos through July 31st – full details below!Chateau du Fort Pontus, Fronsac, France 2010 750ML ($24.95) $18 special
Case-6 Chateau du Fort Pontus, Fronsac, France 2010 750ML ($149.95) $99 special

Tucked away on Bordeaux’s Right Bank, just down the Dordogne from St. Emilion and Pomerol, the Fronsac Appellation quietly produces some of Bordeaux’s best early-drinkers. The lazy river, the wooded hills, the gravelly soil, and the châteaux: Fronsac is definitely Bordeaux. Château du Fort Pontus represents its bordelaise roots, but with a twist. The wine is 100% Merlot. Grown across 15 acres, the vines, 30 years old, are harvested manually, and the wines raised in the traditional style. Add all of this to a vintage like 2010, rated “outstanding” and which produced wonderfully concentrated wines, and you’ve got a wine that’s drinking deliciously today. Red and dark fruits, spice, and a Fronsac raciness combine across smooth, ripe tannins, all in balance, to end in a refreshing finish that clearly speaks with a Bordeaux accent. This is a wine to buy a case of, for when your taste demands fine French Merlot at an under-twenty-bucks price. Recently arrived here at Vinopolis! – Daniel

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

For the summer season we are offering UPS Three Day Select Service for the price of UPS Ground for shipments normally traveling 4 or more business days.
Free service upgrade only applies on single orders purchased and shipped during the promotional period.  Additional fees will apply to orders held for any reason until after the promotional period and shipped by Three Day Select.  Offer not valid on pre-arrival items that arrive after the promotional period.We offer flat rate shipping on any size single order / single shipment

-to Oregon for $17,
Washington & Idaho for $20,
-and 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.

Flash Rose Sale: Henri Bonnaud

This richly structured rosé hails from the Sainte-Victoire sub-appellation in Provence. The soils here are high in limestone and home to mostly Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre vines. This rosé offers excellent pairing potential with many summer dishes. Try it with grilled meats and veggies or marinated chicken.

Chateau Henri Bonnaud Cotes de Provence Sainte-Victoire Terre Promise Rose, Provence 2014 750ML ($21.95) Was $18, Now $16, 36+ bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 90 points
“This is a pretty wine with its elegant pale color and delicious fruit. Made from organically grown Grenache (85%) and Cinsault (15%), it is crisp, full of fresh red currant fruit and has a nervy, very fresh aftertaste.”
Winery note “The texture is smooth, rich, and silky. The wine has a long finish with notes of red fruits and spices. A structured rosé, as is ideal for a Côtes de Provence Rose.  50% Grenache, 50% Syrah.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!

Arriving Tomorrow

Old School/Old Vine
Domaine la Milliere

Domaine la Milliere Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes 2013 750ML ($24.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Winery note
“Equal contributors to the assembly, Grenache and Syrah join forces to bring you Red Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes by La Millière. A wine you can easily say is succulent and fruity with just the right hint of spice.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $22
Domaine la Milliere Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2012 750ML ($59.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 90 points
“The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is beautiful, with textbook, slightly old-school notes of saddle leather, garrigue, incense and sweet kirsch and blackberry fruit. Made from a blend of 60% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Counoise, it still has some tannin to integrate, but it has a solid, medium-bodied, classically styled palate feel with lots to like. It should drink nicely through 2021.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $47

New Chardonnay/Chablis Reviews from Antonio Galloni & Stephen Tanzer

Varner, Pattes Loup & Domaine Servin
And Arriving Friday: Gilbert Picq

Varner Wine Bee Block Spring Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 8 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2014 Chardonnay Bee Block is the standout in this lineup of Chardonnays from Bob and Jim Varner. Wonderfully complete and layered, the 2014 is all about balance, harmony and proportion. Everything is in the right place. The combination of phenolic intensity and creaminess is deftly balanced in a Chardonnay endowed with both tension and enough mid-palate intensity to give the wine its sense of openness.”Varner Wine Amphitheater Block Spring Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 1 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2014 Chardonnay Amphitheater Block wraps around the palate with striking depth. Creamy, ample and expressive, the Amphitheater is all about texture. Orange peel, mint, graphite, candied lemon and sweet floral notes abound in this deeply nuanced Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay. There is a lot to like here.”

Varner Home Block Spring Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 4 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“Varner’s 2014 Chardonnay Home Block is painfully young and austere, almost a California version of Chablis in its piercing intensity until the fruit kicks in. But the weight and overall structure are very clearly those of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Lemon, flowers, white pepper and chalk are all nicely delineated throughout. Readers will have to be especially patient with the Home Block, as it is quite reticent at this stage.”

Also Available Here Now from Varner:
Varner El Camino Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County 2013 750ML ($29.95) Was $24, Now $21.90, 36+ bottles available
Lettie Teague of the Wall Street Journal “Anti-Chardonnay drinkers have likely never experienced the well-balanced examples from Varner Wine. Their El Camino, produced from a cool-climate site in Santa Barbara, is full-bodied but vibrant, with a tropical nose and a hint of oak.”
VinopolNote: From El Camino Vineyard, Block 4. Los Alamos Clone 4, 100% stainless steel fermentation. 26% aged 6 months in new Francois Freres puncheons; 74% aged in stainless steel on fermentation lees. No malo-lactic fermentation.
Pattes Loup New Scores
from Stephen Tanzer
Thomas Pico Domaine Pattes Loup Les Beauregards, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 14 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92 points
“Pale yellow. Deeply pitched aromas of peach, apple, spices, crushed rock and lavender. More classic on the palate than the 2013 version, with a bracing quinine note contributing definition to the flavors of lemon and caraway seed. Not as fleshy or forward as the Côtes de Jouan but fresher, denser and more gripping, finishing with good saline extract and length.”Thomas Pico Domaine Pattes Loup Butteaux, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 8 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91+ points
“Pale straw-yellow. Subtle yellow flowers and strong stony minerality on the nose. The most salty and minerally of these premier crus but with a subtle touch of sweetness to the yellow peach and spice flavors. This very young Chablis offers lovely inner-mouth lift and finishes with a light touch.”

Thomas Pico Domaine Pattes Loup Cote de Jouans, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 16 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 89 points
“Pale-medium yellow. Expressive aroma of ripe apple, apple skin and cinnamon, plus notes of orange oil and mint; began with a late-picked quality but showed more floral lift and freshness with air. Broad, spicy and dry on entry, then more brisk and gingery in the middle, showing a fine-grained texture and good salty minerality. Today I don’t find the vibrant fruit of the year: will this wine blossom in bottle?”

Domaine Servin New Scores
from Stephen Tanzer

Domaine Servin Butteaux, Chablis Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($37.95) $28 pre-arrival special, ETA July 29th
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 88-89 points
“(from vines averaging 35 years of age; done entirely in tank, like all the premier crus here in 2015): Higher-toned and more exotic on the nose than the Forêts, offering aromas of pineapple and lichee. Then nicely concentrated and tactile on the palate, with bright yellow fruit flavors complicated by a salty element. Finishes dusty and firm.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Servin Mont de Milieu, Chablis Premier Cru 2014 750ML ($37.95) $28 pre-arrival special, ETA July 29th
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91 points
Deep aromas of lime, ginger and wet stone. Wonderfully rich and deep but with terrific inner-mouth lift and nuance to the mineral-rich flavors of citrus zest, flint and liquid stone. This very backward but edge-free wine is about much more than merely fruit. Finishes silky, smoky and long. The grapes here were extremely healthy in 2014, according to Marc Cameron.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Servin Blanchot, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special, ETA July 29th
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91+ points
“Very pale yellow. Delicate, high-pitched aromas of peach, ginger and white pepper. Wonderfully penetrating and pure but very tight today and not yet showing the detail of the Monteé de Tonnerre. Strong lemony acidity (4.7 grams per liter, according to Cameron) contributes to an impression of chalky austerity and carries the wine’s finish. Still an infant and likely to merit an even higher score as it matures in the cellar.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Servin Bougros, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special, ETA July 29th
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91+ points
“(done entirely in oak): Brisk aromas of lime, white peach, spearmint, white pepper and fresh-cut grass are complemented but not overwhelmed by a strong note of cinnamon spice. Juicy, savory and nicely concentrated; less oaky in the mouth than on the nose, with the orchard fruit and lime flavors leading to a saline finish featuring a touch of sweetness from the wood and good tannic grip. A very promising Bougros.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Servin Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special, ETA July 29th
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 93+ points
“Very pale yellow with a green tinge. Wonderfully subtle nose combines orchard fruits, lime blossom, white pepper, wet stone and gunflint. Conveys captivating sweetness to its penetrating flavors of white peach, flowers and saline minerality, with perfectly integrated acidity accentuating the impression of clarity. The high-pitched spicy, floral finish features terrific limey thrust and length.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!Newly Reviewed from Gilbert Picq
Arriving Friday

Gilbert Picq et ses Fils Chablis 2014 750ML ($27.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Gilbert Picq et ses Fils Chablis 2014 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 90+ points “Bright, pale lemon-yellow. Nose dominated by saline, iodiney oyster shell, ginger and fresh-baked bread. Thick and concentrated but penetrating as well, with its soft citrus and mineral flavors leavened by racy lemony acidity that still needs a couple years to harmonize. Delivers a superb combination of density of material, sucrosité and verve.”

Pure Champagne

If you haven’t heard of Champagne Tarlant, maybe your ancestors had. Founded in 1687 and passed down from generation to generation ever since, Tarlant is a household name in Epernay. The family grows 35 acres (with four crus in their portfolio) of the usual-suspect Champagne varieties, plus such grapes as Arbanne and Petit Meslier. After the crush in a traditional-style, round wooden press, each vineyard plot is vinified separately, in oak or stainless steel, and then raised in barrel. The Tarlant family does the blending, and likes its Champagne dry, so the wines are mostly undosed. This is classically pure Champagne, of deep-rooted descent.
Tarlant Champagnes Available Here Now
Tarlant La Vigne d’Antan Blanc de Blancs  2002 750ML ($249.95) $219 special, 2 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2002 La Vigne d’Antan is utterly breathtaking from the very first taste. A vivid, crystalline wine, the 2002 emerges with the essence of crushed rocks, salt and bright, citrus-infused fruit. Hints of white pepper and flowers add elements of exoticism in a striking, pure Champagne loaded with class. Readers who can find the 2002 should not hesitate as it is magnificent.”
These Champagnes arrive next week:
Tarlant Zero Brut Nature NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 91 points
“The NV Brut Nature Ero is a fascinating wine. It shows plenty of richness, despite the non-dosage style. Pears, apple tart, pastry, hazelnuts and dried flowers are some of the many nuances that flow from this deep, textured Champagne. This is a fabulous showing. Now, with a full year of disgorgement, the wine is drinking absolutely beautifully. The Ero is equal parts Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay from vineyards in the Vallee della Marne.” AGTarlant Zero Brut Nature Rose NV 750ML ($69.95) $48 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“Tarlant’s NV Brut Nature Rosé is even better. All of the elements come together beautifully in the glass as this powerful, precise wine takes shape over time. The wine shimmers across the palate with layers of beautifully articulated, perfumed fruit, showing marvelous precision and balance. The Brut Nature Rosé is 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir based on 2006 with the addition of reserve wines.” AG

Tarlant La Vigne Royale Blanc de Noirs 2003 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2003 La Vigne Royale, 100% Pinot Noir, is another fabulous Champagne from Tarlant. An explosive, deeply expressive Champagne, the Vigne Royale blossoms in all directions, showing superb purity and depth. Layers of fruit build to the broad, expansive finish. Sweet, floral notes leave a lasting impression. Dosage is 1 gram per liter.”

Elio Altare
Arriving in August

Guiseppe Altare arrived in La Morra in 1948, purchasing a small plot of land which would become the family’s storied estate. At the time, trees bearing hazelnuts, apples, and peaches lay just alongside the rows of Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto. After a trip to Burgundy with friends in 1976, his son Elio took a trip to Burgundy and fell quickly under the spell of wine and winemaking.

The story goes that Elio – armed with a chainsaw – took to the fields and cut down the fruit trees as well as the old wooden tanks in their humble cellar, clearing space on the property for more vines and in the cellar for a brand-new barrique. Giovanni, of another generation and mindset, felt offended by his son’s radical-seeming actions and ended up disowning his son. Elio stood by his actions, continuing towards achieving his vision as a winemaker.

The Altare approach favors balance and elegance, limiting the use of chemicals and pesticides to only absolutely necessary instances and fertilizing with organic cow manure. Indigenous yeast fermentations only, with no filtration or clarification in the wines and no other substances typically employed to modify the structure of a wine; sulfur levels are also kept low. Today, Elio and his wine continue to make the wine in addition to cheeses, medicinal herbs, and organic fruits and vegetables. Their daughter Silvia joined in early 2000, taking over much of the operations while their youngest daughter Elena lives in German and runs a small wine import company.

Elio Altare Wines Arriving in August
Elio Altare Dolcetto d’Alba 2014 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 90 points
“The 2014 Dolcetto d’Alba shows what a quality-obsessed grower can achieve in a tough year. The vintage may not have provided the best conditions, but that did not stop Altare from crafting a beautiful, expressive Dolcetto long on class and polish. Red plum, mint, sweet spices and lavender are layered into the exquisite, mid-weight finish. Yields were down around 30%, which is typical for the year.”Elio Altare Barbera d’Alba 2014 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 89 points
“The 2014 Barbera d’Alba is supple, juicy and immediate, with plenty of dark red/bluish fruit, sweet spices and flowers. Silky and beautifully expressive in the glass, the 2014 will deliver considerable drinking pleasure over the next few years.”

Elio Altare Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2011 Barolo shows elegance and poise with a meaningful feeling of purity and focus. Elio and daughter Silvia Altare added some additional fruit from the Liste cru for the first time to make this base Barolo. It sees no filtration or clarification. Pretty berry notes with licorice and toasted almond fill the palate. Wild berries and pressed cherry give the wine vertical lift and energy.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Altare’s 2011 Barolo is dark, sensual and super-expressive. Cherry, plum, tobacco, smoke, spice and leather meld together in an effortless, gracious Barolo built on texture and volume. The richness and breath of the vintage comes through in spades in an open, expressive Barolo that will drink well with minimal cellaring.”

Elio Altare Vigneto Arborina, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 point
s “The 2011 Barolo Arborina is a fantastic expression that boasts a seamless fusion of dark fruit and spice. It delivers character, power and a feminine side that comes forward thanks to pretty floral definition. Pressed violets and roses rise from the glass. Elio Altare makes his wines on the verge of reduction (meaning with minimal contact with oxygen) as a way of safeguarding the aromatic intensity. In the mouth, the wine awards fine tannins and silky, long persistency.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $97
Elio Altare Brunate, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points
“Sadly, the 2011 Barolo Brunate represents the last time this wine will be released. The Altare family lost its lease on this historic vineyard. In fact, this is the only year Altare will release a full range of wines including those being phased out and those being newly introduced. Elegance and grace are the main themes here, but you also get a pretty embroidery of violets, toasted almond and balsam herb. Elio and Silvia Altare tell me they are heartbroken to see this important part of their portfolio disappear. We all are.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $144Available Here Now from Elio Altare

Elio Altare Barolo DOCG 2010 750ML ($79.95) $61.90 special, 6 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2010 Barolo wraps around the palate with plums, mocha, smoke, menthol, spices and new leather. This is an unusually dark, muscular style for a straight Barolo. The shoulders are broad, but at the same time, there is more than enough richness to balance the tannins. The 2010 should drink well pretty much upon release, as it is packed with fruit, supple in personality and full of near-term appeal. Altare sources fruit from La Morra, Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga for his Barolo.” AG
Brunello di Montalcino Sale

Subscriber-Only Brunello Sale

Take 10% off on all in-stock Brunellos

We offer 38 Brunellos in-stock
and available here now to choose from:

Sale ends Sunday, July 31st at midnight
Does not apply to pre-arrival offers or case specials
Discount will not appear in online shopping cart

We will apply it here before charging

Explore the full list below. For complete reviews
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