Vinopolis Newsletter 9-9-19

In Today’s Newsletter:

Flash Bin End Sale on JJ Christoffel

A Selection of Argentina’s Finest (Beyond Malbec)

New Arrivals from Oregon

Collector’s Corner

Rosés of the Loire

Three Late Released, Top Tier 2016 Burgundies

Hudelot-Noellat: The Best Buy in Vosne

Mosel Fine Wines Raves About Max Ferd. Richter

Flash Bin End Sale on JJ Christoffel

JJ Christoffel has somehow become one of the more underrated producers in the Middle Mosel. To know why, you have to understand a bit about the history of this fantastic estate. In the late nineties, they were one of the two or three best producers in the Mosel, producing some truly magical bottles. Hans-Leo retired after the 2001 vintage and Robert Eymael (of Mönchof fame) leased the estate, while retaining a two different winemaking styles (for his wines and the JJC bottlings).

That sent a signal to the greater Riesling loving world that it was time to move on, despite the fact that Hans-Leo Christoffel still consulted and the estate retained its impeccable holdings in the Erdener Treppchen. The wines were still very good (perhaps not quite as good as pre-2001, but not too far off) but they didn’t move the market like they used to.  Fast forward to now—our remaining Christoffel wines are going in a flash, bin end sale.  These have a bit of age on them and are absolute steals, especially for their new prices.  An undervalued estate is now even moreso, especially their two and three star Auslese, which come from extremely old, often ungrafted vineyards.

Flash Bin End Sale
Price Expire Tuesday Night (9/10) at 11:59PM

In Stock Now:

Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2013 750ML ($39.95) Was $29, Now $24, 5 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 90 points
“Shows a raciness to the pure-tasting flavors of fresh-cut green apple and white currant, with grapefruit accents. Hints of mustard greens show on the richly spiced finish. Drink now through 2034. 35 cases imported.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $31.99

Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese** “Herzlay” 2012 750ML ($69.95) Was $49, Now $39, 9 bottles in stock now
Terry Theise:
“That suffix “Lay” is local dialect for slate. This is from an old ungrafted parcel among the cliffs, and the wine has its usual swollen mass, firm richness and length. I’m glad of the relatively moderate sweetness; it thins the hugeness of fruit and makes it tinkle down the palate in snaky rivulets of salty terroir and tart apple. Also a sponti.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese** “Herzlay” 2013 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49, 11 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 90 points
“Offers lots of pastry puff notes to the airy peach and melon flavors. Spicy and lush, with a pillowy finish that lingers with dried ginger accents. A delicate style. Drink now through 2038. 5 cases imported.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Joh. Jos. Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese* “Kauen”  2012 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $36, 6 bottles in stock now
Terry Theise
: “We’re making a change in labeling. When we did stars – 1-star, 2-star, 3-star – it tended to create a false hierarchy, and led buyers to suppose they had to have the “best” one or the bullies would kick sand in their faces. So now we’re going to use the actual micro-parcel name, because the wines do in fact hail from single small pieces of land. It’s more informative, more truthful. This parcel is way up in the most forbidding terraces, and its wines have a kind of para-sensual slate expression, a sonnet of the rocks. It’ll buzz your fillings, this wine.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese ***, Mosel 2011 750ML ($79.95) Was $69, Now $59, 3 bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
“Golden yellow.  Scents of apple blossom, white raisin and quince are given depth by honeyed botrytis on the nose.  Rich, candied papaya fruit shows a velvety texture, but minty acidity keeps the palate fresh.  At once dense and light on its feet, with mineral salts providing spice on the long, elegant finish.  This will need time to reveal its full potential.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese ‘Kranklay’ ***, Mosel 2013 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49, 4 bottles in stock now
Terry Theise notes
“This parcel is below the sundial, spreading to either side, down where the slate is more crumbled and the wines have more finesse. This transparent delicacy is prized, bless them, above all other things such as ripeness or power. But this ’13 is a typically dark and brooding, at least today. It tastes like it’s encased in a crust of salt, fruit in a tiny dense kernel, waiting to pop.”
Mosel Fine Wines 90+ points “This wine was made from a painstaking selection of the best berries from the Estate’s prime holdings in the coveted Kranklay sector, situated just next to the Erdener Prälat. This delivers attractive scents of raspberry and yellow peach as well as quite some spicy presence on the palate. The finish is comparatively playful given the power this wine exhibits on the palate. Even if it is on the bulky side at the moment, this looks quite promising and could eventually turn out better than expected in a decade or two. 2018-2028.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Flash Bin End Sale
Price Expire Tuesday Night (9/10) at 11:59PM

A Selection of Argentina’s Finest (Beyond Malbec)

“It has been said that Argentina is a country where if you leave for a week, everything changes, but if you leave and come back 30 years later, everything is the same. While that maxim may describe the nation’s politics and economy, it definitely does not describe its wine industry or the quality of its wines. On the contrary: quality is higher than ever in Argentina and the country’s wines – and most-prized vineyards – have little resemblance to those of a generation ago. Recent successful vintages have only added impetus to the rise in quality.” –Stephen Tanzer

We try to carry the cream of the crop from Argentina, no matter the price point.  Whether you’re looking for wines that Lafite makes half a world away from Bordeaux, like Bodegas Caro or homegrown talent like the Aleanna project, there are more exciting wines than ever coming from Argentina.  Malbec is still king, but many of these wines are made in the fashion of top Bordeaux, blending a variety of grapes for structure and nuance. These are wines that stand with the top wines of France or California for ageworthiness and complexity, at prices that are far, far below what you’d pay in Bordeaux/Napa.

In Stock Now:

Bodegas Caro ‘Caro’, Mendoza 2012 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
James Suckling 98 points
“Incredible aromas of spice, cedar, walnut and dark berry. Floral too. Spectacular nose. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a racy and refined finish. Fresh and succulent. Made from old vines of mablec in Compuertas and cabernet sauvignon from Altamira. Such finesse. Half the normal production. The best wine ever from the Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and Nicolas Catena winery. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bodega Aleanna ‘Gran Enemigo’ Gualtallary Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Tupungato 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Advocate 98+ points
“The nose of the 2012 Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard almost made me fall from my chair. It is the expression of elegance and austerity coupled with strong minerality. It is mostly Cabernet Franc from a very chalky vineyard in Gualtallary at 1,430 meters altitude that fermented together with a small percentage of Malbec. In 2012 they fine tuned the élevage and fermentation, which was in rolling 500-liter barrels that were new in 2006 (so by then quite neutral), where the wine was kept for one more year and then transferred to 1,000-liter egg-shaped cement vats for one further year. This reminded me of my favorite Bordeaux, Lafleur, because of the elegance, the refinement of the tannins and length. It has citric, effervescent acidity that makes you salivate. Winemaker and Owner Alejandro Vigil has done a very strict selection of the soils in the field, and only kept the very center of the vineyard where the high density (12,000 plants per hectare) generates a lot of competition, because the plants from the borders have more space in the sides, which means in 2012 he could only fill 1,800 bottles. Awesome, and ultra fresh for a vintage like 2012. Bravo!”

Bodega Aleanna ‘Gran Enemigo’, Mendoza 2012 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2012 El Gran Enemigo is a blend of some 40% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% each Cabernet Franc and Merlot, quite a different blend from the 2011 vintage, but also all from Gualtallary in the Uco Valley. The idea for this blend is to only use grapes from limestone soils, always a blend, while the single vineyard from Gualtallary is basically a varietal Cabernet Franc. 2012 was a little cooler than 2011, but there’s a lot more Malbec here, and there are less herbal aromas and more floral tones. There’s hardly any oak in these wines now; they are aged in used, well-seasoned, neutral oak barrels and then transferred to cement vats. It feels purer, more defined, aromatic and subtle. This is really superb, with incredible citric acidity that makes you salivate. It keeps changing in the glass, one minute giving more herbal notes, the following minute turning floral, spicier, growing in the glass and developing new nuances. This is an impressive, age-worthy blend, with the telltale chalky tannins and a supple finish. ”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo 2015 750ML ($31.95) $26 special
Case-12 Casarena Owen’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Agrelo 2015 750ML ($359.95) $279 special (that’s only $23.25/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Tasted side by side with the 2014, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Owen’s Vineyard feels a lot fresher. This is an old, balanced, traditional vineyard that yields wines with very good depth and natural balance. There is perfect ripeness here and a notable absence of those green pepper aromas that often mask the personality of many Cabernets. These old vines yield very concentrated juice and it shows in the tannins and acidity, which show in perfect harmony. 30,000 bottles produced.”

Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza, Tupungato 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The one blend in the Eggo range is the 2015 Eggo Tinto de Tiza, which mixes Malbec with 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in 2,000-liter egg-shaped cement vats where the wine matured for almost one year. This feels quite complete and balanced, with good ripeness while keeping the balance and poise. The palate is juicy and fresh, with fine-grained tannins and a bittersweet finish akin to sour cherries. Very tasty and long. Super. Incredible for the price. 16,000 bottles were filled in January 2016.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

New Arrivals from Oregon

Twill’s turned into one of the wineries to watch in the WV.
Twill Cellars Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Winery Note
“Aromas of lemon blossom, tangerine, salt, peach, crushed rock are complemented with undertones of fresh cream, lime and passion fruit. On the palate, notes of tangerine, and meyer lemon are wrapped up in a savory, bright, and chewy yet lithe frame. The finish carries on with an echo of minerals, cream, and citrus.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Patricia Green “Patty Green Commemorative” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($79.95) $62 special
Winery Note
“In attempting to create a wine that encapsulated Patty as a person, I spent a long time thinking about how to present this wine. It is not about the taste, weight, balance, or aromatics but rather the emotion associated with it.  I sat there for a long time thinking about Patty and how I have felt since her passing, and finally settled on how I would like people to feel about this wine when enjoying it over the coming years.  I think I found the right thing after nearly two years of missing her: Hopeful.
“‘Hopeful’ is what I want this wine to evoke. I want you all to feel hopeful when you taste it, drink it, cellar it, or give it to a friend or loved one. It is one of the most important characteristics I think about when I consider who Patty was and what she offered to other people in a variety of different ways. Hope is a really powerful thing in this world. It can bring out things in people they never knew they had in them. Patty was a person who people gravitated toward, and I think that in many cases it was because they saw something in her that they could learn from and something that could create a spark within them. My wish is that this wine, from her final vintage, will be something you can take with you and that you can enjoy at times when things are going great, or when a major event in your life transpires, or when you need to tell someone you love them, or just to remember and honor Patty….
“We hope that this bottle of Pinot Noir provides the excellence of character you all have come to expect from our wines. This wine will provide a vehicle for remembering her fondly for the moments of joy and inspiration she brought to so many people, even if she was mostly unaware of her impact at the time. We hope that the photo on the label captures the essence of her and her ongoing impact on this winery, the people who work here and the Oregon wine community as a whole. She’s still around, and while we may not be able to see her, we know that she’s always up to something. Thank you all for your support over the years. Patty’s true talent was creating families, and she created a huge one here with this winery.- Jim Anderson

PG’s Reserve is always a barometer for a vintage and boy does 2018 look good.
Patricia Green Cellars Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery Note
“The Reserve program has evolved from an every-so-often produced bottling to the mainstay of our production. This bottling allows us to accomplish two things that are very important to us as a winery. The first thing is that it allows us to use barrels from our vineyard designated sites that we think don’t represent what we think that site’s profile truly is. Sometimes that is based on vine age, clonal material or location within the site. This allows our vineyard designated wines to be true expressions of the site on a year in and year out basis. Secondly, it allows us to create a blended wine that has a degree of consistency to it each vintage that is of high-quality and will retail for $27. In short, this wine is a smoking deal!…If there is another Oregon winery that has a finer, more reputable and amazing “cellar of older vine sites than us I would be interested to know which winery that is. This bottling comes from terrific sources. ”

One of the best, most under-the-radar values in Oregon.
J.K. Carriere Provocateur Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Winery Note
“Medium ruby red is its color. Cinnamon, Bing cherry, and freshly sharpened pencil waft from the surface. On the palate it mounts an attack that can only be described as a longed-for-ambush. What? Yeah, it’s a surprisingly bombastic mouthful of freshly ripened red fruit: raspberry, currant, strawberry, red plum and cherry. Fresh, vibrant, intense and gulpable are words that come close. There’s a whole lot of background sophistication, absolutely no stupidity and forever drinkability here. Go long Jimmy.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
OG/OV Pinot from a great vintage—now back in stock.
The Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($79.95) $66 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points
“Light, vivid red. Highly expressive, spice-tinged red fruit, incense and potpourri qualities on the seductively perfumed nose, which is given vivacity by a smoky mineral accent. Sappy, alluringly sweet and precise on the palate, offering lively cherry liqueur, raspberry and five-spice powder flavors, along with a sexy floral nuance. Fine-grained and seamless in style, finishing extremely long and pure, with sneaky power, resonating spiciness and smooth, harmonious tannins. (all neutral oak).”
Wine Advocate 95+ points “Pale to medium ruby in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir Original Vines is a touch shy on the nose, with dusty/rocky notes opening to cola, oolong tea leaves, dried tobacco, bitter peel and spices. Light to medium-bodied, it’s electric in the mouth, with broody dried black cherry and black raisin accented by tea leaves, petrichor, tree bark, exotic spices and dried flowers. It has a wonderful frame of very fine tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing very long and very layered. EB”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Collector’s Corner

A gem of a wine, with extra power in this vintage but bright and ringing.
Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($799.95) $699 special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“An appealing mix of lemon cake, peach, citronella, floral and stone flavors, this white is light-footed, yet intense and luminescent. Beautifully integrated acidity drives the long finish, where elements of mineral, citrus and spice linger. Best from 2020 to 2032.”
Burghound 93-95 points “Don’t Miss! A pungent and more expressive nose offers up a broad assortment of aromas that include notes of matchstick, white orchard fruit and in particular white peach, exotic tea and plenty of citrus nuances. The mouth feel of the big-bodied flavors is notably more refined than usual yet the underlying power of a fine Bâtard is certainly present and especially so on the hugely long, firm and built-to-age finish. In a word, impressive.”

There’s no one like Dugat-Py, especially in a warm year like 2009.
Domaine Dugat-Py Pommard La Levriere Vieilles Vignes, Cote de Beaune, 2009 750ML ($249.95) $199 special
Burghound 89-92 points
“A very ripe nose features nose of plum, cassis and warm earth aromas that lead to rich, full-bodied and very serious big-bodied flavors that possess excellent mid-palate concentration and a sappy, long and mouth coating finish. This is an exceptionally good villages.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Owned/run by Moueix (Dominus/Petrus), this new project is on the rise.
Ulysses Vineyard, Napa Valley 2013 750ML ($189.95) $149 special
James Suckling 98 points
“Fabulous subtle aromas of black currants, violets and lilacs with a hot stone undertone. Full-bodied and dense, it shows such wonderful energy and synergy that delivers a firm yet gentle tannin backbone and complex mouthfeel that seduces you. Evolves wonderfully. Second wine from this new estate, which is owned by Christian Moueix of Dominus and Bordeaux.”
Robert Parker 96 points “The 2013 Ulysses is absolutely mind-boggling, as so many wines from this vintage are. Gorgeous blueberry and blackberry fruit, along with the telltale cassis and floral notes, jump from the glass. Again, this is Pauillac-like, with some cedar wood and subtle barrique smells. Again produced nearly all from Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is full-bodied, powerful, rich and long, with slightly sweeter tannins than the 2012. Production in 2013 was 960 cases, and Moueix told me that the entire growing season averaged about two and half weeks ahead of schedule from bloom break to harvest. This is a prodigious effort and will certainly stand as the great Ulysses of the first trio to be released. I suspect it will be drinkable in 3-4 years and keep for 30 or more, given the Moueix track record.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “Gravel, smoke, graphite, savory herbs, tobacco and iron are some of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. A typical wine from the eastern sector of Oakville on the border with Yountville, the 2013 is loaded with feral, savory notes, while the expression of blue/blackish fruit lies a bit more in the background. In 2013, the main signature is an expression of structure that is both vertical but also incredibly insistent through to the finish. In other words, this is a super-classic 2013 built for the cellar.”

“a wine of indisputable class” – Burghound
Sylvain Cathiard Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2009 750ML ($2,799.95) $2,499 special
Burghound 94-97 points
“A dazzlingly complex, perfumed and pure nose reveals a bit of wood influence yet remains strikingly elegant with its superb scope of spicy red berry fruit aromas that are followed by ripe, seductive and beautifully intense flavors that display marvelous depth and perfect balance on the sappy and naturally sweet finish of monumental length. This is a wine of indisputable class and a model of grace and understatement that should age effortlessly for 20 to 30 years.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
An Alsacian icon that’s becoming very tough to source.
Trimbach Riesling Clos Sainte Hune, Alsace 2013 750ML ($279.95) $219 special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 96+ points
“Bright straw-yellow. Yellow apple, tangerine, crystallized lemon peel and a chalky nuance on the rich, captivating nose. Then dense, tactile and tight in the mouth, communicating superb energy and perfume to the concentrated flavors of ripe citrus fruits and powdered minerals. The penetrating, slowly rising finish offers an almost magically mouthcoating combination of roundness and vibrant acidity; this seamless wine is loaded with insidious sweetness. A knockout Clos Sainte Hune–much deeper and more complex than the Frédéric Emile from the same vintage.”
James Suckling 97 points “This is very dense and powerful. Full-bodied and tight. Gives away very little at first but then opens to a full palate with incredible finish and length. Fabulous. 1.67 hectares as always. This won’t be released until 2020.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95+ points “As readers know Trimbach’s iconic Clos Sainte Hune comes from a 1.67 hectare plot on the Grand Cru Rosacker but is sold as Clos Ste Hune since 1919. The densely planted vines are pretty old (more than 50 years on average), with the oldest planted in the 1940s and the youngest in the 1980s. Bottled, like all the prestigious wines of Trimbach in April 2014, the 2013 Riesling Clos Ste Hune shows a very clear and deep, dusty/smoky, mineral nose which impressively reflects the Muschelkalk terroir. Rich, precise and pure also on the nobly textured and highly elegant palate this expressive and full-bodied Riesling is penetrating mineral and piquant but also very juicy. The finish is extremely long and complex. Very promising and stunningly accessible already. However, this wine won’t be in the market before 2019/20.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
One of the most singular wines in all of Spain—a bottle of genius.
Terroir Al Limit Les Manyes, Priorat DOCa 2014 750ML ($259.95) $219 special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The 2014 Les Manyes was bottled a little earlier, in June 2016. In many wineries in Priorat, 2013 is clearly better than 2014, but it’s not that clear in the case here, and you have to take it wine by wine. In the case of this Les Manyes, I think 2014 was the big surprise, with a combination of depth, perfume, subtleness and power difficult to achieve. The clay and chalky soils provide for an extraordinary texture of tannins, a lot less coarse than those from slate soils. It distills all the Mediterranean herbs and flowers, the essence of ripe red cherries and wild strawberries with some chalky minerality in a nose and palate that is close to perfection. This is a tour de force Garnacha from… chalky soils in Priorat! There are 1,008 bottles produced.”
Wine & Spirits 97 points “Dominik Huber farms this wine in an unusual place by Priorat standards: It comes from a vineyard at 2,600 feet in altitude-one of the highest in the region-on red clay soil rather than the more celebrated slate. The result is a wine as taut as a high-tension cable, with an acidity so firm and strong that it seems to electrify the wine. Made entirely of garnacha, held in a single 1,200-liter barrel for two years before bottling, it’s rich in red fruit, spice and mineral notes, but above all it is rich in structure. A wine to drink in a decade.”

Rosés of the Loire

The Loire has a justly deserved reputation as the “bargain garden” of France, producing wines that punch above their weight no matter what the price. Rosés are no exception to this rule—delicious and crisp from the cool climate of their origins.  We recently had two long-awaited rosés arrive, from Baudry and Olga Raffault, and wanted to feature them today (along with their cousins from up and down the river).

Just Arrived:

Bernard Baudry Chinon Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($21.95) $19.90 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points
“Glistening orange-pink. Vibrant, mineral-accented strawberry, cherry, pink grapefruit and floral scents are complemented by a spicy white pepper accent. Intense red berry and bitter orange pith flavors show sharp delineation and an appealingly light touch. Closes floral and long, displaying firm tension and resonating minerality.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Olga Raffault Chinon Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($21.95) $19 special
Josh Raynolds 91 points
“Limpid orange. Lively and sharply focused on the nose, displaying mineral-tinged red berry and pit fruit scents and a suggestion of orange zest. Dry and nervy in style, offering taut strawberry, white peach and candied rose flavors and a sweetening touch of honey. A suave floral note emerges with air and carries through a long, energetic finish that echoes the mineral and peach notes.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Also In Stock Now:

Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($17.95) $14.40 special
Case-12 Plouzeau Chinon Rive Gauche Rose, Loire ($199.95) $149 special (that’s only $12.42/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points
“Shimmering orange-pink. Highly perfumed, mineral-accented strawberry and floral scents are complemented by a slowly building hint of orange zest. Dry and lively on the palate, offering bitter cherry and red berry flavors and a spicy touch of white pepper. Finishes clean and long, displaying repeating florality and a nervy touch of dusty minerals.”
VinopolNote “While Chinon is best known for its lovely, savory bistro reds, a few producers make dynamite rosé from the AOC as well.  Plouzeau is one of those that makes excellent rosé, and the 2018 version is tops. As a red, some don’t love Chinon because of its herbal, savory streak, but that’s tempered in rosé form, turning into a lovely background note of thyme or rosemary to complement the bright juicy fruit.  This is dry and crisp—and more importantly budget friendly.  It’s one of the best values in the rosé world, especially if you buy it by the case!”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Thibaud Boudignon Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Importer note
“80% Cabernet Franc, 20% Grolleau from 25+ year old vines grown on shallow soils of grey schist and rhyolite (volcanic soil) and clay. Indigenous yeast fermentation of direct press rosé with no malo. Aged in stainless steel.”

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Domaine de la Chignardiere Gamay Rose, IGP Val de Loire 2018 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Lucien Crochet Sancerre Pinot Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
Importer Note
“Indeed, the 2018 Sancerre Rosé—clocking in just shy of 14%–is deeper in color than usual, as well as more vinous and commanding on the palate. Pure Pinot Noir produced solely from direct-press juice and aged on its lees in stainless steel, this ’18 manages to carry its weight very well, with ultra-bracing acidity and a sense of lift on the nearly viscous palate. While this wine often drinks much like Crochet’s epic whites—steely and mineral, with enormous cut—one feels the Pinot Noir a bit more in this vintage, but it is ultimately a very interesting and delicious rosé”

Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Terre de Maimbray Rose, Loire 2018 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points
“Pale, shimmering pink. Vibrant, mineral-accented red currant, strawberry and blood orange aromas are complemented by a suave floral nuance. Shows impressive energy and precision on the palate, which displays intense citrus fruit, red berry and floral pastille flavors supported a bracing spine of dusty minerality. The floral note comes back strong on the bright, focused finish, which leaves a building mineral note behind.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Three Late Released, Top Tier 2016 Burgundies

2016 is going to go down as a Burgundy vintage that’s known for scarcity as much as its (high) quality.  It seemed as if most of the top tier wines had come and gone, but we’ve secured these three beauties, arriving Wednesday.  All offer excellent value for their pedigree compared to other producers of the same vineyards, and what vineyards they are—Charmes is one of the top vineyards in Chambolle and neither Romanée St. Vivant nor Clos Vougeot need much in the way of hype.

Arriving Wednesday:

Jean-Claude Boisset Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes, Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($179.95) $138 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95-96 points
“There’s an attractive perfumed nose with plenty of violets, red cherries and blueberries, leading to a helix-like palate (50% whole clusters). Extremely attractive depth and balance here. The tannins are nicely tamed. Shows terrific freshness and energy, as well as plenty of dark-cherry flavors. A tangy, plum-stone finish. Try from 2022.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Louis Latour Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru “Les Quatre Journaux” 2016 750ML ($599.95) $499 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 100 points
“This is a grand cru that shows its intensity and complexity and greatness from the beginning. Blackberry, licorice and stone aromas. Full body and a center palate that shows ripe fruit and full richness. Then the tannins kick in. Great wine. Drink in 2024.”

Louis Jadot Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 97 points
“Rose, cherry and spice aromas introduce this light-bodied, saturated version. The flavors add wild strawberry, incense and kirsch notes, while remaining persistent on the kaleidoscopic finish. Feels tense now, yet should develop nicely over time. A mineral element lingers. Best from 2023 through 2045.”

Hudelot-Noellat: The Best Buy in Vosne
The best buy in Grand Cru Vosne is library Hudelot-Noëllat.  Through the mid-aughts, they were a true insider’s secret—a venerable domaine with great holdings that had underperformed until recently.  The current winemaking team has pushed Hudelot-Noëllat to new heights and the wines are still values.  It’s hard to find Richebourg and Romanée St. Vivant at this quality level for this sort of pricing (compare to, say, Cathiard, to get a sense of the values they offer).

From what we’ve seen across the country, the new releases of both Richebourg and RSV are going to push $700-800 (or more), which makes this offering of perfectly cellared wines a steal (in relative terms).  These are wines that have a decade-plus head start in their journey to maturity and the cost for that time is practically nothing—a real opportunity.

We’ve secured additional stock on many of these wines, arriving at the end of the month, and are showing you a few highlights here.  You can also view the entire set online and buy them now—like with most top Burgundies, quantities on each individual wine are extremely limited.

Arriving ETA September:

Hudelot-Noellat Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes, Premier Cru 2008 750ML ($199.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Burghound 91 points
“An exceptionally pretty and refined nose offers up very fresh red pinot fruit aromas nuanced by earth, crushed herbs and very discreet spice hints that can also be found on the generous yet precise middle weight flavors that possess a textured mouth feel and a strikingly intense and persistent finish that also evidences a touch of austerity. Like its villages counterpart, this is very Chambolle in character but with much better overall complexity.”
Stephen Tanzer 90 points “Pale medium red. Sexy nose offers red fruits, crushed stone, cinnamon and flowers. Broader and suppler than the Chambolle villages, but still with a light touch to its musky red berry and cherry flavors. Nice sap and energy here, but less tart than the village offerings. This persistent wine will rely as much on its acids as on its tannins for structure.”

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Hudelot-Noellat Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2006 750ML ($319.95) $279 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 92+ points
“Medium red. Slightly musky nose began tight but showed black cherry and menthol with air. Then very sweet, fruit-driven and light on its feet, with pungent red berry flavors spreading out to saturate the palate without giving any impression of weight. Offers superb intensity of fruit and length. A splendid showing today, but this also has the acid/tannin spine for a long and positive evolution in bottle.”
Burghound 91-94 points “A noticeable touch of wood spice adds nuance to the otherwise earthy and relatively somber red pinot fruit where notes of underbrush and a hint of animale are also present. The big and well-muscled flavors possess fine concentration and lovely texture on the brooding and youthfully austere finish that is not only very firmly structured but delivers seriously impressive length. This is a powerful wine by any standard but particularly so in the context of the vintage and one that will need at least a decade to be at its best.”

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Hudelot-Noellat Richebourg Grand Cru 2008 750ML ($799.95) $699 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 94+ points
“Medium red. Pungent perfume of blood orange, licorice and herbs, lifted by a floral topnote. Tactile but backward, with terrific lift and perfume to the raspberry and crushed fruit flavors. The terrific rising finish displays great energy and a wonderfully light touch. Really stains the palate. With aeration, a deeper smoky, earthy tang and more adamant minerality emerged. A beauty, but lay it down for at least seven or eight years.”

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Hudelot-Noellat Vosne-Romanee Les Malconsorts, Premier Cru 2008 750ML ($499.95) $399 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points
“Bright medium red. Knockout nose offers plum, raspberry, Oriental spices, blood orange, minerals and underbrush; a real essence of Vosne-Romanee. Then dense and sappy in the mouth, with wonderful pinot tang to the dark raspberry and crushed stone flavors. Offers a compelling combination of chewy texture, electric energy and intriguing soil tones. Finishes with superb palate-dusting persistence. This is almost grand cru-like in its power.”

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Hudelot-Noellat Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots, Premier Cru 2008 750ML ($279.95) $219 pre-arrival special
Burghound 91 points
“A spicy and ultra-pure nose features notes of mostly red berries, sandalwood and soft Asian-style tea hints. There is excellent freshness and verve to the well-detailed and attractively textured flavors that possess a dusty and mildly austere finish that delivers very fine depth and length. This velvety effort is not so far away as to be unapproachable but even so I would advise holding this for another 4 to 6 years or so first. In a word, lovely.”
Stephen Tanzer 91+? points “Medium red. Complex nose melds minerals, pepper, flowers, coffee, spices and caraway seed, with maraschino cherry and licorice scents emerging with aeration. Dense but light on its feet, displaying good tangy energy to its dark fruit, spice, pepper and mineral flavors. In a rather masculine style and youthfully tight today, showing little in the way of easy sweetness. Finishes with a saline element and an impression of solid dry extract.”

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Mosel Fine Wines

Raves About Max Ferd. Richter

“Constantin Richter was quite relaxed when describing his 2018 vintage: “2018 was about sunshine and little rain. We have vineyards spread over the central part of the Middle Mosel and in all these areas, including on the Brauneberger hill, we were lucky that some rain fell regularly enough for the vines to withhold the heat. The sunshine and dry weather proved beneficial to our holdings in the side valleys: Unlike what happens in normal vintages, the vines in these vineyards evolved aromatically as well as in the main vineyards…Regarding cellar work, I was weary of burnt flavors in the skins so we neither did any pre-fermentation cold soak nor did we rely on whole bunch fermentation in 2018. I like the 2018 wines as they are quite charming. They combine the ripe zest of 2012 with the roundness of 2011.””

“The Richters did not defy the vintage as some of their colleagues. They played with the vintage to produce some gorgeous wines with a touch more ripeness and roundness than usual, but also with the playful side that has made the success of their Estate over the years. The sweet spot of the vintage are the fruity-styled wines, provided one takes into account that these wines sometimes kick at a level higher than their Prädikat indicated on the label….All in all,Max Ferd. Richter took the vintage and produced utterly enjoyable and playful wines. One could nearly say: As usual.” – Mosel Fine Wines

Arriving ETA December:

Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese *** (Fass 138) 2018, Mosel 375ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points
“The 2018er Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese *** Fass 138 is a botrytis selection harvested at 138° Oechsle on old vines in the prime Sandpichter sector, and was fermented down to noble-sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a gorgeous nose of date, pineapple, almond cream, raisin and smoky spices. The wine is beautifully creamy and yet zesty on the palate and leaves a gorgeous feel of ripe fruits and creamy almond in the long and suave finish. While intense, this noble-sweet Auslese retains an immensely satisfying playful side. 2033-2068.”

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Max Ferd. Richter Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Mosel Fine Wines 94 points
“The 2018er Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese was made from clean grapes harvested at a full 95° Oechsle, and was fermented down to sweet levels of residual sugar (90 g/l). It offers a gorgeous and delicately exotic nose made of pineapple, coconut, herbs and smoke on the nose. The wine develops great focus on the gorgeously creamy and zesty palate. It leaves one with the creaminess of an Auslese and the raciness of a Spätlese in the remarkably multi-layered yet playful finish. 2028-2048.”

Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points
“The 2018er Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese was made from clean grapes harvested at a full 95° Oechsle, and was fermented down to fully sweet levels of residual sugar (95 g/l). It offers a beautiful nose of bitter lemon, mirabelle, laurel and whipped cream. The wine delivers nice flavors of pear, ginger, Provence herbs, cream and herbs, and leaves the beautifully racy but unctuous structure of an Auslese in the finish. It remains beautifully playful in the after-taste. 2028-2048.”

Max Ferd. Richter Veldenzer Elisenberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points
“The 2018er Veldenzer Elisenberg Riesling Kabinett was harvested at 84° Oechsle and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (50 g/l). It offers a beautiful nose made of white peach, cassis, gooseberry, pear, laurel, herbs and spices. The wine develops the delicate creaminess of a Spätlese on the otherwise nicely crisp palate. The finish is long and nicely fruity. Ripe mirabelle and some herbs join the zesty side in the after-taste. 2028-2048.”

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Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Trocken Uralte Reben GG, Mosel 2018 750ML ($59.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Mosel Fine Wines 91+ points
“The 2018er Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Trocken Uralte Reben GG was made in traditional Fuder cask from over 100 year-old un-grafted vines in the Brück part of the vineyard. It offers an intense nose made of grapefruit bitter, anise, herbs and some white flowers. The wine develops a rather intense but quite structured feel of lemon zest, camphor, herbs and fine spices on the palate. The finish is quite powerful and hugely tart. 2021-2028.”

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