Vinopolis Newsletter – Friday 09/15/2023

In This Newsletter:

New Arrivals
Patricia Green, JC Somers, Andre Clouet, Pascal Doquet, and more!
Staff Pick
Late Summer Alpine Elixir
Better Know A Wine Region
Oregon’s Dundee Hills
Close-out Sale
Save on big names like Vietti, Vieux Telegraphe, and Vocoret Chablis
Three Day Sale
Riesling: How sweet it is… or isn’t?
Collector’s Corner
The 100 Point Club: A Perfect Day for a Perfect Wine
Overall – despite the June ‘heat dome’ – the 2021 growing season in Oregon’s Willamette Valley was warm, and not hot, which may just be the template for a new classic vintage from the region. Slightly lower yields produced concentrated Pinot Noirs with fine tannins and Chardonnays of great freshness sure to become ageworthy collectables […] A five-star vintage for the Willamette Valley.
(Pursehouse, Clive. Oregon’s Willamette Valley 2021: Vintage Report and Top-Scoring Wines,, 15 Aug. 2023.)
“Evesham Wood, Salem OR”
Evesham Wood Le Puits Sec Pinot Noir 2021 750ml $49 special, 36 bottles available
Winery Notes “What a gorgeous wine. The nose jumps out of the glass with concentrated aromas of plum, violet and berries. That lift and concentration carries through as the mixed berries become even more concentrated, while beautifully balanced bright acidity leads to moderate tannins on the finish.”
“Patricia Green Cellars, Newberg OR”
Patricia Green Chehalem Mountain Pinot Noir 2021750ml $33 special, 24 bottles available
Winery Note “This wine combines the fruit driven intensity of the California clones that make up around 60% of its volume with the more densely structured and earthenly-nuanced clones that are common to Oregon. Combined with growing in marine soils and the isolated valley nature of this site it all adds up to a unique, dynamic, and intense without being too powerful sort of Pinot Noir.”
Patricia Green Freedom Hill Pinot Noir 2021 750ml $33 special, 24 bottles available
Winery Note “We have always said that this wine is the most “Freedom Hill-y” of all the Freedom Hill Pinot Noirs we produce. Historically this vineyard was known for producing dark, massive, large scale and highly structured wines. This bottling has always reached back into that history and pulled some of it forward. This is black-fruited wine with meaty overtones, earthy sidenotes and a wealth of structure.”
Patricia Green Freedom Hill Wadensvil Block Pinot 2021 750ml $42.50 special, 24 bottles available
Winery Note “We have been telling the story of this block of the vineyard for quite some time now. There is a wealth of intensity, structure and a mélange of both red and black fruits that will all come together in the final bottling to create a wine that is true to this site and spectacular in its own right. This is a phenomenal and unique bottling.”
Patricia Green Weber Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021 750ml $42.50 special, 24 bottles available
Winery Note “This wine has both the delicacy and fruitiness that this vintage has brought to bear in several vineyards. It is a naked wine, offering red fruits, an abundance of spice and a texture that is sublime and haunting. It is complete, age-worthy, unique all while still being a distinctly Worden Hill Rd Pinot Noir. Beautiful wine for old vine Dundee Hills vineyard fans.”
Patricia Green Reserve Pinot Noir 2021 750ml $26 special, 12 bottles available
Winery Note “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 be incredibly detailed about the barrels we select for our vineyard designated wines, so they true expressions of the site on a year in and year out basis. The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir bottling ‘Reserve’ is almost entirely made up of barrels that simply were not included in a more prestigious bottling, which allows us to choose from larger sections of our diverse vineyards. Secondly, it allows us to create a blended wine that has a degree of consistency to it each vintage that is of incredibly high-quality and will retail for under $30.”
Patricia Green Old Vine Estate Pinot 2021 750ml $39 special, 15 bottles available
Winery Note “The Estate Vineyard, Old Vine bottling is the flagship wine of Patricia Green Cellars. It exists because it is both delicious and unique, but also because it shows a particular aspect of this vineyard and the Ribbon Ridge AVA as a whole. This bottling is made up nearly entirely from vines with 24-38 years in vine age, with a large amount being right at 32 years.”
“JC Somers, Carlton OR”
JC Somers Whole Lotta Rose 2022 750ml special, $14 special, 32 bottles available
JC Somers Whole Lotta Rose 2022 Case of 12 750ml bottles $149 special, that’s $12.41 per bottle
Wine Enthusiast “This 50-50 blend of Grenache and Tempranillo will leave rosé fans thunderstruck. Orange and chalk dust aromas are subtle, but the wine’s iced black tea with lemon and raspberry flavors will shake you all night long. Some might think the tangy direct current of acidity is a touch too much, but they’d be wrong.”
“Andre Clouet”
 HOT DEAL!  Andre Clouet Brut Nature Silver NV 750ml $39 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 92+ Points “Clouet’s NV Silver Brut Nature Grand Cru is a pure Bouzy Pinot Noir that was disgorged without any dosage. This disgorgement displays a medium intense golden color and a complex and refined bouquet of ripe and pureed apples and discreet chalky as well as brioche aromas. The palate is elegant, straight and fresh, very pure and salty on the finish. This is a challenging Brut Nature that needs to be aged for two or three years to gain complexity and finesse and to smooth its current edges. The finish is mineral, limestone and salty but also a bit drying at this moment.”
“Agrapart et fils”
Fourth generation proprietor Pascal Agrapart runs this historic domaine in the village of Avize in the Côte des Blancs. A talented farmer and acclaimed winemaker, his dedication to the minutia of terroir has led to a focus on organic viticulture and the thoughtful preservation of their vines, which at 60 years, are some of the oldest in the region.
Agrapart Les 7 Crus Extra Brut NV 750ml $79 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 Points “Based on the 2019 vintage and disgorged in April 2022, Agrapart’s  NV Brut 7 Crus wafts from the glass with scents of crisp green apple, freshly baked bread, white flowers and buttery pastry. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy and enveloping, it’s an ample, incisive wine, with racy acids and a saline finish. When the range begins like this, you know you’re in the presence of one of Champagne’s greatest producers.”
Agrapart Terroirs Extra Brut Grand Cru NV 750ml $99 special, 6 bottles available
Vinous 93 Points “The NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Terroirs Grand Cru is bright, punchy and full of the tension that is such an Agrapart signature. Grapefruit, mint, white pepper and crushed rocks all lend quite a bit of brilliance to this striking, sculpted Champagne. The balance and purity here is unreal, especially at this price point. The Terroirs is the hidden gem in the Agrapart range this year. Don’t miss it.”
Agrapart Mineral Extra Brut 2015 750ml $169 special, 1 bottles available
Vinous 94 points “The 2015 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Minéral Grand Cru is bracing, taut and wiry. Crushed rocks, mint, white pepper and lemon peel drive this blend. The Minéral is especially fine in 2015. There is a bit of youthful austerity, but nothing a few years in bottle can’t take care of. The Minéral is one of the finer 2015s I have come across so far.”
“Pascal Doquet”
Pascal established his Domaine in 2004, taking over operation from his father and mother and concentrating on a more natural and terroir driven approach to make the family business his own. Today he farms just under 9 hectares of vines including prime parcels in Vertus, Le Mont Aimé and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Natural farming and dedication to vineyard health is the driving force for Pascal; in fact, he rarely discusses fermentation—his passion is in the vineyards. The Domaine has been certified Organic since 2010.
Doquet Diapason Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut NV (2015 Base) $89 special, 12 bottles available
Winery Notes “100 % Chardonnay – 55% wines of the year 2015 and 45% wines from a reserve perpetuelle started in 2012, aged in oak barrels, integrating each year around half of wines from harvest.”
Doquet Arpege Blanc de Blancs Brut 1er Cru NV (2017 Base) 1.5L $149 special, 4 bottles available
Winery Notes “100% Chardonnay – 61% wines of the year 2017 and 39% wines from a reserve perpetuelle started in 2012, aged in oak barrels, integrating each year around half of wines from the last harvest.”
Doquet Champs Libres Blanc de Blancs NV (2018 Base) 750ml $49 special, 36 bottles available
Doquet Champs Libres Blanc de Blancs NV (2018 Base) 1.5L $119 special, 2 bottles available
Winery Notes “100% Chardonnay. 100% wines of the year 2018. Vinification 100% in vats.”
Doquet Arpege Blanc de Blanc Brut 1er Cru NV (2017 Base) 750ml $69 special, 36 bottles available
Winery Notes “100% Chardonnay – 61% wines of the year 2017 and 39% wines from a reseve perpetuelle started in 2012, aged in oak barrels, integrating each year around half of wines from the last harvest.”
“Château Saint Cosme, Rhône Valley
 HOT DEAL!  Saint Cosme Micro-Cosme Rouge NV 750ml $13.50 special, 36+ bottles available
Winery Note “This fusion of Grenache and Pinot Noir delivers aromas and flavors of strawberry, gingerbread, almond, cinnamon and heirloom rosé. Delicious with stews, grilled meats, dark fish, and tomato-based dishes such as ratatouille.”
 HOT DEAL!  Saint Cosme Micro-Cosme Blanc (Sauvignon-Viognier) 2022 750ml $14 special, 36+ bottles available
Winery Note “Sauvignon Blanc brings acidity to the blend while Viognier provides fleshiness and texture. Blending the two varieties results in an aromatic and fresh-tasting wine with aromas and flavors of lemon, grapefruit, boxwood, elderflower and mango. Micro-Cosme Blanc’s crisp and fruity flavors can be enjoyed simply on its own or with a wide range of foods. Try this wine with garden salads, ceviche, and grilled fish.”
“Comte Lafon, Burgundy”
Comte Lafon Volnay 1er Cru Santentots du Milieu 2020 750ml $249 special, 3 bottles available
Decanter 97 Points “A monumental wine, with super-ripe black cherry and currant fruit accented with rose petals, liquorice, smoke and minerals. Dense and full-bodied in texture, yet vibrantly fresh and superbly long- a marvel. Anyone who thinks Lafon is only about white wine is missing this epic experience. Volnay Santenots is arguably among the top red wines of the Côte de Beaune, and Santenots-du-Milieu is the best portion of it (Lafon owns nearly half of this appellation). He destems the fruit, does a cold soak and punches down regularly before ageing in cask (one-third new).”
“Domaine Marc Colin, Burgundy”
Marc Colin Montrachet Grand Cru 2020 750ml $1,999 special, 2 bottles available
Jasper Morris Inside Burgundy 97-99pts “Two barrels of one year old wood, racked yesterday but not sulphured. Clear noble lemon and lime. I think the racking has brought the bouquet forward: this certainly is more immediately readable than the Bâtard. Sublime, racy with such depth of character, picks out all the best bits of the preceding wines. Nothing super ripe, nothing over tense, just the correct balance at a majestic scale.”
Vinous 96-98 points “The 2020 Montrachet Grand Cru, like the Bâtard-Montrachet, sees no new oak for the first time this vintage. It is strict and correct on the nose, and quite marine-driven, with oyster shells and sea spray infusing the malic fruit. The palate is beautifully composed and disarmingly harmonious, displaying a perfect line of acidity. There is real power and density on the finish, allied with wonderful freshness and tension. A supremely gifted Monty.”
Lowest Price in USA
Staff Pick

Muri-Gries Santa Maddalener (Schiava) 2021 750ml $16 special, 35 bottles available
“Personally, I like to eat and drink seasonally. And while we are not fully into the darker, colder weather that lends itself so well to the roasts and stews that beg for a rich Pinot Noir or Syrah, I’m dipping my toes into red wine season with wines like this Schiava. This wine is produced in the Italian Alps and typical for an Alpine red it’s lighter than Beaujolais, but heavier than a rosé. Room temp or slightly-chilled, this is the perfect accompaniment to these late summer days verging on the autumnal.”

Better Know A Wine Region
The Dundee Hills
Is it all about the dirt? Though the Dundee Hills became an official AVA in 2005, it has been a hotbed of activity for a long time– more specifically ever since molten Basalt flowed through the area 15 million years ago  slowly becoming huge chunks of a rusty hued, iron-rich soil known as “Jory.” This Jory makes up the iconic red hills of Dundee, but deep underneath it there lays a large bed of sedimentary soils—remnants of the great Missoula flood that carved the Columbia valley— that were pushed under the volcanic soil via tectonic shift. It is this layer cake of soils both volcanic and sedimentary that makes Dundee’s terroir unique.
These Hills are a foundational part of Oregon Wine’s history—this is after all where pioneers like David Lett and Dick Erath planted some of the Willamette Valley’s first vineyards. When you think of Dundee think of an invigorating mélange of savory spice notes on top of bright, pure cherry fruit flavors with high acidity and very balanced tannins.
These wines are among the most “classic” of Oregon Pinot Noirs.
A Selection of Wines made from Dundee Hills Grapes:
 HOT DEAL!  Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2022 750ml $33 special, 36+ bottles available
Not reviewed yet, 2021 review provided for context:
Wine Advocate 97 Points “The 2021 Pinot Noir Dundee Hills offers quality that sits well above its modest price tag with its pairing of concentrated flavors and a weightless frame. I would be excited to drink this wine any night of the week!”
Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard 2018 750ml $69 special, 23 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95+ Points “The 2018 Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard is an incredible wine. The palate is elegant, supple and juicy, with an expansive fan of layered, spicy flavors and a very long finish. It’s hard to resist now, but it will have more to offer with time in bottle.”
Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard 2021 750ml $72 special, 18 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98+ Points “The 2021 Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard is an arresting wine that grows in bottle over several days, offering singular expression, purity and a touch of magic. Layered, dynamic and very long, it stands out as one of the best expressions of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting.”
Bergstrom Estate Pinot Noir 2021 750ml $141.80 special, 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 Points “Pale ruby-purple, the 2021 Pinot Noir Bergström Vineyard segues from gentle flinty tones to scents of raspberry, cranberry, lavender, dried herbs and touches of orange peel. The light-bodied palate is delicate and perfumed with a softly chalky texture, fireworks of fresh acidity and a long, ethereal finish with wafts of floral and citrus.”
Cameron Pinot Noir Reserve Dundee Hills 2021 750ml $39 special, 36+ bottles available
Vinopolnote “If you know then you know…  Jean-Paul is making some of the finest dry-farmed Pinot Noir in the New World. Great cherry fruit and a nose of earthy, mushroomy goodness.”
Domaine Drouhin Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2021 750ml $45 special, 8 bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 Points “Graceful and fragrant, with delicately layered cherry and raspberry flavors laced with rose petal, dusky spices and a hint of fresh forest floor. Ends with refined tannins. Drink now through 2030. 17,170 cases made.”
Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 2019 375ml $39 special, 8 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96+ Points “The 2019 Pinot Noir Laurène is youthfully coiled at this stage and will take more time in bottle to unwind. The palate is silky, intense and long, with a plethora of savory accents hinting at more to come.”
Kelley Fox Maresh Vineyard Liminal Pinot Noir 2021 $89 special, 11 bottles available
Winemaker Note “The Maresh bottling is one I feel very deeply entrained with each year, and more so with each vintage. This time spent each year working in these blocks has changed me. I have the utmost love and respect for these plants of great and sometimes mischievous character.
 NEW!  Patricia Green Weber Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021 750ml $42.50 special, 22 bottles available
Winery Note “This wine has both the delicacy and fruitiness that this vintage has brought to bear in several vineyards. It is complete, age-worthy, unique all while still being a distinctly Worden Hill Road Pinot Noir. Beautiful wine for old vine Dundee Hills vineyard fans.”
 NEW!  JC Somers Bella Vida Wadensil Dundee Pinot Noir 2019 750ml $59 special, 12 bottles available
Winery Note “Single clone wines, Jay Somers notes, give a “linear expression.” I don’t know if Jay is doing any others, so there are no comparables here other than his other Bella Vida Pinot which uses two different clones in a blend. This is brambly with raspberry fruit, a touch of tomato leaf and peppery/minty grace notes.”
Close-out Sale

Vietti Barolo Cerequio 2018 750ml WAS $219 NOW $199 special, 7 bottles available
Vinous 97 Points “The 2018 Barolo Cerequio is a new wine in this range. Soaring aromatics and bright, red-toned fruit give the Cerequio its effusive personality. Nuanced and deep, with tremendous complexity and tons of character, the Cerequio is dazzling. This is everything a great Barolo from Cerequio should be. In other words: textbook. More-over, it’s one of the best wines of this very uneven vintage.”
Vieux Telegraphe CDP La Crau Rouge 2018 1.5L WAS $199 NOW $179, 13 bottles available
James Suckling 96 Points “Traditionally dominated by clairette (45%) and grenache blanc (30%), then roussanne and bourboulenc. The vines average 50+ years and there’s a very restrained nose with dialed-back white-pear and chalk aromas with dried flowers, too. The palate has a super fresh, zippy feel and a long, juicy and attractive core of fresh, salty minerals. The balance is innate and very fluid.”
Vieux Telegraphe CDP Telegramme 2019 750ml WAS $49 NOW $45 special, 36+ bottles available
Vieux Telegraphe CDP Telegramme 2019 Case of 12 750ml bottles WAS $519 NOW $499, 2  available
Vinous 93 Points “Deep violet. Ripe, spice-accented dark berry and cherry preserve scents show strong garrigue and floral accents. Pliant in texture and broad in the mouth, offering sappy boysenberry, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors and a peppery topnote.”
Chermette Vissoux Brouilly Pierreux 2018 750ml WAS $29 NOW $24 special, 32 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 Points “Aromas of raspberries, plums and orange rind preface the 2018 Brouilly Pierreux, a medium to full-bodied, fleshy wine with a satiny attack that segues into a fine-boned, elegantly structured mid-palate, with lively acids and a fragrant, expansive finish.”
Chermette Vissoux Saint Amour 2018 750ml WAS $29 NOW $24 special, 25 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92+ Points “The 2018 Saint-Amour Les Champs-Grillés is a serious wine, “not just for Valentine’s Day,” as Jean-Étienne Chermette observes. Revealing attractive notes of raspberries, rose petals and cherries, it’s medium to full-bodied, layered and spicy, with a muscular chassis of fine, powdery tannins.”
Domaine Vocoret Chablis Vaillon VV 2017 750ml WAS $44 NOW $39 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 Points “From a parcel in Séchet planted in the 1950s, the 2017 Chablis 1er Cru Les Vaillons Vieilles Vignes is one of the high points of the range, wafting from the glass with aromas of ripe lemons, green apple, spring flowers and crushed chalk. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, satiny and tangy, with good tension and chalky grip on the finish.”
Von Winning Pinot Noir Rosé Pfalz 2021 750ml WAS $19 NOW $16 special, 6 bottles available
Skurnik Wines Note “Region: Pfalz. Grape Variety: [Pinot Noir] Vineyards: Mix of sites in Diedesheim and Rupertsberg. Soil Types: Red sandstone, limestone, loess and clay. Age of Vines: 25 years. Farming Technique: Sustainable. Fermentation & Elevage: respectful cooperation with nature in the vineyard and minimal interference with the wine’s inner structure in the cellar.”
“Riesling: How Sweet It Is… Or Isn’t?”
Auslese… Beerenauslese… Trockenbeerenauslese. If your first impulse upon hearing these words is to offer a “Gesundheit,” then you may be missing out on some of the finest and yet overlooked wines ever made.
Generally speaking Auslese, Beerenauslese, and Trockenauslese which are legally required to be picked at high sugar concentrations, are sweet wines AND YET these classifications only guarantee the sugar content at picking.
Some producers, such as Vinopolis favorite Markus Molitor, use different colored wine capsules to denote the dryness levels in the finished product. So even if it’s an Auslese, a White Kapsule (WK) is going to be a dry riesling with no perceptible sweetness. Green Kapsules are reserved for slightly off-dry wines and his Gold Kapsules (GK) are for truly off-dry wines with additional residual sugar and the powerful fruit flavors that accompany.
Buy any 6-11 bottles for a 5% discount
Buy any 12+ bottles for a 10% discount
Collector’s Corner
A Perfect Day for a Perfect Wine

Abreu Madrona Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 750ml $599 special, 1 bottle available
Robert Parker 100 Points ” While I am not surprised that the 2001 Thorevilos turned out to be perfect, the 2001 Madrona Ranch was more of an eye-opener in that it has become even more extraordinary than I predicted eight years ago. A prodigious wine, with complex notes of subtle barbecue smoke intermixed with blueberry pie, black currant liqueur, acacia flowers, lead pencil shavings, and sweet foresty floor notes, this wine builds incrementally with layer upon layer of fruit, glycerin and concentration. The finish goes well past a minute, and the wine is full-bodied and deep, with wonderfully sweet tannin. It is still an adolescent in terms of its total evolution, but it is irresistible simply because of the flawless nature of the wine and incredible perfume and flavor intensity. Simply amazing!”
Bodegas Muga Aro 2019 750ml $349 special, 3 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “Pure magic, the 2019 Aro is 70% Tempranillo and 30% Graciano from a plant by plant selection of the Muga family’s oldest vines of Tempranillo, blended with a substantial portion of Graciano. This dense purple behemoth has a primordial bouquet of pure cassis, graphite, crushed stone, lead pencil, new leather, and hints of spring flowers. Building incrementally on the palate, with full-bodied richness, a huge mid-palate, and ripe, velvety tannins, this is one heavenly Rioja that deserves 7-8 years of bottle age and will age like a First Growth from Bordeaux. Hats off to the team at Muga for another incredible wine.”
Chateau Canon Saint Emilion 2015 750ml $349 special, 34 bottles available
James Suckling #1 Wine of the Year
Antonio Galloni 100 Points “From the very beginning, the 2015 Canon has made an eloquent case for itself as one of the wines of the vintage. Sumptuous and exotic, with no hard edges and exceptional balance, the 2015 grabs hold of all the senses and never lets up. A rush of red fruit intermingled with floral notes, spice and smoke notes effortlessly runs up the wine’s vertical structure as the 2015 thrills with every twist and turn. The 2015 Canon is a rare wine that is both hedonistic and intellectual – well, maybe it is a bit more hedonistic-leaning. It doesn’t matter. Don’t miss it.”
Neal Martin 100 points “The 2015 Canon was a benchmark wine that seemed to revitalize this historic estate. I was crossing my fingers that it would not disappoint in bottle and I am glad to say that it delivers the goods. The mouth is tingling long after the wine has exited and your brain is thinking…when is the next sip coming? It is frankly heads and shoulders above almost every Saint Émilion this vintage, to reaffirm, a benchmark for this historic estate that will give pleasure to many over the coming years. Astonishing.”
James Suckling 100 points “Seductive. The nose draws you in deep: It’s like staring into a well of pristine dark cherries, dark plums, blackberries and mulberries. All the oak is perfectly subsumed. The palate’s flawless with immense depth and power and it’s so balanced as to appear to float. Immaculate fresh dark-berry and plum flavors. Silky and deep, ribbon-like finish. Perfect. Best from 2022.”

Casa Lapostolle Clos Apalta 2017 750ml $149 special, 10 bottles available
James Suckling 100 Points “What a stunning nose of crushed berries, fresh flowers, sandalwood and light vineyard dust. Black olives, too. Very complex. Full-bodied with a beautiful, dense palate of blackberries, chocolate, walnuts and cigar box. Fantastic length and composure. The tannin just rolls over the palate. Very structured. The most classically structured wine ever from here. Goes on for minutes. Outrageous and so polished. A blend of 48% carmenere, 26% cabernet sauvignon, 25% merlot and 1% petit verdot.”
Cos d’Estournel Saint Estephe 2016 750ml $299 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 100 Points “The 2016 Cos d’Estournel is blended of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc aged in 65% new and 35% two-year-old French oak for 15 months. The palate is simply electric, charged with an energy and depth of flavors that seem to defy the elegance and ethereal nature of its medium-bodied weight, featuring super ripe, densely pixelated tannins that firmly frame the myriad of fruit and floral sparks, finishing with epic length. Just. Magic.”
Vinous 100 Points “The 2016 Cos d’Estournel was a bona fide showstopper out of barrel, the best that I had encountered in over 20 years of visiting the estate during en primeur, so my expectations were piled high when I returned to find out how it performs in bottle. Deep, almost opaque in color, it sports a very intense but broody bouquet with fathomless deep black fruit tinged with blueberry and violet. The aromas almost seem to envelop the senses. The palate is medium-bodied with ultra-fine tannin that I have never witnessed in any other vintage of Cos d’Estournel. There is a beguiling symmetry to this Saint-Estèphe, as well as unerring mineralité. The persistent, tobacco-tinged finish can be felt 60 second after the wine has departed. This is a monumental, benchmark Cos d’Estournel that will give not years but decades of pleasure, though I suspect it will close down for a period in its youth, hence my drinking window.”
Dominus Estate Napa 2018 750ml $419 special, 8 bottles available
Dominus Estate Napa 2018 375ml $219 special, 19 bottles available
Wine Spectator 2021 #1 wine of the year
Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points “The flagship 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon checks in as 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot brought up in 40% new French oak. With an essence of Cabernet-like character in its darker currants, green tobacco, cedar, graphite, and floral aromas and flavors, this gorgeous wine is full-bodied and has bright yet integrated acidity, polished tannins, and a great, great finish. It’s just gorgeously put together and a magical, flawless wine. It’s going to take a decade to hit maturity but will evolve for 40-50 years in cold cellars. It is as good as it gets in classic, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon!”
James Suckling 100 Points “This is incredible on the nose, offering hot stones, blackcurrants, iodine and wet earth. Full-bodied with a tight center palate, then it opens with a tannin structure that is weightless and spreads across the palate. Totally integrated on the palate. This is a magic-carpet wine. Really incredible. One of the reference points for the vintage. Drinkable now and please try a bottle, but it’s one for the cellar.”
L’Aventure Estate Cuvee Paso Robles 2019 750ml $119 special, 19 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points “Pure perfection from Paso Robles, the 2019 Estate Cuvee checks in as 50% Syrah, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Petit Verdot that was raised in 81% new French oak. Incredible cassis and black berry fruits as well as violets, chocolate, graphite, and who knows what else emerges from the glass, and it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a concentrated yet weightless mouthfeel, building tannins, and a great finish. It’s more seamless and approachable than the more backward, structured 2018 and will have two decades of prime drinking.”
Quintessa Red Rutherford 2019 750ml $219 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 100 Points “Cellar Selection. This is a winemaker’s master class in blending and understanding of a long-standing site. Dried herb, cedar and pencil shavings accent lifted red fruit and brilliant acidity on the palate, with a supple yet still youthfully grippy texture that is framed by structured, graceful tannins.”
Trotanoy Pomerol 2018 750ml $399 special, 4 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points “Another heavenly Pomerol in the vintage, the 2018 Château Trotanoy checks in as 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc brought up in (I suspect) lots of new French oak (although it’s certainly not apparent). Revealing a dense purple hue as well as a smorgasbord-like bouquet of blackcurrants, dried flowers, cured meats, violets, tobacco, and chocolate, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a sexy, seductive texture, building yet sweet tannins, and just a rich, concentrated, yet flawless profile on the palate that’s already impossible to resist. Nevertheless, a good 7-8 years of bottle age are warranted, and this magical elixir is going to evolve for 40 years or more.”
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