Vinopolis Newsletter Friday 11/18/22

In This Newsletter:

New Arrival Special Featurette

New Weekend – New Arrivals

New Arrival Special Feature
Kopke’s Legendary Tawny & Colheita Ports

Hundred Suns
A Willamette Valley Star

In the beginning there was Biondi Santi…. 

Collector’s Corner

New Arrival Special Featurette
Cadence remains one of the best kept secrets in Washington wine—producing wines that are both singular in their pursuit and also incredibly reasonably priced for their quality. These Bordeaux-influenced blends, solely from the Red Mountain AVA, are among our favorite to drink and to cellar every year.  Don’t expect fruit bombs here, though, as the wines are classically built in style—they remind us of old-school Napa wines in that way.
Inspired by the Old World and an affinity for well-structured wines in general, owners Ben Smith and Gaye McNutt decided to focus their winemaking production to Bordeaux style blends.   The Bel Canto is a blend of primarily Cabernet franc, with smaller percentages of Merlot and Petit Verdot grown on their Cara Mia vineyard that was established in 2004. The Tapteil Vineyard comes from the oldest vines that Cadence works with, expressing a more mineral driven approach and truly showing Red Mountain’s highly acclaimed character.  The Tapteil blend consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (Ben Smith’s favorite variety).
Newly Arrived from Cadence Wines:
Cadence Winery Camerata Cara Mia Vineyard, Red Mountain 2019 750ml $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94+ points
“Moving to the two reserve wines, the 2019 Camerata is 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, and the balance Merlot. It’s ruby/plum-hued and almost opaque, with a great bouquet of spiced currants, black cherries, lead pencil, sandalwood, and dried herbs. Beautiful on the palate as well, it’s medium to full-bodied, has a supple, elegant mouthfeel, the elegant, seamless style of the vintage, and a great finish. It already offers pleasure, yet I see no reason it won’t evolve for 20+ years. 290 cases.”
This is the last vintage from Tapteil Vineyard produced by Cadence!

Cadence Winery Tapteil Vineyard Red, Columbia Valley 2019 750ml $44.50 special
Jeb Dunnuck 93+ points
“The 2019 Tapteil Vineyard offers more red and black currants, tobacco, chocolaty oak, and earth-like aromas and flavors, with a slightly darker, more herbal, slightly floral style. It’s tight, medium-bodied, and focused on the palate, with ripe tannins, and it’s going to benefit from bottle age. Give bottles 2-4 years and enjoy over the following 15+ as well. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Merlot. 443 cases were produced.”
Cadence Winery Bel Canto Cara Mia Vineyard Red, Columbia Valley 2019 750ml $69 special
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“The 2019 Bel Canto is more Cabernet Franc-dominated and includes 17% Merlot. While it doesn’t match the 2018, it’s a beauty offering impressive redcurrant and spiced plum fruits, notes of spicy oak, dried flowers, and leafy herbs, medium to full body, a pure, seamless, gorgeous texture, and ultra-fine tannins. It’s just a stunning Cabernet Franc from Washington State that offers incredible pleasure today given its balance and texture yet will evolve for 20+ years. 290 cases.”

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New Weekend – New Arrivals

Cameron Winery fans alert!! What was hands-down the most exciting sparkling wine we’ve tasted from the Valley this year? The first release from Cameron Winery’s assistant winemaker (and, if you ask John Paul, the guy who actually makes the Cameron wines), Tom Sivilli. We’ve known it’s been in the works for a few years now – the wine spent four years en tirage/on the lees. We knew in our hearts it would be delicious, and it was thrilling to finally, FINALLY, confirm with our palates. Tom suggests the Charlie’s now and the Abbey Ridge to cellar.
Be warned, they’re extremely limited, supremely underpriced, and you’ll have to fight the staff over them.
Sivilli Wine Co, Abbey Ridge Vineyard Blanc de Noirs Brut Zero, Dundee Hills 2018 750ml $41.90 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“50% Jackson clone Pinot Noir & 50% Pinot Meunier [dry farmed]. Inoculation in neutral French oak barrel. Full malo. Brut zero. Bottled 8/2019, disgorged 7/2021. 25 cases produced.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Sivilli Wine Co, Charlie’s Vineyard Blanc de Noirs Brut Zero, Dundee Hills 2018 750ml $41.90 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“100% Pinot Noir (Wadenswil and Coury clones) [dry farmed]. Inoculation in neutral French oak barrel. Full malo. Brut zero. Bottled 8/2019, disgorged 7/2021. 75 cases produced.”
France – Champagne
Pascal Doquet ‘Arpege’ Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $55 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“Arpège is now the basic, non-vintage wine at the estate, with the “Horizon” bottling now being firmly established in other markets. “Horizon” hails from the Côte du Pertois, south-east of Chalons and east of the Côte de Sézanne. It is a parcel that Pascal’s father planted in 1971. “Arpège” is in a different league; it’s finer in tone and more complex. The chardonnay comes from Vertus, Villeneuve and Mont Aimé—the grapes that are not in the Coeur de Terroir series. The assemblage is 50% 2011, 50% reserve wine. It was bottled in May, 2013 and disgorged March, 2016 with 3.5 grams dosage MCR. There is substantial reserve wine in the blend, preserved in enamel tanks to maintain freshness. Aromas of spice, black tea and pear dominate the flinty-silex soils from the Mont Aimé and lend smokiness and depth to the structure.”
Pascal Doquet ‘Diapason’ Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $66 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“‘Diapason’ Le Mesnil-sur-Oger Brut. Pascal’s grandfather consolidated to 1 hectare in which Pascal still owns 60 acres of, including “Les Migraines” where he has very old vines planted in 1929. 45% was fermented in enamel, 20% in neutral barrel. It’s an impressive non-vintage Champagne and is available anywhere. There are aromas of ginger, anise, zest and sandalwood, and the Champagne emphasizes the spicy characteristics of Le Mesnil. The wine finishes with some cut which helps focus the finish.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $83
Pascal Doquet Le Mont Aime Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2009 750ml $88 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“The Mont Aimé lieu-dit is east of Vertus and faces due south. Even so, it is a cooler microclimate than Pascal’s parcels in Le Mesnil and Vertus and ripening here can happen a week later. Previous vintages were fermented in tank to support the racy, linear style of the wine, but as things evolve, Pascal now ferments roughly half in neutral barrel and half in enamel lined stainless steel tanks, which brings out a cool blueberry and smoky characteristic common to flinty, silex soils.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $129.99
Pascal Doquet Grand Cru Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne 2009 750ml $119 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“Pascal is fortunate to have some very old parcels in the mid-slope of this renowned Grand Cru village. His grandfather consolidated nearly a hectare of vines in “Champ d’Alouettes,” of which Pascal owns 60% of the original holdings. He also has very old vines in “Les Migraines” planted in 1929, as well as Chétillons, Coullemets and Finciarts. From these sites, Doquet selects the best lots and vinifies them for the Coeur de Terroir range. Aged for 12 years sur latte, this wine was disgorged with a mere 2 grams MCR. It’s Pascal’s most complex wine, showing ginger, anise and blueberry.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Pascal Doquet Vertus Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2009 750ml $99 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“This Champagne is the first in Doquet’s “Coeur de Terroir” series and it comes from the chalk and clay soils from Pascal’s best sites in the mid-slope of Vertus – including lieux-dits Barrilliers, Nuisats, Vieille Voie, Corvées, Grange au Bar, Les Grues & La Bare (for the Pinot Noir). The wine is a blend of 70% chardonnay with 30% Pinot Noir, all vinified and aged for an additional 11 months in neutral oak barrel. After bottling the wine was aged for 12 years sur latte before disgorgement with a dosage of 2.0g/L MCR. It’s a full-bodied Champagne from this site with leesy richness and length.”
Schloss Gobelsburg Gobesburger Gruner Veltliner, Kamptal DAC 2021 750ml $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now

Schloss Gobelsburg Ried Lamm Gruner Veltliner Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal DAC 2019 750ml $69 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 96 points
“The intensely yellow-colored 2019 Kammern Ried Lamm 1ÖTW was vinified in new 50-hectoliter oak vats and aged on the fine lees until July 2020. The nose is clearly influenced by its crystalline subsoils and delivers a coolish-mineral, flinty tone next to the perfectly ripe, elegant and finely concentrated white fruit that is discreet and refined like green tea. On the palate, this is a rich, piquant, very elegant, highly refined and persistently salty Veltliner that develops an enormously long and complex, finely tannic and sustainably structured finish. This is a great, very promising wine that assembles everything in the starting block to go a long distance. 13.5% alcohol. Tasted at Schloss Gobelsburg in June 2021.”
James Suckling 96 points “It’s not often that a young Austrian gruner veltliner reminds you of Burgundy, though mature examples often do. The ripe-mirabelle, candied-pineapple and dried-herb aromas are married to a palate that’s rich and creamy. But beneath the waterline this is also a highly structured wine. Rather imposing finish, suggesting excellent aging potential. Drink or hold.”
Schloss Gobelsburg Renner Gruner Veltliner Reserve Erste OTW Lage, Kamptal DAC 2019 750ml $49 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points
“Always the first 1er cru that is ready to be bottled (in July), the 2019 Kammern Ried Renner 1ÖTW displays a radiant lemon-yellow color and opens with a beautifully clear, bright, intense and elegant, remarkably refined and distinctive bouquet of broom blossoms intertwined with flinty lemon aromas of crushed stones. Everything is perfectly intermingled and gives that distinctive, elegant and refined, dense and calm style. The attack on the palate is vibrantly fresh and still nervous (vinified in an old five-hectoliter oak vat), but the wine develops a dense, complex, finely salty and structured mid-palate with a long, intense and persistent finish that reveals fine tannins and characteristic salinity. This is an impressive Renner. 13.5% alcohol. Tasted at Schloss Gobelsburg in June 2021.”
James Suckling 94 points “I love the precise balance of this rich and complex (also texturally) gruner veltliner, which glides over the palate, until you reach the tannins at the finish. Lovely white-fruit and delicate-spice aromas. Excellent aging potential. Drink or hold.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

New Arrival Special Feature
Kopke’s Legendary Tawny & Colheita Ports
Kopke, founded in 1638, makes what might be the most vibrant and long lived port wines available. Like many of their neighbors, they’ve been through adverse times in their near 400 year history, seeing dramatic shifts in the climate, swings in the popularity of their product, and the rise and fall of populist dictators. Through all of this, they’ve been consistent in their commitment to making the greatest Tawny and Colheita (vintage Tawny) Port available. 
We’re fortunate to have a tremendous lineup available: Colheita vintage selections dating back to 1937, and the 30 Year and 40 Year Tawnies. The vintage wines are stuffed with aromatics from across the spectrum; floral notes, fresh citrus, walnuts and fig with substantial but surprisingly silky tannins. You can experience the unbelievably youthful aged examples with concentration and depth, but the traditional Kopke freshness that keeps these so vibrant. Flickers of warmth are reminiscent of Cognac, but the clarity of the fruit and spice dominate the balance. We would strongly recommend this for the long haul (perhaps as a gift!), but if you can’t resist, take your time with it. Allow it to develop and fill your glass to the fullest. All of these will continue to show their highlights and develop rich spice and dried fruit characteristics for years to come.
In Stock Now – Please note that bottling year may vary from reviews:

Kopke Colheita Tawny Port, Portugal 1957 750ml $489 special, 2 bottles in stock now
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Kopke Colheita Tawny Port, Portugal 1967 375ml $139 special, 12 half-bottles in stock now
Mark Squires Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 1967 Colheita Tawny Port comes in with 142 grams per liter of residual sugar. This is a nice step up compared to the younger parts of the lineup, elegant and focused, with a precise finish, a fresh feel, little discernible brandy and a long, long finish. The classic old tawny flavors of molasses and caramel wash over the palate. This isn’t big and thick, but some may very well prefer its elegant and brighter feel. In many ways, it is fresher than the 1981 or 1999 reviewed this issue, and it is better balanced than the 1937. It is very pretty.”
Kopke Colheita Tawny Port, Portugal 2005 750ml $49 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine & Spirits 93 points
“Cool and refined upfront, this is polished and posh with sweet plum and vanilla scents in the middle. Then it gets a sunny lift in the end, lasting on honeycomb and notes of dried apricots. A gracious and refined way to end a holiday meal.”
Kopke Colheita White Port, Portugal 2010 750ml $41.90 special, 12 bottles in stock now

Kopke Colheita White Port, Portugal 2010 375ml $28 special, 12 half-bottles in stock now
Winery note
“An orangey-straw colour. Rich and intense on the nose, with notes of fresh tropical fruit, orange blossom and honeycomb enveloped in notes of smoke from its ageing in wood. In the mouth flavours of molasses, tangerine, apricot and raisins stand out, with a spicy edge making the finish balanced and lingering.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Kopke Quinta Sao Luiz Vintage Port 2015 750ml $59 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 92 points
“A flattering style, with a generous feel to the mix of raspberry, boysenberry and blackberry puree flavors that glide through. Light fruitcake and red licorice accents infuse the finish, which has a nice kick of freshness. Best from 2028 through 2045. 200 cases imported. — JM”
Mark Squires-Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2015 Vintage Port Quinta S. Luiz is a single-quinta Porto that is a 50/50 blend of Touriga Nacional and a field blend from old vines (over 50 years old). It comes in at 102 grams per liter of residual sugar. This is elegant and shows excellent finesse. There’s not a lot of concentration, perhaps, but this delicious Kopke does have fine structure. It finishes with tension and increasingly assertive tannins as it airs out. Nicely done overall, this shows the potential to age well and improve in the cellar. This single-quinta Porto is more or less as good as its declared vintage sibling (the Cálem, this issue, also from Sogevinus). This is a bit pricier, though, and the styles are rather different, that Cálem feeling fuller in the mouth, while this feels harder edged. This was a tank sample, out of barrel and the final blend, when tasted.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

A Willamette Valley Star
Hundred Suns
Grant Coulter is one of the Pacific Northwest’s rising stars. The former managing winemaker at Beaux Frères (under tutelage of the legendary Mike Etzel), Grant’s made a name for himself as Flâneur’s Head Winemaker, as well as with his own label: Hundred Suns. Anyone who loves the Beaux Frères or Flâneur wines needs to be paying attention to what Grant is doing.
Named for the number of days between flowering and harvest, the Hundred Suns wines drink like a love letter to Oregon. You can taste the Beaux Freres-inspired style, but these are wines that are uniquely Grant, from an assortment of some of the most interesting vineyards in the Willamette Valley and along the Columbia River. Their bold reds hail from the Columbia Gorge and The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. Famed for their juxtaposition of aromatic lift and minerality against ripe fruit character, it’s easy to see why Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah share the throne for most cultivated varietal.
Hundred Suns wines in stock now:

Hundred Suns ‘Old Eight Cut’ Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2020 750ml $29 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Owen Bargreen 93 points
“Sourced from mostly the Koosah and Three Cedars Vineyards, the 2020 ‘Old Eight Cut’ Chardonnay was aged in a small portion  (15%) of new oak barrels prior to bottling. Kumquat zest, vanilla cream and salted sourdough bread tones all brilliantly combine on the palate. Very smooth and opulent on the mouth, with loads of lip-smacking acidity. this is a spectacular effort considering the challenges of the vintage. Serve slightly warmer to take in the gorgeous range of flavors. Drink 2022-2030.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Hundred Suns ‘Old Eight Cut’ Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2021 750ml $31.90 special, 32 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Old Eight Cut: A diamond cut dating back to the 1400s using simple tools and few cuts to enhance the natural brilliance of the stone without disguising its true nature. Layers of brioche, pear, and lemon bar with delicate richness and tense acidity. Winemaking: 2021 started with a warm spring and early bud break. Warm summer temperatures led into a cooler fall, and we harvested our collection of dry farmed vineyards starting on September 9th and finished the 12th. Grapes were pressed into French oak and fermented with indigenous yeast.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Hundred Suns ‘Tualatin Estate’ Gamay Noir, Willamette Valley 2021 750ml $31.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winery note
“An early spring kick-started the season, and yields were restricted by poor weather during cluster and flower development. Warm summer months brought this Gamay into full maturity and we hand-picked on September 25th. Hailing from Tualatin Estate Vineyard, this gamay was divided into three fermentation lots:  100% whole cluster, destemmed, and whole cluster in sealed tank. As a result, bright cranberry fruit and silky tannins marry with rich blueberry flavors and cocoa-like tannins to create balance and finish.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Hundred Suns ‘Old Eight Cut’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2021 750ml $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Tasting Notes: Fresh Rainier cherries and vibrant strawberry form a juicy mid-palette wrapped with layers of tea leaf, citrus rind, and complex spice. Beautifully balanced acid and structure make this wine punch way above its pay grade. 2021 Vintage & Vintification: This cellar selection stitches together pieces from unique sites across the Willamette Valley. Lots are fermented with native yeast & a variety of traditional & experimental techniques to create a layered wine of great complexity, but that is, first and foremost, totally delicious. 2021 started with below-average rains, leading into a warm spring and early bud break. Moderate yields and a warm summer gave us perfectly ripe flavors from our collection of dry-farmed vineyards. Picking started September 10th and finished October 2nd. Fermented with indigenous yeast and 30% whole cluster. This wine will drink best from 2023-2028.”
Hundred Suns Syrah, Columbia Gorge, Oregon 2019 750ml $44 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winery note
“Reminiscent of wines from the northern Rhone in its complexity and structure. Initial aromas of flint and molasses give way to Asian plum, espresso, and hoisin. Vineyard: 2019 was a long growing season with moderate but dry days and cool nights blowing from the vast Columbia River. We were lucky to secure 1.5 tons of mixed clone Syrah from the Three Sleeps Vineyard located in Oregon’s Columbia Gorge AVA. This windswept vineyard located outside the town of Mosier consists of silty clay soils over basalt rocks formed from eons of floods, glacial movement, and volcanic activity. Planted in 2002 by Patrick Reuter and Leigh Bartholomew, it is farmed organically. Winemaking: 100% whole bunches were placed in an open-top fermenter and a 500 liter amphora and allowed to ferment untouched for ten days. Then, we foot stomped the clusters to release the dark juice from inside. After three days of maceracion the grapes were pressed to stainless steel where they finished primary fermentation. The wines were aged in a combination of terracotta and seasoned French oak. After 10 months they were racked to all neutral oak and left to age for an additional seven months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered in March of 2021.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Hundred Suns Syrah, The Rocks District, Oregon 2020 750ml $44 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 94 points
“The open knit and pure Hundred Suns Syrah comes from The Rocks District, a sub appellation of the Walla Walla Valley, with intense stony soils, just on the Oregon side of the border with Washington State and made famous by Christophe Baron of Cayuse. Iit shows both the terroir and the unique winemaking employed by Grant Coulter, who is mostly known for his amazing set of Willamette Valley Pinots, who used a whole-cluster fermentation in terra-cotta amphora here… this wine is absolutely gorgeous with expressive layers of fresh crushed blackberries, plum, kirsch and blueberry compote, along with the whole-cluster crunch, spice and carbonic like roundness. The tannins are ripe, sweet and smooth, allowing youthful enjoyment already, while subtle earthiness, floral perfume and mineral notes adding to the pleasure here, reminding me quite a bit of Maxime Graillot’s Domaine des Lises Crozes-Hermitage. There’s a lot to like here and after a swirl or two you get even more dimension from this Syrah and it lingers on and on with hints of creme de cassis, anise and bitter dark chocolate… I’m super excited about the new 2021 releases that are just coming out now, as they look to be on the next level!”
Owen Bargreen 94 points “Sourced from the River Rock Vineyard, this was stored in a combination of terracotta amphora and neutral French oak before bottling in August 2021. Violets, smoked brisket and white pepper dusted bacon all fill the nose. The palate is soft and elegant with smooth tannins that line a core of ripe dark fruits with smoldering stones and garrigue notes. Drink 2022-2028”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

In the beginning there was Biondi Santi…. 
Yes, Biondi Santi created the genesis of modern Brunello: the combination of bottling 100% Sangiovese wine from Montalcino, propagating the Sangiovese Grosso clone, and finally (in 1966) helping draft the regulations for the Brunello DOC. The foundational work did not stop there however, with Biondi Santi undertaking some of the first massale or heritage selections on their estate to identify the best clones for winemaking. These results paid off in spades, with Biondi Santi’s genetic material being some of the most sought after clones of Sangiovese in the world. 
Biondi Santi makes Brunello that all other estates are judged against.  Their estate, Il Greppo, occupies some of the most hallowed ground in the Brunello appellation, in the heart of Montalcino.  Their standards are high (they rarely release riservas) and their style defines classic. The wines are powerful, but not overwrought, elegant but emphatic. With the oldest vines on their estate now approaching 90 years old, there’s a level of depth and power in Biondi Santi that’s unprecedented anywhere else in Montalcino. The Rosso di Montalcino made from their younger plantings and declassified barrels from their other bottlings.
Highlights In Stock Now from Biondi Santi:
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Rosso di Montalcino Tuscany 2018 750ml $99 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Elegant, graceful and fine, the Biondi-Santi 2018 Rosso di Montalcino offers a delicate approach to the senses and it spreads over the palate with polished and silky intensity. The acidity is elevated in this vintage. A handful of historic producers in Montalcino are bringing the Rosso category up to the next level, and the venerable house of Biondi-Santi is one of them. This was a somewhat unusual vintage with prolonged cool spells alternating with moments of intense heat. However, this wine shows even ripening and is quite vibrant and tangy in terms of its acidity. In spectacular Sangiovese style, the wine ends with lingering tones of wild cherry, sweet earth, potting soil and perfumed violet.”
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2012 750ml $169 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Kerin O’Keefe- Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Underbrush, ripe berry, new leather and Mediterranean herb aromas slowly take shape in the glass. Showing youthful tension, the vibrant palate delivers red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and pipe tobacco notes framed by bright acidity and taut, refined tannins. It already shows great balance and finesse but is still young and tight. Drink 2022-2035.”
James Suckling 95 points “Love the dried lemon rind, florals and red fruits. Medium to full body and a solid core of fruit and spices. Long and flavorful finish. Just a hint of sweet tobacco. Better in 2020.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Bright and grippy today, will go years in your cellar!
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016 750ml $235 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Case-6 Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Annata, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016 750ml $1,319 special (that’s only $219.83/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 98 points
“Cellar Selection. Aromas of rose petal, dark spice, woodland berries and camphor form the nose on this fragrant, elegant wine. Loaded with finesse, the linear, savory palate features red cherry, orange zest, star anise and black tea alongside tightly wound, fine-grained tannins. Bright acidity keeps it impeccably balanced. It’s still youthfully austere, with fantastic aging potential. Drink 2026–2041. -Kerin O’Keefe”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 97+ points “From a benchmark vintage, the Biondi-Santi 2016 Brunello di Montalcino reveals a gorgeous appearance with medium concentration highlighted by shiny hues of garnet and dark ruby. The first thing you notice is the compact dark fruit and rather robust textural fiber and power presented here. You almost bite into this wine, and you taste some fine grain linked to the young tannins. That, with the fresh acidity that is the hallmark signature of this estate, guarantees long cellar aging, and I would put my money on this vintage for long-long-term longevity. The fruit is compact and supple with dried cherry, blue flower, iron ore and candied orange peel. There is tobacco, balsam herb and gardening soil in a supporting role, and the wine is beautifully fleshed out but also rich in this balanced growing season. It surely needs more time to come together with pinpoint precision, but the wine’s elegance is a certainty.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “This features a well of blackberry and black cherry flavors, along with iron, licorice and fresh herb aromas and flavors. The dense tannins are easily matched by the concentrated flavors, and this shows fine potential, despite the compact finish now. Best from 2025 through 2045. 550 cases imported. — BS”
Eric Guido-Vinous 97 points “The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a dark stallion of a wine that showcases both the depth and radiance of the vintage. At first, its bouquet is dark and earthy, yet quickly blossoms into an enthralling mix of musky red currants, wild peppery herbs, dusty rose and worn leather. While satiny in feel, it’s also sleek and lively, with a vibrant burst of sweet and sour citrus that enlivens its notes of tart cranberry and pomegranate, all wound tightly in a web of saline-minerals. Violet and lavender tones arch across the palate over a core of silky tannins that nicely frame the experience, as a hint of balsamic spice slowly tapers off. The 2016 is one of the most deep and balanced Brunellos that I’ve ever experienced from Biondi Santi. If this is the Annata, then I can only imagine what the Riserva might bring to the table. Something of note is that in 2016, production was down by 15% following the abundant 2015 vintage and the dry conditions in the early part of the season.”
Decanter 97 points “Comparing 2015 with 2016, technical director Federico Radi says that the latter is more balanced and aromatic owing to overall cooler temperatures in July and August. It is certainly more in line with Biondi Santi’s angular, austere style and unmistakable in its class and potential. With the utmost restraint, flinty mineral notes make way for scents of dried leaves, forest wildflowers and fresh mint. Perfectly poised on the palate, this is midweight yet plumbs great depths, expressing pomegranate, fennel and orange peel. While its tannins have a certain rigidity and are decidedly linear in direction, they are not massive. It is a rather sneaky wine that needs a few more years in the cellar. Brilliantly succulent finish. Drinking Window 2025 – 2045.”
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ml $459 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 94+ points
“Dark red. Musky nuances give way to brighter red fruit, licorice and herbal aromas. Rich and dense, with flavors of red cherry and minerals lifted by hints of orange peel and bergamot, not to mention noteworthy but harmonious acidity. Finishes long with youthfully chewy tannins and lingering hints of violet. This strikes me as a slightly readier to drink version of Brunello Riserva from Biondi-Santi, but as always, it improves greatly with aeration so decant at least six hours ahead for maximum enjoyment.”
Wine & Spirits 94 points “A warm summer yielded this rich and opulent 2011 Riserva. Only fruit from the estate’s oldest vines (some up to 80 years of age) makes it into this bottling, and that old-vine concentration shows in the wine’s dense flavors: notes of black cherry and umeboshi plum layered with iodine, basil and smoke. The tightly packed flavors need time to unfold, so it’s best to decant this several hours before serving.”
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2013 750ml $649 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 98 points
“The Biondi-Santi 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is a stunning wine from all points of view. Seamless integration and elegant complexity are what stand out, and it’s worth dedicating a few extra lines to the aromatic depth that is put so beautifully on display as the wine slowly unfolds. The bouquet starts off with wild cherry, earth, wet ash, crème de cassis and pruny chocolate. With extra time, there are hints of dried tobacco leaf, sandalwood and mossy forest floor. These lead to a fine tail of dried herb, bay leaf and a touch of rusty nail. The Riserva comes in numbered bottles, and I opened number 04277. To the palate, the wine is streamlined and silky with smooth tannins and a well-managed 13.5% alcohol content. The oak presence is reduced to a minimum, offering mild hints of spice and the delicate sandalwood or dried fig aroma I described above. Fresh acidity is the glue that gives the wine buoyancy and staying power. At this young stage, this 2013 vintage could be considered a bit shy or slow to start, but this will play out to great advantage in the long term as the wine continues its bottle evolution.”
Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 1983 750ml $1,199 special, 1 bottle in stock now
***Winery Cellared Release***
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points
“[Reviewed July 2021] This precious bottle is part of Biondi-Santi’s late-release program for collectors (I tasted bottle number 10,723). The 1983 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is showing beautifully on its aging timeline, although this bottle is slightly more evolved since I last tasted this vintage in 2019 before the pandemic. With slow and measured determination, the bouquet embraces dried fig, cured bresaola, burnt caramel, wet campfire, dried oregano and a familiar aroma that reminds me of the Florence leather market. However, there is a lot of life and vertical lift in this Riserva, thanks in great part to the beautiful freshness that keeps the tannins alive and adds a pop of pretty acidity to the close. The wine shows its age with pride and grace, and the final results are quite spectacular. In fact, I’m opening the drinking window up by an additional five years thanks to the latitude and depth shown here.”
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Collector’s Corner
Arriving in December

Edmond Vatan Sancerre Clos la Neore, Loire 2018 1.5L $799 pre-arrival special, only 9 magnums available
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Winery cellar release!
Edmond Vatan Sancerre Clos la Neore, Loire 2010 750ml $599 pre-arrival special, only 6 bottles available
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Can’t wait? In stock now:
Edmond Vatan Sancerre Clos la Neore, Loire 2016 750ml $449 special, 9 bottles in stock now
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

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