Vinopolis Newsletter – Friday 3-11-24

 In This Newsletter:

Special Arrival
Dom Perignon Luminous
GD Vajra Nebbiolo, Giuseppe Quintarelli, Flaneur Wines, and more!
Close-Out Sales

Save big on some of our best wines!
Collector’s Corner
A rare Vertical of Felsina Chianti plus more Italian collector’s sets and bottles

Special Arrival
Dom Perignon Luminous Collection Brut Millesime, Champagne 750ml $259 special, 6 bottles available
James Suckling 97 Points 
“This is a DP that shows the ripeness of the 2009 vintage yet remains full of energy. Gorgeous aromas of cream, apple, mango, honeysuckle, and chalk follow through to a full body and super fine, tight texture. Dense and agile. Vinous. It’s like a top grand cru white Burgundy. Think Batard-Montrachet. More depth than the 2006. Drink now.”
Decanter 96 Points “Unbroken sun through August and early September helped to shape an idyllic harvest, on 12th September. Superb maturity of fruit in flawless health has produced a wine with wafting scents of both fresh and confit of spiced lemon and wild cherry. Despite the heat, the wine has freshness, vitality and length. Still a youngster, this will grow greatly by 2019. A more stylish son of the ’03, and cousin of the slender and charming ’06. Disgorged June 2016.”
Vinous 94+ Points “The 2009 Dom Pérignon is a gorgeous, totally seductive Champagne that will drink well right out of the gate. Medium in body and unusually open-knit at this stage, the 2009 is one of the most accessible young Dom Pérignons I can remember tasting. It is an excellent choice to drink while waiting for the release of the stellar 2008 and some recent vintages that remain very young, including the 2006. Despite the warm, ripe personality of the 2009 Dom Pérignon is quite gracious, but there is plenty of depth underpinning the fruit. With each successive tasting, the 2009 seems to have gained more power and breadth, especially on the finish. Above all else, the 2009 is decidedly restrained for a warm, radiant vintage. It is not as overtly flamboyant as the 2002 nor as phenolically intense as years like 2003 and 2006. Instead, the 2009 is a beautifully balanced Champagne, with all of its elements in the right place. Tasted three times.”

Arriving Tomorrow

G.D. Vajra
“This wine is our quest for the innocence of Nebbiolo, its purest expression.” – Giuseppe Vaira
G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Italy 2022 750ml $21.90 special, 36+ bottles available

Winery Notes “The 2022 Langhe DOC Nebbiolo has a lively light garnet color. On the nose, it displays raspberry, red cherry and mountain wild berries, florals with violet and rose whiffles, a hint of lavender and mint all wrapped in an ethereal scent. On the palate, there is elegance, aromatic fragrance of crunchy red fruits, orange zest, chalky minerality and a lifted finish.”
New Arrivals

Domaine de la Pepiere

Break out the oysters! This stellar new vintage of a Vinopolis favorite is going to be a constant companion to our favorite season.
Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie ‘La Pepie’, Loire, France 2022 750ml $16.50 special, 36 bottles available
Winery notes “In 2016, Pépière’s classic, earliest-release bottling saw an addition to the label, the “La Pépie” moniker, because of the necessity of adding non-estate fruit to the production (Pépière had 85% of their own crop devastated in 2016 due to mildew). It marks the first time the estate has purchased fruit. It comes from neighboring parcels that match their terroirs and work philosophy. The wine is a combination of said purchased fruit and estate fruit, 50% of which comes from vineyards that could technically produce cru bottlings.”
Lowest price on the West Coast
Giuseppe Quintarelli

“Nothing is ever hurried at Quintarelli. The wines take their time and are given the time they need. In the still, quiet calm of the family cellars above the town of Negrar, along the winding via del Cerè, deep in the Valpolicella zone, the wine from the family’s hillside vineyards ages patiently and gracefully in large casks until it is ready. Every release is a masterpiece, a testament to time, tradition, skill, and passion, the creations of a master artisan. You can’t really compare these wines to any other in the region, or anywhere else in the world. They really are in a class and a category all their own.” –Kermit Lynch
Giuseppe Quintarelli ‘Alzero’ Cabernet Veneto IGT, Italy 2013 750ml $399 special, 2 bottles available
Importer Note Veneto meets Bordeaux? Or vice versa? This very special wine is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc, and 20% Merlot. All grapes are dried like a traditional Amarone and aged in French Oak first, followed by Slavonion oak. This wine is a perfect mesh of two of Europe’s greatest wines!
Giuseppe Quintarelli Primofiore Veneto IGT, Italy 2020 750ml $69 special, 3 bottles available
Importer Note “50% Corvina and Corvinone, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The “first flower” is the youngest red wine released by the estate every year.”
Tenuta delle Terre Nere
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Cuvee delle Vigne Niche Montalto Etna Bianco, Sicily, Italy 2022 750ml $44.50 special, 15 bottles available
Vinous 94 Points “Spicy and full of tension, the 2022 Etna Bianco Le Vigne Niche Montalto bursts from the glass with a blend of lemon zest, minty herbs, young peaches and crushed rocks. This opens with a pretty inner sweetness and crisp minerality, rushing the palate with ripe orchard fruits elevated by candied citrus. The Montalto finishes with fantastic length and potency, lightly structured and tactile. This gorgeous Etna Bianco is drinking beautifully today yet with the balance to promote medium-term cellaring.”
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Cuvee delle Vigne Niche Etna Bianco Superiore, Sicily, Italy 2022 750ml $44.50 special, 13 bottles available
Vinous 92 Points “The 2022 Etna Bianco Superiore Le Vigne Niche Salice entices with a mineral laden bouquet that blends white flowers and pine with chalk dust and cardamon. Soft and round, it fills the palate with a savory herbal thrust and white pit fruits, taking on a salty flourish toward the close. The Saline finishes with medium length and salty flourish while. A gentle tension slowly fades.”
Lowest price on the West Coast
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Prephylloxera ‘La Vigna di Don Peppino’ Calderara Sottana Rosso Etna, Sicily, Italy 2021 750ml $149 special, 3 bottles available
James Suckling 98 Points “This has impressive depth and complexity with an array of red and dark berries mixed with dark chocolate, ground spices and burnt orange peel. All of this fragrance sits on a bed of smoked, ashy, dark stone and wet asphalt undertones. Full and deep with very fine, silky tannins. So much tension and force here. It goes on for minutes, ending with a seamless, textural finish. From ancient, pre-phylloxera vines. Try now, but this will age beautifully.”
Lowest price on the West Coast
Von Winning Deidesheimer Leinhohle Riesling Trocken, Pfalz, Germany 2021 750ml $36.50 special, 12 bottles availability
Wine Enthusiast 90 Points “This is rather light, with a graceful profile decorated with notes of yellow plum, quinine and lemongrass. The midpalate is supple and balanced, while the finish is juicy, inviting you to grab a bite of cheese.”
Lowest price on the West Coast
Weingut Brundlmayer Chardonnay, Niederosterreich, Austria 2021 750ml $69 special, 12 bottles available
Falstaff 95 Points “Light golden yellow, silver reflections. Fine wood spice, a touch of caramel, blossom honey and orange peel, vanilla echo as well as some papaya and spicy nuances. Juicy, elegant, salty, white tropical fruit, tobacco finish, mineral echo, very good persistency, reductive finish, will benefit from bottle age.”
Only listing in the United States!
Weingut Brundlmayer Ried Heiligenstein Riesling Erste Lage, Kamptal DAC, Austria 2022 750ml $59 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 Points “Outer quote mark Bründlmayer’s 2021 Riesling Ried Heiligenstein 1ÖTW is the second edition that contains the pickings from the former Heiligenstein Lyra that was bottled alone for many years until the 2019 vintage. So, there are just two selections remaining from the Kamptal’s oldest and finest Riesling grand cru, where Bründlmayer holds 69 of the 200 total terraces in the central part of the site. Cultivated on perm sandstone soils, the 2021 Heiligenstein opens with a clear and intense nose full of ripe and elegant Riesling aromas intertwined with weathered stone and slightly flinty and saline aromas. Full-bodied, intense and powerful on the palate, this is a rich yet elegant and persistent Heiligenstein that was entirely vinified in stainless steel. The finish is long, tight and complex, very saline and indicates great aging potential.
Lowest price on the West Coast
Re-Arriving Tomorrow
Flaneur Wines
Flaneur Wines Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2022 750ml $28 special, 24 bottles available
Staff Notes “This pinot noir is juicy, concentrated, and full of darker berry fruit and spice showing on the nose and palate. The structure has bright acidity and a long finish and is very approachable. This wine is ready to drink now and makes the perfect pairing pinot!”
Close-Out Sales

Was $69
Charles Ellner Seduction Brut Millesime, Champagne, France 750ml Display Price: $59 special, 18 bottles available
International Wine Review 93 Points “The 2007 ‘Seduction’ is a lovely showing from this house. This begins to impress with inviting aromas of baked apples, pears and lemon oil with hints of toast and chalky mineral nuances all taking shape. On the palate this displays a wonderful elegant side, but with plenty of energy from the underlying acidity which drives this wine through the complex finish. Overall this is a fantastic bottle of Champagne that is drinking beautifully today and still has a few more years of drinking pleasure ahead.”

Lowest price on the West Coast

Was $79
Domaine Benjamin et David Duclaux Cote Rotie Maison Rouge, Rhone, France 2018 750ml Display Price: $69 special, 26 bottles available
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 96 Points “From arguably the most famous lieu-dit in the southern portion of the appellation, the Duclaux brothers’ 2018 Cote Rotie Maison Rouge is a showstopper … It’s a superb example of the generally softer, more elegant style found around Tupin et Semons.”
Was $79
Moillard Epenots, Pommard Premier Cru, France 2019 750ml Display Price: $69 special, 22 bottles available
Anna Lee C. Iijima-Wine Advocate 94 Points While the nose is subtle, the palate of this powerful Pinot Noir is lavish, with sun-kissed blackberry and black-plum flavors. Generous and weighty in mouthfeel, it’s structured by firm, bristling tannins and a vibrant lift of acidity. The forward fruit is charming young but the wine should gain complexity and finesse through 2035 and hold further.
Lowest price on the West Coast

Was $79
Weingut Donnhoff ‘Felsenturmchen’ Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe, Germany 2020 750ml Display Price: $66 special, 18 bottles available
Stuart Pigott (Suckling) 98 Points “If you are a terroir fundamentalist, then this enormous depth of smoky and wild-herb character will light your fire…”
Was $88
Caiarossa Rosso di Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy 2016 750ml Display Price: $59 special, 15 bottles available
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 Points “The 2016 Caiarossa will be released in September. This wine is a blend of seven grapes—42% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot, 15.5% Syrah, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 4.5% Sangiovese and 1% Alicante. This vintage sees a slightly higher percentage of Cabernet Franc than usual, but I am told that the 2018 edition will see more Syrah instead. The bouquet presents a beautiful first wave of dark fruit that pushes the limits of ripeness but remains safely within the realm of elegance. The aromas are balanced and focused with blackberry, cassis, and light touches of salty or rusty mineral. The wine is not too constructed or big in the mouth, rather is shows a delicate level of elegances that absolutely seals the deal.”
Lowest price in the United States
Was $149
Castello del Terriccio Lupicaia Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy 2009 750ml Display Price: $128 special, 8 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 Points “Beautifully resonant in the glass, the 2009 Lupicaia is a standout. Sweet red cherries, flowers, mint, anise, savory herbs and spices all ring out in a supple, gracious wine loaded with class. The 2009 needs a few years for some of the contours to soften, but it is a gorgeous wine with tons of personality. This is a decidedly round, sexy Lupicaia that is going to offer plenty of enjoyment over the course of the next fifteen years or so.”
Lowest price in the United States
Was $49
Cresti Fattoria Carpineta Fontalpino Do ut des Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy 2016 750ml Display Price: $39 special, 36+ bottles available
James Suckling 95 Points “The fruit here really takes your breath away with its intensity, as well as purity. Blackberry crumble, pressed violets, ink, iodine, charcoal, vanilla and resin…”
Was $99
Familia Nin-Ortiz ‘Nit de Nin’ Mas d’en Cacador, Priorat DOCa, Spain 2017 750ml Display Price: $89, 24 bottles available
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 97+ Points “… It has kept very good freshness and great balance. It’s tasty, pungent and long, with power and elegance and all the components to develop nicely in bottle…”
Lowest price in the United States
Was $1,199
Dominio de Pingus ‘Pingus’, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2019 750ml Display Price: $1,049 special, 3 bottles available
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 99 Points “I tasted the bottled 2019 Pingus two weeks after bottling. Even at this early stage and after the operation, the wine is super harmonious and elegant. They really outdid themselves here and produced an amazingly fresh, aromatic and harmonious wine in a warm vintage. It’s incredibly textured, with refined, very fine-grained and chalky tannins. It’s very balanced, and there’s no excess of anything; it has 14% alcohol, perfect ripeness and a velvety mouthfeel. It gets more floral with time in the glass, getting nuanced and really interesting. It delivers what the barrel sample promised one year ago, when the wine already surprised me. I think the word that best describes this wine is precision—it’s clean, focused, balanced and delineated. Bravo!”
Lowest price in the United States
Was $133
Cayuse Vineyards Impulsivo Tempranillo, Walla Walla Valley, USA 2020 750ml Display Price: $119, 23 bottles available
Jeb Dunnick 94+ Points “…medium to full-bodied richness, a nicely balanced, layered mouthfeel, and ripe tannins that emerge on the finish. I like its concentration, and its tannins are polished and beautifully integrated…”
Lowest price in the USA
Was $1,099
Screaming Eagle ‘The Flight’, Napa Valley, USA 2019 750ml Display Price: $999 special, 4 bottles available
James Suckling 99 Points “Extremely floral and aromatic with violets and lavender throughout. Black olives, too. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, very fine-grained tannins that run the length of the wine. Goes on for minutes. A greenish undertone comes out at the end with some spearmint, green tea and green olive… already stunning.”
Collector’s Corner

Italian collector gift sets!

A very limited opportunity…
 NEW!  Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia Vertical Annate 6-PACK 750ml bottles $399 special, 3 cases available
Each Case includes 1 bottle of each:
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Italy 2013 750ml
Wine Advocate 95 Point “Here is another highlight of the vintage. The 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is a dark, moody and sophisticated wine. It does not reveal itself immediately or in any obvious way. Instead, it doses out its intensity in careful measurements. The whole performance is seductive to say the least. That slow momentum leads to dark cherry with spice, grilled herb, wet earth and dried rose. Felsina’s Riserva Rancia is a very elegant wine, both on the nose and in the mouth.”
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Italy 2016 750ml
Decanter 97 Points “The south-facing Rancia vineyard reaches altitudes of 420 metres, overlooking the lower-lying vineyards of Colli Senesi. It boasts complex soils of calcareous clay layered with the chalky white limestone-like alberese and schistose galestro. This 2016 vintage is simply stunning. It’s stately yet gracious, with personality for days, leading with a sumptuous nose of smoke, exotic spice and iron-rich earth. Ripe fruit coats the mouth yet it remains buoyant and tangy as chalky tannins charge in to frame the palate. A seductive wine with an appetising, savoury edge and a long, long life ahead.”
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Italy 2017 750ml
James Suckling 95 Points “Plenty of fruit concentration with cherry and strawberry aromas and flavors. Full-bodied with chewy tannins and lots of concentration. Intense and rich. Give it a year or two to come together.”
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Italy 2018 750ml
Wine Advocate 95 Points “The 2018 is an unusual vintage that shows an especially austere character. Off the bat, it must be said that the Fèlsina 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia would certainly benefit from more cellar time and a long drinking window. The Rancia is elegant and streamlined with a medium-bodied style that breaks from some of the more concentrated vintages we’ve seen in the past. The bouquet reveals a lot of dark or black character with blackcurrant, tar, resin, iron ore and a dusty hint of dry graham cracker (which reminds us of the vintage heat). Structurally, the wine offers a solid and firm footing, but it would benefit from further evolution.”
Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Italy 2020 750ml
Wine Advocate 95 Points “The 2020 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia shows beautiful minerality with dusty notes of crushed limestone or flint. This is the wine’s special signature, and it shines through in a warm vintage such as this. Rancia also offers an upfront quality of red and purple fruit tones. The 2020 vintage displays pretty concentration and richness with wild cherry and plum, but ultimately the wine leaves you with that elegant mineral sendoff. Rancia will require extra bottle age.”
Arianna Occhipinti
Arianna Occhipinti Vini Contrada 3-PACK 2019 750ml $249 special, 2 gift packs available 
Each Case includes 1 bottle of each:
Arianna Occhipinti Pettineo  (PT) Vino di Contrada Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily 2019 750ml
Monica Lerner- Wine Advocate 93 Points “With fruit from 60-year-old vines, the Arianna Occhipinti 2019 Frappato Vino di Contrada PT (with 2,200 bottles made) reveals a bright and very lifted bouquet with dried cherry skin, wild rose, cast iron and grilled herb. The wine shows medium-weight texture and fine tannins that feel especially integrated in this wine from the Contrada Pettineo. This site has reddish sand soils with a layer of tuffaceous rock.”
Winery Notes “This historic contrada, a term used to refer a small district of the countryside, is located beyond Serra San Bartolo ridge; historically it has always produced very elegant wines thanks to a deep layer of marine sand (50-60 cm), with little presence of limestone rocks on the surface. Our Chiusa di Pettineo vines are nearly 60 years old. Originally planted in a head trained or albarello system from which the previous owner then transformed into a trellised system, now with the vines climbing between the trellises into monumental heights. The wines of the Pettineo are usually fruit-driven with a more silky tannin yet possessing quite lively acidity.”
Arianna Occhipinti Fossa di Lupo (FL) Vino di Contrada Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily 2019 750ml
Monica Lerner- Wine Advocate 93 Points “One of three single-vineyard wines from Arianna Occhipinti, the 2019 Frappato Vino di Contrada FL shows sweet cherry, grilled rosemary and lingering tones of iron ore or rusty nail. This vineyard has red and dark brown soils with lots of stones. Those ferrous notes come though, and the wine closes with a clean, lean-bodied texture. Production for this organic and biodynamic wine is 2,200 bottles.”
Winery notes “Another historical contrada and backbone of my work since 2004. The soils are sandy with shades that go from red to chestnut brown and with a substantial presence of limestone rocks on the surface. After the first 40 cm of sand, we arrive at a layer of solid, hard limestone. The vines were planted in albarello: the typical training system with planting distances traditional of the Vittoria area. This contrada faces the Hyblaean Mountains at northeast; from here the wines typically originate as fruity but also austere, presenting great acidity. “
Arianna Occhipinti Bombolieri  (BB) Vino di Contrada Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily 2019 750ml
Monica Lerner- Wine Advocate 94 Points “Pouring from a bottle with a red wax capsule, the Arianna Occhipinti 2019 Frappato Vino di Contrada BB opens to a fun, especially punchy and bright bouquet with wild berry and blue flowers. From a site with sandy soils and white rocks, this wine is especially botanical in character with dried herbs and lavender common to the Mediterranean basin. Freshness is a protagonist, and the wine closes with dry but mild tannins. Only 2,200 bottles were made in 2019.”
Winery Notes “Here we are situated on a point with high limestone content in the soil, facing the Serra San Bartolo. Here the lands can vary from colours of deep chestnut to white, but the surface’s layer of sand is decisively lower: only 25 cm. Just below this thin layer you will and solid limestone. In a part of this contrada you will and more clay-limestone soil, visibly different with more of a presence of white on its surface. It’s here, in the Vigna Strada that this wine is born, oral and straightforward, with highly persistent acidity.”
…also giftable from Italy
Bartolo Mascarello Barolo DOCG, Piedmont, Italy 2007 750ml $419 special, 2 bottles available
Vinous 97 Points “Mascarello’s 2007 Barolo shows just how compelling this vintage can be, even now. Sensual, layered and totally voluptuous in the glass, the 2007 shows the more flamboyant side of Barolo. I find the wine’s voluptuous, engaging personality impossible to resist. Sure, 2007 is not a classic vintage, but when a wine is this good, I say: Who cares?”
Wine Advocate 96 Points “The 2007 Barolo has grown tremendously over the last few months. Some bottles have been more closed than others, but what is certain is that the wine is putting on weight. The 2007 appears to have a long drinking window ahead. It is without question one of the wines of the vintage.”
Gaja Conteisa, Barolo DOCG, Italy 2015 750ml $249 special, 2 bottles available
Wine & Spirits 98 Points “From the La Morra side of the Cerequio MGA, the 2015 is deeply resonant, its dark fruit tones layered with notes of cedar, tobacco and porcini. The Gaja family has worked extensively on canopy management since the warm 1997 and 2003 vintages, and this shows in the pleasantly tart flavors of black cherry and strawberry they achieved in the warm, dry 2015 growing season. The flavors weave together in a suave, seamless texture, expanding with air while maintaining precision and freshness. —S.J.”
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 97 Points “The 2015 Barolo Conteisa is a heady, exotic wine, and also one of the most complete, alluring Conteisas I have ever tasted. Conteisa is usually a wine of grace and understatement. The 2015, on the other hand, is a bold, sweeping Barolo that saturates the palate with stunning depth and volume. Even with all of its intensity, the 2015 remains vibrant. This is such a complete, harmonious wine.”
Vietti Lazzarito, Barolo DOCG, Italy 2019 750ml $239 special, 24 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98 Points “With fruit from Serralunga d’Alba, the Vietti 2019 Barolo Lazzarito is a historic cornerstone wine of this mighty portfolio. It is also one of the Vietti Barolos that consistently delivers extreme quality and pleasure with each new release. Like the other wines presented here, winemaking is straightforward, with submerged cap fermentations lasting 30 to 35 days (although those times were reduced in 2019 because this vintage was not suited to long maceration times). Serralunga d’Alba always delivers power and richness. There are aromas of dried tobacco leaf, perfumed tea, crushed rose and iron ore. The bouquet is extremely expressive.”
Vinous 97 Points “The 2019 Barolo Lazzarito continues a trend seen in recent years in which the focus has been more about finesse than raw power. Intense red fruit, iron, dried herbs, chalk, dried rose petal and white pepper all run through this deep, virile Barolo. The power and intensity of Serralunga really come alive on the heady, explosive finish. Bright saline notes linger on the deep, resonant finish. A Barolo of raw, unbridled power, the Lazzarito demands patience.”