Vinopolis Newsletter – Friday 3-22-24

 In This Newsletter:

Special Arrivals
La Rioja Alta
New Arrivals
Billecarte-Salmon, Two Hands, Olga Raffault, Bergstrom, Kelley Fox, and more!
Vietti Pre-Sale Opportunity
2020 Barolos coming soon… reserve yours today!

Close-Out Sales
Save on wines from Daniel Landi, Karlsmuhle, Vieux Telepraoh, and more
Collector’s Corner
The creme de la creme of collectables– all scoring 97 points or higher

Special Arrivals

La Rioja Alta.

La Rioja Alta S.A. Gran Reserva 904, Rioja DOCa, Spain 2015 750ml $89 special, 6 bottles available
James Suckling 97 Points “A perfumed nose of plums, mulberries, mushrooms, caramel, sweet tobacco and sweet spices. Full-bodied with velvety, fine tannins and lively acidity. Balanced and supple with a creamy texture. Delicate and precise with a long, polished finish. 90% tempranillo and 10% graciano. Drink or hold.”
Tim Atkin 96 Points “One of a pair of current releases of 904, both of them from warmer vintages, this delightful 2015 is a felicitous cuvée of Tempranillo and 10% Graciano. All sourced from higher altitude vineyards, this will reward further time in bottle, showing classic sweet spices, fine tannins, layers of red and black fruits and chalky freshness.”
Lowest price on the West Coast
La Rioja Alta S.A. Vina Alberdi Reserva, Rioja DOCa, Spain 2019 750ml $24.50 special, 36 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 Points “Offers hints of toast, smoke and spices that lace flavors of soft cherry and plum fruit, mandarin orange peel and dried flowers and herbs. A well-knit, medium-bodied red framed by lightly chewy tannins. Drink now through 2029. 46,000 cases made, 16,500 cases imported.”
Lowest price on the West Coast
La Rioja Alta S.A. Vina Ardanza Reserva, Rioja DOCa, Spain 2016 750ml $41.90 special, 12 bottles available
James Suckling 95 Points “Savory and complex with dried orange peel, cedar and plenty of sweet spices, walnuts, caramel, dried mushrooms and pine needles. Shows maturity here, with a medium body and superb freshness. Incredibly long finish with lots of truffle and walnut. Lasts over a minute. Very complete now, but you can still hold it.”
Wine Advocate 94+ Points “The 2016 Viña Ardanza Reserva was produced with 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha that matured in used American oak barrels for three years, where it was hand-racked from barrel to barrel six times in the case of Tempranillo and five times for the Garnacha, as it had a slightly shorter élevage of 30 months. Against all odds, I found the 2016 to be fresher than the 2015 and less developed, despite the fact that winemaker Julio Sáenz told me he considers it a warmer year. But I have found many wines I like in 2016, and the wine feels very clean and quite harmonious, younger and less developed, with more primary notes and a velvety mouthfeel. 600,000 bottles produced. The wine was bottled in June 2020.”
Tim Atkin 94 Points “Ardanza is a traditional pan-regional Rioja that marries Tempranillo from Cenicero and Rodezno with 20% Garnacha from Tudelilla. Aged in lightly toasted American barrels, it’s sweet, spicy and complex, with leather, wild strawberry and red pepper notes, fine, scented oak and the freshness of the vintage.”
New Arrivals


Billecart-Salmon Extra Brut, Champagne, France 2013 1.5L $179 special, 3 magnums available
Wine Spectator 94 Points “A vibrant Champagne, finely balanced and lacy in texture, serving as an elegant canvas for layered flavors of yellow peach, chopped almond, cherry, toast point and preserved lemon. Minerally smoke, chalk and spice notes play on the finish. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Disgorged November 2021.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 Points “A finely textured Champagne, this is definitely dry, still young, and with great potential. The wine’s minerality combines with the texture to give both tension and richness. So it needs to soften further to be ready to drink from 2025.”
Lowest magnum price in the United States
Take home this baby Billecart today! This new second label is an unbeatable value!
 HOT DEAL!  Charles-le-Bel ‘Inspiration 1818’ Brut, Champagne, France NV 750ml $39 special, 36+ bottles available
Billecart-Salmon Winemaker Notes “Sparkling and crystalline with fine and plentiful bubbles. A blooming nose with harmonious notes of butter, white flesh fruits as well as Mirabelle plums and dried fruits. A well-balanced mouth, structured thanks to the greatness of the Pinots Noirs, with flavors of white flesh fruits. The chardonnay brings to this wine a refreshing finish with notes of citrus fruits and pepper. For over 20 years, the Billecart-Salmon House has been crafting a second champagne. Discover the wine known under the name of Inspiration 1818, echoing the family’s estate’s year of creation. The qualities of this champagne are approved by the same tasting committee as the rest of the Billecart-Salmon champagne range. Chardonnay 37%, Pinot Meunier 30%, Pinot Noir 33%.”


Bergstrom Wines.

While many wineries in Oregon have moved to a more fruit-driven and accessible style of Pinot Noir, Josh Bergstrom of Bergström Wines did the opposite, looking to maintain finesse, communicate terroir and create wines that excite upon release but stand the test of time. Just one taste of the Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir, his “entry-level” or introduction to the brand, is enough to impress even the most demanding customers. -Eric Guido, Vinous
 HOT DEAL!  Bergstrom Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, USA 2022 750ml $49 special, 12 bottles available
Winemaker Notes “Pale ruby with red hues. This wine teems with sweet red McIntosh apples, freshly picked raspberries, and notes of pink peppercorn and dried roses. An underlying ferrous salinity on the palate contributes complexity to cranberry, Bing cherry, licorice, and clove flavors. It is sweet and succulent at its core and will continue to integrate beautifully over the years. In its youth, there is an undeniable balance between age-worthy tannins and tart acidity. The 2022 vintage brought us wines rich with structure and fruity spice, vividly displayed here. Drink 2024 – 2031+.”
Bergstrom Le Pre Du Col Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge, USA 2021 750ml $99 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 Points “Medium ruby, the 2021 Pinot Noir Le Pré du Col Vineyard has pretty scents of raspberry, cranberry, bergamot and mushroom, revealing more aromatic detail as it spends time in the glass. The light-bodied palate is chalky and refreshing with concentrated fruit and loads of botanical and floral accents on the long, layered finish. I love this fragrant, detailed expression!”
Wine Spectator 94 Points “Brooding, with an appealing earthy, forest floor accent to the blueberry and dusky spice flavors as this builds tension and density toward medium-grained tannins. Hands off for now. Best from 2024 through 2034.”
Bergstrom ‘Old Stones’ Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, USA 2021 750ml $47.50 special, 6 bottles available
Vinous 92 Points “The 2021 Chardonnay Old Stones wafts up with a spicy, citrus-driven bouquet of lemon oils, hints of mint and crisp green apple. Luxuriously smooth with a pleasant inner sweetness, it flows across the palate with seductively ripe orchard fruits and sweet spices. It concludes with incredible length and potency, yet amazingly fresh with a lingering sapid fruit concentration. For all of the ripeness in this glass, the 2021 finishes with zero grams of residual sugar. What a darling.”

Kelley Fox

These are the only listings for these wines in the United States today:

Kelley Fox Albarino, Willamette Valley 2023 750ml $24 special, 36 bottles available
Winemaker’s Notes “This small bottling of Albarino was fun to produce and is intended to be a super casual white table wine. This was whole cluster pressed and spent its entire life in a small stainless tank. It is brilliantly transparent pale, pastel yellow in appearance. This nose is full of mixed tropical citrus with a nod to peach skin and a green energy that is life-filled and refreshing as opposed to under-ripe and austere. The mouth is juicy and mirrors the tropical citrus nose with just a hint of pleasing plant-y character carried by racy acidity, a smooth texture, and a really nice, clean finish.”
Kelley Fox Gruner Veltliner, Willamette Valley 2023 750ml $33 special, 24 bottles available
Winemaker’s Notes “The Gruner is always a really fun wine to produce, and I’m happy every year that I can offer this bottling to you. Finally, there’s a bit more! This wine was tank-fermented and is ML-complete. It’s the colour of sunshine and is highly transparent. I love looking at it in the glass. The nose is full of fresh, creamy citrus, melon, delicious warming spices and minerals. The mouth is the same and has a certain build to it that reminds me of Juhfark or Furmint. The texture is both rich and weightless, and yes, it has the classic Gruner finsh of a touch of white pepper. It has wonderful acidity one might expect from an alpine wine. For me, this wine has radiant energy.”

Two Hands.
While initially a proponent of the bigger is better model of Shiraz, recent years have seen greater refinement and increasing focus in the vineyard [at Two Hands]. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in his Holy Grail vineyard, located in Seppeltsfield, where the quest for improved fruit quality is seemingly never-ending, obtaining stunning results. –Angus Hughson, Vinous
Two Hands Wines Gnarly Dudes Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia 2020 750ml $28 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 Points “There’s lots to admire in this compact red, which offers dense, firm tannins and accents of Earl Grey tea, smoked paprika, bay leaf, blackberry, blueberry and a hint of sweet mint on the finish. Drink now through 2036.”
Two Hands Wines Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, Australia 2021 750ml $24 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90+ Points “This 2021 Angel’s Share Shiraz is pert and frisky and lifted in the fruit department, underpinned by a mineral skein of tannins. It still needs a little more time to come together, but everything is in the right place, putting it on the right track in the future. Lovely wine.”
Vinous 90 Points “The 2021 Angels’ Share is unashamedly built to please. It is bursting with vibrant sweet fruits with red cherry, licorice and fruit pastilles delivered with good intensity. That approachability is echoed on the palate with a gentle frame supported by luscious fruits through to a supple finish of decent length.”
Wine Spectator 90 Points “Seamless and expressive as well as wonderfully aromatic, with rose water and sarsaparilla details as well as blackberry jam, red licorice and oolong tea flavors, plus firm tannins and fresh acidity. Drink now.”
Lowest price on the West Coast
Two Hands Wines Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, Australia 2021 750ml $28 special, 12 bottles available
Vinous 92 Points “A deep color in the glass. The 2021 Sexy Beast is open for business and immediately launches into decadent and luscious blackcurrant jam and dark chocolate aromas but is nicely tempered by a gentle leafiness and toasty oak. It continues in the bold, high-octane style on the palate with significant upfront impact and then dense, dark berry fruit touches with serious power and length.
Juicy acidity and oak tannins also provide a good backbone to enjoy over the short to medium term.”
Wine Spectator 92 Points “Strikes appealing balance between power and elegance, with concentrated salted black licorice overtones to the blackberry, blueberry and cassis flavors. Shows notes of rosemary, Earl Grey and tobacco that mingle with dense tannins, which have both grip and polish to them. Expressive finish. Drink now.”
Lowest price on the West Coast
Turning the Page- Library Releases from Olga Raffault…

Olga and her husband Pierre operated this estate together until he died unexpectedly just before harvest in 1947. Olga was left to run the business, but was assisted by Ernest Zenninger, a German prisoner who had found refuge and work at Raffault. Ernest stayed on, becoming the winemaker and working closely with Olga’s son Jean Raffault. Olga’s granddaughter Sylvie and her husband Eric de la Vigerie took over in 2000 and now run the estate.
Olga Raffault Chinon Champ-Chenin, Loire, France 1993 750ml $69 special, 6 bottles available
Importer’s Notes “Slow, whole-cluster direct press. Fermented and aged on the lees in with regular bâtonnages in stainless steel for six months. Two grams of S02 are added per hectoliter at press with an additional two grams at bottling.” -Louis Dressner
Only listing in the United States today
Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses, Loire, France 2008 750ml $79 special, 9 bottles available
Jason Wilson-Vinous 92 Points“Light ruby in color, bright and fresh, featuring aromas and flavors of tomatoes and cherries throughout. Balanced and cool, with a hint of dark minerality on the finish. Incredibly fresh and seamless. Has a long life ahead. Aged one year in foudre.”
Importer’s Notes “The “Les Picasses” vineyard stands out from the rest: old vines of 50-ish years on a fairly steep slope from the riverbank that is alluvial clay with a chalk limestone base. The fruit is particularly expressive of cassis and dark cherries with a terrific mineral content and good acidity for structure.” –Louis Dressner
Only West Coast listing today
Montevertine Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy 2020 750ml $99 special, 14 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 Points “The 2020 Montevertine shows a generous, open-knit presentation with dark fruit, blue flower and delicate mineral highlights. The wine is 90% Sangiovese with small additions of Canaiolo and Colorino. It shows a medium-rich core of fruit but also offers a filigree of background nuances that renders it all the more enticing and interesting. The is a true beauty, showing the subtleties and nuances that can be achieved with native Tuscan grapes in a warm vintage.”

Arriving in June

Stunning quality and value from the world’s most esteemed Barolo house.
 HOT DEAL Vietti Castiglione, Barolo DOCG, Italy 2020 750ml $59 special, 18 bottles available
Vinous 96 Points “The 2020 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione is a magical wine from a magical site. It marries finesse and volume to a degree that is not found in most of the other wines in this range. Castiglione Falletto is the center of the Barolo production zone, literally and figuratively, the place where many different soil types meet. As a result, the wines often possess mind-blowing balance, which is very much the case here.”
James Suckling 96 Points “Charming and enticing with aromas of sweet cherries, strawberries, cedar, dried herbs and some baking spices. Sensational concentration with a vivid center-palate on the full to medium body. The fine and firm tannins are harmoniously balanced by the succulent red currants and crisp acidity.”
Lowest price in the United States today!

…also arriving from Vietti:
Vietti Barbaresco Roncaglie Masseria, Barbaresco DOCG, Italy 2020 750ml $135 special, only 6 bottles available
James Suckling 96 Points “Very perfumed and pretty with sliced strawberries and citrus blossom. Plenty of forest berries, too. Medium to full body. Creamy tannins and a fresh finish. Fine texture and gorgeous. Vegan. Hard not to drink but will be even better in 2027.”
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 94+ Points “The 2020 Barbaresco, from vines in Roncaglie, sizzles with tension. Bright, redtoned fruit, orange peel, mint, white pepper and crushed rocks are all beautifully delineated. In many vintages, the Roncaglie is quite showy. That is hardly the case in 2020, a vintage in which the wine is classically austere and in need of time. Super-classic.”
Vietti Brunate, Barolo DOCG, Italy 2020 750ml $235 special, only 6 bottles available
James Suckling 97 Points “Harmonious and seductive with endless counts of aromas in good depth. Strawberries, crushed raspberries, fresh lavender, tile, mineral and mild spices. Medium to full body with chalky, powerful tannins. Bright and tense at the center with extensive development with sour cherries, mineral, white pepper and grapefruit. The lengthy finish is focused, precise and taut.”
Vinous 94 Points “The 2020 Barolo Brunate is a dark, beguiling wine. Black cherry, dried herbs, leather, game, licorice and incense lend gorgeous sepia-toned nuance. Brooding and inward, the 2020 clearly needs time. It is a super-classic Brunate that is hard to read in the early going, but the weight, substance and power are clearly there. Dense, meaty and dark, the 2020 shows Serralunga-like intensity.”
Vietti Cerequio, Barolo DOCG, Italy 2020 750ml $259 special, only 6 bottles available
James Suckling 97 Points “Impressive depth of color and brightness from this Cerequio that comes with so much fruit. So fragrant and complex. Fresh brambly raspberries, red cherries, grapefruit and mineral. Pure, ripe and racy, with fully resolved tannins and a tense, compact finish. Expressive and impressive! Vegan. Already approachable for the depth of fruit, but better from 2027 for additional complexity.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 95+ Points “The 2020 Barolo Cerequio once again confirms that buying this vineyard is one of the smartest decisions Vietti ever made. A wine of nuance and class, the Cerequio captures all the pedigree of this great site. Crushed red berry fruit, kirsch, blood orange, spice and mint soar out of the glass, all framed by nervy tannins that convey classicism. This is an exotic, racy Barolo.”
Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2020 750ml $235 special, only 6 bottles available
James Suckling 96 Points “There is a little more savoriness here, showing contained power. Tar and dark minerality. Plenty of forest berries, dried orange peel, frozen grapefruit and raspberries. Very structured and full-bodied, with firm, chewy tannins rendering the bold austere quality to the wine. But at the end, this is focused and taut, with a crunchy, spicy finish full of length. From organically grown grapes. Vegan. Drinkable now if you are willing to embrace austerity, but this should be better from 2027.”
Vinous 93 Points “The 2020 Barolo Lazzarito is a blend of fruit picked before and after the early October rains. It marries power and finesse to a notable degree. Dark red fruit, menthol, licorice, crushed rocks and dried herbs open nicely in the glass. This is a bit light for a Serralunga Barolo, although the tannic structure is there. This is missing a bit of personality.”

Close-Out Sales

WAS $39
Daniel Landi Las Uvas de La Ira 2018 750ml Display Price: $31.90 special, 22 bottles available
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 Points “…The different vineyards are fermented separately in oak vats with indigenous yeasts and a very gentle vinification, one-third with very long macerations to provide structure and depth, one-third with a very short maceration to provide fragrance, and the remaining third finished the fermentation without skins (like a white) to add juiciness … This is a little less aromatic and more austere but very focused and bright, from a village where the wines are serious and have a chalky texture, less floral but more citrus, a bit more backward. It has a compact palate, with very fine tannins and a more chalky finish.”
WAS $41.90
Karlsmuhle Kaseler Nies’chen Auslese LGC 2017 750ml Display Price: $33 special, 20 bottles available
Stuart Pigott (Suckling) 93 Points “Stand back as this riesling fireball arrives! Full of energy with a dynamic interplay of citrusy acidity and aromatic sweetness, which ranges from peaches and blackcurrants to mint. With more length, this would have been rated even higher… “
WAS $51.90
Meleto Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Trebbio 2018 Display Price: $44.50 special, 19 bottles available
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 Points “Here’s a new submission from the stunning Castello di Meleto, which has stone walls and towers in Gaiole in Chianti. The 2018 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Trebbio is a terrific discovery. Made with all Sangiovese from a single vineyard, this wine offers fruit brightness, balance and evident mineral definition. These results are linear and sharp, and the fruit is slightly more vibrant here compared to the Poggiarso.”
WAS $169
Ulysses Vineyard Cabernet Oakville Napa 2018 750ml Display Price: $145 special, 5 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points “Just about pure perfection and the finest wine I’ve tasted from this address, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon yet includes smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all from a site just north of Dominus. This deep, inky hued beauty offers up a beautiful, full-bodied, richly textured, and incredibly concentrated style that carries ample black and blue fruit as well as notes of crushed stone, scorched earth, graphite, and lead pencil. It has the focused, structured style of the 2018 vintage and is going to benefit from 4-6 years (if not a decade) of bottle age and will be a 30+ year wine.”
WAS $49
Vieux Telegraphe Cdp Telegramme 2019 750ml Display Price: $45 special, 12 bottles available
Josh Raynolds-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. Finishes long and gently chewy, with the floral and spice notes repeating.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 92 Points “Full-bodied, rich and highly textural, the 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape Telegramme is atypically concentrated and dense, reflecting the addition of more old-vine Grenache to the cuvée. Black cherries, salted licorice and dark chocolate all make appearances, and the wine finishes long and velvety.”
Over 210 more close-out wines to choose from! Click here to browse all of them.

Collector’s Corner
Dom Perignon Luminous Label 2009 750ml $299 special, 4 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.”
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.”
Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 2010 750ml $1,119 special, 1 bottle available
Decanter 100 Points “Smoked grilled tar on the nose, it feels both very 2010 and supremely Mouton – accomplished and confident. A more glamorous, enticing edge than the other Pauillac Firsts at this 10 year window. There are plentiful tannins but they are lined with air, and the overall feel is of plush, plumped fruits, like being rolled-up in luxurious sheets. It is very different in character to the other two Pauillac Firsts, but no less enjoyable. It feels higher in alcohol, more Cos than Lafite in terms of personality, in the way that Pichon Baron is more Latour than Comtesse, but it is nuanced and clever and surprising. Drinking Window 2025 – 2050.”
Wine Spectator 99 Points “This remains the stunner, a battleship of a wine, brimming with cassis, blackberry and fig fruit that has melded together now, with the backdrop of alder, bay leaf and menthol starting to emerge a bit more. The long finish is loaded with grip, pulling the fruit and other components together. And then there’s that flash of iron at the very end. Awesome wine.—Non-blind Mouton-Rothschild vertical (March 2017). Best from 2025 through 2060. — JM”
Dal Forno Romano Vigneto Monte Lodoletta, Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, Italy 2012 750ml $379 special, 13 bottles available
James Suckling 97 Points “A decadent nose of treacle tart, chocolate, tar, tons of black fruit such as blackberries and mulberries and even ash and licorice. A dense, layered mouthfeel makes for a full-bodied palate that’s explosive yet somehow so refined and pretty all at the same time. The finish goes on and on. Incredible now, but better to wait for this giant to settle well into 2020.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 Points “The 2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Monte Lodoletta is a beautifully complete wine, even at this young stage in its life. You feel the youth of the wine in the tightness of the tannins and in the finely knit texture of its concentrated flavor profile. The big surprise is the wine’s fresh acidity that has been carefully safeguarded despite the heat of the vintage and the drying process so deftly executed at this landmark estate. The wine shows no sign of oxidation or evolution, not yet. There is intricate fruit layering with cherry, blackberry, spice and mesquite delivered with such precision, that level of detail defies the very bold and opulent essence of the wine. It has only just started its evolutionary journey.”
Chateau Canon, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France 2015 750ml $349 special, 34 bottles available
#1 Wine of the Year – James Suckling
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. Multiple tastings from bottle only confirm what several early tastings hinted at: the 2015 Canon is simply extraordinary in every way. 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. This 2015 is masterpiece from General Manager Nicolas Auderbert and his team at Canon.”
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. It has a very intense bouquet (just as it showed out of barrel) with laser-like precision offering wild strawberry, raspberry preserve, wet limestone and hints of truffle. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, clean and fresh with pure black and red fruit whose every atom appears infused with minerals. 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.”
Chateau Angelus, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France 2016 1.5L $899 special, 17 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 100 Points TOP 100 CELLAR SELECTION IN 2019. This is a rich, perfumed wine, with dense tannins and intense layers of black plum and spice. The palate is firmly built yet broadened out by plump dark-fruit tones and honed by a solid, dry core. Drink from 2025. -Roger Voss”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 98+ Points “Sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2016 Angélus erupts from the glass with powerful notes of blackberry pie, ripe black cherries and juicy black plums with an undercurrent of star anise, rose petals, chocolate mint, pencil shavings and woodsmoke plus a waft of allspice. The palate is pure decadence. Medium to full-bodied, rich and generously fruited, this wine is by no means heavy—it positively glimmers with freshness and vivacity, lending an ethereal nature to all that richness and power, beautifully framed by velvety tannins and finishing with epic length. The generosity, layers and plushness make for an absolutely DELICIOUS drink right now, but I’d suggest waiting 3-5 more years for the fireworks to really begin.”
Dow’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 750ml $99 special, 16 bottles available
Dow’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 1.5L $219 special, 3 bottles available
Dow’s Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 375ml $59 special, 10 half bottles available
Neal Martin-Vinous 98 points “The 2017 Dow’s Vintage Port showed a slight reduction and required more time to really open in the glass. Typical of Dow’s it has a more backward and introspective bouquet compared to its peers, scents of blackberry, clove, wild mint, cassis and vanilla, gradually gaining more intensity with aeration. The palate is simply glorious. It is built around a compelling tannic frame that seems finer than any Dow’s I have encountered apart from the ethereal 2011. There is so much energy coiled up in this Port, a sense of symmetry that is enthralling and yet you just know that it needs to be cellared for 15-20 years for it to reveal its full potential. For serious Port-lovers. One of the vintages most cerebral offerings. Total production is 5,250 cases.”
James Suckling 98 points “Pure grape aromas that remind me of fermenting must but then goes to stems and dried flowers. Full-bodied, medium sweet with fine-grained tannins that coat your palate. Powerful and muscular yet remains agile and beautiful. Grows on your palate. Wonderful ripe fruit in the middle palate. Try after 2030.”
Bibi Graetz Testamatta Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy 2018 750ml $99 special, 12 bottles available
Decanter 100 Points “Finely textured, with a nuanced perfume that fills the glass and takes you to the intense underbrush of Tuscany. Succulent and yet savoury, this has a lilting freshness that is overlaid with ripe berry fruits, sage and white pepper spice, and clear minerality in terms of its scraping texture that makes your mouth water on the finish. Feels light and sculpted and yet has an intensity that skewers you to the spot. This is a great wine, with scope and imagination that doesn’t want to let you go. Genuinely stands out among the wines of this tasting, and these are a fine array of wines. As with Colore, Bibi Graetz selects only old vines, the youngest 50 years old from five different vineyard sites across Tuscany, all farmed organically. Fermentations in open 225l barrels with natural yeasts and manual punch downs. -Jane Anson”
James Suckling 97 Points “Very subtle aromas of cherries, bark, black truffles and flowers. Hints of crushed stones. It’s full-bodied, yet very tight and solid with a very tight, minerally structure. Very long and intense. Racy and bright at the end. Powerful, orange-peel and citrus-fruit undertones. Salty and minerally. This needs time to develop in the bottle. Extremely structured. A wine not to touch until after 2023.”