Vinopolis Newsletter – Friday 3-8-24

In This Newsletter:

Arriving Next Week
New wines from Screaming Eagle and Sine Qua Non
Staff Picks
New and familiar domestic wines
Bedrock Wine Co. is on a Roll
Terroir focused California wines from heritage vineyards
Local Favorites
Top notch choices form the Willamette Valley
Close-Out Sales

Save big on our best wines!

Arriving Next Week

Screaming Eagle
The Eagle is landing (soon)! The original Napa cult winery, Screaming Eagle’s quality was already a poorly kept secret among oenophiles before a perfect 100 point review by Robert Parker launched its reputation into the stratosphere.

Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, USA 2021 750ml $2,699 special, 2 bottles available
Vinous 98-100 Points “The 2021 The Flight is magnificent. The aromatics alone are utterly beguiling. Crushed flowers, mint and red/purplish berry fruit make a strong opening statement. Medium in body and supremely gracious, the Flight possesses silky tannins that wrap it all together in style, with bright acids that punctuate the finish. Readers will find a wine of supreme elegance and class. This is a phenomenal showing. I loved it.”
Lowest price in the USA
Average price is $3,066!
Sine Qua Non
Sourcing fruit from a wide variety of growers from year to year, and increasingly from their own vineyards has caused the winery to never make exactly the same wine twice, of which winemaker  Manfred Krankl has said, “People buy Sine Qua Non. They don’t seem to give a toot where it’s from.” Krankl is unique among European winemakers turned American winery owners as he did not start in the wine industry until after relocating to America. A man of assuredness and many talents, Manfred is famous for not only his wines but the original artwork that adorns each new bottling he produces.

Sine Qua Non Distenta “III” Grenache, California, USA 2021 750ml $289 special, 1 bottle available
Vinous 96-99 Points “The 2021 Grenache Distenta III is one of the most refined wines I have tasted from Sine Qua Non. Floral aromatics make a strong first impression. There’s plenty of SQN richness, but also less overt opulence than most vintages. I tasted this from a tank sample just prior to bottling. The 2021 is simply magnificent. I can’t wait to taste it from bottle.”
Wine Advocate 96-98 Points “Because my visit was scheduled for July 6, just two weeks after bottling on June 22, I tasted the 2021 Grenache Distenta III as a precise blend from barrel. It comes mostly from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard (71%) and The Third Twin (23%) with the balance from the Cumulus Vineyard. It is a blend of 79% Grenache, 8.4% Syrah, 7.4% Mourvèdre, 3.2% Petite Sirah, 1.6% Petit Manseng and 0.4% Muscat. The Distenta III was vinified using about 35% whole Grenache clusters, and it matured in 42% new French oak of various sizes for around 23 months. It has a medium to deep ruby color and is incredibly fragrant at this stage. Wild berry jam aromas are accented by tones of wildflower, tar, tangerine and coffee beans. The full-bodied palate is concentrated yet lively, bursting with crunchy, floral fruit and surprisingly energetic acidity. It has detailed, grainy tannins and a long, lifted finish that wears its alcohol well”
Sine Qua Non Distenta “III” White, California, USA 2021 750ml $219 special, 2 bottles available
Not yet reviewed, previous review provided for reference
Erin Brooks- Wine Advocate 98 Points (2020 vintage) “Drinking the White Distenta II is an omakase-like experience, an unexpected journey that begins with naturally bitter phenolics, blossoms into soaring perfume and finishes with dessert-like honeyed tones. On day one, the wine is overt and bold, while day two reveals a fresher, livelier white with finer detail, as if the wine is coming into focus. In the mouth, it’s expansive and luxuriously satiny. Despite its powerful style and unabashed ripeness, it carries its 15.8% alcohol expertly and maintains a focused streak of tangy acidity. The finish is especially unique, offering touches of butterscotch that complement its perfumed fruit—a rare combination of aromatic grape varieties and classy new wood that works surprisingly well! If you’re a fan of aromatic, textural whites, purchase as many bottles as you can so that you can follow what’s sure to be unique savory development in bottle over the next 10 to 15+ years.”
Lowest price in the USA
Sine Qua Non Eleven Confessions Vineyard Grenache, Sta. Rita Hills, USA 2020 750ml $399 special, 3 bottles available
Not yet reviewed, previous review provided for reference
Erin Brooks Wine Advocate 97 Points (2019 vintage) “Deep ruby-purple in color, it takes significant time to open and is mostly coiled and shy on day one. On day two, its aromas unfurl: cherry pie and wild berry jam scents are layered with tones of cured meat, peppercorn, bergamot and wildflowers. The full-bodied palate is seamless and ultra powdery in texture, with balancing bursts of juicy acidity that highlight pretty spice and floral tones that fan across the long finish. It deserves generous cellar time and will be long lived. 922 cases and 240 magnums were made.
Only listing in the United States!
Sine Qua Non Eleven Confessions Vineyard Syrah, Sta Rita Hills, USA  2020 750ml $399 special, 1 bottle available
Not yet reviewed, previous review provided for reference
Erin Brooks Wine Advocate 99 Points (2019 vintage) “This gorgeous Syrah opens over several days and never seems to diminish. It offers pure aromas of crème de cassis, tar, salami and ringing tones of violet. The full-bodied palate is incredibly velvety in texture, and despite its concentration and powerful style, it manages noticeable freshness and detail, with that magical violet perfume echoing across the long finish. This will develop gracefully in the cellar over the next two decades or more.”

Lowest price in the USA
Staff Picks

New and Familiar Domestic Wines!
“You don’t have to ask me twice when it comes to trying wine made from French grapes grown here in the US. I love comparing the similarities and differences of a wine made from ‘Old World’ grapes, with a ‘New World’ style, terroir, soil type, and of course, vineyard site. There is something both familiar and exciting about trying a wine made from the grapes you know and love, but with an entirely different expression.” -Hannah
Cameron Winery ‘Giovanni’ Pinot Blanc, Dundee Hill, USA 2023 750ml $18 special, 17 bottles available
I had the opportunity to try this wine recently with the winemaker of Cameron, and I was both impressed and inspired. Not only is John Paul mesmerizing, so are his wines. This wine is made from Pinot Blanc, and is everything I mentioned earlier about falling in love with a new style of wine made from a favorite grape. Upon trying, I got the typical notes that one would get when trying a pinot blanc; think stone and citrus fruit (pear, grapefruit, lemon) with some added creaminess. The mouthfeel is what I gravitated to most, the richness and texture that one gets from a Pinot Blanc was present, with an added sharp and high-toned quality.
Ovum Rare Form ‘Day Moon’ Sparkling, Dundee Hills, USA NV 750ml $49 special, 17 bottles available
And last but not least, I of course have to highlight a sparkling wine made right here in Portland, OR. This sparkling wine is reminiscent of a classic Blanc de Blanc Champagne, with a flair of a New World style of by using the grape Riesling. On the nose and palate, expressive notes of lemon, brioche, and florals show. The bubbles are bright and fine and achieve that mousse like quality. The acidity is zippy and is well balanced by a long finish and toast. For anyone looking to try a sparkling wine from the Willamette Valley, this is the one to try.
Bedrock Wine Co.
Bedrock calls itself a “mission-driven” winery dedicated to the preservation and rehabilitation of old vineyards all around California. These vineyards, they say are “living pieces of history.” From their humble beginnings in 2007 making wine in an old chicken coop to the world of high scores in major wine publications, owners Morgan Twain-Peterson and Chris Cottrell have remained focused on coaxing high-quality terroir driven wines from their eclectic vineyards.
Bedrock Wine Co. Alta Vista Vineyard Gewurztraminer, Moon Mountain District, USA 2019 750ml $29 special, 8 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 93 Points “The 2019 Gewürztraminer Alta Vista Vineyard Old Vine is another compelling wine in this range. Readers will find a dry Gewürztraminer that emphasizes a whole range of savory and floral notes. Even so, the 2019 exudes richness and the layers open with time in the glass, bringing out the wine’s creaminess.”
Only listing in the USA!
Bedrock Wine Co. Evangelho Vineyard Heritage Red, Contra Costa County, USA 2021 750ml $44.50 special, 16 bottles available
Cs-6 Bedrock Evangelho Heritage Red, Contra Costa County 2021 750ml $249 special, 4 cases available
Cs-12 Bedrock Evangelho Heritage Red, Contra Costa County 2021 750ml $479 special, 2 cases available
Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points “From Zinfandel grown in the pure sand soils of this incredible site, the 2021 Evangelho Vineyard Heritage is lifted and pure with raspberry liqueur, fresh flowers, and brushy earth. Medium-bodied, with a highly refined structure, it reveals a floral perfume of herbes de Provence and rose petals that lasts long after the wine has dissipated. With fine tannins and a gorgeous, sandy mineral texture, it’s a beautiful wine to drink over the next 10 or more years.”
Vinous 94 Points “The 2021 Evangelho Heritage Wine is dark, sensual and wonderfully expressive. Blue fruit, spice, lavender and leather all meld together in this beautifully layered Zinfandel-based field blend. The 2021 possesses unreal complexity and depth, with much of its intensity coming from punishingly low yields. The 2021 is simply fabulous.”
Bedrock Wine Co. ‘The Bedrock Heritage’, Sonoma Valley, USA 2021 750ml $51.90 special, 8 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points “A deep but transparent red, the 2021 The Bedrock Heritage is about 50% Zinfandel and offers aromas of fresh pencil shavings, black cherry, roasted herbs, and fresh flowers. Full-bodied, it has fine sweet tannins and note of ripe berries, mocha, and turned soil. Drink over the next 10 years.”
Bedrock Wine Co. Monte Rosso Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, USA 2021 750ml $69 special, 7 bottles available
Vinous 95 Points “The 2021 Zinfandel Monte Rosso, a blend from two blocks, is an elegant, understated wine that shows the more floral, savory side of this historic site. A wine more of nuance than power, the Monte Rosso Zinfandel is all pedigree. Sweet red-toned fruit, chalk, dried herbs, mint and blood orange add to a feeling of brightness. This is very nicely done, and yet I feel like there is more to this wine than it is showing today.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 Points “Pouring a richer purple with a ruby tinge, the 2021 Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard has classic benchmark aromas of raspberry liqueur, fresh peach, and five spice. This medium to full-bodied red is fully dry, with more serious structure and ripe tannins, and what feels like more mountain fruit character, but it retains freshness throughout. Drink 2025-2040.”
Bedrock Wine Co. ‘Pato Vineyard Heritage’, Contra Costa County, USA 2021 750ml $49 special, 11 bottles available
Skurnik Wines “From the southern edge of Oakley planted on sand, Pato Heritage wine is a lovely reflection of the vintage in this increasingly suburbanized area. Here, the sandy soils buffs away the variety’s rougher edges and makes for a deeply colored but elegant element of the wine filled with dark fruit and black pepper. This is combined with the vibrant fruit from Zinfandel to make a wine that is rich but svelte.”
Local Favorites
Lingua Franca
Founded by Master Sommelier Larry Stone (only the 8th person in history to achieve the prestigious rank in the organization’s history) to explore the unique charms of Eola-Amity and its ancient patchwork of marine sediments, volcanic basalts, and wind-blown Loess soils. There is a real sense in these bottles of the conversation between the fruit and the earth and the way their relationship changes over time, vintage by vintage. Featuring dry-farmed, biodynamic viticulture and minimalist winemaking, these are an elegant, but pure representation of the region’s terroir.
Lingua Franca ‘Avni’ Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, USA 2021 750ml $31.90 special, 12 bottles available
Vinous 91 Points “The 2021 Chardonnay AVNI is a total pleasure on the nose. Perfumed, it blends crushed stone mineral tones with crisp green apples and suggestions of fresh mint. This flows across the palate with silky textures and medium-bodied weight traversing both savory and sweet, with a saline tinge developing toward the close. It finishes with a lingering sour lime twang, potent with a cheek-puckering sensation.”
Lowest price in the United States
Average price is $39!
Lingua Franca ‘Avni’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, USA 2021 750ml $31.90 special, 12 bottles available
Vinous 92 Points “The 2021 Pinot Noir AVNI is distinctly savory and earthy, blending flowery underbrush and dusty sage with dried black cherries and a lifting hint of mint. This is racy and sleek, with vividly ripe red and blue fruits energized by vibrant acidity. Tactile mineral tones and rosy inner florals emerge as the 2021 finishes incredibly long with youthful tension, and a tart wild berry tinge lingers on and on. 20% whole clusters and 25% new French oak.

Lowest price on the west coast
Bow & Arrow

True, the Willamette Valley is best known today for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but the region is full of so many unique terroirs and micro-climates that it’s possible to cultivate almost any grape if you know where to plant.
“Instead of Burgundy,” Bow & Arrow’s founder and winemaker Scott Frank says, “we pay homage to the refreshing and decidedly working class wines of France’s Loire Valley.” A New York transplant with many years in the wine industry, Scott finally bit the bullet in 2010 and began making wine, purchasing grapes from cool climate sites and giving his wines irreverent, but apropos names and labels.
Loire Cabernet Franc fans rejoice! This wine has all the lithe acid and mineral notes of your favorite Saumurs and Chinons.
Bow & Arrow Cabernet Franc, Willamette Valley, USA 2021 750ml
$29 special, 17 bottles available
Winery Note “Sourced entirely from the Biodynamic Johan Vineyard this debut varietal bottle of Cab Franc was made according to the detailed notes I took at my favorite Chinon cellars a decade ago. Aged 14 months in old puncheon and seven months in barrel. Only 45 cases produced.”
Representing a little known Loire region celebrated by in-the-know wine geeks and somms, this a fresh take on white blends at a great price.
Bow & Arrow ‘Fool’s Gold’, Willamette Valley, USA 2021 750ml $24 special, 12 bottles available
Winery Note “50% Chardonnay/50% Sauvignon Blanc. After experimenting in 2019 with making a Cheverny Blanc style Chard/Sauv Blanc blend and having it exceed all expectations I am happy (relieved?!) to announce I went all in and made much more in 2020…”
Chewy and delicious! This is more or less a skin contact wine that fans of orange wines and chillable reds will dig.
Bow & Arrow Pinot Gris, Arbre Vert Vineyard, Willamette Valley, USA 2022 750ml
$24 special, 5 bottles available
Winery Note ” From organically farmed Arbre Vert Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA.  100% Pinot Gris with long maceration and elevage.  Aged in 600l puncheon and an old barrique.  Inspired by the “orange wines” of my early years in the biz which were mostly Italian and always rustic and chewy.  Also the only wine I’ve ever made not inspired by the Loire region!  Only 94 cases produced”
Just a few bottles yet! Drink for the weather you want, not the weather you have.
Bow & Arrow Rose, Willamette Valley, USA 2022 750ml
$19.50 special, 3 bottles available
Winery Note “This year’s rosé is a short maceration of Gamay from the organically farmed Hughes Hollow vineyard. Natural as can be! It’s a stainless steel fermented study on wet rocks and perhaps a border skirmish between watemelon Jolly Ranchers and Grapefruit Jarritos.  Unyeasted, unfiltered, unfined and unmanipulated. Only made in years that lend themselves to making quality rose.  Our smallest production.  Gentle talk for “Limited!””
Close-Out Sales


Was $79
Stephane Robert Domaine du Tunnel Cornas, Rhone, France 2018 750ml Display Price: $69 special, 18 bottles available

Jeb Dunnuck 95-97 Points “Readers looking for the essence of Cornas would do well to pick up a case of the 2018 Cornas. Deep purple, with a heavenly bouquet of blueberries, raspberries, crushed violets, olives, ground pepper, and gamey meats, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a balanced, classy texture, building yet polished tannins, and a great finish. It’s a winner.”
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 $449
Edmond Vatan Sancerre Clos la Neore, Loire, France 2016 750ml Display Price: $389 special, 1 bottle available

Vinous 98 Points “Almost Riesling-like in its firm yet fine personality, its unswerving purity and its clear translation of place … It offers exceptional concentration while being light bodied and provides a steely core of acidity, keeping the wine together and powering on.”

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 $179
Poderi Aldo Conterno Colonnello, Barolo DOCG, Italy 2017 750ml
Displayed Price: $149 special, 6 bottles available
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ Points “…shows good focus, structure and a sharper character that is often the distinguishing factor in this wine … This is not the first time that Colonnello is my favorite wine in this lineup…”
Was $289
Falletto di Bruno Giacosa Asili, Barbaresco DOCG, Italy 2019 750ml Displayed Price: $219 special, 6 bottles available

James Suckling 98 Points “Sweet and succulent aromas of tangerines, freshly cut ripe strawberries, cherries and flowers follow through to a full-bodied palate with sleek and dense tannins that run the length of the wine and then fan out into a dense, vivid finish of fruit…”
Was $49

Cresti Fattoria Carpineta Fontalpino Do ut des Toscana IGT, Tuscany, Italy 2016 750ml Displayed 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 $199
Bodegas Contador – Benjamin Romeo ‘La Vina de Andres Romeo’, Rioja DOCa, Spain 2004 750ml Displayed Price: $179 special, 6 bottles available

Wine Advocate 98 Points “… all the ingredients for greatness are present but it will take a decade of cellaring for them to be full expressed. This sensational effort should easily drink well for 40-50 years like a great first growth Bordeaux.”
Was $1,199
Dominio de Pingus ‘Pingus’, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2019 750ml Displayed 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! 7,900 bottles produced. It was bottled in September 2021.”

Was $169
Ulysses Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, USA 2018 750ml Displayed Price: $145 special, 5 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points “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.”