Vinopolis Newsletter – Friday 4-19-24

 In This Newsletter:

New Arrivals
Vincent Wine Company, Te Mata, Kumeu River, Domaine Tempier, Altos Las Hormigos, and more!
Staff Picks- Rose Edition
This Spring… Drink Pink with the Vinopolis crew!
5 Fab Red Wines From Oregon Other Than Pinot Noir

…and four favorite white wines other than Chardonnay
Collector’s Corner
Our staff gets Grand Cru classy with this great wine from Bordeaux
New Arrivals

Vincent Wine Company.

Named for both the owner/winemaker and the patron saint of Vintners, Vincent Wine Company keeps their operation playful while also taking great pride in their work. Featuring low intervention, natural wines vinified form sustainably farmed, if not organic and biodynamic vineyards.
This is small production stuff, the kind of wine that gets to the heart of Willamette’s greatness without bluster, without ornamentation. It’s not written up in guides to the biggest, trendiest wineries, but it is one of our very favorites.

Vincent Chardonnay Tardive Willamette Valley 2022 750ml $28 special, 24 bottles available
Winemaker’s Note “…this wine is aged 18 months in barrel on lees for textural and aromatic development. We like this Tardive or “later” bottling so much with Chardonnay, we don’t do the regular bottling anymore!
Vincent Eola Amity Hills Pinot Noir 2022 750ml $28 special, 36 bottles available
Winemaker’s Note “…our cuvee of Pinot Noir barrels from our home appellation is back after a small crop in 2021. This wine comes from Zenith and Temperance Hill vineyards, with bright zesty raspberry fruit and Pinot spice.”
Vincent Willamette Valley Gamay 2022 750ml $24 special, 24 bottles available
Winemaker’s Note “…traditional open top fermentation, like our Pinot Noirs, with lots of whole clusters in the vats. Juicy, bright with berry fruits and peppery spice, we think its benchmark Oregon Gamay but let us know what you think.”
Domaine Tempier.
Domaine Tempier is Bandol. It is the most famous producer in the region, best known for its mineral-driven and cellar-friendly rosé. The reds, though, are criminally underrated and underappreciated, especially to lovers of bold, full-throttle wines. They represent the pinnacle of Mourvèdre-based blends that could convince even the most die-hard Rhone lovers to expand their horizons, if only one could manage to convince them to try.

Domaine Tempier Bandol, Provence, France 2021 750ml $59 special, 36+ bottles available
Kermit Lynch, Importer “Much like 1981 or 2013, 2021 has turned out a beautiful and classically styled Bandol rouge, full of finesse and grip. Stony and dark-fruited, this is one to dig into now—after a brief decant—alongside slow-roasted lamb, venison, or a wild mushroom ragoût.”
Winery Notes “The Estate’s prominent cuvée blends the discrete strength of Bandol with the elegance and finesse which characterize Tempier. This complexity is a result of different terroirs of the estate and the variety of its clay-limestone soil located around the Estate but also in La Cadière, Sainte Anne d’Evenos, and Ollioules. There are sandy marls, limestone greseux from santonien, rudist limestone and recent barely deep horizons of colluvions. Plus, there are various sun or wind exposures.”
Thomas-Labaille: the secret of Chavignol

Chablis and Chavignol have something in common… these two regions produce wines with a similar “spark,” an acidity and minerality that is described by professional tasters as almost electric. So what is it that causes this phenomenon? An enormous basin of Kimmeridgian clay (a marl of limestone and fossilized ancient sea creatures) stretches between Chavignol in the Loire and Chablis in Burgundy, uniting two otherwise very different regions in one unique style of wine, typified most perhaps by the stellar Sancerres of Edmond Vatan.

Thomas-Labaille Sancerre Les Monts Damnes Chavignol, Loire, France 2022 750ml $34.50 special, 36 bottles available
Winery Notes “Labaille’s vineyards remain among the best in Chavignol, with a large proportion of old vines. The old barrels are not in use any more, but the vineyard and cellar work still follow the same time-honored techniques. The Monts Damnés plot is too steep a slope to ever consider machine harvesting, which is now the norm in the appellation, and it requires intensive, non-mechanized vineyard work, but this site is worth the trouble: drainage and exposure are excellent and ensure the best ripeness for the vintage.”
Te Mata Estate

“New Zealand’s greatest winery”
-Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Te Mata has long been a favorite among employees and top white wine aficionados for their lithe and aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, now with these new arrivals we’re falling in love all over again with this Hawk’s Bay winery’s chardonnay and their red wines as well.
As one of New Zealand’s oldest operating wineries, Te Mata has long taken advantage of Hawk’s Bay’s  beautiful, sloped vineyards, gravel soils, and temperate climate producing some of the region’s best wines.
Te Mata Estate Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2022 750ml $22.50 special, 36 bottles available
Importer Notes “Vibrant white-gold, with bright lemon blossom and concentrated white peach. On the palate, the ripe Hawke’s Bay stone fruit offers mascarpone and macadamia notes, and barrel fermented notes of toast and brioche. The lingering finish is fresh fruit acidity and salinity—the lasting perfume of a perfect Hawke’s Bay summer. Fresh fruit acidity with just a flick of salinity – the lasting perfume of a perfect Hawke’s Bay summer.”
Te Mata Estate Hawk’s Bay Gamay Noir 2022 750ml $24 special, 17 bottles available
Importer Notes “An electric, candy-apple red, fresh, and full of appeal, the Estate Gamay Noir 2022 charms with intense wild strawberry, bubble-gum
aromatics, and notes of ripe watermelon and red cherry. The palate is goose-down soft, creamy, and lightly spiced with clove, anise, and cinnamon. Estate Gamay Noir 2022 is a marriage of tempting textures, and summer bright, ultra-ripe, red-fruit freshness.”
Te Mata Estate Hawk’s Bay Syrah 2020 750ml $24 special, 36 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 95 Point “This historic Hawke’s Bay estate once again delivers a delicious and exceptionally well-priced bottling. A blend of three subregions, including the famed Gimblett Gravels, this ruby red Syrah sings with vibrant plum and berry fruit, cracked black pepper, graphite, dried florals and chocolate mint. Aromas flow seamlessly onto the palate, which threads finely structured tannins through the juicy fruit, herbs and spice, emerging out the other side to form a complete wine that is both serious and playful, food-friendly and highly drinkable. Drink now and over the next several years.”
Kumeu River.
Maybe the only wine in New Zealand that could beat out Te Mata in our hearts is Kumeu River. Honestly, picking between them would be like picking a favorite child… it could be done, but should it be done? What must be said about Kameu is that they are absolutely one of the greatest producers of Pinot Noir in New Zealand.
Kumeu River Pinot Noir Village 2021 750ml $21.90 special, 36+ bottles available
Winery Note “Our love for Pinot Noir dates back to the mid-1980s when we planted our first block here in Kumeu. Having already started on our journey to create a world-class Chardonnay, we knew this grape needed a Burgundian counterpart because what grows well where great Chardonnay grows? Now produced from two sites, our Hunting Hill Vineyard in Kumeu and Rays Road in Hawke’s Bay, these two single vineyards show very different expressions of Pinot Noir. Hunting Hill Pinot Noir was planted in 1994 over clay and grown here in the warmer conditions of Kumeu, often providing a beautiful purity of black fruit characters. The Rays Road, in Hawke’s Bay, is a colder, higher altitude vineyard planted on limestone. It’s a much cooler site and provides very intense and focused Pinot Noir characteristics.”
This is the only listing in the United States today!
Altos Las Hormigas.
Altos Las Hormigas is a winery built on the idea (revolutionary in 1995) that Malbec could be just as expressive of a vehicle for terroir exploration in Argentine viticulture as Pinot Noir has been in Burgundy. Our project is aimed at showing how diverse its expression can be as we move across this vast and wonderful region. “Every intervention on a wine means a step away from its origin,” they explain, which has led to a minimalist winemaking style featuring biodynamics, minimal extraction, neutral oaking, and only light use of sulfites.
They practice humility in their winemaking because as they say, “When Man believes he is able to achieve anything he wishes for and manipulates all other forces towards this goal, he loses his connection with reality around him and the wines he produces lose all sense of place.” This beautiful limestone expression of Malbec from Las Hormigas is a wonderful selection for folks interested the new generation of serious Argentine winemakers.
Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Gaultallary 2021 750ml $41.90 special, 24 bottles available
Patricio Tapia, Guida Descorchados 96 Points“Appellation comes from a small parcel of just under a hectare planted on soils rich in limestone. 65% was aged in concrete, and the rest, in oak barrels, an important change, because in the past, it was 100% oak aged. According to Las Hormigas, the decision was based on the fact that the season was cool, and that red fruit had to be maintained without allowing it to oxidize through the pores of the wood. And what they’ve obtained is a vibrant floral red wine marked by acidity and sharp tannins that’s clearly a much more austere, more controlled approach in comparison with the exuberance of other wines from the area.”
James Suckling 95 Points “Blackberries, blueberries, terra cotta, brick and white pepper on the nose. Medium-bodied with very tight and polished tannins that spread beautifully across the palate. Savory. Lightly chewy at the end. Drink now or hold.”
Staff Picks- Rose Edition
 NEW ARRIVAL!  Domaine de Triennes Rose, IGP Mediterranee, France 2023 750ml $18 special, 36 bottles available
Case-12 Triennes Rose, IGP Mediterranee, France  2023 750ml $199 special, (that’s just $16.59 per bottle!) 3 cases available
Tracy “When I go on Vacation to the South of France, I spend the whole time dreaming of how I can somehow move to the South of France… but when two of Burgundy’s finest winemakers, Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac and Aubert de Villaine of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, visit the South of France they create one of Provence’s most delicious wines.
“This is just such a pleasant Rose. A blend of Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache, and Merlot, it is redolent with berry and stone fruit flavors, with a seductive wave of floral autolytics in the finish. I pour myself a glass of this wine and suddenly I’m reclining on the beach in Marseilles. Nice!”
Gerard Boulay Sancerre ‘Sibylle’ Rose, Loire, France 2022 750ml $28 special, 31 bottles available
Tracy “Now this is a serious Rose. From the white hills of Chavignol comes a beautifully structured and food friendly Pinot Noir rose chock a block with wild berries and floral elements. Being from Chavignol, it is part of the same Kimmeridgian clay bed as Chablis and the Côte des Bars. What does that mean for you, the drinker? Crackling, electric, high acid. Luncheons, picnics This is a great wine to cut through the a nice creamy chevre or brie.”
Weingut Weninger Rozsa Petsovits, Europe 2021 750ml $19 special, 26 bottles available
Beth “This ruby-colored rose is made with a unique blend of Syrah, Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, and Pinot Noir from two bordering regions of Hungary and Austria. Named for the winemaker’s extroverted grandmother, this wine is pure sunshine: bright, crisp, and packed with fresh notes like rhubarb, cherry, florals, and hint of tomato leaf. Underneath it all is a touch of funky, mineral earthiness, while the finish is quite light and delicate. Its herbal quality really comes out with a slight chill. Good value, great with food, and easy to drink — yet still offers plenty of complexity to explore.”
Domaine Perrault-Jadaud ‘Charivari’ Rose Methode Ancestrale, Vin de France 2022 750ml $24 special, 18 bottles available
Beth “I’ve been loving all expressions of Gamay Noir lately — its vibrant qualities are exactly what I want as the flowers start blooming. This pet-nat rose is made with a blend of Gamay and Grolleau from the Loire Valley, and the fun, easy-drinking qualities of those grapes are on display here. There’s a delicate creaminess to this wine, yet it shines with bright red fruit notes of strawberry and raspberry. Plus, its namesake is delightful: “charivari” is a French term for a noisy mock serenade for newlyweds, which usually involves banging pots and pans. If you have a warm-weather wedding to attend this year, this might be just the thing to bring.”
Goodfellow Rose of Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2023 750ml $18 special, 36+ bottles available
Hannah “Here at Vinopolis, we love our Oregon producers, pinot noir, and (in the springtime) Rose!  This bottle by Goodfellow is just that. Made from the pinot noir grape, this wine is an expressive, refreshing, and delicious style of rose at one of the best values in the store for rose, in my humble opinion. In the glass, this rose shows aromatic notes of wild strawberries, nectarines, and ripe orchard fruit. The palate continues to express these rich flavors of juicy strawberries, peaches and apricots, and a touch of red and green apple that helps to boost the acidity. There is well integrated minerality, a slightly oily texture, and a crisp and short finish to make this rose an easy one to drink in the hot sun, or pair with a seafood dish.”
Clos Cibonne Tibouren Provence Rose Vignettes 2021 750ml $51.90 special, 21 bottles available
Hannah “When I first encountered this bottle it immediately caught my eye, and I just had to try. Coming from Provence, but made in a style (direct destem and press and fermented in stainless steel, and then aged for a year on lees in mature oak) and grape (Tibouren) that goes against the grain when thinking about typical Provence Rose. This wine is much fuller in style and flavor, with notes of red fruit, wild vegetation, and green herbs on the nose and palate. There is a touch of Mediterranean influenced salinity of a full, creamy, yet dry finish. This would pair well with a roasted turkey or a risotto.”
 5 Red Wines From Oregon Other Than Pinot 
…and 4 white wines that aren’t Chardonnay.
Look. We worship the Willamette and we love Burgundy.
But there’s more to Oregon wine than Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The ubiquity of these grapes in our “Burgundy Belt” all too often obscures fantastic wines and unique varietals from our bountiful soils. In fact, thanks to the microclimates throughout the Willamette, as well as the high heat in regions like Milton-Freewater and the Rogue Valley there’s few varietals Oregon can’t grow!
Produced from the biodynamic Johan vineyarsld, this wine is Loir-like in inspiration and implementation. One of our favorite varietals produced in our own backyards? We love it!
Bow & Arrow Cabernet Franc, Willamette Valley 2021 $29 special, 13 bottles available
Jean-Paul Cameron went to Piedmont to learn how to make proper Nebbiolo, just as he previously went to Burgundy to learn how to make proper Pinot Noir. Not surprisingly the results are absolutely stellar.
Cameron Winery Nebbiolo, Dundee Hills, USA 2019 750ml $39 special, 3 bottles available
Coe Cellars Mission Hills Sangiovese, Walla Walla Valley, USA 2020 750ml $23.50 special, 36+ bottles available
Vinopolnote “Coe Cellars produces just one wine: a 100% Sangiovese Grosso (the specific clone used in Brunello Di Montalcino production) grown exclusively in the Mission Hill Vineyard in Walla Walla. Dedicated to making “as old world of a wine in the New World as possible,” Coe Cellars’ Sangiovese has a ripe cherry profile, with hints of savory dried herbs around the edges, lithe tannins, and a pleasantly tart finish. Blind fold us and we’d swear this is from Tuscany.”
Yeah, we know this is a “Washington wine,” but Cayuse’s vineyards are actually located on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla AVA… i.e. some of Washington’s best wines are actually made in Oregon.
Cayuse Vineyards Impulsivo Tempranillo, Walla Walla Valley, USA 2018 750ml $129 special, 6 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points “Showing beautifully, with pure cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as loads of dried flowers, cedar, tobacco, and dried herbs, the 2018 Impulsivo is medium to full-bodied and has a seamless, elegant texture, ultra-fine tannins, and a great finish. It shows more meaty, almost bloody nuances with time in the glass, and it’s certainly a singular expression of Tempranillo. The tannins are present yet polished and ripe, and it has a great mid-palate as well as the balance and elegance to drink nicely today yet also improve with short-term cellaring and keep for two decades.”
The Rogue Valley doesn’t get enough attention from serious oenophiles. Yet. The accolades will come. In the meantime, that’s more Rogue valley Rhone varietals for those of us in the know!
Peter William Vineyard Lot W Syrah, Rogue Valley, USA 750ml 2018 750ml $19 special, 18 bottles available
Norm 94 Points “This small batch Syrah is made from estate grown grapes which are vinified by winemaker Eric Weisinger, who is the “W” referenced on the label. The end result is a compact, powerful expression of Syrah that may be one of the best values around these days. It is pure, ripe Syrah beginning with its dark color and earthy, leathery, black pepper aromatics. It evolves in the glass and is full of black fruits and spices delivered in a compact, medium full bodied style. It was aged in American oak (30% new) and the light toasty flavor adds a little intrigue to the ripe berry and slightly floral notes in the aftertaste. Although it should be wonderfully complex in 3 to 4 years, it is nevertheless outstanding now.”
It’s honestly rare to find Riesling this good outside of Germany… but leave it to Marcus Goodfellow to get it right. Bright, Juicy, and absolutely delicious!
Goodfellow Family Cellars Whistling Ridge Vineyard Riesling, Ribbon Ridge 2023 750ml $28 special, 34 bottles available
Winery Note “Lime peel, stone fruit, tangerine, rainier cherry, and river stones. Raised in an old 820L Acacia puncheon, this is textural and tranquil in the attack, then unfolds like a flower blossom in the palate with soft fruit and florals which give way to juicy, lingering acidity. Tasting this is entertaining, the original tranquility and supple texture suggests one direction, and then the explosion of nuance in the mid-palate reverses course, the acidity is soft and juicy but somehow sustains much longer than one would expect. This is one of my favorite versions of this wine. 11.1% abv and 86 cases produced.”
Kelley Fox Albarino, Willamette Valley 2023 750ml $24 special, 15 bottles available
Vinopolis Notes “This Albarino is made from the Willamette Valley in OR, and to be quite honest, is my preference over most Albarinos’ I have had tried. On the nose and palate, there is tons of restrained but bright green apple, peaches, white flowers, and just a touch of honey. There is high acidity that is beautifully complimented by a round and slightly full body and weight. The finish is long, but refreshing and dry. This would make a great aperitif or to pair with a shrimp risotto.”
The Madman has done it again! Extended aging in Amphora produces a wine that is supple, yet serious. Maybe one of the coolest white wines we’ve tried so far this year.
Cameron Friulano, Dundee Hills 2021 750ml $49 special, 7 bottles available
Winery Notes “Inspired by the white wines of Paolo Vodopivec from the Collio of Northeastern Italy, this stunning beauty was made by putting whole berries of the Friulano fruit into a clay amphora, allowing the wild yeast to do the fermentation and then leaving the entire batch in amphora for 60 days to extract.  It was then aged in old neutral oak barrels for nearly two years to yield this golden-hued, honey-perfumed creation with a perfect mouth feel stretching across the mouth from front to back.  It is a one-of-a-kind wine and one of our best creations to date.”
Kelley Fox Gruner Veltliner, Willamette Valley 2023 750ml $33 special, 18 bottles available
Vinopolis Notes: “This Gruner Veltliner hits all the marks. It has an effervescent and easy nose with citrus fruit and sea salt coming through. On the palate, juicy melon fruit, honey, and grapefruit peel burst in the mouth. The mouthfeel has light zippiness, a full and oily viscosity, and a slight toast on the finish. This wine is complex and resolved, and would pair with carbonara.”
Collector’s Corner

Chateau Canon, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France 2010 750ml $179 special, 12+ bottles available
Staff Tasting Note “What a treat to try this again after several years! The 2010 Chateau Canon is drinking bee-yoo-tifully now. Give it plenty of time to decant: What begins a little tight and peppery gives way to intense licorice, blackberry, and Cassis notes. Additional time brings full, slightly raisinated notes of plum, dark cherries, and blackberry. The tannins are supple, while being smooth with a sleekness that cuts like a diamond. Delicious to drink now, will continue to please for decades to come.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 96+ Points “[Reviewed in 2020] Deep garnet colored, the 2010 Canon features wonderfully expressive notes of dried mulberries, stewed plums and baked black cherries with hints of mocha, bay leaves and fallen leaves. Full-bodied, opulent and super spicy, it has a plush texture with a racy line supporting the hedonic fruit, finishing with jaw-dropping persistence.”
Only listing in the United States today!
…also available from Canon:
Chateau Canon, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France 2015 750ml $349 special, 12+ bottles available
#1 Wine of the Year – James Suckling
Antonio Galloni, Vinous 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. Best from 2022.”
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