Vinopolis Newsletter – Monday 12/18/2023

 In This Newsletter:

Special Arrival
Cameron Wines
New Arrivals

Savart, Delamotte, Bethel Heights, Paolo Bea, Montevertine, and more!
Close-Out Sales
Big wines, HUGE savings
Collector’s Corner
Italian Treats for Holiday Eats
Special Arrival

Geeky and great! Cameron gets a lot of praise for his Burgundy by way of Willamette wines (and he deserves all of it) but his Italian-styled wines are still extremely underrated. This amphora-aged Northern Italian styled wine blew us away!

Cameron Winery Friulano, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2021 750ml $49 special, 12 bottles available
Winery Note “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.”
Also new from Cameron:
Cameron Winery Dundee Hills Chardonnay, Willamette Valley 2022 750ml $24 special, 36 bottles available
Winery Note “Vinified from Abbey Ridge & Clos Electrique fruit, this is the best Chardonnay in its price range on the market. Lime leaf and orange blossom aromatics with a light touch of vanilla make me think of tarte au citron! A lovely rich mouth with some tartness allows it to be both an aperitif while you’re cooking and it will go with the meal afterward, though if you drink enough while you’re cooking, this latter point will be unimportant!”
Cameron Winery Reserve Chardonnay, Dundee Hills 2021 750ml $41.90 special, 24 bottles available
Winery Note “This saporous potation is predominantly vinified from 42 year-old Abbey Ridge chardonnay with a smattering of Clos Electrique grapes, deeming it worthy of the Dundee Hills appellation as well as a google synonym search. It displays aromas of meyer lemon, lime leaf and lemon crème brûlée and has a rich and a velvety mouth with moderate acidity.   Perfect for sipping while you prepare dinner and a splendid accompaniment for almost any dish.  Consider it a gateway drug for our single vineyard chardonnays!”
Cameron Winery Abbey Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021 750ml $79 special. 12 bottles available
Winery Note “WOW is the descriptor that immediately comes to mind. A vivid dark ruby color, unusual for Abbey Ridge, is your first indication that this is something different. The aromas are equally intense notes of black cherry, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon. The mouth is sublime, ending with Abbey Ridge Pinot’s signature lingering finish. This may well be one of the greatest offerings of Abbey Ridge Pinot noir ever!”
Cameron Julia Pinot Noir 2021 750ml $112 special, 9 bottles available
Winery Notes “Our Julia Pinot noir is vinified from 40 year old vines located in a small block of Martin Ray Massale in the Abbey Ridge vineyard. It is aged for two years in barrique with one additional year in bottle.
New Arrivals


Located in Merfy, north of Reims, Chartogne-Taillet is the sole grower-producer in his village. With an eye toward the traditional methods of the past, Alexandre Chartogne marches into the future as a dedicated and focused practitioner of natural viticulture and winemaking.

“Ste. Anne is a village wine, and an excellent lesson in just how fine wine from “cru normal” made with expertise and care can be.” -Skurnik Wines, Importer.

Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Sainte Anne Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $54.50 special, 8 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 Points “[Reviewed 2023] This vibrant Champagne leads with an enticing floral note, opening on the raw silk–textured palate to reveal a finely meshed range of salted Marcona almond, ripe white cherry, blood orange pith, and lime blossom flavors that echo through the lingering finish. Classy. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier.” (Nov 2023)
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 93 Points “The NV (2019) Brut Cuvée Ste.-Anne is fabulous. Rich, ample and layered, the Brut Cuvée Ste.-Anne hits all the right notes. I especially admire its vinous intensity and overall resonance. Dried pear, flowers mint, white pepper and lemon confit are some of the many notes that grace this exquisite Champagne from Alexandre Chartogne. Best of all, Cuvée Ste.-Anne remains an exceptional value in the world of fine grower Champagne.” (Nov 2023)
Importer Note “Cépage Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Meunier. Anticipated assemblage: 80% 2020, 20% reserve wines. Village/vyd: Merfy, Saint Thierry, Avize Grand Cru.” 

Paul Bara Grand Millesime Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2016 750ml $79 special, 18 bottles available
Importer’s Note “Non-vintage, entry level Champagne tends to sing best all by itself, or perhaps with just some simple appetizers. Vintage bottles on the other hand have more grip and a bit of weight than their blended counterparts and often have their best moments at table. The 2016 Brut Grand Cru from Bara is one such wine. Don’t just pair with classic white wine dishes, but stretch your imagination and try with lighter red wine pairings—roasted bird, pork chops or tenderloin, or hearty vegetable dishes.” -Kermit Lynch 

The newest releases from this cult producer are finally here! Let’s see what critics like Antoni Galloni are saying:
“This is a gorgeous set of new releases from Fred Savart. The wines continue to impress with their sublime purity and nuance. Savart is among the exponents of the new glass wine globes that are increasingly being used in Champagne and throughout France. Readers will soon be able to taste a version of the Le Mont des Chrétiens done entirely in globes. I also revisited the 2018 Le Mont Benoit, which I found heavily reduced last year. The strong reductive character has faded, but the fruit and overall presence of the wine remain quite muted, certainly next to the intensity that is such a signature of the other wines in this range.”
Frederic Savart Bulle de Rose Premier Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ml $84.50 special, 18 bottles available
Importer note (Grand Cru Selections) “Fred’s rosé is a rosé d’assemblage composed of 70% Pinot Noir, 22% Chardonnay, and 8% still red wine. It comes entirely from the village of Ecueil. It is fermented mostly in stainless steel, with around 20% of the blend made in neutral barrels. The dosage is 6g/L”
“Disgorged July 2023. Base vintage 80% 2020, 20% 2021.”
Frederic Savart Ecueil-Trepail Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $99 special, 18 bottles available
VinopolNote “A very exclusive Chardonnay blend from Ecueil and Trepail, two Premier Cru vineyards. This wine has the structure and integrity of a fine Burgundy. Reductive, focused, weighted… this is everything you could want from grower champagne.”
Importer note “Disgorged July 2023.”
Frederic Savart Les Noues Ecueil Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $155 special, 6 bottles available
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 93 Points “The 2019 Extra-Brut Les Noues is 100% Pinot Noir from a parcel planted on sand over chalk. It is endowed with tremendous textural richness and breadth that captures the natural intensity of this radiant year. Crushed flowers, red berry fruit, mint, cinnamon and light nutty overtones all grace this exquisite, open-knit Champagne. Even with its very recent disgorgement, the 2019 is very easy to enjoy right now. Disgorged: February 2023.”

Frederic Savart Le Mont Benoit Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2019 750ml $188 special, 6 bottles available
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 94 Points “The 2019 Brut Nature Le Mont Benoit is superb. Ample and substantial in feel, the 2019 Mont Benoit impresses with its sheer stature. Readers will find an intense Champagne that is all texture. Dried citrus peel, chamomile, spice and a kiss of French oak all run this wonderfully expressive, resonant Champagne from Savart. The Mont Benoit is another new release in this range that straddles the line between Champagne and still wine. Disgorged: February2023.”
Frederic Savart Le Mont des Chretiens Premier Cru Extra Brut, Champagne 2019 750ml $175 special, 6 bottles available
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 93 Points “The 2019 Brut Nature Le Mont des Chrétiens (magnum) was vinified in oak, which lends notable textural breadth and intensity along with slightly more evolved (but not mature) flavors from the exchange of air that takes place in barrel. There is a touch of reduction, but not to the point of being meaningfully distracting, as it was last year. Rich and vinous, the 2019 is a very beautiful wine. Dried flowers, chamomile, spice and orchard fruit build effortlessly in the glass. I like the energy here quite a bit. Disgorged: February 2023.”
Delamotte Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ml $119 special, 24 bottles available
James Suckling 93 Points “An amber-colored rosé with aromas of cherries, praline, dried flowers and some spiced plums. Gastronomic and flavorful, with a medium to full body and dry, spicy and smoky elements. Tight bubbles. 88% chardonnay from Mesnil, Avize and Oger, with 12% red wine pinot noir from Bouzy and Ambonnay. (7/23)”
Audrey 92 Points “From the base vintage of 2019, the NV Champagne Brut Rosé is Chardonnay with the addition of 12% still red wine of Pinot Noir from Bouzy, Tours sur Marne, and Ambonnay. There are 8 grams per liter of dosage added. Light pink in color, the nose is savory with blood orange peel, quinine, and fresh peach, and the palate is dry, floral, and lightly saline. The Chardonnay drives the character of the wine with a focused structure and chalky texture. This would be a wonderful aperitif or to have with raw preparations such as sushi. Drink over the next 8-10 years. The sister house to Salon, Delamotte owns 10 hectares of vineyards in Mesnil sur Oger, Oger, Cramant, and Avize, and they purchase from 80 hectares, mostly Chardonnay from Oiry and Chouilly and some Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims in Bouzy, Ambonnay, and Tours sur Marne. A small amount of Meunier is purchased from around Epernay. When Salon does not produce a vintage wine, those parcels go into the production of Delamotte bottlings. Like Salon, the wines are fermented and matured entirely in stainless steel; however, malolactic fermentation is achieved on a case-by-case basis.”
Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Vintage Brut, Champagne 2014 750ml $135 special, 5 bottles available
Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Vintage Brut, Champagne 2014 1.5L $299 special, 3 magnums available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 Points “Delamotte’s just-released 2014 Blanc de Blancs has turned out very well indeed, opening in the glass with scents of citrus zest, crisp orchard fruit, fresh bread and wet stones. Medium to full-bodied, chiseled and incisive, with excellent depth at the core, racy acids and a chalky finish, this isn’t as muscular as the 2008 or 2012, but it has real cut and persistence and should age very gracefully indeed.”
Audrey Frick-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points “A blend of the six Grand Cru villages of the Cote de Blancs, with 6.5 grams per liter dosage, the 2014 Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut is fresh and precise, with aromas of vibrant green apple, pleasant reduction with flint, and delicate smoke, citrus blossoms, and wet stone. The transition to the palate is seamless and linear, with crisp and crunchy green fruit, and is electric with lime candy, a refined mousse, and a chalky texture. It warrants more time before opening, but it is delicious and refreshing now. Drink over 2023-2043.”
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 94 Points “The 2014 Blanc de Blancs is seriously impressive. Ample in feel, Delamotte is especially rich in 2014, and yet there is plenty of freshness to balance things out. This is an especially savory style for Delamotte, and one that works so well. Dried lemon peel, pastry, almond, dried herbs and chamomile open in a beautifully translucent Blanc des Blancs that marries power and finesse. I can’t wait to see how it ages.”
St. Innocent Villages Cuvee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2022 750ml $33 special, 24 bottles available
Tasting Notes “The Pinot noir, Villages Cuvée has robust sweet spice aromas with lovely black cherry, smoky berry and dark rose notes. Juicy and pungent flavors of dark cherry, wild strawberry, allspice, cinnamon with a touch of smoke fill your mouth. Beautifully balanced with soft tannins and fresh acidity, the finish slowly fades into supple dried fruit and spices. Still young now the wine will fill out through the winter and into the spring. This is my favorite wine for thanksgiving and flavorful white meat dishes. It is just as good with burgers, brats and pizza. Enjoy now through 2030.”
Vineyard Notes “Our Villages Cuvée is produced from Pinot noir grapes grown in Oregon’s northern Willamette Valley. Fruit from other sites are blended to create a Pinot noir that complements rich white meat and fish dishes. To enhance this match, we blend to maximize both the spectrum of flavors and length on the palate while minimizing the use of new oak. The composition for this bottling is: Freedom Hill Vineyard 32%, Temperance Hill Vineyard 29%, Shea Vineyard 39%.”
Best Price on the West Coast
Rarity! A classic Willamette winery in large format… these always go fast!
Bethel Heights Vineyard ‘West Block’ Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2019 1.5L $128 special, 6 magnums available
Paul Gregutt-Wine Enthusiast 93 Points “Here’s a toasty wine with touches of walnuts and hazelnuts around black fruit flavors and a gentle suggestion of charred wood. Planted in 1977, this block layers on fruit, acid, tannin and earth highlights in perfect proportion. The overall darkness seems typical of the various Pinots from this estate and it lends a sense of constrained power to all of the wines. Compact when young, these are wines to cellar and enjoy over many years.”
Best price in the United States today
Willamette lovers rejoice… Flaneur is a stunner at this price! Its freshness up front belies a more brooding nature as it washes over the palette.
Flaneur Wines Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2022 750ml $28 special, 24 bottles available
Winery Note “Flânerie Vineyard Pinot Noir is a single vineyard expression of our Ribbon Ridge Estate.  Flânerie is consistently spicy, dark red fruited, savory and bold. This wine has beautiful finesse and a long life ahead of it, if patient enough to cellar.”
Best price in the United States today
From brothers Jon and Ben Casteel, dedicated to their father Terrence. Terrence David Casteel is the co-founder of Bethel Heights winery and served as winemaker for over thirty years before passing the torch to Ben. When an opportunity to purchase a small amount of grapes from neighboring vineyards the brothers decided to begin something new together- exploring Eola-Amity beyond their own backyard. These bottlings mark the third vintage of their collaboration.

Terrence David Bjornson Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2018 750ml $54.50 special, 6 bottles available
Winery Notes “Björnson Vineyard was planted between 2006 and 2012 on the west side of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, just up the road from Bethel Heights Vineyard. With soil, elevation and aspect very similar to Bethel Heights, it is intriguing to discover how different the expression of Pinot noir can be just on the other side of the road.  150 cases produced.”
Terrence David Filament Vineyard Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2018 750ml $74.50 special, six bottles available
Winery note “Filament Vineyard was planted in 2001, high on the east-facing flank of the “Walnut Hill” section of the Eola-Amity Hills AVA.  In 2017 our friend Drew Voit (Harper Voit wines) invited us and Jerry Murray (Project M wines) to share a single lot of Pinot noir from Filament, one of his favorite vineyards.  The lot was a mix of four clones, split three ways, and each of us made our own decisions from that point on, including the most critical decision about when to pick.  We learned a lot from each other in the process. 100 cases produced.”
These are the best prices for these wines in the United States today
“Intense straw colored with greenish glints. The nose presents lemon, pineapple, peach and apricot notes with floral hints. On the palate, it is fresh, full-bodied, with mineral notes and a persistent finish.” –Winemaker’s note
Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis DOCG, Piedmont 2022 750ml $36 special, 12 bottles available
James Suckling 94 Points “Energetic and bright with sliced green apples, mangoes and citrus with some honeysuckle. It’s medium- to full-bodied with lovely fruit. Electric acidity. Salty at the end. Drink now.”
“Fans of Skin-Contact (orange) wines look no further! This wine is a consistent favorite among our staff.”
Paolo Bea Arboreus Bianco Umbria IGT 2016 750ml $64.50 special, 28 bottles available
Vinous 95 Points “The 2016 Bianco Arboreus has gained volume and depth since I lasted tasted it, wafting up unexpectedly rich and tropical in the glass, with a burst of exotic florals, ginger and spices giving way to freshly sliced nectarine. It’s round and supple on the palate, with a flourish of saline minerality, lime-tinged pit fruits and hints of sour kiwi that cascade throughout. This tapers off with a honeyed inner sweetness contrasted by a salty twang, lasting incredibly long yet still remarkably fresh. The 2016 is flat-out gorgeous.”
Feudi di San Gregorio Serpico Rosso Irpinia, Campania 2015 750ml $69 special, 36 bottles available
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 Points “There are darker tones of purple and black fruit and some savory chocolate flavors as well in the 2015 Irpinia Aglianico Serpico. This is an ambitious and deeply layered wine that peels back to reveal more spice, tar and volcanic ash hidden deep within its core. I would suggest some more bottle age with this wine, however, as the mouthfeel is sharp and etched in its youth. The wine needs a little more time to flesh out and put on more volume. Serpico goes through an 18-month aging regime in medium-toast French oak. Some 15,000 bottles were made. Drink 2020-2035 (Oct 2019).”
Falstaff 94 Points “Bright, rich ruby red with a slightly brightening edge. On the nose ripe sour cherries and plums, then liquorice and coffee. Very concentrated on the palate, with strong tannins, juicy, well balanced, with a long finish. (Mar 2023).”
Best price in the United States today
La Fortuna Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2021 750ml $24 special, 36+ bottles available
Eric Guido-Vinous  91 Points “…impresses with its vividly fresh blend of crushed strawberries, mint leaves and cloves. It’s racy with cooling acidity and crisp wild berry fruits, taking on a perfumed character toward the close. This finishes with medium length and orange hints, completely refreshing the palate. The magic of northeast Montalcino is on full display here, with an abv. of just 13.5%.”
Montevertine Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2020 750ml $99 special, 5 bottles available
Montevertine Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2020 1.5L $249 special, only 1 bottle 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.”
Telmo Rodriguez Pegaso Barrancos De Pizarra 2020 $59 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 Points “There is a lot of finesse in the 2020 Pegaso Barrancos de Pizarra, with a fine texture and almost powdery, elegant tannins, and it transmits a sensation of harmony. It’s perfumed and floral and has more red than black fruit. It’s medium to full-bodied, precise, clean, tasty and long. It’s ripe, but the alcohol (15%) is completely unnoticeable. In fact, it feels less ripe than the Granito from 2020 that I tasted next to it”
Remelluri Rioja Blanco 2020 750ml $119 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 Points “The exceptional 2020 Blanco is from vines between 605 and 805 meters above sea level that were harvested over multiple passes after one episode of hail. This vintage had a slow fermentation, and it feels like a year of finesse and elegance. The wine has fluidity, elegance but also intensity, depth and very pure flavors, with a very saline finish, super tasty. This could very well be the finest vintage for the white… It’s not a shy wine, with 14.2% alcohol and a low pH of 3.3, denoting very good freshness”
Germany and Austria
Taste Riesling again for the first time! This orange wine brings new levels of depth and intensity to one of our favorite grapes. Drink this lightly chilled to fully enjoy the phenolics.
Fio Wines ‘Jo Jo’ Riesling (Orange Wine), Mosel 2021 750ml $33 special, 12 bottles available
Importer’s Note “Orange, 100% Riesling. Intense and concentrated bouquet of apricot and with delicate caramel aromas. Very elegant and finely textured on the palate. Light to medium-bodied and delightfully easy to drink.”
Best price in the United States today
Weingut Stift Goettweig Kremstal Riesling Furth 2021 750ml $24 special, 10 bottles available
Peter Moser- Falstaff 91 Points “Light yellow-green, silver reflections. Delicate yellow tropical fruit, hints of passion fruit, fine blossom honey, inviting bouquet. Medium-bodied, white apple, fresh acidity, mineral-citrus finish, a lively food wine.”
Close-Out Sales
Big wines, HUGE savings

He’s most famous for Syrah, but don’t sleep on the Spanish varietals given the Christophe Baron treatment. Out of this world flavor and concentration.

Cayuse Vineyards Impulsivo Tempranillo, Walla Walla Valley 2020 750ml WAS $133 NOW $119 special, 25 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 94+ points “Tight and closed, with notions of bloody blue fruits, iodine, rose petals, and cedarwood, the 2020 Impulsivo hits the palate with 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, but this is in need of a solid 4-5 years of bottle age to show its full potential. It should have 20-25 years of overall longevity when all is said and done.”
These are the best prices in the WORLD today:
Caladan Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley 2017 750ml WAS $219 NOW $199, 12 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 96 Points “A top bottling of the variety, this small-production wine is structured and strong, opening reductively, with elements of tobacco leaf, oak and sage. The savory character persists in the form of leather and black pepper, allowing just a touch of sharp red fruit to enter and complement. This wine has further secrets to be revealed; enjoy best from 2027–2032.”
Screaming Eagle ‘The Flight – Second Flight’, Napa Valley 2019 750ml WAS $1099 NOW $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. About two-thirds merlot. Best after 2028, but already stunning.”

Fantastic Value in Napa Cab!
Snowden Vineyards ‘Brothers Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2017 750ml WAS $75 NOW $66 special, 11 bottles available
Vinous 93+ Points “The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard is gorgeous. In this vintage, the Brothers has a bit more tannin and overall structure than normal, but in 2017 a power outage resulted in the wine staying in tank for an extra ten days. In the end, that looks to have been a help, as the 2017 offers a terrific combination of fruit density and structure, within the mid-weight style of the year at Snowden. This is a beguiling wine that may very well turn out to be a surprise in time. Super classic, old-school, medium-bodied wine with good depth and resonance alongside notes of black cherry, leather, tobacco, licorice and gravel.”

Sine Qua Non ‘The Inaugural’ Eleven Confessions Vineyard Grenache, Sta Rita Hills 2003 750ml WAS $3,199 NOW $2,499 special, 1 bottle available
Jeb Dunnuck-Wine Advocate 100 Points “In addition to these new releases, I was also able to taste through a number of older vintages, including the 2001 Albino, 2006 Hoodoo Man, 2003 The Inaugural, 2004 Ode to E, 1998 E Raised, 2001 On Your Toes, 2005 Nail in My Cranium and 2007 Syrah Dangerous Birds. To say I came away impressed would be an understatement. Anyone who claims this big, rich style can-t age needs to taste these wines. I opted to just list my scores for the older releases as I find Bob-s initial write-ups spot on.”

Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia 2017 750ml WAS $89  NOW $79 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 Points “The Poderi Aldo Conterno 2017 Barolo Bussia shows a dark but busy quality of fruit that speaks more to the power of this hot vintage than it does the nuanced side of Nebbiolo. In this respect, the wine is quite typical of the 2017 growing season. It takes a while before the wine finds focus in the glass, but it does slowly come together to reveal broad layers of dark cherry, cassis and plum. There is some tannic tightness that leads to sour berry. A bit awkward at this young stage, it needs a few more years of cellar age to flesh out and reach balance.”
Aldo Conterno Barolo Cicala 2017 750ml WAS $179  NOW $149, 6 bottles available
Wine Spectator 95 Points “A solid, powerful style, this expressive red is well-marked by new oak, with plum, cherry, cigar box, menthol and sun-kissed hay flavors. Balanced and lively, with refined tannins and a long, spice-infused finish. Best from 2025 through 2042.”
Aldo Conterno Barolo Colonnello 2017 750ml WAS $179 NOW $149, 9 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94+ Points “The Poderi Aldo Conterno 2017 Barolo Bussia Colonnello shows good focus, structure and a sharper character that is often the distinguishing factor in this wine. The bouquet is redolent of dark fruit and plum, but it also shows a solid framing of iron ore and dark stony mineral. These give the wine greater lift and contoured edges. This is not the first time that Colonnello is my favorite wine in this lineup, and I suspect it won’t be the last.”

Vatan Sancerre Clos Neore 2018 1.5L WAS $799 NOW $699 special, 2 bottles available
Vinous 96 Points “Clarity is a term that accurately describes the 2018 Sancerre Clos La Neore. It has a pure and intense core of fruit. But it’s not fruity. It’s a sophisticated style with a distinctive aromatic profile- chamomile tea, lemon, honey, and almond meal and an almost tonic-like edge. While showing the ripeness of the 2018 season,  it retains its shape with a corset of acidity and phenolics that guide the wine on and on.”
Vatan Sancerre Clos Neore 2010 750ml WAS $499 NOW $399 special, 1 bottles available
David Schildknecht Wine Advocate 95 Points “The Vatan 2010 Sancerre Clos la Neore is fascinatingly – indeed, almost mind-bendingly – complex, already in the nose. Musk, white truffle, citrus oils, bittersweet floral perfume, lime and tangerine, as well as fusil, chalky and maritime mineral notes associated with Kimmeridgian origins waft in a kaleidoscopically interactive array. Fresh citrus and a stony-chalky undertone take the lead on a silken-textured palate but with almost electrically charged vivacity of interaction emerging in the long, saliva-liberating finish, mirroring the wine’s remarkable aromatic show. This will be at least a twenty year keeper worthy of comparison with such memorable past vintages as 1988, 1990, or 1996, each of which has shown gloriously when tasted within the past couple of years”.
Collector’s Corner
Italian Treats for Holiday Eats
Duck, goose, rib roasts… The Holiday season is known for rich, hearty meals. What does that mean for you, the wine connoisseur? Rich, hearty wines, of Course!

There’s few things I enjoy more in life than opening a nice Barolo to pair with a roasted leg of lamb, for example. Or a Brunello to pair with goose.

We have an enormous selection of big reds from Italy to treat yourself with.

Let’s Dive in:

Falletto di Bruno Giacosa Rabaja, Barbaresco DOCG 2017 750ml $249 special, only 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 Points “The Bruno Giacosa 2017 Barbaresco Rabajà is a fine and delicate wine that throws a curveball at our expectations of this notoriously hot and dry vintage. The wine is exceedingly generous when it comes to its fruit, especially its blackcurrant and plum, but what steals the show is that elegant mineral note that so seamlessly cedes to spice, licorice and cinnamon. Rabajà is one of the most distinctive growing sites in Barbaresco, thanks to its white stony soils that leave such a strong imprint on its wines. The wine is remarkable for its nicely linear and delicate style, but it ultimately proves its power and determination on the palate over many long minutes.”
Gaja Sori San Lorenzo Langhe-Barbaresco, Piedmont 2017 750ml $599 special, only 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 Points “This tightly wound red is dense with black cherry, black currant, plum, tar and iron flavors as well as tannins. Shows a lot of power and persistence, with all the components in the right proportion, ending with a long, resonant aftertaste. Needs time. Best from 2024 through 2048. 300 cases imported. — BS”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95+ Points “The 2017 growing season saw a couple of violent hail events in the Barbaresco appellation, and this celebrated vineyard suffered some damage during a storm that hit on July 19th. Yields were reduced, but the wine holds its own thanks to the careful fruit selection process put in place by the Gaja family. Their 2017 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo is a shade richer in terms of flavor concentration, as is always the case with fruit from this slightly warmer growing site. However, like the other two single-vineyard Barbaresco expressions, this wine reveals a thin, sharp and nervous personality that is driven in large part by tannic firmness and acidity. Sorì San Lorenzo adds lots of dark mineral definition to cassis, wild cherry, rose and Provence herbs. Like the other wines, it needs extra cellar aging time.”
La Spinetta Vigneto Campe, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ml $119 special, only 2 bottles still available
James Suckling 97 Points “Very distinctive nose with violets and very pure blackcurrants and blueberries, as well as leafy nuances, all of which deliver a fresh impression. The palate has impressive depth and density and the cool, blue fruit at the center sits fresh and vibrant. Smoothly resolved tannins shape a distinguished, balanced and long palate. Drink or hold.”
Paolo Scavino Rocche dell’Annunziata Riserva, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ml $199 special, 6 bottles available
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 97 Points “The 2013 Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata Riserva was released in January of 2019, and once again it looks to be a top prize. Licorice and flowers dominate the bouquet, and its beautiful red fruit is generous throughout. This wine has always been a beauty and consistently has had a high price tag to reflect that quality, going back to the first vintages of the 1990s. It has regularly sold for about $200 every year for the last decade. These vines are old, some of them very old (reaching the ripe age of 60 years old in 1990s, when many of them were replanted with carefully selected clones), producing an elegance and concentration that brings intensity and a high standard of aromas. This Barolo without a doubt shows its pedigree and a quality of noble perfumes that demonstrate characteristics of the greatest Nebbiolo vintages, all delivered with excellent concentration. The magic lingers on the palate, right up to the finish.”
James Suckling 95 Points “Aromas of white truffles and dried red cherries here with an earthy nuance that makes for a complex and compelling nose. The palate has a deep and dense shape and delivers a wide array of rich cherry and plum flavors. Some handy spice here, too. Drink or hold.”

Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2016 750ml $649 special, 6 bottles available
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate  99 Points, “Wow, here is a vintage I’ve been anxiously waiting to try. The 2016 growing season was one of the best in recent memory in Montalcino, and if we look back in time, this vintage marks the year Biondi-Santi was sold to a French group. The prestigious 2016 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva proves a mighty collector’s bottle that will undoubtedly gain in complexity and depth with careful bottle age. The wine offers wild nuances of forest berry and tart cherry, and there are herbal side notes as well as floral tones of dried violet and lilac. The tannins are soft, powdery and feel like they melt away on the palate.”
James Suckling 98 Points “Aromas of strawberries flowers fresh mushroom forest flower sandalwood and hints of balsamic. Full-bodied and tight on the finish. This is a linear and fine-tannined red. Available in March 2023. Needs another five years or so to show its full potential. New classic. Better after 2026.”
Castello di Ama Vigneto Bellavista, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2018 750ml $249 special, 5 bottles available
Vinous 98 Points “The 2018 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigneto Bellavista marries Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera, a combination that works so well. The Bellavista is a powerful, vertical wine endowed with explosive and tremendous energy. Like all the top wines, it needs the better part of a decade to show all it’s got. Gravel, smoke, leather, licorice and scorched earth. 2026 – 2041”
James Suckling 97 Points “This is a very deep and serious Chianti Classico with bark, dark-mushroom and blackberry aromas that follow through to a full body with very polished and integrated tannins that are long and classy. A sophisticated and glorious wine. Drink in 2024 and onwards, but already very pretty.”
Wine Spectator 94 Points “A rich, intense red, displaying black cherry, blackberry, menthol, iron and graphite flavors, this is polished and expressive, yet with beefy tannins lining the chalky finish. All the components are there—this just needs time. Sangiovese and Malvasia Nera. Best from 2024 through 2040.”
Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ml $199 special, 9 bottles available
Wine Spectator 98 Points “Bright and juicy, this is packed with cherry, strawberry, floral and mineral aromas and flavors. Linear in shape and tightly wound, yet very pure, with a long, detailed aftertaste that pulls all the elements together. Best from 2021 through 2040. 350 cases imported.”

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, Tuscany 2015 $219 special, 6 bottles available
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 96+ Points “The 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, essentially a selection of the best barrels of Cepparello, is a gorgeous wine. More than anything, the 2015 is remarkable considering the challenges of a growing season in which rain during harvest created significant challenges. Nevertheless, Paolo De Marchi coaxed all of the potential out of his vines in 2015, adding a good dollop of Petit Verdot to the Sangiovese in crafting the Gran Selezione. Dense, powerful and beautifully textured, with intense underpinnings of saline minerality. The 2015 has a brilliant future, but it won’t see the light until fall 2020 at the very earliest.”
Sassetti Pertimali Brunello Riserva 2012 750ml $119 special, 7 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 Points “Firm and dense, this red sports cherry, leather, cigar box and sweet spice flavors. A juiciness midpalate adds depth. Finishes with tannins and a combination of earth, mineral and tobacco notes. Best from 2022 through 2038.”
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