Vinopolis Newsletter – New Arrivals 4-26-24

 In This Newsletter:

New Arrivals
Cameron Winery, Marie-Courtin, Sierra de Tolono, Arnot-Roberts, and more!
Arriving Next Friday
Quinta da Muracella

New Arrivals
Cameron Winery.

Jean Paul’s newest release of Dundee Hills Pinot Noir is finally here…
The wonderful wines of Jean Paul Cameron never fail to impress us. Born in France and possessing a degree in Microbiology, he began his wine journey when he discovered “that winemaking offered opportunities to use the right side of his brain and to drink at work.” Eventually his passions took him to Burgundy where he learned how to vinify Pinot Noir from its source.

Cameron Winery Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, USA 2022 750ml $34.50 special, 36 bottles available
Vinopolnote “This wine is a benchmark for the Willamette Valley’s 2022 vintage. Because of frosts in the Clos Electrique vineyard, this year’s blend contains more delicious Abbey Ridge fruit per bottle than usual… which is just fine with us! Upon drinking this, you will be greeted with considerable acidity, both black and tart cherries (these balance each other quite nicely), as well fresh picked violets and a pinch of cinnamon and spice.
“Though light in color, this wine has serious depth. This is the perfect wine to announce the arrival of Spring. Every glass says, “Congrats, you made it. Now enjoy it.”
This is the best price in the United States today

Single-vineyard…single-varietal… biodynamic… san-soufre.
These are some of the concepts that inspired Dominique Moreau to start her own winery in 2005. Beyond the buzzwords, this is a stellar project with wines that will stand the test of time. Working out of the Aube in the Côte des Bars, a region famous for its Kimmeridgian soils and fantastic pinot noir, the wines of Marie-Courtin have a Chablis-like intensity prized by Champagne drinkers for their refreshing acidity and pronounced minerality.
The winery itself is named for Moreau’s Grandmother, who imbued Dominique with a sense of wonder in nature and the power of its energies. Beyond just organic or Biodynamic practices, Dominique uses pendulums in the vineyard to gauge the energy emitted from grapes and discern ripeness. Her wines are becoming modern classics, cult-like in their draw… try them today and catch the buzz for yourself.
Marie-Courtin Coteaux Champenois Le Blanc du Tremble, Champagne, France 2019 750ml $89 special, 6 bottles available
Review is for the NV version, reviewed in November 2023. Provided for reference.
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 92 Points “The NV Coteaux Champenois Le Blanc du Tremble shows good depth and phenolic intensity. Pear, apricot, white flowers and lightly tropical notes all grace this wonderfully deep and expressive Coteaux. Blanc du Tremble is 100% Pinot Noir from 35-40-year-old vines, aged in clay and sandstone amphorae. Terrific.”
Marie-Courtin Efflorescence Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne, France 2017 750ml $79 special, 12 bottles available
Marie Courtin Efflorescence BdN Extra Brut, Champagne, France 2017 1.5L $179 special, 1 magnum available
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 91 Points “The 2017 Extra Brut Efflorescence (100% Pinot Noir) displays good depth texturally and lovely persistence, but I would like to see more focus on the aromatics. Then again, this is a 2017. A slightly forgiving palate is required to fully appreciate this. Zero dosage. Disgorged in March of 2023. (Drink between 2023-2029)”
Marie-Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne, France 2018 750ml $99 special, 12 bottles available
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 96 Points “The 2018 Extra Brut Eloquence is magnificent. Elegant and layered, the 2018 is ripe, pure and very vinous in feel. It shows a hint of reduction, reminiscent at times of a great still white wine. The long, pure finish is a thing of beauty. Eloquence is 100% Chardonnay from a single vineyard site in Polisot on clay-limestone soils. Zero dosage.”
Decanter 96 Points “An immediate sense of fragrance and presence – a smoky, struck match note of reduction. A breezy meadow and forest aroma. It’s funny how Dominique Moreau’s wines often smell of the countryside you think you just left outside. The silky texture is arresting then calms the palate, caressing. Creamy fruit pulp shot through with gentle citrus. Such a long finish. Deluxe. 60% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Blanc, 5% Arbanne. Biodynamic. Organic yeasts. From the single parcel Tremble. Made in sandstone amphora and held 11 months on lees before bottling. Zero dosage.”
Marie-Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne, France NV (2020) 750ml $69 special, 24 bottles available
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 94 Points “The NV (2020) Extra Brut Resonance is so bright and focused for a Pinot Noir. Lime, jasmine, crushed rocks and chalk abound. Site seems to dominate over variety in this exotic, strongly chalky offering. All expectations for what Pinot Noir is supposed to be are turned upside down. Bright saline notes support the intensity of aromatics and palate. Sourced from a single vineyard in Polisot, this saw native yeast fermentation in stainless steel. Zero dosage.”

Sierra de Tolono.

How do you make a success of your dreams and goals? You reach high. How do you become one of Rioja’s hottest new winemakers? Reach even higher… over 2,100 feet to be precise.
In 2012, Sandra Bravo established her winery in Rioja Alavesa, working with some of the oldest and highest altitude vines in the Region. She worked at wineries in France, Italy, New Zealand, and California before a 7 year stint in Priorat. After that, she understood the kind of winemaker she would be and established Sierra de Tolono in the foothills of its namesake mountains.
As she puts it, “All of that experience gave me an open point of view to make different wines here in Rioja (where I come from). I have to say Priorat really influenced me to make artisanal wines, and to understand that the most important is the vineyard, the vineyard with soul.” These are precise, elegantly textured wines featuring great acidity, low alcohol, and a sense of place.

Sierra de Tolono Tempranillo, Rioja DOCa, Spain 2021 750ml $24 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91+ Points “The red 2021 Sierra de Toloño has a creamy touch, with notes of sweet spices and ripe berries, while keeping the freshness and balance reflecting a very balanced year. It has 13.5% alcohol and a medium-bodied palate with contained ripeness and fine tannins. It has a very approachable profile. It matured in neutral 225-liter barrels and amphorae for eight months. 35,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in July 2022.”
These are the lowest prices for these wines on the West Coast:
Sierra de Tolono ‘La Dula’ Garnachas de Altura, Rioja DOCa, Spain 2022 $31.90 special, 24 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 Points “I loved the perfumed and varietal nose of the 2022 La Dula—pure Garnacha from high-altitude vineyards in the village of Rivas de Tereso. It’s ripe without excess, with 14% alcohol, a low pH (3.39) and very good acidity despite the warm year. It’s clean, transparent and precise. It feels young but has an approachable and juicy palate with very fine tannins. Elegant, nuanced and clean. 5,800 bottles produced. It was bottled in August 2023 after it matured in foudres and amphorae for eight months.”
Sierra de Tolono Blanco, Rioja DOCa, Spain 2022 750ml $21.90 special, 6 bottles available
John Gilman 91+ Points “The 2022 Rioja Blanco bottling from Sandra Bravo’s Bodega Sierra de Toloño is composed entirely from Viura (albeit, with a bit of Tempranillo Blanco co-planted in the vineyard). Ten percent of the cuvée is raised in oak, with the remainder in stainless steel and the wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a precise and complex mix of tart pear, lemon, salty soil tones, white flowers and just a whisper of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is bright, young and full-bodied, with lovely depth at the core, good soil signature, zesty acids and fine focus and balance on the long and nascently complex finish. This is quite tasty out of the blocks, but will gain in complexity with some time in the cellar. 2023-2040.”

Sierra de Tolono Rosado, Rioja DOCa, Spain 2022 750ml $21.90 special, 6 bottes available
Wine Notes “60% Tempranillo and 40% Garnacha blended from multiple parcels. Vinified seperately in order to get a fresh, and “fluid” wine. A mix of saignee and direct press.”
Sierra de Tolono ‘Raposo’, Rioja DOCa, Spain 2020 750ml $29 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 Points “The straightforward red 2020 Raposo was produced with Tempranillo from Villabuena de Álava and reveals a fruit-driven nose with some earthiness and a bit of ripeness despite the contained 13.5% alcohol. It’s medium-bodied, with fine tannins and balance. It fermented with indigenous yeasts at low temperature and matured in 3,000-liter oak foudres for one year. 5,500 bottles were filled in November 2021.”

Domaine Paul Autard Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France 2020 750ml $41.90 special, 12 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 92 Points “The classic 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape from this estate is a winner, although it has the modern style of the estate front and center. Gorgeous black raspberry fruit, lots of spicy oak, medium to full body, sweet, polished tannins, and a great finish all make for an incredibly compelling, satisfying, delicious Châteauneuf du Pape. Drink bottles over the coming decade or so. The blend is 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre, aged in 50% new oak.”
Arnot-Roberts Rose, Lake County, USA 2023 750ml $26 special, 24 bottles available
Winemaker’s Note “We began making Rosé from Touriga Nacional in 2010. We were compelled by the grape’s deep color, brilliant acidity and aromatic complexity even at low sugar content. Touriga is a late-ripening Portuguese variety that needs some heat to mature, and we have sought out vineyards suited to this hearty variety.”
Arnot-Roberts Red Wine, California, USA 2022 750ml $59 special, 12 bottles available
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 92 Points “The 2022 Red Wine California is a very pleasant, fruity wine, especially in this vintage. About 50% of the wine was aged in cement. That, along with early bottling, preserves forward fruit and a good bit of freshness. Sweet floral and spice notes lift the mid-palate and finish.” 
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. “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 a light use of sulfites.
Altos Las Hormigas ‘Appellation Gualtallary’ Malbec, Tupungato, Argentina 2021 750ml $41.90 special, 18 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.”

 HOT DEAL!  Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina del Sannio, Campania, Italy 2021 750ml $19 special, 36+ bottles available
James Suckling 90 Points “Lime blossom, peaches, herbs, olives and salted lemons. Tangy and zesty, with a medium body and a pithy, waxy finish.”
 HOT DEAL!   Terlato Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy 2022 750ml $21.90 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Spectator 90 Points “Fresh and balanced, with a citrusy overtone of grapefruit pith and citronella, this shows flavors of crunchy white peach, chive blossoms and minerally saline and stone, followed by a creamy finish.”
Cardamaro Vino Amaro, Piedmont, Italy NV 750ml $26 special, 12 bottles available
Hans Alpenz Imports “Cardamaro is a longstanding product of what is today a 4th-generation winemaker in Canelli d’Asti. The primary flavors of Cardamaro are cardoon and blessed thistle, with a short repose in oak for spice and and texture. Drink as aperitif or digestif, outstanding with cider, or use in place of vermouth in many cocktails. Because of the subtle oak treatment, it is possible to use Cardamaro in place of bourbon or rye; combine with Dolin rouge for a lighter take on a Manhattan. Pair with saltier cheeses or charcuterie.”
…try pairing Cardamaro with:
Dolin Vermouth de Chambery Rouge, Savoie, France NV 750ml $18 special, 5 bottles available
Haus Alpenz Imports “Made to the same set of recipes since 1821, Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry has long been the benchmark for fine French Vermouth. Made with fine wines of the region and botanicals found in the Alpine meadows above Chambéry, together they impart a fresh and elegant nose, with a subtle and complex palate. Ideal as an aperitif or in cocktails.”
Arriving Next Friday
Quinta da Muradella.

When you think of Galician wine, what do you think of? Probably Albarinos from Rias Baixas. But have you heard of Monterrei? If not, let us introduce Jose Luis Mateo, one of a handful of winemakers in Galicia working hard to ensure that you do.

Monterrei, a warmer region nestled up against Portugal’s northern border, features white grapes like Treixadura, commonly found in Vinho Verde and red grapes like Mencia and Tempranillo. As farmed and vinified by Jose Luis, these familiar varietals take on a life all their own.

Mateo’s efforts have earned him a reputation as one of Galicia’s best winemakers by the likes of famed Spanish critic Luis Guiterrez. In the The Wine Advocate, Guiterrez writes that Mateo’s wines “are amazingly fresh and focused, especially the whites,” which he notes is “quite a challenge in a warm region.”

Quinta da Muradella Alanda Blanco, Monterrei, Spain 2021 750ml $49 special, 24 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 Points “The 2021 Alanda Blanco is a village wine from Monterrei, a blend of Dona Blanca, Treixadura and Verdello that reflects the diversity of soils, altitudes and expositions. The varieties fermented together, being added to the vat progressively, and 1,500-liters matured in a used French oak foudre for 15 months and the rest was kept in stainless steel. It’s pale, young and austere, more about soil and rocks than fruit, with notions of wet granite and dry flowers. It has contained ripeness, 13% alcohol, very good acidity, freshness and balance, with a sense of purity and transparency that is common to all whites here. It has depth, energy and light and extra vibrancy this year. It could very well be the finest white Alanda to date. 10,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2023.”
Lowest Price in the United States today

Quinta da Muradella Alanda Tinto, Monterrei, Spain 2018 750ml $44.50 special, 36 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 Points “The characterful 2018 Alanda Tinto was produced with a blend of Mencía, Bastardo and Garnacha Tintorera from their vineyards with different soils (slate, sand and clay) in different parts within Monterrei. It fermented together with one-third full clusters in stainless steel and concrete and matured in barrique, stainless steel and concrete vats for 15 months; then it was blended and put back in stainless steel for one more year. It has very good freshness, purity of aroma and flavors and a medium-bodied palate, with moderate alcohol and very fine tannins. 13,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in August 2022.”
Quinta da Muradella ‘Muradella’ Blanco, Monterrei, Spain 2019 750ml $89 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96+ Points “Next to the very young 2021, I also had the chance to taste the 2019 Quinta da Muradella Blanco, which has developed further complexity with time in bottle and now feels very flinty and mineral. The color is incredibly pale and bright; it looks like a young wine from 2023, almost transparent, but the nose has amazing complexity and the palate is pungent and full of energy and light. It’s vibrant, has moderate alcohol and notable freshness and acidity that make you salivate. This is developing even better than anticipated. I wonder if I’m still underestimating some of these amazing whites… 2,500 numbered bottles produced.”
Quinta da Muradella ‘Muradella’ Tinto, Monterrei, Spain 2018 750ml $79 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 Points “I love the elegant, complex and subtle nose of the 2018 Quinta da Muradella Tinto, produced with 23-year-old vines planted on three different soils: sand, slate and clay with lots of iron. It has a sense of purity and balance that is touching. There is a sense of innocence and simplicity that is difficult to achieve. It’s subtle and balanced, with very fine tannins and a beautiful mouthfeel. It’s a co-fermentation of Mencía, Zamarrica, Bastardo, Caíño Redondo and Albarello fermented destemmed in concrete with a soft extraction and a long maceration. The wine decanted in stainless steel for six months and then matured in foudre and one 500-liter barrel. 3,600 bottles produced. It was bottled in December 2021.”

Jose Luis Mateo’s Candea wines, produced alongside his Quinta da Muradella wines, come from the vineyards of a trusted friend with compatible views on viticulture and sustainability. They do not use herbicides or pesticides of any kind.

Candea (Quinta da Muradella) Blanco, Monterrei, Spain 2022 750ml $21.90 special, 12 bottles available
Not reviewed yet, previous review provided for reference.
Wine Advocate 92 Points (2020 Vintage) “Even the entry-level white 2020 Candea Blanco, a regional blend of equal parts of Dona Blanca, Verdello and Treixadura fermented and kept with lees in stainless steel for one year, shows character, cleanliness, precision and freshness beyond the price point, and it transcends appellation and vintage and is offered with some time in bottle. It has only 12.5% alcohol and an expressive nose of herbs and flowers, and it is balanced, harmonious and elegant and finishes dry and long with a tasty and salty twist. A bargain. 6,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in August 2022.”
Winery Note “A blend of Dona Blanca, Verdello and Treixadura. Direct pressed into tank, co-fermented with native yeasts. The wine ages on the fine lees for 1 year. No Malo.”
Candea (Quinta da Muradella) Tinto, Monterrei, Spain 2020 750ml $21.90 special, 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 Points “I love the simplicity of the red blend 2020 Candea Tinto, which is straightforward, tasty, juicy and balanced, without any excess or makeup, raw and authentic, with note of wild berries, flowers and herbs and a medium-bodied palate with moderate alcohol and nice balance. Highly drinkable. 14,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in September 2022.”
Winery Notes “A blend of Mencia, Tempranillo (Arauxa), Garnacha Tintorera, and Mouraton. Tank fermented with native yeasts 1/3 whole cluster. Maceration time can exceed 30 days. The wine is racked post malo and then aged in tank for at least a year.”
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