Vinopolis Newsletter – Wednesday 10/17/2023

 In This Newsletter:

New Arrivals
Champagne Vouette, Durant Vineyards, and Peter Lauer
Brovia Barolo
Staff Pick
Andre Clouet
Close-out Sales
All-American Savings: California, Washington, and Oregon!
Collector’s Corner
What were you doing ten years ago? (The wines of 2013 in review)

Arriving Friday
Vouette Et Sorbee Fidele Extra Brut (2020) NV 750ml $79 special, 16 bottles available
No reviews for the 2020 base. 2018 base review provided for reference.
Wine Advocate 94 Points “The NV Brut Nature Fidèle (R14) is a Blanc de Noirs from Pinot Noir on Kimmeridgian soils and is entirely based on the 2014 vintage. Disgorged in October 2017 the oak-fermented wine shows a golden-reddish apricot color and opens with a very delicate, floral and herbal yet intense and vinous bouquet of red fruits, with warm, dry earth and spices and just a hint of oak. Bone dry (of course), fresh and elegant on the palate, this is an impressively delicate and filigreed Champagne to be enjoyed as a still wine rather than a fizz. The finish is long, clear, dry and well-structured (even with fine tannins) and reveals discreet salinity. In fact, Fidèle drinks like a Burgundy-inspired Coteaux Champenois with very fine but not effervescent bubbles, persistent lemon juice and a touch of oaky flavors.”
Vouette Et Sorbee Blanc d’Argile Blanc de Blancs (2020) NV $99 special, 11 bottles available
Vouette Et Sorbee Blanc d’Argile Blanc de Blancs (2020) NV 1.5L $219 special, 2 bottles available
Importer’s Note “Mainly from a small parcel of Chardonnay in Briaunes supplemented with scattered plantings of Chardonnay in Bertrand’s other lieux-dits. Small in volume now, it will increase when the young vines in Vouette begin to come online. Mineral, nougat, salty and long–  basically a Grand Cru Chablis with bubbles.”
“Durant Vineyards, Dundee Hills”
Among the earliest vineyards planted in the Willamette Valley, the Durant family began their wine journey in 1973. Many of the region’s finest winemaker’s have utilized these excellent vineyards over the years, with the family now producing estate wines in a partnership with Marcus Goodfellow of the acclaimed winery Goodfellow Family Cellars. These wines are a stunning value from one of Oregon’s foundational families.
Durant Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir 2019 750ml $24 special, 24 bottles available
Durant Vineyards Dundee Hills Pinot Gris 2022 750ml $16 special, 36 bottles available
“Peter Lauer, Mosel”
Peter Lauer Ayler ‘Fass 1’ Riesling Feinherb 2022 750ml $33 special, 6 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines “The 2022er Ayler Riesling N°1 is an off-dry wine (with 14 g/l of residual sugar) made from fruit harvested on the east-facing side of the main Ayler Kupp hill. Quite smoky and herbal at first, it offers a rather opulent and rich nose of almond cream, toffee, yellow peach, rosemary, and candied lime. The wine starts off on the fruity and light side, yet it gains in presence and structure as it evolves. The finish is delicately smooth and broad, with plenty of spices and still a hint of tartness in need of integration.”
Peter Lauer Ayler ‘Fass 4’ Riesling Trocken/Feinherb 2022 750ml $33 special, 6 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines “The 2022er Ayler Riesling N°4 is a fully off-dry wine (with 30 g/l of residual sugar) made from fruit harvested from the Scheidterberg and Sonnenberg side hills. It reveals a nicely aromatic and direct nose of yellow apple, quince, spearmint, pastille Vichy, and thyme. The wine is finely fruity and easy-going on the light-weighted and fresh palate. This is a good off-dry drinking Riesling.”
Peter Lauer Kern ‘Fass 9’ Riesling 2022 750ml $49 special, 6 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 93 Points “The 2022er “Kern” N°9, as it is referred to in the central part of the label, is a fully off-dry wine (with 33 g/l of residual sugar) made from fruit picked in a complete cross section (bottom to top) of a prime south-west-facing old-vine parcel (called Kern) situated well into the side valley on the original Ayler Kupp hill. It offers a beautifully refined and herbal nose of wild spices, orange blossom, mint, lime, and white pepper, as well as slightly riper notes of vineyard peach candied grapefruit, and almond. The wine is superbly playful on the elegantly zesty and spicy palate. The finish proves energetic, refined, and straight. The after-taste is already dryish in style. This is a great just off-dry tasting Riesling.”
Peter Lauer Kupp ‘Fass 10’ Auslese Riesling 2022 375ml $49 special, 3 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 94+ Points “The 2022er Kupp Auslese N°10, as it is referred to in the central part of the label, was made from partially (15%) botrytized fruit harvested on the whole original Kupp hill and was fermented down to fully sweet levels of residual sugar (95 g/l). This offers a still very primary yet superbly complex and layered nose of bakery elements, almond cream, candied pineapple, coconut cream, aniseed, smoky bacon, and yellow flowers. The wine is superbly smooth and sweet on the comparatively light-weighted and delicate palate. The finish proves juicy and smooth, yet the after-taste brings freshness and liveliness as plenty of candied citrusy fruits kick in. This needs at least a decade to fully integrate its sweetness and fully shine.”
Peter Lauer Kupp ‘Fass 7’ Spatlese Riesling 2022 750ml $44.50 special, 6 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 92 Points “The 2022er Kupp Spätlese N°7, as it is referred to in the central part of the label, was made from fruit harvested in the whole original Kupp hill and was fermented down to sweet levels of residual sugar (74 g/l). Smoky and finely herbal on the nose, it delivers notes of anise, minty herbs, vineyard peach, jasmine, rose, lavender, and green apple. The wine proves delicately smooth and rich on the nicely compact and focused palate. The finish is precise, clean, and full of energy. This is a splendid Spätlese.”
Peter Lauer Kupp ‘Fass 8’ Kabinett Riesling 2022 750ml $36 special, 6 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 91 Points “The 2022er Kupp Kabinett N°8, as it is referred to in the central part of the label, was made from fruit harvested in the original Kupp hill and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (49 g/l). Very smoky and herbal at first, but also slightly reductive, it reveals elegant and refined notes of white flowers, citrusy fruits, yuzu, anise, and white pepper. The wine is full of tension and spices in the comparatively off-dry and playful palate. The finish is herbal and nervy. This is a great drinking Kabinett with superb complexity.”
Peter Lauer ‘Lambertskirch’ Riesling Kabinett 2022 $49 special, 3 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 91 Points “The 2022er Lambertskirch Kabinett, as it is referred to in the central part of the label, was made from fruit harvested in this south-east facing Lieu-Dit overseeing the Saar, and was fermented down to fully fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (50 g/l). It offers a fully aromatic and appealing nose of pink grapefruit, candy floss, Conference pear, quince, minty herbs, and celery spices. The wine is nicely pure and light-weighted on the finely aromatic, refined, and smooth palate. There is good length and freshness in the finish. This is a superb drinking Kabinett.”
Peter Lauer ‘Fass 17’ Neuenberg Riesling 2022 750ml $52.50 special, 6 bottles available
90+ Points Mosel Fine Wines “The 2022er Neuenberg N°17, as it is referred to in the central part of the label, is a barely off-dry wine (with 12 g/l of residual sugar) made from fruit picked in this prime Lieu-Dit forming the south-southwest facing, central part of the original Kupp hill (at the foot of the hill). It offers a very aromatic and rich nose of William’s pear, smoke, anise, thyme, violet, lime tree, and cherry. The wine is both juicy but also directly zesty and spicy, with a touch of tartness and earthy spices. There is good presence and structure and the finish proves intense and broad. It is a great barely off-dry Riesling, which needs a few years to reveal its facets. It even has some upside potential with time.”
Peter Lauer Stirn ‘Fass 15’ Riesling 2022 750ml $49 special, 6 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 92 Points “The 2022er “Stirn” N°15, as it is referred to in the central part of the label, is a fully off-dry wine (with 36 g/l of residual sugar) made from fruit picked in the prime south-west-facing, upper-front part of the original Ayler Kupp hill. It reveals a fully aromatic and appealing nose of yellow fruits (pineapple, Conference pear, and quince), candied grapefruit, tangerine, green apple, anise, oriental spices, and smoke. The wine proves fully off-dry on the palate as plenty of sweet and ripe fruits come through. The finish is structured and has more mineral elements with zesty and minty elements. This beautiful fully off-dry Riesling needs a few years to fully deliver.”
Peter Lauer Unterstenberg ‘Fass 12’ Riesling 2022 $49 special, 6 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 91 Points “The 2022er Unterstenberg N°12, as it is referred to in the central part of the label, is a dry wine (with 8 g/l of residual sugar) made from fruit picked in the similarly-named prime Lieu-Dit forming the south-southwest facing, front part of the original Kupp hill (at the foot of the hill). It has a beautifully complex and smoky nose of candied lime, grapefruit zest, smoky bacon, ginger, almond, yuzu, and white flowers. The wine is superbly playful and refined on the palate, where some light creamy and juicy elements make for an appealing touch. The finish is beautifully spicy and herbal and already fully dry.”
Coming Friday the 27th
“Brovia, Barolo”
 Brovia Barolo Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia 2019 1.5L $319 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 98 Points “With the cream-colored label, the 2019 Barolo Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia is another standout wine from one of the most collectible producers in the appellation. The wine from vintners Elena Brovia and Alex Sanchez is especially sharp, focused and polished. You get a lot of satisfaction here and sophistication too, with an amazing sense of clarity and depth. Wild berry, cassis, blood orange, iris and campfire ash emerge from the bouquet. There is drying mineral on the silky close. This is one of my favorite wines of the vintage.”
Brovia Barolo Rocche De Castiglione 2019 750ml $139 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97 Points “Brovia hits it out of the ballpark with this set of wines from the 2019 vintage. The 2019 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione is a darker, broader expression that stands on its own thanks to that special intensity. This expression veers toward dark fruit and black cherry, and there is a lot of iron ore or rusty nail at the back. The wine is almost sanguine in character, but in a manner that enhances all the other beautiful characteristics on hand. The mouthfeel is slightly more open-knit and rich, making this a better pairing partner to hearty meat dishes.”
Brovia Barolo Villero 2019 750ml $135 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 Points “With fruit from one of the top growing sites in Castiglione Falletto, the 2019 Barolo Villero shows a slightly ripe and soft side with cherry and dried raspberry followed by licorice, tar and rusty metal. This is an elegant expression, with a terrific sense of focus, that delivers complexity and depth, especially in this excellent vintage.”

Staff Pick

Andre Clouet Brut Grande Reserve NV 750ml $39 special, 20 bottles available
Andre Clouet Brut Grande Reserve NV 1.5L $89 special, 36 bottles available
“A shop favorite for a reason, this 100% Pinot Noir blanc de noirs Champagne is bold and spicy with Grand Cru fruit. One of the best deals in bubbly year in, year out, this a surefire crowd pleaser. Try the silver if you prefer a lighter style.”
Close-out Sales
NEW!  Caballus Cellars Pinot Noir WV 2014 750ml WAS $79 NOW $59 special, 31 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 95 Points “Co-winemakers Véronique Drouhin-Boss and Isabelle Dutartre call this “the story of our friendship in a bottle,” and what a fine bottle it is. It’s a full throttle wine, thoroughly expressing the richness and power of the best Oregon Pinot Noirs. Dense and detailed around potent black cherry fruit, it extends itself with lovely threads of toast and coffee, from fermentation with native yeasts, and aging in roughly one-third new French oak.” -Paul Gregutt
Caladan Cabernet Franc 2017 750ml WAS $219 NOW $199 special, 12 bottles available
An offshoot of the famed Cardinale wines
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.”
Hammer & Tongs Vermouth Sac’resine 750ml WAS $19 NOW $14.50 special, 5 bottles available
From the Producer “Sac’Resine is an original formula vermouth crafted with botanical resins of antiquity. These “Sacred Resins” were used as perfumes in rituals from birth to burial, prescribed medicinally both internally & externally, and were among the most valuable commodities dominating the ancient trade routes of South Asia and China.”
Hanna Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2020 750ml WAS $39 NOW $33 special, 23 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 93 Points “Black pepper and black olive nuances blend with black cherries and dark chocolate in this medium- to full-bodied wine that includes 24% Malbec. An elegant feel, silky texture and nicely restrained flavors give the wine a charm all its own.”
Melka Estates CJ Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 750ml WAS $79 NOW $69 special, 10 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 Points “Open-knit, offering a gush of steeped plum and açaí berry flavors laced with licorice and ganache hints. Lightens up just a bit through the finish, as the structure is on the modest side, but the fruit is a joy to drink. Drink now through 2027.”
Postmark By Duckhorn Paso Robles Cabernet 2019 750ml NOW $16 special, 36+ bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 91 Points “Fresh and fruity aromas of cherry and strawberry meet with notes of French toast and light herbs on the nose of this bottling. Those juicy fruits come through on the palate as well, with a baked red-cherry flavor that is framed by cigar-box and nutmeg accents.”
Snowden Cabernet Brothers Vineyard Napa 2017 750ml WAS $75 NOW $66 special, 19 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.”
Ulysses Vineyard Cabernet Oakville Napa 2018 750ml WAS $169 NOW $145 special, 18 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points “Just about pure perfection and the finest wine I’ve tasted from this address, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon yet includes smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all from a site just north of Dominus. This deep, inky hued beauty offers up a beautiful, full-bodied, richly textured, and incredibly concentrated style that carries ample black and blue fruit as well as notes of crushed stone, scorched earth, graphite, and lead pencil. It has the focused, structured style of the 2018 vintage and is going to benefit from 4-6 years (if not a decade) of bottle age and will be a 30+ year wine.”
James Suckling 98 Points “Aromas of terra cotta, chocolate and hazelnut with iron and ink. Dusty. Full-bodied and round. Layered. Flamboyant and juicy. Rather soft and gorgeous. Some walnut and chocolate at the end. Persistent. Always there. Drinkable now, but will age wonderfully.”
Collector’s Corner
Ten Years On: Top wines of 2013
Philippe Charlopin Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2013 750ml $399 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 Points “There’s a lot of oak here, lending char, vanilla and whisky elements to the core of black cherry and black currant flavors. Fresh and firm, though the finish absorbs the oak better than the initial attack. Vibrant and long, this just needs time to integrate. Best from 2020 through 2036.”
Philippe Charlopin Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru 2013 750ml $299 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 94 Points “Bright and focused, exhibiting spicy black cherry, raspberry, earth, smoke, vanilla and toast aromas and flavors. Bracing acidity offsets the lush texture, driving this to a long, expansive finish.”
Montille Pommard Les Rugiens 2013 750ml $149 special, 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer “(completely destemmed): Healthy deep, bright red. Very expressive, slightly metallic perfume of red berries and iron. Delivers a stimulating combination of sweet, almost candied fruits and penetrating acidity, with an herbal element contributing to the impression of inner-mouth lift. This very savory, intense Rugiens finishes a bit tough; in fact, it went into a shell in the glass.”
Domaine Ponsot Corton Bressandes 2013 750ml $449 special, 4 bottles available
Jancis Robinson 18/20 Points “Mid crimson. Very expressive nose and savoury. Lip smacking and hugely appetising with its medium weight of red-fruit flavours – pomegranate? – and bone-dry finish. Most attractive. Great balance and very neat finish.”
Morlet Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 750ml $199 special, 1 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97+ Points “From Luc Morlet’s own estate just north of St. Helena, the 2013 Morlet Estate comes across like a first-growth Pauillac. Again 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with creamy blackcurrants and blackberry fruit, some licorice, graphite, and background oak, the wine displays excellent minerality, superb fruit intensity, and a multi-dimensional mouthfeel.”
Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill Brut 2013 $319 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 98 Points “Although ready to drink, this very fine Champagne has plenty of aging to go. With its rich Pinot Noir and ripe fruits, it is generous while also fully textured. Complex and balanced, mature fruit and toast working together, this is a great wine.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points “The 2013 Champagne Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill Brut, composed of 95% Pinot Noir, is the 20th release of this cuvée, and this version is robust, classic, and noble in its expression. The color is a medium straw, and the aromas are complex and compelling, with smoke, graham biscuit, currant, and orange marmalade. It has immediate appeal and charm. The palate is structured, yet refreshing, and savory with grip and an energetic citrus that doesn’t seem to taper.”
James Suckling 97 Points “Complex and subtle aromas of dried ginger, pie crust, cooked apple and cooked peach follow through to a full body with ginseng, toasted bread and dried apple. Very fine and multidimensional. Great wine.”
Louis Roederer Cristal Rose 2013 750ml $619 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 99 Points “A candidate for wine-of-the-vintage honors in Champagne, Roederer’s 2013 Cristal Rosé is showing brilliantly, unfurling in the glass with notes of crisp orchard fruit, white flowers, red berries, stone fruit, freshly baked bread and tangerine oil. Full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, the vintage’s bright girdling acids are amply cloaked in exuberant, expressive and notably concentrated fruit; so while this Cristal is as tensile and age-worthy as one would expect, it’s also impressively fleshy and generous given the year. Concluding with an intensely sapid finish, the 2013 isn’t as overtly structured as the muscular, tightly wound 2012: rather, it’s the 2013’s alliance of cut and flesh, precision and charm that’s so compelling this year. This is another banner vintage for what I consider the reigning champion of the region’s tête de cuvée bottlings, and it will be worth an effort to acquire.”
Taittinger Brut Millesime 2013 750ml $89 special, 30 bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 95 Points “This blend of equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is poised and stylish. It has a nervy edge and is very mineral in texture, both characteristics typical of this vintage. At this early stage in its development, the wine holds the promise of long aging with its intense acidity and attractive texture. Drink this Champagne from 2023.”
Petrolo Galatrona 2013 1.5L $219 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97+ Points “The 2013 Galatrona pretty much sold out in pre sales before it’s official release last year. The quality is outstanding and the Merlot grape offers a heightened sense of sharpness and focus in a slightly cooler vintage such as this. Galatrona exhibits a plush and rich bouquet that is embellished with soft cherry and blackberry nuances followed by spice, sweet tobacco, chocolate and crushed granite. The wine is amply fleshed out and generous. It offers an incredible sense of overall balance and irresistible drinking pleasure.”
James Suckling 98 Points “The violets and blackberries show wonderfully on the nose here, yet this remains subtle and complete with hints of walnuts. Full body, ultra-fine and firm tannins and a beautiful fruit and mineral undertone. Tight and substantial. So layered. Another example of finesse and beauty here with this pure merlot. Better in 2018.”
Paolo Scavino Barolo Rocche d’Annunz 2013 750ml $199 special, 7 bottles available
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.”
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