Vinopolis Newsletter – Wednesday 12/13/2023

 In This Newsletter:

Pre-Arrival Special
Giants of Gigondas: Domaine Saint Damien
New Arrivals

Diebolt-Vallois, Bereche, RH Coutier, Murrieta Finca Ygay Reserva, and more!
Staff Picks
Tasty treats from Sicily and Australia
48 Hour Sale
A Vieux to die for! Save up to 10% on wines from a top Chateauneuf Producer
Max Out Your Savings
On Max Ferd. Richter Wines
Collector’s Corner
Gift Ideas for the wine lover in your life
Pre-Arrival Special
“Giants of Gigondas… Domaine Saint Damien”
Arriving Friday
“Domaine Saint-Damien has been producing some of the region’s most elegant wines for years, but for some reason they rarely get the attention they deserve. Pricing here is also admirably fair, which makes this an address to be reckoned with for savvy Rhône wine lovers. The Saurel family, which has been farming here since 1821, now owns just over 12 hectares of vines in Gigondas, most of them quite old and cropped low, and the wines are aged in large, traditional concrete vats and old foudres and usually bottled on the young side “to preserve freshness,” as Romain Saurel said. These wines are now consistently delivering some of the southern Rhône’s greatest values in high-end wine.”
-Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media
Domaine Saint Damien Cotes du Rhone Le Blanc, Rhône 2022 750ml $16 pre-arrival special
Importer’s Note “White wine. Southern Rhône, France. Organic. Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Viognier. Notes of white peach and citrus on the nose and palate. After some time in the glass, fines herbs and hints of almond complement the citrus and fruit flavors. Full-bodied, but shows good and balanced acidity and minerality.”
Domaine Saint Damien Cotes du Rhone La Bouveau, Rhône 2022 750ml $18 pre-arrival special
Importer’s Note “Red wine. Southern Rhône, France. Organic. 80% Syrah, 15% Cinsault, 5% Viognier. A terrific value in just about every vintage, the Côtes du Rhône le Bouveau from this terrific estate offers lots of jammy raspberry and black cherry nuances intermixed with hints of olives, truffle and farmyard. Fruity, rounded and mouth-filling, with tons of charm, it’s ideal for drinking over the coming 3-4 years. With food this is a versatile wine, it can stand against a rib-eye or work well with a pork roast. Where it will do best is with meats like lamb, or duck, particularly seared chops or breast.”
These are the lowest priced listings in the USA as of today!
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, Rhône 2021 750ml $34.50 pre-arrival special
Vinous 93-95 Points “Vivid ruby. A highly fragrant bouquet evokes candied red fruits, smoky minerals and lavender; a spicy nuance builds as the wine opens up. Sappy and penetrating on the palate, juicy raspberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors show good heft, seamless texture and real energy. It finishes spicy and impressively long, with sneaky tannins adding a final grip. This is shaping up to be a highly impressive entry-level bottling, which is not surprising given that this is the only Gigondas that will be bottled this year, so all the juice from the Louisiane and Souteyrades is going into this wine. Get it, lots of it, if you can. Raised in neutral, 50 hectoliter oak foudres.”
Average United States Price is $36
Arriving in January:
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, Rhône 2019 750ml $39 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points “Moving to the 2019s, this is a great vintage for this estate, and all of the wines showed brilliantly. The 2019 Gigondas Vieilles Vignes is its usual 80/20 split of Grenache and Mourvèdre and has awesome dark fruits, ground pepper, licorice, truffle, and earthy mineral-like aromas and flavors. I love its mid-palate, it has elegance as well as power, ripe tannins, and a great finish. I finished my note with ‘Wow.’ “
Don’t want to wait? We have a few more bottlings already in stock:
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas ‘Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes’, Rhône 2019 750ml $34.50 special, 12 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points “Lastly, the 2019 Gigondas Les Souteyrades is more classic, with pure dark, peppery fruits as well as garrigue, cedar, and leather notes. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and perfectly balanced, it has impressive tannins and will benefit from short-term bottle age. As with the other Gigondas here, you should expect 10-15 years of prime drinking. This cuvée is 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre, aged all in foudre.”
Grapelive 96 Points “This entertaining and rewarding Southern Rhone wine deserves a big robust meal to allow all its pleasures to shine through, and this vintage never puts a foot wrong. It is close to perfection in every way. I highly recommend these Saint-Damien 2019s, especially this one, along with their “La Louisiane” that has become their signature wine.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate  93-95 Points “Not as effusive on the nose as the La Louisiane, the 2019 Gigondas les Souteyrades is drier, sterner stuff—not as immediately approachable, with more savory notes of black olives and earth. There are still notes of ripe plums and raspberries in this full-bodied effort but also a firm core of dusty tannins to ensure more than a decade of longevity. It’s a blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre from a clay-rich, north-facing slope.”
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Souteyrades Vielles Vignes,  Rhone  2020 750ml $36 special, 10 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points “The 2020 Gigondas Les Souteyrades is also utterly brilliant. Giving up lots of kirsch liqueur, orange blossom, ground pepper, and herbes de Provence-like aromatics, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness and a layered, seamless, elegant mouthfeel that has awesome tannins as well as purity of fruit. It’s another sensational Gigondas to enjoy over the coming two decades.”
Best Price in the USA!
New Arrivals
Diebolt-Vallois Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $41.90 special, 11 bottles available
Diebolt-Vallois Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne NV 375ml $26 special, 19 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 Points “[Most recent review for a previous disgorgement] Rich aromas and flavors of poached apricot, melon, tangerine and hazelnut are enlivened by vibrant acidity in this well-knit Champagne, with a creamy finish of graphite and spice.”
Winery note “The Champagne Blanc de Blancs is a non-vintage brut champagne, 100% chardonnay from the Cote des Blancs and the Coteaux d’Epernay.”
Importer note “Cépage: 100% Chardonnay.Assemblage: 57% 2019 + 43% 2020.Dosage: 3g/L.Terroirs: Cuis, Chouilly, Epernay.”
“Bereche et fils”
Bereche Brut Reserve, Champagne NV (2020) 750ml $65 special, 36 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 92 Points “The NV Brut Réserve is bright and finely sculpted right out of the glass. There’s terrific purity and energy running through the Brut Réserve. Crushed red berry fruit, white pepper, crushed rocks and mint all race out of the glass. This release is based on 2020, with a good bit of reserve wine (35%) that serves to create terrific balance. The 5.5 grams of dosage is not at all felt.”
Bereche et Fils ‘Rilly-La-Montagne’ Premier Cru Blanc de Noirs, Champagne (2019) 750ml $119 special, 4 bottles available
Importer’s Note “With the 2013 vintage, the brothers began to expand on the idea of single-village wines with the release of two more dazzling wines. Rilly-la-Montagne, a pure Pinot Noir blanc de noirs from the premier cru village of the same name, is sourced from a half-hectare of 36-year-old vines in the Les Sablons lieu-dit.”
“RH Coutier”
RH Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $41.90 special, 22 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 92 Points “[Review for 2022 release] The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is fabulous. Rich and quite dense, the Blanc de Blancs is decidedly powerful, maybe a bit more than usual. This release is based on 2018, and the richness of the year really comes through in the wine’s layered, expansive feel. Tangerine oil, lemon confit, white flowers, spice and chamomile build effortlessly. This is an especially heady, vinous Champagne with all the elements very much in balance.”
Importer Note “Disgorged December 2022, base vintage 2019 60% + 40% reserves.”
Best Price in the USA!
RH Coutier Tradition Brut Grand Cru NV 750ml $39 special, 33 bottles available
Wine & Spirits 91 Points “[Review for 2022 disgorgement] The Coutier family blends 20 percent chardonnay into the pinot noir for this cuvée, all of it estate grown in the grand cru village of Ambonnay. The wine balances tart lemon and lime scents with notes of sourdough starter and rhubarb. Almost cakey in its richness, this has the limestone acidity to cut through rich foods, whether seared foie gras or braised short ribs.”
Importer Note “Disgorged February 2022, base 2017 60% + 40% reserves.”
“Champagne Delamotte”
Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $79 special, 36+ bottles available
James Suckling 93 Points “Croissants, toasted sourdough, white pears, acacia and lemon meringue pie. Salty almond notes on the palate. Deliciously saline and creamy, with silky bubbles and a gently toasty finish. 100% chardonnay from Mesnil, Avize and Oger. Based on 2017 vintage with 20% reserve wines. Drink now. – July 19, 2023”
Winemaker Notes “Foremost a mineral wine, Delamotte Blanc de Blancs NV has textbook chalkiness; with time in the glass showing its complexity from the lees and white flesh fruit. On its own, with fresh oysters, elegant saltwater fish or simply with fresh radishes with a touch of fleur de sel, Delamotte Blanc de Blancs is a versatile wine as an aperitif or at the table.”
Delamotte Brut, Champagne NV 750ml $59 special, 36+ bottles available
Case of 6 Delamotte Brut NV $349 special, 15 cases available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 Points “Pillowy and charming, the latest rendition of Delamotte’s NV Brut offers up attractive aromas of orchard fruit, fresh bread and citrus oil. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and elegant, with a pretty pinpoint mousse and lively balancing acids, it’s drinking well out of the gates but will also develop gracefully for a few years in the cellar.”
Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Vintage Brut, Champagne 2014 750ml $135 special, 5 bottles 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 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.”
Marques de Murrieta Finca Ygay Reserva, Rioja DOCa, Spain 2018 750ml $24 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 Points “The flagship red 2018 Rioja Reserva was produced with a blend of 86% Tempranillo, 8% Graciano, 4% Mazuelo (a.k.a. Cariñena) and 2% Garnacha selected from their 300 hectares of vineyards that exemplifies the character of the vintage and the place. 2018 was a year with good rain and a cool season that resulted in a late harvest, which started on October 1 and was slow and delivered grapes with good freshness. Each variety and plot fermented separately in stainless steel. and the wines aged separately in American oak barrels for 21 months and then settled in concrete until bottling. It follows the path of the 2016, where I noticed a change that is taken further in this, controlling the power and increasing the freshness. It’s very aromatic, a year completely different from the 2017; it has less structure and more freshness and subtler balance and enough oomph, concentration and power neatly compensated by freshness. I believe 2018 was a very good vintage to implement this change. It’s perfumed, fresh, elegant and medium-bodied, with a velvety texture. Superb!”
Tim Atkin 94 Points “The 2108 release is the latest in a line of stylish Reservas from Marqués de Murrieta, all the more impressive when you know that 1.2 million bottles were made. Combining Tempranillo with 8% Graciano, 4% Mazuelo and 2% Garnacha, all of it aged in American oak. Structured, serious and intense, with lots of perfume, racy acidity, wild herb, plum and red berry fruit and a spicy finish. 2023-2032.”
James Suckling 94 Points “Savory cured-meat, tobacco and grilled-spice notes to the bright plum, red-date, cherry and green-olive aromas. Quite a juicy, medium-bodied Rioja with fresh and extremely silky tannins caressing the zesty orange and crunchy red-berry flavors. Nuanced, fluid and effortlessly drinkable. Long and extremely elegant. A vintage that highlights layering and freshness, rather than power and depth. 86% tempranillo, 8% graciano, 4% mazuelo and 2% garnacha. Delicious now, but will hold well.”
We have the lowest price listed on the West Coast!
“Jean-Louis Chave”
“The Chave line … could make a fair claim to be France’s winemaking royal family: in no other of France’s great terroirs is the largest individual landholder so deeply rooted in time and place, so supremely competent, and so modest a custodian of the insights and craftsmanship of the past.”
-Andrew Jefford, The New France
Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Selection Cotes du Rhone Mon Coeur, Rhône 2021 750ml $19.90 special, 36 bottles available
Jeb Dunnuck 91 Points “A year-in, year-out smoking value as well as a great bottle of wine, the 2021 Côtes du Rhône Mon Coeur checks in as equal parts Grenache and Syrah brought up in neutral oak. Its vivid ruby hue is followed by a medium-bodied, elegant, lively red offering pretty red and black berry fruits, some spring flowers, peppery herbs, and gamey nuances, fine tannins, and nicely integrated acidity. Coming from a cooler year, it still brings plenty of richness and depth and is well worth seeking out.”
Best Price listed in the USA!
Domaine Faiveley Les Cazetiers, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2011 750ml $179 special, 2 bottles available
Burghound 92 points “An extremely pretty, cool, pure and layered nose features notes of humus, earth, animale, stone and cool red and dark berry fruit aromas. I very much like the mouth feel to the tautly muscled, intense and powerful flavors that possess real drive on the moderately structured and well-balanced finish that delivers exceptionally good length. Despite the relative firmness of the finish this is already relatively accessible and with an hour or so of air could even be enjoyed now though there is ample upside development potential remaining. In short, this is a lovely effort.”
International Wine Cellar 92-94 points “Good bright, full red. Knockout perfume of raspberry and rose petal offers an element of lift that I associate more with Clos Saint-Jacques. Then sappy and vibrant in the mouth, with outstanding purity and salty intensity to the flavors of red fruits and blood orange. Utterly fine-grained premier cru with perfectly harmonious acidity. The very long, rising finish features terrific floral, mineral lift. A great Cazetiers in the making.”
Only bottle listing in the United States today!
Staff Picks
Feudo Montoni ‘Vrucara’ Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT, Italy 2016 750ml $49 special, 18 bottles available
Hannah “I was very pleased to find this wine, at this price. Upon opening the bottle and tasting, I was even more excited. This wineis from Sicily; the region in which Nero d’Avola originated and is one of the few prephylloxera wines to be found in the world. Prephylloxera devastated vines in Europe and around the wine world in the 19th century, and it is quite rare nowdays to find wines that are made from the grapes of vines prior to the catastrophe of Phylloxera, hence why this wine is classified as Prephylloxera.”
“This wine is full of notes of black and red fruit such as blackberry, cranberry, and plum. Secondary notes of pepper, leather, and vanilla being reveal on the palate. This wine is dense and rich, with full tannins and a dry and smooth finish. Open while cooking pasta or lamb to enjoy along alongside your meal.”
Two Hands Wines Sexy Beast Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, Australia 2019 750ml $18 special, 7 bottles available
Hannah “On this wine, think high acid cabernet. Coming from McLaren Vale in Australia this wine takes on a sleek and bright expression of our favorite noble grape. Upon opening this wine meets the nose with notes of sour cherry and raspberry, with secondary flavors of forest floor and chocolate showing on the palate. The structure is full-bodied but with high acid making it appear lighter than what it is. The tannins are supple but smooth, with just a touch of oak being used in the fermentation process. This wine would pair very well with a poultry or pasta dish.”
48 hour sale: Vieux Telegraphe

Buy any 6-11 750ml bottles of Vieux Telegraphe wines and save 5%
Buy any 12+ 750ml bottles of Vieux Telegraphe wines and save 10%
Buy a 3L bottle of Vieux Telegraphe and 2 750ml bottles and save 5%
Buy a 3L bottle of Vieux Telegraphe and 8 750ml bottles and save 10%
Buy a 6L bottle of Vieux Telegraphe and 4 750ml bottles and save 10%
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Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau, Rhône 2018 1.5L $179 special, 13 Magnums available
Wine Spectator 95 Points “A nice throwback style, with a range of dried lavender and rosemary notes peeking out from a cedar-framed core of mulled cherry, blood orange and plum fruit. Features warm stone, licorice root and tobacco leaf accents that fill in through the energetic finish. A wine that’s very confident in its terroir. Best from 2024 through 2038. 2,495 cases imported. — JM”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 94-96 Points “The final blend of the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau will include 60% to 65% Grenache, 15% each Mourvèdre and Syrah, with the remainder Cinsault. Boasting complex scents of roses, black tea, raspberries and cherries on the nose, it follows that up with a full-bodied palate that’s silky and airy in texture yet flavorful and tremendously long on the finish. It fits perfectly with the Brunier’s stated goal of pursuing elegance.”
Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau, Rhône 2020 3L $489 special, 1 Jeroboam bottle available
Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau, Rhone 2020 6L $899 special, 1 Methuselah bottle available
James Suckling 96-97 Points “Such a deep and meaty nose with a slew of wild-herb, savory and subtle balsamic notes. Then comes the expansive and very concentrated palate, which reveals so many spicy nuances as it rolls over the palate, the stunning fine tannins pushing the finish out even further. A grenache-based blend from 60-year-old vines.”
Wine Advocate 93-95 Points “Tasted as a tank sample of the final blend, the 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau is a blend of approximately 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties, with about 30% whole bunches used in the ferments. Marked by ripe cherries and hints of complex garrigue notes on the nose, it’s full-bodied but also really elegant, with fine-grained, silky tannins, ample concentration and a long, surprisingly crisp finish. Drink: 2022-2040.”
Jeb Dunnuck 92-94+ Points “The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape should be a gem of a wine as well as age-worthy. Lots of red and black berry fruits, licorice, wild herbs, and pepper define this medium to full-bodied, ripe, yet very classic, focused, elegant 2020. I love its underlying structure as well as its balance. Give bottles 4-5 years and enjoy over the following two decades.”
Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau, Rhône 2019 750ml $88 special, 36+ bottles available
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 96+ Points “The 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau is a hugely successful vintage, marked by scents of sun-warmed stones, garrigue, black cherries and black olives. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it finishes with tremendous length and softly dusty tannins, which should help ensure a long, positive evolution.”
Josh Raynolds- Vinous 95 Points “Saturated ruby. Deep-pitched red/blue fruit liqueur aromas pick up suggestions of licorice, pipe tobacco and pungent flowers and herbs with air. In a lush, weighty style, offering expansive black raspberry, cherry cola, singed plum and fruitcake flavors sharpened by a jolt of spiciness on the back half. For all this wine’s richness, it’s energetic as well, showing solid, spice- and floral-driven persistence on the finish, which is framed by velvety, even tannins.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94+ Points “The 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape is ruby/purple-hued and has the classic translucent color of the domaine. It’s more precise and focused than the Télégramme and will need more time, but it offers a complex, gorgeous bouquet of red and black fruits, crushed stone, wild fennel, and ground pepper. Pure, medium to full-bodied, and elegant, do your best to hide bottles for 5-7 years and it’s going to keep for two decades.”
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Max Ferd. Richter Wines

We’re slashing our already rock-bottom prices

on all in-stock wines from this uber-classical estate!
These are gloriously complex wines, built for the cellar and affordable enough to buy in quantity, especially on our three-day sale!

“I like the 2018 wines as they are quite charming. They combine the ripe zest of 2012 with the roundness of 2011.” – Constantin Richter, as quoted by Mosel Fine Wines
5% off any 6-11 bottles of in-stock Max Ferd. Richter wines
10% off any 12+ bottles of in-stock Max Ferd. Richter wines

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Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2018 750ml Displayed Price: $33, that’s $31.35 at 5% and $29.70 at 10%, 15 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95-96 points “From 30- to 40-year-old vines, the 2018 Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese is flinty, precise and reductive on the coolish nose, with discreet and fine (but lush!) pineapple aromas and very fine notes of crushed, smooth slate. On the palate, this is a clear, fresh, lush, highly finessed, piquant and salty Riesling with very tannins and lingering salinity and piquancy. This is a fabulous Spätlese with piquant finesse and mineral tension that seems to be familiar with that of the Scharzhofberger and the Euchariusberg. I can hardly imagine any better Spätlese from 2018. Tasted from the cask in March 2019.”
Mosel Fine Wines 94 points “The 2018er Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese was made from clean grapes harvested at a full 95° Oechsle, and was fermented down to sweet levels of residual sugar (90 g/l). It offers a gorgeous and delicately exotic nose made of pineapple, coconut, herbs and smoke on the nose. The wine develops great focus on the gorgeously creamy and zesty palate. It leaves one with the creaminess of an Auslese and the raciness of a Spätlese in the remarkably multi-layered yet playful finish. 2028-2048.”

Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2018 750ml Displayed Price: $39, that’s $37.05 at 5% and $35.10 at 10%, 34 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 96-97 points 
“The 2018 Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese is very fine, concentrated and beautifully clear, with blossom honey and very fine berry aromas on the nose. (The 20% to 25% of botrytis is very clear and precise, almost imperceptible.) Lush and piquant on the palate, this is a generous but highly digestible Auslese with orange, raisin and (pink) grapefruit flavors. The finish is incredibly racy-piquant, salty and highly digestible. This is still a baby, but it is highly promising. Tasted from cask in March 2019.”

Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese ***, Mosel 2018 375ml Displayed Price: $49, that’s $46.55 at 5% and $44.10 at 10%, 36+ half-bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97+ points 
“The first three-starred Auslese since 2005 (prior to that, it was 1993, 1983 and 1975), the 2018 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese *** was picked at about 145° Oechsle. This is incredibly clear, pure, fine and fresh on the lush, concentrated, herbal and grapefruit-scented nose. On the palate, this is a generously lush, refined and salty-piquant Auslese with a tight mineral structure and lingering salinity. This is highly refined and extremely stimulating. It already drinks all too well today, but Constantin recommends cellaring it for at least 10 years. Tasted in March 2019.”
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points “The 2018er Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese *** Fass 138 is a botrytis selection harvested at 138° Oechsle on old vines in the prime Sandpichter sector, and was fermented down to noble-sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a gorgeous nose of date, pineapple, almond cream, raisin and smoky spices. The wine is beautifully creamy and yet zesty on the palate and leaves a gorgeous feel of ripe fruits and creamy almond in the long and suave finish. While intense, this noble-sweet Auslese retains an immensely satisfying playful side. 2033-2068.”
Collector’s Corner
Give the Gift of a Collectable Red
To the Wine Lovers in your Life
Arriving in December:
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2020 750ml $219 special, 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 98 Points “The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with a lush, silky, rich, round nose with fresh and ripe notes that seduce and delight. Full-bodied, fresh and yet still tight, the wine offers a balanced structure and lifting tannins that elevate the mid-palate followed by juicy, fruit-forward layers and delightful oak spices. The Cabernet continues to show its depth and breadth, compounding its natural beauty. The Cabernet lingers on the ever-evolving, food-friendly finish and will benefit from another two years of bottle aging. The wine rested for 22 months in 100% new French oak. 5,450 cases produced.”
James Suckling 98 Points “Beautiful fruit concentration with blackberries, blackcurrants, dark chocolate and red licorice. Encompassing and wide on the palate. Waves of plush, finely grained tannins come through, pushing the depth and unveiling dark fruit that is ripe and delicious. Salty undertones, too. Beautiful now, but better after 2026.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points “The 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley is all Cabernet Sauvignon that’s mostly from the Champoux Vineyard, with 10% from the Mach One Vineyard, which was planted in 2012. A big, ripe, opulent red, it has terrific aromatics of black currants, smoked tobacco, graphite, and loamy earth, medium to full-bodied richness, a round, opulent mouthfeel, ripe tannins, and a heady finish. It doesn’t match the all-time greats from this team, but it’s deep, rich, and clearly up with the crème de la crème of the vintage.”
Available Now:
Verite La Muse, Sonoma County 2018 750ml $375 special, 5 bottles available
Lisa Perrotti-Brown – Wine Advocate 100 Points “A blend of 90% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Malbec, the 2018 La Muse was matured 16 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the nose delivers a powerful perfume of cherry pie, blackberry preserves and baked plums, followed by suggestions of red roses, cast-iron pan, underbrush and unsmoked cigars, plus wafts of licorice and oolong tea. Medium to full-bodied, the black fruit and exotic spice layers flow so gracefully over the palate, textured by plush tannins and lifted with seamless freshness, finishing epically long and achingly fragrant. The intensity and complexity of aromas and flavors—all waltzing in captivating harmony—cannot fail to make your head spin in the best possible way. Electrifying!”
Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points “Checking in as 90% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec that was raised in new French oak, the 2018 La Muse reveals a dense purple hue to go with plenty of black cherry and currant fruits as well as cedar pencil, graphite, dark chocolate, and smoked tobacco. Ripe, full-bodied, and brilliantly balanced on the palate, with both elegance and incredible opulence, it’s a hypothetical mix of Châteaux Canon and Lafite. This masterpiece of a Merlot can be drunk any time over the coming 20-30 years. Give bottles an hour in a decanter if drinking any time soon.”
Decanter 98 Points “Such a pretty nose, floral, redolent also of autumn fruits and damsons, which over time in the glass releases the more oak driven mocha notes. The palate is compact, dense, the tannins are remarkably silky despite the youthfulness, the fruit is intensely ripe but not sweet. The overall impression is one of a circular wine, plush, hedonistic in the making, the flavours still in motion, becoming darker as they progress through the palate. There’s a freshness, a ‘tingle’ almost to the acidity mirroring the earlier picking regime, the efforts taken in the vineyard and at harvest to capture the essential freshness of Sonoma. The wine ends on black liquorice and coffee and the finish is seemingly endless – cut short only by the next wine. It’s a baby for sure. Drinking Window 2025 – 2050.”
Chateau Canon, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ml $349 special, 34 bottles available
#1 Wine of the Year – James Suckling
Antonio Galloni 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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