Vinopolis September 15th Newsletter

September 15, 2014

Jump Start Sale

Arriving Friday, September 19th

Decanter Magazine Wine of the Year 2013

Faustino Rioja I Gran Reserva 2001 ($37.95) $28.80 special

Decanter Magazine 97 points From Decanter Magazine: Decanter average score (3 judges): 19.25/20pts (97/100pts) “Faustino (founded 1860) with its iconic frosted bottles and portrait labels is one of Rioja’s most easily recognised brands. It’s a family business based in Oyon in Rioja Alavesa, and the largest private holder of vineyards in Rioja, spread across the region. The style of the RIoja is as classic as the packaging: look for the sweet, vanilla notes of American oak, plenty of bright cherry fruit, and a fine, delicate palate. For those interested in tasting great old Riojas, Faustino is one company that still releases older vintages going as far back as 1970. Among the other wineries it owns is Portia in Ribera del Duero.”Individual judge’s scores:
Pedro Ballesteros MW: “Deliciously decadent, with extraordinary vitality on the palate and a long, unique finish. A jewel at this price.  20 / 20”Ben Henshaw : “Complex nose, quite grippy but fresh and moreish. A touch dry, but amazing fruit. Classy, complex and long.  18.5 / 20”Annette Scarfe MW:  “A more restrained, mineral style with elegant tannins. Youthful, feminine and complex with a long length. A classic Rioja that is still fresh after 12 years, with more to come. 19 / 20”



Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2012 ($29.95) $24 specialWildstock Pinot Noir Wllamette Valley 2012 ($29.95) $24 specialMatello Whistling Ridge White 2013 ($24.95) $21.90 special

Matello Souris Pinot Noir 2012 ($41.95) $37 special

Cristom Pinot Noir Jessie Vineyard 2012 ($69.95) $59 special

Cristom Pinot Noir Eileen Vineyard 2012 ($69.95) $59 special

Cristom Pinot Noir Louise Vineyard 2012 ($69.95) $59 special

Westrey Cuvee 20 Anniversary Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2012 ($59.95) $49 special

Betz Family Besoleil 2012 ($59.95) $49 special

Wine Advocate 94 points “A Rhone-styled blend, the 2012 Besoleil is made from 50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 15% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre that’s aged all in neutral oak. Gorgeous on all accounts, it has fantastic density and depth, with medium to full-bodied richness, beautiful freshness and classic Grenache-driven aromas and flavors of raspberry, black raspberry, pepper, herbs de Provence and flowers. Already hard to resist, it should evolve gracefully for over a decade.”

Betz Family Syrah La Serenne 2012 ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “As for the Syrah-driven wines, they do two main cuvees, one focusing on Boushey Vineyard, the La Serenne, and the other on Red Mountain, the La Cote Rousse. The 2012 Syrah La Serenne is a 100% Syrah that was aged in 50% new French oak prior to bottling. I think the greatest vintage of this cuvee to date, it boasts an incredibly inky purple color to go with notions of creme de cassis, damp earth, graphite, smoke and licorice that flow to a full-bodied, voluptuously textured profile on the palate. Despite all of the richness, it stays thrillingly focused and shows the purity and elegance of the site. Enjoy it anytime over the coming 10-15 years.”

Betz Family Syrah La Cote Rousse 2012 ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “95 points.  More mineral-driven, with savory spices, dried earth and floral notes balanced by a rocking core of fruit, the 2012 Syrah La Cote Rousse is more backwards and reticent than the La Serenne, and will need short-term cellaring to unwind. Possessing full-bodied richness, beautiful concentration, high, yet sweet tannin, and a terrific finish, this awesome Syrah will be at its best from 2017-2027.”

Long Shadows Sequel Syrah, Columbia Valley 2011 ($59.95) $49 special
Robert Parker 94 points
“A big, bruiser of a Syrah, the 2011 Sequel offers up a full-bodied, decadent and hedonistically styled profile to go with ample black fruits, chocolate cake, smoke and licorice-like aromas and flavors. Thrillingly textured, with solid mid-palate depth and a blockbuster finish, it-s not for the faint of heart, but dishes out loads of pleasure and will drink nicely over the coming decade.”

Long Shadows Pirouette, Columbia Valley 2009 1.5 L ($149.95) $119 special
Stephen Tanzer 93 points
“Deep, bright medium ruby.  Ripe, inviting aromas of cassis, black raspberry, blackberry and black licorice.  Large-scaled, sweet and rich; wonderfully glossy in the mouth, with concentrated dark fruit flavors complemented by a strong element of sweet oak.  This big boy finishes with lovely lingering perfume, excellent length and terrific tannic grip.  This wine fermented in 400-liter wood barrels with wild yeasts.  Today, this joint project of Augustin Huneeus Sr. and Philippe Melka is my early favorite among these 2009s.”

Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot, Columbia Valley 2007 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2007 Pedestal Merlot is the project of Michel Rolland. This latest release is composed of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot aged for 20 months in 80% new French oak. It reveals a fragrant nose of sandalwood, incense, sage, cinnamon, black cherry, and black currant. Elegant on the palate despite its ample size, it is loaded with succulent fruit set off by enough ripe tannin to support an additional 3-4 years of cellaring. It will deliver prime drinking from 2013 to 2027.”

Long Shadows Chester Kidder Red, Columbia Valley 2007 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special
Stephen Tanzer 93+ points
“Medium red.  Lovely Old World earthiness on the nose, along with brown spices and red rose.  Then fresh, suave and layered in the mouth, with enticing floral lift to the dark berry, licorice, mocha and mineral flavors.  This really spreads out to saturate the palate, but with perfume rather than weight.  Finishes very long, with broad tannins, harmonious acidity and hints of mocha and pepper.  A beauty.  Chester-Kidder is the project of resident Long Shadows winemaker Gilles Nicault.”

Spottswoode Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County-Napa County 2013 ($39.95) $36 special
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
“Bright lemon-yellow color.  Vibrant nose combines pineapple, lemon, aromatic herbs, grass, anise and peppermint.  At once ripe and pliant and energetic, displaying good grip to the flavors of white peach, green melon and cassis bud.  Finishes dry and classic, with good length.  Winemaker Aron Weinkauf noted that 2013 was a challenging vintage as the sugar accumulation came before flavor development, “but luckily the temperatures cooled off toward the end.”

Ramey Wine Cellars Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay, Carneros 2011 ($69.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2011 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard is a classic. Nectarine, wild flowers, mint, honey and Chamomile meld together beautifully in the glass. The Hyde is rich, oily and intense on the palate, with marvelous textural balance and tons of finesse. Hints of tropical fruit linger on the close. This is a super-classic Chardonnay from David Ramey. David Ramey doesn’t get anywhere near the attention he deserves. Today, it seems the focus is on extremes as the wine world is increasingly about a polarization of so-called ‘very ripe’ wines versus the more ‘restrained’ style. Ramey’s wines are neither, but rather bring together the best of both schools of thought. The Chardonnays combine distinctly Californian expressions of site with Burgundian concepts of aging where the wines spend a full 18 months in barrel, something that is rarely seen in this country. The results speak for themselves. These are among the very best Chardonnays being made in California.”

Benoit Lahaye Essentiel Grand Cru Brut NV ($59.95) $49 specialBenoit Lahaye Grand Cru Le Jardin de la Grosse Pierre NV (2009) ($149.95) $119 specialBenoit Lahaye Brut Rose de Maceration NV (’10) ($69.95) $59 special 1 case available

Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Val Vilaine Blanc de Noirs NV (2012) ($79.95) $69 special
Importer Note “100% Pinot Noir from the 1.5 hectare lieu-dit of Val Vilaine. 300-500 cases produced annually.”

Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne La Boloree Blanc de Blancs 2010 ($179.95) $159 special
Importer Note
“Very old and rare Pinot Blanc from a 0.217 hectare lieu-dit known as La Boloree. Bouchard was initially uninterested in the parcel, but it landed in his lap after he drew the shorter straw in a dual between growers.  Today, it is perhaps his most cherished site. Extremely limited production.”

Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Côte de Bechalin Blanc de Noirs NV (2007) ($119.95) $99 special
Importer Note
“2007 harvest base. 100% Pinot Noir from the 1.5 hectare lieu-dit of Côte de Bechalin. Spends a full three years on the lees, and thus, is always bottled as a vintage cuvée. 150 cases produced annually.”

Champagne Fleury Millesime Brut 1998 ($219.95) $179 special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“Fresh and focused, this dynamic Champagne offers a detailed, lightly creamy mousse and a rich note of maple syrup mixed with lemon pound cake, glazed apricot, dried thyme, oyster shell and coffee liqueur. A hint of seashore lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2022. 15 cases made.”

Servin Chablis 1er cru Vaillons 2012 ($34.95) $28 special
Wine Advocate 90-91+ points
“The tank-raised Servin 2012 Chablis Vaillons features very ripe pear, peach, and pineapple with faintly volatile and distilled fruit overtones juxtaposed with stone and ash, and laced with welcome salinity that helps guarantee a mouthwatering extension.”

Servin Chablis 1er cru Montee de Tonnere 2012 ($27.95) $29 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points “Bright yellow.  High-pitched aromas of lime blossom, iodine and crushed stone.  At once dense and juicy, conveying lovely inner-mouth perfume to the flavors of citrus fruits, white pepper and dusty stone.  Elegantly styled for such a broad wine, with a long, rising finish displaying a light touch.  I find this surprisingly easy to drink now owing to its expressive personality, but I suspect that it will be even more complex at age 10.”

Remi Jobard Bourgogne Blanc 2011 ($37.95) $28 special

Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Combettes 2009 ($219.95) $179 special 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “Pale yellow with a green tinge.  Musky, discreet nose hints at lime and nut oil.  Dense, ripe and lush; shows sweet notes of vanilla and hazelnut but this is very tightly coiled today in the mid-palate. Explosive on the back end, finishing with excellent breadth and flavor intensity and a slightly tannic impression. Terrific volume here.”

Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Sauvignon 2013 ($21.95) $18 special

Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Cuvee PIF Rouge 2013 ($19.95) $16 special

Cantemerle Haut –Medoc 2010 ($69.95) $59 special
Robert Parker  94+ Points
“The wine needs a good 7-10 years of cellaring and should keep for 30 more years, but this is the finest Cantemerle I have encountered in my professional career of tasting young vintages (dating back 34 years now). Stunningly deep ruby/purple, with a beautiful nose of spring flowers intermixed with perfumed raspberry and blueberry notes, it exhibits a sort of cool-climate character. Broad, rich and intense on the palate, the wine has plenty of tannins, but they are sweet and well-integrated. Everything is delicately entwined into this beautiful, medium to full-bodied, dense purple wine, which shows stunning character and a prodigious potential for development. This is definitely a major sleeper of the vintage and even better than I thought from barrel. With its 2010, this classified growth located in the southern end of the Medoc may well have made a modern-day version of their legendary 1949.”

Yann Chave Hermitage 2011 ($119.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Also inky colored, full-bodied and seriously rich, the 2011 Hermitage boasts knockout aromas and flavors of blueberry, creme de cassis, plum pit, scorched earth and crushed rock. Dense, concentrated, yet also voluptuously textured, with sweet tannin and notable freshness and purity, it will have an easy 12-15 years of longevity. Former rugby player turned winemaker (and still a rugby coach), proprietor Yann Chave owns just over four acres in Hermitage, mostly located in the Beaume lieu-dit, and close to 40 acres in Crozes Hermitage. Releasing his first vintage in 1996, he is another of the up and coming producers that warrant serious attention. Chave’s Hermitage comes 80% from le Beaume lieu-dit, and 20% from Peleat, both of which are on the more eastern side of Hermitage hill and comprised mostly of calcareous, loess and sandy soils.”

JL Chave Hermitage Blanc 2011 1.5L ($549.95) $499 special
Wine Spectator 97 points
“Still a bit reserved aromatically, with hints of orange blossom and crème anglaise peeking out, this features a captivating display of racy quinine, honeysuckle and white peach flavors inlaid into a rich core of brioche, Cavaillon melon, white truffle, smoked almond and heather honey. Incredibly long. Hard to resist now, but ideal for when your toddler graduates college. Best from 2019 through 2030.” Wine Advocate 96 points “Just bottled, the 2011 Hermitage Blanc also shows the richer side of Hermitage with its full-bodied, voluptuously textured and up-front profile. Honeysuckle, licorice, toast, citrus oil and liquid mineral-like qualities all emerge from this beauty, and it stays beautifully fresh and focused on the palate. A blend of mostly Marsanne, yet with roughly 20% Roussanne, from the l’Ermite, Les Rocoules, Maison Blanche and Peleat lieux-dits, this substantial white should be consumed over the coming 2-4 years, or forgotten for a decade or more. It will have over two decades of longevity.”

JL Chave Hermitage Rouge 2011 1.5L ($549.95) $499 special
Wine Advocate 96-98 points
“The 2011 Hermitage (also still in barrel), in comparison, is more focused and straight, with a slightly more serious feel to its tannin profile and overall structure. All of the samples (again, tasted in individual components) were beautifully perfumed, with the Les Bessards (which will make up the bulk of the blend) showing surprising density and concentration in a vintage that generally produced more up-front and supple wines. A serious 2011 that will certainly be one of the stars of the vintage, it should be reasonably approachable on release and have an easy two decades of longevity.”

Domaine Boisson Cairanne L’Exigence 2012 ($34.95) $28 special
Wine Advocate 91-93 points
“Even better and getting a ‘Wow’ in the notes, the 2012 Cairanne l’Exigence (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre aged in concrete and older barrels) is a serious effort that readers should snatch up. Deep, dark and layered, with thrilling purity of fruit, integrated acidity and fine tannin, it shows the vintage purity and freshness with it dark berry, cassis, spice and tinges of wood on the nose. It’s gorgeous stuff and will age gracefully for upwards of a decade.”

Clos des Brusquieres Chateauneuf du Pape 2012 ($49.95) $39 special
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points
“Tasted in three components. #1:  Intensely perfumed in a distinctly pinot way, offering intense red berry and floral scents and a strong mineral component.  Weightless and pure, with superb focus and depth.  #2:  Deeper cherry and dark berry character, with notes of licorice and black tea.  Shows serious depth and power, with strong finishing grip.  #3:  Even richer than #2, offering bitter cherry and dark chocolate aromas and flavors and a hint of candied violet.  The ultimate wine should be richer than usual for this estate, whose wines are always among the purest and most delineated of the Chateauneufs that I taste every year.”

Mas de Boislauzon Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Quet 2012 ($119.95) $89 special
Wine Advocate 94-96 points
“Even more impressive and a candidate for the wine of the vintage, the 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee du Quet (pronounced “kay”) is a blend of 80% tank-aged Grenache and 20% barrel-aged Mourvedre. A big, massive wine, with decadent roasted herbs, black and red fruits, licorice and scorched earth, this full-bodied, mouth-filling and brilliantly concentrated effort doesn’t lack for texture or richness, yet remains fresh and very drinkable. It should drink well for 15-20 years. Drink 2014-2032. Run by the brother and sister team of Daniel and Christine Chaussy, this brilliant estate covers just over 20 acres in Chateauneuf du Pape, most of which are in the northern part. They produce up to three Chateauneufs in top vintages and one white. In addition, their Vin de France and Cotes du Rhone Villages are always superb and sell for a song. Note: there was no Cuvee du Quet or le Tinto produced in 2011, and no Tinto in 2012.”

Paolo Saracco Moscato d’Asti DOCG, Piedmont 2013 ($17.95) $14 special

Vietti Moscato d’Asti 2013 ($17.95) $14 special

Ruggeri Argeo Prosecco di Treviso, Veneto NV ($19.95) $16 special
Wine Enthusiast “This is a mineral-driven sparkler with a dusty quality that keeps the nose clean and simple. Those ashen notes give the wine a direct linear character and the texture in the mouth is very thin and streamlined.”

Inama Vin Soave Classico, Veneto 2013 ($17.95) $14 special

Coming this Week


Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2013 ($21.95) $18 special

Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Le Puits Sec 2012 ($39.95) $33 special


Corison Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2010 ($89.95) $79 special
Decanter 95 points: “Seamless integration, with bright, juicy red and black fruit, ripe tannins, refreshing acidity and moderate alcohol. Layered and complex, unfolding with each sip. Drink 2013-2023.”
Wine & Spirits 95 points: “For over 20 years, Cathy Corison has sourced her Napa cabernet from the same three vineyards, gravelly sites on the western benchland between Rutherford and St. Helena. This offers that area’s distinctly plush and gentle tannins in a Napa Valley cabernet of the old school. It feels formal and reserved, contrasting fresh herbal notes of pipe tobacco and cedar with classic cabernet flavors of red and black currants. Impeccably balanced, this has a scent that’s as compelling as any premier cru Pauillac, with the sunny profile of the Mayacamas benchlands. In other words, it smells pretty great, especially after it’s been open for a day. Built for the cellar, this will provide delicious drinking with roast lamb over the next ten years. 1,800 cases.”
Antonio Galloni (Vinous) 93 points: “The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is drop-dead gorgeous. An intense, reticent wine, the 2010 is endowed with serious density, depth and structure. This is one of the most powerful, tightly coiled wines of the year. It will require considerable time in bottle but all the elements are in the right place. Plums, iron, cloves, violets, licorice and smoke all flesh out on the firm, structured finish. This is a fabulous wine with a great future, a superb effort from Cathy Corison. Drink: 2015-2025.”

Sbragia Zinfandel La Promesa 2010 ($34.95)
$27 special
Robert Parker 93 points
“The 2010 Zinfandel La Promessa demonstrates what can be accomplished with better raw material. This killer Zinfandel boasts loads of ripe briery and berry fruit intermixed with pepper and spicy notes, more black fruits on the palate, full body, and a rich, opulent personality. It tips the scales at a whopping 15.9% alcohol, and should drink well for 3-5 years”

Sbragia Merlot Home Ranch 2010 ($29.95)
$18 super special
Wine Enthusiast 92 points
“An impressive wine. Ed Sbragia wrestles that famously briary Dry Creek rusticity to the ground, forcing it into refined elegance. With straightforward blackberry, cherry, mocha and cedar flavors, it’s simply delicious for drinking now.”  Robert Parker 90 points “Another reasonably priced, outstanding offering is the 2010 Merlot Home Ranch, which includes small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Its deep ruby/purple color is accompanied by notes of white chocolate, mocha, black cherries and vanillin in a medium to full-bodied, lush, round, generously endowed style. Consume it over the next 5-6 years.”

Sbragia Cabernet Sauvignon Andolsen Vineyard 2010 ($39.95) $31.90 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Andolsen Vineyard is utterly impeccable from start to finish. Firm mountain tannins provide the backdrop as this expressive, powerful wine gradually reveals its personality. Iron, tobacco and licorice notes dominate, while the fruit takes a little longer to become evident. With time in the glass, the wine gets better and better, as sweet floral notes and an attractive upper register opens up. Still, this remains a fairly bold, muscular Cabernet Sauvignon that could use another handful of years in the cellar. The 2010 is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc from a parcel in Dry Creek owned by the Sbragias’ family doctor. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030.”

Sbragia Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso Vineyard 2010 ($49.95) $41.90 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso Vineyard is a fabulous and highly representative wine from one of California’s great heritage sites. A wine of tremendous promise (despite its considerable appeal today!) the 2010 bursts from the glass with graphite, smoke, licorice, tobacco, incense and dark fruit. The wine seems to gain volume as well as considerable richness with time in the glass. A huge, enveloping finish rounds things out in style.”

Andre Neveu Sancerre Silex Les Grand Fricambaults 2013 ($29.95)
$24 special
Andre Neveu Sancerre Silex Les Longues Fins 2013 ($31.95)
$26 special
Andre Neveu Sancerre Silex Le Manoir Vieilles Vignes 2013 ($37.95)
$28 special

Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Folatieres 2009 ($219.95) $179 special
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
“Bright yellow.  Lovely floral lift to the soft citrus and vanilla aromas.  Plenty of fruit here too, but this shows better grip and lift than the Clavoillons, more life in the mouth.  At once lush and energetic, and firm and long on the aftertaste.  Less obviously 2009 in style.”

Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Pucelles 2009 ($249.95) $199 special
Burghound 93 points
“A notably ripe but still reasonably classic Pucelles nose of honeysuckle, citrus and white orchard fruit aromas, in particular pear, leads to rich, forward and wonderfully opulent medium-bodied flavors that brim with dry extract that coats the palate on the refined and impressively long finish. As it always is, this is a classy wine of finesse but with a generous side to it in 2009.”
Stephen Tanzer 93 points “Medium yellow.  Ripe stone fruit and honey on the nose.  Fat and sweet but not quite as large-scaled as the Combettes, showing stone fruit and spice flavors.  Best today on the insidiously long finish, which really saturates the palate with flavor.  Plenty of verve here; still, I’d serve most of these 2009s a bit cooler than usual.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Staff Picks 

Vina Sastre Ribera del Duero 2011 ($19.95) $16 staff pick special
“Ripe blueberry and cherry fruit give way to a spice and mineral notes.  Soft tannins add to the silky texture and long finish. A pleasant surprise at only $16. ”
~ Troy


Domaine des Nugues Fleurie 2010 ($24.95) $16 staff pick special
“This is a true gem and a perfect representation of the incredible value coming out of  Beaujolais Cru’s.  Dried cherries, lavender, baking spice and a beautiful granitic minerality.  Excellent structure from this Fleurie, with just enough acid and depth of fruit to carry it along.  With  just a slight chill, it truly shines”
~ Lizzy
Time to say Goodbye
Warre’s Vintage Port 2011 ($89.95) $59 goodbye good buy special
Wine Spectator 96 points
“Offers seamless flavors of kirsch, chocolate, dark plum and allspice, fresh and elegant, with a towering structure and intense red berry accents. Unctuous and long on the finish, showing loads of grip. Best from 2030 through 2060.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
The average price listed is $82 / bottle