Vinopolis Thursday Newsletter 3-14-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

March Magnum Madness
2015 Charlopin Grand Crus: Stunning Wines, Excellent Pricing
95 Points from Wine Spectator, Under $40: 2013 Caparzo
New Grapelive Reviews for Spanish Favorites
A Friuli Addition Edition of the March Clearance Sale
Trending Wines of the Week
A Lesson in Lessona from Proprieta Sperino

March Magnum Madness

A Whole Field of Large Formats

New to the March Clearance Sale

March Madness is upon us—the madness of the March Clearance Sale.  We love mags here at Vinopolis.  Probably too much, if we’re being frank, so we’re doing a little spring cleaning (let’s see how many March/Spring metaphors we can mix, here, shall we?).  We’ve got a sweet sixteen (plus one) bottlings that just got added to the sale, so your choices have expanded like the tourney field.  Just know, though, that with most of these magnums, quantities are extremely limited—the volume may be large, but the number of bottles is low, so don’t delay if something jumps out at you.

If you want to see all of the magnums just added to the Clearance Sale, just click here to view the list on our website.  We also have a selection of our favorites that just got added, below:

Il Poggione Vigna Paganelli, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG 2010 1.5L ($249.95) Was $219, Now $199 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 98+ points “The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Paganelli is a phenomenal achievement and a wine that captures not only the spirit of this classic vintage, but the true essence of an age-worthy wine like Brunello. This single vineyard Riserva is sharp, pristine and immaculate. It starts slow and shy, but then blossoms to beautiful intensity and aromatic brilliance. It delivers a very authentic and genuine read of Sangiovese with wild berry aromas followed by pressed violets, wet earth, tobacco and lightly toasted spice. The bouquet is seamless and very long in persistence. The same holds true for the mouthfeel. The wine delivers a fine and silky texture with a good dose of power and personality at the rear.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Sine Qua Non Poker Face Syrah, Santa Barbara County 2004 1.5L ($2199.95) Was $1799, Now $1499 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 97 points “Starting off the Syrah-based wines, the 2004 Poker Face (Syrah) is aging beautifully. A blend of 96% Syrah, 2.5% Mourvedre and 1.5% Viognier (from the Eleven Confessions, White Hawk, Alban, Bien Nacido, and Alta Mesa vineyards) that was aged in 80% new French oak, it offers up a perfumed, fresh bouquet of sweet blackberry liqueur, creme de cassis, spring flowers and licorice that gives way to a full-bodied, seamless, gorgeously textured feel on the palate. Rich and decadent, it has notable, yet beautifully integrated acidity and stays remarkably fresh, detailed and even elegant. It still needs a lengthy decant to shine, and will continue to thrill over the coming decade or so.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
The next best price is $2175
Weingut Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese, Nahe 2015 1.5L ($199.95) Was $149, Now $133 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2015 Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Auslese was selected shortly before the Spätlese and is a selection of super ripe and the rarely botrytis grapes. The wine has a super ripe and warm fruit bouquet with some spicy and flinty aromas. On the palate, this is a piquant and generous Riesling with clear definition and lingering complexity and salinity. It has very good grip. (The wine is also available in 375 milliliter bottles for $45 and 1500 milliliter bottles for $180.)”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Pian dell’Orino Bassolino di Sopra, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2007 1.5L ($349.95) Was $289, Now $249 Clearance Price
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The estate’s 2007 Brunello di Montalcino Bassolino di Sopra 1500 emerges from the glass with endless layers of fruit. A pure, voluptuous 2007, the Bassolino di Sopra 1500 is rich, round and seamless. Deeply spiced notes develop in the glass as the wine shows off its striking personality. I am not a huge fan of extended time in oak for wines of such purity, but the 2007 handles its 48 months in barrel quite nicely, although it is naturally shaped by its aging regime, especially from a textural perspective. The 2007 is made exclusively from the estate’s holdings in Pian Bossolino, but that site has also been trademarked by another winery, hence the slight name variation here.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Les Caillerets, Volnay Premier Cru 2011 1.5L ($179.95) Was $119, Now $99 Clearance Price
Antonio Galloni–Vinous 93 points “The 2011 Volnay Caillerets is one of the most explosive wines in this range. Black cherries, plums, licorice, smoke and tar literally jump from the glass. The 2011 is round and voluptuous on the palate, yet also backed up by considerable structure. Hints of cloves, new leather and sweet tobacco add the final layers of nuance. In 2011 there are just three barrels of Caillerets, one of which is new, a slightly higher ratio than is typically the case.” AG

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Les Caillerets, Volnay Premier Cru 2012 1.5L ($179.95) Was $149, Now $128 Clearance Price
Antonio Galloni 92-94 points “The 2012 Volnay Caillerets is the most impressive of these 2012s from Francois Bitouzet. Here the flavors are deep, layered and beautifully resonant from start to finish. Plum, smoke, black cherry, licorice and spices wrap around the palate as this fleshy, deep Volnay shows off its pure class and pedigree. The finish is long, generous and inviting, but the 2012 is a wine for the cellar. Patience will be rewarded. In 2012 there is just one barrel of the Caillerets instead of the customary three.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Taillepieds, Volnay Premier Cru 2012 1.5L ($149.95) Was $119, Now $99 Clearance Price
Antonio Galloni 91-93+ points “A layered, totally exquisite wine, the 2012 Volnay Taillepieds impresses for its balance above all else. The aromas and flavors are beautifully detailed and nuanced in a Taillepieds that is all about crystalline purity. This tasting catches the 2012 in a slightly raw, unpolished state, but nothing a little time in bottle won’t take care of.”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2013 1.5L ($1499.95) Was $1249, Now $1099 Clearance Price
Antonio Galloni 94-97 points “Another superb, multidimensional wine, the 2013 Clos de La Roche boasts remarkable complexity, starting with exquisite aromatics, finely-sculpted fruit and firm yet polished tannins. Layers of flavor flesh out in all directions in a resonant, expansive Burgundy endowed with pure pedigree. There is a lot going on in the glass, although it is the wine’s totally sublime sense of harmony that is most captivating at this early stage. I can’t wait to taste the 2013 from bottle.” AG

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Weingut A.J. Adam Dhroner Hofberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Mosel 2013 1.5L ($149.95) Was $127, Now $119 Clearance Price
Robert Parker 93+ points “Selected twice (in the vineyard and at the winery to process only healthy grapes), 100% fuder-fermented and bottled in May 2014, the 2013 Dhroner Hofberg Riesling trocken has a very clear and precise nose displaying ripe peach and nectarine aromas intertwined with slate flavors. This leads to an impressively intense, filigreed and pure wine which develops power and finesse and does not have a single gram of fat. Sourced from 60-year-old and partly ungrafted vines this 12.4% natural alcohol cru is a full-bodied, elegant, precise and crystalline Riesling with an impressive purity and terroir expression. It has just begun its flight and could be even finer in half a year. “RP
Terry Theise notes: “This is the quasi-GG and of all these obstreperous ’13s it was the best behaved. In fact a lovely dry Riesling, herbal, juicy, malic and salty; long and clinging finish; amazing equipoise of ethereal delicacy and heavy density and grip. 94º Oechsle, rather little botrytis, cask-fermented and aged on the fine lees, and finely smoky; only 8.5g/l RS but extract concentration confers a kind of facsimile of “’sweetness.'”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!

F.X. Pichler Durnsteiner Kellerberg Gruner Veltliner Smaragd, Wachau 2013 1.5L ($219.95) Was $149, Now $133 Clearance Price
Wine Advocate 95 points “The tremendously deep bouquet of Pichler’s 2013 Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Kellerberg is precise, vegetal and flinty/cool. The wine is a noble, rich, highly elegant and terroir-driven Wachauer signature wine, which reveals its overwhelming power and great expression only in its finish and long, persistent aftertaste. This is, again, an icon wine of the Wachau and the 2013 vintage. A must buy, if you can afford it.”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 94 points “Smoky Szechuan and Madagascar peppers pungently announce site typicity in the nose, along with high-toned intimations of pit-inflected white peach and Mirabelle that subsequently flood the glycerol-rich, almost plush palate. The richness of fruit here, also incorporating very ripe muskmelon, is contrasted and cut with citrus rind piquancy allied to stony and peppery inflections that follow into a forcefully sustained but in no way rough or warm finish, the alcohol here having ended up at just under 14%”

This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
F.X. Pichler Durnsteiner Kellerberg Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2011 1.5L ($179.95) Was $133, Now $119 Clearance Price
Falstaff 97 points “Bright green yellow. Fine exotic fruit bruet, delicate according to blood orange, dark mineral, facet rich. Very complex and concentrated, close-knit, finely underpinned acid structure, dark mineral, will remain for a long time, a long-distance runner and great promises of the future. [translated from German]”

This was the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
Domaine Jean Francois Ganevat Cotes du Jura Le Montceau 2014 1.5L ($149.95) Was $119, Now $99 Clearance Price

This is the only listing for a magnum in the USA today!
Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Meursault Charmes, Meursault Premier Cru 2011 1.5L ($199.95) Was $149, Now $119 Clearance Price
Antonio Galloni–Vinous 91 points “The 2011 Meursault Les Charmes wraps around the palate with gorgeous depth and nuance. There is plenty of Charmes richness and depth in the glass. At the same time, the wine’s structural elements are front and center, at least today. The firm, slightly dry finish suggests the fruit may have been brought in a little early.” AG

This is the only listing for a magnum in the USA today!
Want to see the entire list of March Clearance Sale wines?  Just click here to see the list of 61 wines on sale on our website.  Plus, keep reading for a new set of Italian whites that arrive tomorrow and are already in the clearance sale.
The 2015 Grand Cru Wines

From Charlopin are Grand Indeed

And Arriving Tomorrow

The 2015 Burgundy Vintage continues to roll in and, for the most part, immediately roll back out.  Pricing for 2016 looks very high and 2015 is an epic year, so the combination has led to demand that’s nearly unprecedented.  We have two of Phillipe Charlopin’s Grand Cru wines arriving tomorrow (plus his Bourgogne) and are down to our last six bottles of each, which isn’t a surprise—they won’t stick around for very long.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Charlopin wines, the first two things to know are this: the wines are good, round and rich and the prices are on the low side for the quality at stake.  He’s a producer who flies just enough under the radar that his wines are still semi-affordable (there’s a lot of Echezeaux that’s 3x as expensive) but the wines always over-deliver from a quality perspective.  All of the Charlopin wines have great press and correspondingly great scores.  We’re big fans of the domain (you can view all of the Charlopin wines available on the website by clicking here) and know these are great plays for savvy Burgundy buyers—the only catch is that, as with most of the 2015’s—they’re going to disappear quickly.

Domaine Philippe Charlopin-Parizot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($299.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Neal Martin – Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2015 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, which is a 50/50 blend from Mazoyères and Charmes, has an elegant and pure bouquet that unfolds in the glass, delivering both red and black fruit with fine delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with fleshy ripe red berry fruit matched with fine acidity and harmony, long and almost languorous towards the finish. Very fine – one of Philippe’s best offerings in 2015.”
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 92-94 points “(13.3% natural alcohol; half from Charmes and half from Mazoyères, with both parcels planted 60 years ago): Saturated deep ruby! Black fruit aromas convey an almost candied ripeness. Very rich, sweet and deep, filling the mouth with ripe black fruit flavors. Finishes very long, with huge but ripe tannins. In contrast to the Bonnes-Mares, this is clearly a wine from a sun-drenched growing season. Very impressive but almost too much.”
Burghound 91-94 points “From a 50/50 split of Charmes and Mazoyères. A pungent nose of reduction and wood is difficult to assess though by contrast there is excellent volume and richness to the sleek, focused and extract-rich big-bodied flavors that possess terrific complexity on the balanced and mouth coating finish. This is really quite good and should be approachable after only a few years of bottle age.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Philippe Charlopin-Parizot Echezeaux Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($299.95) $249 pre-arrival special
Stephen Tanzer – Vinous 92-94 points “(from the lieu-dit En Orveaux): Full red with ruby tones. Sexy, slightly high-toned aromas of red raspberry and smoked meat, plus a whiff of cooked strawberry that Charlopin says is typical of this cool site, which he picks ten days after his Clos Vougeot. Fine-grained and surprisingly sappy on the palate, showing terrific depth to its raspberry and saline mineral flavors. Finishes with savory tannins and excellent lingering sweetness. As much red- as black-fruit in style, this soil-driven wine really stains the palate.”
Burghound 91-93 points “From En Orveaux. Mild reduction doesn’t completely mask the background aromas of floral and spice nuances. There is both good richness and a lovely sense of energy to the refined and seductive middle weight flavors that possess good but not exceptional depth and length. On the plus side there is fine underlying material and this may very well develop more complexity than I imagine and if it does, my preliminary range may be too conservative.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Philippe Charlopin-Parizot Bourgogne, Burgundy 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special

This is the only listing in the USA today!


The 95 Point, Under $40

Caparzo Brunello

Newly Reviewed, Arriving Next Week

There’s no surprise that a top Brunello producer (Caparzo) in a top vintage (2013) would get a high score (95 points) from Wine Spectator.  What is surprising though, is that the lauded wine is so inexpensive.  Caparzo is always one of the top wine values in the world and the2013 edition takes that to a new level.  We have several cases arriving next week, but grab it now—with a score like this, it’s going to go fast.

Arriving Friday, March 23rd:

Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($44.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 95 points “This cuts more of a broad swath than its peers, yet remains graveful, evoking strawberry, cherry, tobacco and stony mineral flavors. Long and dense in structure, with a tobacco- and under-brush-tinged finish. Best from 2021 through 2033.”

New Grapelive Reviews

Some Spanish Favorites

Bodegas Nanclares ‘Paraje Mina’ Albarino, Rias Baixas 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Grapelive 93 points “What a crazy good wine this is from Silvia Prieto and Alberto Nanclares at Nanclares y Prieto Viticultores. It’s a single parcel Albarino (Parade Mina) cuvee that is half inox (stainless tank) and half used French oak from clear, no skins, juice ferments using native yeasts, aged 10 months, which in the case of this 2016 results in a vivid and steely wine that reminds me a lot of a Montee de Tonnerre Premier Cru Chablis! The nose is flinty with hints of almonds and briny sea shore with a touch of citrus before leading to a racy and saline palate of green apple, lemon/lime and wild peach fruits along with a touch of grilled fennel, minty herb, wet stones and melon rind. Its greenish/golden pale hue hints to this saline and acid driven white that sizzles with pulsing energy. Its brisk tone and dusty dryness hides this wine’s textural quality until air unleashes its mouth feel and more seductive nature allowing a bit more body to show through as well as length, with a touch of wood and lees that add subtle smoke, hazelnut and nutmeg. Wow, this is impressive Albarino, though certainly you’d much more generously rewarded to have this with cuisine, especially oysters, sardines, grilled octopus and or mussels. This is an exceptional regional expression that offers a vibrant thrill. Nanclares’ 2016 are wonderful wines and this one in particular is well worth searching out. Silvia and Alberto are making some exciting wines. Imported by Jose Pastor Selections, Nanclares y Prieto is one of Rias Baixas’ best producers. These salty/ocean influenced are special wines, passionate, traditional and clearly focused that showcase pride of place (terroir). Do not miss them.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Re-Arriving Tomorrow:

Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado, Getariako Txakolina 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 92 points “Grown in the Basque region near Getaria in the Getariako Txakolina zone, Ameztoi’s zesty fresh Rosé is one of Spain’s best and most distinct dry pink wines, made from both white and red grapes, 50% Hondarribi Beltza (old vine red) and 50% Hondarribi Zuri (white) fermented without malolactic in tank preserving intense fresh detail and is bottled with a little residual carbonation to give it a light spritz. The free CO2 adds lift and brisk lightness to this wonderful summer wine, Amztoi also does a Champagne style Rosé sparkling version too that is much more full and yeasty, but this is their classic dry Rosé and it delivers a dynamic palate of sour cherry, watermelon, a hint of bubble gum and eye popping citrus along with a steely mineral force, adding a touch of rosewater, lavender and distilled strawberry essences. It’s almost insane that this 10.5% alcohol wine isn’t just bottled in magnum, it’s so refreshing and vivid, one bottle is never going to be enough! I love all of the Ameztoi wines, especially this Basque Rosé, but don’t miss the white either, it’s a like a lime refresher, both great with light cuisine and warm days of summer.”
Importer note “The pink sibling of Ameztoi’s flagship white, this vibrant rosé is made from a mix of red and white indigenous grapes and is bottled with a little residual carbon to give it a light spritz. Candied red fruits combine with a lime infused edge makes this a wildly intriguing rosé.”


March Sale

Friuli Addition Edition

Arriving Tomorrow

Venica is one of the most distinguished estates in Collio (Friuli), the part of Northeast Italy that’s responsible for some of the finest white wines to come out of the boot.  Friuli is known for some of the best whites in the area and Collio is arguably the most privileged

Giampero Venica is one of the most dynamic white winemakers in Italy, taking over the family estate and pushing to new qualitative heights.  The wines are bright and fresh—done in tank with good minerality and electric acidity.  They’re the perfect whites for spring—not just simple sippers, but bell-clear with good complexity.  We’ve scored a deal on the Friulano and the Sauvignon Blanc, two of the best of the entry-tier wines from the estate and are excited to pass the savings on to you.

Venica & Venica Friulano Collio, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2016 750ML ($29.95) Was $24, Now $17 Clearance Price

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Venica & Venica Sauvignon Collio, Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2016 750ML ($29.95) Was $24, Now $17 Clearance Price

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!



The Most Popular Wines This Week

Goodfellow Family Cellars Bishop Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Oregon 2014 750ML ($41.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Goodfellow Family Cellars Bishop Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Oregon 2014 750ML ($419.95)
$349 special (that’s only $29.08/bottle!)
Case-6 Goodfellow Family Cellars Bishop Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Oregon 2014 750ML ($219.95)
$189 special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds 91 points
“Vivid red. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red berries, cherry, candied flowers and musky earth, backed by a touch of smokiness. Lively black raspberry and floral pastille flavors pick up hints of bitter chocolate and licorice with aeration. The clinging, focused finish features fine-grained, slow-mounting tannins and repeating floral character. Give this one a little air time.”
Grapelive 91 points “Delicately layered and spicy, the 2014 Bishop Creek is a pretty effort, especially for a richer vintage in Oregon. Made by Marcus Goodfellow, the ex-Evesham Wood and Westrey man, [he] is coming into his own as a talent, inspired by Doerner of Cristom and John Paul of Cameron. You can see the style showing through here. Bishop Creek, planted to Pommard and Wadenswil (old Swiss clone), [is] now owned by Nicolas Meo of the famed Burgundy Domaine Meo-Camuzet. [The vineyard] ([which is] not far from Shea Vineyards) formed this wine with its distinct strawberry and racy red cherry core along with the mixed spice, mineral tones and light wood influence. Its southern exposure and Willakenzie soils (dark rocky marine sediment) give warmth and grace. Planted in 1988, the vines ripen without flamboyant extraction, allowing more finesse to show through. At 13.9% this medium weight wine offers fine detail, opulence and restrained, almost earthy, soulfulness. Hints of bitter herb, cedar and candied citrus rind add a tangy note to the whole and the finish echoes the red fruits in subtle fashion with a touch of wilted roses lingering on. It shines right now, though best to enjoy it with cuisine to match as it is a tad shier than other 2014 Oregon Pinots (I’ve tried) and needs time and coaxing to reach its beautiful peak. Best from 2018 to 2022.”
Winery note “Twenty five year old un-grafted Wadensville vines, dry farmed in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA are handpicked for this wine. From 3 acres, each clone is fermented separately with native yeasts in small lots, typically with 50-60% whole-clusters. The wine is aged in 0%-40% new French oak barrels for 18-21 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered. There is intensity at Bishop Creek, with deep, dark toned fruit, a spicy floral edge and savory tones with acidity and length.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $39.99
Felsina Berardenga Fontalloro Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Gorgeous and soft, the 2013 Fontalloro is another landmark wine from this classic vintage. There is enormous intensity here and the wine is only at the beginning of its long aging trajectory. I suggest you put off drinking it for five to ten more years. There is evident thickness and generosity here, especially in the way those bold fruit flavors are woven between dark spice and leather. There are sour accents on the close that remind you of the wine’s youth. The tannins are fine and well integrated.”
James Suckling 95 points “Aromas of plums, clay tiles and sage follow through to a full to medium body, silky tannins and a linear and racy finish. Love the underlying freshness and brightness to this. Excellent. A little tannic now, so better in 2018”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2013 Fontalloro shows the richer, creamier style of the vintage while maintaining plenty of Fèlsina character. Silky tannins wrap around a core of dark stone fruits as the 2013 shows off its personality. Fontalloro naturally doesn’t have the pure energy of Rancia, but it will drink well with just a few more years in bottle. Fontalloro is the most overt and ripe of the Fèlsina wines with the exception of the Colonia. A hint of French oak shapes the supple, inviting finish.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Domaine de la Fruitiere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Clisson, Loire 2012 ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2012 Muscadet Sévre et Maine Clisson has an intense yellow color and a deep, ripe yet pure and still subtle bouquet with yeasty, nutty and mineral flavors that indicate a remarkable complexity. Full-bodied, pure and elegant, with a creamy texture and an extensive mouthfeel, this is a refreshing and finesse-full, highly complex and expressive Muscadet with a serious structure and a long, lush finish. Still young in its vitality but with the maturity of almost four years of lees aging, this is a fascinating wine which I would locate between Anjou Chenin Blanc and Burgundy if you don’t have any idea about this kind of Muscadet. Would I buy it? Certainly.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Anakota Helena Montana Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley 2014 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Robert Parker 93+ points
“The 2014s are 30-year wines, even in such a supple, easygoing and charming vintage. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana has an opaque purple color, a beautiful nose of graphite, creosote, incense, blackberry and licorice, and maybe a touch of charcoal and earth. The tannins are soft, and there is enormous fruit as well as a deep, full-bodied mouthfeel and some coffee in the finish. It should drink well for 25-30 years.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Anakota’s 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana has turned out beautifully. Dark, sumptuous and beautifully resonant in the glass, the 2014 exudes richness. Red cherry jam, raspberry, mint and licorice abound. Flamboyant and opulent, with soft contours and good structure, the 2014 hits all the right notes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bodega Aleanna ‘Gran Enemigo’ Gualtallary Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc, Tupungato 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 28 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98+ points
“The nose of the 2012 Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard almost made me fall from my chair. It is the expression of elegance and austerity coupled with strong minerality. It is mostly Cabernet Franc from a very chalky vineyard in Gualtallary at 1,430 meters altitude that fermented together with a small percentage of Malbec. In 2012 they fine tuned the élevage and fermentation, which was in rolling 500-liter barrels that were new in 2006 (so by then quite neutral), where the wine was kept for one more year and then transferred to 1,000-liter egg-shaped cement vats for one further year. This reminded me of my favorite Bordeaux, Lafleur, because of the elegance, the refinement of the tannins and length. It has citric, effervescent acidity that makes you salivate. Winemaker and Owner Alejandro Vigil has done a very strict selection of the soils in the field, and only kept the very center of the vineyard where the high density (12,000 plants per hectare) generates a lot of competition, because the plants from the borders have more space in the sides, which means in 2012 he could only fill 1,800 bottles. Awesome, and ultra fresh for a vintage like 2012. Bravo!”

Domaine Les Pallieres Gigondas Terrasses du Diable, Rhone 2013 750ML ($49.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92 points
“Dark ruby. Candied red berries, cherry compote and potpourri on the highly pungent nose; a mineral element adds vivacity. Energetic black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors show excellent clarity and a hint of licorice pastille that builds as the wine opens up. The energetic finish repeats the floral and mineral notes, while supple tannins lend shape and grip.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

A Lesson in Lessona

The Remarkable Wines of Sperino

Enthusiasm for the Alto Piemonte keeps growing—it’s clearly a source of great value and the wines are better every year.  Our highlight today is the top producer in the Lessona, Sperino.  The flagship wine is their Lessona, a compact Nebbiolo that offers incredible value relative to counterparts in Barolo and Barbaresco, but the Uvaggio (a blend of Nebbiolo, Vespolina and Croatina) offers a glimpse into an earlier time when the wines of the region were blends.  Finally, their awe-inspiring L’Franc is a Right-Bank Bordeaux in Piemontese clothing.  Although expensive, it’s an incredible wine that is worth every penny, especially if you are after old-school, soulful Bordeaux.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Alto Piemonte region, know that it’s one of the best places in the modern wine world to look for value in ageworthy Nebbiolo.  Alto Piemonte was famous in the 19th century and into the 20th but has become more obscure since WWII.  The big advantage the region has on its side right now is the changing climate.  In an older climate paradigm, you couldn’t always count on the northerly regions in the Piemonte to get fully ripe every year, so often you had very light wines with very stern tannins.  Now? It’s like Lessona and co. have hit the jackpot.

Furthermore, the pricing of the wines hasn’t caught up with the current climate reality.  Sperino makes some of the best wines in the region and their flagship Lessona sells for less than $60.  This is a wine to stock up on and age, before wine consumers world-wide realize that these are such good deals and go all-in.

Proprieta Sperino Lessona, Piedmont 2012 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2012 Lessona is a wine that is heavily shaped by the sandy soils that characterize the appellation. This vintage is a little shy and demure with a slightly undertone or softly spoken manner. The wine is extremely elegant and polished with light touches of wild berry followed by ash, cola and finely etched mineral nuances. There is a touch of rusty metal or aromas of dried blood. The mouthfeel is very long and finely textured.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Proprieta Sperino Uvaggio Coste della Sesia Rosso, Piedmont 2013 750ML ($37.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93+ points
“This wine is named Uvaggio in reference to the fact it represents a blend of three grapes: 80% Nebbiolo, 15% Vespolina and 5% Croatina. Some of the fruit for the 2013 Coste della Sesia Uvaggio is harvested from parcels with sandy soils that give the wine more perfumed characteristics and other fruit is harvested from granite-rich soils that give the wine more structure and fiber. This is a deep and authentic red wine with balanced red fruit aromas that saturate a long and silky mouthfeel. Savory tones of spice and leather give the wine staying power. In all, the 2013 vintage is delicate and nuanced in nature.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Proprieta Sperino ‘L Franc Bandit Vino da Tavola, Piedmont 2009 750ML ($119.95) Was $99, Now $91.90 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Bin End Sale !!!
Antonio Galloni 91 points
” “The 2009 L’Franc, 100% Cabernet Franc, is a new wine from Sperino. Over the years, Paolo De Marchi has proved he has the magic touch pretty much with every grape. You can add Cabernet Franc to the list. Here in its debut vintage, the L’Franc possesses remarkable varietal definition and finesse from start to finish. Violets, lavender, plums and mocha add further shades of nuance as the 2009 opens up. Amazingly, this fruit was not harvested until late October and into early November. In my view the 2009 is a bit overoaked, but that will simply require a small correction in future vintages. Superb Cabernet Franc in Lessona? Yes, at Proprietà Sperino, it is possible.” AG

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Proprieta Sperino ‘L Franc Bandit Vino da Tavola, Piedmont 2010 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points
“A Vino da Tavola, the 2010 ‘L Franc is a pure expression of Cabernet Franc made from the acidic, sandy soils of Alto Piemonte. Only 1,000 bottles were produced. This is a stunning red wine with profound depth and vast horizons. The wine’s appearance is incredibly dense and dark but the bouquet is refined and elegant—almost lightweight or ethereal. You get back fruit, exotic spice, powdered mocha, licorice and cured tobacco. The wine carries an evidently important level of dry extract, but it does so with the utmost grace and transparency.”GU


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