Vinopolis Thursday Special 7-19-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

Special New Review Edition

Arriving Tomorrow: Orin Swift’s Sensation
Two New Reviews from Grapelive and James Suckling
Josh Raynolds Raves About 2016 Chateauneuf
Two Treats from Wine Spectator Advance

Arriving Tomorrow

Orin Swift’s Top Catalan Sensation

At the Best Price in the Country

Orin Swift makes a bit of wine in southwestern France—big powerful bottles that are probably even better than the wines produced in California.  They come from old, old vines in the Cotes Catalanes and we’re getting the top wine from that project, Pharoan, tomorrow. This is a wine not to be missed for lovers of the producer and a mere 18 bottles arrive tomorrow.

Orin Swift Department D 66 ‘Pharaon’, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2014 ($189.95) $136 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 95 points “The top wine is the 2014 IGP Cotes Catalanes Pharaon, and it’s a barrel selection that ended up being an even split of Grenache and Syrah that was aged in 75% new French oak. While the cooler, late vintage didn’t favor Grenache, Richard commented that Syrah excelled, hence the larger portion of Syrah in the blend than normal. About as sexy and textured as they come in the vintage, this beautiful 2014 offers lots of crème de cassis, black raspberry, chocolate and peppery nuances to go with a full-bodied, luxuriously textured, hedonistic slant on the palate. Despite the ripeness level, it stays fresh and lively, with notable underlying structure. Hats off to the team here. This beauty will cruise for another decade.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $160
The average price is $170


New Reviews from Grapelive and James Suckling

For Two Vinopolis Favorites

Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas ‘Les Souteyrades Vieilles Vignes’, Rhone 2015 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Grapelive 93+ points “One of the Southern Rhone’s most trusted traditional producers, Joel Saurel’s Domaine Saint-Damien …has many old vine cuvees as well as a lovely Cotes du Rhone bottling as well as a Gigondas Rosé that is high demand. The Vieilles Vignes Gigondas lieu-dit “Souteyrades” which sits on a small hill is a blend of 80% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre from a plot of 67 year old Grenache Noir vines planted in 1948 and 38 year old Mourvèdre on an outcropping of pure grey clay soil with a few stones scattered over, it makes for deep fruit intensity and concentration, I believe this is their most powerful cuvee and this is extremely apparent in this 2015, a rich and ripe vintage. The “Les Souteyrades” vinification is old school with maceration lasting for 6 to 8 weeks in concrete vats before moving to large oak foudres for about a year all from organic grapes that are carefully hand picked and sorted. This earthy and extremely dark Gigondas starts with melted black licorice, leather and deep berries, it’s seriously dense and concentrated with lots of heady weight and texture, gaining a ripe tone with extended air, and wonderful length showing layers of black raspberry, boysenberry, plum and grenadine on the full bodied palate along with that anise, floral incense, baked cherry, chalky stones and pepper spices. This Gigondas has a more of an old school Chateauneuf du Pape like presence in the glass, it’s still way too young to be rewarding yet, but decanting and swirling really helps, it will really unfold in the coming years, be patient, a few bottles hiding for a decade will be wonderful treasures, best from 2022 to 2030.”

Petrolo Galatrona Valdarno di Sopra, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
James Suckling 99 points “Terrific aromas of violets, roses and raspberries with hints of strawberries and brown sugar. Full body. Phenomenal layers of focused fruit and polished velvety tannins. This is the Galatrona that everyone has been waiting for. It’s the vintage that shows depth and power yet wonderful finesse and focus. Best ever. Drink from 2023 but already electrifying.”



Josh Raynolds Raves About

2016 Chateauneuf du Pape

“Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s monumental 2015 vintage was a tough act to follow, but 2016 was up to the challenge. In fact, in many cases the wines from this uniformly outstanding warm year actually outclass – or at least outmuscle – their older siblings. 

If exuberant ripe fruit, harmonious tannins and an overall impression of generosity and lushness are what you’re after in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, then 2016 has plenty to offer. But the best wines also display real energy, making this a standout vintage.

“References to other great years such as 2010 and 2001 abounded during my visits with producers in mid-April, and while I concur with the comparison to 2001, the ‘16s show more flesh, more abundant fruitiness and rounder tannins than the 2010s did at a similar stage. At the same time, I believe that the wines will often be superior to those from recent hot years like 2009, 2007 and 2003 because of their greater freshness…. Best of all, the tannins in the 2016s tend to be round and pliant and they already harmonize nicely with the wines’ abundant fruit rather than enclosing it, as was – and still is – the case with some 2010s and, especially, the 2005s…

“What sets 2016 apart from most hot years is that the region enjoyed cool nights during the crucial summer months, which helped the grapes retain acidity and prevented sugar levels from going completely off the rails. Growing conditions were ideal throughout the season, beginning with a warm, dry spring and continuing through a dry, warm-to-hot summer with those aforementioned cool nights.” – Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Arriving ETA October:

Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($149.95) $128 pre-arrival special, ETA September
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95-97 points
“Vivid ruby-red. Ripe, intensely perfumed raspberry, blackberry, cherry pit and pungent flowers on the highly expressive, mineral- and spice-tinged nose. Juicy and seamless in texture, offering palate-staining yet graceful red and blue fruit liqueur and floral pastille flavors and an exotic suggestion of candied fennel. Delivers flavor intensity without excess weight and shows no rough edges. Closes sweet, sappy and extremely long, with smooth, slow-building tannins framing lingering red fruit preserve and floral notes.”

Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape Sanctus Sanctorum, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($999.95) $699 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95-97 points “(raised in a single, new demi-muid) Brilliant ruby-red. A hugely aromatic, expansive bouquet displays an array of red fruit, floral and exotic spice aromas, and subtle vanilla, garrigue and mineral notes build steadily as the wine stretches out. Utterly stains the palate with sweet, mineral-laced Chambord, lavender pastille, spicecake and mocha flavors that show unlikely vivacity. The combination of richness and finesse here is quite something. Finishes extremely long and sweet, with resonating florality and smooth tannins making a cameo appearance.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Clos Saint-Jean Deus-Ex Machina Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94-96 points “Deep bright-rimmed ruby. Primary dark berry liqueur, cherry, licorice and violet aromas are complemented by an exotic suggestion of smoky Indian spices. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated blackberry, boysenberry and bitter cherry flavors along with sweet cola and floral pastille flourishes. Slowly becomes firmer with air and finishes with outstanding clarity, building tannins and strong, spicy persistence.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous, Rhone 2016 750ML ($149.95) $109 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93-95 points “Bright violet. Highly expressive red berry preserve and cherry cola aromas are complicated by hints of candied lavender, licorice and smoky minerals. Juicy raspberry and spicecake flavors show superb depth and appealing sweetness, and a smoky mineral undertone builds steadily with air. Offers a compelling blend of power and vivacity and finishes with gentle tannic grip, a strong suggestion of Chambord and excellent persistence.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Bright ruby-red. Pungent raspberry, cherry and garrigue scents are complemented by smoky mineral and licorice accents. Silky and concentrated, offering juicy red berry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors and a touch of candied lavender. Shows very good depth, focus and solid thrust on a youthfully tannic finish that features a lingering cracked pepper note.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine de la Janasse Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94-96 points “Bright violet. Heady aromas of mineral-tinged dark berry liqueur, incense and cola, complicated by a suave floral nuance. Smoky and seamless on the palate, offering powerful, alluringly sweet black and blue fruit, spicecake, mocha and candied licorice flavors braced by juicy acidity. Closes with outstanding clarity, smooth tannins and floral-dominated persistence, leaving sexy floral pastille and star anise notes behind.”

Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chaupin, Rhone 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93-95 points “Lurid ruby. An expansive, complex bouquet evokes cherry liqueur, blueberry, incense and candied flowers, along with a smoky mineral nuance that builds in the background. Shows outstanding depth and energy to the red and blue fruit and spicecake flavors, which become more lively and gain sweetness with aeration. Closes on a suave lavender pastille note, offering rounded, even tannins and emphatic, blue-fruit-driven persistence.”

Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Cuvee Tradition), Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91-93 points “Vivid ruby-red. Intensely perfumed, mineral-accented aromas of ripe red and blue fruits, cola and incense expand with aeration. Palate-staining raspberry and boysenberry flavors are joined by an exotic floral pastille quality that builds steadily on the back half. Rich but bright and energetic as well, showing impressive finishing clarity and smooth tannins that add shape and closing grip.”

M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac, Rhone 2016 750ML ($119.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94-96 points ” (raised in concrete tanks) Bright ruby-red. Sexy, expansive red berry preserve and floral pastille aromas are complicated by suggestions of cinnamon and star anise. Juicy, focused and pure in the mouth, displaying impressive verve to the mineral-laced raspberry and cherry compote flavors, which deepen slowly on the back half. The mineral element adds lift and cut to a strikingly long, gently tannic finish that leaves spicecake and lavender notes behind.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Croix de Bois Rouge, Rhone 2016 750ML ($99.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94-96 points ” (all concrete) Lurid ruby-red. Intensely perfumed raspberry liqueur, Asian spice and floral pastille aromas are complemented by hints of musky rhubarb and peppery spices. Palate-staining, densely packed red fruit and spicecake flavors show impressive power as well as vivacity thanks to a core of juicy acidity. The floral quality repeats emphatically on an extremely long, sappy finish that’s shaped by smooth, even tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Arriving ETA Late Fall:

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2016 1.5L ($169.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93-95 points “Deep bright-rimmed ruby. Cassis, cherry pit, licorice, garrigue and an intense mineral overtone on the deeply perfumed nose. Intense, palate-staining bitter cherry and dark berry flavors show outstanding depth and become sweeter and more lively with aeration. Picks up a spicy quality on the youthfully tannic finish, which shows superb clarity and dark-fruit-driven persistence.”

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

Wine Spectator Advance

Two Top Picks, Reviewed Early

Arriving Later this Month:

Massican Annia White, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 92 points “A complex and inviting white, showing intricate nuances of roasting almonds, matcha, honeysuckle and orange zest flavors, mingling with supple, juicy Asian pear, tangerine and ripe melon notes. The smooth texture and thread of acidity just add to the appeal. Ribolla Gialla, Tocai Friulano and Chardonnay.”
Winery note “Grapes: ribolla gialla – 55%, tocai friulano – 39%, chardonnay – 6%. The 2017 vintage in napa will always be remembered because of the wildfires that began on the evening of Sunday, October 8. We are very fortunate that not only were all our grapes harvested before the fires broke out but also that our vineyards were spared from harm; however, we cannot say that for all our neighbors who have been impacted by this tragedy. Our ANNIA in this vintage shows the quiet side of her persona an opportunity to remain thoughtful and thankful for all the good graces we receive not only this year but every year.”

Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($99.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 95 points “($85) A beam of cherry flavor sets the pace for this succulent red that’s firmly structured and taut, with graphite, tobacco and bark notes adding interest. The dense profile remains long and balanced on the finish. Best from 2020 through 2038.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
July Sale Recap
See the complete list of wines on our July Clearance Sale below or click to shop the sale on our web store!


Thanks for reading!