Vinopolis Tuesday Newsletter 1-30-18

Lambrays on the February Clearance Sale; January Sale Ends Soon; New 100 Point Rhone Reviews from Jeb Dunnuck; Spotlight on German Auction Wines; Gloria for Valentine’s Day; January Sale Recap

The Best Deal in High End Burgundy?

New February Clearance Sale Wines

From Domaine des Lambrays

Clos de la Roche, Clos St. Denis, Clos de Tart, Clos des Lambrays—this quartet represents the heralded set of Grand Crus in Morey-St. Denis.   The main difference between the first three and the Clos des Lambray? Price.  All of the other major Grand Crus in Morey are easily $250-$500 per bottle for new releases and, if you’ve got the money, well worth it. Lambrays, on the other hand, is every bit the wine of the more heralded names, especially over the last decade or so, and costs less than half of its neighbors (2014 Clos de Tart is spectacular, but $438, for reference).  These are wines that show all of the glory and power of Morey St. Denis—the vineyard sits in between the Clos St. Denis and Clos de Tart—with elegant textures and rapturous aromatics. Domaine des Lambrays, as you might expect, is the best producer and majority holder of the vineyard, and their wines are spectacular.   In the realm of Grand Cru Burgundy, these are outstanding deals that you’d be wise not to pass on—especially at the lower, Clearance Sale pricing (the best in the country). 

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru 2011 750ML ($199.95) Was $179, Now $159
Stephen Tanzer 92-94 points “Bright, deep red. Showy nose melds cherry, raspberry, white pepper, coffee, spices and smoky underbrush. Utterly suave, silky and fine-grained, but with firm tannins giving the fairly full mid-palate plenty of support for two decades or more of positive development in bottle. Most impressive today on the very long, subtle, rising finish, which leaves the mouth feeling refreshed.”
Burghound 93 points “This offers a further step up in aromatic complexity with its ripe and expressive nose of red berry fruit liqueur, cassis, plum and violets. There is a very suave and seductive texture to the medium weight plus flavors that possess an abundance of mouth coating extract, all wrapped in a long, balanced and delicious finish where a touch of wood is in evidence. This is certainly very good but somewhat curiously it does not seem to separate itself as much as usual from the Les Loups though it is clearly more structured.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2013 750ML ($249.95) Was $189, Now $169
John Gilman 96 points (View From the Cellar): “The 2013 Clos des Lambrays will be another legendary vintage for this great cuvée. The stunningly refined nose delivers a brilliant constellation of red and black cherries, dark plums, cassis, woodsmoke a beautiful base of minerality, espresso, gamebirds, cocoa and a deft framing of new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and very transparent in personality out of the blocks, with a rock solid core of sappy black fruit, fine-grained tannins and stellar length and grip on the laser-like and dancing finish. This will end up being one of the greatest vintages of Clos des Lambrays from the Brouin era, and there have been an awful lot of great wines made during his tenure here!
Wine Spectator 94 points “Spicy and aromatic, featuring sandalwood, green olive, cedar and nutmeg notes, framing cherry and currant flavors. Crisp, taut and balanced. Best from 2019 through 2035”
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 92-95 points “(production of the estate’s grand cru was just 25 hectoliters per hectare in 2013, according to Brouin): Healthy bright red. A sexy earthy perfume makes for a deep, mellow nose; smells thick! Then lush and deep on the palate, but with surprising energy and shape to the highly complex flavors of cherry, clove, espresso, dried flowers, licorice pastille, underbrush and minerals. Wonderfully plush and voluminous without any excess weight. The penetrating finish is gripping and very long. Superb, terroir-driven grand cru with a long future ahead of it.” ST

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $210

Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2014 750ML ($219.95) Was $189, Now $169
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “This is such a perfumed wine with deceptively soft tannins and great fruit. The acidity is classic for the vintage, with raspberries and intense freshness at the end. It has a fine line of tannins and a life that will go far.”
John Gilman 95 points “The 2014 Clos des Lambrays is a great wine in the making. The stunning bouquet delivers a pure and sappy constellation of sweet dark berries, black cherries, woodsmoke, currant leaf, dark chocolate, a very complex base of soil, fresh herbs and just a whisper of new wood. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and rock solid at the core, with great mineral drive, refined tannins and impeccable focus and balance on the long, ripely tannic and seamless finish. 2025-2075. (Nov/Dec 2015)”
Burghound 94 points “A notably spicy, fresh, cool and floral nose displays mostly red berry fruit scents that are trimmed in discreet earth notes. There is excellent cut and definition to the nicely rich and attractively textured flavors that culminate in a presently austere finale though I doubt that austerity will persist. This is a relatively fine and forward vintage for Clos des Lambrays and one that should be approachable after only 7 to 8 years of bottle age. In a word, marvelous.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $217

Domaine des Lambrays Les Folatieres, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru 2013 750ML ($149.95) Was $119, Now $99 special
Burghound 91 points “As is often the case immediately after wines have been bottled there is a trace of reduction so I would suggest decanting this if the wine is less than 2 years of age. By contrast there is lovely freshness and vibrancy present on the very rich and round medium weight flavors that culminate in a clean, saline and well-balanced finish. This should be accessible young but reward 5 to 7 years or so of aging.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

January Sale Ends Tomorrow Night!

Don’t forget! January ends soon, and with it the January Clearance Sale! You have until the clock strikes February (11:59pm PST) to take advantage of the January Clearance Sale pricing—after that these wines are back to their (still low) pricing.  We’ve got a few of our favorites here, but check out the end of the newsletter for the full list!

Domaine de la Janasse Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012 750ML ($119.95) Was $89, Now $69 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “Up in the top handful of wines in the vintage (which should come as no surprise to anyone who follows this estate), the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, rich and layered Châteauneuf that doesn’t put a foot wrong. Made from 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre and the rest Syrah, it offers blockbuster notes of blackberry, liquid-violets, spice and serious minerality to go with awesome mid-palate depth and layers of sweet tannin. Like the Cuvee Chaupin, it will be better in another handful of years and thrill through 2027”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Charles Smith K Vintners ‘Ovide’ Jack’s Vineyard Cabernet – Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $47 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “A new Walla Walla release, the 2014 Ovide Jack’s Vineyard is a gorgeous black fruit, black olive, dried herbs and chocolate layered beauty that has ultra-fine tannin, a seamless profile and a great finish. It has more elegance and purity than the Roma release, and is a beauty!”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today

Felsina Berardenga Rancia, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2012 750ML ($49.95) Was $39, Now $36, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94+ points “A ripe, powerful wine, the 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia offers a level of finesse that balances some of the more overt intensity of the year. Dark cherry, plum, spice, tobacco, menthol and licorice add shades of nuance as this beautifully delineated Rancia opens up in the glass. Because of its mid-weight structure, I expect the 2012 will give up its charms relatively early by Rancia standards, which means around age 15-20. The 2012 is not an obvious or explosive Rancia, rather is a wine built on compelling overall harmony.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Pian dell’Orino ‘Vigneti del Versante’, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($119.95) Was $89, Now $69, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points “This wine is now identified by a single vineyard designation but was once the estate’s annata Brunello. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Vigneti del Versante (with vines planted in 1997) shows some signs of the vintage heat, but really only in terms of textural roundness and general softness. The bouquet sings loud and clear with red fruit aromas of cherry and blackberry. The fruit is nicely balanced by those elegant, ethereal notes of blue flower, balsam herb, cola and crushed pine nut that are characteristic of aged Sangiovese.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $84
Azienda Agricola La Torre Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2012 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49, 32 bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata – Vinous 93+ points
“Bright red-ruby. Nicely ripe aromas of raspberry, red cherry syrup, minerals and rose petal are concentrated but fresh. Then juicy, intense and sharply delineated, with lovely lift to the very pure flavors of redberries, minerals and licorice. Knockout, silky-sweet wine that is at once ripe and vibrant, finishing with lovely aromatic persistence and noteworthy minerality. One of the best young La Torre Brunellos I remember; already irresistible now, but will repay cellaring.”
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) note “fermented in stainless steel for three weeks. It is then racked into large barrels (“botte” made by Gargalotto and of Slavonian origin) and left to age in cask for forty-two months. A small part of the wine (approximately 17%) destined for Brunello status spends 12 months in small barrel. The wine for the Brunello is selected from the oldest vines and the most well-positioned vineyards.”
This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!

Don’t forget to check out the end of the newsletter for a list of all the January Clearance Sale wine!

New (100 Point) Rhone Reviews

From Jeb Dunnuck

Jeb Dunnuck has been a go-to source for quality opinions on the Rhone for some time now, founding the Rhone report before becoming Robert Parker’s heir in the region for the Wine Advocate.  His palate is honed for the Rhone, so to speak. When we saw some of his new reviews, we got excited—these are strong endorsements for some of our favorite wines.

Arriving ETA February:

Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle, Rhone 2015 750ML ($319.95) $236 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “Lastly, and a legendary wine in the making, the 2015 Hermitage La Chapelle is reminiscent of the 1990 with its full-bodied, opulently, sexy, yet concentrated style. Offering sensational notes of blackcurrants, smoked herbs, beef blood, and chocolate, it’s a huge yet elegant wine that has masses of sweet tannin, incredible purity and finesse, and a killer finish. It’s the finest wine from this estate in close to 30 years. Hats off to Caroline Fray and Jacques Desvernois!”
Wine Advocate 97-100 points “A wine that might surpass the 2009 and 2010 is the 2015 Hermitage La Chapelle, which has more than a passing resemblance to the 1990. This inky black/blue-colored Hermitage offers an off-the-charts array of blackberries, blueberries, crushed rocks, wood smoke and charred meats. Thick, unctuous, full-bodied and incredibly layered, with sweet tannin, it’s a tour de force that’s going to have three to four decades of longevity.”
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 96-98 points “(20% new oak): Dark purple. Explosive, mineral-accented scents of ripe dark berries, licorice, incense, vanilla and exotic spices, with a smoky nuance in the background. Deeply concentrated yet strikingly lively and precise on the palate, offering intense, finely detailed black and blue fruit, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors that are complemented by hints of olive, allspice and star anise. Offers an uncanny blend of richness and finesse, with no rough edges. Shows remarkable energy and thrust on the endless finish which features supple tannins that add shape and gentle grip. This is one of the finest examples of young La Chapelle that I have ever tasted from barrel, and that includes the legendary 1989, 1990 and 1991 trio. If you love northern Rhône wines this one really shouldn’t be missed.”

Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards, Rhone 2015 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “The top cuvée from Delas is the 2015 Hermitage Les Bessards, and it’s always 100% Syrah from the steep, broken granite soils of the Bessards lieu-dit. Aged 18 months in 30% new barrels, its purple/plum color is followed by a huge nose of blackcurrants, graphite, toasted spice, crushed rocks and saddle leather. Powerful, massively concentrated, and tannic, it has a broad, expansive, heavenly texture, a thick mid-palate (you could almost use a fork for this beauty), and a great finish. Despite the richness level, it stays balanced and graceful on the palate, and is never over the top or heavy. It’s a perfect Hermitage that will start to shine with 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for three decades or more. Bravo!”
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “The top cuvée is the 2015 Hermitage les Bessards, which comes from the middle to lower portion of the steep, granite hillside known as Bessards, unquestionably one of the best terroirs for Syrah in the world. Its inky purple color is followed by a full-bodied, rich, thrillingly concentrated red that has huge tannin, bright acidity and a solid mid-palate concentration. It still tastes like it just came from the press and will need to be forgotten for a decade. As normal, it’s completely destemmed and will see 18 months in 30% new oak.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
In Stock Now:

Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Au Fil du Temps, Rhone 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points
“Possibly the wine of the appellation and a true “wow” wine, the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage Au Fil Du Temps offers sensational notes of cassis, toasted spice, vanilla and blackberry jam. Full-bodied, concentrated and polished, with perfect balance, it’s a gorgeous, seamless beauty that ranks with the finest Crozes-Hermitage I’ve ever tasted. It should be capable of lasting for 10-15 years.”
Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The top cuvée of the estate (which isn’t made in every vintage) is the 2015 Crozes Hermitage Au Fil Du Temps, which is 100% Syrah from the Les Saviaux lieu-dit (near the village of Glun), raised in once-used demi-muids. Like all the cuvées here, it sports an inky purple/opaque color and has a sensational bouquet of blueberry, strawberry, black cherry, graphite and smoked herbs. Full-bodied, rounded, seamless and impeccably balanced, it’s hands down one of the most impressive Crozes out there.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Les Trois Chenes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($31.95) $24 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The 2015 Crozes-Hermitage Les Trois Chênes is the entry-level wine from Darnaud, but man, what a wine! Cassis, toasted spice, licorice and hints of violets flow to a ripe, pure, polished Crozes-Hermitage that has sweet tannin, a pure texture, and a great finish. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Lovely, with warm, lush layers of fig, boysenberry and blackberry confiture coursing through, inlaid with a bolt of graphite and echoing warm fruitcake and licorice details through the finish. Best from 2018 through 2025. ”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Paul Jaboulet Aine Domaine de Thalabert Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone 2015 750ML ($47.95) $39 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck-Rhone Report 97 points
“The finest vintage to date, better even than the stellar 2010, the 2015 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert is a gorgeous, deep, layered, and incredibly satisfying Crozes. Blackcurrants, olive tapenade, truffles and earthy notes all emerge from this full-bodied, gorgeously textured and seamless 2015. With fine tannin and no hard edge, it can be drunk today or cellaring for 15-20 years.”
Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2015 reds from the Northern Rhône are truly spectacular and this vintage rivals or surpasses the 2010s and 2009s. Brought up in a mix of tronconique tanks and Burgundy barrels (20% being new), the 2015 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert is a big, serious, full-bodied effort that’s reminiscent of a slightly softer version of the 2010. Scorched earth, black fruits, cassis, black olive and a hint of graphite all emerge from this sensational Crozes Hermitage. You’ll need to forget bottles for 4-5 years, but it will have over two decades of longevity.”
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92-94 points “(made from vines that range from 40 to 60 years old; raised for a year in oak barrels, 20 percent of them new) Youthful violet. Powerful mineral- and spice-accented blue fruit liqueur and violet aromas are complemented by suggestions of licorice and white pepper. Concentrated and expansive on the palate, offering intense blueberry, cherry and spicecake flavors and an exotic Indian spice quality that builds on the back half. Shows excellent clarity and lift on the finish, which is framed by velvety, harmonious tannins that fold smoothly into the juicy dark fruit.”
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German Auction Wines:

In-Depth Reviews

From Mosel Fine Wines

Since 1910, the German association of top wine estates (VDP) has hosted wine auctions. These are not your typical wine auctions; instead they offer German wine fans and collectors a unique opportunity to experience wines that will not make it to the regular market. Each estate can submit their best wines from the best vintages (all strictly unchaptalized) exclusively to the auction directly from their cellars.

We’re thrilled to offer our foray into the exciting world of German auction wines. These are highly exclusive wines only available to auction winners and bids must be placed by authorized wine brokers. Each wine was hand-selected by our German wine insider.

Due to the highly limited amount of production from many of these estates and the exclusivity of the auction, it’s rare to find reviews for many bottlings (let alone the wines themselves!).  We’re fortunate to have the folks at Mosel Fine Wines on our side – and doing the all the hard work! You can browse the full reviews below:

Weingut Bastgen Kestener Paulinshofberg Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 9 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points
“This offers a rather ripe nose of grapefruit, pineapple, Limoncello, bergamot, herbs, almond and spices. The wine is nicely made and fruity on the palate and leaves a clean and fresh feel in the zesty but powerful finish. This is nicely made in a very enjoyable style! 2023-2035”

Carl Loewen Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2011 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 11 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points
“This is a special selection of partially botrytis affected berries which is only being commercialized now, via the 2016 Auction. The wine offers a rather ripe nose of pear, herbs and spices. The wine is nicely ripe but also delicately playful on the palate, leaving one with a fleeting feel of almond, pear and slate in the long, rich yet comparatively airy finish. This is nicely made with good complexity and nice presence. Now-2026”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Weingut Reinhold Franzen Bremmer Calmont Riesling Kabinett 2015 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 9 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points
“This beautiful Kabinett offers a rather reduced but elegantly floral nose of white pear, herbs and spices. The wine proves gorgeously well balanced on the palate, where some firm grip brings structure and the mineral side finesse to the experience. The finish is incredibly long and airy. This proves a gorgeous wine made in an irresistibly off-dry (rather than full fruity) style! 2020-2030+”

Kees-Kieren Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spatlese**, Mosel 2015 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 5 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points
“This offers a rather gorgeous nose of fresh white minerals, passion fruit, pineapple and a touch of honey. The wine is delicately powerful and rich on the palate and leaves a gorgeously long feel of passion fruit and minerals. Zesty acidity comes through in the after-taste and cleanses the palate. 2025-2040”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Weingut Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese*, Mosel 2015 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 15 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points
“This special bottling of Spätlese * (there is also one offered via regular channels) offers a very elegant and flowery nose of white peach, herbs and spices. The wine is gorgeously fruity and loaded with herbs on the palate. It is lively, fresh and elegant and gradually gains in presence and richness. The finish is however light, airy and incredibly long. What a beautiful wine! 2025-2040”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Meulenhof Erdener Pralat Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 34 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 89+ points
“This offers a slightly sharp nose of brown sugar, mirabelle, herbs and spices. The wine is on the sweet and delicately rich side on the palate, where minerals, delicate yellow fruits and apricot come through. The finish is sweet and more of Auslese presence. This needs time to develop its full potential. We would not be surprised if this exceeds our initial expectations. 2025-2040”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Weingut Johann Peter Reinert Wiltinger Klosterberg Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 10 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 89+ points
“The bright-white colored wine offers a piquant nose of lime, white minerals, aniseed seeds and herbs. The wine is fruity and focused on the palate and the finish is rather sharp. This slender expression of Spätlese will need time to develop harmony and blossom aromatically. 2025-2040”
This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Joh. Bapt. Schafer Burg Layer Schlossberg Riesling Spatlese, Nahe 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 35 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points
“Made from a 25-year-old parcel and harvested at 94° Oechsle, this delivers a nice set of fruity and juicy aromatics including yellow peach, quince star anise, rose water and grapefruit juice. The wine starts off on the light side on the palate but creamy fruits paired with rich Auslese GK styled sweetness quickly take over before some pear, pineapple and peach lead the way to a juicy and creamy long finish. This is a nicely creamy and clean Auslese GK styled Riesling. 2022-2035”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Dr. Crusius Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Beerenauslese Goldkapsel, Nahe 2015 375ML ($179.95) $159 special, 10 half-bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 98 points
“Harvested at a full-on 153° Oechsle (i.e. sugar levels technically qualifying for TBA), this auction BA starts off on the primary and discreet side at first before rapidly exhibiting huge finesse, complexity and depth with honeyed notes of apricot, pineapple, mango, vanilla cream and other exotic fruits. The botrytis gives the wine a great exotic, luscious and unctuous texture with plenty of juice, creamy viscosity and smoothness on the palate. The wine is, of course, still very sweet at this stage (it has no less than 229 g/l of residual sugar), but the interplay with some gorgeously playful acidity makes for a superbly clean and focused feel in the long finish. The only drawback of this little masterpiece of a BA is that it is still a good decade away from maturity. Patience is required! 2030-2085.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
We have an incredible selection of German Rieslings in stock now with 263 different wines to choose from! Visit the web store to see the complete list or click here!

Gloria For Valentine’s Day

What could be more romantic than Bordeaux?  Fine, we do also have all the Champagne you could want, but if you’re thinking about lamb for V-day (or anytime thereafter) we’ve got a new tranche of 2014 Gloria arriving, just in time.

Arriving ETA February 14th:

Chateau Gloria, Saint-Julien2014 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2014 Gloria is a bold, powerful wine. Dark cherry, smoke, licorice, tobacco and underbrush effortlessly fill out its frame. Ample and richly textured, the 2014 offers remarkable depth, power and pure pedigree. Pomegranate, blood orange and iron add further complexity on the finish. This is a superb showing. Tasted two times.”

January Sales Ending Soon

Don’t forget, these prices expire at midnight tomorrow night!  Here’s a list of what you might be missing out on:

Thank you for reading!