In Today’s Newsletter:
Rhône Treasures from Château Pesquie
Featured New Arrivals
Torbreck & Huet
New Wines from Albert Mann & Schoffit
Henri Prudhon’s (Affordable) Cult Burgundy
Snowden: Napa Valley’s Best Kept Secret
Collector’s Corner #1
2011 Grand Crus from Remoissenet
Collector’s Corner #2
Rhône Treasures from Château Pesquie
Château Pesquie is one of the hidden gems of the greater Rhône. Based in Ventoux, the estate is best known for its excellent value bottling Terrasses, but we would like to highlight their higher end wines, Artemia and Ascensio. These are absolutely stunning (and deals compared to nearby Châteauneuf). They have depth, complexity and power to spare, with a balance and earthiness that’s unique to Pesque. 2016 looks like one of the most successful vintages ever for the estate, and 2017 is a worthy follow up. If you’ve given up hope of finding value at the higher end of Rhône wine, give these bottles a try. We suspect that your jaded outlook will evaporate as quickly as the wines themselves.
In Stock Now:
Château Pesquie Ventoux Artemia, Rhône 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-6 Château Pesquie Ventoux Artemia, Rhône 2016 750ML ($299.95) $219 special
Decanter-World Wine Awards 97 points “This is stacked with the black fruits of the region, plus violets, thyme, lavender, dried herbs and tannins that are ripe and of the appropriate proportion. Still very youthful and will flourish with time in bottle. Modern and very classy indeed. Genius wine, very long and intense, its purity magnificent.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “Made from equal parts Syrah and Grenache, the 2016 Ventoux Cuvee Artemia is another terrific vintage for this cuvee. Still young, backward and unevolved, it has tons of potential in its blue fruits, graphite, crushed rock and violet-tinged aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated, with terrific purity of fruit, and fine, building tannin, it needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for a decade or more.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “A 50-50 blend of Grenache and Syrah, aged in 50% new oak, the 2016 Ventoux Artemia is a tremendous effort. It combines blueberries and stone fruit with cedary notes and then underscores those attractive aromas and flavors with a full-bodied, velvety texture and a bright, crisp finish. Lovely stuff.”
Château Pesquie Ventoux Artemia, Rhône 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “A blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache that saw roughly 20% stems and a year in 50% new, larger format oak, the 2017 Artemia has a Côte Brune-like perfume of dark fruits, smoked meats, black olives, and chocolate. Full-bodied, smoky, meaty, and powerful, it’s another rock star of a Syrah from the Chaudière family that has incredible character.”
Wine Advocate 92-94 points “A tank sample of the 2017 Ventoux Artemia looked promising, although a bit different in character from previous vintages. It’s 75% Syrah and only 25% Grenache, with peppery, cool-climate Syrah notes, blueberryish fruit, ample weight and a clean, crisp, lively finish.”
Château Pesquie Ventoux Ascensio, Rhône 2016 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “Mostly Grenache (5% Syrah) made with 30% stems, brought up all in concrete, the 2016 Ventoux Ascensio sports an inky purple color as well as sensational notes of blackberries, plums, licorice, violets, and crushed rocks. It’s deep, full-bodied, pure, and primordial, with ample tannin and a great finish. It needs 2-3 years of bottle age but is blockbuster stuff.”
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Featured New Arrivals
Torbreck & Huet
Torbreck is one of the truly iconic Australian wineries. They produce wines at every price-point, but in their native land Torbreck is a legendary name thanks to their “RunRig” Shiraz—a towering bottling that sits with Penfold’s Grange and Henschke’s Hill of Grace as one of the country’s best wines. The 2015 is one of the best iterations yet, combining the raw power of Barossa with enough polish to take the wine into transcendent realms. Our limited allocation of the 2015 vintage has just arrived, and just like the 2016, likely won’t last long.
New Arrival, In Stock Now:
Torbreck RunRig Shiraz – Viognier, Barossa Valley 2015 750ML ($199.95) $166 special
Wine Advocate 98 points “Who would’ve thought that in the context of Barossa Shiraz, the 2015 RunRig would seem like a relative bargain? It’s certainly much less expensive than Grange or Hill of Grace will be when they’re released. It’s also more approachable in its youth, with enormously appealing aromas of grilled fruit, savory complexities and rich, velvety tannins. Of course, it’s full-bodied and concentrated, with the stuffing to age for up to a couple of decades, and it has a long, licorice-tinged finish. Winemaker Ian Hongell, who joined Torbreck from Peter Lehmann, may not have made this wine, but he deserves a lot of credit for the blending and finishing of this tour de force.”
Also in Stock Now from Torbreck:
Torbreck Runrig Shiraz – Viognier, Barossa Valley 2016 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 100 points “A blend of 98% Shiraz and 2% Viognier made just prior to bottling, the 2016 RunRig is a complete masterpiece. It kicks off with elegant notes of pencil shavings accenting blueberries and blackberries on the nose, then shows incredible, palate-staining intensity of fruit in the mouth. It’s full-bodied, plush and velvety without being unstructured and manages to be fruit-forward yet savory on the long-lasting finish, where it picks up hints of mocha and black olives. This should be drinkable with pleasure throughout its entire two-decade life (it may live longer from cold cellars or in larger formats), but if I were lucky enough to have a bottle or two, I’d try the first one about 10 years out.”
Huet makes some of the most undervalued great wine in the world. Take any metric you’d use to adjudicate greatness and Huet’s Vouvray is on the list, at prices far below almost anything else in their class. The estate has long been ahead of its time. This is one of France’s pioneers in biodynamic viticulture. Today, horses still plough between the rows, and in the winery the recipe remains relatively simple. Fermentation takes place half in stainless steel, half in old oak, without malolactic fermentation. After only six months, the wines are bottled and then laid to age in a cellar dug from tuffeau rock, no air conditioning required. From here the Huet work is done: the rest is up to nature, and what eventually tastes like divine intervention.
New Arrivals, In Stock Now:
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Demi-Sec, Loire 2019 750ML ($59.95) $45 special
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2019 Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec is clear, fresh, deep and complex yet pure, fine, elegant and perfectly interwoven on the nose, where notes of crushed flint stones, limestones and concentrated citrus fruit aromas and even iodine notes are revealed. Very elegant and refined on the palate, this is a round, juicy, seductively fruity yet firmly structured and piquant Le Mont whose sweetness is captured by fine tannins and a sustainably dense, vital and salty finish. The 2019 Demi-Sec is a great Chenin and the finer Le Mont of the two, and it is doubtlessly a long-distance runner that should be cellared for at least a decade even though it’s hard to resist today. Impressive! 13.5% alcohol. 17,500 bottles made. Tasted in July 2020.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 94 points “The 2019 Demi-Sec Le Mont is a gorgeous expression of this site. In the Demi-Sec style, Le Mont naturally gains in volume and resonance, but it also has much more pronounced earthy, mineral inflections. Apricot, baked pear, marzipan, chamomile and lemon confit build into the bright, creamy finish. The 2019 is such a classy wine.”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Sec, Loire 2019 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 94+ points “Again, Huet’s 2019 Vouvray Le Mont Sec reflects the unique, south-facing nine-hectare vineyard with its pebbly flint (silex) and green clay soils wonderfully! Pure, fresh and flinty on the deep, intense yet also floral and herbal nose that represents a concentrated and firm white stone fruit aroma with lemon and grapefruit notes as well as fennel, anise and cumin hints. The bouquet gets darker and stonier with a lot of aeration (during days, to be honest). The leitmotif, though, remains the characteristic mix of aromatic fruit aromas with flint stone and volcanic basalt tones that, at this early stage and poured straight from the bottle, remind me of the Rieslings from Forst, Pfalz (Germany). In any case, this is like perfume on rocky stones! On the palate, Le Mont Sec is a rich, lush and round, very concentrated yet silky textured, elegant, vital and tightly structured 2019 with a powerful, intense and long finish with lingering salinity intertwined with tight, perhaps slightly dry tannins. I recommend cellaring this round yet tight and concentrated Chenin for a decade and then drinking it slowly over many years and with, hopefully, even better integrated tannins. 13.5% alcohol. 30,000 bottles made. Tasted in July 2020.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 94 points “The 2019 Sec Le Mont is precise and beautifully cut. A wine of laser-like focus, Le Mont dazzles with its purity. Citrus peel and floral accents are nicely lifted, but it is the wine’s energy that impresses most. Le Mont is a subtle wine that speaks softly, but what it has to say is priceless.”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Sec, Loire 2019 750M ($49.95) $39 special
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2019 Vouvray Clos du Bourg Sec offers a deep, rich yet pure and refined, intensely aromatic, darker-toned nose with aromas of fully ripe stone and tropical fruit intertwined with earthy, chalky and yeasty notes that make up for further finesse and complexity. Full-bodied, round and fruity on the palate, this is a deep, intense, juicy, silky-textured yet tight, chalky, very complex, sustainably structured and persistently salty-mineral Chenin from old vines that give extra concentration as well as a spectacularly expressive character. This is a great, age-worthy Vouvray with fine tannins and lingering salty tension and finesse. What a finish! The 2019 needs a while to gain finesse and even more complexity. The wine served from the bottle that I tasted nine days before was incredibly amazing! The 2019 is a duty for all Chenin aficionados! 13.5% alcohol. 30,000 bottles made. Tasted in July 2020.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 95 points “The 2019 Sec Clos du Bourg is a wine of stature and vertical build. There is real gravitas to the orchard fruit, spice and earthy flavors. Tasted blind, Clos du Bourg might be confused with a red wine such is its feeling of volume and structure. Far from an easygoing Vouvray, Clos du Bourg is a very serious wine. I loved it. In a word: marvelous. In three words: don’t miss it.”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ Sec, Loire 2019 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 95 points “The deep brown clay soils of the Haut-Lieu plateau provide the typical fruitiness and freshness wonderfully in Huet’s 2019 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Sec. Ripe pear, tangerine and orange fruits with notes of lemon grass and green pimientos intertwined with very fine chalky and later tobacco notes give a remarkably fine, elegant and harmonious, subtly complex and simply gorgeous bouquet with floral (lime blossom!) and yeasty aromas that are immediately attractive. Delicate and linear on the palate, this is a pure, fresh, bone-dry, lean and textured, highly refined and perfectly interwoven Chenin with persistent purity, finesse, salty-mineral tension and very fine tannins. Highly finessed and so pure and vivacious! This is a chalky picture-book Haut-Lieu that can age for many years, even though it is already dangerously seductive! There was no dry Le Haut-Lieu produced in 2018, but the 2019 is possibly the finest, most delicate and elegant I’ve had in recent years, at least at this early stage. A terrific and buoyant Vouvray that any Chenin lover should try—or, better yet, cellar! 13% alcohol. 80,000 bottles made. Tasted in July 2020.”
Antonio Galloni – Vinous 92 points “The 2019 Sec Le Haut-Lieu is classy, polished and simply impeccable. Soft, silky contours wrap around a core of peach and lemon confit fruit. The first impression is all about texture. White flowers, pear and white pepper are some of the nuances that emerge over time, adding complexity, while clean, minerally notes grace the exquisite finish.”
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New Wines from Albert Mann & Schoffit
Albert Mann makes some of the best, least hyped wines out of Alsace. In Europe, you spot their wines in tons of Michelin-starred establishments, but here in the USA they tend to fly under the radar. That’s a shame, as they’re some of the most classically built, best-value wines to come out of Alsace. As such, we’re thrilled to receive three of their delicious Pinot Gris bottlings this week.
As is the case with all classically made Alsatian Pinot Gris, these are as distinct from cheap, tasteless Pinot Grigio as can be imagined. Concentrated, intense, and structured, these are stunning wines in their youth, and built to age gracefully. Albert Mann’s wines always seem to disappear quickly, so if you love Alsatian whites, don’t delay.
Pre-Arrivals, ETA Friday, October 30th:
Albert Mann Pinot Gris Furstentum, Alsace Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($41.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2017 Pinot Gris Grand Cru Furstentum is beautifully clear and fresh on the nose, provided with lots of fresh pineapple and tangerine notes. From 25-year-old vines and harvested on September 19, this rich, intense and powerful Pinot Gris is concentrated, fleshy but firmly structured almost like a red Pinot. Very expressive and with a salivating finish. Bottled with 13.5% alcohol and 17 grams of residual sugar. Tasted October 2018.”
Albert Mann Pinot Gris Hengst, Alsace Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 96 points “Harvested on September 19, the 2017 Pinot Gris Grand Cru Hengst offers generous and open (tropical) fruit with lots of floral aromas and great elegance. On the palate, this is a generous, dense, persistently salty and finely tannic Pinot with a great and lively finish. From an average of 30-year-old vines on limestone-sandstone soils, this is “Madame Hengst,” one of the most female Hengst grands crus I have tasted. It is lush and salty on the finish, even with some exotic Gewurtz flavors, always refined and very, very elegant. Bottled with 14% alcohol plus 22 grams of residual sugar, so there is a lot to swallow here. Tasted at the domaine in October 2018.”
Albert Mann Pinot Gris Rosenberg, Alsace 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points “From silty clay and limestone soils, the 2017 Pinot Gris Rosenberg is perfectly clear, ripe and elegant on the nose, with ripe mirabelle but also stunning flinty-mineral notes. On the palate, this is a rich, tightly structured, very elegant and salty Pinot with grip and tension. Stunningly firm and fresh. Tasted at the domaine in October 2018.”
In Alsace, the Schoffit name is synonymous with quality. Bernard Schoffit was one of the greatest champions of Rangen de Thann, which today is widely considered one of Alsace’s finest Grand Cru vineyards. Working with some the region’s oldest vines, and maintaining some of its lowest yields, every decision from vineyard to bottle is made with quality in mind. This of course reads like the standard boilerplate language used by every quality-minded producer in the world. However, the intensity, varietal transparency, concentration, and balance of Schoffit’s finished wines leave no doubt that these are not merely aspirational words. Whether you drink them young, or lay them down for decades (they are certainly capable of long aging), a profoundly rewarding experience awaits you.
Pre-Arrivals ETA Friday, October 30th:
Schoffit Riesling Sommerberg, Alsace Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Subtle lemon and lemon balm play on the nose of this wine. The palate is suffused with juiciness but underneath lies precision and the solidity of stone. The wine is concentrated, a wellspring of lemon and juicy apple with a dry, vivid, lemon-flavored finish. This Riesling has years ahead of it. Drink until 2045.”
Schoffit Riesling Rangen de Thann Clos Saint-Theobald, Alsace Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “The spicy, evocative scent of Seville orange peel entices from the first sniff. The palate is dry, restrained and sylph-like but with time reveals tangerine and lemon zest. This is a feast, a celebration of citrus flavors, unfolding and shimmering at every moment. This is dry but faceted, taut but playful. Irresistible now but with a brilliant, aromatic and totally seductive future ahead. Drink 2016–2030.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2014 Riesling Grand Cru Rangen de Thann is flat out gorgeous and reveals an exotic, perfumed bouquet of lychee, citrus rind, peach and tangerine peel. Beautifully textured, with an incredible sweetness of fruit, as well as a lengthy, clean finish, enjoy this layered, impossible to resist Riesling anytime over the coming decade or more.”
Also in Stock Now from Alsace:
Domaine Weinbach Gewurztraminer Furstentum, Alsace Grand Cru 2018 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris Clos des Capucins, Alsace 2018 750ML ($41.95) $36 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Agathe Bursin Gewurztraminer Zinnkoepfle Vendanges Tardives, Alsace Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Ian D’agata – Vinous 93 points “Luminous straw-yellow. Truly lovely floral lift complements grapefruit and kumquat notes on the perfumed nose. Boasts a strong mineral underpinning to its white stone and tropical fruit flavors, complicated by hints of sweet spices. Another very beautiful wine from Agathe Bursin in 2016. All the grapes at VT and SGN levels of sweetness were picked on November 9, 10, and 12. This boasts 4 g/L total acidity and 73 g/L, so though certainly a sweet wine, it is not a thick, super-sticky wine.”
Domaine Maurice Schoech Cotes d’Ammeschwihr, Alsace 2015 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 special
Importer note “Cotes d’Ammerschwihr: is harvested from hillside vineyards situated at the beginning of the valley that leads to the village of Les Trois Epis. This wine is primarily Pinot Blanc with a touch of Muscat … a fine, elegant wine of great value.”
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Henri Prudhon’s (Affordable) Cult Burgundy
Most of the time when the phrase “cult wine” is used we think of small production, pricy wines with lots of points. But every now and then we see a wine that breaks that mold. The wines from Domain Henri Prudhon are prime examples. They aren’t expensive, but they are hard for us to source because they occupy a unique place in the Burgundy world. For one, they’re incredibly fairly priced, which seems to be rarer than ever before in Burgundy. But most of all, they’re mineral driven wines, built on stone and not fruit.
The Prudhon wines seem to hold the essence of their stony terroirs inside of them. Both red and white have a minerality and precision that’s very old-school and completely captivating. We have a limited number of bottles remaining, and cannot recommend these wines highly enough for your fall drinking pleasure.
In Stock Now:
Henri Prudhon & Fils Bourgogne Les Charmeaux, Burgundy 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note “This cuvée is drawn from several parcels in Saint Aubin that comprise about 7/10 of a hectare. The vines are a mix of young (10 years) and old (40 years). Clay and limestone soils with a western exposure in the western most sector of the village of Saint Aubin. The wine is aged in small barrel for eight months but no new oak is used.”
Henri Prudhon & Fils Saint-Aubin Les Argillers, Cote de Beaune 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note ““Les Argillers” sits on the upper reaches of the slope of Saint-Aubin, just south of “Le Ban” and bordering the forest. Prudhon farms two hectares of 30-to-60-year-old vines here, and the wine they produce tends to be snappy, mineral-driven, and floral—less about Pinot Noir plushness and more about the freshness and drive of a cool-climate red wine.”
Burghound “A pretty and fresh mix of red and dark raspberry aromas reveals earth and soft spice nuances. There is better volume to the sappy, round and succulent middle weight flavors that possess a bit more overall depth and length as well as slightly more supporting structure.”
Henri Prudhon & Fils Les Frionnes, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note “The Prudhons own a solid hectare of vines between 30 and 60 years of age in this premier cru that lies just to the north of “Les Perrieres.” In keeping with the Prudhon house style, “Frionnes” emphasizes the freshness and raciness of Saint-Aubin—there is virtually no new oak used in its elevage, and there’s a certain restraint and brightness to the fruit that feels self-assured and very terroir-loyal.”
Burghound “A spicy and again attractively fresh nose offers up notes of red currant, black raspberry and a hint of violet. The mouth feel of the medium-bodied flavors is also sappy and round with reasonably good vibrancy to the naturally sweet finale. This should be enjoyable young if that’s your preference.”
Henri Prudhon & Fils Sur Gamay, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Burghound 90 points “A nicely complex combination offers up notes of apple and pear compote that is laced with hints of grapefruit and spiced tea. The middle weight flavors possess even better mid-palate concentration if not the same minerality or complexity on the fleshy, very dry and focused finale.”
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note “As the name implies, this parcel of approximately ¾ of an hectare sits on a hillside overlooking the neighboring hamlet of Gamay (directly east of Saint Aubin and a neighbor to Puligny). The vineyard is a mix of 20 year old and 60 year old vines. The soils are classic clay and limestone and the vineyards face southwest. As with the other 1er Cru whites, this wine ages in barrel (20% new oak) for 12 months before bottling. The “Sur Gamay” yields a complex wine that often requires several years to express its full character marked by notes of honey and minerals.”
Henri Prudhon & Fils Les Rouges Gorges, Saint-Aubin Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($41.95) $36 special
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note “his wine is produced from two separate parcels: one on a hillside above the hamlet of Gamay and the other from a parcel between Saint Aubin and Chassagne Montrachet. The average age of the vines is 50 years (as of 2011). A classic wine of this sector with compelling notes of animal and wild berries. The elevage is about 18 months before bottling; again, very little new oak is used.”
Burghound 87-90 points “Here the expressive nose is spicier still with its layered array of various red berries, soft earth and pretty floral nuances. There is a bit more volume to the slightly richer, seductive and caressing medium weight flavors that exude a subtle minerality onto the mildly austere and rustic finale. This could use a few years to round out.”
Pre-Arrivals, ETA Friday, October 30th:
Snowden Vineyards ‘Brothers Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers Vineyard is gorgeous. In this vintage, the Brothers has a bit more tannin and overall structure than normal, but in 2017 a power outage resulted in the wine staying in tank for an extra ten days. In the end, that looks to have been a help, as the 2017 offers a terrific combination of fruit density and structure, within the mid-weight style of the year at Snowden. This is a beguiling wine that may very well turn out to be a surprise in time. Super classic, old-school, medium-bodied wine with good depth and resonance alongside notes of black cherry, leather, tobacco, licorice and gravel.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Succulent and open in feel, with friendly plum and raspberry puree notes set on a silky structure, backed by light rooibos tea and anise hints. A stylish Cabernet, offering an alluring mouthfeel. Drink now through 2029. 636 cases made.”
Snowden Vineyards Lost Vineyard Merlot, Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 90-92 points “The 2018 Merlot Lost Vineyard is deep, rich and flavorful, with super-expressive savory, earthy, cedary notes from the 5% Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. The 2018 is wonderfully deep and resonant, yet very much in the Snowden style. This is a very nice wine.”
In Stock Now:
Snowden Vineyards ‘Brothers Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
#91 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2019
Antonio Galloni 96+ points “The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Brothers is the best wine I have tasted from Diana Snowden-Seysses. Rich, explosive and savory, the 2016 dazzles with intensity in all of its dimensions. Graphite, smoke, savory herbs and spice notes wrap around a core of dark fruit in a vertical, towering Cabernet Sauvignon that captures all the vintage has to offer.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Offers a tasty core of plum and blackberry fruit, backed by lively anise and apple wood notes. Restrained overall, with an alluring freshness and a subtle charcoal hint lingering deftly at the end. Drink now through 2032. 639 cases made.”
Snowden Vineyards The Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Snowden’s 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch is gorgeous. Dark, powerful and beautifully structured, the 2016 Ranch is a huge overachiever. In 2016, the Ranch is a wine of real power, gravitas and character. Black cherry, plum, lavender and savory herbs all develop in the glass, but it is the wine’s persistence and overall balance that stands out in this deeply flavorful, classically built Cabernet from Snowden. Best of all, the 2016 is a superb wine for the money.”
James Suckling 92 points “Elderberries, blueberries, blackberries and hints of hazelnuts and walnuts. Medium to full body, focused acidity and a medium-chewy finish. Drink in 2022.”
Snowden Vineyards The Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($54.95) $41.90 special
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch is an attractive, mid-weight wine that shows the more gracious, understated side of the year. Floral and spice notes give the 2017 lovely aromatics to play off a core of sweet red berry fruit. This is a very pretty wine.”
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2011 Grand Crus from Remoissenet
At Remoissenet, for example, grapes are purchased according to quality rather than quantity -the four outstanding Grand Cru vineyards on offer below provide evidence of this fact. If only all negociants operated this way! Such a fruit-buying strategy paid off in the 2011 vintage, which resulted in a small crop of thick-skinned grapes. Accordingly, the wines have structure, yet do not need eons to reveal their fine Côte d’Or perfume and finesse. All four wines are drinking beautifully today, but are capable of aging magnificently for at least another decade. Remoissenet just keeps getting better and better, and these 2011s are proof.
In Stock Now:
Remoissenet Pere & Fils Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($279.95) $179 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “The 2011 Chapelle-Chambertin is not lacking in personality, that much is obvious. A savory, almost wild Burgundy, the 2011 Chapelle is laced with dried herbs, tobacco, black cherries and cured meats are some of the notes that blossom in the glass. It will be interesting to see where the 2011 goes; will it always remain a bit gamy, or will it find a bit more finesse in bottle?”
Remoissenet Pere & Fils Chambertin Clos-de-Bèze Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($349.95) $189 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2011 Chambertin Clos-de-Bèze Grand Cru is less flamboyant than the Charmes-Chambertin ‘11 tasted alongside. The fruit here is darker, a touch more tertiary but still very well-defined. The palate is medium-bodied with fine definition, a masculine Clos-de-Bèze that will need two or three more years in the cellar. Personally, I prefer the harmony and plushness of the Charmes-Chambertin, although this will repay bottle age thanks to its substance and structure. Drink 2018-2030.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2011 Chambertin Clos de Bèze isn’t ready to show all its cards just yet. This is a relatively delicate style for Bèze, with expressive floral notes that convey more finesse than power. The 2011 isn’t fully formed yet, but today my impression is that it will remain quite restrained in style.”
Remoissenet Pere & Fils Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($279.95) $189 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2011 Clos de Vougeot is dense, compact and structured. Firm, chalky tannins support a core of bright red berries, mint, wild flowers and minerals. The 2011 possesses gorgeous clarity and focus, with more than enough underlying minerality to drink well for a number if years.”
Remoissenet Pere & Fils Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2011 750ML ($279.95) $159 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2011 Ruchottes-Chambertin presents a classical expression of lifted, fragrant fruit to match its weightless personality. Today, the 2011 is incredibly expressive, with impeccable balance and a total sense of harmony that is hugely appealing.”
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Pre-Arrivals ETA Friday, October 30th:
Poderi Aldo Conterno Colonnello, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special, 12 bottles available
James Suckling 96 points “Very fine-grained with pretty berry, spice, roasted-nut and cedar aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied and chewy, yet polished and intense. Very, very long. Try after 2022.”
Wine Advocate 95+ points “The Poderi Aldo Conterno 2016 Barolo Bussia Colonnello shows dark fruit intensity, dried cherry, spice, licorice and tilled earth. The wine delivers its aromas in a direct and immediate manner, with menthol and balsam herb fitting into oaky aromas of sweet spice. For whatever reason, I notice the oak more in Colonnello, but this will relax with time. The wine will be ready to drink after the 10-year mark. Approximately 6,000 bottles were made.”
Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia Cicala, Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special, 6 bottles available
James Suckling 98 points “A really exotic red, showing burnt orange-peel to the dried-strawberry, chocolate-powder and light toasted-oak character. It’s full-bodied and chewy, yet ever so polished. A wild wine. Drink after 2022 and onwards.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “The Poderi Aldo Conterno 2016 Barolo Bussia Cicala offers a ripe fruit profile with layers of menthol and medicinal herb. The finish is beautiful, long and chalky, and you don’t get as much alcohol in the Cicala (compared to Romirasco). The fruit is dried and streamlined, and this wine does show good promise for aging. The tannins are beautiful, coating your teeth and palate with no bitter edge. About 6,000 bottles were made.”
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Poderi Aldo Conterno Bussia Cicala, Barolo DOCG 2009 750ML ($179.95) $119 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points “Aromas of fresh cherry, raspberry, licorice and spice fill the glass as this red unfolds. Offers dense tannins and bright acidity, lending definition to the cherry, strawberry, tobacco and spice flavors that persist through the long finish. Best from 2017 through 2030. 300 cases imported.”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “An aromatically beguiling wine, the 2009 Barolo Cicala is laced with dark plums, truffles, tar, incense and a host of other balsamic-infused aromas. Today, the fruit lies a bit in the background, while the wine’s aromatics and overall structure are much more in evidence. I imagine the 2009 will require at least a few more years in bottle to flesh out, but it is quite beautiful, even at this stage. There is a weightless tension in the 2009 that is remarkable.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2009 Barolo Cicala reveals the particular dynamic of the vintage with firmly astringent tannins and power coupled with a leaner, more streamlined mouthfeel. You can also feel some of the heat of the 2009 summer with upfront aromas of prune and cassis followed by a visibly darker appearance and sweet spice on the bouquet. The wine has the inherent complexity, structure and acidity for long aging, but it offers less pulp to sink your teeth into. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.”
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