Vinopolis Tuesday Newsletter 2-27-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

March Clearance – 2016 Huet Sec Special
July Balagny and the Best of 2015 Beaujolais
March Clearance Continued
The February Clearance Sale Ends Soon
The Northern Rhone By Appellation: Condrieu
Muscadaze: We’re Crazy For The Value
Trending: Hot Wines, Right Now
E Pira, Arriving Friday (On Sale Now)

The March Clearance Sale Marches On!

Featuring 2016 Huet Sec

(In All Shapes)

The March Clearance Sale rolls on, with a special treat today—all three 2016 single vineyard Sec’s from Domaine Huet.  These are some of the most profound dry white wines in the world and a bargain at full price.  At these clearance prices, well…these are no-brainers if we ever saw them.

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($47.95) Was $39, Now $36, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Bright and pure, with delightful pear, green almond and green plum notes laced with a fennel streak, ending with finely beaded acidity and a mineral echo through the finish. Very refined. Drink now through 2027.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($39.95) Was $33, Now $29, 32 bottles in stock now
Jancis Robinson 17/20
“Already has the lanolin character very prominently on the nose, then fairly light-bodied fruit with a ripe, tropical citrus character, plus a bit of peach. Perhaps a little brief, but has lovely typical Chenin funkiness. Drink 2017-2022.”
John Gilman 90 points “The 2016 Le Haut Lieu Sec from Domaine Huet is a pretty wine and much less powerful than the 2015 version. The wine offers up lovely youthful aromatics of quince, tart pineapple, chalky minerality, orange peel, lanolin, a whisper of the honeycomb to come with bottle age and a gently floral top note. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied and nicely detailed, with good, but not great depth at the core, sound acids and very nice length and grip on the nascently complex finish. I like the shape of this wine very much, which does not have quite as much in reserve as many recent vintages of this bottling, but which has plenty of complexity and really impeccable balance. It may well age like the 1988 vintage here. 2017-2045.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Sec, Loire 2016 750ML ($47.95) Was $39, Now $36, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Green plum and verbena notes lead the way for now, with a flash of quinine on the finish. This is juicy, but still a bit compact overall, with the core of ample pear, quince and ginger flavors in reserve. Just wait for everything to knit together and stretch out, as the purity and length are there. Best from 2018 through 2028.”

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

Julie Balagny

And the Best of 2015 Beaujolais

The 2015 vintage in Beaujolais is already going down as a modern day classic, drawing comparison to other legendary years like 1945.  The growing season was long, warm and nearly perfect–growers could pick grapes whenever they’d like.  The moderate warmth of the year meant that for a big and powerful vintage, the wines stayed incredibly vibrant, so the wines have 2009-like power but with more freshness.  Like 2009, the wines have approachable textures and lots of rich, plush fruit but have lots of hidden structure as well–these should be wines that will age for a long time.  Our selection of the 2015’s keeps changing as wines sell out and new ones are released. We’re excited to offer this selection from Julie Balagny. She’s an up and comer in Fleurie who began in the caves of Yvon Metras and holds a deep appreciation for the local traditions and the rewards & challenges of natural wine making.

In Stock Now:

Julie Balagny ‘Sex Appeal’ Fleurie 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 17 bottles in stock now
After heading the cellar of the Terre des Chardons, Julie Balagny, with the help of Yvon Metras and Michel Vigner, purchased her property in Fleurie and established a biodynamic domaine.
“She embraces the challenges of natural viticulture and natural vinification with an ardor one rarely finds among the region’s more established natural winemakers, whose seniority and generational experience have instilled a plodding realism that borders on pessimism at times… Where and when one manages to find Balagny’s work, it’s often extraordinary. The best bottles combine the electric acid-focus of Max Breton’s wines with some of the suppleness and depth of Métras’ Fleurie. If she hasn’t yet attained the consistency of either winemaker’s production, it only endows her bottles with an excitement all their own. Hers is long, rosey, iron-boned gamay, out there on the edge, like its maker.”–Aaron Ayscough, Not Drinking Poison in Paris

We offer 10 different 2015 Beaujolais wines in stock now and 45 from across all vintages. See four more highlights below or visit our web store for the complete list!

Domaine Jean-Claude Lapalu Brouilly Cuvee des Fous, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($41.95) $36 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 92-94 points
“The 2015 Brouilly Cuvée des Fous had been racked the day before my visit to the domaine and I tasted this directly from vat. It has an intense dark cherry, cassis and iodine-scented bouquet with gorgeous raspberry ripple scents lurking just underneath. The palate is very well balanced with fine, very lithe tannin. The acidity here is perfectly judged, as it sashays towards a composed and very pure and long finish. Wow – this is going to turn into one sensual and compelling Beaujolais.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Joseph Drouhin Domaine des Hospices de Belleville Fleurie, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 93 points
“This is very linear and refined with beautiful tannins and minerality. Medium-bodied, very pretty and focused. Tight and polished. Serious.”
Josh Raynolds 92 points “Vivid ruby. Very fresh and expressive on the nose, offering intense cherry and red berry liqueur qualities and a smoky mineral overtone. Shows very good freshness and thrust on the palate; vivacious raspberry and bitter cherry flavors become sweeter on the back half. Displays excellent clarity and delineation and closes long and sweet, featuring lingering red fruit character and harmonious tannins.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Anne-Sophie Dubois Fleurie Clepsydre, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($31.95) $28 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds 93 points
“Lurid ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red fruits, Indian spices, incense and smoky minerals. In a rich yet distinctly elegant style, offering concentrated, alluringly sweet raspberry and cherry liqueur, floral pastille and spicecake flavors that show excellent clarity and back-end thrust. Suave and seamless in texture, but possesses impressive structure thanks to a core of juicy acidity. The long, floral-dominated finish is shaped by supple tannins and shows serious tenacity.”
VinopolNote: Clepsydre is the French word for ‘water clock’ and denotes the most age-worthy of the wines that Dubois makes.  It still has her trademark elegance but with more richness and power than her other wines.  One to lay down or decant before opening, for sure.

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

Guy Breton Morgon Vieilles Vignes, Beaujolais 2015 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 21+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Guy Breton Morgon Vieilles Vignes, Beaujolais 2015 750 ($419.95)
$319 special (that’s only $26.58/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 94 points
“Limpid violet. A seductively perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red berries, Asian spices and potpourri, and subtle cola and licorice nuances emerge with aeration. Juicy and pure on the palate, offering intense raspberry, lavender pastille and spicecake flavors and a refreshingly bitter touch of blood orange. Delivers a serious payload of vibrant berry and spice character without excess weight, and finishes extremely long and nervy, displaying no rough edges and lingering florality.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

March Clearance Continued

We’ve also got these other great deals going for March—these are bottles not to miss if you like big reds, bold flavors and strong personalities.

Brovia Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2012 750ML ($51.95) Was $46, Now $39 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni
“Brovia’s 2012 Barolo is classy, polished and absolutely delicious. With a little bit of air, the 2012 can be enjoyed now, but it also has enough freshness and balance to drink well for at least a handful of years. I have seen Brovia’s straight Barolo age well, so I won’t be surprised if that turns out to be the case here as well. Floral and red stone fruit notes give the 2012 much of its freshness and mid-weight feel. This is an especially lifted, gracious Barolo for the vintage.”

Adriano Marco e Vittorio Basarin, Barbaresco DOCG 2014 750ML ($34.95) Was $29, Now $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Elegant, leading off with perfumed aromas of rose, cherry, strawberry and white pepper. The profile is sleek, with a solid base of acidity and tannins. Shows terrific length, evoking fruit and mineral on the aftertaste. Best from 2019 through 2033.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Vieilles Vignes, Rhone 2015 750ML ($37.95) Was $28, Now $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91-93 points
“Dark ruby. Aromas and flavors of ripe red and blue fruits pick up floral and peppery spice nuances as the wine opens up. Smooth and expansive on the palate, showing very good depth as well as energy and spicy back-end lift. The gently gripping, very persistent finish leaves behind hints of candied flowers and licorice.”

Passopisciaro Contrada C Chiappemacine, Sicily 2011 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $39 special, 5 bottles available
Wine Spectator 90 points
“An accessible version, with juicy acidity and refined tannins, this features a smoky minerality underscoring the subtle flavors of plum sauce, black licorice drop, bacon fat and black cherry coulis. Finely balanced and silky, presenting a lasting finish of ripe fruit and herb. Nerello Mascalese. Drink now through 2021. 240 cases made.”
Stephen Tanzer 89+ points “Medium red.  Musky raspberry, redcurrant, minerals, white flowers and a whiff of cough syrup on the nose.  Minerally, serious and tightly structured, with a restrained sweetness to the vibrant red fruit and herbal flavors.  The saline finish displays excellent length, serious tannins and a hint of orange peel.   The name refers to the Chiappemacine area of Etna; the vines here are 80 years old.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $64.99
Passopisciaro Contrada G Guardiola Rosso, Sicily 2011 750ML ($79.95) Was $69, Now $49 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points
“Fine-grained tannins impart a chewy character to the pure flavors of black raspberry and wild strawberry fruit, while mouthwatering acidity enlivens the hints of star anise, mocha and smoky mineral that echo on the creamy finish. Nerello Mascalese. Drink now through 2024. 250 cases made.”
Stephen Tanzer 90+ points “Good full, bright red.  High-toned aromas of red cherry, cough drop, sweet spices and almond paste, plus a whiff of alcohol.  Sweet and juicy, with superb penetration to the vibrant mineral and red cherry flavors.  Very long wine with an electric, firmly tannic finish and excellent grip, but this needs time to smooth out.  A note of marzipan that is typical of the Guardiola cru repeats at the back.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $79.99
Passopisciaro Contrada P Porcaria, Sicily 2011 750ML ($89.95) Was $79, Now $59 special, 4 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92+ points
“Good bright red.  Complex, highly perfumed scents of red cherry, raspberry, marzipan, iron, white flowers and peppery herbs.  Sweeter in the middle and more powerful than all the other cru bottlings from Passopisciaro in 2011, but with lively spicy lift.  Finishes ripe and long, with mouthcoating tannins, a hint of vanilla and repeating red cherry and berry notes.  A lovely wine, seemingly less austere than the other 2011s here.  The Porcaria cru area is my favorite, with its north-exposed 80-year-old vineyards, as the grapes in this section of Etna benefit from the longest, slowest ripening period and often give wines of mindblowing complexity.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “This minerally red shows a sense of finesse, seamlessly layering supple tannins, fresh acidity and pure flavors of strawberry, black raspberry, star anise and graphite, with hints of grilled herb and black olive tapenade. Features a firm, lasting finish. Drink now through 2027. 160 cases made.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $89.99
Passopisciaro Contrada R Rampante, Sicily 2011 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $39 special, 3 bottles available
Wine Spectator 90 points
“An elegant red, featuring refined tannins that nevertheless lend some grip to flavors of currant, tobacco, spice box and seared mushroom. Light-footed and fresh, with a lasting, herb-tinged finish. Drink now through 2024. 240 cases made.”
Vinopolnote: Grown from vines at nearly 3,500 feet in altitutude. As Italian Wine Geek phrases it, “This is not your sun-drenched Sicilian beach. These are the “Alps” of Sicilia!”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Passopisciaro Contrada S Sciaranuova, Sicily 2011 750ML ($79.95) Was $69, Now $49 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Spectator 90 points
“This medium-bodied red offers a herb-tinged palate of creamy black cherry, raspberry fruit, red licorice, smoke and ground anise, while fresh acidity and chewy tannins impart focus through to the graphite-laced finish. Nerello Mascalese. Drink now through 2021. 160 cases made.” Vinopolnote: Situated at 2,800 feet above sea level. Hardened lava soils which are segemented like pebbles or clumps of coal; 80+ year old vines.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $79.99

Don’t forget you can head to our website to see all of our March Clearance Sale wines just by clicking here.
Flat Rate Shipping Info

February Clearance Sale Ends Tomorrow

It’s the last day of February (and therefore the February Clearance Sale) so if any of these wines catch your fancy, grab them now.  Don’t forget you can see all 45 wines on the sale by clicking here and heading straight to our website.

Beringer Vineyards Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2009 750ML ($149.95) Was $99, Now $89 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is a beautifully balanced wine. Firm yet well-integrated tannins frame a core of dark red berries, flowers, mint, spices and licorice. The Reserve shows lovely inner perfume and mid-palate juiciness. It should drink well with a minimum of cellaring. The main vineyards in the 2009 are Home (37%), Lampyridae (23%), Vogt (14%), Chabot (11%) and Rancho del Oso (9%). Each lot was aged separately for about two years before the final blend was assembled.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!

Dupeuble Pere et Fils Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($21.90) Was $17, Now $11.90 special
Dupeuble Pere et Fils Beaujolais Nouveau, Beaujolais 2017 1.5L ($41.95) Was $35, Now $26 special
Importer note “Tradition runs deep in the family, but each generation has also managed to add something new, including increasing the property. Today it is comprised of one hundred hectares, about forty percent of which is consecrated to vineyards. Strong advocates of the lutte raisonnée approach to vineyard work, they tend their vines without the use of any chemicals or synthetic fertilizers. The vineyards, planted primarily to Gamay, face Southeast, South, and Southwest, and about two thirds of the property is on granite-based soil. The grapes are harvested manually and vinified completely without SO2. The wines are not chaptalized, filtered, or degassed and only natural yeasts are used for the fermentation. The wines of Dupeuble represent some of the best values in the Beaujolais today and are widely regarded for their very high quality and eminently reasonable price.
This is the lowest listed price for a magnum in the USA today!
Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($249.95) Was $225, Now $199 special
Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 375ML ($149.95) Was $125, Now $99 special
Winery notes: “Volcanic Hill is comprised of 8 acres of south facing hillside vineyard.  It is the warmest of all our micro-climates.  The color of the soil is gray, and the consistency is that of fluffy, volcanic ash, originally deposited from the eruption of Mt. Konocti 8 million years ago. Volcanic Hill is the longest lived of our wines. Our winemaker describes these wines as “full bodied, loaded with intense ripe berry fruit, cassis, violets and a smoky richness, finishing with good length and firm tannins. The Volcanic Hill bottling includes a small amount of the extra-ordinary Petit Verdot grape.”

This is the lowest listed price for a half bottle in the USA today!
F.X. Pichler Durnsteiner Kellerberg Riesling Smaragd, Wachau 2015 750ML ($119.95) Was $85, Now $66 special
David Schildknecht–Vinous 95-96 points “A pungently smoky, incisive, savory mélange of sage, dark tobacco and black pepper is allied to ripe peach and garlanded with heliotrope in a head-turningly intense nose. That full range of elements reprises on a polished palate, whose textural caress and sweet sense of ripeness are combined with welcome, tangy, chewy counterpoint of peach skin and a refreshingly juicy squirt of fresh lime. The finish offers a mouthwateringly prolonged, kaleidoscopic interaction of fruity, savory and smoky elements – plenty rich, yet with rare cut and animation for its vintage.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Peach, apple and brown spice flavors mingle in this opulent yet structured Riesling, whose vivid acidity offsets the flesh. Underlying citrus and stone elements emerge on the finish. Drink now through 2023.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Betz Family Winery La Cote Rousse Syrah, Red Mountain 2015 750ML ($79.95) Was $69, Now $59 special
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2015 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a blockbuster Syrah from Red Mountain that’s from the Ranch at the End of The Road and Ciel du Cheval vineyards. It’s a mix of four different clones and is brought up in barrel. This deep, inky, seriously black Syrah gives up Hermitage-like notes of scorched earth, charred meats, graphite and licorice. It’s a big, concentrated effort that’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and keep through 2035.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today
Falletto di Bruno Giacosa ‘Falletto’, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($219.95) Was $149, Now $139, 24+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2011 Barolo Falletto is a beautifully balanced and determined wine. It spends 30 months in oak and this warm vintage is already showing a quick bottle evolution. This was an early vintage: Fruit was harvested on September 23, which is ten days before average. It shows soft, luscious lines and ripe fruit flavors that are both generous and opulent. Yet, there is a healthy crunchiness and crackle in the mouth that makes for a long aging future ahead. Barolo Falletto closes with pretty aromas of dark fruit, spice and shaved truffle.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $164.99
The average price is $203
See the complete list of all the
February Clearance Sale wines by clicking here!

Appellations of the Northern Rhone:


Welcome back to our continuing exploration of the Northern Rhone, appellation by appellation.  This time, we’re talking about one of our favorite sources for whites in the Rhone: Condrieu.

The first thing to know is that Condrieu is tiny—less than 120 hectares are planted, all to Viognier, the only allowable grape in the AOC.  Although tiny, the vineyard land is expontentially higher now than in the 50’s when only a handful of the hectares (less than 10) of the appellation were planted.  There was a bit of a renaissance for Viognier in the 80’s and now the AOC is thriving again, in large part because Viognier from here simply tastes different (and better) than from anywhere else in the world.

There’s a particular type of granite in the Northern Rhone, especially in Condrieu (and Cote Rotie), which producers in the region claim gives a specific kind of minerality in the finished wine.  For a grape like Viognier, that’s essential—there’s not much acidity and so the presence of savoriness is needed to balance out the delectable floral and stone fruit aromas and flavors.  When Condrieu is on, this tension makes it seem electric and incredibly special: it’s rare to find a wine so decadent but refreshing.

This decadence can be too much of a good thing in the wrong hands, though—many producers, especially in the 90’s and early ‘00’s, were tempted into making bombastic, high-alcohol fruit bombs.  Luckily most of the biggest names don’t work in that style anymore—we see a number of wines of real refinement with the grape.  If you haven’t delved too deeply into the world of Viognier because of some bad West Coast examples, you owe it to yourself to try a really top class example from the Rhone—there’s a reason this is the homeland of the grape.

Delas Freres Condrieu Clos Boucher, Rhone 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points
“A much smaller production cuvée, the 2015 Condrieu Clos Boucher (aged 80% in barrel and 20% in stainless steel) is a sensational Condrieu that offers textbook, yet pedal to the metal notes of white peach, tangerine, citrus blossom and hints of minerality. Impeccably balanced, fresh and lively, it should be given six months in bottle and enjoyed over the following 4-5 years.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “I reviewed the 2015 Condrieu Clos Boucher last year but was able to taste it again this go around. White peach, citrus, tangerine, and loads of crushed rock nuances all emerge from this ripe, voluptuous, textured Condrieu that’s drinking beautifully today. The 2015 was complicated for Condrieu given the heat, but this wine handles it beautifully and is fresh and lively. Drink it over the coming 3-4 years.”

E. Guigal Condrieu, Rhone 2015 750ML ($59.59) $49 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95 points
“Guigal’s 2015 Condrieu is a blockbuster that, if not for its big brother, would be one of the wines of the vintage. Aged in one-third new barrels and two-thirds in tank, it’s a rich, unctuous, thrillingly textured beauty that has plenty of orange blossom, flower oil, tangerine and peach. Fruit-loaded, with just a touch of minerality, it should be drunk over the coming 2-4 years.”
James Suckling 94 points “Peach and apricot-pie character that’s very showy and very much within the sweet-pastry spectrum. There’s also some spicy appeal to complement notes of cumquat rind. Pithy and focused. The palate has an exotic, tropical thread of mangoes, peaches and cantaloupe melon. Very hedonistic and regal — full of fat and very convincing viognier. A great vintage. Drink young whilst exuberant!”

Saint Cosme Condrieu, Rhone 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Spectator 95 points
“Gorgeous, with papaya, white peach, mango, persimmon and Cavaillon melon notes seamlessly stitched together, lined with light honeysuckle and jasmine accents and backed by a twinge of bitter citrus oil and well-buried minerality. An exemplary display of large-scale fruit and precision. Drink now through 2019. 416 cases made”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $63

Cave Yves Cuilleron Condrieu La Petite Cote, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note
“The vineyards of Viognier are planted on terraces with a south-southeast exposure in the commune of Chavanay. The wine is barrel-fermented and barrel-aged; the elevage is nine months with regular batonnage occurring.”

Cave Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Les Chaillets, Rhone 2014 750ML ($79.95) $66 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 94 points
“(aged in oak, 33% of it new): Pale gold. Penetrating aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits and violet are joined by hints of chalky minerals, fennel and ginger. Juicy and deeply concentrated on the palate, offering pear nectar and Meyer lemon flavors that show superb clarity and drive. The mineral and floral notes come back strong on the incisive finish, which hangs on with outstanding focus and tenacity.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Cave Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Les Chaillets, Rhone 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note
“This cuvée is sourced from the best exposed and the oldest Viognier vines of the domaine (south-southeast exposure, planted on terraces in the commune of Chavanay). Barrel-fermented and barrel-aged with regular batonnage during the nine-month elevage.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Cave Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Lieu-Dit Vernon, Rhone 2015 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds 94 points
“(40 percent new oak) Light bright gold. Expansive orange, honeydew melon and violet aromas show outstanding clarity and minerally lift. Silky and taut on entry, then fleshier in the midpalate, offering vivid citrus and pit fruit and ginger flavors complemented by subtle anise and vanilla qualities. Finishes with strong mineral cut and excellent focus, leaving a suave floral note behind. Through the 2014 vintage this wine was known as “Vertige.””
James Suckling 94 points “This is super ripe with bold yellow peach and poached apricot custard. Super concentrated and extremely rich. The palate carries a fresh saltiness with big fruit presence. Orange and almond to close. Drink now.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $94
Andre Perret Condrieu Coteau du Chery, Rhone 2012 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 1 bottle available
Wine Advocate 95 points
“The 2012 Condrieu Coteaux du Chery, which comes from one of the most heralded sites in the appellation, is also brilliant (as is his 2011!). The most rich and textured of the lineup, it offers thrilling notes of white peach, crushed rock, buttered grapefruit, flowers and tangerine to go with a medium to full-bodied, layered, yet brilliantly fresh and detailed texture that keeps you coming back to the glass. It too will drink nicely for 4-5 years.”

Marie et Pierre Benetiere Condrieu, Rhone 2013 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Importer note
“Benetiere makes a small amount of Condrieu from the lieu-dit known as Tinal in Verin just south of the commune of Condrieu. The vines are organically grown and and benefit from ideal southern exposure. There is richness, lift and elegance to be savored in this fine bottle. Pierre Bénétière is a self-made man and staunch Northern Rhone traditionalist cut from the mold of the great icons of the region, Gentaz-Dervieux, Verset, Juge, Allemand, etc. While Pierre grew up in a wine family, his parents did not actually produce wine, but were merchants in Condrieu selling local table wines to the bars and restaurants in the area. He eventually studied Enology and started his winery in the late `80s by acquiring a small parcel of land in the southern end of Cote Rotie (in the lieu-dit of Cordeloux near Condrieu) and clearing and planting the vineyards himself. He later added two small vineyards in Condrieu itself as well as a small parcel of old vines in the heart of the Cote Rotie appellation, on the Cote Brune and right in the middle of Guigal’s famed “La Turque”!”

Dessert Condrieu? Yes, please:

Cave Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Les Ayguets, Rhone 2016 500ML ($99.95) $69 special, 9 500ml-bottles in stock now
Importer (Neal Rosenthal) Note
“The Viognier for this cuvée is from terraced vineyards in Chavanay with a full south exposure. This site is ideal for providing an extended growing season that permits the development of botrytis and “surmaturité”. The harvest is done with several passes through the vineyards from mid-October through mid –November. The wine is fermented in barrel and the elevage in barrel as well extends for eight months. In general, the “Ayguets” is bottled at about 14% alcohol with 100 or more grams of residual sugar. Only about 2,000 bottles (of 500ml size) are bottled per year.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


The Best Value of the Bargain Garden of France

If you like mineral drenched, crisp white wine and you aren’t drinking Muscadet, you should remedy the situation immediately.  The Loire valley represents the best source of value in French wine and within the Loire, Muscadet is the tops.  We’re highlighting a few of our favorites; perfect with oysters or on the patio as the weather warms up.

Domaine de la Fruitiere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Clisson, Loire 2012 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
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!

Hubert Rousseau Domaine des Trois Toits Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie, Loire 2015 750ML  ($19.95) $16 special, 17+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Hubert Rousseau Domaine des Trois Toits Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie, Loire 2015 750ML ($219.95)
$169 special (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
Importer note
“After harvest the grapes are pressed and the juice is placed in underground cuves in typical and ancient fashion in the Muscadet district. The alcoholic fermentation proceeds at low temperatures for three to five weeks. Afterwards the wine is racked off the gross lies and is left to age on the fine lies until bottling. During the period of elevage, the wines are in constant contact with the lies, with frequent batonage. The result is a fresh, mineral-driven wine that occasionally carries an almost imperceptible effervescence. Bottling normally occurs during the period of March through May of the year following harvest.”

Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Sur Lie ‘Terre de Pierre’, Loire 2015 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 29 bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht 91-92 points
“Last tasted in late July 2016, this was due for late October bottling (after a shorter time in tank than its 2014 predecessor was given). Generously scented with apple and lemon as well as a greenhouse-like diversity of flowering and leafing things, it delectably marries a rich mouthfeel with ample primary juiciness and refreshment, and finishes with a shimmering interaction of citrus, mineral salts and stone. ”

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Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Clisson, Loire 2014 1.5L ($59.95) $49 special, 5 magnums in stock now
David Schildknecht 92 points
“Scents of flowers and foliage mingle with saline, alkaline intimations of sea breeze. A surprisingly rich, silken-textured midpalate offers pear and lemon liberally laced with saliva-liberating salinity and crushed stone, leading to a long finish loaded with intrigue as well as refreshment.”

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

The Hottest Wines, Right Now

Chateau de L’Ou ‘Secret de Schistes ‘ Rouge, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-12 Chateau de L’Ou ‘Secret de Schistes ‘ Rouge, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2015 750ML ($549.95) $419 special (that’s only $34.92/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Saturated black in color, the 2015 IGP Côtes Catalanes Secret de Schistes is reminiscent of Manfred Krankl’s SQN Syrahs with its deep, unctuous, layered profile. Cassis, chocolate, licorice, smoked herbs and ample minerality all emerge from this full-bodied, sexy beauty that just begs to be drunk. Possessing ripe tannin, a stacked mid-palate and a great finish, it will be better in a year or two and keep for a decade.”

Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Wine Spectator 95 points “This is dreamy, with creamed melon, pear and green fig flavors gliding along, framed by light brioche and meringue flavors. The long finish just lets the fruit hang beautifully. Offers refined opulence. Drink now through 2022.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Agathe Bursin Pinot Gris Dirstelberg, Alsace 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
VinopolNote: The Disrstelberg vineyard is mostly composed of pink sandstone and is known as a high quality vineyard for a variety of grapes.  The wines from the site tend to be linear and crisp, with good varietal character.  Unlike many Alsatian producers, Bursin errs on the side of delicacy and raciness rather than pick too late and allow the wines to become rich and flabby for the sake of power.

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Arlaux Grande Cuvee Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $33 special
Case-6 Arlaux Grande Cuvee Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($239.95) $189 special (that’s only $31.50/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The nose of this wine seduces you straight away with a great balance of autolytic and fruit aromas: toasted hazelnuts, warm apple tart and kaya (coconut and egg) jam. The palate is equally well balanced providing plenty of evolved fruit and toasty / yeasty flavors. Small, fine bubbles, seamless use of dosage and a long nutty finish. This fine if relatively unknown Brut NV takes first place in the derby – a shocker even for me!”
Importer notes: “Arlaux is a small family-run champagne house producing only 5,000 cases a year located in a small village on the Petit Montagne de Reims called Vrigny.  Arlaux has been producing champagne since 1826 but the Arlaux-Marchal family have lived in Vrigny since the 13th century. Exclusively 1er Cru Champagne with a minimum of 4 years aging. They only use their own grapes from 20 to 100 year old vines which are hand-picked in order to select only the very best. All Arlaux cuvées are 100% Premier Cru and 100% Tête de Cuvée (meaning that they only use the juice of the 1st press).”

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Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, California 2013 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Robert Parker 92+ points “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Freemark Abbey’s generic bottling from Napa, is a brilliant example, and at $50, a heck of a value. It is also one of their larger cuvées at 24,332 cases. A blend of 75.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.9% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, this wine spent nearly 26 months in oak. Opaque purple in color, it exhibits beautiful blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with hints of white chocolate, allspice and tobacco leaf. It is rich, full-bodied, seriously concentrated, and has 2013’s relatively serious structure and tannic clout. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 25-30 years.”

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E. Pira

Arriving Friday

On Sale Now!

E. Pira & Figli Chiara Boschis Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($21.95) $14 March Clearance Sale special
ETA March 2nd
Serious Dolcetto – 100% from Barolo Cru vineyards in Monforte d’Alba: Ravera (15 yr old vines), Le Coste (25 yr old vines), and Mosconi (50 yr old vines).
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $22
E. Pira & Figli Chiara Boschis Mosconi, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($119.95) $69 March Clearance Sale special
ETA March 2nd
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“A dark, brooding wine, the 2011 Barolo Mosconi captures the sense of this Monforte site in its intense flavors and broad, ample frame. Black cherries, savory herbs, mint, tobacco, smoke and incense all flesh out in the glass as this opulent, virile Barolo shows off its personality. While the Cannubi is purely silk and sensuality, the Mosconi is all muscle. It will therefore hold more appeal to readers who like massive, powerful Barolos.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $79.93
The average price is $94
E. Pira & Figli Chiara Boschis Via Nuova, Barolo DOCG 2012 750ML ($99.95) $69 March Clearance Sale special
ETA March 2nd
Antonio Galloni 95+ points
“A gorgeous, totally striking wine, the 2012 Barolo Via Nuova opens with compelling, captivating aromatics. Deep, fleshy and powerful, the 2012 has blossomed beautifully over the last year, suggesting it still has room to improve. Tasted next to the Cannubi and Mosconi, the Via Nuova is a bit deeper than the former but more polished than the latter. Herb, smoke, licorice and menthol meld into the powerful, savory finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $79.94
The average price is $88

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