Vinopolis Wednesday Newsletter 01/11/23

 In This Newsletter:

Vin Santo

Value for money steals

German Wine Sale Continues

Collectors Corner 
Ab Fab Champagnes 


Vin Santo

Have you ever tasted Vin Santo? 

If not, then now is the time to try it. Vin Santo is an Italian dessert wine predominantly produced in Tuscany. It’s sweet and viscous, the perfect dessert wine. Expect notes of hazelnut, marzipan, caramel, honey, and dried apricot. 

Vin Santo has a rich history dating back to Antiquity. What makes this wine so special is the traditional method of production. To make Vin Santo, grapes first go through a process called “passito”, essentially laying out the grapes and setting them to dry for months. When the grapes have transformed into raisins they are put into small casks which is where the fermentation begins. With little to no human influence, the natural fermentation is guided by external environmental factors, making it a long and slow process taking up to four years! 

Please enjoy a bottle of Vin Santo! Here is what we have in stock now at Vinopolis. 

Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Occhio di Pernice, Tuscany 2006 375ml $69 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2006 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Occhio di Pernice is one of the best wines I have tasted from Badia a Coltibuono in some time. Sweet, dark and voluptuous, the 2006 shows all of the richness of a 100% Sangiovese Vin Santo, yet also possesses remarkable restraint for such a big wine, with plenty of intensity but no excess weight. A bevy of leather, licorice and clove notes round out the silky, mid-weight finish.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Isole e Olena Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2010 375ml $59 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Importer note:
“65% Malvasia del Chianti, 35% Trebbiano. Estate-grown, hand-harvested grapes are dried for 3-5 months before pressing, after which the must is racked into ‘caratelli’ (small barrels of varying composition) where it ferments and ages for five years before bottling. The wine remains on the ‘madre’ or starter culture for the entire aging/fermenting period, during which time it is neither racked nor filtered. The resulting wine comprises only 12-15% of the initial yield.”

Rocca di Montegrossi Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2009 375ml $89 special, 24 bottles in stock
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2009 Vin Santo is a rich, exotic wine, as it always is. Readers will find one of the richest most intense Vin Santos being made today. Plush, tropical and ample in feel, Rocca di Montegrossi’s Vin Santo is bold and racy to the core. The 350 grams of residual sugar leave the wine with tremendous textural plushness.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Castello di Volpaia Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2015 375ml $59 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
“Made of 60% Trebbiano and 40% Malvasia, this opens with aromas of maple syrup, ripe apricot and vanilla. The aromas carry over to the rich palate along with marzipan and acacia honey notes. It’s well-balanced and has a long finish. -Kerin O’Keefe”
Wilson Daniels tasting note “Scintillating amber. It is a full, balanced wine with intense flavors of cane sugar, apricot jam and sultan grapes. Warm and luscious with an almond finish.”

Avignonesi Vin Santo di Montepulciano, Tuscany 2001 375ml $169 special, 12 bottles in stock now 
Wine Advocate 98 points
“The 2001 Vin Santo di Montepulciano (375 milliliters) is a divine and superbly delicious sweet blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia and Grechetto. The results are super concentrated and simmered down to a virtual reduction sauce of deliciousness. There are so many aromas to name, but some of the most evident highlights include candied orange peel, almond marzipan, caramel, toasted coffee bean, vanilla stick, mocha, dark honey and fragrant yellow rose. The mouthfeel is creamy, rich and deeply layered. I’m suggesting a slightly shorter drinking window here compared to the Occhio di Pernice. But, the truth is: I have no idea. I’m pretty sure these wines will outlive anyone of legal drinking age.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Value for money steals
Looking to stock up on some fantastic wines without completely breaking the bank? Here is a list of  value for money wines, so good you might as well get a case! 

Vaglio Wines Chacra Malbec, Agrelo 2018 750ml $16 special, 36+ bottles in stock
James Suckling 93 points
“A dense, compact malbec with intense, blackberry and wet-earth character. Full body. Creamy texture. Tangy and delicious on the finish. Ends with green tobacco and tar. Excellent. Drink now.”
Brazos Wines importer note “This is 100% hand harvested Malbec is from a single vineyard in Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo. The wine is dark with notes of dark fruits like plum, raisin and blackberry pie. The supple tannins and hint of oak lead to a round, smooth finish wrapped in caramel and walnuts.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Oyster Bay Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2019 750ml $11.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock 
James Suckling 91 points
“Attractive pinot noir with strawberry, smoke and spice aromas and flavors. Medium body, firm and lightly chewy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Real pinot character. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Renato Ratti Ochetti Nebbiolo d’Alba, Piedmont 2019 750ml $19 special, 36+ bottles in stock 
Wine Advocate 92 points 
“Softly pliant and silky, the Renato Ratti 2019 Langhe Nebbiolo Ochetti shows fine and nuanced detailing with lots of genuine and delicate character of the grape. The fruit is subtle in this wine, but the bouquet affords more room to crushed stone, blue flower and powdered licorice. The wine’s finely shaped texture would work next to a simple plate of egg noodles and grated Parmigiano.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bodegas Breca ‘Breca’ Garnacha Old Vines, Calatayud 2017 750ml $15.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points
“All old vine Garnacha from the Calatayud region of Spain, the 2017 Breca was all destemmed and brought up in larger French oak barrels. It’s another head turner offering rocking red and blue fruits, melted licorice, peppery herbs, and spicy, earth-like aromas and flavors. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and wonderfully textured, it could cost twice the price and still be a good value. Buy a case and enjoy bottles over the coming 3-5 years. This is a killer wine.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado, Getariako Txakolina 2021 750ml $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock 
Vinous 91 points
“Pale orange. Finely etched red berry, citrus zest and floral aromas, along with building herb and mineral flourishes. Taut and nervy in the mouth, offering sappy strawberry, cherry and tangerine flavors that show fine delineation and spicy lift. Closes firm and right, with persistent red fruit notes and a refreshingly bitter edge.”
De Maison importer note “The iconic Ameztoi Rubentis rosé is a field blend of the local, indigenous hondarrabi zuri and hondarrabi beltza varieties, grown on traditional trellises high on the slopes rising above Getaria, an ancient Basque fishing village on Spain’s rugged northern coast. In the 2000s, when almost all of the other local wineries gave up on the indigenous red hondarrabi beltza vines, the Ameztoi family retained their old vines, in turn, lending their rosé such exceptional vibrancy and complexity. Rubentis, the region’s first pink wine, was inspired by the historic claret style wines which were once produced in the area long before the current global craze made rosé famous. The backbone of the blend comes from an old hondarrabi beltza vineyard planted in 1840, preserved by the Ameztoi family for generations. Ameztoi Rubentis is an authentic original, a wine that is often imitated but never replicated.”

Weingut Prinz Jungfer Riesling Kabinett, Rheingau 2020 750ml $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock 
James Suckling 94 points
“A stunning Kabinett that’s brimming with red apple, white peach and pomegranate. Very tense interplay of fruit, racy acidity and mountain-stream freshness. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

G. B. Burlotto Elatis Vino da Tavola Rose, Piedmont 2021 750ml $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock
Vinous 91 points
“The nose shows ripe honeydew and crushed yellow apple with sweet herbs and smoky minerals. On the palate, the 2019 Burlotto Elatis Rosato coasts with ease. It is cool-toned and riding a core of vibrant acids, minerals, and citrus-tinged fruits. The finish is long, buzzing with energy, and just begging for another sip. This is a unique and wonderfully stimulating blend of 60% Pelaverga, 35% Nebbiolo and 5% Barbera.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Domaines Ott Cotes de Provence ‘By.Ott’ Rose 2021 750ml $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock
Wine Advocate 91 points
“Call it a down year if you must, but the 2021 Cotes de Provence Rose Chateau de Selle remains one of the region’s top wines. Scents of tangerine, peach, crushed stone and lime zest mark the nose, while the medium-bodied palate is plump and juicy, finishing long and layered. The assemblage this year is 55% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah.”
Vinous 90 points “Bright, peach skin color. Fresh pit fruit and red berry scents are complemented by building floral and orange pith nuances. Smooth and open knit, showing good breadth and depth to its juicy strawberry, tangerine and white peach flavors. The floral note recurs on the nicely persistent finish, which features a subtle hint of fennel.”

Ovum ‘Big Salt’ White, Elkton 2021 750ml $17 special, 36+ bottles in stock 
Winery note
“Big Salt™ is a white wine that embodies a day at the beach. It’s bright, fresh, dry and a bit salty (although no salt is added of course!) – once it’s done you’re left wanting more. We achieve this experience by letting mother nature create complexity – that is to say we allow all of the grapes to ferment together, with native yeast..rather than making a blend in the laboratory. Finding the right vineyards throughout Oregon that share the same cool climate is what it’s all about.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
German Wine Sale
We’re having a huge sale on German wines throughout the entire month of January.

Sale Begins at 4pm on Monday, January 2nd
Sale Ends at 6pm on Tuesday, January 31st
5% off 6-11 bottles and/or large formats of German wines.

10% off 12 or more bottles and/or large formats of German wines. 

Discount will not display online, we will adjust your invoice before charging your card.
Discount does not apply to pre-arrival wines or to case discounts. 
This is first come / first served and limited to stock on hand.

Buying a case-6 unlocks an additional 5% discount on all additional bottles of German wine purchased. Buying a case-12 unlocks an additional 10% discount on all additional bottles of German wine purchased. 

This sale applies to ALL German wines. That’s over 500 wines discounted! Here are a few recommendations to get you started. 

Okonomierat Rebholz ‘Im Sonnenschein’ Weissburgunder Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2020 750ml $119 special, 8 bottles in stock 
Winemaker Notes
“Typical for a wine from this location is the smoky, spicy note in the fragrance, which was shaped by the shell limestone soil. At the same time, the old Pinot Blanc vines bring out the smoothness and a fruit reminiscent of pears, tangerines and fennel. The basis of this world-class Burgundy is the full ripeness of the absolutely healthy grapes, some of which come from vines that are almost 40 years old. The interplay of minerality and grape ripeness is reflected in the pronounced salty, mineral character that makes the wine very “long” in the mouth. Our restrained expansion in stainless steel tanks brings an absolutely unadulterated wine to the fore, which shows a perfect interplay between tension, maturity, power, fruit, fullness and mineral acidity. Like all Rebholz wines, the wine has great storage potential.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Weingut Pfeffingen Ungsteiner Herrenberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Pfalz 2021 750ml $59 special, 15 bottles in stock 
Winemaker notes
“Comes from what is perhaps the most interesting parcel in Herrenberg, which is listed as “Mardelskopf” in the cadastre. A special microclimate prevails here, protected by sandstone walls and hedges, Riesling grapes of the highest quality ripen here. This makes the wines from here unmistakable; they are characterized by mineral freshness, charming fruit play and a characterful body as well as special longevity.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Salwey Oberrotweiler Eichberg Grauburgunder Grosses Gewachs, Baden 2018 750ml $69 special, 12 bottles in stock 
Falstaff 94 points
“Pale golden with reddish, coppery shimmers. Subtle oak, quince and blossom honey, very ripe honeydew melon, fine-grained phenolic notes in the mouth, firm acidity, structured and salty, great concentration, the acidity lasts a long time, but remains aromatically accompanied.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Rainer Schnaitmann Lammler Lemberger Grosses Gewachs, Wurttemberg 2019 750ml $79 special, 18 bottles in stock 
Falstaff 95 points
“Initially closed in the fragrance, clove and some incense show up, yeast, beetroot and dark fruit. On the palate with a rather broad volume, mature acidity and nice spiciness, the fleshy tannins form the strong backbone, good density and minerality, quite a chunk, very young.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Collectors Corner
Ab Fab Champagne
Louis Roederer Cristal Millesime Brut, Champagne 2014 750ml $349 special, 20 bottles in stock
#1 Top 100 Cellar Selections 2022 – Wine Enthusiast
Wine Spectator 98 points
“This vivid Champagne shows up-front and linear definition, thanks to rapier like acidity, with finely meshed flavors of ripe black cherry and mandarin orange fruit, raw almond, anise and cardamom spice as well as a touch of honeycomb, which all unfurl and expand on the fine, creamy palate. Sleek acidity continues through to the finish, with additional racy character provided by a streak of minerally saline and chalk, which gains momentum through the midpalate and rings out on the well-cut, lasting finish. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Drink now through 2040”
Antonio Galloni 98 points “The 2014 Cristal is another in a long line of gorgeous wines from Roederer and long-time Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon. A dazzling, vibrant Champagne, the 2014 impresses with a stunning combination of fruit density and linear energy that brings to mind a hypothetical blend of 2012 and 2008. At times, the bubbles feel totally wrapped up in waves of creamy, resonant fruit to the point the mousse is barely perceptible, especially with aeration. The flavors are bright and finely sculpted, leaning very much into the citrus, floral and mineral end of the spectrum. The 2014 Cristal is a riveting Champagne. Don’t miss it.”

Georges Laval Cumieres Les Hautes Chevres Blanc de Noirs Premier Cru Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne 2015 $249 special, 4 bottles in stock 
John Gilman 96 points
“The 2015 les Haut Chèvres from Vincent Laval is flat out brilliant young wine. As readers will recall, after the 2009 vintage, this single vineyard bottling changed cépages, as Vincent had to replant his parcel of pinot noir vines planted in 1930, so this switched over to a pure pinot meunier cuvée from the same lieu à dit, with the vines having been planted in 1931 and 1947. The 2015 version was disgorged at the end of February of 2020 and is beautifully expressive aromatically today, wafting from the glass in a blend of white peach, beautiful, gently musky meunier floral tones, a complex base of chalky soil elements, a bit of buttery oak, a touch of fresh nutmeg and lemon blossoms. On the palate the wine is precise, pure and full-bodied, with a great core of fruit, even better mineral drive, bright, buried acids and stunning length and grip on the complex and vibrant finish. As this is non-dosé, it is still a very youthful wine, but it is so beautifully balanced that it is not all that hard to drink in its youth. But, it is really built for the cellar and I would not venture to touch a bottle until it has seen a full decade’s worth of bottle age, as there is so much more here to unfold with the passage of time! 2030-2065+.”
Importer note “100% Pinot Noir. Premier Cru.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Louis Roederer Cristal Vinotheque Edition Brut Millesime, Champagne 1999 750ml $1245 special, 3 bottles in stock 
James Suckling 98 points
“The nose has such beautiful, autolysis character with brown-mushroom and toasted-almond aromas. The nose has still-fresh lemons and oyster shell. Very smooth, pastry-like texture on the palate with even layers and a core of fresh lemons and peaches. The striking thing here is the balance and melted-together complexity. In a very great place. This spent seven years sur latte, seven sur pointe and was disgorged in 2014. Drink now.” 
Antonio Galloni 97 points “Roederer’s 1999 Cristal Vinothèque is endowed with tremendous power and concentration, especially for a Champagne of its age. Palate staining minerals, chalk, white pepper, mint, citrus and orchard fruit soar out of the glass. Tasted next to the Rosé the Blanc has a slightly more toasty character along with more body and a stronger presence of the mousse, which in this wine wraps around the fruit. At the time, Cristal was made from 37 parcels. The Pinots were a blend from Aÿ (where the wines are naturally riper) and Verzenay, Verzy and Beaumont-sur-Vesle, (where Pinots are nervy and taut), while the Chardonnay was sourced from Avize, Mesnil and Cramant. Dosage is 7-8 grams per liter.” 

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Laurent-Perrier Alexandra Rose, Champagne 1990 750ml $599 special, 3 bottles in stock 
Wine Spectator 94 points
“Beautifully done. Vigorous and almost chewy, this intense, full-bodied rosé exudes mint, berry and wood aromas and flavors. Muscular and dense, with a character that engages the palate and needs contemplation or food.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “It’s a pale wine, on the rose side of gold, a beautiful visual introduction to a stunning wine. The strawberry flavors are wrapped in a silvery texture, crisply dry, and despite the intensity of fruit, the wine seems weightless on the palate. It’s gorgeous now, but, amazingly, just a baby. It’s long-term future is assured. Twenty years from now, this will be heavenly.”
Robert Parker 94 points “This wine was recommended, but no tasting note was given.”

Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Rose Millesime, Champagne 2013 750ml $619 special, 3 bottles in stock 
Wine Advocate 99 points
“A candidate for wine-of-the-vintage honors in Champagne, Roederer’s 2013 Cristal Rosé is showing brilliantly, unfurling in the glass with notes of crisp orchard fruit, white flowers, red berries, stone fruit, freshly baked bread and tangerine oil. Full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, the vintage’s bright girdling acids are amply cloaked in exuberant, expressive and notably concentrated fruit; so while this Cristal is as tensile and age-worthy as one would expect, it’s also impressively fleshy and generous given the year. Concluding with an intensely sapid finish, the 2013 isn’t as overtly structured as the muscular, tightly wound 2012: rather, it’s the 2013’s alliance of cut and flesh, precision and charm that’s so compelling this year. This is another banner vintage for what I consider the reigning champion of the region’s tête de cuvée bottlings, and it will be worth an effort to acquire.”
Antonio Galloni 98 points “The 2013 Cristal Rosé is searingly intense right out of the glass, just like the Blanc, except it has a bit more fleshiness because of the skin contact on the Pinot. Cristal Rosé has one of the best track records for aging in Champagne. I suspect the 2013 will join the ranks of the epic vintages, but it is painfully tight today. The blend is 55% Pinot Noir (from Aÿ) and 45% Chardonnay (from Avize and Mesnil) done in the classic Roederer infusion style in which Pinot Noir is vinified on the skins and then blended with Chardonnay to complete the fermentation. About 25% of the lots were done in oak, while malolactic fermentation was blocked.”

De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ml $249 special, 23 bottles in stock
James Suckling 95 points
“This is really punchy and broad-shouldered with muscular structure and citrusy undertones. Full body. Lightly tannic and a fresh and vivid finish. This is the first vintage without malolactic fermentation ever. One for the cellar. Better in 2022.”
Wine Advocate 93+ points “The straw-yellow/white-golden colored 2008 Louis XV Brut Millésimé blends 50% Chardonnay (20 % from Avize, 15% from Oger and 15% from Mesnil) with 50% Pinot Noir (41.5% from Verzenay and 8.5% from Bouzy). Disgorged in January 2018 with a dosage of six grams per liter, the 2008 displays a clear, pure, fresh, chalky-tinged and vinous nose with lemon, white fruits, brioche, hazelnuts, white blossoms and some caramel notes. Pure, lean, fresh and elegant on the palate, with a lingering hazelnut flavor, this is a straight yet complex cuvée with grip and a long, well-structured and textured finish. This 2008 is still terribly fresh and should benefit from further bottle aging. For the moment, I am missing the mouth-filling generosity of the 2006 and 1995. Mind that this is the first vintage of de Venoge’s prestigious Louis XV where the base wines didn’t undergo malolactic fermentation! Total production: 10,326 bottles. Tasted October 2018.”

Friday the 13th isn’t all bad luck

We have allocations of some fabulous champagne arriving on Friday the 13th.  There are very few bottles available jump on them while you can! 

Ulysse Collin ‘Les Pierrieres’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2017) $379 special, 2 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97 points
“There are 5,400 bottles of the NV Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Les Pierrières (2017), disgorged in February 2022 after 48 months on the lees—and this is the last time there will be two disgorgements, as from next year onward, Les Pierrières will systematically see 48 months’ tirage before disgorgement. Wafting from the glass with scents of confit citrus fruit, lemon zest, spring flowers, almond paste, pastry cream and wet stones, it’s medium to full-bodied, satiny and precise, with terrific cut and tension, concluding with a long, saline finish. An additional year before disgorgement delivers a less primary, more integrated, seamless Champagne.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Ulysse Collin ‘Le Jardin d’Ulysse’ Extra Brut, Champagne NV (2016) $749 special, 2 bottles available 
Wine Advocate 96+ points
“Based on the 2016 vintage, complemented by 10% reserve wines and disgorged this year after 60 months on the lees, Collin’s NV Extra-Brut Les Jardin d’Ulysse (2016) represents the second iteration of this new cuvée. Unwinding in the glass with notions of citrus oil, crisp green apple, mirabelle plum, pastry cream and nutmeg, it’s medium to full-bodied, racy and tightly wound, with terrific concentration and chalky structure, girdled by incisive acids, concluding with a long, penetrating finish. After having produced mono-cépage bottlings from terroir with more or less uniform expositions, the Jardin d’Ulysse is a complete departure from that formula, blending Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, and deriving from a site some 70% of which is oriented north, the rest south. This cuvée really needs a year on cork to start to show all its cards, and Collin is considering extending its time en tirage to 72 months to see what additional potential can be unleashed.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

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Be well & drink well.