Cameron Single Vineyard Sale Ends 6PM Saturday
New Antonio Galloni Barbaresco Reviews
Staff Pick: Oregon Single Vineyard Pinot Edition
New Grapelive Review for a Galician Star
James Suckling’s Top 100 Wines of the Year
New Wine & Spirits and Wine Spectator Reviews
Including Mellen Meyer,
Beaux Freres, Patricia Green
Eyrie, RH Coutier, Luneau-Papin,
Castello di Verduno and More!
Ends 6PM Saturday
If you’re a longtime fan of Cameron, this is a vintage to stock up on. It’s classical in all the best ways—more elegant and detailed than the trio of hot vintages that preceded it, but with more depth and complexity than a year like ’13. 2010 is a comparison that’s been thrown around a lot, which speaks very highly of this new set of wines—the ’10’s are among the best wines Cameron’s ever made and these show in that vein, but with a bit more fruit and softer tannins.
Cameron Winery Abbey Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special, only 24 bottles available!
Cameron Winery Clos Electrique Blanc, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($79.95) $59 subscriber-only special
The average price is $71
VinopolNote: Abbey Ridge is one of the most hallowed sites in the Willamette Valley. Planted in 1975, the Pinot Noir here is own rooted and at one of the highest elevations in the Dundee Hills. The elevation and classic Jory soils give the wine an intense personality—high toned, elegant and tensile, with good power and a strong voice. This bottling has been one of the defining Oregon Pinots since John Paul started making it.
The average price is $70
VinopolNote: Named after the electrified deer fence surrounding the vineyard, the Clos Electrique is the estate vineyard surrounding Cameron’s winery. Located just up the road from Maresh vineyard, on Worden Hill Road, it’s in the promised land of the Dundee Hills and the wines deliver. This is always the meatiest, most primal Pinot of the Cameron lineup. We love it for its intense savoriness and quiet power—every year this is an absolute treat to drink.
The average price is $72
New Antonio Galloni Reviews for Barbaresco
In Stock Now:
Cantina del Pino Barbaresco DOCG, Piedmont 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Cantina del Pino’s 2015 Barbaresco is a very pretty entry-level wine in this range. Crushed flowers, tobacco, cedar, dried cherry, mint and chalk all pulse through this finely cut, rather nervous Barbaresco. The 2015 is a blend of mostly Ovello (from both its east-facing and westernmost sections), along with Starderi and Gallina. Even in this warm vintage, the straight Barbaresco offers terrific energy as well as cut.”
Cantina del Pino Albesani, Barbaresco DOCG 2015 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “One of the many highlights in this range, the Cantina del Pino’s 2015 Barbaresco Albesani is a wine of real gravitas and vertical power. A whole range of floral and savory notes develop in this statuesque, potent Barbaresco. Dried flowers, herbs, cedar, tobacco and mint add myriad shades of nuance. The Albesani is one of the most reticent wines in this lineup today, but it has an explosive energy that is just waiting to emerge. Time in the glass reveals a Barbaresco of exquisite beauty.”
Cantina del Pino Ovello, Barbaresco DOCG 2015 750ML ($59.95) $55 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “Deceptive in its light-bodied color, the 2015 Barbaresco Ovello packs a serious punch. Dried flowers, mint, pine, herbs, crushed berries and chalk add striking top notes. I very much like the wine’s sense of energy. In other words, this is classic Ovello Barbaresco built on laser-like focus and real nobility. It will appeal most to readers who enjoy structured wines that develop gradually with many years in bottle.”
Cascina delle Rose Tre Stelle, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Cascina delle Rose Tre Stelle, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 1.5L ($149.95) $128 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points The 2016 Barbaresco Tre Stelle is dark, dense and quite powerful, with real textural resonance and tons of nuance. A rich, potent wine, this is also the best Tre Stelle Barbaresco I have tasted from Cascina delle Rose since the debut of this wine, with the 2006 vintage. Deep, creamy and ample, the 2016 will drink well with just a few years in bottle. I expect it will always remain virile in feel.
Cascina delle Rose Barbaresco Rio Sordo, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 1.5L ($149.95) $128 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2016 Barbaresco Rio Sordo is delineated and vibrant, with striking energy that give the wine real direction and drive. The tannins need time to soften, but there is plenty to look forward to. Next to the Tre Stelle, which is more overt in feel, the Rio Sordo is virile and a touch monolithic in the early going. It will be interesting to see how the 2016 develops in time.”
It’s no secret, the Willamette Valley’s 2017 vintage is a showstopper. The year’s cool but dry September created ideal harvest conditions, allowing the ripe fruit from another warm summer to retain a level of freshness that some feared was going extinct in Oregon. Over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of tasting dozens of 2017s, and Crowley’s La Colina Vineyard is a standout.
The wine leaps out of the glass with the dark cherry and cola that you’d expect from Pinot Noir made with 100% Pommard clone. But don’t be fooled, this wine is no fruit bomb. Floral aromas on nose, herbs on the palate, and a subtle hint of oak on the finish; this wine has it all.
A single vineyard bottling from La Colina Vineyard, the fruit comes from roughly 600 feet up in the heart of the Dundee Hills. Perched above the valley floor, La Colina Vineyard was perfectly positioned in 2017 to produce wines that exemplify the balance of power and finesse that I’m beginning to associate with the vintage.
So if you’re looking for an introduction to the promise of 2017, look no further. The Crowley La Colina Vineyard will be delicious tonight, but also has all the hallmarks of a wine that will cellar beautifully. I for one look forward to checking in on this wine next year, and the year after that, and the year after that…
In Stock Now:
Crowley La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($49.95) $44 special
VinopolNote: The 2017 vintage of the La Colina Vineyard Pinot shows the classic cool-iron and blue and black fruit aromas. This is a fantastic release that has savory and black pepper aromas. Don’t let the darker profile fool you, this is an elegant wine more reminiscent of Burgundy than California.
Crowley La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($49.95) $44 special
Crowley La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 1.5L ($129.95) $109 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Vivid ruby-red. Pungent, mineral-accented aromas of ripe raspberry and cherry, along with suggestions of musky earth, candied flowers and baking spices. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering intense red fruit preserve, floral pastille and spicecake flavors that slowly deepen as the wine opens up. Plays power off delicacy with a smooth hand and finishes very long and precise, with resonating red fruit and floral character and sneaky, framing tannins.”
Winery note “The beautiful rolling La Colina Vineyard was our first vineyard holding and it’s been an exceptional site from the very beginning, turning out many of our favorite barrels in the cellar year after year. Dry farmed, 100% Pommard clone, aged for 22 months in neutral barrels.”
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Laura Lorenzo Daterra Azos De Vila Tinto, Galicia 2017 750ML ($49.95) $37 special
Grapelive 94 points
Laura Lorenzo Daterra Azos De Pobo, Ribeira Sacra 2017 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Grapelive 93 points “…The 2017 shows more zip and crunchiness than the 2015 or 2016’s I had from Lorenzo and the purity of fruit is impressive with layers of blackberry, blueberry, cranberry, cherry and tart currant along with loads of mineral, crushed quartz, rose oil, minty herb, walnut, earthy tones and Moro orange. This wine benefits from cuisine that matches its lifting savoriness and vibrant acids and is lovely with a slight chill on it. Drink Lorenzo’s Camino de la Frontera over the next 3 to 5 years.”
Importer Note “Portela do Vento comes from several south-facing parcels of Menci´a and Garnacha Tintorera in the Amandi and Quiroga-Bibei subzones. The grapes were harvested by hand in late September, 80% destemmed and fermented with wild yeasts in steel vats, and raised for 9 months in used 500 liter French barrels. This is Laura’s “glou-glou” wine that she loves to share with her American friends. Fresh and easy-drinking, it is very versatile with a wide variety of foods…or straight from the porro´n! ”
Lorenzo Daterra Gavela da Vila Blanco, Galicia 2017 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special
Importer Note “Gavela da Vila is comprised of 100% old vine Palomino organically farmed at a variety of elevations and expositions on sandy granite soils in the Val do Bibei. After a hot and dry summer, the grapes were hand-harvested in early September, fermented in 1000L chestnut foudre with 15 days skin maceration and raised on the lees in the same vessel for 11 months. The wine was not clarified, cold stabilized or filtered, and only minimal SO2 added at bottling in August 2018. This is a fresh, textured Palomino vino blanco to pair with raw, grilled and fried seafood, poultry and vegetables. This granite-grown Gavela offers a more fluid and easy approach than the more structured and nervy slate/schist-grown Gavela do Pobo.”
Lorenzo Daterra Gavela Do Pobo Blanco, Galicia 2017 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Importer Note “comprised of 100% old vine Palomino organically farmed at a variety of elevations and expositions in the Val do Bibei, on schist and slate soils. After a hot and dry summer, the grapes were hand-harvested on August 31, destemmed and fermented in amphorae with 15 days skin maceration, and raised on the lees in the same vessels for 11 months. The wine was not clarified, cold stabilized or filtered, and only minimal SO2 added at bottling in September. This is a fresh, textured Palomino vino blanco to pair with raw, grilled and fried seafood, poultry and vegetables. The slate/schist-grown do Pobo bottling is more structured and nervy than Laura’s more fluid and easy granite-grown Gavela da Vila.”
#3 – James Suckling’s Top 100 Wines of the Year
Bodegas Muga ‘Prado Enea’ Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2011 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 19 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 99 points “The most structured Prado Enea ever. A reduced center palate that is so compact with dark fruit, dark mushrooms and cedary spice. Full body. Wonderfully polished tannins and a long, long finish. Electric acidity. Muscular and well toned. The is a new classic that reminds me of great Spanish wines from the 1940s and 1950s. Better after 2021, but already so impressive.”
Weingut Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2018 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special, ETA Fall
Weingut Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2018 1.5L ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special, ETA Fall
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling .com 99 points “A dense and layered white with minerals, salt, white pepper, chalk, dried lemon and subtle pears. Pumice. Wow. Tiny film of oil. Creamy and insane. What a wine. Magic. One for the cellar. Drink or hold.”
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, ETA February
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 1.5L ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special, ETA February
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port, Portugal 2017 375ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special, ETA February
James Suckling 99 points “Complex aromas of tar, wet earth, dark berry and flowers follow through to a full body, medium sweet and amazing compacted concentration. Vertical and so deep. It goes on for minutes. Truly excellent. Better after 2027.”
#33 – James Suckling’s Top 100 Wines of the Year
E. Pira & Figli Chiara Boschis Cannubi, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special, ETA February
James Suckling 99 points “Impressive roses and finely ground spices with a bright red-cherry core, as well as a fresh wild-herb thread. The sense of focus and purity here is stunning. The palate has a deeply juicy and fresh core of tightly knit tannins that carry immense power with impeccable balance. Elegantly executed wine with profound length. Try from 2025.”
Schafer-Frohlich Halenberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2018 750ml ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special, ETA Fall
Stuart Pigott – Jamessuckling .com 99 points “This has discreet aromatics, showing very fine stones and yellow grapefruit with a delicate, lemon-blossom perfume. The palate has a scintillatingly intense and focused feel with laser-guided acidity, driving a very long, pure and thrilling palate. Yellow citrus fruit abounds. Such precision is really special and the concentration in 2018 is immense. Drink or hold.”
La Rioja Alta S.A. Gran Reserva 904, Rioja DOCa2010 750ML ($71.95) $57.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points “Fresh blueberries and brambleberries take center stage, which is striking for a wine of this age. There are also lots of roasted herbs, such as sage, not to mention floral elements, including lavender and dried violets. Then come cedar, sandalwood and tar. The tannins are incredibly round and soft, without the slightest hint of anything dry. This is among the most elegant of Riojas, where the acidity is wonderfully pronounced and cuts right through any touch of dried fruit. Long and powerful, yet subtle on the finish. Drink now, or hold for a very long time.”
#73 – James Suckling’s Top 100 Wines of the Year
Felsina Berardenga Fontalloro Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($69.95) $54.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points “Amazing aromas of licorice, wet earth, orange peel and lavender. Full body, tight and super compact and polished. Goes on for minutes. Clearly great. Better in 2021, but already a star.”
William Fevre Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru 2017 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special, ETA December
James Suckling 98 points “This is in stunning form in 2017, showcasing the kind of symphonic complexity of primary fruit and effortless power that makes it so revered. Limes and lemons, white and yellow peaches, some apples and shaved fennel, fresh chalk and fresh flowers, too. The palate has such seamless and unwavering linearity, driven by contained acidity that delivers a wake of fleshy, white-peach, lime and lemon-curd flavor. So long, seamless and fresh. This is an exceptional Clos. Drink or hold.”
#99 – James Suckling’s Top 100 Wines of the Year
Ornellaia Masseto Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($849.95) $759 pre-arrival special, ETA November
James Suckling 100 points “This is so solid and powerful with incredible vertical dense that goes down and down on the palate. Compacted and thick with caressing and polished tannins that are powerful yet refined. Super concentration yet agile and energetic. This is a wine that needs time to come together and resolve all of its amazing components. Reminds me of the legendary 2001. Try after 2023.”
Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($31.95) $24 special
Case-12 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($289.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92 points “Opening with nice reduction but precise and ripe fruit as well as crunchy slate aromas on the nose, the 2016 Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett is pure and flinty, well-structured and quite aristocratic (though a frivolous aristocrat), with a firm structure, lush fruit and a lovely lightness and buoyancy. Very stimulating and mouthwatering, but it’s far too young to appreciate the full complexity it will deliver in a couple of years. Salty, grippy and fruity—just a perfect Kabinett.”
Stuart Pigott – jamessuckling. com 91 points “Super-fresh and vibrant with a cool, mineral-herbal personality and a very clean, long finish. You could drink it any time during the next decade, but why wait?”
Poggio al Tesoro ‘Il Seggio’ Bolgheri, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “($60) Fresh black currant and leafy flavors announce this juicy red. Wild herb, graphite and olive notes complete the picture as this unwinds on the lingering aftertaste. Very youthful, yet has all the components, including a dense structure. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2021 through 2033.”
James Suckling 93 points “A super refined and pretty red with sweet tobacco, currant and berry character. Red stone. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Drink now.”
Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Fontaine Blanc, Rhone 2016 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The flagship 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc La Fontaine is a more substantial, serious effort that offers notes of caramelized citrus, brioche, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Rich, layered and concentrated, yet also fresh and lively, it’s a terrific white that’s going to sing on the dinner table. Drink it anytime over the coming 4-5 years (it will keep even longer).”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Vivid straw-gold. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe pear, candied orange, smoky minerals and chamomile, along with a deeper suggestion of honey. Energetic, palate-staining citrus and orchard fruit flavors show outstanding clarity and slowly put on weight and spread out with air. The mineral note reappears on the finish, which shows a noteworthy combination of richness and sharply defined, bright, filigreed character.”
Telmo Rodriguez is one of the great masters of Rioja.
Remelluri Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Case-6 Remelluri Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2012 750ML ($599.95) $499 special (that’s only $83.17/bottle!)
James Suckling 96 points “The DNA of Remelluri is here. Wild mountain herb character, structured and firm, these tannins are succulent and deeply expressive. Powerful and assertive red plums, wild cherries and roasting herbs with the oak sitting well. Power and balance. Try from 2021.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94+ points “A blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano, the 2012 Granja Remelluri Gran Reserva represents what they are aiming for with this wine, a classical expression of the place, the quintessence of the vineyards. The select their oldest vineyards and age the wine for a long time, coming back to those early years of a modern Rioja that has now turned into a classic. It has some dusty tannins, with good grip and length. It was bottled in 24,238 bottles after an élevage of 26 months. It has been in bottle since May 2015.”
Domaine Mee Godard Morgon Cote de Py, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Bright ruby-red. Heady, mineral-accented aromas of ripe cherry and red berries, with a peppery nuance adding vivacity. At once concentrated and lively, offering intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a sneaky suggestion of spicecake. Picks up a sexy lavender pastille quality on the incisive, sharply focused finish, which hangs on with outstanding tenacity and building minerality.”
New Wine & Spirits and Wine Spectator Reviews
Jacques Lassaigne ‘Les Vignes de Montgueux’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $44 pre-arrival special, ETA November 22nd
Wine & Spirits 93 points
Lilbert-Fils Perle Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special, ETA January 2020
Wine & Spirits 92 points
Paolo Scavino Bric del Fiasc, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special, ETA November
Wine Spectator 95 points “The sweetness from ripe plum and cherry fruit offsets the broad swath of tannins. Energetic and focused, with leather, soy, iron and tobacco accents supporting the fruit. Feels balanced, but needs time for all the elements to integrate. Better than previously reviewed. Best from 2023 through 2045. —B.S.”
In Stock Now:
G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole, Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine & Spirits 95 points “Bricco delle Viole, a cru that rises up to 1,575 feet on the Barolo commune’s western edge, has clear views of the Alps. This wine channels some of that Alpine coolness in its elegant feel: Vibrant acidity propels the wine’s spiced cherry and plum fruit while lush, polished tannins draw it out through a long finish.”
Mellen Meyer Brut Sparkling, Willamette Valley NV 750ML ($34.95) $29 special
KWG8 – Tasting Pour “From a small Willamette Valley producer specializing only in sparkling wine try this traditional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blend for a dry, crisp elegant sparkling at a good price. Smells of green apples with a salty tart palate.”
Winery note “Grapes sourced from Johan Vineyard, Van Duzer Corridor and Dundee Hills. 35% Chardonnay, 65% Pinot Noir fermented in neutral French and Oregon oak. 25 months in tirage, 8 grams/ liter dosage. 350 cases produced.”
Beaux Freres The Upper Terrace Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Josh Raynolds 94-95 points “Bright red. High-pitched red berry, cherry cola and incense scents show outstanding clarity and spicy lift. Palate-staining red berry preserve, spicecake and floral pastille flavors slowly deepen on the back half. Manages to come off graceful as well as lithe, with no rough edges. Finishes smooth, spicy and extremely long, featuring sneaky tannins and lingering red fruit and candied rose notes.”
This is always one of the best deals in excellent Ribbon Ridge Pinot.
Patricia Green Cellars ‘Estate Vineyard – Old Vine’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2018 750ML ($44.95) $37 special
Winery Note ” As the Estate vines tap their roots deep into the soft sub-soil they eventually make contactwith the mineralized water on the property. This brings a whole new element tothe flavor and texture profile of the wine…. Given the diversity within the vineyard (we have a 360-degree aspect on our hillside vineyard) and the range of vine age (22-33years) we were able to pick at different times and then blend this together with a greater degree of diversity than we have ever had available….This wine is one of the few truly older vine bottlings that exists from Ribbon Ridge.Older vineyards here,have the capacity to translate the mineral laden nature of our water and soil into the refined, focused nature of the fruit.This AVA is a special place and makes some of the mostinteresting, dramatic and amazing as some of our bottlings, and this is one of them!
A new vintage of Patty Green Reserve is always exciting.
Patricia Green Cellars Reserve Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery Note “This bottling allows us to accomplish two things that are very important to us as a winery. The first thing is that it allows us to be incredibly detailed about the barrels we select for our vineyard designated wines, so they true expressions of the site on a year in and year out basis. The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir bottling “Reserve” is almost entirely made up of barrels that simply were not included in a more prestigious bottling, which allows us to choose from larger sections of our diverse vineyards. Secondly, it allows us to create a blended wine that has a degree of consistency to it each vintage that is of incredibly high-quality and will retail for under $30. In short, this wine is a smoking deal!”
The new release is as good as the last few vintages—if not better.
The Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
James Suckling 96 points “This has quite a haunting edge to the nose (older vines at 47 years here), this has a very fragrant, supple and finely fruited and appealing feel with plenty of earth, foresty nuances and delicate spices in tow. The palate has a very resolved, deep and elegant feel. The tannins are fine and delicate at the surface and fully underwrite the palate in every corner. The fresh, spicy red cherries hold long, fresh and vibrant. Drink or hold.”
R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
No reviews for this disgorgement. Review for May 2018 disgorgement:
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is especially bright and tense in this release, whereas it has previously been a bit more creamy. No matter, this Coutier’s 100% Chardonnay from vineyards in Ambonnay remains one of the best wines in the range, as well as a hidden gem in Champagne. Lemon peel, mint and freshy cut white flowers add energy to a gorgeous Champagne loaded with both character and distinction. This release is 60% 2013 and 40% reserve wines. Dosage is 6 grams per liter. Disgorged: May 2018.”
Nothing to see here, move along…the Spectator rating is 100% accurate.
Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin Muscadet ‘Le L d’Or’, Loire 2017 750ML ($39.95) $26 special
Wine Spectator 89 points “Shows great precision, with a laser focus and flavors of lemon peel, tarragon and lemongrass stretching out. Light dandelion accent shows on the finish, adding to the complexity. Drink now through 2023. 150 cases imported.”
Old school, leafy and kinda tannic—it’s what Cahors should be.
Chateau Combel-la-Serre, Cahors 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Importer note “100% Malbec. Combel’s Château Cuvée comes from estate plots totalling 3 hectares around their home village of Cournou on the limestone plateau known as the Causse at about 320m altitude. The soils for this bottling are mainly red clay with some limestone rock. The organically farmed vines average 40 years old and are kept to a yield of 40 hl/ha. The hand-harvested fruit is destemmed and crushed, with the juice fermented with native yeasts and 20 days of maceration; the temperature is kept quite cool in the beginning but allowed to rise significantly toward the end, to promote greater extraction of tannins for this bottling. A mix of cement, fiberglass and steel is used for the vinification. The wine is then aged in 500-liter tonneaux for a year. Because of the clay-heavy terroir and winemaking and aging choices, the Château Cuvée marks a signficant step up in body, tannin and complexity compared to the lighter, softer Pur Fruit bottling.”
Bibi Graetz Testamatta Casamatta Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2016 750ML ($17.95) $11.90 special
Importer Note “In Italian, Casamatta translates to “crazy house”. This moniker, self-designated by super-Tuscan winemaker, Bibi Graetz, is an homage to his very home-cum-winery-cum-art gallery. This fantastic place serves as home, winery, and art studio complete with kids, farm animals, barrels, grapes, and colorfully painted canvasses. Hence, Casamatta is a place where chaos meets life in a place where love of family, love of winemaking, and love of art all take place. It is here, where Bibi artfully crafts his Casamatta wines. Tasting Notes – Spice, plum, and smoke characteristics with a medium to full body and fresh finish.”
Castello di Verduno Barbaresco DOCG 2016 750ML ($47.95) $39 special
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Editiors’ Choice. New leather, menthol, red-skinned fruit and dark spice aromas form the nose along with enticing whiffs of vineyard dust. The linear, savory palate is still young but already boasts succulent red cherry, crushed raspberry, star anise and clove while taut, refined tannins and bright acidity provide finesse and freshness. Drink 2022–2036.”
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “Castello di Verduno’s 2016 Barbaresco is bright, precise and wonderfully sculpted, all in the mid-weight style that is such a signature of the Castello di Verduno wines. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2016 needs at least a few years in bottle to unwind, and time beyond that to really enter its prime drinking window. Today, the 2016 is primary, floral and full of vitality. The straight Barbaresco is built on a core of Faset, with pieces from Rabajà and Rabajà-Bas that don’t make it into the vineyard designate bottlings. This is a stellar showing.”