In Today’s Newsletter:
Bubbles in Bulk
Champagnes to Buy in Quantity for Holiday Drinking
Top 2008 Champagnes – Gifts for You and Others
Massive Deals on Gaja’s Wines
Vinopolis will be closed on December 25th
and will be open from 10AM-4PM on December 24th
Looking for Champagne to stock up on this Holiday season? Whether you’re looking to throw a party, give them out as stocking stuffers or drink bubbly for eight straight nights, we’ve got you covered with these top value Champagne picks.
In Stock Now:
Our go-to Champagne for any occasion (or none at all). Delicious by itself or with food.
Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points “The latest release of André Clouet’s NV Brut Grand Réserve Grand Cru is showing well, exhibiting a nicely integrated bouquet of red apple, ripe citrus fruit, honeycomb and blanched almonds, followed by a medium to full-bodied, enveloping palate with a fine mousse, ripe but racy acids and an elegant, understated profile, concluding with a well-defined finish. This is a stylish, harmonious wine that makes for a fine introduction to the Clouet portfolio.” [Reviewed April 2019]
Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Silver Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature, Champagne NV 750ML ($419.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
John Gilman 90 points “I believe that this bottle of André Clouet “Silver” Blanc de Noirs non-vintage Brut Nature is from the base year of 2013, as it has a small code printed on the back of the neck label that says “LS13”. In any case, the wine is quite good, showing that lovely structural rounding from a bit of additional aging in the cellars. The bouquet offers up scents of apple, nectarine, bread dough, a good base of soil and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and nicely balanced, with refined mousse, bright, nicely-integrated acids and a long, complex finish. This is a quite good bottle of Brut Nature. 2019-2030+.”
The average listed price is $47
R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Coutier’s NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is bright, focused and nuanced, not to mention incredibly delicious. The energy of Chardonnay and structure of Ambonnay yield a Champagne that is singular, classy and bursting at the seams with character. This release is based on 2016, with 40% reserve wines. I would give it another 6-12 months in bottle, although, truthfully, it is pretty hard to resist now. Dosage: 6.5 gr/L. Disgorged: July, 2019.”Looking for toasty, brioche-y character? This is the best value out there.
Charles Heidsieck Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92 points “($69) Based on the 2010 vintage and disgorged in 2018 with 11 grams per liter dosage, the latest release of the NV Brut Réserve incorporates fully 40% of reserve wines that average ten years of age. It’s an excellent Champagne, wafting from the glass with a complex bouquet of brioche, waxy lemon rind, mandarin and dried white flowers. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, rich but precise, with a brisk mousse, a generous core of fruit and a precise, elegantly chalky finish. This cuvée just goes from strength to strength, and for now, it remains a great value, considering its depth and complexity.”
The average listed price is $59
Andre Clouet Grand Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Case-12 Andre Clouet Grand Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($499.95) $444 special (that’s only $37/bottle!)
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points ” The latest release of Clouet’s deeply colored NV Brut Rosé No 3 Grand Cru is showing well, opening in the glass with notes of blood orange, red berries, ripe apples and oatmeal. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, broad and vinous, with ripe acids, a frothy mousse and a moderately intense finish. This is an attractive, gastronomic rosé that hails exclusively from Bouzy.” [Reviewed April 2019]
The average listed price is $52
G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $28 special
Case-12 G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($499.95) $319 special (that’s only $26.58/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
Wine Spectator 90 points “Chalky on the nose, this clean-cut Champagne is creamy in texture and elegant, offering a subtle mesh of biscuit, green pear, ground ginger and lemon zest notes. A fine aperitif, with a racy finish. Drink now through 2020.”Bold, rich and broad, with that beautiful colorful label.
R.H. Coutier Grand Cru Brut Tradition, Champagne NV 750ML ($44.95) $33 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Brut Tradition Grand Cru is positively stellar. Rich, ample and explosive, the Brut Tradition possesses fabulous energy and resonance from start to finish. The balance of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay works so well here. More than anything else, though, the Brut Tradition offers superb quality, value and personality in its price range, which, once again, makes it one of the most compelling wines budget-conscious readers will find in all of Champagne. Dosage: 6.5 gr/L. Disgorged: July, 2019.”
The average listed price is $44
Andre Clouet ‘Dream Vintage’ Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Case-6 Andre Clouet ‘Dream Vintage’ Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($349.95) $279 special (that’s only $46.50/bottle—the lowest listed price in the USA today!)
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2009 Brut Dream Vintage is a very pretty, expressive Champagne. Hazelnut, dried flowers, spices, mint, chamomile and lightly honeyed notes are all wonderfully laced together. Medium in body, radiant and quite open, the 2009 will drink well upon release.”And our top pick for non-Champagne sparkling, the excellent Roederer Estate:
Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley NV 750ML ($27.95) $20.90 special
Case-12 Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley NV 750ML ($299.95) $225 special (that’s only $18.75/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 92 points “Sleek and luxurious, with expressive Asian pear, strawberry blossom and roasted hazelnut flavors that build richness on an opulent finish. Drink now through 2020. ”
Head to our webstore to view all 175+ choices!
Top 2008 Champagnes – Gifts for You and Others
2008 was an exceptional year for Champagne—in contention for the best vintage of the decade (with ’02) and arguably the best year since 1996. As you’d expect, the top houses performed outstandingly and wines like ’08 Cristal and Grande Dame are going to be legends—but don’t sleep on wines like Gimonnet’s Special Club, bottled in magnum as “Millesime de Collection VV.” One way or another, we won’t have a vintage close to its caliber for a minute—so this is your last time for a while to fill your cellar with best-in-decade Champagne.
In Stock Now:
“one of the most complete, most dazzling Champagnes I have ever tasted. A stunning wine from any and all perspectives, the 2008 simply has it all” – Antonio Galloni
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($339.95) $249 special
Case-6 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML (1999.95) $1,439 special (that’s only $239.83/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 99 points “The 2008 Cristal is one of the most complete, most dazzling Champagnes I have ever tasted. A stunning wine from any and all perspectives, the 2008 simply has it all. Spherical in construction, with superb persistence. The 2008 takes hold of all the senses and never gives up. One of the many things that makes the 2008 special is a combination of ripe fruit and bright, piercing acidity. Marzipan, lemon confit, dried flowers and orchard fruit all build into the explosive, resonant finish. “We learned from the mistakes of 1996, when we picked more on acid than ripeness, as was the norm in Champagne back then” Chef de Caves Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon told me recently. “In 1996, the best fruit turned out to be the last picks, where the fruit was physiologically ripe. Today, we aim to pick all our fruit with that criteria.””
Wine Enthusiast 100 points “Top Cellar Selection. This latest incarnation of the famous brand is a superb wine. It is on par with, maybe even better than, the already legendary 2002. Its balance is impeccable: Apple and citrus flavors working with the tight minerality to give a textured yet fruity wine. Produced from Roederer’s own vineyards which are mainly biodynamic, the wine has its own intense purity and crispness. It has amazing potential and is likely to age for many years. Drink from 2020.”
James Suckling 100 points “Disgorged October 2016 and will be the first Cristal to be released ten years from harvest when it is offered in 2018. 35 parcels used from a possible 45 in this vintage. The assemblage is 60% pinot noir and 40% chardonnay. This is so fresh and tense and mineral with extremely exuberant chardonnay notes on the nose of white peach, lemon and yellow grapefruit, and hints of almost brambly sous bois aromas. The yeast characters are also super fresh, and there are subtle woody notes, with a hint of vanilla bean and light spices. The palate is super long, and very pure, powerful and focused. It drives deep and taut. Pinot noir is a strong core and the chardonnay sits at the edge offering lemon and white nectarine sorbet flavors. Staggeringly concentrated, yet the balance makes it seem airy and light. Acidity is perfectly positioned, and the power is intense and long. This is an ultra precise Cristal, finishing with a mere suggestion of savoriness and warmth to come. Impressive on release, this will be at its best drinking from 2025.”
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “The 2008 Cristal is a perfect wine, and Champagne simple does not get any better. This incredible wine offers a beautiful perfume of clean, crisp fruits, layers of complexity in its toasted spice and white flowers, and an utterly seamless, yet powerful style on the palate. This is a rich, decadent expression of Cristal yet it’s still crystalline and elegant, with no sensation of weight, and it just glides over the palate. Haut Couture at its finest and this majestic, profound, legendary Cristal can be drunk anytime over the coming 2-3 decades.”
Grande Dame is always the pinnacle of Veuve’s production—and in ’08 is even better than usual.
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut, Champagne 2008 750ML ($179.95) $139 special
Decanter 97 points “A classic, slow-maturing year picked into October. It’s a pale, pristine hue – a beautifully assembled mix of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Aÿ, Ambonnay, Bouzy, Verzy, Verzenay and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, combining saline-wrapped orchard fruits with great Pinot Noir subtlety yet strength. THE aperitif Champagne, but also try with sea trout. Drinking Window 2020 – 2030.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “An elegant Champagne, powered by a sculpted frame of acidity and minerality, this wears the refined, lacy mousse and well-meshed flavors of black currant, lemon curd, toast and marzipan like finely tailored clothing. Fresh and lasting, with hints of spice and smoke on the finish. Disgorged August 2016. Drink now through 2033.”
This is (not so secretly) the Special Club in large format and (proportionally) lower pricing.
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Blanc de Blancs ‘Millesime de Collection Vieilles Vignes de Chardonnay’, Champagne 2008 1.5L ($349.95) $299 special
Decanter 97 points “The best-value sparkling wine of any kind that I have tasted in the past five years. In all its raw, youthful innocence, this is the epitome of introverted, tightly coiled restraint. A beguiling transparency of pure acid drive propels an incredible finish that splashes long and strong with breathtaking, scintillating, crystalline minerality. This is a cuvée of effortless poise and boundless energy. Drinking Window 2023 – 2038.” [Review is for the 750ml, which is bottled as the Special Club. This is the same wine, bottled in magnum.]
Deutz Amour de Deutz Blanc de Blancs Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($199.95) $159 special
Decanter 97 points “Amour was created by Deutz’s long-standing managing director, Fabrice Rosset. It’s a prestige blanc de blancs which is only made in the best years, so there was little surprise when Deutz produced an Amour from the highly acclaimed 2008 vintage. This really has it all: freshness, extract, power, balance and concentration. Already, the primary nose shows chamomile and iris, while the palate is crammed with white fruits, nougat, chamomile, candied fruit and minerals. Deutz’s signature spine-tingling acidity balances out the weight and creamy texture of this generous, well structured fizz. It’s fabulous as an aperitif now but it will also develop well into old age as a gastronomic wine with delicate seafood dishes. 40,000 bottles produced.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The citrus-colored 2008 Amour de Deutz Brut Millésime is still yeasty on the nose, but very clear and elegant on the palate. This is a super pure and mineral, well-balanced Millésime with a long, intense and persistent finish. This is full of tension and finesse. A great wine.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “[Review is for 375ml] This wine is rich and surprisingly full-bodied. It comes from a great Champagne vintage, giving it both intensity and an acidity built for longterm aging. This half-bottle version is filling out, showing almond flavors yet retaining its citrus edge. Drink from 2019.”A stunning rosé sparkler—this is chiseled and elegant but powerful.
Deutz Amour de Deutz Rose Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($219.95) $189 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2008 Brut Rosé Millésimé Amour de Deutz is gorgeous and crystalline in the glass, as Champagnes from this vintage tend to be. Light on its feet yet also quite intense, the 2008 exudes energy in its finely sculpted red berry, floral and mineral-infused notes. The 2008 could use a bit more time in bottle to soften, but it is undeniably beautiful, even at this early stage.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “Deutz’ Millésime 2008 Amour de Deutz Rosé Brut shows a pale but brilliant salmon color and a clear, delicate bouquet of discreet red fruits as well as very fine spicy and floral notes. The palate is highly delicate and fresh, firmly structured and nicely dry, with good, dense, aromatic and well-structured length. However, the wine is still young and not yet perfectly round.” [Review is for lot LA112D32216]
Head to our webstore to view all 175+ choices!
Massive Deals on Gaja’s Wines
This might be our deal of the year—a iconic set of wines at a price that we’re having a hard time believing. We’re offering you a mixed six-pack of the 2014 Gaja Cru Barbarescos for $1,100 less than their average online listed prices. These are wines that usually retail from $400-$500 per bottle, going for $266.50/ea by the six-pack—an insane savings and one any collector is going to want to jump on now.
Gaja is an iconic producer in the world of wine. What DRC is to Burgundy, Gaja’s cru bottlings are to Barbaresco—they are the wines that put the region on the modern wine collector’s map, desirable long before anything else in their appellation was. Like most pinnacle wines, they’re usually quite expensive—at our prices, though, you’d have a hard time finding something more collectible and profound.
Indeed, the pricing we’re offering you today is nothing short of ridiculous—one of the best deals we’ve put out this year. Gaja’s “Sori” wines are bottlings that inspire reverence and awe—aging for decades and being the centerpiece of any cellar. We only were able to secure five six-packs at this astounding pricing (of which only three remain), so don’t hesitate if you love Gaja’s wines.
Just Arrived, In Stock Now:
Case-6 Gaja Collection (Assorted Crus), Barbaresco 2014 750ML ($1,999.95) $1,599 special (that’s only $266.50/bottle!)
A Six Bottle Case of two 750ml bottles each: 2014 Gaja Sori Tilden, 2014 Sori San Lorenzo, and 2014 Costa Russi.
2014 Sori Tilden
Antonio Galloni 97 points “Sweet rose petal, mint, chiseled red-toned fruit and chalk give the 2014 Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn its sculpted, brilliant personality. All the elements are in the right place. A wine of translucent energy and weightless elegance, the Sorì Tildìn is hauntingly beautiful today. A host of floral notes and red berry fruit infuse the persistent, chiseled finish in this fabulous Barbaresco. As it so often is, the Barbaresco Sorì Tildìn is a wine of pure charm and seduction.”
Wine Enthusiast 95 points “Menthol, pressed rose, woodland berry and crushed herb aromas slowly emerge on this elegant, structured red along with a hint of underbrush. The firm, refined palate delivers Marasca cherry, ground clove and licorice framed in taut, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2022–2034.-Kerin O’Keefe”
James Suckling 96 points “The nose has it all here with fresh cranberry character, brambleberries and lavender intermingled with darker, more complex notes of cedar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Full body, so much vibrant acidity, tangy fruit, expansive yet tight tannins and a long, savory finish. Profound minerality. Delicious now but better in 2020.”
2014 Sori San Lorenzo
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “The 2014 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo is the most virile and explosive of Gaja’s Barbarescos. Dark, brooding and powerful, with a huge spine of tannin, the San Lorenzo is utterly regal in the glass. Gravel, smoke, menthol, tar, licorice and a host of sepia-toned fruits build into a crescendo of aromas and flavors that is truly compelling. What a gorgeous wine this is.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Earthy notes lead off, followed by cherry, plum, graphite and tobacco flavors. Starts out broad and muscular, with a thick layer of tannins for support, yet gains elegance with aeration. A tad austere on the finish, but stays vibrant and long. Best from 2021 through 2036. 170 cases imported.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Gaja’s 2014 Barbaresco Sorì San Lorenzo is clearly at the beginning of a long and promising aging trajectory. At it’s core, it shows a pinch of nervous energy and inner tightness that will surely unravel and soften as this beautiful wine continues along its magical journey in time. Angelo Gaja and his family present spectacular results in this controversial 2014 vintage. They have risen far above most of their peers and have shown a keen ability to understand their site and the versatility of their cherished Nebbiolo grape. The variety sings with a loud and exuberant voice, first offering plenty of primary fruit like blackberry and dried cherry. It then follows up with savory earth and spice. This is a bright and youthful wine that is set steady for a long aging future.-Monica Larner”
James Suckling 95 points “This is closed at first – indeed it’s just a baby – but soon opens up with some air to display wild strawberries, red cherries, cedar and nutmeg. The palate is full but very tight and refined, showing firm, grippy tannins that need time, driven acidity and a long, minerally finish. Better in 2020.”
2014 Costa Russi
Antonio Galloni 96 points “Soft contours, silky tannins and sweet, perfumed fruit are some of the signatures in the 2014 Costa Russi. As always, Costa Russi is the most polished and open-knit of these wines in its youth. Succulent fruit, hard candy and lifted, perfumed aromatics give the 2014 considerable early appeal, but I expect time in bottle will work its usual magic. Today, the 2014 is showing only the barest hint of its potential. Even in the early going, though, the Costa Russi is a totally sexy wine.”
Wine Enthusiast 97 points “Intense scents of cherry, star anise and iris float out of the glass. It’s firmly structured and loaded with finesse, offering crushed raspberry, Marasca cherry, cinnamon and star anise framed fine-grained tannins. Bright acidity lends balance and energy.-Kerin O’Keefe”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2014 Barbaresco Costa Russi is a beautiful wine that delivers profound color saturation with deep ruby highlights and blackish intensity. I would describe the nose as being more horizontal rather than vertical, if that makes sense. In other words, the bouquet makes its approach with wide intensity and large-scale aromas of black fruit, spice, tar, leather and licorice. It offers fewer of the sudden high notes or moments of sharpness that you get in 2013. Despite the common perception that this was a very cool vintage, the fruit here actually tastes riper and rounder than you might expect. That’s because the vintage heat all came toward the end of the growing season, and the Gaja family left fruit on the vines to the end. In the mouth, the wine shows depth and finesse with some stubborn firmness at this young stage. It needs to flesh out further with more bottle aging.-Monica Larner”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
In Stock Now:
Case-3 Sequitur Vertical Gift Pack (’15/’16/’17) 750ML ($299.95) $225 special
A Case of Three Bottles: One Bottle Each 2015, 2016, and 2017 Sequitur Pinot Noir
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points “Deep brilliant red. A strikingly complex bouquet evokes ripe, mineral-accented red berries, cherry cola, vanilla, five-spice powder and sandalwood. Alluringly sweet, seamless and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, cherry liqueur, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Delivers a compelling blend of power and delicacy and finishes extremely long and smooth; rounded tannins frame the lingering red fruit preserve notes.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Pale to medium ruby purple in color, the 2015 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a very provocative nose of Bing cherries and cranberries over a core of red roses, game, yeast extract and underbrush. Medium-bodied, with wonderful energy and freshness, it has a lively backbone and long finish paved with very fine, ripe tannins.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points “Glimmering red. A hugely aromatic bouquet evokes fresh red fruits, Asian spices and potpourri, along with a bright mineral overtone and a touch of smokiness. Juicy, seamless and precise on the palate, offering potent, mineral-laced raspberry preserve, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out steadily on the back half. Delivers a compelling blend of power and finesse and finishes with silky tannins, outstanding clarity and floral- and mineral-driven persistence.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a lovely, open nose of black and red cherries and blackberries with notions of wood smoke, turned earth, autumn leaves, cardamom and potpourri. Medium-bodied, it floods the mouth with ripe black and red fruits with wonderful earthy/spicy accents, very fine, grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long with spice and floral layers. 480 cases produced.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94-95 points “Lurid red. Spice-tinged blackberry and cherry aromas are complicated by suggestions of cola, incense and smoky minerals. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated dark berry and spicecake flavors and suggestions of rose pastille and mocha that build with air. Concentrated but also vibrant and precise in style, delivering superb finishing cut, well-knit tannins and impressive, fruit-driven persistence. (30% new French oak).”
Nick Stock-jamessuckling .com 96 points “Beautifully deep, blueberries and plums on offer with notes of fresh violets and moist, fresh-tilled earth. This is full of life and very pure. The palate has focused and fresh tannins that sit in very vibrant style with a deep push of concentrated blue fruit, holding the finish in superb style. So fresh and long, this will age well. Drink across the next decade or more.”
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