Vinopolis Weekend Newsletter 11-30-18

In Today’s Newsletter:Featured Arrival: 2015 Tignanello

New Champagne Reviews from Antonio Galloni

2006 Dom Perignon at the Best Price in the Country

New Arrivals
Including Krug, Taittinger, Cameron
Arterberry-Maresh, Bow & Arrow,
BV, Togni, Delas, Muga and More!

Hyper-Rare Large Format d’Yquem

New Zealand’s Greatest Wine?


Featured New Arrival

2015 Tignanello

“Best since the legendary 1997?”

“Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper. Powerful and structured. A great Tignanello.”-James Suckling

“a wine that opens, like a fully blossomed rose, right in front of you”-Monica Larner

#24 Wine of the Year – Wine Spectator Top 100 in 2018
Only eighteen bottles available
Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($149.95)
$119 special
James Suckling 98 points “Fantastic aromas of dark berries, sandalwood and Spanish cedar that are ever so deep. Full body, an incredible spin of polished tannins and bright acidity. Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper. Powerful and structured. A great Tignanello. A little more sangiovese than usual. Best since the legendary 1997?”
Wine Spectator 97 points “Dense and intensely flavored, with violet, black currant, blackberry, graphite, wild herb and spice aromas and flavors, this is concentrated and solidly built, yet also harmonious, vibrant and pure. Approachable now, but should be better in a few years. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2021 through 2035.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2015 Tignanello is a wine that opens, like a fully blossomed rose, right in front of you. This vintage is immediately accessible, generous and opulent. The wine will surely flesh out and gain focus with more bottle age, but one of the best qualities of this vintage is just how beautiful the wine tastes straight out of the gate. The fruit is beautifully ripe with fresh blackberry and cherry nuances, spice, leather, sweet tobacco and smoke. Up until this vintage, the various blending components that make up Tignanello were vinifed in separate lots. Starting with 2015, the wine is blended sooner in order to achieve better overall integration. The entire Tignanello estate counts 130 hectares of vines, but the single-vineyard “Tignanello” that makes this wine is 57 hectares. Some 340,000 bottles were produced.”


New Champagne Reviews

From Antonio Galloni

“I came away from my annual fall Champagne tastings absolutely exhilarated by the quality of the wines…

“In my Summer Preview I lamented the growing Burgundization of Champagne, and while that is a very real phenomenon, it is somewhat tempered by the increase in new and/or re-emerging domaines making great wines that merit your attention. Diversity is a beautiful thing, and Champagne has never been more diverse than it is today…

“Keeping up with the pace of change in Champagne is increasingly challenging, as each year there are more and more producers making wines of true distinction and personality. Because of that, there is little doubt that Champagne is one of the most vibrant and exciting regions in the world today.” – Antonio Galloni

In Stock Now:

Andre Clouet ‘Dream Vintage’ Brut, Champagne 2004 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The 2004 Brut Dream Vintage is elegant, polished and medium in body, as wines in this vintage tend to be. Nicely balanced and harmonious, the 2004 will drink well for at least a handful of years.”

Andre Clouet ‘Dream Vintage’ Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 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.”

Benoit Dehu “Initiation” Brut, Champagne NV (2015) ($99.95) $79 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “A new wine from Benoit Déhu, the NV (2015) Initiation is superb. Intense aromatics and lifted, soaring fruit are two of the signatures that mark this distinguished, alluring Champagne. Dried herbs, lemon confit, chamomile, almond and savory notes meld together in this understated, classy Champagne. The Initiation has a bit of the savory character that makes so many 2015s, and yet there is a good bit of tension and precision here. Initiation is a blend of Pinot Noir from a new vineyard in this range and Meunier from the lower slopes of La Rue des Noyers, the same site that informs Déhu’s flagship wine. Zero dosage. Disgorged: February 28, 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Dehu ‘La Rue des Noyers’, Champagne NV (2014) ($119.95) $89 special
Antonio Galloni 93+ points “Benoit Déhu NV (2014) Extra Brut Cuvée La Rue des Noyers Non-Dosé is bright, powerful and tightly wound. A wine of energy and vibrancy, the 2014 is going to need at least a few years to be at its very best. Even so, its potential today is evident. The Meunier character is pronounced, but it is the wine’s salivating minerality that gives shape, focus and cut. What a gorgeous wine this. Disgorged on August 4, 2017 with no dosage.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Champagne Hebrart Cuvee Reserve Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Brut Cuvée de Reserve is gorgeous. Bright, energetic and focused, the Cuvee de Reserve offers a striking tension for a Pinot-based NV Champagne. There is level of translucent purity in the Brut Cuvée de Reserve that is striking, Lemon confit, wild flowers, mint and almond notes all develop in an effortless, gracious Champagne that will drink well right out of the gate. The blend is 45% 2015, 25% 2014, 20% 2013 and 10% 2012, mostly Pinot Noir, with 15% Chardonnay. Disgorged: December 6, 2017.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Champagne Hebrart Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs is rich, tropical and racy, all of which give it considerable appeal. One of the most overt wines in this range, the Blanc de Blancs is decidedly open-knit and radiant, with real substance that carries through to the expressive, supple finish. The blend is 70% 2014, 20% 2013 and 10% 2012. Disgorged: December 6, 2017.”Champagne Hebrart Cuvee Rose Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Brut Rosé is another gorgeous wine in this range. Hebrart deftly manages fruit intensity and energy in a Brut Rose that positively sizzles with energy. Cranberry, white pepper, mint, crushed rocks and chalk add to the wine’s taught brilliant feel. There is so much to admire and enjoy in this pure, crystalline Rose. This release is 55% 2015 Chardonnay, 38.5% Pinot Noir from 2014/2013 and a dollop of still 2014 Pinot. Disgorged: January 23, 2018.”Champagne Hebrart Special Club Millesime Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2013 Brut Special Club Millesime is wonderfully amped up and radiant. Honey, pastry, vanillin, apricot and lemon confit open up in a weighty Champagne built on power and intensity. The Special Club offers notable density, even if it has a bit less textural finesse than most of the other wines in this range. Even so, the Special Club is an attractive wine, just not the meaningful step up it should be. I would give the 2013 at least a year or two in bottle to unwind. The blend is 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay. Disgorged: December 6, 2017.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Gaston Chiquet Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs d’Ay Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “Gaston-Chiquet’s NV Brut Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ, a rare pure Chardonnay from Ay, is one of the most distinctive wines in the range. Bright and floral, with all of the texture that is such a signature of wines from the village, the Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ has tons of character. The balance of layered lemon confit and ripe pear notes with more chiseled, mineral inflections makes for an absolutely compelling Champagne. Disgorged: July 2017.”Pierre Peters Cuvee Speciale ‘Les Chetillons’ Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2011 750ML ($149.95) $125 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2011 Brut Cuvée Spéciale Les Chétillons is just as impressive today as it was when I tasted it earlier this year. Ample and deep, especially within the context of the year, the 2011 is terrific. There is plenty of depth to the citrus and floral-laced flavors to support at least medium-term aging. There is no question the Chétillons is one of the very best Champagnes of the year. There are no green or herbal notes present today, but I also would not push my luck on aging.”Pierre Peters ‘Reserve Oubliee’ Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne NV (’12) 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Reserve Oubliée is a serious, beautifully resonant wine. Ample, creamy and super-expressive, the Reserve Oubliée has so much to offer. Pear, baked apple, dried flowers, almond and chamomile infuse this layered, inviting Champagne. This is an especially big wine for Peters, but it works. As a reminder, the Reserve Oubliée is the same base wine as the Cuvée de Réserve, but aged an extra year on the lees and bottled under cork rather than crown seal. “

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Pierre Peters Cuvee Rose for Albane Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($129.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The NV Brut Rosé Albane is terrific in this release. Powerful and resonant, with a bit more size than is customary for this wine, the Rosé has a lot to offer. In the glass, the wine is vivid and wonderfully nuanced, in a style that will work nicely as both and aperitif and at the dinner table. This release is 100% Chardonnay, based on 2015, with the addition of 25% wines from a perpetual reserve. Disgorged: February 2018.”Ulysse Collin ‘Les Maillons’ Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne NV (’14) ($119.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The NV Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Maillons is another gorgeous Champagne from Olivier Collin. Rich and ample on the palate, the Maillons shows all the textural richness of Pinot from this impeccably farmed parcel of 50 year-old vines in Barbonne-Fayel. Kirsch, mint, chamomile and dried flowers flesh out in a creamy, voluptuous Blanc de Noirs full of personality. In this release, Les Maillons is equal parts 2014 and 2013. Dosage is 2.4 grams per liter. Disgorged: March, 2018.”Arriving ETA December:Aubry Premier Cru Brut Rose, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Brut Rosé is absolutely gorgeous. Lifted, precise and sculpted, the Brut Rosé captures all the best qualities of the Aubry house style. Red berry and floral notes are finely cut in this super-expressive, alluring Rosé. Interestingly, the NV Brut Rosé is quite a bit drier and more taut in feel than the NV Brut, a style that works especially well here. This release is all 2015,40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 10% Meunier and, quite unusually, 10% still red Meunier. Disgorged: April 2018.”

Cedric Bouchard Roses de Jeanne Blanc de Noirs Cote de Val Vilaine, Champagne NV (2016) 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2016 Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine is gorgeous in this vintage. Ample and creamy on the palate, with tremendous textural richness, the 2016 dazzles from start to finish. I can’t remember a vintage of the Val Vilaine that was this complete and harmonious. Moreover, the Val Vilaine is a terrific introduction to Cédric Bouchard and his wines, especially for readers who can’t find some of the more smaller-production cuvées. Non-dosé. Disgorged: April 2018.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Chartogne-Taillet Cuvee Sainte Anne Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “The NV Brut Sainte Anne is a gorgeous wine, as it so often is. Pliant and inviting, with superb textural richness, the Sainte Anne shows Alexandre Chartogne’s style off to great effect. Dried pear, chamomile, mint mad dried flowers are some of the many notes that run through this super-expressive Champagne. This release is a 50/50 blend of 2015 and reserve wines, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, also in equal measure. Disgorged: December 2017.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Gaston Chiquet Or Premier Cru Brut Millesime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The 2008 Brut Vintage Or is relatively open and accessible wine for the year. There is good depth to the dried pear, candied citrus and floral notes, but it is without question the resonance of Ay that carries the wine. Hints of graphite, smoke and slate add lovely underpinnings of minerality. The Vintage is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Dosage is 8 grams per liter. Disgorged: July 2017.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
A. Margaine Special Club Brut, Champagne 2012 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2012 Special Club finds Arnaud Margaine at his very best. Ample, creamy and beautifully layered on the palate, with exquisite aromatics, the Special Club dazzles from the very first taste. All the elements simply fall into place. Lemon peel, orchard fruit, crushed rocks and lifted floral notes convey brightness, but here, too, I am blown away by the wine’s precision and focus. The 2012 is 100% Chardonnay, aged partly in wood, with full malolactic fermentation. It may very well be the most complete Champagne I have ever tasted from Arnaud Margaine. Disgorged: August 2017.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Cuvee Special Club Brut Millesime, Champagne 2012 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Interestingly, the 2012 Special Club is quite a bit riper and bigger than any of the three single-village Special Clubs. Light tropical overtones meld into a core of candied orange peel, apricot, chamomile and wild flowers. In this tasting, the 2012 comes across as adolescent and not fully put together. Hopefully that will come in time. Disgorged: July 20, 2017.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Pierre Peters L’Etonnant Monsieur Victor Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, Champagne (’11) NV ($349.95) $299 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The NV Etonnant Monsieur Victor, a blend of equal parts the best tank of 2011 Les Chétillons and the base of 2010 Reserve Oubliée aged on cork, is another impressive wine from Rodolphe Péters. Mineral and bright citrus notes abound in a Champagne that exudes class and distinction from the very first taste. It seems pretty obvious that the blend of components helped Péters get the most out of 2011. The Etonnant Monsieur Victor is gorgeous in every way. Disgorged: April 2018.”Vilmart & Cie ‘Coeur de Cuvee’ Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2010 750ML ($159.95) $128 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “One of the things I admire most about Laurent Champs is his ability to turn out not just good – but great – wines in challenging years in which other growers struggle. Vibrant, nuanced and breathtakingly beautiful, the 2010 is simply mesmerizing. A kaleidoscope of aromas, flavors and textures dazzles all the senses in a taut, vibrant Champagne that will stop readers dead in their tracks. The 2010 is every bit that good. A few years in the cellar should help the wine soften a bit, but it is incredibly beautiful today. Dosage is 7 grams per liter. Disgorged: February, 2017.”

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Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier d’Or Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($119.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2013 Grand Cellier d’Or soars out of the glass with majestic intensity. Rich, concentrated and somehow also light on its feet, the 2013 is sublime. I could describe the aromas, flavors and textures, but, really, more than anything else, the 2013 is flat-out delicious. The level of detail and precision here is simply tremendous. Disgorged: July, 2017.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Champagne Hebrart Selection Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 375ML ($29.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The NV Brut Selection Vieilles Vignes is a cuvée of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay old vines, all from Mareuil, based on the 2013 vintage, so two years older than the base vintage of the Cuvee de Reserve. The old vines and the natural pedigree of 2013 confer a palpable sense of weight, texture and overall resonance. Creamy and expansive on the palate, with layers of flavor, the Selection is a gorgeous wine from Marc Hebrart. Disgorged: June 22, 2017.”

2006 Dom Perignon

At the Lowest Price in the Country

Just Arrived:
Dom Perignon Brut, Champagne 2006 750ML ($189.95) $138 special
Case-6 Dom Perignon Brut, Champagne 2006 750ML ($899.95) $779 special (that’s only $129.83/bottle!)
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The 2006 Dom Pérignon is a beautifully balanced, harmonious Dom Pérignon that strikes an incredibly appealing stylistic middle ground. Rich, voluptuous and creamy, the 2006 shows off fabulous intensity in a style that brings together the ripeness of 2002 with the greater sense of verve and overall freshness that is such a signature of the 2004. Bass notes and a feeling of phenolic grip on the finish recall the 2003, as the Pinot Noir is particularly expressive today. After an irregular summer that saw elevated temperatures in July followed by cooler, damp conditions in August, more favorable weather returned in September, pushing maturation ahead and leading to a long, protracted harvest. The 2006 falls into the family of riper, more voluptuous Dom Pérignons, but without veering into the level of opulence seen in vintages such as 2002.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2006 Dom Pérignon comes from a very rich vintage with an early ripeness that brought a lot of aromatic maturity. The white-golden prestige cuvée contains a bit more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir and opens with a deep and seductive, pretty accessible nose with intense yet fresh fruit aromas of pineapples, with peaches and tangerines. Lively and elegant on the palate, this is a full-bodied, unusually aromatic and fruity DP with a long and tension-filled expression.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!



New Arrivals


Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Wine Advocate 95 points “This wine comes from Pinot Noir vines planted in the early 1970s. Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard features warm black cherries and currants on the nose with forest floor, black licorice, cardamom, mushroom and sweet wet leaves nuances. Medium to full-bodied, it’s packed full of red and black fruits with layers of sweet spice and savory mushroom, with a great frame of grainy tannins and juicy acidity, finishing very long with spice-laced sweet fruit notes. 1,200 cases produced.”
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Vivid red. Sexy, high-pitched red berry, incense and candied rose scents are complemented by a smoky mineral aspect and a hint of star anise. Sappy and focused in the mouth, offering energetic raspberry liqueur, bitter cherry, blood orange and floral pastille flavors that put on weight and become sweeter with air. Conveys a suave blend of power and vivacity and closes on a subtly tannic note, displaying outstanding focus and floral-driven persistence.”Bow & Arrow Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($21.95) $19 special
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Bow & Arrow Union School Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 specialColene Clemens Vineyards ‘Dopp Creek’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
VinopolNote: The follow up to the Wine Spectator Top 10 2015, the 2016 (from a very similar vintage) shows classic dark rich flavors and beautiful spice notes.
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Cameron Massale Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Winery note “In the late 19th century, Mssr. Paul Masson emigrated to California from Burgundy, bringing with him a treasure trove of Pinot noir closes which he planted as a traditional massale (random assortment of clones). In 1940, Masson sold the estate to local businessman Martin Ray. When Ray sold the estate to Seagrams in 1943, he gathered budwood from throughout Masson’s massale and planted it in the hills above Saratoga. With this effort, he literally saved the most important collection of Pinot noir clones in the Western Hemisphere (some years later, Seagrams plowed under the historic vineyard). Part of Cameron Winery’s Clos Electrique vineyard is composed of vines collected 33 years ago from this fabled massale. This limited production wine is made exclusively from those vines.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

The Eyrie Vineyards Original Vines Reserve Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2014 750ML ($74.95) $66 special
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Deep bright-rimmed red. A complex, expansive bouquet evokes fresh red and blue fruits, potpourri and smoky minerals, backed by a sexy Asian spice flourish. Shows impressive energy and tension on the palate, offering gently sweet raspberry and boysenberry flavors that are underscored and sharpened by a peppery spice nuance. Shows outstanding clarity and floral lift on the strikingly long, penetrating finish, which is shaped by smooth, well-judged tannins.”Love & Squalor Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Bucklin Old Hill Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 2014 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Winery note “The six-acre block of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted on Old Hill Ranch in 1983 by our neighbor who leased the vineyard until 2004. The original vines were planted on AXR rootsock, meaning that they are infected with phyloxera and their roots are compromised.  The net effect is a very devigorated vine, producing low yields.  The wines from this block tend towards austere and lean, harking back to Cabernets of yesteryear…”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Beaulieu Vineyard BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2013 750ML ($149.95) $99 special
Case-6 Beaulieu Vineyard BV Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2013 750ML ($899.95) $549 special (that’s only $91.50/bottle!—the lowest listed price in the country)
Antonio Galloni 96 points “Ripe, concentrated and intense, with fabulous richness throughout, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Georges de Latour Private Reserve brilliantly melds together elements of both the classic and modern. The flavors are dark and unctuous, but even with the wine’s considerable mid-palate sweetness, the 2013 needs time for the tannins to soften. There is no shortage of potential, but readers will have to be patient.”
Wine Advocate 95+ points “One of the two flagship cuvées, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour is a fabulous wine. Obviously, this is the one wine that received the most meticulous attention from their outside consultant Michel Rolland. A great effort in 2013, as one might expect in this vintage, this wine needs 5-6 years and seems capable of lasting 30-40 or more, given the history of the great BV Private Reserves. Inky purple to the rim, with an extraordinary nose of créme de cassis and kirsch, licorice, cedarwood, and a touch of underbrush, the wine hits the palate with a full-bodied, powerful, concentrated, dense style, has great acidity, moderately sweet tannin, and a long, long finish. This wine is young and still slightly unformed, but loaded with potential and upside. Forget it for 5-6 years and drink it over the following half-century.”Philip Togni Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($169.95) $149 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “A focused, tannic style, featuring tobacco and sage notes intermixed liberally with steeped currant and blackberry fruit flavors. Terrific cast iron and graphite hints flow underneath. This has loads of character and range, showing very vigorous, savory-edged cut. Youthfully rugged, with bramble-edged grip to burn. Cellaring will let all the elements meld. Best from 2021 through 2040.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Medium garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate has a very classic nose of cassis, warm plums and crushed blackberries with notions of cigar box, garrigue, damp soil and truffles plus wafts of menthol and underbrush. The palate is medium to full-bodied with a firm frame of grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing long and minerally.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “A fleshy deep, wine, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate exudes richness and sheer exotic beauty from the very first taste. As always, the Togni wines need bottle age to be at their best. In 2015, time will mostly help the aromatics develop, as the tannins are quite soft for such a young wine. Expressive floral and savory notes develop with time in the glass, but the 2015 is years away from hitting its stride. It will be interesting to see where the 2015 goes in the coming years and decades. Sadly, yields are down a whopping 50%.”
Krug Brut, Champagne 2004 750ML ($299.95) $259 special
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “Krug’s 2004 Vintage is absolutely mesmerizing. Layers of bright, chiseled fruit open up effortlessly as the wine fleshes out with time in the glass. Persistent and beautifully focused, with a translucent sense of energy, the 2004 captures all the best qualities of the year. Moreover, the 2004 is clearly superior to the consistently underwhelming 2002 and the best Krug Vintage since 1996. Readers who can find it should not hesitate, as it is a magical bottle.”
Decanter 97 points “This is the current and latest vintage release from Krug, and is a fitting successor to 2002, though it’s very different in style – unusually, the blend contains more Chardonnay than Pinot Noir. Despite this, it is hallmark Krug with its oxidative profile. It has a luminous freshness and good density without heaviness. There’s a controlled power to this poised, vinous, linear 2004, displaying candied fruits, minerals, gingerbread, white chocolate, caramel and marzipan. This has a long, dry autolytic finish, great balance and lovely bead. Disgorged just after the next, and very different, vintage we tasted, the Krug 2003. Drinking Window 2017-2037.”
John Gilman 97 points “The new release of 2004 Krug is absolutely beautiful and is already quite elegant and open on both the nose and palate and is drinking with great finesse. I had expected this wine to be a bit more steely in structure out of the blocks, but the refinement of the blend this year has produced a wine that is already a joy to drink at age thirteen, though it will continue age gracefully for many, many decades to come. The cépages in 2004 is thirty-nine percent Chardonnay, thirty-seven percent Pinot Noir and twenty-four percent Pinot Meunier, with the wine having been disgorged in the winter of 2016. The bouquet jumps from the glass in a refined mix of apple, a touch of walnut, warm bread, lavender, a superb base of soil tones and a topnote of smokiness. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and utterly seamless, with vibrant acids, great focus and grip, a lovely core, refined mousse and a very long, complex, racy and energetic finish. There is marvelous precision here on both the nose and palate, not to mention a sense of harmony and grace that is fairly rare in the 2004 vintage. Chapeau! 2017-2060.”Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne 2007 750ML ($179.95) $159 special
James Suckling 98 points “This is a step up from the linear and fresh 2006. It shows subtle depth and power with a dense block of vivid fruit that’s highlighted with lemon zest, green apples and hints of white peaches. Just the right amount of praline and nuts on the nose. Fine and tight bead give the Champagne a luxurious mouthfeel. One for now or the cellar. Drink or hold.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “Taittinger’s 2007 Comtes de Champagne will be nearly impossible to resist upon release. Soaring aromatics, mid-weight structure and soft contours give the 2007 its alluring personality. Lemon oil, white flowers, mint, chamomile and green pear add brightness and freshness throughout, with a persistent, clean finish that makes it impossible to resist a second taste. Today, the 2007 comes across as a slightly more open version of the 2004, with freshness that makes that wine so appealing, and a touch of textural richness that recalls the 2002. Although the 2007 does not have the explosive energy or verticality of the profound 2006, it will drink better earlier. The 2007 has been positively brilliant on the three occasions I have tasted it so far.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Taittinger’s prestigious Comtes de Champagne is composed entirely of Chardonnay grapes from the Grand Cru villages of Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Mesnil-sur-Oger and Oger (Côte des Blancs). The citrus-golden colored 2007 Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is the fourth in a row after the 2004 vintage (which will be followed by 2008 whereas there will be no Comtes from 2009, 2010 and 2011) and opens with a nobly intense yet nuanced bouquet of ripe fruits, chalk, iodine and a touch of brioche. The wine indicates a coolish and precise character on the clear, flinty nose that develops lemon, pastry and floral notes. On the palate, this is Taittinger at its best: clear, fresh, lush and elegant, offering both sensuality and noble elegance. The 2007 reveals great finesse and is a perfect expression of both the Taittinger style and the Côte de Blancs. The wine (of which 5% has spent four months in oak barrels to give roundness and a touch of toast) is tightly woven, well concentrated and even juicy yet always clear, fresh, pure, fine and elegant. The finish is intense, clean, vivacious and complex, with good grip and lingering salty minerals that indicate good aging potential. Disgorged in October 2017; tasted in May 2018.”Alain Jaume & Fils 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.”Delas Freres Hermitage Les Bessards, Rhone 2015 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “The top cuvée from Delas is the 2015 Hermitage Les Bessards, and it’s always 100% Syrah from the steep, broken granite soils of the Bessards lieu-dit. Aged 18 months in 30% new barrels, its purple/plum color is followed by a huge nose of blackcurrants, graphite, toasted spice, crushed rocks and saddle leather. Powerful, massively concentrated, and tannic, it has a broad, expansive, heavenly texture, a thick mid-palate (you could almost use a fork for this beauty), and a great finish. Despite the richness level, it stays balanced and graceful on the palate, and is never over the top or heavy. It’s a perfect Hermitage that will start to shine with 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for three decades or more. Bravo!”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar Selection! There’s a striking balance here calibrating bold, almost muscular ripeness against an invigorating granite edge. This wine is plump and full bodied, full of supple blackberry and plum flavors balanced by pert acidity and taut, penetrating tannins. It should be in peak from 2020–2035 but hold further.”
Wine Advocate 95-97 points “The top cuvée is the 2015 Hermitage les Bessards, which comes from the middle to lower portion of the steep, granite hillside known as Bessards, unquestionably one of the best terroirs for Syrah in the world. Its inky purple color is followed by a full-bodied, rich, thrillingly concentrated red that has huge tannin, bright acidity and a solid mid-palate concentration. It still tastes like it just came from the press and will need to be forgotten for a decade. As normal, it’s completely destemmed and will see 18 months in 30% new oak.”

Alain Jaume & Fils Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf-du-Pape Le Miocene, Rhone 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Jeb Dunnuck 91-93 points “The entry-level effort is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Le Miocène and it’s primarily Grenache with smaller amounts of Syrah and Mourvèdre. It offers a classic, fresh, beautifully focused style in its raspberry, garrigue, flower and spice aromatics. This gives way to a medium to full-bodied, deep, rich, layered red that has the underlying tannic grip and structure of the vintage. It’s going to keep for 10-15 years.”

Bodegas Muga ‘Prado Enea’ Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
James Suckling 99 points “The wonderfully silky texture with an added juiciness is what makes this wine so very special. The flawless and seamless nature to the wine is so impressive that it takes your breath away. Plenty of beautiful fruit but what mouthfeel. Drink now and forever.”
Wine Advocate 97 points “I was really looking forward to the 2010 Prado Enea Gran Reserva, as I’ve seen a very good improvement in this cuvée in the last few vintages, and 2010 is one of the more-balanced vintages of recent times. This is the most classical among the wines in the portfolio, the one with the longer élevage, a little bit like the wines from yesteryear but with today’s knowledge about vineyards and vinification/élevage. This has settled to a blend of approximately 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the remaining 10% between Mazuelo and Graciano, from the cooler, higher-altitude vineyards, which means they only bottle it every two or three years. In recent years, 2007 and 2008 were not bottled. It ferments in small oak vats built by their own tonneliers, and they like to delay malolactic until the spring by opening the windows so the cold from outside comes into the winery. For the aging, each variety goes into separate barrels racked from newer to older barrels to complete some 36 months or three years. It has very healthy and balanced parameters, and that’s what the wine feels like. It’s still young. It’s never a dark wine, more of a ruby or bright color, and it has a nose of youth, subtle and elegant. But the quality shows in the unbelievable elegance and harmony on the palate, where the tannins are very fine, the flavors are subtle but deep and the length is just phenomenal. This is only medium-bodied, with perfect ripeness and integrated acidity. This should have a very long life in bottle, especially as I had the chance to check the evolution of the 2004 next to this. 90,000 bottles were produced from 2010. The following vintages will be 2011, 2014 (a small bottling) and 2015.”Numanthia, Toro 2011 750ML ($69.95) $33 special
Case-6 Numanthia, Toro 2011 750ML ($379.95) $179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 93 points
“Intense aromas of charred, smoky, lemony oak add depth and masculinity to ripe black-fruit scents. Although tough and tannic, this is built like a fortress. Flavors of black pepper, dark chocolate and blackberry finish with complex notes of cocoa and herbs. Drink this currently young and tannic Toro through 2030.”
James Suckling 93 points “Very pretty, balanced red with lead-pencil, berry and floral character on the nose and palate. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Refined and clean. Drink now.” JS
Wine Spectator 92 points “Cola and balsamic notes accent plum, sanguine, tobacco and licorice flavors in this savory red. Dense, with muscular tannins and balsamic acidity, but the floral and spicy finish shows some grace. Drink now through 2025. 6,500 cases made.”

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Adriano Marco e Vittorio Basarin, Barbaresco DOCG 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Wine Spectator 93 points “A streak of cherry bisects the supple texture and sleek structure in this elegant red. Hints of licorice, menthol, leather and tobacco add depth as this plays out on the chewy, resonant finish. Best from 2022 through 2038.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Just Arrived!

Rare Large Formats of 2015 d’Yquem

2015 Chateau d’Yquem is looking like one of the two best wines the estate has produced this century (trailing, perhaps by a hair, the 2001).  In other words, it’s a monumental wine—a true collector’s icon and one of the most complex wines produced anywhere in the world in 2015.  We had already secured half bottles of the liquid gold, but just recently pulled off a vinous coup—750’s and (more impressively) magnums of this legend.  Only a very tiny percentage of d’Yquem is bottled in large formats, so securing any, much less three, is a feat.  They just arrived and we’re offering them at exceptional pricing.  If you’re interested, act quickly.

Chateau d’Yquem, Sauternes 2015 750ML ($499.95) $449 special
Chateau d’Yquem, Sauternes 2015 1.5L ($1099.95) $979 special
Wine Advocate 100 points “Following a very long harvest stretching nearly two months, the 2015 Château d’Yquem came in at 13.9% alcohol and 144 grams per liter of residual sugar, sporting a pH of 3.65 and six grams per liter of tartaric acid. None of these numbers, however, even remotely begin to tell you how profound this wine is. The nose opens with electric notes of ripe pineapples, green mango, orange blossoms and lemon tart with hints of fungi, lime zest, crushed rocks and jasmine. The freshness on the palate is just astonishing, permeating and lifting layer upon layer of tropical fruits and earthy notions, all encased in a sumptuous texture and culminating in a very, very long, mineral-tinged finish. Truly, this is a legendary vintage for d’Yquem. I’ve been conservative with my drinking window here, and I would not be at all surprised if our descendants are drinking this vintage well into the next century.”-LPB
James Suckling 99-100 points “This is an incredible young Yquem that is so vinous like a great vintage of Montrachet but then on the palate it turns to Yquem with spice, dried fruit and mushroom as well as sweet fruit. Last for minutes. Acidity is all there giving it a dynamic vibrance that jolts your senses. Special wine. It has a little more than than 140 grams of residual sugar, less than the legendary of 2001. But is very close in greatness. Let’s wait and see.”
Antonio Galloni 98 points ” The 2015 d’Yquem is without question one of the wines of the vintage. Just as alluring from bottle as it was from barrel, the 2015 is a wine that engages all of the senses, from the intellectual to the more hedonistic. Lilting notes of pineapple, mint, orange peel and white flowers grace the palate, but it is the wine’s sense of balance and total harmony that impress most. In 2015, Yquem had its earliest start to the harvest since 1893. Even so, the winemaking team did a magnificent job of preserving freshness. The 2015 was fermented in 100% new oak, and residual sugar is 145 grams per liter, but great wine is never about numbers. Above all else, the 2015 Yquem is a wine of energy and class. Don’t miss it!”


Trinity Hill Homage

New Zealand’s Greatest Wine?

Perhaps the best wines to come out of the tiny nation of New Zealand are Syrahs from the Gimblett Gravels region of Hawkes Bay.  Deep, powerful and rich, they nonetheless possess stunning cool-climate aromatics that give them a combination of grace and power that’s truly special.

Trinity Hill is the top winery in Hawkes bay and their top Syrah, called Homage, is a landmark New Zealand wine.  It’s incredibly hard to source anywhere in the world, much less the Northern Hemisphere, and it’s hard to find a “traditional” reviewer with a take on the wine, but those that specialize in Australia and New Zealand know it’s something worth obsessing about. And our price is barely above what you’d pay in New Zealand and far below other offers in the USA.

“a wine of exceptional elegance and extraordinary poise”
Trinity Hill Homage Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand 2013 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 23 bottles in stock now
Raymond Chan 100 points
“Very dark, near saturated black-hued purple-red colour. The nose is very intense, but elegantly proportioned with a tightly bound and concentrated core of aromatic black berried fruits interwoven with an array of black and violet florals, and entwined with exotic herbs, Asian and Middle Eastern spices, liquorice and nutty elements. This is complex, detailed and absolutely refined with its depth and penetration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has elegance and concentration alongside intensity and depth. The flavours of ripe black berried fruits are seamlessly interwoven with an amazing spread of aromatics, showing waves of black and violet florals, spices, liquorice and complexing minerals. The fruit is supported by extremely refined, flowery tannins, the extraction and structure guiding the velvety flow. This has linearity, energy, drive and finesse, and the wine flows effortlessly to a concentrated, supple, refined and extended finish of black fruits, liquorice, spices and florals. This is a beautifully complex, refined, elegant and concentrated Syrah with black fruits, complexing detail and an amazing array of aromatics. Match with lamb, beef, venison and game meat, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 10-15+ years. 98.7% Syrah, predominantly MS clone from 18 y.o. vines and 1.3% Viognier, the fruit 85% from the Gimblett Gravels and 15% from ‘The Hillside’ vineyard behind the winery on Roys Hill.”
Sam Kim 98 points “This is a wine of exceptional elegance and extraordinary poise… An exquisitely composed and styled, the wine shows scintillating clarity as well as fine layers of delicate complexity… The palate is fine, concentrated and flowing, and shows superb harmony and balance, beautifully framed by abundance of polished tannins. So silky… At its best: 2020 to 2033. ”
Bob Campbell 97 points “Deep, ruby-tinted Syrah with plum, dark berry, vanilla, chocolate, new leather and black pepper flavours supported by a firm backbone of fine, ripe tannins. Big, complex red that has obviously been built for the long haul… A truly long-distance runner. ”
James Suckling 97 points ” A super-polished wine that has a broad array of fruits: raspberry, blackberry and cassis, with white pepper, graphite and a clear whole-bunch lift. The palate has a powerful, focused core of concentrated dark plum and cassis, boldly spicy, then dark chocolate to close. Best from 2019.”

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Thanks for reading!