Vinopolis Weekend Newsletter 12-22-17

New Champagne Arrivals For New Years; Christmas Dinner Pairings; The Pointiest Wines—Perfect Gifts in Red and White

Vinopolis Holiday Hours

We will close at 4 PM on Sunday, December 24th

We will be closed on Monday, December 25th and Monday, January 1st

We wish you a happy holiday season!

New Champagne for the New Year

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and we keep getting more interesting Champagne in, like a squirrel hoarding nuts before winter. We’re your one stop shop for all of your bubbly needs, from inexpensive, soulful grower bubbles to cult classics to the highest end wines from venerable Grande Marque houses.   These are some highlights of new arrivals, but you can find all 115+ Champagnes in stock on our website, !

Champagne Hebrart Cuvee Rose Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The NV Brut Rosé 1er Cru is delicate and nicely lifted in the glass, with attractive cranberry, chalk, white pepper and mint notes that give the wine its signature high-toned aromatics. Precise and finely-sculpted, Hébrart’s Rosé will appeal most to readers who like taut, slightly nervous wines. The Rosé can be enjoyed as an aperitif, but it also has enough depth to drink well with food. Disgorged: April 2017. Dosage is 7 grams per liter.”
Terry Theise note “The assemblage is daunting. 50% CH from Mareuil, vintage 2013. 43.5% PN from Mareuil shared between 2012 and 2011. 6.5% Mareuil PN as still wine vinified in wood, vintage 2012. Deg Oct 2015. This is a tic rounder than last year’s; sports the prettiest fragrance, rose hips and (sweet!) rhubarb; the palate is quite round, more vinous, but with the tiniest scratch of phenolics. As always it’s a wine that seamlessly melds sensuality with cerebrality.”
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Rene Geoffroy Rose de Saignee Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Rene Geoffroy Rose de Saignee Premier Cru Brut, Champagne NV 1.5L ($149.95) $128 special
Wine Spectator 92 points “[Reviewed November 2017] A deeply hued rosé that feels like fine raw silk on the palate, offering flavors of crushed raspberry, blood orange zest, honey and ground ginger, backed by bright, lightly juicy acidity. Chalky finish. Drink now through 2022. 160 cases imported.”

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Champagne Hebrart Special Club Millesime Brut, Champagne 2012 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2012 Brut Spécial Club Millésimé 1er Cru is a powerful, authoritative wine. Lemon peel, white flowers and orchard fruit are some of the many nuances that blossom in a rich, resonant Champagne loaded with class and personality. Creamy and ample, with terrific depth and plenty of volume, the 2012 will drink well for a number of years. The 2012 finishes just a touch dry, but there is a good deal of substance as well. Disgorged: April 2017. Dosage is 6.5 grams per liter.”

Mousse Fils L’Extra ‘Or d’Eugene Blanc de Noirs Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($54.95) $41.90 special
Importer note “80-20 Meunier-PN, disg. 3/2017, a “superior” NV with longer tirage from older material (solera 2003/2012), I am offering this extremely dry Champagne both for those pathologically averse to RS and also to show Cédric’s “serious” side. It has a certain depth and is certainly aligned with the Zeitgeist.”

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Marie Courtin Eloquence Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, Champagne 2013 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “Tension and energy are the signatures of the 2013 Extra Brut Eloquence. The expression of Chardonnay takes on Chablis-like dimensions, with bright, saline-infused underpinnings that give the wine its shape and overall personality. Today, the Eloquence is the most angular and reticent of these wines. Another few years in bottle can only help. Disgorged in April 2017 with no dosage.”
“Perhaps the most expressive of all of Moreau’s wines is Eloquence, a blanc de blancs made from her tiny parcel of chardonnay. Contrary to the usual roundness and generosity of Cote des Bar champagne, this is rigid and taut, driven by its fierce backbone of minerality. Nevertheless, it’s multifaceted and complete, and at its best, it’s one of the most exciting champagnes being made in the Aube today.” –Peter Liem
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Just Re-Arrived:

Aubry ‘Ivoire et Ebene’ Premier Cru Brut, Champagne 2012 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2012 Brut Ivoire et Ebène is another fabulous wine in this range. Powerful, ample and resonant in the glass, the 2012 is superb from the moment it is first poured. Baked apple, pear, smoke and spice fill out the wine’s voluptuous frame, with a hint of French oak that add complexity without being overpowering. The combination of bright flavors and rich textures is compelling. Disgorged: June 2016. Dosage is 3 grams per liter.”
Importer Note “50% Chardonnay 25% Pinot Noir 25% Meunier from Premier Cru vineyards in Jouy-lès-Reims.  Fermented and aged in Stainless Steel, it ages 48 months sur latte before disgorgement.”

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Aubry Le Nombre d’Or Campanae Veteres Vites Brut, Champagne 2012 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “One of the most distinctive and compelling wines in this range, the NV (2012) Brut Le Nombre d’Or Campanae Veteres Vites is deep and exquisitely layered, yet done in the classic Aubry style that prizes finesse above pure power. Scents of pear, white stone fruit, mint and white flowers inform this super-expressive Champagne. The Veteres Vites is a blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Petit Meslier, Arbanne, Chardonnay and Meunier. Dosage is 5 grams per liter.”
Christmas Dinner Table Recommendations

Christmas Dinner is the highlight of Christmas Day.  The family gathers around the table to celebrate and make merry and of course, eat.  Tradition dictates that you drink well, of course—these are the people you love most, gathered around the same table (which means a little social lubricant is probably a good thing).  Here are a few of our favorites for the occasion, from beginning to the end of the meal.

Jose Michel & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special, 35+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Jose Michel & Fils Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($219.95)
$179 special (that’s only $29.83/bottle!)
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 91 points
“(70% Pinot Meunier and 30% Chardonnay; 9 g/l dosage): Light yellow-gold. Fresh tangerine, pear and sweet butter on the fragrant nose. Smooth and weighty in the mouth, offering pliant orchard fruit and melon flavors and a bracing kick of bitter citrus zest. A minerally element adds lift and cut to the penetrating finish, which leaves a suave floral note behind.”

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Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Base vintage 2014, Disgorged 4/8/2017
: A perennial favorite NV Champagne at the shop, this wine is 100% Chardonnay from Grand Cru estate vineyards in the Cote des Blancs. The base vintage is 2014, but it also contains perpetual wine from 21 vintages: ’88, ’90, ’93 and ’95-2013 with the exception of ’99 and ’03. The wine is aged in a mix of stainless steel, oak casks and concrete and on the fine lees for 24+ months.
Terry Theise note: “Based on 2014, it has a riotously attractive aroma and a richer, more patisserie palate; napped with Satsuma marmalade; more exotic, with a clinging brown-butter finish. I think the “average drinker,” (whoever that person is…) will like it even more. Péters does the “perpetual reserve” with his NV, which means that the current wine is 50% of (the latest vintage) and 50% the previous blend, so today’s wine is half-2014 and half last year’s wine, which was half-2013 and half the previous year’s wine. The wisdom of this approach is manifest and tangible; it assures “house style” without creating uniformity, because vintages differ. Rodolphe continues to clarify his preferences the longer we know each other. For example, he hates the “quince” flavor and wants it nowhere near his wines. And he’s suspicious of the “saffron” descriptor because, he says, it results from botrytis, and he prefers his wine from pristine fruit.”
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Domaine Servin Blanchot, Chablis Grand Cru 2014 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Burghound 92-94 points
“The refined and admirably pure nose is comprised by white flower, tidal pool and subtle spice aromas that are followed by citrus and mineral-infused flavors that are attractively textured, precise and explosive on the hugely long and very dry finish. This beauty is a lovely combination of power and finesse while delivering buckets of Chablis character. In a word, lovely.”
Stephen Tanzer–Vinous 91+ points “Very pale yellow. Delicate, high-pitched aromas of peach, ginger and white pepper. Wonderfully penetrating and pure but very tight today and not yet showing the detail of the Monteé de Tonnerre. Strong lemony acidity (4.7 grams per liter, according to Cameron) contributes to an impression of chalky austerity and carries the wine’s finish. Still an infant and likely to merit an even higher score as it matures in the cellar.”
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Agathe Bursin Muscat Bollenberg, Alsace 2016 750ML ($29.95) $26 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Winery note
“[Translated] Bollenberg is one of the three arid hills bordering the village of Westhalten. A thin layer of loess lines the hillsides. The soil is a pale yellow loam, very fine and sandy with clayey limestone. This soil is particularly favorable to full expression of the different Alsatian grape varieties. The 44 year old Muscat plot is Muscat Ottonel (80%) and Muscat d’Alsace (20%). The vineyard gives the Muscat Muscat that delicate nose that only this grape can transmit. 17g/L residual sugar, 5.36 g/L total acidity. Drink as an aperitif or pair with asparagus, grilled sardines or shellfish.”

Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors, IGP Cotes Catalanes 2015 750ML ($17.95) $16 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck – Wine Advocate 94 points
“This wine is almost too good to be true. A blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache that was brought up in concrete tanks (Grenache) and demi-muids (Syrah), the 2015 Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes reminded me of a mini Syrah from California’s Manfred Krankl (yes I just compared a $14 Syrah to Sine Qua Non). It’s a ripe, sexy, heady beauty that exhibits a deep, purple color as well as killer notes of smoked meats, chocolate, blackberry and black raspberries. Deep, unctuous, open knit and layered, it continues to change in the glass, has a seamless and silky profile, and not a hard edge to be found. It’s a sensational value that needs to be tasted to be believed. Drink it anytime over the coming 2-4 years.”

Domaine de Montille Les Pezerolles, Pommard Premier Cru 2009 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2009 Pommard Les Pezerolles is rich, round and seductive. Layers of fruit caress the palate in this enveloping, textured Burgundy. There is plenty of intensity in the glass. Hints of hard candy and licorice wrap around the finish. The Pezerolles was made with 100% destemmed fruit. Although I like the wine’s frank immediacy, I also think it will age gracefully.”

Isole e Olena Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2004 375ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ half-bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
“Deep amber-yellow. Sexy, kaleidoscopic nose combines exotic tropical fruits, chestnut honey, raisin, dried fig, caramel and a musky iodine note. Then sharply delineated and penetrating on the palate in spite of its honeyed sweetness, with superb acidity giving spine to the dried fruit and ripe citrus flavors. This wonderfully vibrant yet thick and rich Vin Santo coats the mouth on the long, smooth finish. Great stuff.” ST

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Badia a Coltibuono Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Occhio di Pernice, Tuscany 2006 375ML ($79.95) $69 special, 26 half-bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points
“The 2006 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Occhio di Pernice is one of the best wines I have tasted from Badia a Coltibuono in some time. Sweet, dark and voluptuous, the 2006 shows all of the richness of a 100% Sangiovese Vin Santo, yet also possesses remarkable restraint for such a big wine, with plenty of intensity but no excess weight. A bevy of leather, licorice and clove notes round out the silky, mid-weight finish.”
Bruce Wiatrak- Vinous Media “Their Occhio di Pernice is a different animal entirely, even more distinct from Coltibuono’s white rendition than Avignonesi’s two Vin Santos are from one another. Stucchi relies on “perfect” Sangiovese clusters for the Occhio di Pernice, loose and healthy. He crushes the fruit in a basket press, but leaves the must there for two days for the skins to impart more pigment. The 2006 sweeps across the palate in broad strokes of coffee grounds, poached figs, toffee and buttered popcorn. A thread of acidity keeps the Vin Santo focused and long, needling its way through the fleshy, brooding wine”

Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Cuvee Constance’ Moelleux, Loire 2015 500ML ($199.95) $169 special, 8 bottles in stock now
The last four releases of Constance (which is not released every vintage) have scored 98pts (2009), 99pts (2005), 98pts (2003) and 99pts (2002) from Wine Spectator, with similar scores from the other major publications.  We’re not great at predicting the future, but when Huet decides to produce and release a Cuvee Constance, we’re buying as much of it as we can afford.

Philippe Foreau Domaine du Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux Reserve, Loire 2009 750ML ($119.95) $79 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 97 points
“What there was in this vintage of botrytis, Foreau reports, essentially went into his 2009 Vouvray Moelleux Reserve. Brown-spiced pear liqueur and quince preserves dominate the proceedings – wreathed in perfume of freesia and lily – and there are buoyancy and elegance, despite viscosity, enormous richness of texture and residual sweetness, that indeed point to the magic nobility rot can convey. Its sense of lift – when combined with luscious, still juicy suggestions of grapefruit and blood orange familiar from the corresponding demi-sec – wards off any risk of palate fatigue. Mysterious botrytis manifestations of stale bread, truffle, and white raisin emerge from the empty glass. This extraordinary achievement will stand with such past great Foreau moelleux reserves as 2005, 2003, and 1989-90 and is likely to merit 30 or more years of consideration. In direct comparison, what strikes one about the 2005 today is its more obvious sense of botrytis and its slightly diminished sense of acidity and lift. But it maintains the edge in sheer complexity.” WA

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When Only the Pointiest Will Do

Some Our Highest Scoring Wines,

Perfect for Presents

E. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane, Rhone 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 99 points
“Easily one of the greatest Condrieu I’ve ever tasted is the 2015 Condrieu La Doriane. A wine that needs to be tasted to be believed, it possesses a huge nose of toasted brioche, liquid rocks, apricot, flower oil and salty minerality. Unctuous, full-bodied, massively rich, yet also elegant and graceful, with beautiful freshness, enjoy this tour de force over the coming 5-6 years.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points “Brilliant yellow-gold. Powerful orange, nectarine and honeydew aromas are complemented by suave floral, vanilla and chalky mineral accents. Supple and expansive in the mouth, offering deeply concentrated, smoke-tinged poached pear and peach nectar flavors that pick up honey and iodine qualities as the wine opens up. Lush and seamless but surprisingly energetic in style, showing superb closing thrust and lingering suggestions of buttery brioche and candied pit fruits.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Lush, with papaya, mango and ginger notes layered seamlessly, while hints of heather honey, anise and piecrust hang in the background. The long and rich finish has no choice but to let the fruit power on. All hedonism and thoroughly delicious. Drink now through 2022.”

M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Meal Blanc, Rhone 2011 750ML ($219.95) $159 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 99 points
“Surprisingly, I preferred the 2011 Ermitage le Meal Blanc over the 2012 on this occasion and it showed a more flamboyant, sexy style in its caramelized pineapple, tropical, honeyed and floral personality. Big, rich and decadent, with fabulous fruit intensity and length, this rock star flirts with perfection and will keep for another 3-4 decades.”

Kapcsandy Rapszodia Red Blend, Napa 2015 750ML ($479.95) $419 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Robert Parker 98-100 points
“Their 100% Cabernet Franc cuvee, the 2015 Rapszodia Proprietary Red, spent its whole life in 100% new French oak and is an exhilarating wine with off-the-charts richness, an exquisite bouquet of spring flowers, forest floor, rich blue and black fruits, voluptuous texture, incredibly fine, silky tannins, and, for a Kapcsandy wine, relatively elevated alcohol at 14.5%. This is a “wow” wine that should drink beautifully young and last 20-30+ years.”

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E. Guigal Cote Rotie La Landonne, Rhone 2009 750ML ($599.95) $499 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Robert Parker 100 points
“The 2009 Cote Rotie La Landonne is a killer wine. An extravagant bouquet of black truffles, roasted meats, licorice, ground pepper, blackberries, scorched earth and camphor soars from this muscular, dense, over-the-top, serious, masculine La Landonne. Built like Arnold Schwarzenegger was two decades ago, this enormously concentrated bodybuilder of a wine should hit its prime in a decade, and last 40-50 years. This is no trivial boast as the debut vintage of La Landonne, the 1978, is just reaching full maturity at age 34.” RP
Wine Spectator 99 points “This delivers a stunningly ripe, pure, polished bolt of plum confiture, along with notes of anise, mocha, blueberry coulis, Black Forest cake and espresso. The finish sports admirable grip for this ripe-styled vintage, with a grounding rod of iron buried deeply. There’s fruit and muscle now, with minerality to burn while this is cellared. Best from 2015 through 2040.”

Quilceda Creek Galitzine Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain 2013 750ML ($219.95) $179 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 98 points
“An utterly prodigious effort that would most likely be the wine of the vintage if not for its big brother, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard comes all from Red Mountain and was raised in 100% new French oak. Revealing a healthy ruby/purple color and classic notes of sage brush, graphite, black cherries, currants and chocolate, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness; building, present, yet ripe and polished tannin; perfect integration of its fruit, alcohol and oak; and awesome length. This is a powerhouse Cabernet Sauvignon that still holds onto a sense of elegance and finesse. Forget it for 4-5 years and drink bottles over the following two decades.”

Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 97 points
“A stunner from the get-go, with waves of thoroughly seductive boysenberry, plum, blueberry and raspberry reduction forming the core, while roasted apple wood, rooibos tea, bergamot, and anise notes flash throughout. Has plenty of bass, with a Turkish coffee accent and a hint of alder driving underneath. Everything moves in lockstep through the seriously long finish. Best from 2020 through 2045”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Bottled in late July, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape is an amazing effort, especially when one considers the production volume. Loaded with black cherry fruit and cola-like spice, this full-bodied, richly textured wine never seems heavy or warm, while exotic Indian spice notes linger on the finish. It should drink well for at least 20 years.”

Chateau Pavie, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2000 1.5L ($1999.95) $1699 special, 1 magnum in stock now
Robert Parker 100 points
“Just beginning to come around and strut its enormous potential, this wine at age 15 has been evolving like a glacier. The wine has an inky, opaque, plum/purple color and a stunningly rich nose of mulberries, bramble berries, blackberries, licorice and incense as well as touches of toast and graphite. Fabulously concentrated and full-bodied, with a multidimensional mouthfeel, this profound Pavie is in mid-adolescence. It should evolve and continue to drink well for at least another 30-40 years. This is clearly the first compelling effort made by the Perse family.” 8/2015

Elio Grasso Runcot, Barolo Riserva DOCG 2008 750ML ($169.95) $119 special
Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2008 Barolo Riserva Rüncot is an exceptional wine that is only made in the best years. It was produced in 2008, 2010 and 2013. The wine undergoes a 40-day maceration time with four years in oak and one more year of bottle aging. The results are sublime and generous. Riserva Rüncot opens to a beautifully tempered and expressive bouquet that exhibits elements of wild berry, forest floor, candied fruit, licorice, cola and dried ginger. The balsamic signature is particularly beautiful and elegant. Smooth and silky tannins denote the mouthfeel and carry the wine forward over the palate. This is one of the top releases from Piedmont this year.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “The 2008 Barolo Riserva Runcot is a drop-dead gorgeous beauty. Smoke, tar, licorice, menthol, plums and spices form a tapestry of undeniable class. The sweet, perfumed fruit typical of the 2008s here is evident in the glass. A rich, sumptuous wine, the 2008 Runcot is fabulous. The 2008 spent 45 months in new French oak, all of which it has handled with superb grace. Even though the Runcot is one of the few Barolos that handles new French oak this well, once again I wonder what it might taste like if aged like the rest of the Grasso Barolos. Dark red/black fruit, spices, new leather and smoke add the last nuances of complexity.”

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Thanks for reading!