Vinopolis Weekend Newsletter 2-24-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

Re-Arrived Oregon Classics
New Galloni Reviews
New Arrivals, Featuring:
Fruitiere’s Clisson – Treasured Muscadet
Mid 90’s Castell’in Villa, Ameztoi Rubentis,
Vincent Paris
and More!

Trending: Hot Wines from the February Clearance Sale 

New Reviews for Clos Erasmus & Cameron Winery
The Best Prado Enea Ever?

New Reviews for 2016 Faiveley


Just Re-Arrived!

A Few Oregon Classics

St. Innocent Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2014 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Grapelive 94 points “Mark Vlossak’s brilliant 2014 Freedom Hill Pinot is bursting with minty rose oil, Bing cherry and mineral tones. This bright and gripping wine is absolutely everything you’d want from an Oregon Pinot. In fact it’s very Volnay like in the glass with racy fruits, earth, spice and intense detail. I already want more! Coming off the replanted northern block, exclusive to St. Innocent, this young vine Pinot shows the quality of its Coastal Range terroir with a mix of Wadenswil, Pommard and 777 clones on ancient sedimentary soils. It’s a very different site than let’s say the Jory soils of Dundee. The warm days add tannin to the skins while the cooler nights add to the vibrant acidity, all of which add up to a complex and firmly structured Pinot Noir. In this 2014 vintage it is the best of everything, making it a stunning example of Willamette Valley Pinot. To capture the pureness and vivid nature, Vlossak chose to used all de-stemmed grapes, fermented in cold lots in stainless steel then raised in 27% new French oak for 16 months, ending up with bright flavors and with vintage influenced heady 14.2% natural alcohol. Mark Vlossak founded St. Innocent in 1988. He is in the generation that brought Oregon to world attention along with Ken Wright, Mike Etzel (Beaux Freres) and John Paul of Cameron. His wines age gracefully and are wonderful values when compared to the other wines at this level, especially in a vintage as good in Oregon as 2014 was! This 2014 Freedom Hill, with its ruby/garnet hue looks beautiful in the glass. [It] delivers black cherry, plum and wild strawberry fruits on the medium bodied palate along with rose petals, mineral, subtle spearmint/tea spices, earthy loam and a touch of vanilla. Everything is tightly wound but well integrated with an exciting lightness of texture. This is a seriously good Pinot that has years of life and progression ahead of it. I see great potential in 5 to 7 years, though I just love its youthful thrill and intensity of form right now. Last year, I had the 2000 Freedom Hill and it was fantastically fresh and showed almost no decay or age at all, so while this vintage is from younger vines, the terroir quality is certainly there. I will be getting a few more bottles myself!”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $36
Cristom Mt. Jefferson Cuvee Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2015 750ML ($31.95) $24 special
James Suckling 95 points “The nose is fresh and shows great depth with raspberry crumble, dried wild strawberries, orange peel and milk chocolate shavings. Medium- to full-bodied with lots of spicy, crunchy red fruit, tangy acidity, firm tannins and a long finish. So good now but better in 2019.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $31
Belle Pente Estate Reserve Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Josh Raynolds 95 points “Limpid ruby-red. Powerful blue fruit liqueur, violet pastille, incense and smoky mineral aromas, along with hints of cola and exotic spices. Appealingly sweet and expansive on the palate, offering densely packed black raspberry, boysenberry, mocha and floral pastille flavors and a strong spicecake note. Supple, well-knit tannins give shape to the intensely fruit-driven finish, which lingers with outstanding persistence and building sweetness.”
Winery note “This terrific young wine was a star of the show at the International Pinot Noir Celebration last summer, and is just reaching the beginning of what will surely be a long drinking window.  True to its Yamhill-Carlton appellation, the wine shows concentrated, dark fruit flavors and aromas accented with notes of fresh herbs and flowers.  It is one of those rare vintages that offers early appeal as well as the potential for 10-20 years in the cellar.  So put a case (or two!) away and drink a bottle every year until it’s gone.  You’ll be glad you did!”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Belle Pente Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Josh Raynolds 91 points “Light bright red. Intense, highly perfumed red fruit and floral pastille aromas show excellent clarity, and a zesty mineral overtone builds in the glass. Lithe and sharply focused on the palate, offering lively raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that become sweeter as the wine opens up. Juicy, pure and precise, finishing with very good focus and silky, even tannins that add gentle grip.”
Winery notes: “Our 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot noir includes grapes from 4 vineyards, all located in the elite appellations of Yamhill-Carlton and Dundee Hills.  The Yamhill-Carlton sites account for 2/3 of the blend, with most of the fruit coming from our Belle Pente estate vineyard, supplemented by a small portion from Fox Rock vineyard.  Dundee Hills is represented by Murto and Bella Vida vineyards. This diversity of sources has created perhaps the most complex and compelling of our “entry level” Pinots to date.  The 2015 vintage was generous in both quantity and quality, elevating the status of this delicious little cuvee well above it’s humble appellation and modest price.  A somewhat reticent nose reveals hints of red, blue, and black fruits complicated by whiffs of spice box and herb garden.  The medley of fruits carries through to the palate, which is rich and ripe but also focused and balanced.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Sequitur Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2015 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
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.”
Winery note “Sequitur 2015 Pinot Noir “Two fold,” a collaboration between our Mother, the earth, those of us who “play” in the vineyard and winery, and you, the wine lover.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
New Reviews from Antonio Galloni

Giacomo Conterno Cerretta Barbera d’Alba 2015 750ML ($69.95) $44 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “Conterno’s 2015 Barbera d’Alba Cerretta is much more expressive today than the Francia. A broad, ample wine, the 2015 is beautifully resonant on the palate, with all of the expansiveness that is so typical of this site. Next to the Francia, the Cerretta is a bit more overt and forthcoming, two qualities that are exactly what makes Barbera so compelling in the first place.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $56
Giacomo Conterno Vigna Francia Barbera d’Alba 2015 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
Giacomo Conterno Vigna Francia Barbera d’Alba 2015 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2015 Barbera d’Alba Francia is fabulous. Silky, supple and radiant, with no hard edges and exceptional balance, the 2015 comes across as a bit shy today, and yet there is so much to like. The ripe, radiant personality of the year dominates over the more savory/mineral notes that are typical of Barberas from this site, but the wine remains light on its feet and gracious. A rush of dark red and bluish-hued fruits, lavender and blood orange makes a strong closing statement.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $61

Just Arrived

A Clisson from Any Other Name

Fruitiere’s Excellent Muscadet

The Clisson bottling from Mark Olivier (Domaine de la Pepiere) gets a lot of very deserved attention.  It’s a monument of a wine, but, like many monuments, casts a very long shadow.  The Clisson AOC has become the source of a lot of great wine that reflects the unique aging requirements and power of the appellation.  We’ve just received some Clisson made by Domaine de la Fruitiere, a really excellent producer.  Like most Clisson, it’s more powerful and less delicate than a “classic” Muscadet, but the wines are delicious and exceptional values.

Domaine de la Fruitiere (Famille Lieubeau) Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine Clisson, Loire 2012 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2012 Muscadet Sévre et Maine Clisson has an intense yellow color and a deep, ripe yet pure and still subtle bouquet with yeasty, nutty and mineral flavors that indicate a remarkable complexity. Full-bodied, pure and elegant, with a creamy texture and an extensive mouthfeel, this is a refreshing and finesse-full, highly complex and expressive Muscadet with a serious structure and a long, lush finish. Still young in its vitality but with the maturity of almost four years of lees aging, this is a fascinating wine which I would locate between Anjou Chenin Blanc and Burgundy if you don’t have any idea about this kind of Muscadet. Would I buy it? Certainly.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
The average price nationally is $24


Mid 90’s Castell’in Villa

Back For the First Time

When Principessa Coralia Pignatelli della Leonessa and her husband bought their 13th century farmhouse and estate in Tuscany in the late 1960’s their intention was not to become one of the leading producers of traditionally-made Chianti Classico.  Rather, the goal was simple: find a place to settle down and raise a family. The vineyards were simply part of the traditional Tuscan mix of agriculture.

Over time, though, more and more of the property became planted to vineyards (the estate currently has about 40 producing hectares out of ~300 on the property) and in 1985, tragedy struck.  Her husband died and earlier in the year a hard freeze had decimated her olive trees (oil production was a significant source of revenue).  She seriously considered selling the estate and moving elsewhere but instead doubled down, committing to make the best wines in the region.

Stylistically, these are some of the most old-school and age-worthy wines coming out of Chianti today—wines that make you sit up and realize why the name at one point was synonymous with Italian wine.  The Chianti and Riserva are both 100% Sangiovese, aged in large casks for three years before bottling and have that slightly faded glory quality that makes the wines special.  Bright fruit, present tannin and a floral, slightly dried cherry quality are all here, with more earth and spice emerging with age.

The Principessa prides herself on how long the wines age for and the winery keeps (and releases) significant library wines.  They’re significant both in age and also in importance—it’s very hard to find older Chianti in the secondary market (most collectors who buy Castell’in Villa are loathe to sell it).  These are reference point wines, capable of lasting decades, and being utterly profound experiences.  We have some of the older stuff arriving February 16th and few things currently in stock, as well.

Just Arrived, Directly from the Winery Cellars:

Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 1993 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “[Reviewed Jun 2012] The 1993 Chianti Classico Riserva is another stunning wine. It boasts gorgeous depth and purity, not to mention fabulous overall balance. Sweet dark cherries, licorice, mint and spices are woven together in this fleshy, supple Riserva. The firm tannins are there, but the 1993 has more than enough fruit to stand up to the wine’s structural components. Today the 1993 comes across as slightly smaller scaled version of the 1990. This is a fabulous wine with at least another decade of fine drinking ahead of it.”

Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 1994 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “[Reviewed Jun 2012] The 1994 Chianti Classico Riserva is more immediate and juicy than the 1993. There is plenty of underlying structure, but it is buried by the wine’s generous fruit. Sweet dark cherries, plums, tobacco and incense meld together on the exotic, spiced finish. This is a relatively fleshy wine for Castell’in Villa. I have a slight preference for the 1993, but the truth is that all five wines from the 1990s are fabulous. I would be thrilled to own any of them.”

Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Tuscany 1995 750ML ($279.95) $249 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “[Reviewed Jun 2012] The 1995 Chianti Classico Riserva is another marvelously complete wine. Waves of fruit saturate the palate in this intense, full-bodied Riserva. The 1995 is another wine endowed with massive fruit and equally imposing structure. It is the first wine in this tasting that is still not ready to offer maximum pleasure. Today it comes across as a young version of the 1990. This is another tremendous showing.”

Castell’in Villa ‘Poggio delle Rose’, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 1996 750ML ($159.95) $128 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “[Reviewed Jun 2012] The 1996 Chianti Classico Riserva Poggio delle Rose emerges from the glass with generous fruit, which is given additional volume and richness from the French oak. The 1996 is a big, big wine, especially within the context of the vintage. Because 1996 is the debut vintage, the percentage of new barrels is higher than in subsequent years, and the wine remains marked by the oak. Smoke, licorice and tar wrap around a muscular finish supported by firm, insistent tannins.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Castell’in Villa ‘Poggio delle Rose’, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2006 750ML ($149.95) $119 special
Antonio Galloni 95 points “[Reviewed Jun 2012] The 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva Poggio delle Rose brings together all of the best elements of this site and house style. Firm tannins frame a core of deeply expressive, opulent fruit in this full-throttle, huge Chianti Classico. Threads of sweet perfumed fruit run through the 2006 as it shows off its class and personality. Mint, flowers and sweet red berries punctuate the explosive finish. This is a dazzling showing from Castell’in Villa.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Castell’in Villa Santacroce Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2004 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni 93 points “[Reviewed Jun 2012] The 2004 Santacroce is silky, layered and impeccably balanced. Sweet red roses, red berries and spices are all woven together beautifully in this refined, expressive wine. This is a lovely showing. The 2004 captures the essence of the 2004 vintage in a relatively soft, supple style built for near and mid-term enjoyment.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Castell’in Villa Vin Santo del Chianti Classico, Tuscany 1998 500ML ($119.95) $99 special
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $116.66

The First Harbinger of Spring

The New Release of Ameztoi Rubentis

Ameztoi’s slightly fizzy Txakoli rosé has a cult following for good reason: it’s delicious and hard to find.  We get in a small amount of it and by the time the weather really heats up, we’re sold out.  Well, allocation day is here and the wines won’t be much longer. You’ve been warned.

Just Arrived:

Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado, Getariako Txakolina, Spain 2017 750ML ($21.95) $19 special

This is the only listing on the West Coast today!
Need another sign of spring? The first rose from the Willamette Valley hit our shelves today and it’s always a staff favorite: 
Ayres Estate Rose of Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Winery note “Bright & lively. Hints of melon & berry.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Ayres Pinot Blanc, Willamette Valley 2017 750ML ($19.95) $16 special
Winery note “Clean & crisp. Enjoy cool mineral notes.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!


Vincent Paris

New Affordable Arrivals

From The Northern Rhone Superstar

It’s pretty clear that Vincent Paris is the next “it” winemaker in the Northern Rhone.  Working primarily in Cornas, the wines have everything we love about Northern Rhone Syrah packaged in a clean, direct style.  He has the benefit of incredible vineyard material, too, as he now works the vineyards his uncle, Robert Michel, made famous.  Stylistically, there’s definitely some of that old-school Michel rusticity, but overall, his wines are far more polished and in line with what we think of as good modern Cornas. Don’t look for new oak here, though there is an elegance about them that has always impressed us.

He makes several wines from Cornas and we’re pleased we get to offer the range, but today’s offerings are based around some other, slightly more obscure bottlings from the master.  First off, the Granit Blanc, a rare white Cornas (or it would be, if you could bottle white Cornas) that’s made from a blend of Viognier and Roussane from north-facing granite slopes in the Cornas AOC.  We also have Paris’ negociant Crozes-Hermitage, a delightful Syrah at an even better price, made with all the care and love you’d expect.  Finally, a little more of Vincent Paris’ St. Joseph has arrived and is as delicious as ever.

Domaine Vincent Paris Granit Blanc, IGP Ardeche 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2016 Vin de Pays de l’Ardeche Granit Blanc is a blend of two-thirds Viognier and one-third Roussanne. The vines are actually in Cornas but on a north-facing slope. “It’s better to make a white than a poor red,” says proprietor Vincent Paris. Made in stainless steel, it’s dominated by Viognier’s floral aromas but backed by stone fruit and pineapple flavors. Drink this medium-bodied, silky textured white over the next couple of years.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Domaine Vincent Paris Crozes-Hermitage Selection, Rhone 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
VinopolNote “This negociant bottling represents incredible value in the world of Northern Rhone Syrah.  Purple-fruited with nice spice and a touch of bacon, the wine shows the balance and weight you’d expect from a producer like Paris.  Although it’s delicious now, giving it a year or five would do the wine a lot of good—which isn’t something we can always say about a wine at this price.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Domaine Vincent Paris Saint-Joseph Les Cotes, Rhone 2016 750ML ($31.95) $27 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “Bottled in August 2017, the medium-bodied 2016 Saint Joseph Les Cotes is made for early drinking. There’s an elegant interplay of cherries, spring flowers and fresh herbs on the nose followed by supple notes of cherries, blueberries and raspberries and a long, silky finish. Drink this charming wine over the next several years.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!


New Arrivals

New Arrivals: California

Freemark Abbey Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
Robert Parker 90 points “The 2015 Chardonnay is partially barrel-fermented and aged sur lie, but only about 15% new French oak is used. This wine is elegant, with good acidity and notes of baked apple pie intermixed with some white peach and pineapple in a crisp, medium to full-bodied style. Given its acid and concentration, this wine should age nicely for 7-8 years, possibly longer.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, California 2013 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Robert Parker 92+ points “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Freemark Abbey’s generic bottling from Napa, is a brilliant example, and at $50, a heck of a value. It is also one of their larger cuvées at 24,332 cases. A blend of 75.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10.9% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, this wine spent nearly 26 months in oak. Opaque purple in color, it exhibits beautiful blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with hints of white chocolate, allspice and tobacco leaf. It is rich, full-bodied, seriously concentrated, and has 2013’s relatively serious structure and tannic clout. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following 25-30 years.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
New Arrivals: France

Marie-Noelle Ledru Grand Cru Brut, Champagne 2009 750ML ($149.95) $119 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Hauts Baigneux Petillant Naturel Blanc, Vin de France 2015 ($21.95) $17 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Lucien Le Moine Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy 2010 750ML ($59.95) $49 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Domaine Jamet Cote Rotie, Rhone 2014 750ML ($149.95) $128 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 94 points “Deep ruby. Heady, smoke- and mineral-tinged blueberry, raspberry and violet aromas show outstanding clarity and a hint of Asian spices. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering deeply concentrated but surprisingly animated red and dark berry and floral pastille flavors, along with a suggestion of spicecake. The strikingly long, penetrating finish features intense minerally cut, an echo of juicy red fruit and fine-grained tannins that come in late.”
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 93-95 points “Brilliant violet. A heady, expansive bouquet evokes black raspberry and mulberry preserves, incense, potpourri and smoky minerals. Concentrated, palate-staining red and dark berry liqueur flavors are energized by vibrant mineral and spice qualities that gain strength with air. Delivers a striking combination of power and finesse, with no rough edges. Closes on a subtle tannic note, with outstanding focus and mineral cut, leaving a juicy red berry note behind.”

Franck Balthazar Cornas Sans soufre ajoute, Rhone 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 92-94 points “Deep ruby. Ripe blackberry, cherry liqueur, licorice, woodsmoke and olive on the deeply perfumed nose. Concentrated and powerful but energetic as well, offering expansive black and blue fruit, bitter chocolate and spicecake flavors that are given spine by a core of juicy acidity. The impressively long, sappy finish features supple tannins, a touch of candied flowers and lingering smokiness.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Franck Balthazar Cornas Chaillot, Rhone 2013 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Josh Raynolds 94 points “Glass-staining ruby. Suave, mineral-accented aromas of boysenberry, cherry liqueur, violet and allspice, and a smoky note that expands in the glass. Offers palate-staining red and blue fruit flavors complemented by notes of spicecake and candied flowers. Powerful but also lithe and precise, finishing with outstanding clarity, a sexy floral note and silky tannins that come in late.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Franck Balthazar Cornas Chaillot, Rhone 2014 750ML ($79.95) $59 special
Josh Raynolds 93-95 points “Vivid ruby. Pungent and expansive on the nose, displaying heady scents of dark berry liqueur, licorice, olive, incense and minerals. Sappy and precise on the palate, offering concentrated but energetic black and blue fruit, floral pastille and spicecake flavors complemented by a suggestion of peppery spices. Becomes sweeter and fleshier with air with no loss of vivacity. Harmonious tannins add shape and grip to the spicy, extremely long finish.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
New Arrivals: Italy

Just Re-Arrived:

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Bianco Sicilia IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
VinopolNote: A Blend of Albanello and Zibbibo (Moscato di Alessandria). Fermented on the skins for a few weeks, but not an ‘orange’ wine, this is pretty and perfumed, with bright, sparkling acidity and slight herbal notes overlayed across stone fruit flavors.  A really standout Sicilian white.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Sicilia Rosso IGT, Sicily 2016 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Ian D’agata–Vinous 93 points “Dark ruby. Archetypal Frappato aromas that are pungently floral and bright, complicated by hints of dried herbs and spicy red berries. Then fresh, bright and lovely, with blackberry, raspberry and delicate herb flavors that are very complex and multilayered. Finishes long, mineral and juicy. Arianna Occhipinti has the Frappato variety nailed down and rarely makes anything but a great wine with it, so this blend comes up aces, offering a ton of flavor and only 12.5% alcohol.”

#Trending: February Sale Edition

Popular Clearance Sale Wines of the Week

Falletto di Bruno Giacosa ‘Falletto’, Barolo DOCG 2011 750ML ($219.95) Was $149, Now $139,
Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2011 Barolo Falletto is a beautifully balanced and determined wine. It spends 30 months in oak and this warm vintage is already showing a quick bottle evolution. This was an early vintage: Fruit was harvested on September 23, which is ten days before average. It shows soft, luscious lines and ripe fruit flavors that are both generous and opulent. Yet, there is a healthy crunchiness and crackle in the mouth that makes for a long aging future ahead. Barolo Falletto closes with pretty aromas of dark fruit, spice and shaved truffle.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!
The next best price is $164.99
The average price is $203
Vignobles Prissette Villa Symposia Coteaux du Languedoc l’Origine 2013 750ML ($39.95) Was $33, Now $29 special
Wine Advocate 92 points “The 2011 Languedoc Origine checks in as a blend of Syrah and Grenache that spent 18 months in foudre. Slightly fresher, with bright berry and purple fruits, licorice, roasted herbs and ample background meatiness, this beauty hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, impressive purity of fruit and loads of texture. It should impress over the coming 5-7 years or so, and certainly, there’s no harm in drinking now.” JD

This is the only listing in the USA today!

La Jota Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Howell Mountain 2014 750ML ($99.95) Was $89, Now $69 special
Robert Parker 95 points “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is 75.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc and the rest Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec, aged in 89% new French oak. The wine displays the great fruit that is possible from these two sites owned by the Jacksons. It has an opaque purple color, a big, sweet kiss of crème de cassis and blackberry with a touch of lead pencil shavings, vanilla and incense. It is full-bodied and dense, with moderately high tannins but beautiful sweetness and fruit. Drink it over the next 25-30 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Ramey Woolsey Road Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2014 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49 special
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2014 Chardonnay Woolsey Road Vineyard is a powerful, intense wine with real phenolic intensity. This is an especially rich, deep and layered wine with exquisite finesse and pedigree. Readers should be prepared to cellar the 2014 for at least a few years. This is a special Chardonnay in the making.”
Wine Advocate 93 points ‘The 2014 Chardonnay Woolsey Road Vineyard has exotic jasmine, pineapple and guava notes with hints of crème brulee and croissant. Medium-bodied with plenty of finesse in the mouth, it gives a nice balance between the fruit and savory flavors, with a silken texture and finishing long and toasty.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Ingrid Groiss ‘In der Schablau’ Gruner Veltliner Reserve Weinviertel 2015 750ML  ($41.95) Was $39, Now $33 special
David Schildknecht–Vinous 92-93 points “Last tasted from tank soon after its June 2016 assemblage, and still on its fine lees, this was due to have been bottled in late summer. Pear, persimmon and green bean dominate the nose as well as a glycerol-rich and expansive midpalate that showcases the wine’s generous ripeness while preserving a crunch of green bean and introducing cooling inflections of mint and basil. Incisive white pepper, chalk, stone and savory blond tobacco add to the saliva-inducing complexity of a superbly sustained finish as mouth-cleansing and refreshing as it is succulently fruity.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
To see all of the wines on our February Clearance Sale,
just click here to head to that section of our website!
New Jeb Dunnuck Review

Spotlight on Eric Solomon!

Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus, Priorat DOCa 2014 750ML ($219.95) $149 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points
“From a more challenging vintage, the 2014 Clos Erasmus is nevertheless an incredible wine. Based on 70% Garnacha and 30% Syrah that spent 18 months in 60% new French oak (there was 5% in clay amphorae), it has sensational purity in its cassis and black currants fruits, notes of peppery herbs, graphite, and obvious minerality, full-bodied richness, and a deep, opulent texture. It lacks the extra dimension of the 2013 and 2015 but is a brilliant wine that has two decades of prime drinking ahead of it. There are only 266 cases produced.”

New Grapelive Review

Cameron Winery Dundee Hills ‘Rouge de Gris’ Red Wine of Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 92 points
“In an ode to Radikon, John Paul has crafted an American orange wine that gives a new twist on an ancient style of skin contact wine from the Willamette Valley. Made for centuries in Georgia, this fashion of skin contact white has been revived in western Europe. [It is seen] especially in the remote northeast of Italy (near the Slovenian border in Friuli) where you find the savory weirdly dry wines made by local legends like Gravner, Skerk and the mentioned Stanko Radikon, who Paul tributes this wine to, after his death in September of 2016. In recent years many natural wine producers around the world have been experimenting with orange wines, some adding refinement and sophisticated class to the category. Otherwise it is a style that mainstream wine drinkers avoid like the plague. Brave is the new world winemaker that tries to craft such weirdness, and with that we’ll explore John Paul’s version. First thing you’ll notice is the deep ruby reddish color: it’s like a light Pinot Noir in hue in the glass and the flavors are more pretty than raw with a slight savory element. It’s dry and crisp with a nice textural mouth feel leaning on tart cherry, strawberry and with the impression of red apple as well red peach, a touch of nectarine fruits, a light dusting of spices, earthy notes, grilled/dried citrus, mineral and saline infused wet stones. Some orange wines, while interesting, are not easy to love or often joyous to drink, but the Dundee Hills based Cameron’s medium bodied and ripely flavored Rouge de Gris is intriguing and very enjoyable. It can be used to great effect as an alternative to a serious Rose and will go well with a range of cuisine, and for those that have had and like Foradori’s skin contact Pinot Grigio from the Alto Adige, then this will be an exciting wine to try too.”


The Best Prado Enea Ever?

Muga Delivers a Superior Version of a Landmark Wine

Muga’s top-end “Prado Enea” bottling is a wine that represents the best of Rioja.  Produced only in great years and held extensively before release, this is one of the top examples of traditional Rioja and will age and deliver pleasure like a top Bordeaux—only a lot less expensive.

2010 was about as perfect a year as you could hope for in Rioja, with warm but not hot weather and a dry harvest.  Muga took advantage of this and has made one of their best ever bottlings of Prada Eneo.  This edition is 70% Tempranillo with the balance made up of Garnacha and Mazuelo—grapes the provide freshness and lift to go with the brooding power of the flagship grape.

Muga is considered one of the finest old producers of Rioja, combining a traditionalist approach with modern cellar techniques.  Up and down the line, their wines offer tremendous value—these are wines that will age into dynamic, complex beauties.  The Prado especially is worth paying attention to.   With proper age, it’s a wine that can be the best bottle in almost any company, which makes it a steal.  We have a tranche arriving in May at especially sharp pricing—you’re going to want to stock up.

Arriving ETA May:

Bodegas Muga ‘Prado Enea’ Gran Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2010 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival 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 you breath away. Plenty of beautiful fruit but what mouthfeel. Drink now and forever.”
Decanter 96 points “Only made in the best vintages, and they don’t get any better than 2010, this is a brooding, ageworthy blend of mostly Tempranillo with 20% Garnacha and 10% Mazuelo.  It’s rich, dark and complex with stylish tannins and scented oak.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Also Arriving in May from Muga:

Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2013 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Bodegas Muga Reserva, Rioja DOCa 2013 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special (that’s only $18.25/bottle!)
James Suckling 92 points
“This is an excellent 2013 with such purity and finesse. Cherry, stone and light cedar aromas follow through to a full body, very fine tannins and a fresh and clean finish. Hints of cedar. It shows a focused energy. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Bodegas Muga Rosado, Rioja DOCa 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
More Critical Attention

For Faiveley’s 2016s

James Suckling Reviews Some Highlights

The 2016’s from Faiveley are a ways out, but they look to be epic and quantities are small. We’re grabbing as much as we can, especially with the new reviews from James Suckling.

Arriving ETA Fall 2018:

Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St.-Jacques 2016 750ML ($119.95) $99 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 92-93 points “Flint, spices and black fruits on the nose, making this an exuberant one. An exciting wine that combines earthy power with a racy elegance, which is what makes it stand out. The serious tannic structure at the finish suggests that this has great aging potential. Only the third vintage of wine. Try in 2021.”

Faiveley Meursault 1er Cru Charmes 2016 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 92-93 points “Has quite a rich, candied-citrus character, but what makes this really exciting is the long elegant and salty mineral finish. Drink from release.”

Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les St.-Georges 2016 750ML ($159.95) $139 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 93-94 points “A deep and complex wine that makes this site often referred to be the best of Nuits St. Georges. A potential Grand Cru. The dense structure and impressive tannins extend through the long, velvet finish. You can drink this now for the generous blue fruits, but if you want all the minerality give it five, ten or more years of aging.


Thanks for reading!