Vinopolis Weekend Newsletter 6-8-18

In Today’s Newsletter:

Angela Estate Super Sale
Lignier Lands: Top Tier 2015 Burgundy
New June Sale Wines – Big Names, Big Price Cuts
Phillipe Tessier, the Natural Wine Icon of Cheverny

New Arrivals:
Cameron, JK Carriere, Eyrie, Burlotto, Thanisch and More!

Grapelive Spreads the (95pt) Cuilleron Love
Rosé Roundup, Italian Style
Trending Wines of the Week
Staff Pick: Red Champagne
Stella di Campalto’s Iconic Brunello


June-July Super Sale

Arriving This Friday, June 15th

Angela Estate Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2013 750ML ($49.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Angela Estate Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District 2013 750ML ($259.95) $131.90 pre-arrival special (that’s only $21.98/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 92 points –Cellar Selection–
“…Estate grown. This is a tight, focused, young red wine, with tangy raspberry fruit that touches on black cherry. Vivid and penetrating, it needs plenty of time to breathe, and as it does it reveals subtle layers of mocha and caramel. This has the bones to age. Drink now through 2030.”


Just Arrived

Top Tier Red Burgundy

From Hubert Lignier

Hubert Lignier is one of the finest names in Burgundy.  The wines have been a core of the Neal Rosenthal portfolio since the 1978 vintage and have always been one of the jewels of the book.  These are some of the defining wines of Morey-St. Denis, different from Dujac stylistically but no less important or profound.  The Lignier wines are always defined by an intensity and power, with great concentration and aromatics.  They often possess supple fruit when they are young, though, especially in warmer years.  These are wines that are in the very top tier of Burgundies and are coveted by the most knowledgeable collectors.

The 2015 versions of these wines just arrived—a truly epic year across Burgundy and the wines chez Lignier are no exception.  These promise to be amongst the best wines of the vintage, per usual, and the standard for 2015 is very, very high.  Somewhat surprisingly, though, the prices have remained steady. We’re down to our last few bottles on many of these, so if you’re interested, act quickly.

Domaine Hubert Lignier Bourgogne Pinot Noir Grand Chaliot, Burgundy 2015 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 6 bottles remaining
“The 2015 Bourgogne Grand Chaleot, which is the name of the lieu-dit on the other side of the Route Nationale, includes 10% new oak. It has a pretty bouquet of cranberry and redcurrant jus. The palate is nicely balanced with fleshy cranberry and raspberry fruit and a composed, quite natural, what you might call “light-hearted” finish. Enjoy this over the next 3-4 years.” -Wine Advocate

Domaine Hubert Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis Tres Girard, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 3 bottles remaining
Burghound 87-90 points
“Somewhat curiously this is aromatically more refined than either of the two Chambolle villages examples with its cool, pretty and airy nose of pomegranate, plum, violet, anise and soft earth nuances. The delicious, rich and relatively full-bodied flavors possess a seductive, even caressing mouth feel while delivering good length if only average depth on the delicious finish where a hint of rusticity appears.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Hubert Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis Trilogie, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 3 bottles remaining
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The 2015 Morey Saint Denis “Trilogie” hails from old vine “Pinot Fin” in the lieux-dits of Chenevery, Clos Solon and Porroux, giving a nice composite picture of Morey. Beautiful notes of plums, black cherry and spice introduce a full-bodied, richly structured wine with great depth and persistence, underpinned by wonderfully fresh acids. You really sense the creamy concentration from the old vines, which yielded a mere 26 hectoliters per hectare in this vintage. It would be difficult to find a better Morey villages than this superb wine from Laurent Lignier.”

Domaine Hubert Lignier Les Chaffots, Morey-Saint-Denis Premier Cru 2015 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 3 bottles remaining
Wine Advocate 92-94 points
“The 2015 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru les Chaffots, located just up from Clos Saint-Denis, has an expressive bouquet with ebullient red cherries, crushed strawberry and subtle undergrowth scents, the 20% whole bunch fruit neatly entwined and barely noticeable. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, a crisp line of acidity that binds together an elegant yet powerful finish that linger long in the mouth. I would wager that there can be few premier cru wines from Morey-Saint-Denis better than this gem.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Domaine Hubert Lignier Chambolle-Musigny Les Bussieres, Cote du Nuits 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 2 bottles remaining
Wine Advocate 89-91 points
“The 2015 Chambolle-Musigny Les Bussières includes a small proportion of whole bunch fruit. It has a harmonious bouquet with red cherries and pomegranate aromas. I appreciate the definition and precision here. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp and crunchy red berry fruit, very natural in style, pure and tensile with a dash of spice on the finish. This should give ten years of pleasure, possibly more.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Hubert Lignier Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 6 bottles remaining
Burghound 88-91 points
“This was somewhat flat in that the nose lacks a bit of freshness to the earth and sauvage-inflected red and dark pinot fruit aromas. Otherwise there is excellent richness to the velvety and caressing medium weight flavors that culminate in a firm and mildly austere finish. This possesses good acidity and thus my predicted range offers the benefit of the doubt that the nose will recover its freshness.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Domaine Hubert Lignier Gevrey-Chambertin Les Seuvrees, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($129.95) $89 special, 6 bottles remaining
Wine Advocate 90-92 points
“The 2015 Gevrey-Chambertin les Seuvrées comes from vines that tend to produce small berries and includes 20-25% whole bunch fruit this year. It has a very seductive redcurrant and pomegranate-scented bouquet with a tangible underlying mineralité. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, well-integrated new oak (20%) with a harmonious, slightly chalky finish that lingers in the mouth. This is very fine.”
Burghound 88-91 points “Like the straight Gevrey villages the nose lacks a bit of freshness but there is good complexity to the dark pinot fruit, earth, game and underbrush-inflected aromas. There is fine volume, richness and density to the relatively powerful, dusty, serious and well-balanced finish where the supporting tannins are clearly riper. Once again my range offers the benefit of the doubt that this will recover its freshness and verve as the underlying material appears to be excellent.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Hubert Lignier Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits 2015 750ML ($599.95) $499 special, 3 bottles remaining
Wine Advocate 96+ points
“The 2015 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru from Domaine Hubert Lignier is one of the high points of the vintage, wafting from the glass with aromas of red and black fruits, pencil lead, cinnamon, cedar, blood orange, dark chocolate and violets. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, sappy and stunningly complete, its formidable chassis of tannin entirely cloaked in a bottomless core of fruit, striking for its mouth-filling amplitude and magical alliance of richness and energy. This will require a decade of bottle age, and ideally more, to realize all its immense potential. Ten-and-a-half barrels were produced.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
These wines are made in tiny quantities that result in even smaller allocations. As you may have noticed, only a few bottles remain on many of these wines—act quickly if you’re after something in particular. (You can click here to view the full list of wines in our web store.)


New to Our June Sale!

We’ve got some great new additions to our June Sale!  From Chateauneuf to Washington Syrah to Austrian Riesling, there’s something for everyone.

Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reserve VII IX X NV 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49 Clearance Price, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points “While I reviewed this NV Châteauneuf du Pape La Reserve VII IX X (a blend from the 2007, 2009 and 2010 vintages) last year, I was able to taste it again this go around, and it still blew me away. Fabulously full-bodied and decadent, with loads of lavender, incense, black raspberry and cured-meat nuances, it’s still youthful and vibrant, with notable freshness and purity. Enjoy this brilliant wine through 2028.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
K Vintners The Hustler Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2012 750ML ($149.95) Was $119, Now $99 Clearance Price, 4 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 95-97 points
“Still in barrel at the time of this tasting, the 2012 Syrah The Hustler is a blockbuster-styled Syrah that’s overflowing with notions of sweet red and black fruits, toasted bread, cured meats and cedar. Only made in special vintages (it was previously made in ’03, ’07 and ’09) and aged 38 months in French oak, it’s full-bodied, decadent and layered, with a weightless, elegant, seamless feel. Coming all from the Morrison Lane Vineyard (it’s actually the Morrison Lane Syrah with extended barrel aging), it should be ready to go on release and dish out tons of pleasure over the following decade or more. The extended elevage has given this a more upfront feel, yet I suspect it will also allow it age more slowly as well.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
K Vintners Morrison Lane Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2014 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39 Clearance Price, 18 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 94+ points
“The 2014 Syrah Morrison Lane Vineyard from Walla Walla offers a perfumed bouquet of incense, white pepper, plum and hoisin sauce, as well as full-bodied richness, building tannin and a great finish. It needs short term cellaring to integrate those tannin, but is an impressive Syrah.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Substance ‘Cs’ Vineyard Collection Stoneridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2013 750ml ($54.95) Was $49, Now $39 Clearance Price, 22 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“The 2013 Super Substance Cabernet Sauvignon Stoneridge has a sexy profile (compared to the Merlot Stoneridge) and has amble black currants, licorice, graphite and spice to go with medium to full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannin, solid mid-palate concentration and a great finish. Like all of the wines here, the winemaking is impeccable and while this can be enjoyed in its youth, it will have 15+ years of longevity as well.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Monteraponi Il Campitello Riserva, Chianti Classico DOCG 2012 750ML ($49.95) Was $41.90, Now $29 Clearance Price, 22 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Il Campitello is a very pretty wine, especially for the vintage. Mid-weight and translucent in style, the 2012 captures the essence of Radda, with sweet, floral aromatics, chiseled fruit and lovely energy. Red berry, spice, tobacco, cedar and rose petal all open up in the glass. A hint of oak comes through on the finish, but otherwise this is a classic-feeling Riserva that will appeal to readers with more traditionally leaning palates. The Campitello emerges from the estate’s oldest vineyard.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Weingut Jos. Christoffel Jr. Christoffel-Prum Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2014 750ML ($34.95) Was $21.90, Now $16 Clearance Price, 36+ bottles in stock now
VinopolNote on Urziger Wurzgarten
: The Urziger Wurzgarten, or ‘spice garden’ is an intensely steep, iron-rich red slate vineyard. Though it’s located right next to the Erdener vineyards, the Ürziger wines are vastly different: the volcanic soils and favorable drainage lead to an earthy, spice-laden, tropical fruit-tinged wine.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Selbach-Oster ‘Anrecht’ Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2014 750ML ($49.95) Was $33, Now $26 Clearance Price, 28 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points
“Bottled with 8% alcohol, the 2014 Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese Anrecht (erroneously designated as Spätlese instead of Auslese) opens with a super ripe and intense, stunningly bright and clear bouquet of very fine Riesling flavors; there are apple and pip aromas due to a higher proportion of golden and green grapes, and a lesser proportion of botrytis, due to the higher altitude of the Anrecht plot. There is so much finesse and piquancy in this juicy, elegant and well concentrated Riesling, which reveals a long and complex finish, as well as great finesse.”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 93 points “This product of block-picking (as opposed to selective picking) conveys a sense of ripeness and botrytization that could as easily have been captured in the word “Auslese.” Candied lemon, mint and anise mingle in the nose with suggestions of the quince, apple and Persian melon that come to dominate on a lush and expansive yet animatedly juicy palate. A hint of white raisin testifies delectably to the share of shriveled berries. Sweaty salinity lends mouthwatering intrigue while the fruit retains an invigoratingly tangy edge in a finish that readily stimulates the desire to take the next seductive, by no means overly sweet sip.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Nikolaihof Vom Stein Jungfernlese Riesling, Wachau, Austria 2006 750ML ($59.95) Was $49, Now $39 Clearance Price, 26 bottles in stock now
Terry Theise notes
: “It means the virgin-vintage, the first crop from young vines. And it’s what the Germans would call Feinherb, and it’s what any sane person would call irresistible! A potion of iris and lavender, spicy and penetrating; very long, seductively earthy, like a really profound Nahe Spätlese, almost the 5-spice and wildflower of Dönnhoff’s Felsenberg.”

This was the lowest listed price in the USA today,
Now it’s even lower!

Ramey Woolsey Road Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley 2014 750ML ($69.95) Was $59, Now $49 special, 25 bottles in stock now
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!

Want to shop all the wines in our June Clearance Sale?
Just click here to view the entire list on our web store!
Phillipe Tessier

The Titan of Natural Cheverny’s New Releases

Phillipe Tessier has become one of the landmark Natural Wine producers in the Loire valley.  He turns out a number of exceptional renditions of Chevery and its satellites, all bright, fresh and impressively full of life (as you’d expect). He makes a few different whites, all delicious in their own ways.

The Cheverny Blanc is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and a de Orbois, a grape native to the region.  His Cour-Cheverny is made from the rare grape Romorantin and has the razors edge of acidity you’d expect.

His reds are fantastic as well, made from a blend of a number of grapes (Pinot, Gamay, Franc, Côt depending) and have the fresh juiciness that you want out of a natural producer.  What sets Tessier apart, though, is his craftsmanship—these are wines that are consistently excellent without much bottle variation.  They are funky, but only a touch so, and are absolutely fantastic values.  We have several in stock now and a few more on the way (including his rosé from Pineau d’Aunis) next week!

In Stock Now:

Domaine Philippe Tessier Cheverny Blanc, Loire 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special
Importer Note “Tessier’s Cheverny blanc is a blend of 80% Sauvignon, 15% Chardonnay and 5% de Orbois. Aged primarily in tank with some very neutral barrels.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Philippe Tessier Cheverny Rouge, Loire 2016 750ML ($21.95) $19 special
Importer Note “60% Gamay; 30% Pinot Noir; 10% Cot. Clay and limestone soils. Hand harvest, 15 days of carbonic maceration for the gamay, 30% of destemmed grapes for Pinot noir, destemmed grapes for Cot. Fermented separately in tank.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Philippe Tessier Cour-Cheverny La Porte Doree, Loire 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
VinopolNote “100% Romorantin, the rare and unique grape native to Cour-Cheverny.  This is from Tessier’s oldest vines and is aged in older, neutral barrels for much longer than his entry level Cour-Cheverny.  Romorantin always has a razor-edge acidity and the extended lees aging and old vines layer beautiful texture and fruit on top.  Don’t miss.”

Domaine Philippe Tessier Rose D’Aunis 2017 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special


New Arrivals

New Arrivals: Rosé

Cave Yves Cuilleron ‘Sybel’ Syrah Rose, IGP Collines Rhodaniennes 2017 750ML ($17.95) $14 special
VinopolNote “Cuilleron is a master in the Northern Rhone and he brings all of his white winemaking skill to bear on this bright, crisp rose.  Made from Syrah, this nevertheless displays none of the grapes potential heaviness–it’s bright, fresh and slightly peppery on the finish.  If you’re looking for a delicious dry rose for summer drinking, this would be perfect.”
New Arrivals: Oregon
The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Gris, Dundee Hills 2016 750ML ($19.95) $16 special

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.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
J.K. Carriere Provocateur Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Josh Raynolds 90 points “Vivid red. Spice-accented cherry pit and blackberry scents are sharpened by a suggestion of white pepper. Chewy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry, dark berry and succulent herb flavors that turn sweeter on the back half. Dusty tannins add grip to the long, spicy finish, which leaves a hint of cherry pit behind. This is pretty serious stuff for an entry-level bottling.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Patricia Green Cellars ‘Estate Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special
Winery note “These vines do not have the root depth of the significantly older sections of the vineyard and therefore do not necessarily feed upon and drink the same material. Since we dry farm these younger vines, even at 16-18 years of vine age they are still under a bit of duress. This leads to small, tight clusters and generally fairly thick skins. This gives the wine its trademark dark, almost purplish color and hefty, dense tannic structure. This is filled in quite easily by liqueur-like dark fruit. This can be a bit savage in nature when youthful but it comes around surprisingly quickly and, of course, is good for years and years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Colene Clemens Vineyards ‘Dopp Creek’ Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
VinopolNote: After the ’14 vintage was named one of Wine Spectator’s Top 100, we could never keep this bottling in stock. The ’15 offers the same delightful expressive spice and fruit notes coupled with nuanced tannins.

New Arrivals: Italy
G. B. Burlotto Barolo DOCG, Piedmont 2014 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Antonio Galloni 91 points “Burlotto’s 2014 Barolo is delicate, gracious and very pretty. Floral and supremely inviting, it is a fabulous wine for the year, and the midweight, perfumed style of the vintage comes through loud and clear. In 2014, Burlotto did not make their Barolo Acclivi. Instead, all of the wine that would have gone into that blend went into this, the entry-level bottling, which is a testament to Fabio Alessandria’s commitment to delivering not just quality but also value among his more affordable wines.”

New Arrivals: Germany
Dr. H. Thanisch (Thanisch Erben) Bernkasteller Badstube Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
David Schildknecht – Vinous 91 points “Ripe pear and apple dominate on the nose as well as on a silken, buoyant palate, supported by subtle sweetness. Mouthwatering salinity and transparency to crystalline stony nuances give the long, refreshingly juicy finish a fascinating and delightful sense of shimmer.”
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points “The 2016er Badstube Kabinett was harvested at 88° Oechsle. It offers a delicately ripe nose of pear, earthy spices, slate and smoke. The wine comes to life on the palate as acidity peps up some succulent pear right into the long finish and gives it a gorgeously lively and well-balanced side. The after-taste is elegantly playful. 2026-2041”

Dr. H. Thanisch (Thanisch Erben) Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special
Stephan Reinhardt 92+ points -Wine Advocate “The 2016 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spätlese offers a clear, elegant nose with bright fruit, green asparagus and flinty aromas. Racy and lush on the palate, this is a refreshing, elegant but still pretty sweet Spätlese with crystalline, piquant acidity and structure. The finish is long and complex, but the wine needs a decade to integrate all its components into a fine and elegant Spätlese. Tasted March 2018.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “The 2016er Badstube Spätlese offers a nice nose made of pear, white peach, cassis, minty herbs and a hint of whipped cream. The wine is nicely playful and loaded with white fruits and minerals on the palate. The finish is beautifully playful and complex. While still young, this hints at great potential. 2026-2041”
David Schildknecht 90 points– Vinous “A glossy, glycerol-rich palate features sappy concentration of ripe pear and apple. A scent of honeysuckle persists inner-mouth. The finish is impressively sustained, refreshingly juicy and mouthwateringly salt-tinged.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Dr. H. Thanisch (Thanisch Erben) Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Kabinett has a lovely clear and aromatic stone fruit bouquet with coolish, flinty slate aromas. Lush, round and highly attractive on the palate, this is a very elegant and charming Doctor with a seriously mineral, stimulatingly salty finish. Tasted March 2018.”
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “Musky, sweaty notes mingle with scents of ripe pear, white peach, decadent freesia and lily. The palate impression is lusciously fruity, subtly sweet, faintly creamy and extremely delicate – perfectly suited to the prominence of inner-mouth perfume. The finish features striking lift along with inhalative flavor retention. (Breathing in and out after spitting – or swallowing – it’s almost as if the wine hadn’t left your mouth.)”
Mosel Fine Wines 91+ points “The 2016er Doctor Kabinett offers a gorgeous nose of grapefruit, pear, white peach and aniseed herbs. The wine offers a nice balance on the palate, with great elegance and finesse as minerals, herbs and pear lead the aromatic profile right into the playful finish. This is still slightly broad (as Doctor wines often are in their youth) but the wine hints already at great potential. It could easily exceed our initial high expectations as it gains in focus at maturity. 2031-2046”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Dr. H. Thanisch (Thanisch Erben) Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2016 Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Spätlese shows a complex, smoky, fresh and elegant bouquet but is still slightly reductive. Piquant and mineral on the palate, with generous fruit, this is an elegant, crystalline and complex Doctor Spätlese with a dense, salty, very expressive and persistent finish. Keep this wine for at least a decade. Tasted March 2018.”
David Schildknecht – Vinous 92 points “A product of picking on three different days, this “regular” Doctor Spätlese bottling (there are two others from Thanisch in 2016) leads with alkaline, saline scents of sea breeze such as I can’t recall before from this site. With that comes a greenhouse-like allusion to flowering and leafing things, as well as intimations of the fresh apple, pear, and honeydew melon that dominate on the glossy palate. This is startlingly cool and northerly-fruited in personality for a Doctor Spätlese, which complements the sense of delicacy delivered on a lingering finish transparent to alkaline and stony nuances. And in enjoying it, I didn’t once think about sweetness, because its presence is modest and entirely supportive.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!


The 95 Point Petite Cote

Grapelive Loves Cuilleron!

Cave Yves Cuilleron Condrieu La Petite Cote, Rhone 2016 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 95 points
“The 2016 whites from Yves Cuilleron are just spectacular with his lieu-dit Saint-Joseph and Crozes-Hermitage blancs really impressing me, but you can’t miss his Condrieu La Petite Cote 2016, this is just as good as it gets for Viognier and a wine of such inner and out beauty it’s almost ridiculous how good it is at this stage! To say this wine has perfume is silly (as an understatement), but it’s the complexity and textural pleasure that stands out even more with a exceptional mineral core that keeps your attention peaked and focused throughout. Beautiful detailing and fine balance grace this gorgeous Condrieu and remind you why this place is Viognier’s holy grail, there’s nothing close to a flaw to be found here, it’s really close to perfection with a heavenly weightless quality, which is lovely for a ripe 14% wine, while still showing opulent substance, it’s a beguiling white of amazing class and terroir character. The layers of the 2016 La Petite Cote come in a stylish cascade of layers with a rush of honeysuckle, liquid mineral, crushed stones, apricot and white licorice/fennel leading the way on the smooth refined palate that is almost like clarified cream without being heavy, it possesses graceful leesy mouth feel and glycerin, but has energy and vigor as well with steely crisp integrity throughout. A subtle tropical note along with a touch of flinty spice and saline elements add to the whole as well as vitality, through some fine citrus notes add lift. This is as pure as it gets, I was completely seduced by this beauty, words do not begin to due it justice, it’s a wine you need to experience yourself, make it happen, it will certainly reward you. Cuilleron is making some of the greatest wines of his career, both red and white, especially in these last two vintages, and this Condrieu is one of his most exotic to date, the vineyards for this Viognier are planted on terraces with a warm south-southeast exposure , near Chavanay, on muscovite-rich granite soils, Yves barrel-fermented and barrel aged the La Petite Cote with indigenous yeasts and sur lie elevage for nine months with regular batonnage (lees stirring) which adds to the lush decadence and presence in the glass.”
Rosé Roundup

Italian Edition

Staff favorite!
Cantalupo ‘Mia Ida’ Spumante Brut Rosato, Piedmont  NV 750ML ($21.95) $17 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 92 points
“Pale pink. Very floral, red cherry and yellow peach aromas and flavors. Nicely rich, pliant and fruit-driven, with a touch of sweetness and a glyceral presence that gives this a creamy mouthfeel. This smooth pink bubbly boasts sneaky concentration and complexity, finishing persistent with echoes of vanilla and fresh flowers. First made in the 2009 vintage, this Nebbiolo sparkler’s name refers to Ida Rosa Arlunno, mother of Alberto, who runs the winery today.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!
Arriving June 15th:

Cantalupo Il Mimo Nebbiolo Rosato Colline Novaresi, Piedmont 2017 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 pre-arrival special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 90 points “Orange pink. Clean floral and ripe red fruit aromas and flavors are simple and fresh. Hints of sassafras and dried rose add complexity, but this version of Il Mimo strikes me as less complex wine than usual that thrives mostly on its early appeal and easy accessibility. Slightly sweet and focused on the nicely persistent finish, firmed by dusty tannins.”

This is the only listing on the West Coast!
Castello di Ama Rosato Toscana IGT, Tuscany 2017 750ML ($24.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 90 points “Luminous red-pink. Fresh aromas of strawberry and flowers, then ripe and sweet with similar flavors to the aromas that show very good acid cut. This actually leaves a sweet impression on the long suave finish, but has so much acidity it seems less sweet than it is. Lovely. Winemaker Marco Pallanti has changed the winemaking so as to macerate the must on the skins for twelve hours and then ages the wine in used (one year) barriques to round it. A blend of mostly Sangiovese with a little Merlot.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!



Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage Mise en Bouche, Rhone 2016 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Jeb Dunnuck 90-92 points “The 2016 Crozes-Hermitage Mise En Bouche comes from the southern parts of the appellation and is aging in a mix of tank, used barrels and foudre. It offers terrific red and black fruits, spice, tapenade and peppery herb aromatics, medium to full-bodied richness, moderate tannin and a great finish. It’s a hidden little gem in the vintage.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
Domaine Mee Godard Morgon Cote de Py, Beaujolais 2014 750ML ($37.95) $29 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points “Bright ruby-red. Heady, mineral-accented aromas of ripe cherry and red berries, with a peppery nuance adding vivacity. At once concentrated and lively, offering intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a sneaky suggestion of spicecake. Picks up a sexy lavender pastille quality on the incisive, sharply focused finish, which hangs on with outstanding tenacity and building minerality.”
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Weingut Donnhoff Felsenberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2016 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Stuart Pigott 97 points– “Unexpectedly charming on the nose for a wine from volcanic soil this has stunning grapefruit and lime character. Then just when you think it’s a nice guy the totally radical, smoky and mineral finish comes through to remind you how strong nature can be! Drink now or hold.”

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Parusso Armando Bussia, Barolo DOCG 2013 750ML ($89.95) $79 special
James Suckling 97 points “This is one of the greatest wines I have ever had from here. So much ripe cherry, raspberry and floral character. Medium body, super-refined tannins and a long and flavorful finish. So much going on here. Better in 2021.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2013 Barolo Bussia is my favorite wine among Marco Parusso’s new releases. This wine shows an extraordinary level of richness and softness that speaks to the unique winemaking style proposed by this innovative producer. The Bussia cru tends to produce softer and finer fruit characteristics. The bouquet delivers elegant notes of wild berry, forest floor and white truffle with mineral notes such as pencil shaving delicately tucked in at the back. The wine sees up to 60% stem inclusion and maceration times are long. This Barolo is articulate and profoundly expressive.”

Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley 2016 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special
Case-12 Maitia ‘Aupa Pipeno’, Maule Valley 2016 750ML ($149.95) $128 special (that’s only $10.67/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 92 points
“The super-tasty and gulpable 2016 Aupa Pipeño is a blend of País with some 30% Carignan (and whatever is found in the old vineyards) from a slightly cool

Eisele Vineyard ‘Altagracia’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($149.95) $133 special
Case-6 Eisele Vineyard ‘Altagracia’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2015 750ML ($899.95) $759 special (that’s only $126/bottle!)
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia has slightly muted black cherries, crushed black plums and cassis with hints of licorice, black soil and cracked pepper plus a waft of tapenade. Medium to full-bodied, rich and expressive in the mouth, it delivers a lot of layers and wonderfully fine tannins, finishing long and earthy.”

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Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2013 750ML ($69.95) $49 special
Case-6 Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2013 750ML ($419.95) $269 special (that’s only $44.83/bottle!)
Wine Spectator 95 points
“An essence of sweet cherry grounds the surrounding flavors of leather, iron, spice and tobacco in this firm red, which remains vibrant and refined. Bracing acidity and dense, muscular tannins play out on the long finish. Drink now through 2028.”



Staff Pick: Red Champagne
First, in case you were not aware, yes—there is red wine made in Champagne.  There isn’t much and the wines are of a very specific style, but if you like it, there isn’t much that makes a good substitute.  When I say a “specific style” I mean that it’s light.  Pale.  Whatever—it’s delicate, fragrant and ethereal.  If you value subtlety in red wines and brilliant aromatics over palate weight, then Pinot Noir grown in the chalk of Champagne scratches an itch that few wines can. The problem is that most Coteau Champenois comes from Champagne and so the prices tend to reflect that (that excellent Pinot could have bubbles in it and be worth how much more?). This example, from Dumont (who makes excellent sparkling wine, by the way) is a great introduction to the wines (or, if you already like them, a great way to drink them without selling a kidney).  Sure, this isn’t going to be for everyone, but for those of us who love these wines, you can’t miss this excellent value.

R. Dumont & Fils Coteaux Champenois La Voie de Chanay, Champagne 2014 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 18 bottles in stock now
: A still red wine from the Coteaux Champenois

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Stella di Campalto

Arriving June 15th

Stella di Campalto, whose name adorns the labels of her Brunello, is a force of nature—a woman with a vision for how Sangiovese is best expressed and the will to ensure that every single bottling is as perfect as possible.  Her wines are vivid, powerful expressions of the southeast corner of Montalcino and her commitment to quality (which includes holding back the wines several additional years before release) means that they’ve become wines to pay attention to for Italian wine collectors.

Stella took over Podere San Giuseppe, a farm and winery that was founded in 1910 but had been abandoned in the 40’s and replanted her current vineyards by herself.  She farms all of her land with Biodnynamic principles and her goal is first and foremost to express the terroir of Brunello to the utmost.  That includes holding back her wines until she thinks they ought to be released—and why her 2011’s are just arriving stateside.

These are epic wines—Brunello for the lover of top-tier Burgundy.  Her 2011 Riservas (she doesn’t bottle anything other in between Rosso and Riserva) combine the inherent power of the vintage with her natural talent for extracting grace and perfume.  Her Rosso is also not to be missed; although it’s priced at the level of others’ Brunellos, it’s aged longer and is better than most of the wines in the same price class, no matter the DOCG on the label.

In short, these are wines that deserve a place in every serious wine lover’s cellar.  Unfortunately the quantities produced (1,200 cases of Brunello and 600 cases of Rosso) means that there’s not quite enough to go around.  These arrive in a few weeks and are for sale now—they’re going to go fast.

Arriving ETA June 15th:

Stella di Campalto ‘Beatrice’, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata-Vinous 90-91+ points “Pale red with an amber tinge. Candied red cherry, tobacco and musky herbs on the deep nose. Then urgent flavors of red fruits, botanical herbs and ink show very good cut and thrust. A spicy nuance lingers on the juicy finish. Much more closed and brooding than the 2011 Benedetta Brunello, in keeping with the fact that the Beatrice (unlike the Benedetta) contains roughly 10 percent Brunello from the 2010 vintage, added because di Campalto believed the wine needed more backbone. Stella di Campalto’s 2010 Brunello is especially deep, dark, and musky, and those elements are obvious in the Beatrice as well (this is the first time she has bottled a wine not entirely made with the vintage indicated on the label). Stella di Campalto is not especially fond of this wine right now, so she’s considering declassifying to Rosso status, but this has yet to be decided and things may change depending on the wine’s evolution. Should she decide to turn this into a Rosso, it’s going to be one heck of a Rosso di Montalcino; that said, I find the Benedetta Brunello to be much superior and more typical of Stella di Campalto’s production.”

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Stella di Campalto ‘Benedetta’, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
Ian D’agata-Vinous 92-93 points “Bright pale red. More mineral and minty than the 2012 Beatrice Brunello di Montalcino by this estate, displaying a lovely purity to its medicinal red cherry and cough-drop aromas and flavors. The finish is bright, long and airy. Ever the perfectionist, Stella di Campalto hasn’t yet decided if this will be sold as a Brunello or a top-of-the-line Rosso, but I think the wine is a potentially outstanding Brunello. It spent an unbelievable 54 months in 17 hL used oak barrels — unbelievable in the sense that this marvelous wine shows no hint of wood or of tiring fruit whatsoever. It’s made mainly from the Il Leccio vineyard, characterized by alberese soil that gives vibrant, more fragrant wines. Benedetta is the name of one of Stella’s daughters.”

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Stella di Campalto Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany 2013 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special

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Thanks for reading!