In This Newsletter:
Mountain wine from Napa En-Route:
La Jota and Mt. Brave arriving Friday
New Arrivals from Carl Loewen
Fancy a Franciacorta?
Berlucchi ’61 rose in stock now
Staff Picks: Near and Far Red and Rose
A Return to Greatness
Château de Vaudieu
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Mountain wine from Napa En-Route:
La Jota and Mt. Brave arriving Friday
Across the valley, Mt Brave is making equally exciting ‘Mountain Cabernet’ high up in the famous hills of Mt Veeder. The vineyard that produce their Cabernet benefit from their perch above Napa Valley’s stubborn fog line, resulting in wines that are not only more structured and fresh, but also (paradoxically) more generous. There’s a reason why many Napa enthusiasts remain so enchanted by the region’s hillside vineyards, with most examples having some of the longest aging trajectories in the appellation.
La Jota arriving Friday, March 4th:
La Jota Vineyard Cabernet Franc Howell Mountain 2016 750ML ($109.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 97 points “The deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Franc Howell Mountain (100% Cabernet Franc) gives up exuberant bramble fruits, baked raspberries, mulberries and wild blueberries with suggestions of pencil shavings, kirsch, rose hip tea and tobacco leaf. Full-bodied and with a very firm frame of ripe, grainy tannins, it has wonderful perfume and depth, finishing long and mineral laced. 537 cases produced.”
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Cellar Selection. This standout varietal wine is complex and lengthy in a wealth of juicy red and black fruit, with lasting accents of dried herb, sage, lavender and violet. Built to last, it should develop even more in bottle. Drink 2024–2026. -Virginie Boone”
Jeb Dunnuck 95+ points “Lots of spring flowers, chocolate, damp earth, and blue fruits emerge from the 2016 Cabernet Franc Howell Mountain, which is 100% varietal brought up in a mix of new and used barrels. With medium to full body, bright acidity, incredible elegance, and a still tight, focused style on the palate, hide bottles for 3-5 years and it should drink beautifully over the following 15-20 years.”
Mt. Brave arriving Friday, March 4th:
Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder 2018 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Brave is fabulous. Inky, rich and explosive, the 2018 possesses tremendous depth and tons of personality. Graphite, blue/purplish fruit, blackberry jam, bittersweet chocolate, sage, lavender, menthol give the 2018 tons of character to match its explosive feel. The brooding, backward wine is going to need quite a bit of time to unwind, but boy is it gorgeous.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “Lots of cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as classic Mount Veeder notes of lavender, violets, bouquet garni, and rocky, mineral-like notes emerge from the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon. A deep, full-bodied mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, it has a plush, layered texture, beautiful tannins, a deep, concentrated mid-palate, and a great finish. Another head-turning wine from this label, it’s a candidate for the best Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon out there at the price point.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 95+ points “A blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6.5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot, 1.5% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder was aged for 22 months in oak barrels, 82% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it springs from the glass with vibrant crème de cassis, baked plums and Morello cherries scents, followed by nuances of sautéed herbs, clove oil, mocha and scorched earth. The full-bodied palate is densely laden with layers of black and blue fruits, sporting a rock-solid backbone of grainy tannins and great tension, finishing long and minerally. 6,753 cases were made.”
Other premium Napa Cabenet in stock now:
Cardinale Estate Red Napa Valley 2018 750ML Was $318, now $299 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is based on a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot that spent 22 months in 81% new French oak. It’s a wonderfully complete, borderline perfect wine that shows the class of this estate as well as the vintage, revealing a seamless, full-bodied style that carries lots of blackcurrant, graphite, lead pencil, and tobacco aromatics, a deep, layered mid-palate, ultra-fine tannins, and flawless balance. As with most of Chris’s 2018s, it’s a wine that builds slowly with time in the glass, offering a layered, singular character. It’s a gorgeous 2018 that can be drunk today with ample pleasure, but it will ideally be given 4-6 years of bottle age, at which point it should evolve gracefully for 30-40 years.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown – Wine Advocate 98 points “Composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, the 2018 Cardinale was aged in French oak barrels for 22 months, 81% new. Deep garnet-purple colored, it prances out of the glass with gregarious notions of warm cassis, black cherries and wild blueberries, followed by emerging earth scents with a tobacco and garrigue undercurrent. Medium to full-bodied, gracefully styled and refreshing, the vibrant black and blue-fruited palate offers a wonderfully fine-grained texture and bags of energy, finishing long with a skip in its step. 5,107 cases were made.”
Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($299.95) $259 special,7 bottles in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Gravelly Meadow is a blend of 78.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.4% Merlot, 8% Malbec and 5.1% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple in color, it slips effortlessly from the glass, singing of ripe black cherries, black raspberries and cassis, plus hints of red currants, roses, cinnamon stick and garrigue. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers lovely freshness, offering bags of perfumed black fruits in the mouth, beautifully supported by fine-grained tannins, finishing long with lots of soft-spoken floral and mineral whispers. This perfumed beauty wears the 2018 vintage stamp well, presenting a more delicate expression of this vineyard—one that I love! 647 cases were made.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Ripe and a bit showy in feel, with a blast of cassis and plum purée notes liberally laced with violet, singed applewood and red licorice notes. Then a nice mix of iron and warm stone accents cuts in on the finish, pulling everything together as the violet note takes an encore. Best from 2022 through 2038. 647 cases made. — JM”
Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($299.95) $269 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 98+ points “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Volcanic Hill is a blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.5% Merlot, 8.7% Malbec and 2.8% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple colored, it bursts with vibrant scents of wild blueberries, chocolate-covered cherries and boysenberries with hints of sassafras, fragrant earth, vanilla pod and underbrush, plus a waft of crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers fantastic purity and depth, offering firm, grainy tannins to support the bags of earth-laced black fruits, finishing long and mineral laced. 791 cases were made.”
Winery notes: “Volcanic Hill is comprised of 8 acres of south facing hillside vineyard. It is the warmest of all our micro-climates. The color of the soil is gray, and the consistency is that of fluffy, volcanic ash, originally deposited from the eruption of Mt. Konocti 8 million years ago. Volcanic Hill is the longest lived of our wines. Our winemaker describes these wines as “full bodied, loaded with intense ripe berry fruit, cassis, violets and a smoky richness, finishing with good length and firm tannins. The Volcanic Hill bottling includes a small amount of the extra-ordinary Petit Verdot grape.”
Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($299.95) $269 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Rock Terrace is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 4.5% Malbec and 4.5% Petit Verdot. Deep garnet-purple, it comes bounding out of the glass with exuberant notes of cassis, plum preserves, cedar chest and pencil lead, plus wafts of black truffles, damp soil and unsmoked cigars. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with black berry flavors and wonderful freshness, packed with loads of subtle savory layers and textured by approachable, plush tannins, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note. 599 cases were made.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Ripe and focused, with a racy-edged mix of plum, blackberry ands black cherry fruit that is steeped with anise, violet and bay notes while being underscored with a racy sanguine hint. Flash of alder chimes through the finish, which pulls everything together nicely. Best from 2022 through 2038. —J.M.”
Winery notes: “Red Rock Terrace, a warm microclimate, is 7 acres of north facing vineyard. The red tinted soil is high in iron content. The wine from Red Rock Terrace is the most accessible and earliest drinkable of all our wines. Our winemaker describes Red Rock Terrace as “having velvety tannins, rich and well balanced, medium dark ruby color with cherry, mint and black currant flavors.”
New Arrivals from Carl Loewen
Carl Loewen has taken over some of the oldest vineyards in the Mosel, returning them to their historic esteem and in many cases elevating them to new heights. The wines are textural, rich and complex, often from old, ungrafted parcels within vineyards. These are staff favorite Rieslings that always seem to exceed our already lofty expectations.
“This is one of the Five Most Interesting Estates In My Offering, and among them it’s the one you know the least about. And that is gonna change. A couple decades ago an idealistic young couple realized there were great vineyards—not “good” or “interesting” vineyards, but truly great ones—along this stretch of the Mosel, and that no one knew of them because of the lack of a flagship estate. If J.J. Prüm had been a citizen of Leiwen and not of Wehlen, we’d be giving all that Sonnenuhr luv to Laurentiuslay and Ritsch. This is clear, and obvious. Karl was also convinced of the old Mosel verities; spontis in cask with no fussings or tweakings. When the estate Schmitt-Wagner had to fold its tent, as there were no children willing to carry it on, we were all very fortunate that Loewens could buy it. Carl now has every great site on this section of the Mosel (Longuicher Maximiner, Herrenberg Thörnicher Ritsch, Leiwener Laurentiuslay) They are every bit as important as Graacher Domprobst, Wehlener Sonnenuhr and Zeltinger Schlossberg, only you don’t know them, and therefore they Cost Less..” – Terry Theise
Weingut Carl Loewen ‘1896’ Longuicher Maximin Herrenberg Alte Reben Riesling Mosel 2020 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 16 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 99 points “A moment of stillness in the midst of a crazy world. Take only a quick sip and you’ll understand rather little. But if you allow yourself to sink into this deep riesling chasm, you’ll discover an underworld of mineral fascination, married to super-ripe stone fruit. Enormously long and refined finish. Drinkable now, but best from 2023.”
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points “The 1896, as it is simply referred to on the front dark-grey label (the reference to the vintage and the vineyard is left for the back label), is a just off-dry wine (with 11 g/l of residual sugar) picked on century-old un-grafted vines (planted in 1896) in the Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg, and was made using traditional winemaking methods dating back to the early 1900s. It immediately catches one’s attention through a refined yet very complex and layered nose of fine spices, aniseed herbs, pear, fresh pineapple, almond, greengage, and a dash of passion fruit. The wine is hugely delicate and creamy on the smooth and suave palate packed with flavors of almond, coconut milk, and fine spices. It leaves one with an immense sense of focus in the hugely long and gorgeously intense finish. A touch of off-dry sweetness still needs to integrate in the spicy and salty aftertaste. This is a magnificent and playful Riesling mixing delicacy with intensity and focus. 2024-2040.”
Weingut Carl Loewen Alte Reben Riesling Trocken Mosel 2020 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 26 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 94 points “This stunning dry Mosel riesling proves that you don’t need more than 12% alcohol to shine in this category. So much flinty and slatey character and a wonderful interplay between this and precisely nuanced, citrusy fruit. Then comes a firework display of minerality at the breathtaking finish. Drink or hold.”
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points “The 2020er Riesling Alte Reben is a just off-dry wine (10 g/l of residual sugar) made from very old vines planted between 1949 and 1962, mostly situated in the Leiwener Klostergarten and for a tiny part in the Detzemer Würzgarten. It offers a beautifully spicy, fresh, and zesty nose of lime, orange blossom, fresh herbs, mint, a hint of almond cream, anise, and smoke. The wine is superbly balanced on the palate where some fine fruity and creamy elements are wrapped into playful and animating zest. It leaves a great sense of focus and almost sharpness in the long finish. The aftertaste is still rather monolithic but hints at greatness to come. This hugely successful dry-tasting wine cruises far above its mere Estate Riesling level! All it needs now is a few years of bottle aging to reveal its underlying complexity 2023-2030.”
Weingut Carl Loewen Estate Riesling Mosel 2020 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Skurnik Imports note “This is an estate wine, all from the Liewener Klostergarten. Some of you will remember this wine when it was a Kabinett. This is now “declassified” as single vineyard labeled wines should denote the highest quality at the estate as well as individuality, so Christopher agreed to declassify the site and just call it “Estate Riesling”. Soils here are a bit richer than the steep sites and the vine material is not nearly as old. Fruit is picked and pressed whole clustr before sedimentation. The juice is racked into Fuder and Stainless steel where it ferments completely with native yeast and without temperature control. Fermentation is stopped by taste and a small addition of SO2 is added to stabilize the wine.”
Weingut Carl Loewen ‘1896’ Longuicher Maximin Herrenberg Alte Reben Riesling Mosel 2020 750ML ($54.95) $45 special, 36 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points “Lots of red-fleshed peach and delicate spice notes make this a very striking dry riesling. Rich and concentrated, but with that special lightness of touch that sets the Mosel apart. Long, complete finish that’s gentle rather than dramatic. Drink or hold.”
Fancy a Franciacorta?
Berlucchi ’61 rose in stock now
In Stock now:
Berlucchi ’61 Rose Brut Franciacorta DOCG NV 750ML ($44.95) $26 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “Bright and savory, this refreshing, polished sparkler boasts alluring aromas of juicy raspberry, wild cherry, baking spice and a whiff of bread crust. The inviting aromas follow over to the vibrant palate along with a continuous refined perlage. A tangy candied nectarine note closes the finish.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “Enticing aromas and flavors of ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit are set on the fine, lively bead in this clean-cut, mouthwatering rosé, with a chalky underpinning. Lightly spiced on the lingering finish.”
#93 Wine Spectator Top 100 Of 2021 “Classic (Champagne) Method Rose from the most important quality sparkling region in Italy… Pinot Nero, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay. It’s just killer! This producer created the Franciacorta sparkling wines in 1961, hence ’61 on the label.”
Staff Picks: Near and Far Red and Rose
Trevor: Solid and well structured. The Syrah is blended in nicely for some more complexity with herbaceous and spice notes. This wine would be a great pairing with a lamb dish or even with your everyday burger.
Domaine Des Tourelles in stock now:
Domaine des Tourelles Rouge Bekaa Valley 2019 750ML ($19.95) $16 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
No reviews for the 2019 vintage. 2018 vintage review provided for reference.
Decanter 93 points “Mediterranean-like character with lots of vibrant redcurrant, raspberry and herbal notes. Floral, restrained and quite finely textured on the palate. Drinking Window 2021 – 2026.”
Nina- Arnot Roberts Rose is sourced from two vineyards in California in the Sierra Foothills and Clear Lake AVA’s. Comprised of a mix of French and Portuguese varietals and fermented separately, there’s a palate friendly juxtaposition of tropical fruits like guava in addition to a dried strawberry and raspberry tea element. The 11% ABV makes it almost too drinkable especially with food.
Arnot Roberts in stock now:
Arnot-Roberts Rose Lake County 2021 750ML ($33.95) $28 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Vinpol Note: 67% Touriga Nacional, 21% Gamay Noir, 10% Tinta Cao and 2% Grenache sourced from the Clear Lake and Sierra Foothills AVA’s in California. Fermented in steel with Native yeasts and blended post-fermentation.
Nina- I find Proprieta Sperino’s rose to be pleasantly dimensional with a plethora of oranges ranging from Seville, blood and Mandarin and accentuated by notes of crushed rose petal and white peach. There’s also a slight spice on the finish in addition to a refreshing melon component on the finish.
Proprieta Sperino in stock now:
Proprieta Sperino ‘Rosa del Rosa’ Rosato Coste della Sesia Piedmont 2020 750ML ($21.95) $19 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Vinous 92 points “The 2020 is an understated and delicate rendition of Rosa Del Rosa. Nuances of peach tea, chamomile, green apple and hints of ginger can all be found with coaxing. It’s silky and pliant in feel, the vibrant acids and mineral tones mixing to create a tug-of-war of sweet and salty tension, as notes of ripe melon give way to pretty inner florals. This taper off persistent, lightly structured and buzzing with residual energy, completely refreshing the palate with a twang of sour citrus. The Rosa Del Rosa is a blend of Nebbiolo and Vespolina. It’s very enjoyable already, but it will likely blossom further with a bit more time in bottle. – Eric Guido”
Château de Vaudieu
The estate sits on a confluence of soils and the myriad of terroirs yield exemplary complexity in the wines, which are made by the all-star team of Laurent Brechet and Philippe Cambie. The wines show Cambie’s trademark style, with big, opulent fruit and power to spare. This is one of the truly elite producers in all of the Southern Rhône and it’s always a treat to sell you these wines.
In Stock Now:
Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape Amiral G, Rhône 2017 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “The 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape Amiral G. is, as always, all Grenache brought up all in demi-muids. It’s unquestionably the most opulent, sexy, and expansive in the lineup, with overflowing notes of kirsch and blackberry fruits, incense, dried garrigue, and spice, full body, and no hard edges. Its incredible opulence and decadence are delivered with no sensation of weight or heaviness. This magical, thrilling beauty needs to be tasted to be believed. It’s going to benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for 15+ years or more.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “Like the l’Avenue, the 2017 Châteauneuf du Pape Amiral G is 100% Grenache aged in demi-muids. Unlike the l’Avenue, the Amiral G is more about opulence and power. It’s full-bodied, ripe and plush, with impressive layers of black cherries, stone fruit, licorice and chocolate spice cake. Concentrated and chewy on the finish, it has all the ingredients for greatness—and it should get there relatively quickly, then drink well for at least a decade.-JC”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95-96 points “Lurid ruby-red. Assertive red berry and cherry liqueur aromas are complemented by building Asian spice, incense and vanilla accents. Concentrated and fleshy in the mouth, offering alluringly sweet raspberry, cherry pie, cinnamon and star anise flavors and hints of bitter chocolate and cola. Becomes more energetic with air and finishes with fabulous, floral-tinged persistence and velvety tannins that fold smoothly and quickly into the wine’s sweet, clinging fruit.”
Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône 2017 750ML ($49.95) $44.50 special, 28 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “Moving to the 2017s and starting with the base Châteauneuf Du Pape, it’s a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah that was brought up mostly in demi-muids. Revealing a ruby/purple hue as well as notes of black raspberries, kirsch, garrigue, incense, and loamy soil and earth, this beauty hits the palate with beautiful depth of fruit, a layered, rounded, sexy texture, no hard edges, remarkable purity, and just tons of charm. Drink it any time over the coming decade or more.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 91-92 points “Deep red. Highly perfumed red berry and floral aromas are complemented by suggestions of cracked pepper and smoky minerals. Sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering ripe raspberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors braced by a core of juicy acidity. In a seamless, energetic style, displaying a smooth blend of richness and finesse and finishing gently sweet and impressively long, with even tannins and building spiciness.”
Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape L’Avenue, Rhône 2016 750ML ($119.95) $89 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points “The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape L’Avenue is all Grenache sourced from a single parcel near the estate and aged 18 months in demi-muids. This deeply colored beauty boasts a huge perfume of black raspberries, blackberries, dried flowers, bouquet garni, and sandy/loamy soil notes. With a powerful, concentrated, structured style, incredible purity of fruit, and tons of tannin on the finish, hide bottles for 3-5 years, count yourself lucky, and enjoy over the following decade or more.”
Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape l’Avenue is entirely Grenache from the lieu-dit Vaudieu, aged in demi-muids. Loaded with black cherries, cedar and vanilla, it’s a full-bodied, plush sexpot of a wine. Velvety, intense, long and layered, this wine has it all. If only there were more than 350 cases of this elixir.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Intense, with a gorgeous core of crushed plum, boysenberry and blackberry pâte de fruit flavors, inlaid liberally with fruit cake, licorice snap and graphite notes. Fruit pumps through the finish while a graphite edge lends support and a black tea hint checks in. Best from 2020 through 2040. 75 cases imported.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points “Glistening ruby-red. Powerful red and blue fruit, floral pastille, exotic spice and incense aromas pick up a smoky mineral nuance as the wine stretches out. Fleshy and expansive in the mouth, offering spice- and smoke-inflected raspberry, boysenberry, lavender pastille and succulent herb flavors and a touch of candied licorice. Finishes seamless, sweet and impressively long, with an echo of juicy red fruit and delicate tannins that add discreet grip.”
When discussing the Grenache Revolution in Spain, you have to mention the work of Daniel Landi. One of the two founders of the cult label “Commando G” he has built his career around elevating Grenache to new heights. Originally hailing from Méntrida, a rural village in the Castille-La-Mancha Daniel Landi has been surrounded by Grenache practically from birth. With en masse wine production dating back to the 15th century, there are vineyards everywhere you look.
The historical prevalence of viticulture extends into the Sierra de Gredos Mountains, where Daniel sources his best fruit. Planted amongst the granite boulders and scrub vegetation, vines are 50 years old at the youngest and farmed biodynamically. The mineral rich soil, high elevation and extensive root networks make irrigation unnecessary and for one of the most compelling iterations of Grenache you’ll ever find. With the exception of his entry level cuvee, every wine that Daniel Landi makes is a single-vineyard expression to highlight the nuance of each parcel.
Daniel Landi Wines in stock now:
Daniel Gomez Jimenez-Landi ‘Las Uvas de la Ira’ Garnacha Mentrida 2018 750ML ($37.95) $31.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 93 points “The red 2018 Las Uvas de la Ira has been produced with Garnacha from the same five vineyards since the initial vintage (2012) in the village of El Real de San Vicente, which is one of the villages from Méntrida (Toledo) that are part of the Gredos Mountains. The vines range between 40 and 65 years of age, and they are located at around 750 meters in altitude on sandy granite soils with lots of silt. The different vineyards are fermented separately in oak vats with indigenous yeasts and a very gentle vinification, one-third with very long macerations to provide structure and depth, one-third with a very short maceration to provide fragrance, and the remaining third finished the fermentation without skins (like a white) to add juiciness. The élevage is in oak foudres of different sizes, from 1,500 to 4,000 liters. This is a little less aromatic and more austere but very focused and bright, from a village where the wines are serious and have a chalky texture, less floral but more citrus, a bit more backward. It has a compact palate, with very fine tannins and a more chalky finish. It’s interesting to taste it next to wines from other villages, as you clearly see the difference. 18,700 bottles produced. It was bottled in August 2019.”
Daniel Gomez Jimenez-Landi ‘Cantos del Diablo’ Mentrida 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 94+ points “The single-vineyard 2017 Cantos del Diablo was produced with the grapes from 0.35 hectares in the village of El Real de San Vicente (Toledo), the highest vineyard in the Méntrida appellation. It’s a north-facing plot at 900 meters in altitude that was planted some 70 years ago on sandy granite soils rich in silt and is worked biodynamically. The grapes, with all the stems, fermented with indigenous yeasts in oak vats, and the wine matured in a 1,200-liter oak foudre for 12 months. This was one of the few villages from Gredos that escaped the hail and frost, and it was a dry year, so harvesting was early (10 to 15 days earlier compared with a “normal” vintage!). It’s aromatic and floral but has the austerity of the wines from El Real de San Vicente as well as a texture like liquid chalk and very fine, powdery tannins. It’s clean and ripe without excess, with a nice combination of fruit and minerality, really balanced, with intensity and finesse. Excellent 2017! 1,362 bottles were filled in March 2019.”
Daniel Gomez Jimenez-Landi ‘Cantos del Diablo’ Mentrida 2018 750ML ($149.95) $119 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points “The single-vineyard 2018 Cantos del Diablo was produced with the grapes from 0.35 hectares of 70-year-old Garnacha in the village of El Real de San Vicente (Toledo) at 900 meters in altitude, the highest vineyard in the Méntrida appellation. It’s a north-facing plot on sandy granite soils with lots of silt that deliver chalky tannins and a citrus freshness in the wine. The whole clusters fermented with indigenous yeasts in oak vats with a long maceration followed by an élevage in a 1,400-liter oak foudre for 12 months. This was extremely closed, even after a long time in the glass. It’s a vineyard that delivers more reductive wines (matchstick) with a strict palate and a strong mineral sensation. 1,620 bottles were filled in March 2020.”