Vinopolpick Friday Newsletter 01-07-22

In This Newsletter:

New Week – New Arrivals

Rieslings Worthy of a Kaiser:
New Arrivals from Prinz

Beaucoup Beaujolais: 
Arriving Mid- January

Graillot’s Syrah Greatness: 
Producer Spotlight: Elvio Cogno 

Collector’s Corner 
Get Schisty with Clos Erasmus


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New Week – New Arrivals

Arterberry Maresh Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2019 750ML ($29.95) $28 special 
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2019 Pinot Noir Dundee Hills is ethereal and perfumed this vintage. It offers pure scents of raspberry preserves, bergamot, tangerine and Angostura with wafts of sweet balsamic. The palate is soft, bright and super silky, with layer after layer of sweet fruit, spice and citrus, and it finishes long and perfumed.”

Arterberry Maresh Chardonnay Dundee Hills 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 96 points
“The 2019 Dundee Hills Chardonnay was matured for 12 months in barrel and six months in stainless steel. It has a pure perfume of white orchard fruits laced with beeswax, almonds and flint. The palate is satiny and energetic from its linear acidity and expansive, gently honeyed layers, and it finishes long and youthfully shimmery. This is an excellent candidate for some extended time in the cellar.”

J.K. Carriere Provocateur Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24.40 special 

The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2018 750ML ($44.95) $39 special

The Eyrie Vineyards Pinot Blanc Dundee Hills 2020 750ML ($29.95) $25.50 special 
Distributor note
“When Alsatian clones of Pinot blanc finally became available in Oregon, a small test plot was planted in Eyrie’s Sisters estate vineyard. The block was doubled in the late ‘90s but still yields only a limited production. Eyrie’s style is dry, medium-bodied and full-flavored and closely resembles Pinot blanc from Alsace. The wine undergoes natural temperature primary fermentation and full malolactic fermentation in stainless steel. In keeping with our hands-off winemaking style, this wine displays rich and broadly complex varietal aroma, clean and crisp flavors, and soft but bright texture.”

France – Champagne

Louis Roederer et Philippe Starck Brut Nature Millesime Champagne 2012 750ML ($99.95) $79 special 
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2012 Brut Nature is rich, powerful and incredibly expressive. It is also the most complete Brut Nature Roederer has made, as it has less of the austerity of previous releases and more creaminess. Powerful and yet gracious, the 2012 has so much to offer. Dried flowers, chamomile, dried pear and mint are all laced throughout this sublime, wonderfully nuanced Champagne. The Brut Nature is a field bend of 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 20% Meunier taken from three parcels in Cumières and vinified together.”
Wine & Spirits 94 points “[Wine & Spirits Winery of the Year in 2021 Featured Wine] Coming after 2006 and 2009, this is the third vintage of Roederer’s Brut Nature, a wine Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon makes in collaboration with Philippe Starck. Its production is determined by the years when pinot noir, meunier and chardonnay ripen at the same time, so they can be harvested together and cofermented. It grows in the clay soils of Cumières, what Lécaillon describes as “the dark side,” a contrast to the chalk terroirs that provide Cristal. The 2012 starts out with earth tones, scents of mushrooms and dark spice. And like prior vintages of this wine, it keeps gaining complexity with each successive day open. From a tough and powerful structure, it turns luscious, generous, its flavors of white nectarine carried with a youthfully staccato energy. It’s a wine to decant, or to cellar.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2012 Brut Nature is showing beautifully, bursting from the glass with an expressive bouquet of lemon oil, crisp green apple, wheat toast, hazelnuts and wet stones. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with its generous core of concentrated and delicately sun-kissed fruit girdled by brisk acids and undeniable mineral grip and complemented by a delicate pinpoint mousse. Concluding with a saline finish, this lovely wine is a blend of 55% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay, reflecting its origins in Cumières.”

Louis Roederer Collection Brut, Champagne 241 NV 1.5L ($149.95) $119 special 
Importer note
“2016, the base wine for Collection 241, was characterised by particularly varied weather conditions which proved good for the quality of the grapes. After what was a cold, wet spring, summer got off to a late start and was warm and dry with a heatwave in late August. The weather was dry and sunny for the harvest which resulted in excellent ripeness in the grapes. These dry, sunny conditions were ideal for the Pinot noir grapes and gave them their intense fruity character and silky texture. Not to be outdone, the Chardonnays gave us a more classic, well-honed and saline character. The harvest took place from the 15th September to the 1st October 2016. The Collection 241 blend is based on the intensity of the Pinot noir grapes from the Montagne de Reims which were particularly outstanding in 2016 with their bouquet of tangy, yellow fruit combined with lightly toasted, saline notes. The palate is round and juicy with a chalky, mineral and saline freshness and a very distinctive structure. The overall impression is of a linear, elegant and fresh wine.”

Marie Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut Champagne (2018) 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Fall 2021 Release!  

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Brut Rose Champagne  2007 750ML ($299.95) $239 special 
Antonio Galloni 97 points
“The 2007 Comtes de Champagne Rosé is a total knock-out. Racy and exuberant in the glass, the 2007 wraps around the palate with stunning textural depth and resonance. The 15% still Pinot adds structure and persistence to a creamy, inviting Rosé Champagne that will leave readers weak at the knees. Hints of rose petal, dried cherry, cinnamon and dried flowers meld into the sublime finish. This is about as good as it gets. Wow!”
Decanter 97 points “The Comtes de Champagne Rosé is composed of 30% Chardonnay (Grands Crus from Côtes de Blancs), 70% Pinot Noir (Grands Crus from Montagne de Reims, including 15% Pinot Noir from Bouzy, vinified as red wine). It has strawberry, mint, rose petal and cherry notes on the exuberant nose. The palate is racy and creamy, very compact and fresh, with a delicate salty note on the finish.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 96 points “This bottle of Taittinger’s just-released 2007 Brut Comtes de Champagne Rosé was disgorged in December 2018, and it’s showing brilliantly, unfurling in the glass with a complex bouquet of blood orange, minty raspberries, red plums, dried flowers and warm brioche. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, chalky and tensile, sharing a racy, chiseled profile with its Blanc de Blancs cousin. Deep, concentrated and tightly wound, the wine concludes with a long, sapid finish. This is an intense, racy Comtes Rosé with a long future ahead of it. As has been the norm chez Taittinger for several years now, the blend is based upon 70% Pinot Noir and includes 15% still red wine from Bouzy.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “This harmonious rosé Champagne offers quiet grace, with a pleasing juiciness to the sleek acidity, framing finely knit flavors of raspberry, peach, brioche and candied pink grapefruit zest. Showing a raw silk–like texture, this caresses the palate through to the fresh, ginger-laced finish. Drink now through 2027. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 550 cases imported. — AN”
James Suckling 99 points The light rust and amber color is enticing. Aromas of dried rose petals, cinnamon and nutmeg. Hints of dried meat, smoke and sage. Orange peel, too. Full-bodied with a compact, creamy texture. So fine and delicious. Great, subtle and complex flavors. More like a lightly aged, premier-cru Volnay, but with the magic of Champagne. Drink now.

France – Burgundy

Domaine Daniel Rion & Fils Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($199.95) $169 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Tim Atkin 93 points

France – Loire

Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Rouge Loire 2019 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Case-6 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Rouge Loire  2019 750ML ($269.95) $219 special 
Wine Advocate 91 points
“From three parcels with vines planted between 1955 and 1957 on silt and sand topsoil covering softer limestone bedrock. the 2019 Saumur Rouge is pure Cabernet Franc naturally fermented in tank for six months. The 2019 opens with a pure and refreshing as well as spicy/floral nose with dark fruit and fresh lemon aromas as well as stony notes and a nice reduction. Wonderfully untamed. On the palate, this is a medium-bodied, fresh and silky-textured Saumur with a stimulating salty, round and fruity finish. At this young age, charm is not its greatest talent, but with bottle age, this will be a terrific Saumur rouge for many dishes and opportunities. I like this tight and traditional, straightforward style that might be a bit unpleasant at this early stage but will reward those with patience. 13.5% alcohol”

Germany – Mosel

Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett Mosel 2020 750ML ($44.95) $36 special
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points
“The 2020er Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar. It offers an incredibly subtle feel of pear, cassis, bergamot, white flowers, vineyard peach, wet stone, and fine subtle smoky elements. The wine is stunningly vibrant, subtly multilayered with ripe and citrusy fruits, but, above all, incredibly light-footed on the palate. The finish is all about elegance and finesse. This stunning Kabinett is clearly still on the backward side but the airy finesse is simply stunning. This brings us right back to the glorious 1990s! 2030-2050.”
James Suckling 95 points “Feel the dark side of the Kabinett force! Plenty of cassis and grapefruit aromas, but also ripe stone fruit, darker wild berries, wet earth and rocks. And the interplay of these is what makes this wine so exciting. Extremely long and graceful finish that makes it almost impossible not to reach for the glass again. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spatlese 10 Mosel 2020 750M ($54.95) $44 special
James Suckling 97 points
“Mind-blowing nose of cassis and forest berries with white flowers and a hint of cedar. Staggering depth, packed into a very sleek silhouette, but the brilliant acidity and enormous wet-stone freshness are even more astonishing, because they completely distract you from the natural grape sweetness for a long while. So enjoyable now, but with such a great future ahead of it. Drink or hold.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95+ points “Willi Schaefer’s 2020 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese #10 is deep, fine and complex on the still reductive yet clear, dense and elegant nose. Lush and piquant on the palate, this is a very fine and finely concentrated, intense and persistent Domprobst with sustainable juicy fruit and stimulating grip. This is a mouthful of great Mosel Spätlese from one of the region’s finest producers. 7.5% alcohol. Natural cork. Tasted in September 2021.”
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points “The 2020er Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese AP 10 was harvested mainly in different prime sectors of the vineyard and was fermented down to sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a beautiful and subtly exotic nose made of pear, passion fruit, vineyard peach, apricot, whipped cream, aniseed herbs, and fine smoky spices. The wine is gorgeously light-footed on the fruity palate and leaves a superbly intense feel of melon, cassis, wet stone, and herbs in the nicely playfully fruity-styled finish. The aftertaste is intense yet comes overs as light as a feather. This gorgeous Spätlese will turn into a modern-day legend at maturity, in 10 years and more. 2030-2050.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Mosel 2020 750ML ($44.95) $36 special
Mosel Fine Wines 94 points
“The 2020er Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar. It offers a superb nose made of residual scents from the spontaneous fermentation, chalky minerals, wet stone, mirabelle, cassis, melon, pear, and some subtle aniseed elements. The wine is beautifully pure and airy on the palate and leaves a stunningly juicy feel in the long, subtly ripe, and spicy finish. The wine really shines through its incredible silky airiness delivered with the presence and zest of a light Spätlese. This Kabinett is truly remarkable! 2030-2050.”
James Suckling 94 points “So many fresh floral notes, plenty of orange zest, sage and a whiff of smoke. Juicy stone fruit and lively acidity, with very well integrated natural grape sweetness that you feel less and less as the wine flows over your palate into the delicate, wet-stone and rock-salt finish. Drink or hold.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points “The 2020 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett is a Schaefer classic that opens with a brilliantly clear and still reductive bouquet of crushed slate and perfectly ripe Riesling fruit. The attack on the palate is vibrantly fresh, but there is also lush fruit and generosity as well as this hedonistic lightness and brightness that makes you quaff this Kabinett masterpiece until the bottle’s end. This is a highly stimulating, cool and grippy wet Riesling with so much Jugendstil. 7.5% alcohol. Natural cork. Tasted in September 2021.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Rieslings Worthy of a Kaiser:
New Vintage from Prinz
The Rheingau was once the face of Germany’s wine production. The topographic isolation provided by confluence of the Taunus Mountains and Rhine River creates an oasis for growing Riesling. The region’s wines were once priced higher than Burgundy, with Queen Victoria sparking a proclivity for German Riesling across the British Empire after a visit to the Rheingau in 1850. In contrast to other growing regions that feature a high percentage of slate, the Rheingau is characterized by high proportions of sandstone and quartzite, lending a crystallized pineapple, quince and yellow daffodil character to the finished wines. 

Prinz was originally started as a “Garagiste” or home winemaker operation in 1991 as a hobby for the founder Fred Prinz. The critics were immediately enamored and an invitation to join the legendary VDP consortium followed in 2005. Their estate vineyards are farmed organically, with a house style that aims for “minerality, elegance, finesse and ageing ability and they reflect their origins perfectly”. With holdings in the Rheingau that are relatively high elevation they’re able to produce a full range of Riesling’s including the rarest style of them all: Eiswein. 

Eiswein is among the hardest wines to make on the entire planet, and is becoming rarer as climate change advances. This is on account of the time the Riesling grapes must spend on the vine as decreed by German law. During the extended hang time the grapes will freeze and thaw multiple times, further concentrating the sugars and acids. There’s an endless list of things that could go wrong for the selected clusters during this time. Between the risks of rotting, not freezing enough to be harvested as eiswein or simply eaten by passing birds and deer you can see why production quantities are minuscule to say the least.

Weingut Prinz Wines in stock now: 

Weingut Prinz Hallgartener Jungfer Riesling Eiswein Rheingau 2016 375ML ($149.95) $119 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Prinz Riesling Trocken Rheingau 2020 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
James Suckling 93 points
“Still a bit closed, but this has serious depth and quite some weight for 12.5% alcohol. Complex mint, tarragon and candied-lime aromas, married to fine tannins and crisp acidity. Intense, but quite austere finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Prinz Hendelberg Riesling Trocken Rheingau 2020 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
James Suckling 94 points
“Quite funky nose that needs some air to open up, then ripe-quince, apricot and lilac notes develop. Excellent structure behind the ripeness and creaminess, the herbal and mineral notes cascading over the palate at the firm, dry finish. From organically grown grapes.”    

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Prinz Jungfer Riesling Kabinett Rheingau 2020 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
James Suckling 94 points
“A stunning Kabinett that’s brimming with red apple, white peach and pomegranate. Very tense interplay of fruit, racy acidity and mountain-stream freshness. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Weingut Prinz Hallgartener Jungfer Riesling Spatlese Rheingau 2019 750ML ($49.95) $39 special
James Suckling 97 points
“Give yourself a holiday and forget all your cares! This super fine Spätlese has a stunning floral-honey, white-currant and dried-herb nose. Very succulent and concentrated with super bright acidity that interlocks beautifully. At the very mineral finish it’s almost dry. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Check out our 531 different German Rieslings available now including Dönnhoff, Mueller-Catoir and Molitor!


Beaucoup Beaujolais: 
Arriving Mid- January

Foillard is one of the members of the “Gang of Four”, a group of young producers who catapulted Beaujolais onto the world stage with their incredible re-interpretation of traditional winemaking . Sourcing from organically farmed, old-vines with no intervention during fermentation and élevage these are among the most transparent expressions of Gamay Noir on the market. Irresistibly delicious on release, these are wines that reward the patient but won’t scold you for opening one now.  

Foillard wines arriving mid-January, 2022: 

Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Les Charmes Eponym Beaujolais 2019 750ML ($57.95) $46 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Glistening ruby. Powerful, mineral-accented cherry, black raspberry, violet and black cardamom scents pick up a spicy nuance as the wine opens up. Chewy and tightly wound on entry, offering juicy dark berry, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors that deepen and slowly spread out through the back half. Shows firm tension and impressive energy on a very long, mineral-driven finish framed by polished, even tannins.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93 points “Aromas of sweet red berries, plums and smoke introduce the 2019 Morgon Eponym, a medium to full-bodied, supple and charming wine that’s fine boned and elegant, with powdery tannins and lively acids, concluding with a perfumed finish. This is a pretty rendition of this cuvée derived from climat Les Charmes.”

Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Beaujolais 2019 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special

Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Cote du Py Beaujolais 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Tasted at the domaine, Foillard’s 2017 Morgon Côte du Py is much the same as it showed from my cellar earlier this year. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherries, red berries, grilled meats, rose petals and orange rind, it’s medium to full-bodied, velvety and fleshy, with fine and powdery tannins, lively acids and a ripe core of fruit. It’s a touch richer and more sun-kissed than the stunning 2016 rendition, but this is a very fine Côte de Py from Foillard.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Vivid ruby. A highly complex bouquet evokes ripe red/blue fruits, candied flowers and exotic spices, and a smoky mineral nuance builds as the wine opens up. Stains the palate with appealingly sweet black raspberry and cherry flavors that become livelier and spicier on the back half. Conveys an impressive blend of power and finesse and lingers with superb persistence on the finish, which features sneaky tannins and lingering florality.”
Neal Martin- Vinous 94 points “We finished with a 2017 Morgon Côte du Py from Jean Foillard, which showed up the Kiwi Pinot. The color was iridescent, the bouquet pure Gamay in full flight: copious blueberries, cassis, crushed violets and blood oranges, all delivered with superb delineation and brightness. The palate harnessed the vivacity and unpretentiousness of Gamay with fine tannins, pure, tart black and red fruit and veins of blueberry. There was a gentle but insistent grip on a finish of supreme length. An outstanding Beaujolais wine, but frankly, I expected nothing less from this producer.”

Domaine Jean Foillard Morgon Cote du Py Beaujolais 2019 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points
“Deep, shimmering violet. Powerful, spice-tinged red and blue fruit preserve and floral pastille aromas are complemented by suggestions of musky earth and licorice. Alluringly sweet and seamless in the mouth, offering sappy, mineral-driven black raspberry, cherry liqueur, lavender and five-spice powder flavors that expand through the back half. Finishes extremely long and nervy, with harmonious tannins building steadily and adding solid grip to reverberating cherry and floral notes.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94+ points “The most reserved wine in the range is the 2019 Morgon Côte du Py, a terrific effort that unwinds in the glass with notes of sweet berry fruit, peonies, loamy soil and sweet spices. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with ultra-fine tannins and lively acids, it’s sapid and mouthwatering. Stylistically, this sits somewhere between the richer, riper register of 2018 and 2017 and the fragrant classicism of 2016. As ever, it’s one of the most dependably delicious purchases to be made in the region.”

Can’t get enough Beaujolais? We carry over 69 different bottlings on our web store.


 Graillot’s Syrah Greatness:  
The Northern Rhône is increasingly selling at higher prices these days that any of her sisters in the region. This is on account of a multitude of factors (Including climate change) but the lynchpin is the farmers themselves revolutionizing their villages. Arguably the best example of this is Alain Graillot, who came home to Crozes-Hermitage in 1985 after working at the legendary Domaine Dujac in Burgundy. 

Alain with his sons Maxime and Antoine make wines using the same techniques that have made Dujac wines iconic like chemical-free farming practices, use of whole clusters during fermentation and long élevage in old oak. As you can expect these are among the most transparent and elegant expressions of Syrah in the world, let alone the Northern Rhône. We just secured our allocation for the 2019 vintage, but we have a small assortment of previous vintages in stock now. If you ever wanted to experience The Northern Rhône through the eyes of Burgundy, here’s your chance!

Graillot Wines in stock now: 

Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage La Guiraude Rhone 2016 750ML ($79.95) $66 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Opaque ruby. A complex, expansive bouquet evokes fresh dark berries, olive, potpourri and incense, and exotic spice and mineral notes build steadily with air. Sweet, focused and penetrating on the palate, offering intense, spice-tinged boysenberry, cherry preserve and violet pastille flavors braced by a core of juicy acidity. Blends concentration and energy with a deft hand and finishes with superb, gently tannic persistence.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 93 points “Showing greater intensity and complexity than the regular bottling, the 2016 Crozes Hermitage la Guiraude also is made entirely whole cluster, yet it shows less prominent stemmy notes. Olive, roasted meat and cherry notes mingle easily on the nose and palate. This is medium to full-bodied, with silky tannins and a long, fine, elegant finish. It should drink well for over a decade.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Very focused, with a sanguine thread weaving around gentle steeped plum and black currant fruit, all backed by singed mesquite notes and a mouthwatering minerally edge. Should age nicely. Drink now through 2030. 500 cases made, 100 cases imported. — JM”

Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage La Guiraude Rhone 2017 ($69.95) $59 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds- Vinous 94 points
“Opaque ruby. Powerful, mineral-accented black and blue fruit, olive and allspice aromas are energized by a suave floral overtone. Fleshy, juicy and broad in the mouth, offering concentrated black currant, cherry liqueur, fruitcake and floral pastille flavors that tighten up with aeration. Densely packed yet energetic as well, finishing with sharp delineation, steadily building tannins and excellent persistence.”

Domaine Alain Graillot Crozes-Hermitage Rhone 2018 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 23 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 93 points
“Inky ruby. Mineral- and spice-accented aromas of ripe dark berries and candied violet show outstanding clarity and lift. At once rich and energetic in the mouth, offering juicy blackberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors that slowly turn sweeter on the back half. Shows outstanding clarity on the long, penetrating finish, which features well-judged tannins and lingering floral and spice notes.”
Wine Advocate 91-93 points “Maxime Graillot was confident that he will bottle a La Guiraude from 2018, but the selection hadn’t yet been made at the time of my visit. This barrel of 2018 Crozes Hermitage shows superb aromatics, with hints of black tea accenting cassis and blueberry fruit. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it reveals some chocolaty notes yet remains remarkably fresh on the finish.”

Maxime Graillot Domaine des Lises Equis Crozes-Hermitage Rhone 2018 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“Opaque ruby. Smoke- and spice-accented dark berries and a hint of licorice on the lively nose. Subtly sweet blackberry and cherry flavors show very good clarity and energy and pick up a suave floral quality with aeration. Displays fine definition and strong, spicy lift on the persistent, gently tannic finish, which leaves lingering cherry and exotic spice notes behind. 30% whole clusters.”
Grapelive 91 points “Maxime Graillot of Equis, who also now makes the wines at his famous father’s Alain Graillot, has crafted a full bodied charmer of a Syrah from his Domaine des Lises in Crozes-Hermitage that is bursting with ripe black and blue fruits, ultra silky tannins and a mouth filling plush sensation, adding hints of violets, sweet herbs, licorice, cassis and a touch of pepper and cedar. This 2018 is surprisingly luxurious and supple, making it a wine that is ready to drink young, no cellaring required here and it so easy to quaff, you’ll almost think it is a new world wine, though with food and air the true nature and terroir come through with subtle earthy accents. This a more impactful version of Maxime’s Crozes-Hermitage than normal and big step up from the the other Equis Syrahs, which are food friendly quaffers. The Domaine des Lises 2018 Crozes-Hermitage, made from 100% Syrah, comes from an organic 40 year old parcel in the lieu-dit of “Les Picheres” set on the regions classic rocky gravel soils, which is less than 2km from the renown estate vines of Domaine Alain Graillot. Maxime employed a traditional approach here, using about 30% whole-cluster and native yeasts with ripe, late picked grapes and he aged this vintage in well seasoned old French oak barrels for close to a year. “

Love Syrah? We carry examples from around the world including Australia, Washington State and California!

Producer Spotlight: Elvio Cogno 

2015 is a vintage known for its elegance and balance in Barolo, producing wines of both heft and grace that exemplify Barolo’s image of “A sword wrapped in velvet”. These are classic Barolos that serve a garden’s worth of floral notes ranging from red roses, rosemary flower, violets and irises with a fruit character that speaks to a warmer vintage. Elvio Cogno’s holdings are largely positioned on hilltops averaging 1,000 feet above sea level which allow for temperature mitigation and further phenolic development.

2016 is equally of high quality but fundamentally different not unlike the two faces of a coin. Characterized by a downright luxurious growing season that experienced no heat spikes, producers were able to harvest at their convenience. This translates to wines that are perfectly balanced between their fruit, acid, tannins and minerality in a way that speaks to decades of possible growth in the bottle.  

Powerful yet plush, the fruit spectrum is a firm mix of black and red cherries, kirsch and grilled strawberry. The tannins are polished without any of the aggression that can sometimes be seen in warmer vintages of Barolo, and are just now beginning to unfold into their drinking window. There are the classic tobacco notes with additional tannins not unlike Keemun or Pu-erh tea. The old vine character of the vineyards is evident in the pervasive mineral finish across the portfolio, with the oldest vines under Cogno’s spade being over 120 years old! With the amount of evolution that occurs in the glass, Bricco Pernice is a complete masterpiece for the cellar and something to collect in multiples!

Elvio Cogno Wines in stock now: 

Elvio Cogno Barolo Bricco Pernice Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($149.95) $99 special, 23 bottles in stock now
Case-6 Elvio Cogno Barolo Bricco Pernice Barolo DOCG 2015 750ML ($719.95) $559 special, (That’s only $93.17 per bottle) 
Kerin O’keefe-Wine Enthusiast 97 points
“Cellar Selection. Enticing scents of rose, iris, perfumed berry and an earthy whiff of truffle shape the fragrant nose on this dazzling wine. The delicious, full-bodied palate boasts structure and a weightless elegance, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, cherry compote, cinnamon and star anise. Taut polished tannins and fresh acidity provide balance and an elegant structure. It’s already irresistible but will also age well for years. Drink 2022–2035.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 96 points “The Elvio Cogno 2015 Barolo Ravera Bricco Pernice delivers the depth, richness and concentration that are a hallmark of this pretty vintage. This wine is a pure expression of the productive Lampia clone of Nebbiolo. Generous layers of blackberry, wild cherry, rose hip, ferrous earth and campfire ash are neatly folded together to build the wine’s intensity. Like the other wines from this estate, the tannic management is spot-on. You are aware of the wine’s youthful structure, but it is delivered without hard edges or sharp points. A mere 4,000 bottles were produced.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2015 Barolo Bricco Pernice is an exotic, beguiling wine. Blood orange, mint, sweet red cherry, star anise and a range of spice notes give the Bricco Pernice striking aromatic and flavor complexity. Medium in body, refined and super-expressive, the 2015 has so much to offer. Best of all, it will drink well with just a few years in bottle. It is such an effortless, gracious wine. Very polished, nuanced and elegant, this silky Barolo has a ton of structure but is also impeccable in its balance.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Aromas of camphor and sweet pipe tobacco give way to cherry, tar and wild scrub flavors in this densely structured red, which is elegant and sinewy, with a lingering, chewy finish. Best from 2023 through 2045.”

Elvio Cogno Barolo Cascina Nuova Barolo DOCG 2016 750ML ($69.95) $54.50 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Rose, woodland berry and baking spice shape the nose along with crushed mint notes on this fragrant red. The savory, polished palate boasts succulent raspberry, ripe strawberry and white pepper before taut tannins and bright acidity reveal a firm, elegant structure. Star anise lingers on the finish. Drink 2023–2036.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “Of the four Elvio Cogno Baroli out on the market now, this wine is the most immediate and accessible of the bunch. Production is an ample 20,000 bottles. The 2016 Barolo Cascina Nuova is a terrific wine with impeccable balance. The bouquet offers dark fruit aromas, licorice, smoke, tar and spice. These aromatic pieces slide together with precision to create an intriguing and multifaceted puzzle. It shows good fruit weight and concentration, reinforced by firm tannins, freshness and a silky mouthfeel. This is a terrific go-to Barolo from a classic vintage. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then ages for two years in botte grande made with Slavonian oak. “
Wine & Spirits 94 points “[Wine & Spirits Winery of the Year in 2021] Fruit from Valter and Nadia Fissore’s younger vines in the Ravera cru yielded a dynamic wine in 2016. It opens with scents of fresh roses and brims with flavors of juicy black cherry and plum, all of it laced with fennel pollen and orange zest. The snappy fruit tones have a pristine ripeness, propelled by brisk acidity toward a vibrant, balanced finish.”

Love Nebbiolo? Check out our full assortment of Barolo and Barbaresco today!


Collector’s Corner 
Get Schisty with Clos Erasmus

Priorat or Tarraconensis as it was once called has cultivated winegrapes since the Roman Empire first occupied the area, but it was Clos Erasmus and their collegues who transformed Priorat from sleepy backwater to a global wine powerhouse in the 1980’s and 90’s. Farming biodynamically since their inception Clos Erasmus has maintained very low production throughout the stratospheric rise of the region, and rarely exceeds 140 cases per year from their 25 acres in production. Limited does not begin to describe the scarcity of these wines, with these bottles being the crown jewel of wine lists around the world. 

Clos Erasmus Wines in stock now: 

Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus Priorat DOCa 2018 1.5L ($699.95) $579 special only 1 magnum in stock now
Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus Priorat DOCa 2018 750ML ($249.95) $219 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate Luis Gutierrez 99 points
“A blend of 85% Garnacha and 15% Syrah, 2018 Clos Erasmus comes from a year with good yields and enough rain for good ripeness of the grapes. The vines are now 36 years old on average, and the grapes fermented after a cold soak in 1,000-, 1,500- and 2,000-liter oak vats with indigenous yeasts and a five-week maceration. It matured in new and second use Burgundian 228-liter oak barrels, with around 40% new oak. This is a very elegant and perfumed vintage for Clos Erasmus, a wine that reveals a bright ruby color and a exotic nose that mixes flowers with tons of sweet spices. It is still very young and influenced by the élevage in oak, with something herbal and fresh, reminiscent of pine needles. The palate is textured and velvety, lace and dust, with fine-grained tannins that bring back the memories of the slate rocks; it is pure and detailed and has terrible balance, focus, inner strength, filigree and subdued minerality. I’d wait a little bit for the oak to get integrated before pulling the cork. It has the ingredients, stuffing and balance to develop nicely in bottle for a long time. 3,319 bottles and 100 magnums produced. It was bottled in May 2020.”

Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus ‘Laurel’ Priorat DOCa 2018 1.5L ($179.95) $149 special, 4 magnums in stock now 
Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus ‘Laurel’ Priorat DOCa 2018 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The second wine here and one that is easier to drink, the 2018 Laurel was produced with fruit from the younger vines, a couple of barrels that are declassified from Clos Erasmus and the Cabernet Sauvignon, more or less 70% Garnacha and 15% each Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has good ripeness and still a pH of 3.3. It fermented mostly in oak vats and 2,000-liter concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured for 18 months in 20,000-liter oak and concrete vats, second use barriques and some clay amphorae. It’s a bright translucent ruby color and has a perfumed and delicate nose with notes of orange peel and flowers; this is the most elegant and ethereal vintage of Laurel as far as I can remember, with red rather than black fruit and a kind of cranberry quality. The palate is medium-bodied, textured and fluid, with subtleness, balance and very fine tannins. The oak is perfectly integrated, and the wine is easy to drink, approachable and very pleasurable right now. It’s a fresh vintage with energy and finesse, quite different from previous vintages. I love it. 22,825 bottles and 515 magnums produced. It was bottled in May 2020.”


Vinopolis is an independent wine shop in Portland that opened in 2004. Our goal has always been to offer the finest, broadest, and largest selection of wines at the best prices to our customers in Portland, in Oregon, across the West Coast, and throughout the United States.

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