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Fresh from the Vault: Cult Wine Drop
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “The 2017 Melbury comes from a vineyard north of Lake Hennessey with more clay soil. It offers more red and blue fruits as well as pretty floral, spice, and mineral nuances. These carry to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully elegant, seamless Cabernet that has silky tannins and no hard edges. All about charm and balance, this is a seriously good 2017 that will evolve gracefully.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2017 Melbury is a rich, sumptuous wine with a bit more volume and intensity than is often the case. All the typical Melbury signatures are present – the red berry fruit and the floral top notes in particular. The 2017 is a decidedly potent, heady Melbury that has really gained in both fruit depth and structural intensity since I last saw it as a barrel sample. The 2017 clearly needs time to soften though, as the tannins are imposing. In 2017, the Melbury is made only from the top blocks, which means production is down around 40%.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 96 points “Melbury vineyard is on Pritchard Hill, overlooking Lake Hennessy. Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2017 Melbury leaps from the glass with exuberant scents of Morello cherries, blackcurrant jelly and mulberries with hints of violets, wild sage and tilled soil. Full-bodied, rich and plush with lovely freshness and finely knit tannins, it finishes with long-lingering, evocative earth nuances.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Ripe and dense, but with a sleek edge, as steeped red and black currant fruit shows good length and a racy feel thanks to mouthwatering acidity, while tobacco leaf and iron notes course through. There’s grippy tannins and loamy bass notes to match the initial treble of this red, with everything knitting nicely on the energetic finish. Should cellar well. A Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend. Best from 2022 through 2040
Bond Quella Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($799.95) $689 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2017 Quella comes from a steep, southwest-facing vineyard in the eastern Vaca hillsides, just up from Joseph Phelps’s winery and Denali Estate. Deep garnet-purple colored, it explodes with bombastic scents of stewed plums, boysenberries, crème de cassis and kirsch plus hints of black truffles, tar and damp soil. The palate is full-bodied and velvety, jam-packed with blackberry and plum preserves flavors with lots of savory nuances on the long finish.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “More dark fruits, Bing cherry, candied violets, and Asian spice notes emerge from the 2017 Quella, which always has an exotic, complex style. Medium to full-bodied and nicely textured, with some chalky tannins, it’s another terrific 2017 that will benefit from just short-term cellaring and have two decades of prime drinking.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Enticing, with a mix of steeped loganberry, mulberry and blackberry fruit flavors that are laced with black licorice, bramble and singed apple wood notes. There’s a loamy edge underneath it all and solid, focusing grip harnessing the finish. A contemplative wine, rather than showy. A Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend. Best from 2022 through 2040. 532 cases made. –JM”
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2017 Quella is a dark powerhouse. Blackberry jam, grilled herbs, sage, menthol, licorice and chocolate infuse the 2017 with tremendous aromatic complexity to play off its natural richness. Savory and brooding, the Quella is a distinctly brooding Cabernet.”
Bond St Eden Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($799.95) $689 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “I loved the 2017 St. Eden. This Oakville beauty boasts a deep purple hue as well as incredible minerality in its blue fruits, cassis, violets, and tobacco-laced aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, ripe, tannic, and concentrated, it has everything you could want in a Napa Valley Cabernet. Give bottles 2-4 years in the cellar and enjoy over the following 20 years or so.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2017 St. Eden is bold, juicy and also more immediate than some of the other wines in the range. Then again, that’s St. Eden, a site that naturally produces sumptuous Cabernets. In 2017, St. Eden comes only from the older portion of the vineyard, which was planted in 1991.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 95 points “St. Eden comes from a red, rocky, iron-rich vineyard site located just north of the Oakville Crossroad in the Vaca Mountains. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 St. Eden is a little broody, opening out with much coaxing to notes of crushed black cherries, cassis and tilled soil with hints of red currants, fruitcake and dusty soil. The opulent, full-bodied, soft-textured palate delivers bags of spicy black fruit preserves flavors, backed-up by loads of freshness, finishing long and exotic.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This isn’t shy with its fruit, showing waves of steeped fig, warmed blackberry reduction and crushed plum, though it all stays focused rather being overtly showy, as the substantial but fine-grained grip provides the ideal matrix to give additional bay leaf, warm earth, iron and tobacco notes room to emerge. A deft display of power and range. A Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend. Best from 2022 through 2040
Bond Vecina Napa Valley 2017 750ML ($799.95) $689 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 97 points “Vecina vineyard is located in the western foothills of Oakville, just to the southeast of the winery (up on Oakville Grade). Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Vecina needs a little coaxing to reveal notes of black currants, blackberries and blueberry compote with hints of dusty soil, cinnamon stick and fallen leaves. Slightly more structured than the other Bond 2017s, it has a rock-solid backbone of firm, grainy tannins and bold freshness supporting the muscular black and blue fruit flavors, finishing long and earthy. It will likely need a little longer to come around than its siblings, but it should also be longer lived.”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “The 2017 Vecina is outrageously beautiful. Inky and deep, it possesses stunning richness, power and structure. Its pedigree and sheer beauty are immediately evident. Over the last year, the 2017 has gained quite a bit of depth and overall resonance I did not see in the barrel samples. As a reminder, Vecina is sourced from Vine Hill Ranch, specifically Block 6 Upper, one of the best locations on the ranch.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “A richer, more structured wine, the 2017 Vecina nevertheless still shows the more elegant style of all these 2017s. Lots of cassis, dark chocolate, bouquet garni, and gravelly earth notes define the bouquet, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with building, chalky tannins, terrific balance, and outstanding length. It needs 3-4 years of bottle age but will have two decades of longevity.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Ripe and sappy in its intensity, but still driven as the dark plum, cassis and açaí berry fruit pumps through, flanked by apple wood and laced with a graphite note. Everything comes to a nice focal point on the finish, which extends with licorice root and sweet tobacco accents. Well-embedded acidity supports it all, lending this subtle tension and energy to offset its heft. A Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend. Best from 2022 through 2038.
Sine Qua Non ‘E’ Grenache Sta Rita Hills 2015 750ML ($599.95) $499 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 100 points “The 2015 Grenache E, from Elaine and Manfred Krankl’s Eleven Confessions Vineyard, is stunningly beautiful. Remarkably light on its feet for such a sumptuous wine, the 2015 has so much to offer. Beautifully expressive aromatics make a strong opening impression. Dark red and purplish berry fruit, mint, sweet spice and licorice develop with air, but it is the wine’s overall feel that stands out most. At times, the E is quite powerful, while in other moments it is much more delicate. That contrast makes for an utterly captivating wine.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 100 points “This is a single-vineyard Grenache-dominated, barrel-selection blend coming from the Eleven Confessions Estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. It bears Elaine Krankl’s initial and a portrait Manfred made of Elaine on the label. The blend is 82% Grenache, 12% Syrah, 5% Petite Syrah and 1% Viognier, and 56% was fermented using whole clusters. It was aged for around 38 months in French oak, 28% new.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98+ points “The 2015 Grenache E comes all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard and spent a whopping 38 months in 28% new French oak, with the balance in used barrels of varying sizes. An incredible effort that offers complex notes of cured meats, graphite, ground white and black pepper, flowers, and cassis, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, ultra-fine tannins, and a purity level that’s just about off the charts. Showing the concentrated, powerful, structured style of the vintage, give bottles 3-4 years in the cellar and enjoy over the following decade or more.”
Sine Qua Non ‘M’ Syrah Sta Rita Hills 2015 750ML ($499.95) $399 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 99 points “The extended aged 2015 Syrah M is more backward and structured, with the 2015 vintage character front and center. Based on 90.6% Syrah and the rest Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Viognier, aged 38 months in 66% new oak, its deep purple color is followed by powerful notes of blackcurrants, blackberries, cedarwood, spiced meat, candle wax, and white flowers. It’s deep and full-bodied, with a huge mid-palate, building tannins, and one serious finish. This rocking beast of a Syrah stays remarkably elegant and perfectly balanced yet needs 4-5 years or more of bottle age. It’s going to evolve for two decades or more.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 99 points “This is a single-vineyard Syrah-dominant blend coming from the Eleven Confessions Estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. It bears Manfred Krankl’s initial and a provocative self-portrait on the label. The blend is 90.6% Syrah, 4.4% Petite Syrah, 2.6% Grenache and 2.4% Viognier. Forty-three percent was fermented using whole clusters. It was aged for around 38 months in French oak, 66% new.”
Antonio Galloni 98 points “The 2015 Syrah M will thrill Sine Qua Non lovers. Rich and sumptuous in the glass, with tremendous aromatic nuance from the whole clusters, the 2015 possesses mind-blowing intensity, yet also remains light on its feet. What impresses me most is how much energy and vivacity the 2015 shows given the tiny yields that year. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is yet another stunning wine from Sine Qua Non.”
Sine Qua Non ‘Pajarito del Amor’ Grenache Sta Rita Hills 2016 750ML ($499.95) $389 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 100 points “The 2016 Grenache Pajarito Del Amor is a single-vineyard wine—a barrel selection from the Eleven Confessions estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. “This vineyard is by far our coolest,” Manfred said. “Sometimes we don’t harvest this vineyard until November. The wines from here have a lot of structure and presence. The soil is a heavy clay, so the wines can be pretty muscular.””
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “Coming all from the estate Eleven Confessions Vineyard and 85.4% Grenache, 7.1% Petite Sirah, 6.9% Syrah, and a splash of Viognier thrown in for good measure, the 2016 Grenache Pajarito Del Amor was brought up 38 months in 54% new French oak demi-muids and the balance in varying used barrels ranging from 2 to 6 years in age. There are just 916 cases of this magical wine, which easily ranks with the greatest Grenache-driven wines to ever come out of California. Deep purple-hued, with an incredible array of cassis, blackberries, toasted spices, caramelized meats, white pepper, and graphite, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness, an expansive, layered mouthfeel, and a blockbuster finish. This is one of those wine that wows from the first sip and is flawlessly balanced, with ripe tannins, incredible purity, and a singular character. Drink this elixir any time over the coming 15-20 years.”
Antonio Galloni 98 points “The darker side of Grenache comes through in the 2016 Grenache Pajarito del Amor. Inky purplish fruit, espresso, mocha and rose petal are pushed forward, but more than anything else, the 2016 stands out for its exotic, beguiling beauty. I hope to be able to taste the 2016 with bottle age, as it is a total stunner. The 2016 is marked by a high percentage of Grenache in the blend (85%) and a high percentage of whole clusters as well (56%), as most of the stem inclusion in this wine comes from the Grenache.”
Sine Qua Non Into The Dark Grenache Sta Rita Hills 2004 1.5L ($2199.95) $1599 special, 1 magnum in stock now
Wine Advocate 99 points “More up-front and open-knit, the 2004 Into the Dark (Grenache) checks in as a blend of 84% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, 7% Syrah and 1% Viognier that comes mostly from Manfred’s 11 Confessions Vineyard, yet includes small portions from Alban (10%) and Alta Mesa (9%) Vineyard. Reminding me of Clos Saint-Jean’s Sanctus Sanctorum with its incredible bouquet of sweet kirsch, licorice, dried baking spices, graphite and ground pepper, this beauty flows onto the palate with impeccable purity, perfect integration of its fruit, tannin and acidity, and blockbuster length. As is common with this estate’s wine, it’s the purity paired with serious richness that sets it apart. While still youthful and benefiting from a healthy decadence, I think it’s drinking at point and would aim to drink bottles over the coming 4-5 years. It will evolve gracefully for longer, but I see no reason to hold off.-JD”
Robert Parker 99 points “2004 Into the Dark: This absolutely magnificent wine is a blend of 84% Grenache, 8% Mourvedre, 7% Syrah and 1% Viognier, with most of it emerging from the estate’s 11 Confessions Vineyard. It still has a very opaque ruby/purple color, along with a sweet nose of graphite, wood smoke, spice box, white chocolate, kirsch and creme de cassis. Still quite infantile in terms of its development, the wine is full-bodied, with a 45- to 50-second finish. Another 2-3 years of cellaring will be beneficial, and it is certainly capable of lasting 10 or more years.”
Sine Qua Non ‘Subir’ Syrah Sta Rita Hills 2016 750ML ($499.95) $399 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 100 points “Meaning “Rise” in Spanish, the 2016 Syrah SUBIR is the estate release that’s all from the Eleven Confessions Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills. It’s 89.7% Syrah with the rest Grenache, Petite Sirah, and Viognier that was 56% destemmed and spent a full 38 months in 82% new French oak. There are few wines that can spend close to four years in barrel and still emerge with freshness and purity, yet this estate seems to produce wines that do it with ease. Sporting a deep purple hue as well as a heavenly array of crème de cassis, white chocolate, blackberries, unsmoked tobacco, and peppery spice, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a layered, seamless texture, incredible depth of fruit, and that rare mix of power and elegance that’s that hallmark of truly great wines. This was a great vintage for the Central Coast, and this is a true gem of a wine that tops out on my scale. While it’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age, it offers incredible pleasure today as well. It will have 20+ years of longevity.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 99 points “The 2016 Syrah SUBIR (meaning to rise or go up) is a single-vineyard wine—a barrel selection from the Eleven Confessions estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. “This vineyard is by far our coolest,” Manfred said. “Sometimes we don’t harvest this vineyard until November. The wines from here have a lot of structure and presence. The soil is a heavy clay, so the wines can be pretty muscular.””
Antonio Galloni 98 points “The 2016 Syrah Subir, from Elaine and Manfred Krankl’s Eleven Confessions ranch, is a powerhouse. It is the rare Sine Qua Non wine that demands cellaring. Swaths of tannin wrap around a core of inky dark fruit. Hints of spice, lavender, mint and dried herbs emerge with coaxing, but the 2016 is in no mood to show all of its cards yet. Subir is 89.7% Syrah, 4.6% Grenache, 2.5% Petite Siraha and 3.2% Viognier, vinified with 44% whole clusters. It is projected to spend 38 months in oak, 82% new.”
Sine Qua Non ‘Ziehharmonika’ Syrah California 2018 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 96-98 points “The 2018 Syrah Ziehharmonika is another absolutely exquisite wine from Elaine and Manfred Krankl. Rich, deep and potent to the core, the 2018 captures a striking mix of lush fruit as well as the energy of the year. All the elements simply fall into place in a magical Syrah that will thrill Sine Qua Non lovers. The 2018 is 82% Syrah, 6.7% Mourvèdre, 5.0% Petite Sirah, 2.3 % Grenache, 2.7% Viognier and 1.3% Muscat. Interestingly, the whole clusters are just 14%, so quite a bit lower than found in the Grenache. Vineyard sites are The Third Twin, Eleven Confessions and Cumulus, all estate ranches.
(Sine Qua Non) Next of Kyn No. 10 Central Coast 2016 750ML ($499.95) $399 special, 2 bottles in stock now
(Sine Qua Non) Next of Kyn No. 10 Central Coast 2016 1.5L ($979.95) $735 special, 1 magnum in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 100 points “Next of Kyn is the label of Elaine and Manfred Krankl (owners/creators of Sine Qua Non), based on fruit from their home vineyard in Oakville, called Cumulus vineyard. This 2016 vintage is composed of 46% Syrah, 19% Grenache, 18.3% Petite Sirah, 15.3% Mourvèdre and 1.4% Petit Manseng, using 23% whole clusters. It spent around 34 months in French oak barrels, 75% new. “The composition of this wine is coming now much closer to the original vision for this vintage and subsequently this wine,” commented Manfred Krankl.”
Jeb Dunnuck 99 points “Just about pure perfection in a glass, the 2016 No 10 Cumulus Vineyard is an incredible mix of 46% Syrah, 19% Grenache, 18.3% Petite Sirah, and the rest Mourvèdre and Petit Manseng that was mostly destemmed and brought up in 75% new French oak. Awesome notes of blackberries, ground herbs, violets, loamy earth, and chocolate notes give way to a full-bodied, powerful red that has moderate acidity, flawless balance, sweet tannins, and a finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. It’s another off-the-charts, singular wine from an incredible winemaker.”
Antonio Galloni 95+ points “The 2016 Next of Kyn is a rich, heady wine. Implosive and deep, the 2016 comes across as a wine that is still finding its balance in bottle. Time in the glass brings out swaths of dark fruit, grilled herbs, espresso and licorice. Readers need to be patient with the 2016, as it is going through an awkward stage today. In 2016, the blend is 46% Syrah, 19% Grenache, 18.3% Petite Sirah, 15.3% Mourvèdre and 1.4% Petit Manseng. The wine saw 34 months in oak, with 75% new oak.”
(Sine Qua Non) Next of Kyn Número Dois Touriga Nacional Central Coast 2016 750ML ($499.95) $369 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Antonio Galloni 98 points “The 2016 Número Dois is full of mystery and sheer allure. Mocha, wild cherry, mint, iron and a touch of new oak infuse this opulent red with tremendous nuance. Soft curves and rich, voluptuous fruit add to the wine’s considerable personality. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s intense aromatics and overall nuance. The 2016 is flat out gorgeous. That’s all there is to it.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “Even better than the 2015, which might have been the greatest expression of Touriga Nacional I’d ever tasted, the 2016 Touriga Nacional Numero Dois Cumulus Vineyard boasts a knockout bouquet of ripe black fruits, charcoal, bouquet garni, and ground pepper. Rich, full-bodied, layered, and straight-up sexy on the palate, don’t miss a chance to try this singular wine. The blend is 83% Touriga Nacional, 9% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah, and 3% Petite Sirah that was roughly 50% destemmed and spent 33 months in one-third new French oak.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 97 points “Coming entirely from the Krankl’s “Home” vineyard—the Cumulus vineyard—the 2016 Touriga Nacional Numero Dois is a blend of 83% Touriga Nacional, 9% Mourvedre, 5% Syrah and 3% Petite Sirah using 54% whole clusters. It spent around 33 months in French oak barrels, 33% new.”
Hundred Acre Kayli Morgan Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2006 750ML ($699.95) $549 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 99 points “Deep garnet in color, the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan Vineyard jumps out of the glass with red and black cherry preserves, warm cassis and blackberry tart with hints of lilacs, rose hip tea and lamb dripping with rosemary and baking spices. Full-bodied, concentrated and wonderfully layered, it has a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing long and mineral laced.”
Stephan Tanzer-Vinous 96 points “(15.1% alcohol) Deep red-ruby. Blacker, more brooding nose than the Ark: cassis, licorice and a whiff of caramel. Then sweet, lush and full in the mouth, with superb minerality contributing to this very deep wine’s almost 3-D texture. Plusher and more effusive than the Ark, finishing with outstanding palate-coating breadth and length. Reminds me of a top Pomerol. Owner Jayson Woodbridge calls this bottling “a sexy, rumbling Ferrari,” while he describes the Ark, with its structure, power and elegance, as a Rolls-Royce. (The 2007s had been sulfured shortly before my visit and were unavailable for tasting.)”
Levy & McClellan Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2004 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Robert Parker-Wine Advocate 99 points “The exquisite 2004 Proprietary Red Wine offers up notes of lead pencil shavings, licorice, Asian plum sauce, black currants and a hint of underlying minerality. Full-bodied yet beautifully silky and seductive, it has shed most of its tannins, resulting in a complex, singular red wine of majestic proportions. The finish is among the longest of any 2004 I tasted, and gorgeous levels of fruit and extract hide any notions of new oak. This cuvee tastes like a hypothetical blend of a great Pauillac, Pessac-Leognan and Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. It should drink well over the next two decades.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “A rich, savory, extracted style, with strong mocha-espresso bean and spicy currant flavors that are intense, focused, long and persistent, ending with firm, ripe tannins. Combines power with finesse. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2015. 300 cases made. — JL.”
Levy & McClellan Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2006 1.5L ($899.95) $699 special, 1 magnum in stock now
Robert Parker 95 points “The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon displays beautifully sweet blue and black fruits intermixed with espresso roast, smoked meats, chocolate, and scorched earth. Dense purple in color, deep, rich, broad, with plenty of tannin and concentration as well as noticeable oak, this wine is a massive Cabernet meant for long-term cellaring. I wouldn’t touch a bottle for 6 to 8 years, then watch it unfold over the following 25-30.”
Stephen Tanzer 94 points “(includes bits of cabernet franc and petit verdot) Deep red-ruby. Complex, inviting aromas of cassis, graphite, menthol and sexy new oak. Very ripe but bright and classic, with terrific lift to the cassis, mineral and dark chocolate flavors. This boasts remarkably deep fruit for seven-year-old vines and finishes with very sweet, suave tannins and superb length. Husband-and-wife team Bob Levy and Martha McClellan, who are also responsible for making Harlan, Bond, Blankiet and Sloan, consider their 2005 to be a bit more layered and complex, but this one is also a star of its vintage.”
Vega Sicilia Tinto Valbuena 5 Ribera del Duero 2009 750ML ($249.95) $199 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 95 points “(Reviewed 2019) No, the 2009 Valbuena is not a current release, but I had a bottle blind at a tasting and most people, including myself, guessed it was a Grand Cru Burgundy, so aromatic, floral, expressive and elegant it was. We couldn’t believe it when the wine was revealed. Later, a bottle of the 2010 was opened, and it confirmed it as the best Valbuena of recent times, with a rare combination of elegance and power, combining characters of fine Burgundy and elegant Syrah from the Northern Rhône.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “(virtually all tempranillo, with a bit of merlot; fermented in large oak tanks and raised in a 50/50 blend of French and American oak, followed by brief sojourns in used oak barrels and vats before bottling): Opaque ruby. Spice- and mineral-accented aromas of dark berries, cherry pit and potpourri, with a toasty topnote. Minerally, incisive and sweet on the palate, offering smoky cherry and blackcurrant flavors complicated by vanilla, mocha and licorice. Shows impressive power and vivacity on the youthfully tannic finish, with the smoke and spice notes strongly repeating.”
Chris Ringland Shiraz Barossa Valley 2002 750ML ($799.95) $699 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Jay Miller-Wine Advocate 100 points “The 2002 Chris Ringland Shiraz comes from a great vintage Ringland likens to 1991, 1996, and 1998. It is a more saturated color than the 2001 with a superb perfume of Asian spices, game, bacon, lavender, and blueberry compote. Plush, succulent, and powerful, it will age effortlessly for a decade and provide enjoyment through 2027.”
(Sine Qua Non) Mr. K The Straw Man Central Coast 2004 375ML ($299.95) $219 special, 2 half-bottles in stock now
Robert Parker-Wine Advocate 100 points “The monumental 2004 Mr. K. The Straw Man, a Semillon Vin de Pays, possesses 9.9% alcohol and 310 grams per liter of residual sugar yet an amazing 7.6 grams per liter of acidity. An elixir of amazing proportions, there are 2,500 half bottles, which will be released in early 2008. Astounding notes of marmalade, creme brulee, and a liqueur of roasted nuts are accompanied by fabulous acidity, which provides uplift and vibrancy in spite of its enormous richness and unctuosity. The only thing I can say is you must taste it to believe it! I have no idea how long these sweeties will keep, but they should easily last for two decades or more.”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 95 points “(for 375 ml.; from Brander Vineyard) Golden bronze. Deep apricot and orange marmalade aromas are complicated by an exotic bouquet of floral honey, licorice, botanical herbs and magnolia. Soft and fleshy, with sticky pit fruit and tangerine flavors gently supported by fresh minerality. A baking spice character builds with air, brightening the sappy, refreshingly bitter finish. If you can call it a finish, that is: I was tasting this an hour down the road. “The key to a wine like this is starting off with perfectly ripe fruit,” says Krankl.”
(Sine Qua Non) Mr. K The Ice Man Central Coast 2006 375ML ($299.95) $249 special, 1 half-bottle in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “(for 375 ml.; made from frozen grapes from the Bien Nacido Vineyard) Deep yellow-gold. Intensely spicy aromas of vibrant peach and apricot are enlivened by steely minerality. Lush and sweet but vibrant, with vivid pit fruit flavors, tactile sweetness and outstanding clarity. Possesses a taffeta-like texture, finishing with grip, supple acids and lingering honey and orange marmalade character. Krankl avoids botrytis for his ice wines because he believes that true ice wine should show “the marrow of the fruit” and that botrytis overrides the variety.””
Scary good deal on Opus One (Coming soon!)
We’re proud to announce our first offer of 2018 Opus One, which will arrive in early October. Easily one of the most recognizable Cult wines of Napa, the bottling is a collaboration between Cabernet titans Robert Mondavi and Baron Phillipe Rothschild. Especially rare after the disastrous wildfires in 2019 rendered the vintage unusable, the 2018 is sure to impress on its scarcity alone. If the average critic score of 98.5 wasn’t enough of an incentive, we will be offering a 10% discount on three or more bottles until the end of day on September 6th. Speak now or forever hold your peace as the saying goes, these will not last long!
10% Off 3 or more bottles of 2018 Opus One
Sale Ends September 6th at 6 PM Pacific
Opus One Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($389.95) $365 pre-arrival special (that’s $328.50 at the discount) Arriving ETA Early October
James suckling 99 points “Extremely perfumed and floral with lavender, lilacs and violets to the sweet, ripe berries, such as blackberries and blackcurrants. Some slate and graphite, too. It’s full-bodied, yet ever so balanced and refined, with super fine tannins that last for minutes. Fresh herbs, such as bay leaf and lemon grass highlight the dark fruit. The quality of tannin is exquisite with wonderful polish and refinement. Lasts for minutes. So wonderful to taste now, but better after 2026.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 98 points “Very deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Opus One soars out of the glass with bright, bold boysenberries, warm cassis and ripe, juicy black plums notes, plus emerging nuances of lilacs, oolong tea, cinnamon stick, tilled soil and black truffles. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with tightly wound layers of crunchy black fruits, supported by firm, grainy tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing with lifted fruitiness and on a lingering mineral note.”
For Vajra & Scavino Arriving ETA Mid-September!
G.D. Vajra Ravera Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 95 points “Notable for its purity of fruit, this Barolo features black cherry, black currant, violet, mineral and tar aromas and flavors. Harmonious and lithe, with an underpinning of mineral that lingers through the dynamic finish. Best from 2025 through 2045. —B.S.”
G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “This silky Barolo boasts aromas and flavors of rose, black currant, cherry, raspberry and iron, with a touch of earth, showing terrific purity and length. This is more about finesse than power, though the tannins are present and should allow this to age. Best from 2024 through 2042. —B.S.”
Paolo Scavino Bric del Fiasc Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($99.95) $88 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Aromatic, this red offers rose, plum, cherry, licorice, leather and spicy tobacco notes. Firm, yet surprisingly open and balanced at this stage. Remains fresh and long on the savory finish. Best from 2024 through 2038. —B.S.”
Paolo Scavino Monvigliero Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 94 points “Offering a mix of sour cherry, black currant, floral and leather aromas and flavors, this Barolo is supple and expressive, yet with enough structure to allow it to evolve over the next 15 to 20 years. Ends with a fine aftertaste of fruit, earth and savory elements. Best from 2024 through 2042. —B.S.”
Paolo Scavino Carobric Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($79.95) $66 pre-arrival special
Wine Spectator 93 points “Savory aromas of wild thyme and eucalyptus introduce this plum and cherry-filled red. Rich and smooth, with ample tannins emerging on the lingering finish for support. Best from 2023 through 2036. —B.S.”
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Southern Rhone Rose
Domaine les Aphillanthes has vineyard holdings in three villages of Cote Du Rhone, with soils that are largely composed of iron rich sand with veins of limestone and a smattering of Galets, or “pudding stones”. Certified biodynamic and plowing exclusively by horse for over 10 years, the owners Daniel and Hélène Boulle suspect that the roots of their grapevines go 100 feet underground!
Their rose is the same blend as their red with Grenache leading followed by Cinsault, Mourevedre and Counoise. Expect an entire spectrum of fruits including raspberries, bing cherry, fresh redcurrant and watermelon. From an aromatic perspective there’s a symphonic combination of rose petals, fresh ground espresso and cinnamon apples.
In Stock Now:
Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cotes du Rhone Nymphea Rose France 2020 750ML ($17.95) $14 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Weygandt-Metzler Import note “Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Counoise. Biodynamic. Gailloux/Galets Roules over clay & limestone. Tasting note: Red fruit and bright acidity. Full body with a long and balanced finish.” Region: Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France.
Check out additional Southern Rhone roses in stock now:
Domaine Charvin Cotes du Rhone Rose Rhone 2020 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Light orange-pink. Mineral-driven red berry and pit fruit aromas are complemented by a suave floral topnote. Seamless and energetic on the palate, offering fresh strawberry, blood orange and nectarine flavors that deepen with air. Shows fine definition and spicy cut on the persistent finish, which leaves repeating pit fruit and floral notes behind.”
Weygandt-Metzler Import note “Grenache, Cinsault. Organic. Clay, galets roules & sand. Tasting note: Crushed strawberry, Bing cherry with hints of grapefruit and crushed stone. Medium body with a long finish.” Region: (Chateauneuf-du-Pape), Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France.
Chateau de Manissy Tavel Cuvee des Lys Rose Rhone 2019 750ML ($21.95) $16 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Brilliant orange color. Mineral-accented red berry and citrus fruit aromas are complemented by a sexy floral nuance. Concentrated and energetic in the mouth, offering juicy redcurrant, cherry and candied rose flavors that slowly turn sweeter on the mid-palate. The mineral and floral notes echo on a penetrating finish that hangs on with very good tenacity. Drink 2020 – 2023.”
Importer note “Grenache, Clairette & Syrah from clay, river rock and sandy soils. Biodynamic. Juicy raspberry, watermelon, crushed minerals and burnt sugar. Full body with a long finish… Entirely hand-harvested. Maceration of 12-24 hours to extract primary aromas. Fermentation with only indigenous yeasts at a very low temperatures over 2 days, then increased in temperature to 25°C for 7 days in order to increase the fruity taste. Aged in concrete tanks and stainless steel. Natural balanced acidity of about 3.6hg/L and PH of 3.5mg/L with less than 1gr/L residual sugar. This cuvée comes from a plot of 10 hectares that is enclosed by a forest.”
Chateau de Manissy ‘La Belle Etoile’ Rose Rhone 2020 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 89 points “Pale orange-pink. Lively and focused on the nose, displaying fresh strawberry, white peach and orange zest scents, with floral and mineral nuances. Red berry and pit fruit flavors show sharp detail and a bracing hint of juicy acidity. The floral note repeats on the tight finish, which lingers with good tenacity.”
Weygandt-Metzler Import note “Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache. Clay & limestone. Tasting note: Crushed stone, pressed flowers and white cherries. Medium body with a long finish.”
Region: (Tavel) VDF, Rhone, France.
Shop our full selection of rose wines on our web store now!
2019 marks a return to “normal” for the Oregon growing season, evidenced by cool days and even a smattering of rain. Considering the droughts of previous vintages however, the rains allowed for a longer growing season with minimal disease pressure. As usual Cameron delivers an impressionistic snapshot of the vintage, with clear nod to the subtlety and elegance that the season provided. Keemun tea, lavender, purple hyssop, Rainer cherry, salmonberry, Sarsaparilla and sassafras are all knit together with a dewy, forest floor character that is rapidly becoming the calling card of Oregon Pinot. With the low yields of the season, exceptional aging potential and stellar reputation of Cameron, this has the potential to be a collector’s item in no time.
Cameron Winery Reserve Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2019 750ML ($39.95) $36 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Winery Note “September 2019 was cool and rainy, so the fruit was allowed to hang sufficiently long to achieve optimal ripening without high sugars. The result is a low alcohol wine which allows the gorgeous aromas of rose petal and cherries to shine. A silky texture and long lingering finish completes this lovely Pinot noir.”
Nebbiolo is a true rarity in the Willamette Valley as there are only a handful of vineyards that have it planted. With vines clocking in at around 18 years old and 2017 being the last of Oregon’s “Hot streak” of vintages, this is an iteration that will be one for the ages. With a level of ripeness that you would find in cooler years of Barbaresco or Alto Piedmonte, there’s a perfect balance between acid and tannic structure that speaks to a long aging trajectory. Bing and sour cherries, fresh cranberry, and grilled strawberry make up the primary fruit with a beautiful finish of rose petal, seco tobacco and rosemary with a kiss of rustic tannin.
Cameron Winery Nebbiolo Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($49.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winery Note “Our Nebbiolo is characterized by classic northern Piedmont aromas of dried cherries, tobacco and orange peel. The palate has bright acidity, a long finish and firm “sand on the teeth” tannins that typify the Nebbiolo grape.” Rarely seen outside of Piedmont, Cameron Winery has been growing Nebbiolo on the Clos Electrique vineyard for nearly three decades after winemaker John Paul was struck by climate similarities shared by the Willamette Valley and Piedmont. Vinified using traditional techniques of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo from Clos Electrique and White Oak Vineyard in Ribbon Ridge are aged for two years in neutral oak, and one year in botti before finally resting in bottles an additional year to soften the firm tannins characteristic of the varietal.
Arriving September 10th:
Cameron Winery Reserve Chardonnay Dundee Hills 2019 750ML ($39.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Winery Note: “The ‘Reserve’ level of Cameron Chardonnay is an incredible deal. Made of declassified barrels of Clos Electrique and Abbey Ridge, so without the new oak that the lower level bottling sees, this wine shows facets of the grace and intensity of Abbey and the Clos without the price tag of those higher end bottlings.”
The 2019 Cameron Reserve Chardonnay is an Oregon masterpiece. It is rare to see Dundee Hills produce Chardonnay that delivers phenolic richness and age worthiness at the same time, but Cameron is famous for this across their portfolio. Delightfully fresh, textured and slightly creamy there is so much character to the wine it’s hard to nail down specifics. There’s a symphonic character of Gravenstein, Golden Delicious and Fuji apple, white peach, cinnamon, sous bois, turned loam and light roasted coffee with an exceptionally long finish.
Magnum Feature: Rose for all day
There is an entire spectrum of styles made under the Bandol Rose Umbrella with largely two major schools of thought at play. Some producers choose a rich and extracted style that features more fruit with the opposing style being a leaner expression and emphasizing the mineral/botanical character you see in a lighter style. To exemplify the richer style we can’t think of a better example than Bastide Blanche, who delivers an entire harvest basket of Blood orange, sorbet, mandarin orange, fresh raspberry, hibiscus, lavender and sage that’s all underscored by a chalky minerality.
Made from a minimum of 75% Mourvèdre, Bastide Blanche is considered a benchmark producer of this style of Bandol rose; with the estate being originally founded to compete with the best of Châteauneuf-du-Pape to the north. Also known for being one of the few roses that benefits from bottle age, the texture of the wine becomes almost tea-like on the finish with the fruit also softening as well. Bastide Blanche is a “Red wine drinker’s rose” being the perfect alternative to a heavier red on a hot day, afternoon or evening.
In stock now:
Domaine de la Bastide Blanche Bandol Rose Provence 2020 1.5L ($69.95) $59 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Domaine de la Bastide Blanche Bandol Rose Provence 2020 750ML ($31.95) $26 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Domaine de la Bastide Blanche Bandol Rose Provence 2020 750ML ($319.95) $288 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points “Limpid orange-pink. Expressive red berry, blood orange and pit fruit aromas are accompanied by building mineral and floral nuances. Taut and energetic in the mouth, offering sappy strawberry, orange zest and lavender flavors braced by a spine of chalky minerality. Finishes silky and impressively long, with repeating mineral and floral notes.”
Weygandt-Metzler Import note “Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette. Organic. Clay, limestone & cailloux. Tasting note: Dense cherry and raspberry fruit with citrus and stone flavors. Full body with a perfectly balanced and long finish.”
Chateau Pradeaux’s roots in Bandol date back to 1752, when the Portalis family was tasked with a draft of the Napoleonic Code. This extended time amongst their vines and terroir is evident in their practices, which are entirely traditional with only minor elements borrowed from the current era. As Champions and advocates of the Mourvèdre grape (Largely considered the most important red in Bandol) they feature it across their portfolio including their rose. Expect a punch of fruit with a savory and chalky finish that keeps you coming back for another taste.
In stock and available now:
Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rose Provence 2019 1.5L ($89.95) $61.90 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Importer note “The Bandol Rosé from Pradeaux is perhaps the most serious wine in this category. Robust, rich, and complex with an ability to age gracefully, this wine is based on Cinsault (50%) and Mourvèdre (50%), taking its slight orange tint from the latter cépage. The younger vines of the domaine (average age: 25 years) are utilized to produce a rare rosé with staying power and exceptional complexity. The Rosé is vinified by a direct pressing for 24 hours followed by fermentation in cement tanks at a controlled temperature of 18 degrees Celsius for about 15 days; the malo-lactic fermentation is blocked and the wine is usually bottled in mid-April of the following year.
With their first recorded harvest in the year 1256, Commanderie de Peyrassol has been making wine for a minute or two. Theorized to have been established for viticulture by the Knights Templar, the estate has been continuously producing wine for over 800 years.The current iteration however was founded much more recently, with Francois Rigord undergoing extensive renovations to the estate in 1970. These renovations were continued and improved on under new ownership in 2001, with the Astruy family assuming ownership.
The vines planted are reflective of Provencal wine as a whole, including Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Tibouren (an ancient variety native to the area). Now certified organic, with both red and white old vines and a completely outfitted facility, Peyrassol is at the top of their game. Their rosé portfolio encapsulates the essence of the region, featuring both highly ageworthy and collectable examples to light and easy drinking. Their top cuvee is sourced from their restored walled vineyard, called a “Clos” in French and is primarily comprised of Tibouren.
In stock and available now:
Peyrassol Cotes de Provence ‘Le Clos Peyrassol’ Rose France 2019 1.5L ($149.95) $129 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points “Predominantly Tibouren, with the balance of the blend being Grenache and Rolle, Peyrassol’s super pale 2019 Cotes de Provence Rose Le Clos Peyrassol offers up scents of crushed stone, garrigue, white peach and lime, all tinged with tart red berries. It’s medium-bodied on the palate, with a silky-wet stone feel and a lingering finish that seems to build in red fruit intensity while remaining citrusy and refreshing at the same time. One of the best wines in this year’s tasting, this is a limited-production cuvée from a walled vineyard located on the estate.”
Featured Offering: The Vinopolis Sweet Tooth
Can you think of a wine more versatile than sweeter wines? There are few culinary experiences that can compare to eating something high in fat or exceptionally spicy with a sweeter style of wine. This is on account of the sweetness acting as a palate cleanser and the acid cutting through the fat. For a more heightened experience, wines that have undergone botrytis and bottle age offer additional characteristics like crystallized ginger, Manuka honey, honeysuckle and caramel.
Some of the best examples of this style include the Quarts de Chaume region in the Loire, The Mosel Valley of Germany, and the island of Sicily. These areas share a number of characteristics that make them especially conducive to sweeter wine styles; with mineral rich soils, steeped terraces, proximity to bodies of water, and climates that allow for a long growing season.
Baumard is the most famous producer in the Quarts de Chaume appellation, despite farming a tiny portion of the regions 110 acres. The area has been famous for its sweet wines made from Chenin Blanc since the Middle Ages, with the Quarts de Chaume name originating with the 25% of the crop the peasants owed to the Diocese of Angers as tax. This fame continued into the modern era, with the area being the first in the entire Loire to be classified as a “Grand Cru” site. The proximity to the Layon River creates waves of humidity that are perfect for cultivating Botrytis Cinerea in the grape clusters, which concentrates the sugars in the grape via shriveling.
Baumard’s holdings in the appellation consist of several soil types and are farmed organically. Their house style can be described as “Seeking a purer expression of site and fruit” and eschews any use of oak during the winemaking process. Expect a spectrum of flavor that encompasses everything from honeyed Seville orange, spiced Anjou pear and lychee with a plethora of lilies and jasmine aromas.
In stock and available now:
Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume Loire 2015 375ML ($59.95) $39 special, 6 half-bottles in stock now
Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume Loire 2015 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 27 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator “Highly Recommended” 98 points. Waves of creamed Jonagold apple, Cavaillon melon, mirabelle plum, mango and white peach flavors provide thrilling range, while flashes of honeysuckle and verbena add detail and focus throughout. Unctuous yet pure, sweet yet invigorating, with an inner brightness that matches the outward hedonism. Best from 2020 through 2045. 100 cases imported.”
Muscat of Alexandria is one of the first grapes to have ever been used for wine production in the world. Dating back over 5,000 years Muscat is theorized to be native to the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia, where she was transported around the Mediterranean by the Assyrians, Ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Greeks. In Sicily, Muscat was renamed Zibbibo after the Arabic name for raisin in reference to its use use for eating and in sweet wine production.
Donnafugata’s founder Giacomo Rallo purchased an existing vineyard on a neighboring island, called Pantelleria with the idea of reviving the traditional style of Zibbibo. The island is closer to Tunisia than Sicily, and experiences constant wind from the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa which mitigates the otherwise sweltering temperatures. The Zibbibo sourced for the Ben Rye bottling is grown in the bushvine style native to Sicily, called Alberello with an average vine age of 90 years old.
These factors converge beautifully, with a flavor profile and texture that is reminiscent of Tokaji and Vin Santo at the same time. Intensely flavorful with notes of Figs, toffee, dried apricot, Ribera Orange, dried lavender and sage make this the center stage of the table.
In stock and available now:
Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria Sicily 2017 375ML ($49.95) $39 special, 34 half-bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points “Pale golden-amber color. A full-bodied, sweet white with evolving layers of honey, lilies, candied ginger, peaches, kumquats and lychees. So luscious, complex and balanced. Incredibly long finish. Drink or hold.”
Likely the first area in Germany to be planted en masse with grapevines, its first mention is by the Roman poet Magnus Ausonius in 370 A.D with their first settlement being founded in 15 B.C. In the same way that Neuschwanstein Castle is the face of Bavaria and German architecture as a whole, the Mosel Valley is the face of the Rhine and German wine. Unlike other German wine regions that see a diverse assortment of grapes under cultivation, the Mosel produces Riesling almost exclusively along the banks of the river.
These vineyards feature vast percentages of the trademark blue and gray slate which also aids in ripening, and contributes a clean slate-like character to the wine. The more favorable growing conditions allow for the entire spectrum of Riesling to be produced ranging from dry to lusciously sweet. Aj Adam delivers this reputation in spades with his old vine estate vineyard located in Dhron Hofberg, one of the “Grand Cru’s” of the Mosel River Valley.
Famous in the 20th century for its multifaceted and mineral driven wines, the site rests on a small tributary of the Mosel that allows for incredibly versatile expressions of Riesling. The Hofberg Auslese made by Adams exemplifies these factors perfectly, being made from Riesling that was originally intended for Eiswein (The latest harvested of all German Wine). The resulting wine features an entire kaleidoscope of flavors ranging from pineapple, lychee, guava, passionfruit, and Valencia orange. There’s also a definite mineral character on the finish, with an electric acidity that acts as a through line.
In stock and available now:
Weingut A.J. Adam Dhroner Hofberg Riesling Auslese * 2016 Mosel 375ML ($69.95) $39 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “The 2016er Auslese * was made from the second pressing of the Eiswein grapes harvested on November 30. This already golden-colored wine delivers a rather ripe and exotic nose of grapefruit, candied passion fruit and backed pineapple. It is nicely balanced on the palate and does not exhibit the usual “Eiswein bite” of such wines but proves more luscious in style. The acidity comes eventually through in the sweet and complex finish. 2023-2036.”
David Schildknecht – Vinous 91 points “This “one-star” Auslese represents the later fraction of pressing from the frozen grapes harvested on November 30. Papaya, peach and candied lemon peel on the nose set the tone for a silken-textured, tartly tingling palate. An influx of salinity provides welcome saliva-inducement in a rich yet bright, albeit relatively opaque finish. The sense of invigoration and grip here are highly impressive. And possibly it will clarify more with some time in bottle, though as with most Riesling crushed from frozen grapes, I would monitor this one’s evolution cautiously if I were planning to cellar any.”
Collector’s Corner: Boudignon
In spite of this pedigree the world is only just starting to discover these works of art from the Loire, with producers like Boudignon leading a new generation that are taking Chenin Blanc to new heights. Originally from Bordeaux, Thibaud Boudignon made a name for himself working in Burgundy at the legendary house, Philippe Charlopin. This tutelage is clearly evident in his current work, which features a purity of varietal character and mineral spine rarely seen outside of Burgundy.
After producing exemplary work at Chateau Soucherie he purchased a small vineyard and initiated biodynamic conversion. His seminal vintage was in 2009 and immediately put him on the map in France, and he’s only gotten better since! His devotion to meticulous farming under biodynamic standards in addition to his masterful technical skill as a winemaker have made him a cult figure almost overnight. We only get small quantities of his wines every year, so get them while you can!
In Stock Now:
Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc, Loire 2019 750ML ($47.95) $44 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc, Loire 2019 1.5L ($99.95) $89 special, 6 magnums in stock now
No reviews for the 2019 vintage. 2018 review provided for reference.
Jason Wilson – Vinous 92 points “Quiet, elegant nose of beeswax, ripe pear and smoke. Rambunctious, lively and textured in the mouth, bursting with grilled lemon and green apple plus notes of salt and smoke, all underpinned by smooth stoniness. A cool, youthful wine that is full of energy.”
Importer note “With a tight core of saline terroir enveloped within ripe medium bodied fruit, this chenin blanc delivers a focused example of Thibaud’s style of ripe fruit matched with elegance and precision.”
Thibaud Boudignon Anjou Blanc ‘a Francoise…’ Loire 2019 750ML ($79.95) $66 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Importer note “Cut like a diamond with clean lines and explosive fruit. Long detailed finish that fans out with a touch of creaminess. Still evolving and will reward the one who has patience. A worthy homage to his mother and grandfather.”
Importer note “Made from his finest plots in Anjou. The wine is named after his late mother, who tragically passed away from cancer when Thibaud was 17 years old. He makes this wine in her honor, without any compromise. If he feels the wine does not live up to his mother’s name, he won’t make it.”
Thibaud Boudignon Savennières Clos de Frémine, Loire 2019 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Rebecca Gibb MW – Vinous 95 points “An elegant and pure style that offers a delightful silken texture. The 2019 Clos de Frémine floats delicately, almost as if you are tasting a cloud, despite containing plenty of intensity in its focused core of fruit. There’s a burst of fresh acidity and a bristle of fine-grained texture; whether that’s the tannin or the soil, it’s there on the finish. I could tell you it tastes of apples and citrus, but this is a wine that seems to care less about fruit descriptors and more about the essence of its place.”
Importer note “Just across a small road from Clos de la Hutte, in the hamlet of Poissonnière, Clos Frémine is an exciting addition to Thibaud’s stunning Savennières lineup. Just like it’s famed neighbor, the vineyard sits on pure schist that is found only 20cm below the surface. There is a bit more sand at the base of this site, which provides the wine with a delicate lift and added layer of elegance.”
Thibaud Boudignon Savennières La Vigne Cendrée, Loire 2018 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, 1 bottle in stock now
Importer note “La Vigne Cendrée is the smallest parcel of the domaine, 0.5 hectares, in the commune of Savennières. In spite of its small surface area there is an exceptional mosaic of terroir : purple schist, granite and clay silt. Because of the clay and the southern exposition, this wine is naturally richer. Half is aged in 226 liter burgundy barrels and half in foudre, with no new wood, for 12 months, this wine is very ‘burgundian.’ La Vigne Cendrée offers a combination of generosity and mineral tension under a noble reduction.”
Thibaud Boudignon Savennières Clos de la Hutte, Loire 2018 750ML ($119.95) $95 special, 17 bottles in stock now
No reviews available for the 2018 vintage. 2019 review provided for reference.
Rebecca Gibb MW – Vinous 97 points “The 2019 Clos de la Hutte is the site that spoke to Boudignon when he arrived in Savennières. Once the site of a monastery, it’s not yet a religious experience drinking this, but it’s not got far to go: there’s a sense of expansion in the mouth, followed by impressive structure, showing its serious intentions and a sense that it’s good enough to eat. There’s an intriguing white floral note alongside pear, followed up with energetic acidity. Excellent texture and sapidity on the finish, providing length and structure. This wine has it all: delicacy and power, structure and refinement. Unfortunately, frosts in 2019 were not kind so there is very little of it to go around.”
Importer note “[A new] addition to Thibaud’s range of Chenin Blanc comes from a half hectare plot within the Clos de la Hutte (1.5ha) lieu-dit. The vines are young but the wine is profound. There is a long history to this site and Thibaud is channeling every bit of it here. The volumes are miniscule – 1000 bottles released. Clos de la Hutte is situated in the commune of La Poissonnière; the Clos de la Hutte is an ancient religious site of 7 hectares, of which 2.6 are planted with vines. At the heart of this ancient monastery are vines produced from a massal selection of Chenin Blanc coming from the best domaines of the Loire. 5 different varieties of Chenin were planted together so as to best express the intensity and singularity of this special place. 50% vinified in oval demi muid, 25% in 320 liter cigars, and 25% in 500 liter. The ageing last one year in wood and a minimum of 3 months in stainless steel. The Clos de la Hutte seduces with its aromatic finesse and the intense minerality in the mouth.”
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