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2020 Huet’s Chenin Blanc
You want them, we got them!
Mountain Rose straight from the E.U
California Pinot Arriving Early October
The ABC’s of 2016 Produttori del Barbaresco Crus:
Astounding, Beautiful, Collectible
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2020 Huet’s Chenin Blanc
Huet makes some of the most undervalued great wine in the world. Take any metric you’d use to adjudicate greatness (complexity, age-worthiness, terroir, aromatic intensity, world-wide praise, etc) and Huet’s Vouvray is on the list, at prices far below almost anything else in their class.
The estate has long been ahead of its time. This is one of France’s pioneers in biodynamic viticulture. Today, horses still plough between the rows, and in the winery the recipe remains relatively simple. Fermentation takes place half in stainless steel, half in old oak, without malolactic fermentation. After only six months, the wines are bottled and then laid to age in a cellar dug from tuffeau rock, no air conditioning required. From here the Huet work is done: the rest is up to nature, and what eventually tastes like divine intervention.
In stock and available now:
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Clos du Bourg’ Demi-Sec Loire 2020 750ML ($49.95) $44 special
Rebecca Gibbs Mw-Vinous 97 points “Drinking the 2020 Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec is like taking your shoes off at the end of a long day of walking and soaking them in warm water: there’s just satisfaction and relaxation. The 2020 has a sense of volume but not weight, filling the mouth with depths of pure fruit before the acid pours forth like a canal lock being opened. You can expect a hint of spice and crème caramel alongside apple and florals. I am utterly seduced.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The 2020 Vouvray Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec is concentrated, deep and still somewhat untamed on the clear, fresh and lemon-fruity yet darker-toned nose compared to the Haut-Lieu. Round and refined yet still with a pretty firm tannin structure, this is a rich and powerful yet elegant and persistently salty Chenin with tension, grip and a sustainable, highly promising finish. The 2020 Clos du Bourg pairs juiciness with finesse and purity with complexity. Tasted as a tank sample shortly before bottling in April 2021.”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ Demi-Sec Loire 2020 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Wine Spectator 96 points “This broad, striking white is elegant and rich with complexity, featuring green melon, yellow fig, ginger and verbena notes, underscored with heather, stone, flint and spice details. Offers great energy and tension, showcasing expert craftsmanship. Drink now through 2036. 4,100 cases made. “
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95-96 points “The 2020 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Demi-Sec is clear, pure, subtle, deep and fresh, with highly refined chalky/sandy lemon aromas. Rich and intense yet silky textured and refined on the concentrated palate, this is a juicy, highly elegant, perfectly balanced, persistently salty and mouth-salivating Haut-Lieu with very fine tannins and a long, firm and pretty powerful but elegant and complex finish. Still more stringent than the Le Mont Demi-Sec in the beginning, but after aeration, this is not just a greatly finessed Chenin but one of the finest Haut-Lieu’s I have tasted from Huet. Tasted as a tank sample in April 2021.”
Rebecca Gibbs Mw-Vinous 95 points “The 2020 Le Haut Lieu Demi-Sec is made in a perfumed, floral style, offering aromas of pear, orange citrus, white flowers and agave nectar. There’s a sense of effortlessness about this wine, like floating along on a cloud of Chenin Blanc with nowhere to be in any hurry. And yet there’s a real tension and poise on the finish. While it’s demi-sec, offering 19g/L of residual sugar, the pH is a low 3.16 and provides a line of acidity that anchors the wine, leaving a just off-dry impression on the precise finish. A very complete wine, in its diapers yet massively drinkable already (Haut-Lieu tends to be the domaine’s earliest vineyard to get into its stride), although Domaine Huet fans will know this has an assured future.”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Demi-Sec Loire 2020 750ML ($49.95) $44 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95-96 points “Pure, fresh and limey on the deep yet bright and precisely flinty-chalky nose, the 2020 Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec is a Chenin full of crunchy energy and charm, thanks to its concentrated but round and lush fruit. This full-bodied wine is intense, tight and long but also finessed and vibrantly fresh on the finish, which reveals this crunchy flint stone structure and tension that guarantees an ability to age for decades, though the wine is already dangerously stimulating today. Tasted as a tank sample a few days before bottling in April 2021.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “This refined white shows lovely purity, with persimmon, coriander, yellow apple and creamed peach notes, backed by vivid acidity. Elements of flint, marzipan and honeysuckle unwind on the long, alluring finish. A striking Chenin Blanc. Drink now through 2036. 400 cases made. “
Rebecca Gibbs Mw-Vinous 94 points “Having tasted this as an unfinished sample and now in bottle, I can state that the 2020 Le Mont Demi-Sec remains pure, refined and easy to appreciate. The 14% alcohol seems a tad warmer than before bottling, which just takes the edge off. Sweet apple fruit and almond croissant speak of some old oak and lees. There is excellent weight, concentration and impeccable balance between the residual sugar and the acid making for a clean, pure, mouthwatering finish. If it weren’t for that slight heat of alcohol, it’d go higher, but that’s what a dry, hot season does to you.”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Haut Lieu’ Moelleux Loire 2020 750ML ($51.95) $44 special
Rebecca Gibbs Mw-Vinous 96 points “It might be delicate but the 2020 Le Haut-Lieu Moelleux is also rather succulent, coating the mouth with its sweet embrace. A combination of white flowers and nectarine creates an appealing perfume. There’s a sense of energy that runs through the wine, providing a sense of direction and purpose. The core of sweetness (50–60g/L) doesn’t tip over into lushness but is held together by its acidity and structure.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2020 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Moelleux is clear, pure, fresh and concentrated on the lemon and pineapple-scented nose. You wouldn’t guess this is sweet from the nose, as the bouquet is precise and fresh. Round and mellow but also refined and elegant on the palate, with a stimulating mineral freshness and lingering salinity and piquancy, this is a gorgeous, very delicate and perfectly balanced Vouvray to drink even young, but as experience tells me, this Chenin Blanc from the now 15-hectare Ur vineyard of Domaine Huet can also be aged for decades, even if the wine is not really dramatic in all its pristine beauty. Tasted as final sample in May 2021.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “This round white showcases a creamy, alluring texture, with lovely layers of quince, glazed pear, elderflower and honeysuckle notes detailed with heather, ginger and marzipan accents. Offers great length and harmony. Drink now through 2036. 1,000 cases made. –GS”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Moelleux Loire 2020 750ML ($51.95) $46 special
Rebecca Gibbs Mw-Vinous 96 points “There are many shouty wines in the world, but the 2020 Le Mont Moelleux is understated, which is highly attractive. There’s finesse and elegance to this sweeter style (49g/L). Delicate exotic characters such as dried papaya and pineapple sit alongside floral notes. While there’s excellent concentration, this remains delicate. The finish is appetizing thanks to fine acidity and phenolic structure, which hold the mouth reassuringly on the finish. An excellent wine that offers real drinkability in youth thanks to its appealing primary fruit, but there’s no hurry at all to drink. A smidgen more length would take it into even higher realms (although, let’s be fair, it’s not far off as good as it gets).”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2020 Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux offers a deep, complex and concentrated bouquet of highly ripe and candied fruits yet with this coolish shimmering lime zest probably coming from the pebbly silex and deep green clay soil of this nine-hectare “grand cru.” Full-bodied, rich and round on the palate, this is a dense, viscous, mouth-filling, lush and mellow yet also tight and piquant Le Mont whose complexity is lifted by dramatic drive and tension and carried to a long and salivating finish by lingering salinity. You can never go wrong in buying a Le Mont and in particular this one. This is a great effort from a very particular vintage that forced the harvest team to make the strictest selections. It was well worth the effort.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “A harmonious white, with vivid complexity, offering glazed yellow fig, persimmon and Bosc pear notes intertwined with ginger, chamomile, marzipan and heather details. Notes of spice and honeysuckle waft on the long finish. Drink now through 2036. 330 cases made. –GS”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Premiere Trie Moelleux Loire 2020 750ML ($71.95) $66 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97-98 points “The intensely yellow colored 2020 Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Première Trie is highly concentrated and complex on the nose that exhibits candied lemon zest and chutney aromas along with calcareous and walnut notes. Sweet (really sweet!) yet refined and elegant on the palate, this is a full-bodied, rich and generous yet piquant and firmly structured, greatly tensioned and salty 1ère Trie with pineapple flavors on the finely tannic and energetic, very sustainable finish. The 2020 has great aging potential, and I would never serve it too young. When will it really start to show its best? I don’t know, but you can’t go wrong to check the wine again after 10 years. Tasted as a final sample shortly before bottling in May 2021.”
Wine Spectator 97 points “Showy but still elegant and refined, this beautiful wine binds together yellow fig compote, glazed white peach and crystalized ginger notes with details of green tea, blanched almond, verbena and honeysuckle. Harmonious, with tremendous length, kept lively by vivid acidity. Drink now through 2040. 1,000 cases made. –GS”
Rebecca Gibbs Mw-Vinous 94 points “Boasting 91g/L residual sugar, Le Mont’s 2020 Première Trie offers additional sweetness as well as lower acidity compared with the Haut-Lieu Première Trie. As a result, this cuvée inevitably has a sense of additional richness and weight on the palate. It’s balanced, but the richness means it has had to trade in some of its energy and finesse. Offering orange peel, apricot jam, floral essences and apple sauce, it’s satisfying and nourishing, but I’d like more direction and purpose on the finish. That said, this is still a well-crafted and carefully made wine.”
Domaine Huet Vouvray ‘Le Mont’ Sec Loire 2020 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Rebecca Gibbs Mw-Vinous 96 points “White flowers, pineapple and just-ripe pear combine in the 2020 Le Mont Sec from Huet, which offers just enough youthful puppy fat on the concentrated midpalate before finishing with mouthwatering acidity providing precision and line. It delivers intensity of fruit, yet it’s light on its feet. Fine phenolics offer a delicate but self-assured sense of structure and poise. Delightfully balanced, and better a day after opening.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 95 points “The only dry wine from the vintage is the 2020 Vouvray Le Mont Sec, whose tank sample shows a classy, pure, precise and chalky/lemony bouquet with bright and perfectly healthy fruit and some herbal as well as yeasty aromas. On the palate, this is a dense, fabulously juicy, fruity and elegant Chenin whose immediate attraction and pure finesse initially reminds me of Riesling, whereas the texture is too rich and the salty and finely tannic finish too intense and powerful for Riesling. With more aeration, the Le Mont gets more and more intense and complex but also, tannic-wise, more wild. The 2020 has great tension, energy and grip and is highly promising. Tasted a few days before bottling in April 2021.”
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You want them, we got them!
Sequitur Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge 2015 750ML ($119.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 95 points “Deep brilliant red. A strikingly complex bouquet evokes ripe, mineral-accented red berries, cherry cola, vanilla, five-spice powder and sandalwood. Alluringly sweet, seamless and expansive on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry, cherry liqueur, spicecake and lavender pastille flavors that are given spine and lift by a core of juicy acidity. Delivers a compelling blend of power and delicacy and finishes extremely long and smooth; rounded tannins frame the lingering red fruit preserve notes.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “Pale to medium ruby purple in color, the 2015 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a very provocative nose of Bing cherries and cranberries over a core of red roses, game, yeast extract and underbrush. Medium-bodied, with wonderful energy and freshness, it has a lively backbone and long finish paved with very fine, ripe tannins.”
Winery note “Sequitur 2015 Pinot Noir “Two fold,” a collaboration between our Mother, the earth, those of us who “play” in the vineyard and winery, and you, the wine lover.”
Sequitur Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge 2016 750ML ($119.95) $79 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 96 points “Glimmering red. A hugely aromatic bouquet evokes fresh red fruits, Asian spices and potpourri, along with a bright mineral overtone and a touch of smokiness. Juicy, seamless and precise on the palate, offering potent, mineral-laced raspberry preserve, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and spread out steadily on the back half. Delivers a compelling blend of power and finesse and finishes with silky tannins, outstanding clarity and floral- and mineral-driven persistence.”
Wine Advocate 94+ points “Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Sequitur Pinot Noir has a lovely, open nose of black and red cherries and blackberries with notions of wood smoke, turned earth, autumn leaves, cardamom and potpourri. Medium-bodied, it floods the mouth with ripe black and red fruits with wonderful earthy/spicy accents, very fine, grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long with spice and floral layers. 480 cases produced.”
Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2016 750ML ($44.95) $36 special
Case-6 Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2016 750ML ($249) $199 special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
Case-12 Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2016 750ML ($479) $389 special (that’s only $32.42/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Moving to the reds, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 19 months in 37% new French oak) offers impressive notes of tobacco leaf, damp earth, cedar, and blackcurrants. It’s look-alike for a top Bordeaux, has nicely integrated acidity, plenty of tannins, and is going to keep for over a decade.”
Domaine Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Cote de Beaune 2018 ($299.95) $249 special
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 95 points “The most youthfully reserved wine in the cellar was the 2018 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, a promising bottling that opens up to reveal scents of citrus zest, dried white flowers, green apple and pastry cream. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, layered and multidimensional, with racy acids and prodigious levels of searingly chalky dry extract that lend this wine incredible structure.”
Louis Jadot Domaine des Heritiers Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($249.95) $219 special
Case-6 Louis Jadot Domaine des Heritiers Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Cote de Beaune 2016 750ML ($1499.95) $1249 special (That’s only 208.17 per bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “From vineyards owned by the inheritors of the Louis Jadot estate, this wine has all the power expected from this vineyard. Its density and richness are palpable, even when crispened by a fresh citrus edge. Wood aging adds spice and enhances the aging potential. Drink from 2024.”
Stephen Tanzer-Vinous 94+ points ” (Jadot bottled 35 barrels, representing a normal yield; the harvest lasted into the beginning of October): Very pale, bright yellow. Knockout nose combines lemon, ginger, botanical herbs, shiso leaf and crushed-rock minerality. Seriously concentrated wine, showing the juicy side of the 2016 vintage and the impeccable balance that was possible when yields were normal. The sharply delineated citrus, spice and mineral flavors are framed and intensified by harmonious acidity (“which was easy to control because we had so many barrels,” according to Barnier). Conveys an impression of outstanding density without weight and finishes with great palate-staining length, herbal lift and salty grip.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93+ points “Aromas of yellow orchard fruit, waxy lemon rind, iodine and smoky new oak introduce the 2016 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (Domaine des Héritiers Jadot), a full-bodied, satiny and nicely layered wine that’s deep, concentrated and persistent. It’s a youthfully reserved but decidedly impressive Corton-Charlemagne that will reward bottle age.”
Louis Jadot Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML ($249.95) $199 special
Case-6 Jadot Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru Cote de Nuits 2016 750ML (1499.95) $1099 special (That’s only $183.16 per bottle)
Wine Spectator 97 points “Rose, cherry and spice aromas introduce this light-bodied, saturated version. The flavors add wild strawberry, incense and kirsch notes, while remaining persistent on the kaleidoscopic finish. Feels tense now, yet should develop nicely over time. A mineral element lingers. Best from 2023 through 2045.”
France – Bordeaux
Chateau de Chantegrive Blanc Graves 2018 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special
Case-12 Chateau de Chantegrive Blanc Graves 2018 750ML ($359.95) $239 special (that’s only $19.92/bottle!)
Wine Enthusiast Editor’s Choice Roger Voss 92 points. “This ripe wine shows yellow fruits as well as layers of citrus. The rich texture gives weight and brings out a buttery element. This wine will age well and should not be drunk before 2021. “
Chateau Leoville Poyferre Saint-Julien 2014 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Antonio Galloni-Vinous 95 points “The 2014 Léoville Poyferré is gorgeous. Dark, sumptuous and ample on the palate, it possesses remarkable depth. Dark cherry, plum, smoke, scorched earth, licorice and menthol all flesh out as this radiant, deeply expressive wine shows off its considerable pedigree. The 2014 is going to need time to fully come together, but it is super-impressive. Tasted two times.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 93+ points “The 2014 Leoville-Poyferre was surprisingly backward and tight on the nose (usually it is the most expressive and generous Léoville in its youth). The precision and focus is intact, but it is broody and sultry at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with firm structure, which suggests that it has turned volte face since its opulent showing in barrel. Overall, this comes across as perhaps a slightly more austere and masculine wine from Didier Cuvelier, though that is not a criticism, just an observation. I would like to see a little more persistence on the finish, but the tidings bode well for this mercurial and fascinating Léoville-Poyferre. I can see it improving with bottle age, hence the plus sign against my score.”
France – Rhone
Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale Rhone 2016 750ML ($99.95) $75 special
Jeb Dunnuck 97+ points “The flagship is the Grenache-dominated 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Imperiale, which comes from vines planted in 1902 and was destemmed and aged in concrete tanks. Awesome notes of blackberries, blueberries, crushed rocks, violets, and graphite all emerge from this tight, full-bodied, concentrated and backward Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Possessing incredible purity of fruit, a concentrated yet fresh, structured profile, and a huge finish, it just needs time to shine.”
Joe Czerwinski-Wine Advocate 95 points “Almost entirely Grenache, from parcels planted in 1901 and 1902, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Imperiale is a stunner. Scents of roses, black tea and raspberries set the scene, while the palate is full-bodied but silky and nearly weightless, delivering an intricate, detailed interplay of red fruit, dried spices and orange zest. Despite what must be 15% alcohol or more, it shows absolutely no sign of heat.”
Vinous Media 95 points “Brilliant ruby-red. A highly expressive bouquet evokes red fruit preserves, cherry cola, incense and spicecake, and a smoky mineral element contributes energetic lift. Velvety in texture and deeply concentrated, offering intense, spice-accented Chambord, cherry liqueur and candied lavender flavors firmed by a spine of juicy acidity. Concentrated but graceful in style. Finishes very long, spicy and precise, with youthfully firming tannins adding closing grip. 95% Grenache, from vines that were planted in 1901 and 1902; aged for 18 months in concrete vats.”
Domaine de la Janasse Cuvee Vieilles Vignes Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1.5L ($199.95) $169 special
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “One of my favorite wines in just about every vintage is the old vine cuvée from Janasse and the 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is another beautiful wine. Made from 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and the balance Syrah, aged in a mix of foudre and barrels, it offers terrific black fruits, crushed rocks, garrigue, and violet aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, concentrated, and beautifully balanced, with ripe tannin, it’s a joy to drink and will keep for another 10-15+ years.”
Wine Spectator 96 points “Tightly coiled for now, this features an intense, vivid core of anise, blackberry coulis, plum paste and macerated fig fruit, with black tea, smoldering tobacco and warm ganache notes. Long and dense, but very silky, with gorgeous violet and pastis details lingering in the background. Should unwind with time. Best from 2017 through 2035. 390 cases imported. — JM”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points “Inky ruby. Explosive aromas of dark berry preserves, incense and lavender, with a smoky overtone and bright minerality. Pliant and seamless in the mouth, offering intense, palate-staining cassis and blueberry flavors that are energized by juicy acidity. Shows real power and focus on the strikingly long finish, which features velvety tannins and a hint of candied flowers. There’s 15% alcohol here, which is actually quite low for this bottling, and I don’t detect any undue heat.”
Italy – Piedmont
G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 special
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Aromas of underbrush, pine forest, woodland berries and cedar form the enticing nose. Full-bodied and savory, the structured palate delivers ripe Morello cherry, raspberry compote, star anise and cinnamon before closing on pipe tobacco notes. Tightly knit but refined tannins provide the backbone, while surprisingly fresh acidity for the hot vintage keeps it balanced. Drink 2024–2032.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The 2017 Barolo Bricco Delle Viole is the darker fruited of the G.D. Vajra sites and has rounded floral aromatics of crushed roses, resin, and cranberry cocktail. The palate is ripe and inviting, with building structure and notes of fresh red cherry, blood orange, and clove. The warmth of the vintage is felt without sacrificing lift. Drink 2025-2050”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2017 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is classy and elegant to the core. Medium in body and wonderfully translucent, the 2017 captures all of the finesse of this site. Naturally, the 2017 also shows the ripeness of the year, but it retains its sublime sense of poise. The 2017 Bricco delle Viole is one of the clear stand outs of the year.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The G.D. Vajra 2017 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is packed with medium dark cherry fruit and plum. The wine also shows a savory side, with spice, hazelnut cream, licorice and lightly fragrant potting soil. This vintage sits solid on the palate, wrapping thickly over the senses, thanks to its creamy, fruit-driven consistency and well-managed tannins. These vines are high in elevation, ranging from 400 to 480 meters in altitude. Those higher elevations are key to interpreting a vintage that saw heat such as this. Production is 15,000 bottles.”
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.”
G.D. Vajra ‘Coste di Rose’ Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($69.95) $56.50 special
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Wild berry, menthol and tilled earth aromas mingle with whiffs of dark spice. Linear and savory, the lithe palate is already immediate, featuring juicy raspberry, red cherry, crushed mint and star anise accompanied by taut, polished tannins. Tangy acidity keeps it fresh and bright.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “With fruit from higher-elevation vineyards in the village of Barolo, the 2017 Barolo Coste di Rose is quite elegantly downplayed and fragile. The wine reveals wild berry, cassis and lots of blue flower or lilac. A pretty mineral note recalls crushed limestone and is present through the long and polished mouthfeel. This wine overperforms, considering the challenges of this vintage that saw extreme weather, from spring frost to scorching summer temperatures. These vineyard sites performed better than most. Some 4,800 bottles were released.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “The 2017 Barolo Coste di Rose has bright aromatics of candied raspberry, apricot, anise, and dusty earth. The palate is medium-bodied, with fine tannins and notes of dried wild strawberry, fresh roses, and mineral-rich earth. This wine is open and inviting, while maintaining freshness and drive. Drink 2024-2040.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2017 Barolo Coste di Rose is pretty, supple and inviting. Some of the tannins need to resolve, but this is a young Barolo after all. The Coste di Rose doesn’t have the sensuality of the Albe or the pedigree of the Viole, but it nevertheless has so much to give. Crushed flowers, sweet red berry fruit, mint, crushed rocks and sage are some of the many notes that linger. I won’t be surprised if the 2017 is even better than this note suggests once it softens a bit.”
G.D. Vajra Ravera Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 special
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 97 points ” From the township of Novello and from what is now widely recognized as one of the denomination’s top vineyard sites, this is just stunning, offering intense aromas of wild berries, new leather, floral notes, camphor and grilled herb. The delicious, structured palate shows finesse and power, featuring ripe red cherry, blood orange, cedar, licorice and mineral notes suggesting tangy iron. Noble tannins provide support. Reflecting the vintage, this won’t need years to come around but will also age well for at least another decade. Drink 2022–2032.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “Lifted and herbaceous, the 2017 Barolo Ravera is noted by aromas of fresh pine, ripe red cherry, licorice, and menthol. The palate has depth without weight and is noted by ripe raspberry fruit, apricot, and black tea. Drink 2024-2050.”
James Suckling 96 points “Very floral with pure fruit, such as cherries and raspberries. It’s full-bodied with ultra fine tannins that are energetic and focused. The center palate shows such wonderful fruit character, yet it’s weightless and energetic. Try after 2026.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2017 Barolo Ravera is gorgeous right out of the gate. I am so impressed with its depth and pedigree. Rose petal, sweet red berry fruit, lavender, spice and dried herbs are all finely delineated in a Barolo of tremendous presence. Orange peel, cinnamon and cedar develop later, adding shades of dimension. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s stature and power. The 2017 is going to be fascinating to follow. Today, it is just breathtaking. That’s all there is to it.”
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.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points “The G.D. Vajra 2017 Barolo Ravera shows solid build and consistency, with more rich and saturated fruit compared to the other Barolo releases from this historic estate. The Ravera cru offers broad shoulders with a tight textural fabric. That powerful approach makes a good sounding board for the wine’s dark cherry, plum, dark mineral and spice flavors. This is more of a red meat wine.”
Italy – Tuscany
Tenuta di Arceno Il Fauno di Arcanum Toscana IGT Tuscany 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Ripe, bold and soft, the Tenuta di Arceno 2017 Il Fauno di Arcanum is a hot-vintage blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Despite the difficult conditions of the vintage, which included spells of extreme heat and dryness, this wine hits an especially pretty balance that underlines the care given to preserving the best qualities of the fruit. It pours from the bottle with a darkly concentrated appearance and displays blackberry, plum, spice, tar and leather. There is softness here for sure, yet the wine’s structure and carefully engineered construction is intact.”
Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum Toscana IGT Tuscany 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
Case-6 Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum Toscana IGT Tuscany 2015 750ML ($479.95) $399 special (that’s only $66.50/bottle!)
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 97 points “It would be impossible to exaggerate the grandeur and majesty of the overachieving 2015 Arcanum. The blend is 74% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. This full-bodied wine is mostly defined by its texture that is exceedingly rich and smooth with significant infusions of blackberry, plum, spice, tobacco and cured leather. The wine achieves beautiful balance, yet it remains intense and powerful all the while.”
Castello dei Rampolla Sammarco Toscana IGT Tuscany 2017 750ML ($89.95) $69 special
James Suckling 98 Points “Such beautiful balance and refinement to this legendary red with cherries, chocolate, walnuts, hazelnuts and autumn leaves. It’s medium to full-bodied with wonderful, creamy tannins and a persistent and complete finish. Better than the exquisite 2015? A blend of cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese and merlot. Needs three to four years to show all it has. Definitely one for the cellar.”
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 96 points “A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Merlot, this delicious, juicy red offers inviting aromas of new leather, blue flower, ripe black-skinned fruit and grilled herb. On the smooth, savory palate, tightly knit, fine-grained tannins seamlessly support fleshy black cherry, raspberry compote, licorice and tobacco before closing on a mocha note. Drink through 2029.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2017 Sammarco is heady, exotic and totally beautiful. It is also not anywhere near ready to show all it’s got. Iron, smoke, red cherry fruit, leather, blood orange and spice are some of the many notes that infuse the 2017 with layers of complexity. Firm, muscular tannins are going to need time to soften. Even so, the 2017 is a rare Sammarco that will require only minimal cellaring, which is why the estate decided to release it ahead of the 2016.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and a tiny part Sangiovese, the 2017 Sammarco is lush, generous and soft. This wine captures the spirit of generosity and richness that characterizes this sunny vintage. It reveals softer lines and more pliant contours compared to some of the cooler vintages of the past, and you get a generous down pouring of dark fruit, dried blackberry, cinnamon spice and cured leather or tobacco. The tannins are quite robust, but the wine also shows an immediate and accessible approach that distinguishes this growing season. You might notice that my review for the 2016 vintage is missing. That’s because the 2016 vintage will be released after 2017 when that older wine has benefitted from more cellaring.”
Weingut Schatzel Olberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs Rheinhessen 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special
Stuart Pigott-Jamessuckling 94 points “Considering this has only 11.5 per cent alcohol, there is extraordinary depth and vitality. The long finish is sleek and fine-grained, without any hint of edginess. Attractive white-fruit aromas, too. Drink or hold.”
Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel Mosel 2018 750ML ($99.95) $79 special
John Gilman 96 Points “The 2018 Juffer-Sonnenuhr Goldkapsel Auslese is even a hair better this year, as it shows just a touch more exotic creaminess on the attack, simply stunning backend mineral drive and great acids for the vintage. The bouquet is celestial in its blend of lime, mirabelle, pear, a lovely foundation of slate, honeycomb, just a whisper of mossiness and notes of lilacs and violets in the upper register. On the palate the wine is fullish, pure, focused and impeccably balanced, with superb acids and grip, laser-like focus and a very, very long and complex finish. This wine just dances across the palate. 2026-2085.”
Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Mosel 2018 ($59.95) $49 special
John Gilman 95+ points “The 2018 Juffer-Sonnenuhr Auslese is one of my absolutely favorite wines in the cellar this year, as again, there is no botrytis here and the wine is a legend in the making. The brilliant bouquet soars from the glass in a blaze of lime, pear, violets, a hint of the yellow plum to come, salty soil tones, honeycomb and a vibrant topnote of citrus zest. On the palate the wine is pure, refined and fullish in profile, with a creamy core of fruit, excellent acidity and grip and a very long, very precise and beautifully mineral-driven finish. This is stunning juice! 2025-2075+.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Expressive, showing great tension between the candied berry and citrus flavors, accented by a vibrant structure and embedded minerality. Impressive, but the intensity is almost too strong at the moment. Needs time to unwind, but the elements and complexity seem to be packed and ready to emerge. Best from 2023 through 2040.”
Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese Mosel 2018 375ML ($699.95) $499 special
John Gilman 95 points “The 2018 Juffer TBA is just a bit higher in residual sugar than the Beerenauslese this year, as Oliver estimates that it is around one hundred and eighty grams per liter. This too is a gorgeous wine in the making, offering up refined bouquet of mirabelle, honey, white cherries, candied violets, citrus zest and a nice touch of saltiness from the slate. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, creamy and very long and complex, with excellent focus and grip, sound acids and a very long, pure and zesty finish. Utterly captivating and borderline criminal to spit. 2019-2100.”
Muller-Catoir Haardt Scheurebe Pfalz 2018 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Winery Note “With its delicate bouquet of tropical fruits such as pineapple and grapefruit as well as gooseberry and cassis, this Haardt Scheurebe is focussed on freshness, vitality, and the exotic.”
Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Veldenzer Elisenberg Riesling Kabinett Mosel 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92-94 points “The 2018 Elisenberger Riesling Kabinett is dense, cool, very precise and flinty-mineral on the nose, which is still reductive but exciting. Coming from a coolish side valley that was picked at roughly 84° to 85° Oechsle at the end of September, this is a gorgeously lush and mouth-filling Riesling with the mineral piquancy of quartzite soils. There is no aggressive acidity here, there is nice tartaric acidity that makes this a seductive Kabinett you can’t resist. This is a fabulous, very long and enchanting Riesling. The wine has slightly more than 50 grams of residual sugar and comes in at 8.5% alcohol. It was scheduled to be bottled a couple of days after I tasted it from the cask at the end of March 2019.”
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points “The 2018er Veldenzer Elisenberg Riesling Kabinett was harvested at 84° Oechsle and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (50 g/l). It offers a beautiful nose made of white peach, cassis, gooseberry, pear, laurel, herbs and spices. The wine develops the delicate creaminess of a Spätlese on the otherwise nicely crisp palate. The finish is long and nicely fruity. Ripe mirabelle and some herbs join the zesty side in the after-taste. 2028-2048.”
Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese*** 2018 375ML ($79.95) $59 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 97+ points “The first three-starred Auslese since 2005 (prior to that, it was 1993, 1983 and 1975), the 2018 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese *** was picked at about 145° Oechsle. This is incredibly clear, pure, fine and fresh on the lush, concentrated, herbal and grapefruit-scented nose. On the palate, this is a generously lush, refined and salty-piquant Auslese with a tight mineral structure and lingering salinity. This is highly refined and extremely stimulating. It already drinks all too well today, but Constantin recommends cellaring it for at least 10 years. Tasted in March 2019.”
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points “The 2018er Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese *** Fass 138 is a botrytis selection harvested at 138° Oechsle on old vines in the prime Sandpichter sector, and was fermented down to noble-sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a gorgeous nose of date, pineapple, almond cream, raisin and smoky spices. The wine is beautifully creamy and yet zesty on the palate and leaves a gorgeous feel of ripe fruits and creamy almond in the long and suave finish. While intense, this noble-sweet Auslese retains an immensely satisfying playful side. 2033-2068.”
Weingut Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Trocken Uralte Reben Grosses Gewächs Mosel 2018 ($59.95) $39 special
Mosel Fine Wines 91+ points “The 2018er Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Trocken Uralte Reben GG was made in traditional Fuder cask from over 100 year-old un-grafted vines in the Brück part of the vineyard. It offers an intense nose made of grapefruit bitter, anise, herbs and some white flowers. The wine develops a rather intense but quite structured feel of lemon zest, camphor, herbs and fine spices on the palate. The finish is quite powerful and hugely tart. 2021-2028.”
“…the Richters elected to name this dry Riesling “Age-Old Ungrafted Vines,” and if, as alleged, the vines in question really are 120 years old, one can hardly consider that title hyperbole.”-David Schildknecht, writing on the 2015 vintage
Markus Molitor Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Mosel 2018 Green Capsule ($29.95) $24 special
David Schildknecht-Vinous 93 points “Lemon, grapefruit and apple on the nose turn infectiously juicy on a polished palate. Although sweetness here is only very subtly present (not to mention adeptly integrated and efficacious), fermentation stopped at just 9.5% alcohol, so the wine comes off as delightfully delicate. Citrus and apple seed – joined by incisive cress – serve for stimulating counterpoint, and morph into a glowing piquancy in the consummately refreshing, lively and long-lasting finish. This is a model of Kabinett levity, refinement and poise – and not the first time that Molitor has rendered a memorable one from these particular vines.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 91 points “The 2018 Riesling Zeltinger Himmelreich Kabinett (Green Capsule) is very clear, precise and provided with bright and intense stone fruit aromas on the very elegant, refined and flinty/slatey nose. Round and lush on the palate, this is a very charming and mouth-salivating Riesling in the light and medium-sweet, very charming style. The acidity is mild and underlines the beautiful balance and gracile character of the Himmelreich Kabinett. Tasted at the domain in September 2020.”
Mountain Wine Direct from the E.U
Loaded with a plethora of oranges ranging from Seville, Blood and Mandarin and accentuated by notes of crushed rose petal and white peach. There’s also a slight spice on the finish in addition to a refreshing muskmelon component. Absolutely delicious and incredibly versatile on the table, with this being especially good with fatty fish, fried chicken or South Asian curries.
Proprieta Sperino ‘Rosa del Rosa’ Rosato Coste della Sesia Piedmont 2020 750ML ($21.95) $19 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Eric Guido Vinous 92 points “The 2020 is an understated and delicate rendition of Rosa Del Rosa. Nuances of peach tea, chamomile, green apple and hints of ginger can all be found with coaxing. It’s silky and pliant in feel, the vibrant acids and mineral tones mixing to create a tug-of-war of sweet and salty tension, as notes of ripe melon give way to pretty inner florals. This tapers off persistent, lightly structured and buzzing with residual energy, completely refreshing the palate with a twang of sour citrus. The Rosa Del Rosa is a blend of Nebbiolo and Vespolina. It’s very enjoyable already, but it will likely blossom further with a bit more time in bottle. “
There are few areas in the world that have been cultivating wine grapes as long as the South of France. Originally planted by the Corinthians in the 7th century, the region is famous for her almost constant sunshine, warm temperatures, refreshing breeze and spectacular vistas of the Mediterranean Sea and amphitheater of mountains.
These elements converge to make it a veritable paradise, and exceptional terroir for wine. The best sites have often been cultivated since the Roman Empire, and oftentimes still feature the original stone terraces made by them to prevent erosion. Domaine Lafage is lucky enough to have one of these sites, with the oldest vines being over 80 years old.
Comprised of Grenache Noir and its mutation Grenache Gris (Which only occurs naturally when the vine reaches 50-60 years of age) with a sprinkling of younger Mourvèdre vines, this is a quintessential Roussillon rose. With a flavor profile that brings to mind apricots, peaches and river rock minerality, the sites proximity to the sea is evident in the glass with a refreshing salinity that is reminiscent of ocean air accentuated by oregano blossom, wormwood and marmalade.
Domaine Lafage Cotes du Roussillon Miraflors Rose France 2020 750ML ($21.95) $18 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 91 points “White peach, orange blossom, and white flower notes emerge from the 2020 Miraflors. It’s another clean, balanced, beautiful effort with bright acidity and a clean, dry finish.”
Eric Solomon Imports note “Mourvedre, Grenache Gris, Grenache Practicing Organic 80 yr old vines. Light Pink-colored with beautiful white peach, orange zest and salty sea breeze aromas and flabros in its vibrant, crisp profile. Pure and vibrant as it gets, a classic, provencal-style beauty.”
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California Pinot Arriving Early October
James Suckling 99 points “This is really refined with black tea, rose petals, orange and blue fruit. It’s medium-bodied with wild-strawberry and forest-floor flavors. Medium-bodied with great vibrancy and beautiful tannins running through the center palate, which is stitched into the wine. Long and true. 100% whole-cluster fermentation. Subtle and energetic. Better after 2025.”
Raen Royal St. Robert Cuvee Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2019 750ML ($79.95) $61.90 pre-arrival special, only 18 bottles available
James Suckling 97 points “The aromas of strawberry and raspberry with conifer and hints of bark are impressive. Full-bodied, but so reserved and linear with super long, tightened tannins that melt into the wine. 100% whole cluster. Drinkable now, but much better to wait a year or three.”
2015 marked the first of two 100 point vintages in Tuscany, with the 2015’s being categorized by a near perfect level of phenolic ripeness. Due to the vintage being dominated by warm, sunny days the overall character is very fruit driven to the point of richness. This is beautifully tempered in higher elevation sites like Tenuta Arceno, which also receives climactic mitigation through their extensive forests, gardens and nearby rivers. That balance is best exemplified by their 2015 Valdorana, which is primarily comprised of Merlot.
The Merlot for the Valdorana is grown in sections of the estate comprised mostly of river clay (The grape’s favorite soil medium). Other varietal blocks included in the blend are a smattering of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. In a nutshell: Petrus decided to holiday in Siena. Expect the silkiness of a well-made right bank Bordeaux with the classic Terra Cotta minerality of Tuscany. Expect a fruit presentation that includes everything from kirsch cherries, sour cherry and blueberries that’s accentuated by turned earth, black olive and cinnamon. This is drinking beautifully now, but the real magic of these wines happens when they reach at least 10 years old.
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Arcanum ‘Valadorna’ Toscana IGT Tuscany IGT 2015 750ML ($79.95) $49 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95+ points “The 2015 Valadorna (65% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot) is a dark and thickly endowed red wine that boasts a rich and lasting grip on the palate. The bouquet offers depth and complexity with dark fruit, leather, cured tobacco and spice. There are also softer notes of chocolate and ground espresso beans. The wine’s seamless integration of flavors leads to increased momentum and intensity as the wine continues to open in the glass.”
Charles Heidsieck is one of the great and historic houses of Champagne. However, because of their small size they tend to be overlooked. Their house style is notable for its richness and texture, incorporating long aging on the lees and significant amounts (20+%) of reserve wines in their NV blends. Best known for their classic Brut Réserve, Charles Heidsieck was one of the pioneers of the Blanc de Blancs style in the mid-20th century. And after decades of producing some of Champagne’s finest vintage Blanc de Blancs, the house relaunched their NV Blanc de Blanc in 2018. After tasting the wine, we’re left wondering what took them so long. In a few short years the wine is already being regarded as one of the best flagship Blanc de Blancs in the region.
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Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Blancs, Champagne NV 750ML ($99.95) $66 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
William Kelley – Wine Advocate 92 points “Based on the 2012 vintage, the latest rendition of Heidsieck’s NV Blanc de Blancs incorporates some 20% reserve wines, derived from younger vintages to emphasize what Cyril Brun described as the “youthful” side of Chardonnay, in contrast to the mature expression of that cépage offered by the house’s Blanc de Millénaires. Unwinding in the glass with aromas of citrus oil, white flowers, green apple and walnut oil, complemented by some of the empyreumatic nuances so typical of the base vintage, it’s a medium to full-bodied, elegantly textural and incisive wine that’s lively and inviting. It was disgorged last year with nine grams per liter dosage.”
Decanter 92 points “One of the pioneers of the blanc de blancs style, Charles Heidsieck only relaunched its 100% Chardonnay NV Champagne in 2018. Round but incisive and fresh, this has lovely balance between its creamy, woody mouthfeel and its fresh, saline acidity. A lovely food wine.”
The next best price is $79.89
Much like skyscrapers and statues, did you know that some countries compete for the highest elevation vineyards in the world? While Tibet currently holds the world record at 11,700 feet above sea level, the vineyard has yet to produce a commercial volume of wine. The same cannot be said for the Salta region of Argentina, which has rapidly expanded her production since the first plantings in the 1830’s.
Of the few producers brave enough to plant in the arduous high desert, some of the best wines are coming out of the Calchaqui Valley. Amalaya is no exception on all counts, and at a budget friendly price point no less! Sourced from a vineyard planted at 5,900 feet above sea level and organically farmed you’d be hard pressed to find a better example of “Mountain wine”.
Mineral driven, yet still fruity and floral the Amalaya is almost entirely Malbec, with a dash of Tannat and Petit Verdot contributing additional tannic power. Because of the intense sun exposure the fruit character is largely purple and black fruited with a grilled strawberry and Seville orange peel on the finish that keeps everything lifted. The vintage is reported to be one of the best in recent memory, promising both structure and concentrated flavors.
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Bodega Amalaya Malbec Calchaqui Valley 2019 750ML ($17.95) $16 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Bodega Amalaya Malbec Calchaqui Valley 2019 750ML ($199.95) $169 special, (that’s only $14.08/bottle!)
Decanter Wwa 2020 97 points “Perfumed attractive nose with layers of spice, crunchy strawberries, ripe red plums and fresh violets. Vibrant on the palate with a lovely freshness in harmony with a dense chocolatey character, ending in an elegant spicy finish.”
The Terrassenmosel, or Burg Cochem as it’s called by the locals, is one of the most visually spectacular areas of the entire valley. Featuring the steepest vineyards in the entire world, exceptionally old vines and unique soil composition of iron, slate and quartz these are some of the rarest and most compelling out of the entire valley. These are Rieslings that feature incredibly high acids, pervasive minerality and a plethora of secondary flavors like hoshigaki persimmon, saffron and ginger.
From a stylistic perspective these are “serious” wines that are usually bone dry, with some sweet examples to be found in exceptional years. They require bottle age to even begin expressing their potential, with the best having almost unlimited life in the bottle. If you’re looking to learn more about the wine from the Terrassenmosel, try our selection of Heymann Lowenstein!
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Heymann-Lowenstein ‘R’ Winninger Uhlen Roth Lay Auslese Goldkapsel Mosel 2007 375ML ($99.95) $49 special, 20 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 96 points “Candied citrus, jujube, sweet spice and quince paste aromas and flavors mark this sweet, bracing Riesling, which is light on its feet and resonates on the finish with a mouthwatering feel and echoes of citrus. Best from 2012 through 2045.”
Wine Advocate 95 points “Lowenstein’s 2007 Winninger Uhlen Riesling Auslese Gold Capsule Roth Lay (as in the corresponding dry wines, the letter “R” is prominent on the label of this A.P.#9) benefits from counterpoint and collaboration among bright citrus, rich pit fruit essences, and the honey of botrytis. For all of its enormous sheer ripeness and concentration, this retains a striking sense of delicacy. A snappy, spicy, pungent streak – taken together with vivid, diverse pit fruits and citrus – serves for exhilaration in a finish of memorable length and energy, with a vivid impression of crushed stone one hardly expects in a wine of such sweetness and prominent botrytization. There seems to be something of a personality role reversal at work this year, because the corresponding Rottgen Auslese is cool and refined whereas this Uhlen displays more of the piquancy and (as French growers might say) nervosite that I associate with Rottgen. But then, botrytis is always something of a wild card, so that a wine like this is profoundly and unpredictably influenced by the precise microclimatic conditions for and differences in the nature of that fungus. No doubt this too will be worth following for two or more decades.”
Heymann-Lowenstein ‘R’ Winninger Uhlen Roth Lay Auslese Goldkapsel Mosel 2010 750ML ($199.95) $89 special, 35 bottles in stock now
VinopolNote: Crystalized Pineapple, Saffron salt, White miso, ginger juice, light roast coffee and blue slate knit together with a whisper of toffee and candy cap mushroom. Acid is surprisingly still high after 11 years in bottle, with plenty of further development possible down the line. Residual sugar is perceptible but clearly in the early stages of polymerization, making it taste drier than the Prädikatswein level.
The ABC’s of 2016 Produttori del Barbaresco Crus:
Astounding, Beautiful, Collectible
Antonio Gallioni, Vinous “The 2016s, wines from a potentially historic vintage, may very well put Barbaresco on the map big time. As I traveled from producer to producer, I experienced that sense of excitement and energy I always feel when in the presence of important vintages and wines.”
Produttori del Barbaresco is revered for producing classically-styled Barbaresco and Riservas of uncompromising quality and transparency. It’s a miracle that these wines are still affordable and available, especially when compared to the skyrocketing prices of Barolo. You’d be hard-pressed to find such consistent quality and complexity out of such an extensive range of single-vineyard Nebbiolos anywhere else.
Effusive doesn’t begin to cover what the initial reports are saying about this wine, with the majority of critics being absolutely smitten. As usual Produttori has delivered in spades across their portfolio, with the 2016’s drinking incredibly well now with easily a decade of potential growth in the bottle. This is a vintage to grab in at least increments of three: one to drink now, another in five years, and the last to cellar long-term. Quantities are extremely limited as usual, so get them while you can!
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Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Muncagota’, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94+ points “The 2016 Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota continues this tasting of frankly awe-inspiring wines. Rich, deep and super-expressive, the 2016 hits all the right notes. Black cherry, plum, spice, leather, licorice emerge, but only with great reluctance. The Muncagota is another wine in this range that clearly needs time.”
Produttori del Barbaresco Ovello, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, only 2 bottles in stock now
Produttori del Barbaresco Ovello, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2016 1.5L ($219.95) $189 special, only 4 magnums in stock now
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “The 2016 Barbaresco Riserva Ovello is the most severe and angular of these wines. It will appeal most to die-hard classicists. Chalk, white pepper, mint and sweet red cherry fruit all grace this chiseled, beautifully translucent Barbaresco. As always, the Ovello needs a number of years in bottle to reveal its charms, which in 2016 are many. It is a positively stellar wine in every way.”
Produttori del Barbaresco Pora, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2016 Barbaresco Riserva Pora is a brooding wine, its mid-weight structure notwithstanding. Iron, smoke, tobacco, cedar and dried flowers add a feral, earthy quality that is so appealing. Pora is often one of the more approachable Riservas in this range, but the 2016 is an exception. Readers should be prepared to cellar it for at least a few years.”
Produttori del Barbaresco Rio Sordo, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2016 750ML ($89.95) $75 special, 36+ Bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points “The 2016 Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo is a serious, somber wine. Black cherry, plum, lavender, spice and menthol show off the darker side of Nebbiolo to great effect. In most vintages, Rio Sordo is an easygoing wine, but not in 2016. Readers will find a potent, brooding yet mid-weight Barbaresco that screams with character. What a way to start this tasting!”
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