Vinopolpick Friday Newsletter 10-15-21

In This Newsletter:

New Week New Arrivals 

Trending Wines 

Producer Spotlight 

Pommery: The “Other” Madame 

E.U Rose for all seasons  

Pride of Provence: Clos Cibonne

Collectors Corner
Salon: The Leader of Le Mensil-Sur-Oger 


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Just Arrived: New Wines in stock 

Oregon- Willamette Valley 

Cristom ‘Eileen Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 375ML ($41.95) $36 special
Cristom ‘Eileen Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
James Suckling 96 points
“Dried-strawberry, rose-stem and wet-earth aromas follow through to a full body with firm, intense tannins and a flavorful finish. This is structured and very tight at the moment. Give it time to open and show its true self. Try after 2023.”

Cristom ‘Jessie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 375ML ($41.95) $36 special 
Cristom ‘Jessie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
James Suckling 96 points
“The aromas are pretty amazing here with dried flowers, pure fruit, sweet berries and dark strawberries. It’s full-bodied and very layered with ripe, velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Richness with focus. Very drinkable now, but better after 2023.”

Cristom ‘Louise Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 375ML ($41.95) $36 special
Cristom ‘Louise Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 special
James Suckling 95 points
“I like the richness and freshness on the nose with strawberry and floral aromas and some rose-hip tea. It’s medium-to full-bodied with round tannins and a creamy-textured finish. Lightly chewy, showing the structure and seriousness of the wine. Drink after 2023.”

Cristom ‘Marjorie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 375ML ($41.95) $36 special
Cristom ‘Marjorie Vineyard’ Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 special  
James Suckling 95 points
“There’s purity of fruit to this pinot with strawberry and floral aromas that follow through to a medium body with ultra-fine, firm tannins and pretty, tangy acidity. Lemon undertones. Needs time to open. Better after 2024.”

Patricia Green Cellars Freedom Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($36.95) $33 special 

Patricia Green Cellars Reserve Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2020 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special

This is the only listing in the USA today!

J. Christopher ‘Abbey Ridge’ Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2019 750ML ($69.95) $61.90 special
Winery Note:
I have worked with Abbey Ridge since 1993 (while at Adelshiem) and in 1994 with Cameron Winery. In 2001, I was lucky to be offered a block of Pinot Noir at Abbey Ridge and have been working with the fruit ever since. Abbey Ridge is the cornerstone to our Pinot Noir program and I believe it to be the best Pinot Noir site in the Willamette Valley. Owned by my friends Bill and Julia Wayne, this vineyard is the platonic form of what the Dundee Hills AVA is all about – elegance.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

La Colina Vineyard Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($59.95) $47 special
Winery Note:
La Colina Vineyard is a vineyard I have always referred to as “secret sauce”. In my former winemaking life I was creating much larger Dundee Hills Pinot Noir blends for the national market. Year after year the barrels I selected to do a single vineyard “La Colina Pinot Noir” were sacrificed into the blend, it always elevated the wine in such a positive way it had to be done.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Jc Somers Nouvelle Lune Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019 750ML ($44.95) $37 special
Wine Enthusiast 91 points
“Blended from three separate sites, this rich and fragrant young wine grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. Ripe cherries, pie spices, green herbs and lemon rind flavors combine to cover all the fruit-acid-tannin bases. Already well-integrated, this potent wine should improve further over the coming years. -Paul Gregutt”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

J.C. Somers Croft Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Willamette Valley 2020 750ML ($29.95) $27 special
Winery Note:
Truly one of the top white wine vineyard sites in the Willamette Valley. The Croft Vineyard is located southwest of the Eola Hills near the town of Monmouth. The organically farmed Croft Vineyard is in the foothills of the coast range and grown in ancient marine sediment soils. It is owned by Chancy and Toni Croft and farmed by Lee Croft and I have been working with the Sauvignon Blanc since 1999.

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Washington State 

Andrew Will Winery Ciel du Cheval Red Red Mountain 2015 750ML ($69.95) $55 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95+ points
“The 2015 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard offers up notions of sweet red and black berries, licorice, orange rind and cigar tobacco. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, supple and layered, with a deep core of fruit, firm but fine-grained structuring tannins and a long, rich finish. This is a bit more chunky and foursquare than this year’s supremely charming Champoux bottling—as is to be expected from Red Mountain in a hot year—but it displays impressive stuffing and should evolve beautifully in the cellar.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

France – Burgundy 

Domaine de la Pousse d’Or En Cailleret Clos des 60 Ouvrees Volnay Premier Cru 2016 750ML ($149.95) $128 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91-93 points
“Bright ruby-red. Expressive, scented nose combines blackberry, spices, violet and lavender pastille. At once supple and vibrant on the palate, conveying serious density of texture and juicy flavors of black fruits and spices. This wine stands out for its intensity and inner-mouth perfume. Finishes ripe and chewy, with excellent length. A very strong performance for a cool spot in a warm year.”
Neal Martin-Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2016 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des 60 Ouvrées has an elegant bouquet with perfumed, violet-tinged black and red fruit, well defined with touches of brown spice and iris emerging with time. This shows a pleasing restraint. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red and black fruit on the entry, well-judged acidity, then toughening up a little toward a structured and almost Pommard-like finish that suggests that it will need several years in bottle.”

France – Chablis 

Gilbert Picq et ses Fils Chablis Burgundy 2019 750ML ($31.95) $28 special 
Neal Martin-Vinous 90-92 points
“The 2019 Chablis Village was tasted both separately and as a blend so that Didier Picq could show the different terroirs: limestone, clay and a third from younger vines on clay-limestone soils (12 different parcels dispersed over 8ha.) There is superb intensity on the nose, featuring red and green apples, pear and a strong oyster shell/marine scent. The palate is nicely poised and full of tension emanating from the limestone terroirs that also lend this Village Cru its persistence on the finish. Classic Chablis from start to finish.”

France – Champagne 

Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut 2007 750ML ($179.95) $159 special
Wine & Spirits 95 points
“While this wine seemed fully mature when we tasted it last year, the latest bottle to come across our tasting table was full of life, feeling concentrated and radiating energy out of its core. There’s a compressed floral spice and a touch of sweetness to the fruit that accommodates the mineral abrasion, the elements completely integrated, the flavors lasting for minutes. The blend is 70 percent pinot noir, mostly from Aÿ and Verzenay, with chardonnay from Cramant and Oger; 91 percent grows at grand-cru sites; all of it ferments in oak barrels. The wood is still present in the wine, rounding it, contributing to its sophistication. An exceptional 2007.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94+ points “From a bottle disgorged in March 2017, Bollinger’s 2007 La Grande Année is showing brilliantly, offering up a superb bouquet of lemon oil, confit citrus, almond paste, iodine, walnut oil and freshly baked bread. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, broad-shouldered and powerful in this frequently rather slender vintage, with excellent concentration, a deep and tightly wound core and a precise, chalky finish.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “A bright, lacy Champagne, offering a tapestry of finely woven flavors: graphite and ground spice, crushed blackberry and dried apricot, toast and honeycomb. Firm and focused, with a lasting, chalky finish. Drink now through 2027. 1,500 cases imported. — AN”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “I loved the 2007 La Grande Année, which is based on 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay. Over 90% of this cuvée was sourced from Grand Cru sites, with the balance from Premier Cru villages. Vinified all in older barrels and aged 6 years in bottle on lees, it boasts a deep, rich, creamy style as well as full-bodied notes of ripe stone fruits, wood smoke, and spice. It has vibrant acidity, impressive length, and notable purity, all making for a classy, impressive Champagne that will keep for 10-15 years.”

France – Loire Valley 

Domaine Brazilier Methode Trad Brut Loire NV 750ML ($21.95) $17 special

Domaine Brazilier Methode Trad Brut Rose Loire NV 750ML ($21.95) $17 special 

This is the only listing in the USA today!

France – Languedoc- Roussillon

Domaine Vaquer Rivesaltes Ambre Hors d’Age Languedoc-Roussillon NV ($49.95) $34.50 special 
Importer note
“This little estate is located in the foothills of the Pyrenees, within view of the Mediterranean. Frederique’s Cuvee ‘Bernard’ is a lovely blend of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah. The Fernand, made by Frederique’s father-in-law, is 80% Carignan and 20% Grenache. It was vinified in cement and made by a man who believed wines should take time to come around, but last decades. The wine was left in his cellar at 1300 meters at the foot of Mont Puigmal. One morning fifteen years ago Fernand took some samples and drove down the coast to Roses and made his first sale to El Bulli.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Italy – Friuli Venezia Giulia

Villa Russiz Collio Friulano Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2017 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Winery note
“Pale straw with greenish tints. Strong and round taste, with a characteristic note of bitter almonds, chamomile and wildflowers. Slightly lower acidity than the other whites in the range.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Villa Russiz Sauvignon Collio Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2018 750ML ($21.95) $19 special 
Winery note
“Excellent with seafood dishes, more complex gastronomic preparations made with crustaceans, and cheeses. Excellent served with vegetarian dishes and with ethnic recipes.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Marco Felluga Mongris Pinot Grigio Collio Friuli 2019 750ML ($21.95) $18 special
Eric Guido-Vinous 91 points
“The 2019 Pinot Grigio Mongris is a spicy, savory expression of the grape, fresh and more floral than fruity. It’s silky textures usher in citrus-tinged orchard fruits and salty minerals, creating an energetic and tactile display. Hints of lime and residual acids sizzle through the finale, making it hard to resist another sip.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Italy – Sicily 

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Bianco Sicily 2020 750ML ($29.95) $24 special
Eric Guido-Vinous 91 points
“The moment I put my nose to the glass, I questioned if this was just the entry-level 2020 Etna Bianco. Crushed stone and sea shells give way to nectarine, mint and a hint of vanilla bean to create a wildly attractive and Burgundian bouquet. On the palate, this speaks more in whispers, soft and subtle yet pleasantly sweet, contrasting ripe orchard fruits against vibrant acidity, and with gobs of minerality that sneakily collect toward the close. The medium-long finish is clean and refreshing, as hints of raw almond and pretty inner florals slowly taper off. This blend of 60% Carricante, 25% Catarratto, 10% Grecanico and 5% Minnella shines bright in the 2020 vintage.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Rosso Etna Sicily 2019 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special   
Wine & Spirits 92 points
“Marco de Grazia makes this wine with fruit from vines as young as six years and as old as 50. It’s a charmer, offering the characteristic floral scents found in Terre Nere’s single-contrada wines, with bright cherry and orange-peel flavors and lightly raspy tannins that make it a versatile wine at the dinner table.”
Wine Spectator 91 points “A mouthwatering and well-knit red, with a pure chime of wild cherry and raspberry fruit. Light, taut tannins provide fine definition, framing the fruit flavors, accents of dried thyme and ground white pepper and minerally hints of iron and smoke that push through on the chewy finish. Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. Drink now through 2026. 11,000 cases made, 3,300 cases imported.  –AN”
Winery note “Made from very fine Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio from low yielding vineyards (35 Hl. Per hectar), both young and old. The grapes are macerated until the end of fermentation. The wine then continues its life in wood until bottled roughly one year after harvest. Even young it is a distinguished wine. Fresh, fragrant, beautifully slender and with a fine grip, it has a natural polish, a stage presence, as it were. And, in aging, as its weave gathers into rich complexity, it is a wine for gentlemen. It is an aristocratically liberal wine: enjoy it with whatever food you wish, as long as its properly cooked.”

Avinyo Petillant Blanc Catalonia,2020 750ML ($19.95) $16 special 

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti ‘Grotte Alte’ Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG 2018 750ML ($89.95) $79 special 

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato Terre Siciliane IGT Sicily 2019 750ML ($49.95) $44 special

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti ‘Siccagno’ Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT Sicily 2018 750ML ($49.90) $44 special

James Suckling 92 points “A fragrant and graceful nero d’avola with so much lively red-cherry and plum fruit, together with so many spicy nuances. The tannins are so beautifully integrated that the palate feels lacy and almost transparent. Only right at the finish does it turn pleasantly dry. Drink or hold.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Bianco Sicilia IGT Sicily 2020 750ML ($34.95) $29 special 
Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Sicilia Rosso IGT Sicily 2020 750ML ($34.95) $29 special

Spain – Ribera Del Duero 

Hermanos Perez Pedrosal Crianza Ribera 2017 750ML ($24.95) $19 special
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 92 points
“Opaque, bright-rimmed ruby. Black currant, cherry and candied rose scents are complemented by hints of licorice and musky underbrush. Shows very good energy and tight focus on the palate, offering juicy red berry and floral pastille flavors, which take on a smoky accent with air. Closes taut, spicy and long, with slowly building tannins and a repeating touch of smokiness.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 90 points “The 2017 El Pedrosal, also sold in some markets under the brand Cepa Gavilán, has a nose of smoky bacon and sweet spices, quite attractive and showy. The palate is a little more challenging, with concentration and plenty of tannin and a warm finish, reflecting a small crop in a warm and dry vintage marked by spring frost. 140,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in February 2019.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Spain – Canary Islands

Suertes del Marques Medianias Valle de la Orotava 2018 750ML ($39.95) $28 special
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 91 points
“The affordable red 2018 Medianías was produced with Listán Negro from the ancient cordón trenzado vineyards Habanera, La Florida and Fortaceros, and it fermented in concrete tanks with 20% full clusters and indigenous yeasts. It was partly aged in 500-liter oak vats and 2,500-liter oak foudre for nine months, and part of the volume was kept in concrete. This is a little rounder and has more black fruit with a balsamic and creamy touch that gives it a slightly more commercial profile. It has fine tannins and a slight bitterness in the finish. 4,100 bottles produced. It was bottled in August 2019.” 

Vermouth and Fortified Wines 

Liquore delle Sirene ‘Americano Rosso’ Aperitivo Italy 750ML ($39.95) $34.50 special 
Distributor note
“Natural red aperitif made by somm Elisa Carta, inspired by the Venetian heritage. Handmade in small batches, blending wines from the Lake Garda area and single botanical macerations. The natural color is extracted from Hibiscus and Monarda flowers. Not artificial colors or flavorings.”


Trending Wines 

2016 was one of the most immaculate years in Tuscan history—a near perfect vintage that left growers spoiled for choice on when to pick and how to make their wines, and Montegrossi’s Geremia reflects this. It’s a super-Tuscan exactly the way they would dream of it, and worthy of a starring place on your table. 

Comprised of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grown in high elevation and organically to boot! It captures so much of what we love about the estate with big, rich fruit and a surprising amount of elegance. You can expect some of the richness and fruit forward character that Napa is famous for, with the classic Tuscan rusticity. The kismet of the vintage already has them drinking beautifully, with a generous aging window of at least a decade.  

In Stock and available now: 

Rocca di Montegrossi Geremia Toscana IGT Tuscany 2016 750ML ($69.95) $51.90 special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2016 Geremia is even better than it was last year. Fresh, vibrant and full of energy, the 2016 is so wonderfully alive in the glass. The flavors are remarkably intense, and yet there is a feeling of lightness that keeps the wine brilliant. Crushed rocks, menthol, licorice, sage and gravel wrap around a core of blue/purplish fruit. There is something about the 2016 that is magical, many things, actually. Geremia is one of the most distinctive and unique wines in Chianti Classico. The 2016 is absolutely stellar.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2016 Geremia is a total knock-out. An exotic mélange of sweet dark cherry, plum, chocolate, licorice, spice and menthol races out of the glass. The 2016 is deep, dense and full of character. It is also easy to drink with minimal cellaring. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon work so well here in the way they express richness and structure, all with a real sense of Tuscan raw power.”

Also in stock and available now: 

Rocca di Montegrossi Geremia Toscana IGT Tuscany 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The Geremia, Rocca di Montegrossi’s Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend, is outrageously beautiful in 2015. Racy and pliant, with soft curves, Geremia captures all of the radiant beauty of the vintage. Sweet red cherry, plum, mint, mocha and sweet spice are all fused together. At the moment, there is a touch of new oak that still needs to integrate, but a few more years in bottle should do the trick. Time in the glass brings out attractive floral notes and red-toned fruit character that lend freshness and lift to play off the wine’s more extroverted leanings. The 2015 is a gorgeous Geremia.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico DOCG Tuscany 2018 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“The 2018 Chianti Classico opens with a burst of sweet red berry fruit, spice and wild flowers. Exuberant and racy, the 2018 is endowed with tremendous energy and tons of personality. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s inner sweetness and radiance, with a closing flourish of red flowers. This is a fabulous wine for the money. Don’t miss it.”
Wine & Spirits 93 points “Winter rains in 2018 brought welcome relief from the drought of the previous year, according to Rocca di Montegrossi’s proprietor, Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi, and while many areas of Tuscany suffered from humid conditions during the summer, his estate’s position in the high, well-ventilated hills of Gaiole kept his grapes healthy. The result is a dark and savory wine packed with rich black-cherry flavors and subtle spice notes, all underlined by firm, slatey tannins. It shows formidable substance and ripeness compared to some of the lighter wines coming out of this vintage and will develop well over the next several years.”

Rocca di Montegrossi Vigneto San Marcellino Chianti Classico DOCG 2014 ($59.95) $49 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2014 Chianti Classico Vigneto San Marcellino is dark, sumptuous and super-expressive. Like all of the wines here, the 2014 San Marcellino needs at least a few years in bottle to truly show everything it has, but there is more than enough here to provide for engaging drinking for many years to come. Time in the glass brings out gorgeous scents of black cherry, plum, menthol, licorice and smoke. The 2014 is a striking, complete wine.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Rocca di Montegrossi Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Tuscany 2006 375ML ($149.95) $119 special, 4 half-bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“Rocca di Montegrossi often makes one of the richest Vin Santos in Chianti Classico. The 2006 is a bit less opulent than is often the case, but that just means the Vin Santo is not a blockbuster. Voluptuous and beautifully layered throughout, the 2006 offers an attractive infusion of dried herbs, wild flowers, coconut, mint and leather, all wrapped around a core of dark, deeply spiced fruit.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Founded by Gaston Hochar in 1930, his son Serge took the world by storm in the late 1970’s after leaving Bordeaux for the Bekka Valley. Lebanon is one of the world’s first producers of wine that dates back over 6,000 years and was mentioned throughout antiquity for its quality, but has seen almost constant unrest since World War 2. 
In spite of that, Musar has consistently delivered exceptional reds, whites and rose year after year to the international market. This is in part from their vineyards located in the Bekka Valley of Lebanon, A high elevation region between Mt. Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains. The elevation and mountainous conditions allows for massive temperature shifts during the evenings, allowing for the grapes to slowly ripen with good acidity. Working exclusively with old vines that have always been farmed organically, Musar makes a fantastic single village wine named after Gaston in addition to their Cuvee that’s made them world famous. Working with a blend of varietals including Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvigion for reds, the reds are built for serious aging and collecting. Expect all the power and nuance of a super Tuscan, with the lift of Bandol and a totally unique frankincense, oud and cumin character that is definitively Middle Eastern. We were only able to secure limited quantities of the reds, with these wines usually being snapped up by restaurants in New York before they can reach our market, so get these while you can!

Chateau Musar ‘Hochar Pere et Fils’ Red Bekaa Valley 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Decanter 91 points
“This single-vineyard wine, from Aana, is made in a modern style: concentrated and slightly reductive. It shows notes of new oak barrels, lovely red berry fruit (reminiscent of Grenache) and garrigue aromas. So Mediterranean on the palate, with sweet tannins, spices and a meaty hint on the aftertaste. A very friendly, easy-to-drink and enjoyable wine. It becomes even better and more refined a day after the bottle is opened. I would recommend decanting it.”
Antonio Galloni 90 points “The 2017 Hochar is powerful and dense in the glass. Ripe flavors and incisive tannins give the 2017 much of its brooding personality. Readers should plan on opening the 2017 at least an hour or two in advance, as the tannins are rather grainy at the outset. With time ripe black cherry, spice, leather and licorice flavors emerge nicely. The blend is 55% Cinsault, 35% Grenache and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!


Producer Spotlight 

Pommery: The “other” Madame 

You’ve heard of the Champagne widow and pioneer Madame Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin (also known as Madame Clicquot), but have you heard of Madame Pommery? While you can be forgiven for not knowing her, Champagne as we know it would not exist without her contributions. In the 1870’s champagne was one of the sweetest wines of the world for a number of reasons. The first and foremost was to balance out the otherwise searing acid that was seen in Champagnes of the period. The second was to cater to commercial preferences of the era, particularly from the Russian royal family and their contemporaries who loved exceptionally sweet wines. 

This all changed when Madame Louise Pommery commissioned her cellarmaster to make a champagne with as little added sugar as possible, creating the category we now know to be “Brut”. The debut vintage in 1874 was an overnight success in England, who had developed a preference for drier styles of wine. It was so popular in fact, that it set records in London for the highest ever paid for champagne at auction. The Brut style clearly outlived its sweeter contemporary, given the latter is rarely seen on the market anymore.

The Tête de cuvee from Pommery is named after Madame Louise and in honor of her legacy has the barest amount of sugar added. Comprised of 3 Grand Cru vineyard sources Avize, Cramant and Aÿ and aged for 11 years on it’s lees before disgorgement. The blend itself is predominantly Chardonnay but has 40% Pinot Noir inclusion as well. The grand cru sources for the fruit are clearly evident in the concentrated flavors, strong mineral character and high acidity with notes of toasted brioche, blackcurrant preserves, hazelnut paste, pine nuts and lemon curd. With the “Current” release being the 2004, this is a champagne built for the long haul to say the least. We also carry a number of magnums, back vintages and the elusive Rose bottling! 

In stock and available now: 

Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Nature 2004 750ML ($199.95) $149 special, 31 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points
“A creamy and refined 2004 with a very reserved and tight palate of ultra fine tannins that lend the wine beautiful creaminess and finesse. Subtly floral, offering lightly cooked apples and lemons. Flavorful, yet always hiding behind the fine bubbles. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Rose Millesime  2004 750ML ($299.95) $219 special, 21 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points
“This is a new release and shows wonderful finesse and beauty. You know that the moment you see the pale-amber color. It’s medium bodied with freshness and energy and a long, vivid finish. A joy to taste. Drink now.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Arriving End of October

Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Millesime 2004 750ML ($149.95) $125 pre-arrival special
Pommery Cuvee Louise Brut Millesime2004 1.5L ($299.95) $279 pre-arrival special
James Suckling 95 points
“A very fine-textured Champagne with lovely density and finesse. The bubbles roll off the palate. Full body. Extremely creamy and flavorful. Shows wonderful finesse and a lovely, chalky, lemon-curd and brioche aftertaste. Drink now.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Pommery’s prestige Champagne is named after one of the great Champagne widows of the 19th century who took over when her husband, Alexandre Pommery, died. It is a rich, mature wine, with toast and almond flavors as much as fruit. Full of mineral Chardonnay (60% of the blend), this ripe wine is very ready to drink.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “Bright and minerally, featuring smoke and pastry dough notes layered with lemon curd and pureed black currant details, riding the lively bead. Offers a creamy finish, with a lightly floral overtone. Drink now through 2024. 16,666 cases made.”

Pommery Grand Cru Brut Millesime 2008 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Winery note
“It was a must for Pommery not to miss out on one of the greatest vintages of champagne. One single term to characterise 2008: unexpected! After a difficult summer, nature succeeded in aligning its stars and allowed us to have an exceptional harvest. 2008 has already conquered aficionados from all over the world, but it is a special vision of 2008 in the pure style of our Maison that we propose to you. Only originating from grands crus, with an exceptional ageing potential, slowly brought to maturity in the freshness of our 18 kilometres of galleries, it is necessary to wait to taste a Pommery vintage at its zenith: the precise moment when all the components are in harmony and when maturity, freshness and complexity come together. This moment has come for our 2008 vintage. The nose presents the patina of the Pommery vintages: elegance, minerality, freshness. First of all intense floral notes reach us: the peony floats around the hawthorn. Maturity is expressed by fruity notes of pear and fresh apricot. The great Pinot Noir present themselves with notes of crushed fresh strawberries. On the palate, the tasting is floating, with a great uprightness. A mineral structure fills the palate from the attack to the finish like a spine. Notes of acacia honey and Mirabelle underline the central element of the tasting. The finish is punctuated by a nice sweetness, marked by flavours of blood orange.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!



 E.U Rose for all seasons 

If you’re a fan of Catalonian whites or Cava you might have heard of Xarel-Lo, an aromatic white grape that’s often compared to Chardonnay due to it’s versatility during vinification. Being an indigenous varietal in Spain since 1548 it mutated at some point and also has a red skinned clone called Xarel-lo Vermell. Less than 300 acres of this varietal are still in existence in the entire world, with Gramona dedicating part of their production to preserving the varietal. Expect the acidity, structure and stonefruit character of Xarel-Lo with a definitive red fruited element not unlike Goji berries, fresh cranberries and redcurrants. 

Gramona ‘Mart’ Xarel-lo Vermell Rosat Penedes 2020 750ML ($37.95) $29.50 special, 30 bottles available
Eric Solomon Imports note
“Xarel-lo Vermell Certified organic CCPAE and biodynamic DEMETER. The pale color of this rosé comes from a 48-hour maceration before pressing. With this additional skin contact, combined with the already high levels of antioxidants present in the juice of this variety, Mart cannot only be enjoyed in its youth (peaches and strawberries) but it has the capacity to develop for several years in the bottle as more pink peppercorn nuances emerge.”Region: Penedes, Spain

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 ($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.”

Pride of Provence: Clos Cibonne

Provencial rose is famous for being light in color and perfectly crushable. Usually made from blends of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan there are a few rarities that are made predominantly with Tibouren, one of the original grapes planted in the area. In addition to their work in preserving the varietal, Clos Cibonne also is a champion of traditional vinification with their top offering (The Vignettes) spending its entire life in 100 year old foudre. The cooperage medium combined with allowing for fleurette   
You’ve heard of Clos Cibonne and their illustrious rose-based portfolio, but did you know that they also produced an entry level offering? Sourced from the younger plantings of grapes on the estate and purchased fruit from 3 neighbors, this is the only department in France that allows the varietal Tibouren. Called Rosesse in its other home in Italy, it is a heritage varietal famous for the nuanced rosé and compelling reds that are produced from it.

The Tentations rose is meant to offer an affordable introduction to the varietal and house style, and delivers in spades. Organically grown and fermented in steel with wild yeasts, the Tentations is pale in color with beautifully effusive aromas of orange peel, cherry blossom, marjoram and sea spray. A perfect introduction to Tibouren rose at a fraction of the cost you usually see.

Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Tibouren Cuvee Speciale des Vignettes Rose France 2019 750ML ($47.95) $39 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 94 points
“Pale, amber-hued orange. Powerful, mineral-accented aromas of red berries, orange pith, candied lavender and succulent herbs, along with peach pit and tarragon in the background. Chewy and tightly focused on entry, offering juicy cherry, blood orange and honeysuckle flavors that smooth out and turn sweeter through the mid-palate. Shows excellent clarity and finishes extremely long and sappy, leaving behind resonating floral, mineral and pit fruit notes.”
Wine & Spirits 93 points “Made from Cibonne’s oldest tibouren vines, more than 60 years old and farmed organically, this is dense and ripe in 2019. It tastes of cherries and dulce de leche, coffee and marmalade; it’s also stony, with a salinity to match the rocketing acidity. Cuvée Spéciale is often the estate’s longest-lived rosé; this needs time in the cellar and a crown roast of pork when it emerges again.”
Importer note “Clos Cibonne’s iconic Cuvée Spéciale des Vignettes stands uniquely apart from other rosés as a classic, one-of-a-kind Côtes de Provence rosé featuring the tibouren grape in the lead role. Legendary amongst experienced French wine collectors for its texture, substance, and ability to age gracefully for a decade or more, Cuvée Spéciale des Vignettes is aged under fleurette (a thin veil of yeast, similar to the process in Sherry or Jura wines) in 120-year-old, 5,000L foudres for one year. Clos Cibonne crafts a wine that is completely it’s own through combining a rare grape with a unique aging process. Cuvée Spéciale des Vignettes is a limited wine, a selection made exclusively of the estate’s oldest, over 60-year-old organic tibouren grapes. Vignettes is often the longest-lived of the Cibonne cuvées, repaying 10+ years of cellar time. The vineyard, one of 18 Crus Classés of Côtes de Provence, consists of traditional goblet trained vines located close to the Mediterranean Sea in the foothills of the Maures mountains, overlooking Toulon’s harbor.”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!

Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Tentations Rose France 2020 750ML ($24.95) $18 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Case-12 Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Tentations Rose France 2020 750ML ($249.95) $199 special, (that’s only $16.58/bottle!)
De Maison Selections note
“Tentations offers an accessible entry-point into Provence wine. Tentations is made with exceptional ingredients, including fruit from young tibouren vines and some purchased fruit from farmers they have long-standing relationships with, in prime spots in La Londe. The Tentations wines do not undergo the extensive aging process of the Clos Cibonne line. Offering immediate and unpretentious enjoyment, they are incredible food wines and represent one of the best wine values in the Côtes de Provence region. Site: La Londe. Grapes: 50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 15% Syrah, and 15% Tibouren.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!



Collectors Corner

Salon: The Leader of Le Mensil-Sur-Oger 

A wholly unique house in that they produce a single wine and only during the most exceptional growing years. Sourced from 20 parcels in the center of Le Mensil-Sur-Oger with their first vintage in 1905, this is one of the rarest wines in the entire world, let alone Champagne. Only for the most experienced collectors, Salon is considered to be the apex of Chardonnay, with razor sharp austerity requiring extensive bottle age before enjoyment. 

2008 is known throughout the world as the “Vintage of the Century” with producers bringing in exceptionally small harvests of highly concentrated fruit. Salon was no exception, with harvest volumes in 2008 being down 75%. This triggered the decision to bottle the vintage exclusively in magnum, resulting in only 8,000 bottles from the vintage. 

In the style of a Tête de cuvee, each vintage is attributed with it’s own personality and showing. The house describes the vintages in their set as “A Dream in 2008, Luminosity in 2007, Romance in 2006 and Serenity in 2004”. All of the wines in the set were disgorged in 2019, making the set an exhibition of what extended aging can do. 

Salon Cuvee ‘S’ Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut Oenotheque Set 04/06/07/08 ($10,299.95) $9,499 pre-arrival special, 2 sets available 
Salon Vertical Case consists of six total 750ml bottles and one magnum. Includes two 750ml bottles each of Salon 2004, Salon 2006, and Salon 2007. Includes one magnum of Salon 2008. No substitutions permitted.
Reviews for the 2004 vintage:
Wine Enthusiast 98 points
“Top 100 Cellar Selection in 2016…Intense minerality and ripe apple and citrus fruits accompany the purity and crisp texture that are part of its ability to age. The wine can continue for many years, certainly to 2025 and beyond. -Roger Voss”
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “The 2004 Salon has been superb each time I have tasted it over the last year or so. Bright, tense and crystalline, with all of the energy that is typical of both Salon and the vintage in the Côte des Blancs, the 2004 bristles with superb precision and cool, pulsating minerality…”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 96 points “The 2004 Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil Brut is another rather structured, tensile wine from a generally rather open vintage…Unlike many wines from 2004, this Salon (tasted from a bottle disgorged in January 2019) still has potential to improve with further bottle age.”
Reviews for the 2006 vintage:
Wine Enthusiast 100 points
“Top 100 Cellar Selection in 2017. This new release from a great vintage for Chardonnay in Champagne is a perfect blanc de blancs, showing a wealth of intensity from the crisp, chalky, mineral tones to the perfumed apple notes… -Roger Voss”
Antonio Galloni 97 points “…Even with all of its flamboyance and pure volume, the 2006 retains quite a bit of energy and freshness. I imagine it will be a fascinating, utterly compelling Champagne to follow over the next several decades.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95 points “…a fine success…”
Reviews for the 2007 vintage:
Wine Enthusiast 99 points
“This legendary Champagne, only produced in exceptional years, comes from the village of Le Mesnil in the Côte des Blancs. It is made from 100% Chardonnay and aged for many years before release. Its minerality, concentration and beautiful fruit are still astonishingly young and deserve further aging. Drink from 2020.”
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2007 Salon is gorgeous. Weightless, delicate and understated, the 2007 is all class…”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 96 points “…the weightless and delicate 2007 is a coolish, elegant and smoky gentleman dressed in a white tie and silk hat… The performance on the palate is pure yet concentrated, fresh and linear, very elegant and perfectly balanced, but most of all, it is extremely fine and stimulating!…The radiant 2007 Salon is one of the greatest champagnes I have had from this vintage…”
Reviews for the 2008 vintage:
Antonio Galloni 100 points
“…The 2008 remains young and austere, but like so many wines in this great vintage, Salon has an extra dimension of textural depth that keeps it from being austere. It is quite simply one of the most magnificent Champagnes I have ever tasted…”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 100 points “…it surpasses even the prodigious 1996 and surely ranks as the finest Salon since at least the 1970s. In short, this is a Blanc de Blancs that admits no argument.”
Decanter 100 points “…Despite the time in the cellar, the wine remains intensely youthful, with a texture that is vibrant and crisp and a substantial, creamy feel that suggests near-perfect balance. This Champagne is among the greatest wines Salon has ever produced and should age gracefully for decades to come.”

Looking for more 2008’s? The 2008 Tattinger Comtes De Champagne is Arriving ETA Early November, and in highly limited quantities! 

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs Brut 2008 ($299.95) $289 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 98+ points
“Taittinger’s 2008 Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is simply breathtaking. I have tasted it many times over the years in various trial disgorgements and it has never been anything less than compelling. The final, finished wine captures all of that potential. Bright, focused and wonderfully deep, Comtes is a fabulous example of a vintage that expresses so much energy but with real fruit intensity, the signatures that distinguish it from other vintages (1996 comes to mind) that were similarly taut, but more austere in the early going. Although the 2008 impresses right out of the gate, it only really starts to open up with several hours of air. The 2008 Comtes represents the purest essence of the Côtes des Blancs in a great, historic vintage. Readers who can find the 2008 should not hesitate, as it is a truly brilliant epic Champagne that no one who loves the very best in Champagne will want to be without.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 98 points “Taittinger’s 2008 Brut Blanc de Blancs Comtes de Champagne is being released this year, and it will be worth a special effort to track down. I wrote in August 2019 that this is the finest Comtes de Champagne since the brilliant 2002, and this tasting confirmed that. Offering up a deep and complex bouquet of citrus oil, crisp orchard fruit, warm brioche, crushed chalk, blanched almonds and smoke, it’s full-bodied and incisive, with excellent concentration, racy acids and a long, searingly chalky finish. While this is already immensely impressive out of the gates, this 2008 is clearly built for the long haul, and three decades’ longevity won’t be a challenge.”
Wine Enthusiast 97 points “Cellar Selection. Coming entirely from Grand Cru vineyards in the Côte des Blancs, the new release of this famous Champagne is from a top vintage year. The wine is at perfect maturity, poised between crisp, taut minerality and wonderful toastiness. It is intense, beautifully clear and limpid, a great Champagne. It is ready to drink now and for many years to come. -Roger Voss”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Fresh and graceful, this dances across the palate with its fine, lacy mousse and seamless knit of delicate flavors of ripe Anjou pear, tangerine peel, toasted almond and candied ginger. The flavor range expands through the lasting, chalky finish. Drink now through 2033. 1,800 cases imported. — AN”

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

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