Vinopolpick Friday Newsletter 10-22-21

In This Newsletter:

New and Re-Arrivals

Coming Soon: New Vintage of Chateau De Pez


Best of the Iblei: Gulfi  

Staff Pick:
Ferrer Bobet

Producer Spotlight:
Feudo Montoni

Collector’s Corner

Mature and Rare Champagne from de Venoge


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Just Arrived: New Wines in stock 

Oregon – Eola-Amity Hills 

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.”

Oregon – Ribbon Ridge

Beaux Freres The Upper Terrace Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge 750ML 2019 ($129.95) $109 special
Josh Raynolds 96 points
“Vivid magenta. A hugely perfumed bouquet displays an array of ripe red and blue fruits, pungent flowers and exotic spices, along with hints of cola and smoky minerals. Deeply concentrated yet lively as well, offering palate-staining cherry, black raspberry and boysenberry flavors and building lavender and allspice flourishes. A smoky quality emerges on the strikingly persistent finish, which features steadily building tannins and a strong floral echo.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “Poised and polished, this opens on a delicate note than dynamically builds structure and richness, offering vibrant raspberry, savory cherry and floral tea flavors that linger toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. 1,700 cases made

France – Champagne 

Bereche et Fils Brut Reserve NV 750ML ($69.95) $59 special
Bereche et Fils Brut Reserve NV 1.5L ($149.95) $138 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points
“Disgorged in July 2020 with seven grams per liter dosage, the NV Brut Réserve (2018 base) is the latest rendition of this wine. Bursting with aromas of orange oil, crisp orchard fruit and fresh bread, it’s medium to full-bodied, fleshy and gourmand, with tangy acids and an enveloping, pillowy profile.” 
Disgorged June 2021. L18 

R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut NV 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special
Case-6 R.H. Coutier Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut NV ($299.95) $239 special (That’s only $39.85 per bottle!) 
Disgorged 6/2021
Antonio Galloni 93 points
“Coutier’s NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is one of the great under the radar gems in Champagne. Brisk and finely cut, the Blanc de Blancs captures a striking juxtaposition of Ambonnay richness and Chardonnay citrus/mineral-driven cut. This edition, based on 2016, with 40% reserve wines, is especially fine. The price? A steal. Dosage is 6.5 grams per liter. Disgorged: February, 2020.”

R.H. Coutier Cuvee Tradition Grand Cru Brut NV 750ML ($49.95) $36.50 special
R.H. Coutier Cuvee Tradition Grand Cru Brut NV 375ML ($31.95) $24 special
Case-6 R.H. Coutier Cuvee Tradition Grand Cru Brut NV NV ($249.95) $208 special now *More stock arriving ETA November* 
Case-12 R.H. Coutier Cuvee Tradition Grand Cru Brut NV ($449.95) $399 special (that’s only $33.25/bottle!) *More stock arriving ETA November*
Disgorged 6/2021
R.H. Coutier Cuvee Tradition Grand Cru Brut NV 1.5L ($89.95) $79 special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“The NV Brut Tradition Grand Cru is fabulous. Rich, ample and creamy in the glass, the Brut Tradition captures all of the natural intensity of Ambonnay in its expansive personality. Pinot Noir drives this blend in both its flavor profile and weight. Red cherry, plum, cinnamon, cedar and dried flowers are some of the many notes that build over time. This release is based on 2013, with 40% reserve wines.”

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*We do our upmost to provide the most recent reviews, but please note that disgorgement dates, lot codes, and base-years may vary. All Champagnes on offer are the latest releases for the 2021 season.*

France – Loire

Gerard Boulay Sancerre La Cote Loire 2019 750ML ($85.95) $61.90 special
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points
“From a southeast-facing plot, the 2019 Sancerre La Côte is pure, deep and intense yet also fresh on the iodine-scented nose, with grip, lemon and tropical notes. The wine opens bright, clear and almost tropical on the nose and then shows tight, tense and lingering salinity and firm grip. Tasted in February 2021.”

Chateau de Breze – Arnaud Lambert Saumur Rouge Clos Mazurique Loire 2020 ($24.95) $17.70 special
Rebecca Gibb Mw-Vinous 89 points
“The 2020 Saumur Clos Mazurique is an unoaked Cabernet Franc that’s generous and round yet still remains delicate. It’s a spicy little number, all Chinese five-spice and a hint of pepper. Very young and can be opened now, but a nice prospect for up to five years thanks to its tannic sinew.”

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Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Rouge Cuvee Les Arboises Loire 2015 750ML ($99.95) $89 special
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Dark cocoa and iron notes mingle with apple wood bacon and roasted rosemary elements that frame the core of dark plum, cherry and blackberry flavors. Picks up a touch of sweetness midpalate, balanced by a vanilla hint and firm tannins. Sandalwood and sanguine details mark the finish, but give this a bit more time for added pleasure. Best from 2022 through 2030. 450 cases made, 45 cases imported.”

Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Blanc Brézé Loire 2017 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
Wine Advocate 93 points
“From a 1.2 hectare-vineyard planted in 1933 and 1952 on sand and clay soils topping the softer tuff limestone bedrock, the 2017 Saumur Brézé was aged on fine lees for 18 months in barrels (new and one to two years old) and displays a golden-yellow color along with a deep, pure and intense, floral bouquet of crushed stones, iodine, blossom honey, tuff and ripe fruits such as mirabelles and pears—very complex and fascinating in its seamless composition. On the palate, this is an intense yet pure, fresh and salty, utterly mineral and tightly structured Chenin with fine tannins and a long, intense and well-concentrated finish. A gorgeous wine that already drinks well today, but it can be aged for many years. 13% alcohol. Tasted in May 2021.”

Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Rouge Loire 2019 750ML ($44.95) $39 special
Case-6 Domaine Guiberteau Saumur Rouge Loire 2019 750ML ($269.95) $219 special, (That’s only $36.50 per bottle!)
Wine Advocate 91 points
“From three parcels with vines planted between 1955 and 1957 on silt and sand topsoil covering softer limestone bedrock. the 2019 Saumur Rouge is pure Cabernet Franc naturally fermented in tank for six months. The 2019 opens with a pure and refreshing as well as spicy/floral nose with dark fruit and fresh lemon aromas as well as stony notes and a nice reduction. Wonderfully untamed. On the palate, this is a medium-bodied, fresh and silky-textured Saumur with a stimulating salty, round and fruity finish. At this young age, charm is not its greatest talent, but with bottle age, this will be a terrific Saumur rouge for many dishes and opportunities. I like this tight and traditional, straightforward style that might be a bit unpleasant at this early stage but will reward those with patience. 13.5% alcohol”

France – Chablis 

Domaine Louis Michel & Fils Les Clos Chablis Grand Cru 2018 750ML ($119.95) $99 special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points
“The 2018 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos has turned out nicely, unfurling in the glass with aromas of ripe citrus fruits, confit lemons, pear and orange blossom. It is full-bodied, elegantly muscular and textural, with fine depth at the core, ripe but succulent acids and a long, penetrating finish. This is the broadest-shouldered, most powerful wine in the Louis Michel portfolio.”
Decanter 94 points “If it’s purity you want in your Chablis, Guillaume Michel’s wines are some of the most transparent in the appellation. Entirely unwooded, as his whites always are, this is sourced from an old vine parcel of 0.5ha on the Valmur side of the grand cru. Textured and intense, with notes of iodine and almond paste and tangy acidity. The Vaudésir Grand Cru also scored 94.”
Burghound 91-93 points “There are plenty of classic Chablis elements adding breadth to the mineral reduction, cool white-fleshed fruit, iodine and citrus-suffused aromas. As is usually the case with textbook examples of Les Clos, there is fine size, weight and volume to the powerful and tension-filled flavors that deliver very fine depth and length on the detailed well-balanced finale. This very well-made effort should amply reward 10+ years of cellaring.”

Italy – Tuscany 

Fattoria Le Pupille ‘Saffredi’ Maremma Toscana Tuscany 2016 750ML ($119.95) $83.50 special
James Suckling 99 points
“Incredible aromas of dark berries, lavender, rosemary, licorice and dried flowers. Spice. Full body and fantastic tannin texture with great length. Goes on for minutes. Muscular yet wonderfully formed and refined. A glorious Saffredi. Drink in 2022.”
Wine Advocate 98 points “The 2016 Saffredi brings full-throttled intensity in a very well-balanced wine. The blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (30%) and Petit Verdot (10%) spends 18 months in mostly new oak. This vintage is compact, firm and precise, with lovely floral aromas on the bouquet in front of blackberry and plum. Long oak toasting gives the wine tasty notes of spice and cinnamon and rounds the bouquet off nicely. The mouthfeel is soft and velvety. This is a complex, integrated and absolutely beautiful wine.”

Coming Soon: New Vintage of Chateau De Pez

Looking for a classic producer or an introduction into exceptional Bordeaux? Consider Chateau De Pez, the oldest estate in Saint-Estèphe. Originally part of the first growth Haut-Brion, the estate was sold to the Pontac family before being acquired by Roederer in 1995. The house style is defined by two primary factors; 100% French oak aging and Cabernet Sauvignon dominance in the final blend. These factors pay off in spades during warmer years like 2018, where comparisons are already being drawn to the legendary years 2009 and 2010. True to the character of the estate, these are wines that require years of bottle aging before fully revealing themselves. For those patient or handy enough with a decanter, the Chateau de Pez promises a plethora of black and red currants, coffee beans, cedar, vanilla and dark chocolate. 

Chateau de Pez Saint-Estephe 2018 750ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Chateau de Pez Saint-Estephe 2018 375ML ($34.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Chateau de Pez Saint-Estephe 2018 1.5L ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special 
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“From the team of Nicolas Glumineau at Pichon Comtesse de Lalande, the 2018 Château De Pez is a gorgeous 2018 that should be on every Bordeaux lover’s radar (and should be a great value as well). Notes of blackcurrants, blueberries, candied violets, and graphite define the bouquet, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, rockingly polished tannins, terrific purity, and a great finish. It’s terrific and is going to have 15-20 years or more of longevity. The blend is 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc.”
Wine Enthusiast 94 points “Under the same Rouzaud family ownership as Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Pauillac, this estate has produced a structured wine. It offers dense and solid tannins, rich with a firm texture and black currant fruits. The wine has weight and density that need aging. Drink from 2026. -Roger Voss”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2018 de Pez is even more impressive from bottle than it was from barrel. Time has given the Pez gorgeous finesse, softening the contours, to match the natural radiance of the year. Silky tannins wrap around a core of inky red/purplish fruit, pipe tobacco, cedar, mint, spice and leather. The en primeur sample was decidedly flashier, but, then again, that wine was presented in 100% new oak. The finished wine, with one-third each new, one year-old and two year-old barrels, is wonderfully refined and poised.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 92 points “A blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 49% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2018 de Pez leaps from the glass with vibrant black cherries, ripe blackberries and blackcurrant pastilles notes, giving way to nuances of black olives, lavender and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate offers nicely rounded tannins and a lively backbone to counter the bold fruit, finishing savory.”
Wine Spectator 92 points “Fresh red currant and bitter cherry notes are laced with floral and chalk notes. Piercing in feel through the finish, with the fruit and minerality in lockstep as a touch of cedar appears, leaving a mouthwatering edge. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2032. — JM”
Decanter 92 points “Always an extremely classy St-Estèphe, and this is an excellent wine that has restraint but punch, and plenty of cassis and blackberry fruits, with a governing hand of tannins that are never overdone. Drinking Window 2023 – 2036.”

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Cepparello is the flagship wine of legendary Tuscan winemaker, Paolo De Marchi. Made from 100% Sangiovese from his best and oldest vines, the 2016 vintage is of De Marchi’s favorite to date. Though full-bodied and aromatic, Cepparello is an expression of Sangiovese that favors elegance and complexity of in lieu of power. 

Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT Tuscany 2016 750ML ($99.95) $74.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Isole e Olena Cepparello Toscana IGT Tuscany 2016 1.5L ($219.95) $169 special, 10 magnums in stock now
Decanter 98 points
“Paolo de Marchi’s ‘study in Sangiovese’ is a selection of the vintage’s finest grapes from Isole e Olena’s oldest vineyards, high up in Chianti Classico’s western sector of Barberino Tavarnelle. Harvested in mid-October, it is a captivating tangle of earth, spring blossom, coffee, tobacco and cedar. Perfumed lavender and violet lift the generous dark fruit and the brilliantly tactile powdery texture lends further dimension. This reaches great depths while simultaneously soaring effortlessly to heady heights. Positively succulent and moreish on the finish.”
Antonio Galloni 97+ points “The 2016 Cepparello is dense, dark and also very closed in on itself. Those qualities bode well for the future, but readers will have to be patient, as the 2016 is going to need at least a few years to come into its own. Black cherry, plum, lavender, spice and new leather gradually open up in the glass, but the 2016 is not ready to show all of its cards. This fruit was brought in during the second week of October, which is pretty much optimal at Isole e Olena. The 2016 spent 20 months in French oak, with a bit less than 30% new oak, and a few months in cask prior to bottling. An explosion of floral and spice notes punctuates the super-refined finish. The 2016 is shaping up to be epic. Don’t miss it!”
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 97 points “The beautiful Isole e Olena 2016 Cepparello is a gorgeous and precise expression of Sangiovese. This is one of the icon wines of the vintage that shows a naked and transparent portrait of the grape on the one hand, with the complexity of the vintage and its territory on the other. Cepparello is like a crystal ball into the heart and soul of Sangiovese, Tuscany’s mighty red grape. It is fermented in conical oak casks and later aged 20 months in 95% French and 5% American oak, of which only one-third is new wood. The wine delivers ample structure and contouring, with a firm and silky consistency at its core. Some 42,000 bottles were made. This wine should age over the better part of the next 20 years.”

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La Torre is one of our favorite producers of very traditionally made Brunello. They specialize in bold, age-worthy bottlings that have power and grace wrapped up together. The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino boasts generous fruit and acidity and is ready to drink tonight, but will continue to improve with time in the cellar.

Azienda Agricola La Torre Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Tuscany 2015 750ML ($69.95) $52.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95+ points
“If you love the traditional side of Montalcino, Luigi Ananìa’s La Torre makes some of the best and most consistent wines you will find. Their 2015 Brunello di Montalcino reveals a quality of fruit that is both plump and succulent, and this is very much a characteristic of the 2015 vintage. However, the house style is extremely precise and focused. It starts off slowly, revealing itself in small steps before coming into full bloom. The wide aromatic span of the wine should become even more prominent with three or four more years of cellar age. This wine does a nice job of matching the acidity of Sangiovese to the generous fruit of the warm 2015 vintage. Some 13,000 bottles will be released in March 2020.”

2014 is the Mosel’s most challenging vintage in recent memory, however, the standout wines are considered to be some of the best since the 1990s. J Cristoffel Jr.’s estate is one of the jewels of the Mosel, producing some of their finest wines at incredibly reasonable prices. The 2014 Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese offers up plenty of stone and tropical fruits along with lip-smacking acidity making it an excellent companion for spicy dishes and light desserts.

Weingut Jos. Christoffel Jr. Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese Mosel 2014 750ML ($34.95) $21.90 special, 27 bottles in stock now
The Urziger Wurzgarten, or ‘spice garden’ is an intensely steep, iron-rich red slate vineyard. Though it’s located right next to the Erdener vineyards, the Ürziger wines are vastly different: the volcanic soils and favorable drainage lead to an earthy, spice-laden and tropical fruit-tinged wine.

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Sometimes finding a great value Champagne is all the reason you need to open a bottle of bubbles. Andre Clouet Brut Rose is produced with 100% Pinot Noir from organically-farmed Grand Cru vineyards in Bouzy and Ambonnay. Jean-Francois’s is committed to making wines that reflect the rich history of the region. His wines do just that, while representing some of the best values available.

Andre Clouet Grand Cru Brut Rose NV 750ML ($54.95) $41.90 special, 35 Bottles in stock now
Case-12 Andre Clouet Grand Cru Brut Rose NV 750ML ($599.95) $449.00 special (that’s only $37.42/bottle!)
Andre Clouet Grand Cru Brut Rose NV 3L ($379.95) $319.00 special, 4 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90 points
” The latest release of Clouet’s deeply colored NV Brut Rosé No 3 Grand Cru is showing well, opening in the glass with notes of blood orange, red berries, ripe apples and oatmeal. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, broad and vinous, with ripe acids, a frothy mousse and a moderately intense finish. This is an attractive, gastronomic rosé that hails exclusively from Bouzy.”

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 Best of the Iblei: Gulfi
Looking for a wine that hits the same notes as Cabernet Sauvignon but with a distinctive Sicilian flair? Nero D’ Avola would like to make your acquaintance. Known also as Calabrese and often called “The Cabernet of Sicily” Nero d Avola was originally brought to the island by Greek settlers in the 8th century. Now commanding a large portion of the island’s red production, you see a tremendous style diversity based on producer, cultivation style and site.

Gulfi represents the best of Sicily’s new generation of winemakers, and is a champion of indigenous Sicilian varietals and growing practice. This is exemplified by his work with Nero D’Avola, which he farms without any chemical input, mechanized farming or even irrigation! Exclusively using the Sicilian bushvine for production and biodynamic farming practices, Gulfi is critically undervalued to say the least. Across their portfolio of Nero D’Avola, there is a pervasive minerality, clean aromatics and nuanced finishes to each wine that is unlike anything you experience in an example from Marsala or Agrigento. This is on account of the protection and shadow provided by the Iblei Mountains of Southeastern Sicily, which encourages a phenolic driven course of ripening. 

Gulfi ‘Valcanzjria’ Sicilia Sicily2019 750M ($21.95) $18 special, 18 bottles in stock now

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Gulfi Nerobaronj Sicilia IGT Sicily 2016 750ML ($34.95) $28 special 24 bottles in stock now
Ian D’agata – Vinous 93+ points
“Good full medium red. Riveting high-pitched perfume of raspberry, blood orange and violet, lifted by hints of lemon and talc. Clean, focused, and well delineated, with strong minerality and fresh spices lifting the raspberry fruit and very floral flavors. Easygoing and very drinkable already, this expresses a very silky texture. Finishes vibrant and very long, with subtle perfume of strawberry and violet. A pretty wine.”

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Gulfi Nerobufaleffj Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT Sicily 2016 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Case-6 Gulfi Nerobufaleffj Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT Sicily 2016 ($299.95) $237 special, (That’s only $39.50 per bottle) 
Ian D’agata-Vinous 96+ points
“Luminous deep red. Aromas of red cherry, minerals, Oriental spices and vanilla on the refined nose. Then luscious, rich, deep and multilayered with spices, herbs and aromatic oak notes dominating the underlying red and spicy flavors beneath. Finishes long but with less than the usual nectar-like quality that typifies this cru; undoubtedly, a much more elegant version of Nerobufaleffj, a wine that often reaches Amarone-like levels of richness and lusciousness. This very young wine is a potential knockout; still brooding and folded upon itself; it’s a beauty that requires time in your cellar, and watch it develop into something special.” 

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Gulfi Neromaccarj Sicilia IGT Sicily 2016 750ML ($49.95) $33 special, 38 bottles in stock now
Case-6 Gulfi Neromaccarj Sicilia IGT Sicily 2016 750ML ($249.95) $189 special, (That’s only $31.50 per bottle!) 
Ian D’agata – Vinous 93 points
“Deep ruby. Amazing floral and spicy nose of black fruit, herbs and grilled steak. Then rich and tactile, but vibrant and energetic, with well delineated flavors similar to the aromas. Finishes long with mounting but relatively polished tannic bite.”

Gulfi Nerosanlore Sicilia IGT Sicily 2011 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 38 bottles in stock now
Ian D’agata – Vinous 94 points
“Fully saturated ruby-red. Super-ripe aromas of black cherry, raspberry jelly, incense and coriander are very typical of the Sanloré site. Then surprisingly light on its feet, offering vibrant flavors of red and black cherry, tar, licorice and pomegranate liqueur. The finish is bright and juicy and features a lingering saline nuance. Knockout Sanloré that manages to be at once powerful and graceful, the latter a quality not always evident in wines from this site, which are usually known for their richness and size.”
Wine & Spirits 94 points “This dark and brooking wine comes from 40-year-old vines rooted in reddish-brown sand and clay soils; it grows half a mile from the sea and just 30 feet above sea level, where the temperature doesn’t change much between day and night. Savory notes of black olive and roasted mushroom saturate the wine’s dark plum flavors, intensified by a trail of salinity so intense it feels almost gritty, yet the wine is brightened by mouthwatering acidity. The contrast is extreme, and it works.”

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Staff Pick:
Ferrer Bobet

Priorat remains one of the most sought after and highly lauded wine producing regions in all of Spain. The high concentration of old vines; cult level producers, high elevation and Mediterranean climate have made it a hotbed for Spain’s fine wine revolution. Priorat wines are largely based around Grenache and Carignan, grapes usually associated with being medium bodied and fruity. However they take on a whole new dimension on the terraced vineyards of martian-esque shale. Called llicorella by the locals it’s famous for the savory minerality that’s imparted to the grapes, in addition to ripening grapes faster by heat radiation. 

Ferrer Bobet’s Vinyes Vielles is a perfect example of what happens at the confluence of meticulous farming and exactingly precise winemaking. Exclusively sourced from 70-100 year old Carignan with a third of Grenache of the same pedigree and farmed without any synthetic inputs. Their estate is planted to the same varietals, but also is host to Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon which adds even more structure to the finished wine.  

From the first pour of the Vinyes Velles there are effusive notes of lavender crushed Marionberries, oregano flower, cinnamon, and Amarena cherries. The flavors continue to develop and refine after time in the glass; revealing grilled strawberry, sage, za’atar, wet slate and ash salt. Impressively lifted for how full bodied and tannic the other elements are but provides balance and synergy. This is beautiful now but promises to become a work of art after more time in the cellar to shed it’s baby fat.   

We’re also proud to offer the 2016 Priorat that’s sourced entirely from the Bobet Estate. Still comprised of Carignan but with the addition of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvigion, this is meant to reflect the elegance that Priorat is capable of. In the words of Daphne Glorian of Clos Erasmus “Priorat is Burgundy in reverse, both geologically and climactically speaking” and this iteration of Bobet exemplifies that in spades with plenty of development still ahead in the bottle.    

Ferrer Bobet Vinyes Velles Priorat DOCa 2015 750ML ($74.95) $36 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points
“The old vine 2015 Vinyes Velles checks in as a Carignan-dominated blend from vines just outside the village of Porrera that includes one-third Grenache, all of which spent over a year in French oak. It’s a bigger, riper, sexier wine than the Ferrer Bobet cuvée and boasts a deep purple color as well as rocking notes of black plums, black licorice, ground pepper, violets, and new leather. Ripe and full-bodied, with moderate acidity and terrific balance, it’s a seamless Priorat to enjoy over the coming 7-8 years or so.”
James Suckling 94 points “This really captures the freshness of the carignan grape with its bright cherry character. Medium-to full-bodied with spice from the grenache and excellent vitality on the long, crisp finish. Drink or hold.”

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Ferrer Bobet Priorat DOCa 2016 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Ferrer Bobet Priorat DOCa 2016 750ML ($299.95) $238 special (That’s only $39.67 per bottle!) 
James Suckling 97 points
“Such purity of ripe blackberries and dark cherries, as well as redder, cherry notes, really makes a striking impression on the nose. The fresh florals and leafy nuances are followed by such pure berries and red plums. The tannins are stunning, so polished and perfectly formed, holding super long and fresh. Wow. Drink or hold.”

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Producer Spotlight:
Feudo Montoni

Nestled on a high elevation site on Mt. Cammarata this features a dramatically cooler season than others in production, contributing to some of the most layered and nuanced iterations of Nero. The high elevation and high proportion of volcanic sand make the site inhospitable for the Phylloxera louse, with the vines being over 120 years old and planted on their original rootstock. 

Vrucara features incredible depth at play with high tannins and acid that hollows the palate with a long finish of rosemary and Mexican chocolate. It’s rare to find a wine this multidimensional and storied for less than $100, let alone under $50. Highly ageworthy and will reward decanting or extensive cellaring. From the first pour there are exuberant aromas of oregano, anise, ripe strawberry, redcurrant and blackberries intermingled with a lingering copal resin and myrrh element that fills the glass. Full of verve, and whipsawing fruit character that begins in black raspberries before a metamorphosis into spiced Italian plums and espresso. 

In addition to the Vrucara offering Feudo Montoni also makes a passito wine made from Nero D’Avola and Perricone. In this style of wine the grapes are laid out on straw mats to dry in the Sicilian Sun, concentrating their sugars and tannins before a slow barrel fermentation. The use of exclusively red grapes balances out the sugars as a result of the tannin inclusion, not unlike how ports can taste dry in spite of having residual sugar. 

Feudo Montoni ‘Vrucara’ Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT Sicily 2015 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points
“Tasted from magnum, the 2015 Sicilia Nero d’Avola Vrucara is a dark and penetrating wine with a chiseled and pungent side that delivers dried cherry and blackberry preserves. There is a point of ripeness, maybe even jammy cherry with lots of inky dark fruit. I knocked off a point or two compared to the previous edition because I am less a fan of that ripeness. You get cherry liqueur or cherry syrup sweetness on the close. However, this remains one of the benchmark bottles for Sicily’s banner grape Nero d’Avola.”
Ian D’agata-Vinous 93+ points “Good full ruby-red. Aromas and flavors of red/dark berries, plum, smoke, coriander and herbs. Juicy, taut and precise, with musky notes that extend onto the long, very smooth back end.”

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Feudo Montoni Passito Rosso Sicilia IGT Sicily NV 375ML ($39.95) $33 special, 32 half-bottles in stock now
Ian D’agata-Vinous 94 points
“Bright deep red with an orange rim. The nose really opens with aeration to offer sweet red plum, dehydrated red cherry, cinnamon and raisins. Then similar flavors to the aromas lifted by juicy, harmonious acidity. Finishes very long and suave with saline nuances and repeating notes of raisins. Lovely, light on its feet dessert wine that seems less sweet than it really is thanks to its piercing acidity. One of the best sweet wines I have tasted so far this year. This is a blend of air-dried Nero d’Avola and Perricone aged in wood barrels for seven months and then twelve months in bottle prior to going on sale.”

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Collector’s Corner:
Mature and Rare Champagne from de Venoge

De Venoge is an old-school Champagne house that’s relatively unknown in the United States, a fact that means even their finest and rarest wines continue to be undervalued relative to their peers. This is no better exemplified than their prestige cuvee, the LXV bottling. Named after Louis the 14th (The Sun King) it sees extensive aging on it’s lees and are true monuments of vintage champagne. 
De Venoge has a strong following in Europe for good reason—they source from some of the best vineyards in Champagne and produce prestige cuvées of immense quality, built on long lees aging. They source Pinot Noir from Grand Cru villages like Verzenay, Ambonnay and Bouzy and pair it with a murderer’s row of Chardonnay sources, including Avize, Mesnil, and Cramant. The resulting wines capture the essence of classical Champagne and are in high demand in Europe’s top restaurants. 
De Venoge prestige cuvées are outstanding wines for lovers of truly mature Champagne in all its glory, rich, creamy textures from extended lees aging married to surprisingly fresh, mineral personalities. There’s a reason this house has such a following in Europe—they produce stunning wines and then age them until they’re ready to go, so consumers don’t need to leave them in the cellar for decades. We have a handful of options left here, including two that are a quarter-century young. Now’s your chance to try them for yourself! These are perfect “occasion” wines that make for fantastic birth year or anniversary gifts.  

In Stock Now:

De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Brut Millésime, Champagne 1996 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 26 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points
“This is really complex, old Champagne with puff-pastry, dried-apple, spice and salted-nut aromas and flavors. Full body. Ultra fine bubbles with an extremely fine and creamy mouth feel. Extreme edge to it. This spent 21 years on the lees. Disgorged in 2018. Every year they disgorge 3,000 bottles”

De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Brut Millésime, Champagne 2006 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 96 points
“The assemblage of the 2006 Louis XV Brut Millésimé is about the same as the 1995 and 1996—composed of 50/50 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, all from grand cru villages. The only difference is that the Chardonnay from Le Mesnil-sur-Oger (10% of the assemblage) spent 12 months in oak barrels. Disgorged in January 2017 (dosage: six grams per liter), the 2006 has a golden color and opens with a deep, ripe, elegant and vinous bouquet with toasty and chalky lemon and fresh white fruit flavors. On the palate, this is an intense, round, fresh and complex Louis XV with great purity and finesse. The wine opens on the palate like a soufflé, coating the whole palate without any pressure or weight—gorgeous! This is a delicate and fresh yet well-structured and persistent Louis XV whose intense and long but weightless finish reveals lovely, almost juicy fruit concentration with perfectly integrated freshness and lasting minerality that seems to give additional structure. The 2006 shows a lot of Chardonnay features right now and drinks perfectly today; however, it can be kept under perfect conditions for decades. Just keep it in the box, because the bottle is white and nothing makes a Champagne age faster than exposure to daylight. (Tasted in November 2017 from Lot LL15067017BT.)-SR”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Brut Millésime, Champagne 2008 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 16 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points
“This is really punchy and broad-shouldered with muscular structure and citrusy undertones. Full body. Lightly tannic and a fresh and vivid finish. This is the first vintage without malolactic fermentation ever. One for the cellar. Better in 2022.”
Wine Advocate 93+ points “The straw-yellow/white-golden colored 2008 Louis XV Brut Millésimé blends 50% Chardonnay (20 % from Avize, 15% from Oger and 15% from Mesnil) with 50% Pinot Noir (41.5% from Verzenay and 8.5% from Bouzy). Disgorged in January 2018 with a dosage of six grams per liter, the 2008 displays a clear, pure, fresh, chalky-tinged and vinous nose with lemon, white fruits, brioche, hazelnuts, white blossoms and some caramel notes. Pure, lean, fresh and elegant on the palate, with a lingering hazelnut flavor, this is a straight yet complex cuvée with grip and a long, well-structured and textured finish. This 2008 is still terribly fresh and should benefit from further bottle aging. For the moment, I am missing the mouth-filling generosity of the 2006 and 1995. Mind that this is the first vintage of de Venoge’s prestigious Louis XV where the base wines didn’t undergo malolactic fermentation! Total production: 10,326 bottles. Tasted October 2018.”

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De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Extra Brut Rosé Millésime, Champagne 2002 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 93 points
“Harmonious, with fine intensity, offering rich notes of spice cake, toasted almond, dried cherry, grilled plum and smoky mineral. Almost velvety in texture, with juicy acidity that brings you back for another sip. Delicious. Drink now through 2022. 54 cases made.”

De Venoge ‘Princes’ Tour Eiffel 130 Anniversary Edition NV 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Envie de Champagne “The Maison De Venoge was founded in 1837 by Henri-Marc De Venoge. Innovation in the production and marketing of champagnes were the founding values of this of champagne house, which won the Excellence Price in Philadelphia in 1876. A few years later, in 1889, during the World Fair in Paris, the house became the partner of the event. This exhibition celebrated the centenary of the French Revolution and it is on this occasion that the Tower designed by Gustave Eiffel has been inaugurated. This monument, with a height of 312 meters during its construction can now 337 meters in 2019 following the installation of antennas. In addition to its cultural and tourist use, the Eiffel Tower is used as a transmitter for TV and radio programs. The Eiffel Tower, object of discord at the time of its creation has become today the most visited paying monument of France. It has about 7 million visitors a year. It is also inseparable from the history of the French capital. For the 130 years of this first collaboration, De Venoge signs a beautiful partnership with the company in charge of the exploitation of the iron lady (surname of the Eiffel Tower). This collaboration is obvious because of  the common history of both parties but also because of the characteristic shape of the bottles of the Princes cuvée. This limited edition vintage is named “Cuvée Princes Tour Eiffel”. Only 10,000 bottles have been marketed for this partnership.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

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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