In This Newsletter:
This Just In:
New Arrivals From Around the World
Top French Wines of the Year in 2021
Top 100 Wines of 2021
Staff Picks: Top 10 of 2021
Mountain Rosé from across the E.U.
Pierre Morey: The Master of Meursault
Quilceda Creek’s 100 Point 2018
“As Good as it Gets for Washington Cabernet Sauvignon”
Napanook Sale Announcement
Mature and Rare Champagne from de Venoge
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New Arrivals From Around the World
France – Champagne
Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Vintage Brut 2007 750ML ($119.95) $99 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “The standout in the lineup was the 2007 Brut Blanc De Blancs Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger which is 100% Chardonnay all from grand cru vineyards. It offers a ripe, sexy, full-bodied style as well as classic notes of baked apples, brioche, buttered citrus, and hazelnut. With roughly 70-80% of the blend going through full malolactic fermentation, this powerful, concentrated beauty is drinking terrific today, yet will certainly keep for another 10-15 years.”
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 93 points “Disgorged in May 2015, Delamotte’s white-golden colored 2007 Blanc de Blancs (dosage Brut) opens with a pure, fresh, intense and smoky/chalky bouquet with white fruit aromas, orange/lemon, brioche, nut and toffee flavors. Pure, fresh and elegant on the palate, this is a concentrated, complex and juicy yet finessed and tensioned Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs. It is tight but creamy and harmonious and reveals concentrated lemon juice flavors in the long, mineral finish.”
Antonio Galloni 92 points “Delamotte’s 2007 Blanc de Blancs is an excellent choice for drinking now and over a handful of years because of its immediacy and welcoming, open-knit personality. Yellow orchard fruit, brioche, vanilla and spices flesh out, along with pretty tropical-inflected notes that appear later. The rich, creamy finish only adds to the wine’s considerable allure today. The Delamotte vintage Champagne is a blend of fruit from four villages: Le Mesnil, Oger, Avize and Cramant, as is rendered with full malolactic fermentation, which gives the wine its soft contours and overall resonance.”
Bereche et Fils Campania Remensis Extra Brut Rose (2017) 750ML ($119.95) $109 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Bereche et Fils Campania Remensis Extra Brut Rose (2017) 1.5L ($299.95) $219 special, 3 magnums in stock now
Importer note “The Bereche rose´, Campania Remensis, uses the Roman name for the countryside around Reims. It also comes from a single terroir, the village of Ormes, just west of Reims in the Petite Montagne. It is two-thirds Pinot Noir—including a small percentage of still wine for color—with the balance Chardonnay. It is, like all the domaine’s wines, a Champagne of unusual originality and elegance thanks to its unique site and the approach of its makers.”
France – Rhône
Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Girard Rhone 2019 750ML ($54.95) $46.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Girard Rhone 2019 750ML ($324.99) $259 special (That’s only $43.17 per bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “Quite different than the base cuvée (which isn’t always the case), the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Girard is a special blend that usually includes more Mourvèdre. Lots of red and black fruits, peppery garrigue, and spice dominate the bouquet, and this beauty is medium to full-bodied and brings lots of fruit and richness, yet it stays balanced, light on its feet, and a joy to drink. Drink it over the coming 15+ years.”
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 92 points “Bright ruby. Fragrant red berry, cherry pit and lavender aromas are sharpened by smoky mineral and cracked pepper notes. Sappy and pliant in texture, offering ripe, spice-tinged raspberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors that show very good depth as well as vivacity. Finishes smoky and precise, displaying gentle tannic grip and building florality.”
Matt Walls – Decanter 92 points “Very full-bodied, concentrated but not overextracted, with considerable grip. Powerful wine, very Châteauneuf. Well balanced for a punchy style, it’s retained its freshness and energy. Unfiltered. 80% Grenache; 20% Mourvèdre, Syrah, Counoise and Cinsault.”
Domaine Raymond Usseglio & Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Imperiale Rhone 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 96-98 points “Coming all from very old vine Grenache and brought up in tank, the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Imperiale offers a smoking bouquet of vivid black raspberry and cassis intermixed with lots of flowery incense, licorice, and spring flowers. Reminding me of a Grand Cru Red Burgundy on the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, has a vibrant, tight, focused texture, polished tannins, and beautifully integrated acidity. It’s one classy Châteauneuf du Pape that will evolve for two decades.”
Domaine de Ferrand Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rhone 2019 750ML ($64.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-6 Domaine de Ferrand Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rhone 2019 750ML ($389.95) $333 special, ($That’s only $55.50 per bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 94-96 points “A bigger, richer wine than the 2018, the 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape from Bravay boasts a deeper purple/plum color as well as a powerful bouquet of smoked black fruits, roasted garrigue, black licorice, and ground pepper. This rich, full-bodied wine has loads of Provençal character, a stacked mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and provide upwards of two decades of prime drinking. It’s beautifully done and well worth seeking out. The blend is 85% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre, and the rest Syrah, Cinsault, and Bourboulenc, from the Cabrières and La Gardiole lieux-dits, brought up all in concrete.”
Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rhone 2019 750ML ($69.95) $59 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Case-6 Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rhone 2019 2019 750ML ($419.95) $333 special (That’s only 55.50 per bottle!)
Matt Walls – Decanter 95 points “Dark fruited but so alive and bright on the nose. Plums, damsons, and their crushed stones. Very rounded and generous this year, it has strong inner architecture to back up the fruit, and a long, structured and textural finish from the stems. Ends proud and mineral. This will be very good indeed when it’s ready – structured and fresh enough to stay the course and give complexity when the time comes. 82% Grenache, 5% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah, 4% Counoise, 4% Vaccarèse. Organically grown at the north-west of the appellation, lieux-dits Cabrières and Maucoil, galets roulés and sand. It’s fermented and then aged for 21 months in concrete using indigenous yeasts, then bottled unfiltered.”
Portugal – Port
Churchill’s Vintage Port Portugal 2003 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 17 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 92 points “An impressive, finely tannic Port with solid, ripe fruits and great black jelly and fig flavors. -Roger Voss”
Churchill’s Estates Quinta da Gricha Single Quinta Vintage Port Portugal 2000 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 92 points “Lots of flowers, crushed berries and raspberries on the nose. Full-bodied, very sweet, with big and velvety tannins and a long finish. Yummy. Churchill’s own single quinta Port and excellent. Best after 2010. 300 cases made, 150 cases imported. — JS”
Josh Raynolds-Vinous 91 points “Saturated bright ruby. High-pitched aromas of cassis, minerals, violet, asphalt and bitter chocolate. Sweeter and suppler than the Churchill’s, with concentrated, very intense black raspberry and spice flavors carrying through to a firm, gripping finish highlighted by big, tongue-dusting tannins and a note of cinnamon toast. An impressive mouthful of sweet fruit.”
Royal Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos Tokaj 2016 500ML ($59.95) $47.50 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Gold reflections glimmer in this amber-colored sweet wine that has aromas of apricot, yellow peach and Bartlett pear. The palate shows flavors of acacia honey, canned apricot and Anjou pear. The finish has enough acidity to stand up to the sweetness. -Jeff Jenssen”
Royal Tokaji Ats – Mad Cuvee – Late Harvest Tokaj 2017 500ML ($24.95) $19.90 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Wine Enthusiast 93 points “This late-harvest wine carries aromas of pear and acacia flower, with flavors of Bartlett pear, apricot and dried rosemary. It has nice weight on the midpalate and the finish is pleasantly sweet without being too cloying. -Jeff Jenssen”
Argentina – Mendoza
Terrazas de Los Andes ‘Cheval des Andes’ Mendoza 2014 750ML ($99.95) $69 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 97 points “The 2014 Cheval des Andes is a different blend than previous years and contains a high percentage of Malbec and more Petit Verdot than Cabernet Sauvignon. This reflects the strict selection they had to do in a rainy year that was very challenging for Cabernet Sauvignon, especially in certain parts of the traditional vine-growing regions of Mendoza. The final breakdown of the blend is 83% Malbec, 9% Petit Verdot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is from the first of a series of three wet vintages where they see lower temperatures as an advantage to get where they want to go. They are more after elegance, freshness and complexity rather than power. In this vintage, they only used 15% new oak for the élevage in order to preserve the fresh aromatic expression of Malbec, and the aging lasted 15 months. It’s incredibly fresh and floral, superbly balanced and very charming. This is the year with the most Malbec ever; it was an accident, but it was the kind of Malbec they like. They generally aim to have more Cabernet in the blend, but that wasn’t possible in this low-yielding vintage. The palate is very balanced and elegant, with very good freshness and some restraint, not alcoholic or sweet at all. They find a lot of similarities with 2014 in Bordeaux—classical, fresh, quite transparent and juicy but precise. This has to be the best Cheval des Andes I’ve tried so far. They tell me this is the first vintage that really follows the style they want to produce in Argentina, with balance, complexity and freshness, away from high alcohol, extraction, oak and excess.”
Top French Wines of the Year in 2021
James Suckling is the most prolific wine reviewer. He just released his top French wines of 2021 and we’re pleased to offer the following:
Louis Roederer Cristal Millesime Brut 2013 750ML ($319.95) $289 special, 18 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points “This is quite chalky with firm phenolics that frame the wine beautifully. It’s medium-to full-bodied with strawberries and earth. Dense, linear and intense. Hints of brioche and pie crust at the end. Very structured and gorgeous. Salty and lightly chewy. One third of the base wines fermented and aged in oak. Connoisseur Champagne. From organic vineyards of the Roederer domains. Smaller production than normal. Seven years on the lees. Give it two or three years to open.”
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Brut Rose 2007 750ML ($299.95) $239 special, 12 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 99 points “The light rust and amber color is enticing. Aromas of dried rose petals, cinnamon and nutmeg. Hints of dried meat, smoke and sage. Orange peel, too. Full-bodied with a compact, creamy texture. So fine and delicious. Great, subtle and complex flavors. More like a lightly aged, premier-cru Volnay, but with the magic of Champagne. Drink now.”
Yohan Lardy Moulin-a-Vent Vieilles Vignes de 1903 Beaujolais 2019 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 20 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points “The gigantic nose envelopes you instantly in a cloud of expressive darkness. Wet-earth, smoked-bacon, elderberry and delicate spice aromas suck you into this Beaujolais black hole, where everything is densely packed, but somehow remains weightless, as if you were in outer space. Great tannins that are so beautifully integrated and drive the long, cool finish off towards the nearest star. Drink or hold.”
Top 100 Wines of 2021
Cadence Winery Camerata Cara Mia Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2018 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “Moving to the reserve wines, the 2018 Camerata checks in 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 9% Cabernet Franc that saw a longer élevage, spending 23 months in 50% new French oak. Incredible notes of blackcurrants, black olives, tobacco, damp earth, and sous bois define the bouquet, and it’s a magical, full-bodied, incredibly balanced Cabernet with ripe, silky tannins, no hard edges, and a monster of a finish. As with the Bel Canto, it’s one of the finest wines I’ve ever tasted from this estate. This is easily the finest set of releases I’ve tasted from winemaker Ben Smith and he’s hit a home run in 2018. As always, these are classic Bordeaux blends from Red Mountain, yet I was blown away by the quality of the tannins as well as the seamless, elegant textures Smith was able to build into his wines. Don’t miss these beauties!”
Holocene Memorialis Pinot Noir 2018 750ML Willamette Valley ($59.95) $49 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “Showing beautifully, with a Côte de Nuit-like nose of darker cherries, strawberries, sappy herbs, baking spices, and flowers, the 2018 Pinot Noir Memorialis is medium to full-bodied and has a gorgeously textured, layered mouthfeel, present tannins, and a solid spine of acidity. It would give many a Grand Cru Red Burgundy a run for its money in a blind tasting.”
Cayuse Vineyards God Only Knows Armada Vineyard Grenache Walla Walla Valley 2018 ($199.95) $179 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 98 points “Gorgeous rose petals, wildflowers, cured meats, wild strawberries, and framboise-like notes emerge from the 2018 Grenache God Only Knows, another ethereal, sensationally complex, nuanced, medium-bodied Grenache that’s as unique and singular as they come. Blossoming with time in the glass, it has ripe, present tannins, a layered, building mouthfeel, and a gorgeous, smoky, meaty finish. It needs 3-5 years in the cellar (it’s far from unapproachable today) to integrate its tannins and structure and will deliver the goods over the following 10-15 years.This is a hard mailing list to crack, yet winemaker Christophe Baron continues to deliver the goods, releases singular, exotic, incredible wines from his bevy of single vineyards in the Rocks region of the Walla Walla Valley. The 2018s show the rich yet focused, straight, elegant style of the vintage beautifully and are going to be incredibly age-worthy. While the Syrahs get all the love, don’t miss his Grenache, Tempranillo, and Bordeaux blends. His 2018 Grenache God Only Knows might be the finest Grenache I’ve ever tasted outside of France and few California releases.”
Avennia Sestina Red Columbia Valley 2018 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 96+ points “A blend of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Dionysus, and Bacchus vineyards and spent 20 months in 48% new French oak barrels. A beautiful, Saint-Julien-like bouquet of blackcurrants, cassis, violets, tobacco, and cedar gives way to a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, structured wine that builds incrementally on the palate, with ripe, velvety tannins, a stunning mid-palate, and a blockbuster of a finish. It’s beautifully done, and while it drinks well today given its balance, purity, and texture, it’s going to develop additional complexity with 3-5 years of bottle age and will have 20-25 years of overall longevity.”
Staff Picks: Top 10 of 2021
This is quickly becoming my go to bottle for a food friendly red wine. All the juicy fruit you could want with a solid back bone structure to leave you wanting more and more. The fruit comes from just outside Castelnuovo Berardenga, so it is very much Chianti if not for those strict DOCG laws that the winemaker wanted nothing to do with.
Podere Le Boncie Cinque – 5 Toscana IGT Tuscany 2018 750ML ($49.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Rosenthal Wine note “Giovanna calls her second wine “Cinque,” a dual reference to the five grape varieties planted at Le Boncie and to the Italian grading system, in which a 5 (out of 10) constitutes not quite passing (Giovanna is atypically and charmingly self-effacing for a Tuscan). Part comes from the non-gobelet-trained vines of her original three-hectare farm, and another part from a recently acquired 1.3-hectare parcel called “Chiesa Monte,” three kilometers from Le Boncie and just outside the limit of Castelnuovo Berardenga. Giovanna ferments “Cinque” in a combination of cement and steel, with a slightly briefer maceration than “Le Trame,” and ages it in large botti for roughly one year less than the flagship wine. The result is slightly less structured and gentler, but still deeply expressive of both the warm generosity of Castelnuovo Berardenga and of Giovanna’s caressingly pure style. 2018 was a rainy and relatively tough growing season, but one would never know if from this wine, which is lithe, supple, and open for business even at this youthful stage.”
Vincent’s wines are fresh and represent Oregon in a very high way. A hands off winemaker with wines that really lets the grapes shine. His Gamay is light, peppery, and plenty of red fruit acidity ready for any food you put it next to.
Vincent Gamay Noir Willamette Valley 2019 750ML ($21.95) $18.50 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 90 points “…the Gamay has loads of personality and very naturally styled with zesty pure fruits and a touch of raw savory tones with fresh strawberry, plum, cranberry and macerated cherries leading the way on the light and tangy palate. Vincent Fritzsche…has a delicious collection of wines, all of which are incredibly well priced, especially this one. This unfiltered ruby hued Gamay, best served with a chill, opens nicely with floral detail, some blue fruits, earthiness, a herbal crunch and an almost old work funk, reminding me of Clos de la Roilette Fleurie, impressive, less fruity and fun stuff that goes well with simple cuisine….Fritzsche employs a natural and traditional winemaking with all of his wines, with his Gamay seeing partial whole cluster, vintage dependent, non carbonic fermentation with gentle pigeage and all native yeast, allowing things to get going before doing daily punch downs and a light wetting of the cap during the maceration. Once dry, usually after 18 to 24 days the wine is pressed and settled for close to three days before going into well used barrels, some up to ten years old, with the elevage lasting about a year in the oak. Very little is done in the cellar, except for ultra small doses of sulfur for stability as these wines are bottled without filtration.… This is an exciting winery to start following, joining a ever expanding set of new generation labels in Oregon that are hand crafting wines of passion and terroir.”
Winery note “Attention Gamay lovers! My Gamay WV is partial whole cluster fermented in open top fermenters just like Pinot Noir, then aged for 10 months in neutral barrels. Fresh, brushy, peppery and lively red-fruited Gamay. Gulpable. Mostly fruit from an unnamed vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains.”
Tasting through Marcus Goodfellow’s Chardonnays was very memorable, and the Richard’s Cuvee stood out the most to me. They are made in an old world style, and this bottle itself is low alcohol, very complex and mineral driven with lean acidity. Richard’s Cuvee will definitely develop and open up with more age.
Goodfellow Family Cellars Richard’s Cuvee Chardonnay Oregon 2019 750ML ($69.95) $55 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Winery note “Oh boy…first gravel and smoke, opening to fresh pear, hazelnuts, straw and raw grain, then lime and yuzu blossom. Old world notes of river stones, and seashells. Palate is immediately bright, stony, mineral, lime, clean, lucid, direct, and steely. Acidity runs through the wine from the front palate to the long, long, long finish. Like Corton from the mid-90s… 11.8% abv, finished under Diam 30. 155 cases.”
I just recently got to try the Marie-Courtin Champagnes and they did not disappoint. The Resonance is 100% Pinot Noir but was not as sharp and lean as some of them tend to be with no dosage. Still, plenty of chalk and acid coming from biodynamic fruit in the southern part of Champagne (Aube).
Marie Courtin Resonance Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut (2018) 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Fall 2021 Release!
The Lauer wines are my favorite Rieslings we have in the shop. They are always so clean, and I always find a distinct lime citrus note to them that is uniquely Lauer. The Barrel X is the off dry entry level bottle, Vom Boden putting it best as, “the gateway drug” to the Lauer lineup.
Peter Lauer ‘Barrel X’ Saar Riesling Mosel 2020 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 32 bottles in stock now
Stuart Pigott 91 points “Full ripe-apricot nose and a juicy, rather full palate with lively acidity and some natural spritz make this easy to enjoy. Then, at the finish, a pronounced mineral note is neatly underlined by a touch of fine tannin. Drink now.”
Vom Boden note “The most important category of Lauer wines we’ll call the “terroir” wines. These are the Rieslings that have made Lauer so famous. These wines eschew the whole Prädikat system (Kabinett, Spätlese, etc) completely. They ferment spontaneously with natural yeasts and thus they find their own balance. In most cases they have a bit more residual sugar than a purely dry wine, yet not nearly enough sugar to be considered sweet. Let’s call them dry-tasting to off dry. First, there is the appellation-level Barrel X. This is Lauer’s Platonic ideal of what a Saar Riesling should be. If we were in Burgundy this would be the equivalent of a Bourgogne Blanc. As an appellation-level wine, it is sourced from multiple vineyards in three different villages of the Saar. This is always a thrilling off-dry and a silly value.”
I fell in love with this wine upon opening, very aromatic with some spicy, nutty notes. I couldn’t help but think of peanut skin on this, while also retaining great fruit and overall balance. Awesome white Burgundy for under $30! I will need more.
Les Champs de l’Abbaye Bourgogne Blanc Burgundy 2018 750ML ($29.95) $27 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Distributor note “Older couple that farms tiny plots biodynamiclly mostly in the less well know cote châlonnaise in southern burgundy. This is a tiny single plot in cote châlonnaise of .3 ha on very white oxfordien marne. Old school vineyard and cellar work. A tiny bit of new wood, old vertical press and no funny business, just a light filtration on the whites and a little sulfur.”
A benchmark Chianti Classico in a more approachable and ripe year. This is drinking fantastic right now and you’ll be wondering how you didn’t spend more on this bottle.
Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico DOCG Tuscany 2017 750ML ($34.95) $26 special, 25 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2017 Chianti Classico will delight Castell’in Villa fans. No, it is not a repeat of the 2016. Let’s get that out of the way. Instead, readers will find a silky, wonderfully nuanced Chianti Classico that is ready to charm right out of the gate. All of the estate signatures are present, but the 2017 benefits from a bit more immediacy because of the warm growing season. Sweet red cherry, cedar, tobacco, sage and dried herbs linger nicely. The 2017 is a gorgeous Chianti Classico. Best of all, it will drink well upon release.”
This bottle from 2017 is in a great place and is everything you want from Chenin Blanc. Electrifying acidity from an Oregon born wine maker now making wine in the Loire Valley.
Brendan Stater-West Saumur Les Chapaudaises Loire 2017 750ML ($59.95) $36 special, 14 bottles in stock now
Importer Note “We met fellow ex-pat and wine geek, Brendan Stater-West, where magic happens – in Romain Guiberteau’s cellar in Saint-Just-sur-Dive. Since 2011, Brendan has been working behind the scenes as Romain’s right-hand-man. And in 2015, he completed the first harvest of wine to be bottled under his own label, from the wonderfully unique site of Les Chapaudaises! Brendan’s single hectare of vines comes from the lieu-dit, Les Chapaudaises. A half-kilometer from the now famous butte of Brézé, on slightly elevated slope, the vineyard soil is completely composed of tuffeau limestone with calcium-rich clay and sand with a plentiful supply of seashell fossils.”
Roagna does their Dolcetto in a traditional, extended skin maceration style (around 100 days!). A more “serious” Dolcetto for those looking to try something unique coming from Piemonte.
Roagna Dolcetto d’Alba Piedmont 2019 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Importer note “The Dolcetto for this wine is sourced from both the Paje and Carso vineyards in Barbaresco, which is part of the Asili hill. Orientation: South, southwest. Soil: Paje is particularly rich in calcareous marl soil with a high content of active limestone. Carso sits next to the fortresses of Barbaresco, facing East, with limestone clay soil and a significant presence of sand. Viticulture: Hand-harvested in September. The vines for this wine have a minimum age of 45 years. Vinification: Fermented lasts for ten days in large french casks with a pied de cuvee made with indigenous yeasts. Submerged cap maceration then follows for 90-100 days. Aging: The wine then ages in neutral french oak botti for approximately one year.”
Odd calling this an “Orange wine” given how pale the color is and light on the palate. The slight skin contact balances out this mineral driven wine giving it complexity, with the slight salinity making a dream with seafood.
Azienda Agricola Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Bianco Sicilia IGT Sicily 2020 750ML ($34.95) $29 special, 11 bottles in stock now
It goes without saying that fruit from the Côte des Blancs is among the most in demand in all of Champagne. Krug, Bollinger, Roederer, Piper-Heidsieck and Moët & Chandon all have holdings in the region, and often use it for their top offerings. With this much corporate influence from the Grand Marquises you’d be hard pressed to find grower-producers, and yet Doyard has been one since 1677!
With family holdings in Vertus, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Cramant, Oger, Avize and Aÿ you’d be hard pressed to find a better expression of Chardonnay anywhere in the world, let alone Champagne. This exceptional quality is a result of meticulous farming practices and exacting cellarwork. Organic standards, 45 year old average vine age, horse plowing and 4 years minimum on lees aging are only a few examples of these practices in action.
In stock and available now:
Doyard ‘Revolution’ Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Non-Dose NV 750ML ($89.95) $69 special, 7 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points “Based on the 2014 vintage and disgorged in March 2020 without dosage, the latest rendition of Doyard’s NV Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Non Dosé Révolution offers up aromas of lemon oil, white flowers, mandarin, golden orchard fruit and buttered toast. Full-bodied, layered and muscular, it’s tangy and incisive, with a satiny attack that segues into a generous core of fruit, concluding with a long, mouthwatering finish.” [Disgorgement may vary]
Doyard Cuvee Vendemiaire Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru Brut NV 750ML ($69.95) $54.50 special, 11 bottles in stock now
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 92 points “The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Cuvée Vendémiaire (2014 base) Doyard’s latest release. It was disgorged in February 2020 with four grams per liter dosage after 89 months on the lees. Wafting from the glass with aromas of honeycomb, yellow orchard fruit, dried citrus peel, warm bread and toasted almonds. Medium to full-bodied, fleshy but incisive, it’s elegantly layered and racy, with a pinpoint mousse and a long, sapid finish.” [Base year may vary from review]
2016-base, disgorged 02/06/2021
Arriving ETA January 2022
Doyard Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 2013 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 95+ points “The 2013 Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru has also turned out beautifully, unwinding in the glass with notes of citrus oil, peach, white flowers and freshly baked bread. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and complete, it’s taut and chiseled, with serious reserves of concentration and a long, mineral finish. Disgorged in spring 2021, while its quality is apparent, this is predictably a little introverted out of the gates, so I look forward to revisiting it later this year.”
We carry 7 different grower producers from Côte des Blancs including Pierre Gimonnet, Diebolt-Vallois and Guiborat!
Mountain Rosé from across the E.U.
Looking for a rosé that drinks like a light red? Easily the most full bodied rosé I’ve tried in a long while, this is a deliciously rustic rosado made from a nearly extinct grape called Prieto Picudo. Traditionally farmed in a pruning style native to the village called rastra, the grapes are grown without any wires or trellising from a pruned stump.
The proximity reduces the amount of water lost during the incredibly dry growing season and helps the grapes ripen due to heat radiating from the ground. The vines used in this rosado are over 80 years old and grown at almost 3,000 feet above sea level at the base of the Cantabric Mountains. Grilled strawberry, cherry juice, copal resin and fennel flower make this a perfect accompaniment for BBQ, smoked fish or Middle Eastern cuisine.
Raul Perez ‘Los Arrotos del Pendon’ Rosado Leon 2020 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 special, 7 bottles available
Josh Raynolds Vinous 92 points “Light, amber-hued red. Pungent cherry, raspberry and floral aromas take on spice and smoky mineral nuances with air. Shows very good heft and chewy texture, offering sappy red berry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors and a hint of licorice. As much a light red wine as a rosé. Finishes long and floral, with the spicy note adding final cut.”
Skurnik Wines note “100% Prieto Picudo. Very old vines in stony clay at high altitude (800m ASL). Macerated for two days on the skins before bleeding off. Fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel. Raised on the fine lees for four months in tank. Bottled without fining or filtration.”
Made in the Cerasuolo style of rose from Montepulciano D’Abruzzo grapes that’s traditional to the region; its name is derived from the Italian word for cherry and certainly lives up to that in both color and primary flavors. There’s an entire spectrum of red fruit to be perceived like pomegranate and cherry juice with botanicals like marjoram and basil at play. There’s a savory acid structure knitting everything together beautifully on the finish, making it sturdy enough to pair with anything spicy. Oaxacan mole, Moroccan tagine, or Szechuan chicken would make a symphony of flavor when paired with this wine.
Torre dei Beati ‘Rosa-ae’ Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Italy 2019 750ML ($21.95) $16 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Region: Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, Italy. 100% Montepulciano.
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. 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.
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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Pierre Morey: The Master of Meursault
Meursault is village synonymous with superstar talent. You can hardly throw a stone without hitting an iconic producer’s fields like Coche, Faiveley, Boillot. Equally as talented but still relatively unknown is Pierre Morey. With family roots in the village going back to the 18th century and a work history with the legendary house Lafon, these are the hidden gems in the treasure chest of Burgundy. The Morey portfolio features a complete set of wines featuring Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from across their holdings. For a village that’s associated almost exclusively with Chardonnay, their Pinot offers a rare look into what Meursault’s terroir can do. As you can expect with a biodynamic producer with old vines, quantities are extremely limited, so get these before they’re only available on the auction block!
In stock and available now:
Domaine Pierre Morey Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru Cote de Beaune 2013 750ML ($599.95) $519 special, 2 bottles in stock now
Importer note “An upper parcel of .49 ha just under Le Montrachet with rich and shallow soils, planted in 1965. Gentle pneumatic pressing, fermented in barrel on fine lees and aged for 16-20 months in small barrels, some new.”
Domaine Pierre Morey Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru Cote de Beaune 2018 750ML ($599.95) $519 special, 1 bottles in stock now
Neal Martin-Vinous 96-98 points “The 2018 Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru comprises three-and-a-half barrels this year. It has an absolutely killer bouquet of intense, mineral-rich citrus fruit that gains vigor with aeration. Wonderful delineation and precision here, with oyster shell and estuarine scents emerging with time. The palate is very well balanced, delivering a precise, intense entry and enormous depth and volume in the mouth, but with counterbalancing tension on a long, spicy finish that fans out wonderfully. Superb.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94-96 points “Aromas of green pear, almond paste, mandarin oil, honeyed yellow orchard fruit and pastry cream introduce the 2018 Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, a full-bodied, deep and muscular wine that’s layered and concentrated, with lovely mid-palate amplitude and serious chalky structuring extract. This is a long and powerful Bâtard that will require bottle age to fulfill all its potential. Readers should note that this wine is identical with the Bâtard-Montrachet released under the Morey-Blanc label.”
Domaine Pierre Morey Perrieres Meursault Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($279.95) $249 special, 1 bottles in stock now
Neal Martin-Vinous 94-96 points “The 2018 Meursault Les Perrières 1er Cru, matured in around one-third new oak, underwent a slightly later malolactic than other cuvées, not finishing until early summer, though Anne Morey cannot explain why. It has an exquisite bouquet that translates the mineralité of this vineyard with style and panache. Prudent use of new oak allows the terroir to shine through from the glass. The palate is beautifully balanced with an intense opening, quite spicy and peppery, and razor-sharp definition. This Perrières has wonderful length and the aftertaste is extraordinarily long. Superb.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2018 Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières opens in the glass with notes of citrus oil, pear, oatmeal and struck flint, framed by a deft touch of smoky reduction. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, deep and intense, with racy acids and a searingly chalky finish. Anne Morey tells me that her father farmed this 0.55-hectare parcel before acquiring it at the end of the 1980s, and the composition of the soils suggests that this was the location where rejected stones from the quarry that lends the climat its name were discarded.”
Importer note “From the southern end of Meursault in ‘Perrièrres Dessous’, just next to Puligny-Montrachet. It is a small, stony Clos on the lower part of the slope, near to an old quarry. There is excellent sun exposure and protection from the wind. Fermented in barrel and aged for 16-20 months with some new wood.”
Domaine Pierre Morey Meursault Les Tessons Cote de Beaune 2018 750ML ($159.95) $139 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Neal Martin-Vinous 91-93 points “The 2018 Meursault Les Tessons comes from a single parcel close to Jean-Marc Roulot’s. It has a very pure and very Meursault bouquet with all the leitmotifs one expects: grilled walnut, touches of almond and a little passion fruit. The palate is very well balanced with a fine bead of acidity. A subtle spiciness defines that finish, which offers just the right amount of salinity. Superb.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91-93 points “The 2018 Meursault Les Tessons reveals a lovely bouquet that mingles scents of citrus oil and green pear with hints of white flowers, blanched almonds and honeycomb. Medium to full-bodied, textural but racy, it’s beautifully seamless and complete, structured around lively acids and chalky dry extract.”
Importer note “From a steep site on rocky soils with limestone bedrock, close by to several famous 1er crus, and considered by many to be the one of the best village-level vineyards in Meursault and an honorary 1er cru (it wasn’t included because it was mostly unplanted after phylloxera). This vineyard is up high and harvested late, resulting in a more restrained and mineral Meursault. Gentle pneumatic pressing, fermented on fine lees in 20-50% new barrels and aged 16-20 months.”
Domaine Pierre Morey Santenots Volnay Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($179.95) $149 special, 4 bottles in stock now
Neal Martin-Vinous 91-93 points “The 2018 Volnay Les Santenots 1er Cru, matured with around 50% new oak, has a lovely, lilting bouquet of blueberry, raspberry and light cassis fruit, floral tones developing with time in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with supple but quite firm, Pommard-like tannins, and blessed with disarming purity of fruit and just the right amount of spiciness toward the finish to beckon you back for another sip. This will be wonderful once in bottle.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91-93 points “More reserved than the exuberant Volnay Pitures from Maison Morey-Blanc, the domaine’s 2018 Volnay 1er Cru Les Santenots unwinds to reveal notes of cherries, plums, burning embers, sweet soil tones and spices. Medium to full-bodied, it’s muscular and nicely concentrated, with powdery tannins and chalky grip on the finish.”
Importer note “From 48-year-old biodynamically-farmed vines from the lieu-dit ‘Les Pétures’ in the north of Meursault, purchased by the domaine in 2003. This parcel is in the center of the slope and is well protected from wind, and the soils are shallow, fine red clay. This is a more powerful Volnay. The grapes are fully destemmed and fermented in open vats with native yeasts. Aged for 15-20 months with a significant percentage of new wood.”
Don’t miss our Pierre Bouree sale!
We’ve slashed prices on 19 wines (that’s 40 bottles!) from 1990 through 2015.
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Quilceda Creek’s 100 Point 2018
“As Good as it Gets for Washington Cabernet Sauvignon”
There’s a reason that Quilceda Creek is the number one name in Washington Cabernet—the standard by which all others are judged. Simply put, no other winery has been making wines that score as highly as consistently (and for so long).
2018 is going down as a standout vintage in Washington State for its near perfect wines. A long growing season combined with a leisurely paced harvest allowed for perfectly healthy fruit to be brought in at ideal ripeness. After 40 vintages working with the Champoux vineyard, Quilceda Creek has wrangled in the sites 5th 100 point score in its planted history. Bold, rich, and powerful, it’s destined to be one of the greatest wines ever produced in Washington.
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2018 750ML ($219.95) $179 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Decanter 100 points “This is as good as it gets for Washington Cabernet Sauvignon. Right away the gorgeous crème de violette and crème de cassis tones join blackberry cordial, exotic spices and dark chocolate shavings. The combination of finesse and texture is downright scintillating. Sweet pipe tobacco is woven together with Black Forest cake, and fresh blueberries and graphite with shades of tar take shape on the palate. Truly sensational even at the three year mark, this will provide drinking enjoyment over the next 20 plus years. Drinking Window 2021 – 2040.”
Jeb Dunnuck 98+ points “Another magical Cabernet Sauvignon from this team, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley comes from a blend of sites and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon brought up mostly in new French oak. This vivid purple-hued beauty offers a kaleidoscope-like array of red and black currants, spice box, lead pencil shavings, crushed stone, and assorted tobacco and leafy herb nuances. These carry to full-bodied Cabernet with incredibly purity of fruit, building tannins and structure, flawless balance, and a monster of a finish that won’t quit. It should keep for 20-25 years with no issues. This is unquestionably another brilliant set of releases from Quilceda, and these 2018s show the classic opulence this estate is known for backed up by beautiful purity and lots of underlying structure.”
Anthony Mueller-Wine Advocate 98 points “The capsule of the 2018 celebrates the 40th vintage, otherwise unnoted specifically to keep the consistency of the label. The nose is soft and delineated with lifted dark red and black fruit essences that waft with a delicate floral lift. Showing a softer and compact frame that delivers fine and focused aromas, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon packs complex layers in the nose, with a fresh bouquet of red and purple flowers, violets, lilac and sakura before overflowing with a fruit bowl of aromatics, including black raspberry, black cherry and juicy plum with blackberry nuances, all shining through with a thoughtful frame of French oak tones. Medium to full-bodied at 14.8% alcohol, the palate bursts with precision and finesse and there’s an elegant frame that offers lively acidity and succulent, fine-grained tannins. The 40th vintage marks a brilliant success for Quilceda Creek, attaining a lighter chassis that captures the same magic without being overly generous. The 2018’s tighter frame has allowed the wine to express layers of beautiful dark red fruit flavors and supple oak spices that make the wine slightly spicy with cinnamon essence while offering the same precision without any sacrifices to the overall experience. Ultimately, the wine glides to a remarkably long and textured finish that will last for a couple of decades. Bravo! This is another successful vintage for Quilceda Creek. Run, don’t walk to get this into your cellar!”
Wine Enthusiast 98 points “Cellar Selection. Aromas of black raspberry, dried herb, cherry, incense, cranberry and spice explode from the glass. The flavors undulate across the palate, creamy in feel, with layer upon layer of fruit and barrel flavors. It is completely seamless, with outrageous balance—the quintessential hammer in a velvet glove. The finish carries off into the distance. Best after 2032. -Sean P. Sullivan”
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Dominus Estate Napanook Napa Valley 2018 750ML ($89.95) Was $79, Now $68.50 special, 14 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 97 points “Gorgeous aromas of plums and currants with some wet earth, mushroom, bark and incense undertones. Woody. Medium-to full-bodied with such beautiful depth and length. So subtle and long. Fabulous harmony. One of the best I have ever tasted. Drink or hold.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “The 2018 Napanook showed incredibly well, with fabulous crème de cassis, spring flowers, graphite, and green tobacco aromas and flavors. With terrific ripeness, medium to full body, and ripe, yet polished tannins, this beauty should be snatched up by savvy readers. It should evolve for 15 years or more. The blend is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot, aged in 20% new French oak.”
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate 93+ points “Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Napanook leaps from the glass with vivacious scents of fresh blueberries, black cherries, crushed blackcurrants and redcurrant jelly with hints of pencil shavings, red roses and dusty soil plus a waft of bay leaves. Medium-bodied, the palate is very tightly wound, allowing glimpses at loads of mineral and savory nuances among the taut black and red fruit notes, supported by fine-grained tannins and bold freshness, finishing with a compelling herbal lift.”
Mature and Rare Champagne from de Venoge
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 overseas, 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 almost 20 years old. 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 ‘Princes’ Tour Eiffel 130 Anniversary Edition NV 750ML ($99.95) $79 Special, 24 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.”
De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Brut Millesime 2006 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 11 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”
De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Brut Millesime 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.”
De Venoge Louis XV de Venoge Extra Brut Rose Millesime 2002 750ML ($219.95) $189 special, 9 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.”
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