In This Newsletter:
The Champion of Chambolle:
Cut-Price on K:
New wines from the Rockstar of Washington Wine:
Coming Soon: Quilceda Creek’s 100 point Cabernet
New Week, New Arrivals:
Down the Rhine and through the Danube:
Vinopolis tours Germany: Pfalz
European Rose from Sicily to Swabia
Chardy Party with Sandhi and Mt. Eden Vineyards
New Wine Spectator Insider Reviews
For 2016 Produttori Crus
Collector’s Corner: French Excellence
Burgundy and Champagne
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The Champion of Chambolle:
This is on account of her commitment to native fermentation, organic farming practices and minimal use of new oak. Blessed with sites comprised almost entirely of gravel and limestone, these are among the boldest expressions of Pinot Noir in all of Côte de Nuits. If this wasn’t good enough, these are also considered some of the most ageworthy in the entire region, requiring at least 5 years to begin shedding their baby fat. Sourcing from 10 separate sites in the village, her portfolio offers a snapshot of how radically a Pinot Noir can taste depending on its vine age, soil aspect and vinification.
Arriving ETA Friday, August 20th:
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Bourgogne Les Bons Batons Rouge Burgundy 2018 750ML ($64.95) $56 pre-arrival special, only 11 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 88-90 points “The 2018 Bourgogne Les Bons Bâtons wafts from the glass with a lovely bouquet of cherries, raspberries and orange rind. Medium to full-bodied, it’s fleshy and succulent, with powdery tannins and an ample core of mouthwatering fruit. As usual, this derives from a parcel in Gilly-lès-Cîteaux, one of the finest locations classified at the regional level. Readers should note that Barthod produces only one Bourgogne, but in some markets it’s labelled without the lieu-dit name Les Bons Bâtons.”
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Les Baudes Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2018 ($219.95) $189 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2018 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Baudes was showing especially well, revealing aromas of cherries, cassis, grilled squab and spices, followed by a medium to full-bodied, deep and multidimensional palate that’s muscular and concentrated, carrying an abundance of ripe tannin and underpinned by lively acids. This is one of the broader-shouldered wines in the cellar, and one senses its proximity to Bonnes Mares. Of course, that also means that it will require patience.”
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Aux Beaux Bruns Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special, only 1 bottle available
Decanter 94 points “Aux Beaux Bruns is one of the lower Chambolle Premiers Crus located on deep red clay soils and often seems to produce a wine with correspondingly rich colour chez Barthod. Picked first to retain acidity in 2018, this is fleshy, sweet and nicely textured with black cherry and raspberry fruit, aromatic 25% new oak and a crunchy, tangy finish. Drinking Window 2024 – 2030.”
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Les Chatelots Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Decanter 94 points “Chatelots sits below Les Feusselottes on clay-limestone soils close to the village of Chambolle-Musigny. Showing a little more oak influence from 25% new wood than most of Ghislaine Barthod’s reds, but it has the structure and tannic backbone to cope. Bright cassis and cranberry fruit are embellished by chalky minerality. Needs time to lose its slight reduction. Drinking Window 2025 – 2032.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91-93 points “Mingling notions of cherries, plums and red fruit compote with sweet soil tones and spices, the 2018 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Chatelots is medium to full-bodied, lively and precise, its bright spine of acidity and powdery tannins cloaked in an incipiently textural core of fruit. Barthod elected to include only the fruit from the domaine’s old vines in this cuvée, declassifying the rest into the Chambolle-Musigny Village.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 91-93 points “The 2018 Chambolle-Musigny Les Chatelots 1er Cru is matured in 20% new oak. It has a splendid bouquet of dark berry fruit and sous-bois aromas, plus a pinch of sage in the background. The palate is grippy and more sinewy than the Combottes, with fine salinité toward the persistent finish. It might lack a little finesse at this stage, but I suspect it will age well.”
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Aux Combottes Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($219.95) $189 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 91-93 points “A pure and expressive bouquet of cherries, ripe red berries and violets introduces Barthod’s 2018 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Aux Combottes, a medium to full-bodied, supple and enveloping wine that’s elegantly fleshy and nicely concentrated, underpinned by succulent acids and ripe tannins. From a precocious site, this nicely balanced wine vindicates the decision to pick early.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 91-93 points“There are just two used barrels of the 2018 Chambolle-Musigny Aux Combottes 1er Cru. It has a fragrant, precise bouquet of dark cherries, bergamot, bay leaf and light sous-bois aromas that gently unfold in the glass. The palate is linear and structured, delivering gentle grip and dark berry fruit laced with iodine and a hint of hoisin toward the finish. Good potential, but it will need several years in bottle.”
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Les Cras Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($299.95) $219 pre-arrival special, only 3 bottles available
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Les Cras Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2018 1.5L ($649.95) $479 pre-arrival special, only 1 magnum available
Decanter 96 points “Les Cras is situated in the upper part of Chambolle-Musigny close to Les Fuées on very poor, white, chalk-dominated soils. Racked last in 2018, it was one of the tighter, tauter wines in the cellar when I tasted it, but has enormous vitality and focus. Crunchy red cherry and pomegranate flavours lead you into a finish that combines notes of vanilla spice, lacy tannins and refreshing minerality. Drinking Window 2025 – 2032.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94-96 points“The 2018 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Cras may well prove to be the highpoint of a magical portfolio chez Barthod, and it will be worth a special effort to seek out. Unwinding in the glass with scents of dark berries, raspberries, exotic spices, sweet soil tones and peonies, it’s medium to full-bodied, ample and velvety, with a textural attack that segues into a deep and layered mid-palate, underpinned by bright acids and ripe tannins, before concluding with a long, perfumed and exquisitely mineral finish.”
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Les Fuees Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($299.95) $228 pre-arrival special, only 1 bottle available
Decanter 95 points “The oak is a little assertive on this juicy, well-structured Pinot Noir from one of the best-placed sites in Chambolle-Musigny, right next to Bonnes Mares. But give this time, as it’s always among the most exciting wines chez Barthod. Ginger and vanilla spice meet succulent bramble and raspberry fruit, velvety tannins and balancing acidity. Drinking Window 2024 – 2032.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93-95 points “There are three and a half barrels of the spectacular 2018 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Fuées, a stunning young wine that blossoms in the glass with a complex bouquet of wild berries, rose hips, warm spices, sweet soil tones and subtle hints of grilled squab. Medium to full-bodied, deep and multidimensional, it’s layered and concentrated, built around exquisitely refined tannins and an ample core of succulent fruit.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast today!
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny Cote de Nuits 2018 750ML ($134.95) $119 pre-arrival special, only 10 bottles available
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 90-92 points “The 2018 Chambolle-Musigny Village is showing beautifully, offering up aromas of cherries, raspberries and blood orange mingled with rich soil tones and hints of raw cocoa. Medium to full-bodied, succulent and lively, its ample core of beautifully succulent fruit is built around ripe, fine-grained tannins.”
Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Les Veroilles Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2018 750ML ($249.95) $208 pre-arrival special, only 2 bottles available
Decanter 96 points “It’s rare to find a Premier Cru labelled as Les Véroilles, as most of the appellation is classified as village Chambolle-Musigny. In years like 2018, this high altitude site tucked under the forest really comes into its own. Very racy, vivid and fresh, it’s a tangy, taut, mineral-etched Pinot Noir with polished, filigree tannins, chalky undertones and effortlessly integrated one-third new oak. Drinking Window 2025 – 2032.”
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 93-95 points “The 2018 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Véroilles is brilliant, unwinding in the glass with a beautiful bouquet of cherries, red berries, blood orange, peonies and rose hips, complemented by subtle soil tones and a deft framing of oak. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated and multidimensional, it’s long and intense, concluding with a finish that’s more searingly mineral than even Barthod’s Cras this year.”
Neal Martin-Vinous 92-94 points “The 2018 Chambolle-Musigny Les Véroilles 1er Cru has a very precise bouquet with perfumed, extremely well focused red fruit infused with rose petals. The palate is defined by filigreed tannins, and the fruit gains weight toward one of the most impressive finishes from Ghislaine Barthod, delivering real mineralité and tension. Highly recommended.”
Cut-Price on K: New wines from the Rockstar of
Washington Wine: Charles Smith
Charles Smith ‘Sixto’ Moxee Chardonnay Washington State 2016 750ML ($39.95) $28 special, 26 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “The 2016 Chardonnay Moxee comes from more limestone soils and 50-year-old vines planted on the northeastern edge of the Yakima Valley. It’s classic Chardonnay offering beautiful, Chablis-like white flowers, lemon curd, and white peach notes. With a terrific sense of minerality, a concentrated yet balanced mouthfeel, and a great finish, it’s another terrific white from this team.”
James Suckling 94 points “The oldest of the three chardonnay vineyards (52 years) and low-yielding, this has a very rich and creamy nose with fully ripe peaches and subtle biscuit spices. The palate is plush, ripe and rich with a wealth of dense, fleshy fruit. Holds long with fresh, rye-like grain and cashews and almonds to close. Quiet esoteric and darn good chardonnay. Drink now.”
Charles Smith ‘Sixto’ Roza Hills Chardonnay Washington State 2017 750ML ($39.95) $29.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “The 2017 Chardonnay Roza Hills comes from more chalk soils and 50-year-old Wente clones and was brought up in a mix of concrete and French oak. This is another rich, powerful effort with bright lemon and citrus fruits, lots of chalky minerality, a layered, medium-bodied texture, and stunning purity and length on the finish. It blossoms with air and is going to benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for a decade or more.
James Suckling 95 points “A beautiful, layered white with sliced cooked apples, white-peach pie and some nuts. It’s full-bodied and rich, yet focused and formed. Just a hint of yogurt to make it interesting and serious at the same time. Drink or hold.”
Charles Smith ‘Sixto’ Uncovered Chardonnay Washington State 2017 750ML ($39.95) $28 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Stone fruits, caramelized citrus, licorice, and a touch of toast all emerge from the 2017 Chardonnay Uncovered, which is medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, textured, and long. It’s going to benefit from a year or two of bottle age and keep for a solid 7-8 years, probably longer. There are just under 4,000 cases produced.”
Charles Smith K Vintners The Beautiful Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 7 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 96 points “This has wonderful, leafy character with hints of chocolate, tobacco and berries. Full-bodied, but not heavy. Firm tannins and a spicy finish. Very complex. Eccentric. A touch of viognier gives it an edge. Drink now.”
Jeb Dunnuck 95 points “Blackcurrants, sliced strawberries, cured meats, and dried herb notes all emerge from the 2017 Syrah The Beautiful Powerline Vineyard, and it shows a more seamless, elegant style that still carries considerable power and richness. Polished, nicely concentrated, and long, give it another 3-4 years if you can. This comes all from clone 470 of Syrah and was co-fermented with 3% Viognier.”
Charles Smith K Vintners The Boy Grenache Walla Walla Valley 2018 750ML ($44.95) $34.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “Gorgeous framboise and ripe strawberry fruits as well as spice, herbes de Provence, and wildflower notes emerge from the 2018 Grenache The Boy Powerline Vineyard, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with a seamless, elegant texture and outstanding length. This is another thrilling Grenache from this team that does everything right. It’s hard to resist today yet should keep for 10-12 years in cold cellars.”
James Suckling 96 points “A lovely grenache with ripe strawberry, white pepper and hints of hazelnut on both the nose and palate. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a spicy finish. 100% whole cluster. No new oak. So yummy. Drink now or hold.
Charles Smith K Vintners The Deal Sundance Vineyard Syrah Columbia Valley 2017 750ML ($37.95) $29 special, 30 bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “Similarly colored, the 2017 Syrah The Deal comes from the Sundance Vineyard and gravelly, sandy, volcanic soils. It was not destemmed and was brought up in 30% new puncheons. It’s another ethereal, complex, yet powerful wine that has loads of black raspberry and blackberry fruits, smoked game, leafy herbs, and tobacco aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied and just seamless on the palate, it’s going to evolve for 10-15 years.”
Charles Smith K Vintners The Hidden Syrah Wahluke Slope 2017 750ML ($74.95) $56.50 special, 4 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 98 points “Happy to see it finer-grained than some, but equally intense. Tobacco, ash and dark fruit. Some grilled meat, too. Full-bodied with a spice, white-pepper and hunan finish. Wow is all I can say! Drink or hold.”
Jeb Dunnuck 97 points “Coming from a mix of clones and the Northridge Vineyard (which is a high-density planting), the 2017 Syrah The Hidden was not destemmed and was brought up 20 months in 55% new puncheons. Deep ruby/purple, with killer minerality in its black cherry and currant fruits as well as notes of beef blood, violets, spiced meats, and spring flowers, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, beautiful elegance and purity, fine tannins, and a great finish.”
Charles Smith K Vintners Milbrandt Vineyard Syrah Wahluke Slope 2018 750ML ($31.95) $24.50 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 93+ points “Another ripe, sexy wine from this estate, the 2018 Syrah Milbrandt has a lifted bouquet of ripe plums, candied violets, chocolate, and gamey, peppery herb nuances. Rich, round, and mouth-filling on the palate, this full-bodied Syrah packs a punch yet stays fresh, balanced, and incredibly drinkable. It will benefit from a year or three in the cellar and drink well for over a decade.”
Coming Soon: Quilceda Creek’s 100 point Cabernet
Arriving ETA 8-27-21
2018 is going down as a standout vintage in Washington State for it’s 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 it’s planted history. Comprised of entirely Cabernet Sauvignion and raised in 100% new French oak; this is a beast of a wine that will need plenty of time to come of age but is already boisterously poised to take center stage on your table. We are only getting two cases of this vintage, so grab this while you can!
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2018 750ML ($219.95) $179 pre arrival special, 24 bottles arriving
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 Dunnock 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.”
Altovinum Evodia Old Vines Garnacha Calatayud 2019 750ML ($14.95) $11.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Based on 100% Garnacha, the 2019 Evodia is a killer value that delivers incredible Garnacha flair at a crazy good price. Kirsch, blackberry, acacia flower, violet, and sandalwood notes give way to a medium to full-bodied, seamless, beautifully layered wine with fabulous tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. This is the finest wine at this price point in the world.”
Luis Gutierrez-Wine Advocate 90+ points “The 2019 Evodia is pure Garnacha from old head-pruned vines in the Sierra Santa Cruz in Calatayud. It fermented with around 20% full clusters in concrete and matured mostly in concrete with just 20% of the blend put in used oak barrels for three months. There is a component that matured in concrete egg that I was able to taste separately that seems to bring a touch of freshness to the final blend, something welcomed in a warm year like 2019, which seems like a fresher version of 2017, when the wines achieved quite good ripeness. The nose opens up nicely in the glass and is quite aromatic and floral, exuberant, with a heady touch of ripe fruit. It’s young and tasty, tender and pleasant to drink, with a forward personality. A real bargain. I hope there are more wines like this in Aragon, where the wealth of Garnacha vineyards would make it possible quite easily. 150,000 bottles produced. There are two batches per year. What I tasted had been bottled in February 2020, just a few days before I sampled it.”
Importer note “Evodia is sourced from Garnacha from the villages of Atea, Acered, and Alarba. Located in the Sierra Santa Cruz, these steep sites (up to 25%) have various exposures but share similar soils – slate and quartzite over clay. At an average elevation of 900 meters above sea level, these vineyards are also among the highest sites within the province of Aragon. This unique terroir and the old vines of Garnacha rooted in it are the origins of Evodia.”
Re-Arriving after it’s resounding success in store, this is perfect for your next BBQ.
Domaine Lafage Cotes du Roussillon Fundacio France 2016 750ML ($39.95) $33 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Case-12 Domaine Lafage Cotes du Roussillon Fundacio France 2016 750ML ($479.95) $359 special (that’s only $29.92/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “One of the finest wines I’ve tasted from the estate is unquestionably the 2016 Côtes du Roussillon Villages Fundacio, which is 60% Syrah from Maury with the balance Mourvèdre and Grenache, vinified and aged in small barrels. Full-bodied, incredibly pure, elegant, and silky, it boasts awesome notes of crème de cassis, black olives, leafy herbs, and subtle gamey, salty nuances. It’s a rich, powerful wine yet just glides over the palate with no sensation of weight or heaviness, sweet tannins, and a great finish. It should keep for a decade.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Are you looking for an alternative to Champagne that delivers nuance, elegance and refreshment? Consider our selection of Mellen Meyer, one of the brightest stars in the “New School” of Oregon winemakers. Sourcing fruit primarily from the legendary Johan and Whistling Ridge Vineyards, these present a completely different interpretation of the fruit as compared to their still counterparts from the same vineyards. If the still wines were neoclassical paintings, then Mellen Meyer would be Rococo.
Mellen Meyer works with an entire palette of iterations with a house style that is clearly evident across his portfolio. Featuring minimal dosage allowing for the full character of the varietals to make themselves known, there is a whole spectrum of fruit, spice, and tertiary character at play with a pervasive finish. The choice to source from non-irrigated vines delivers a fruit intensity and nuance rarely seen even in champagne, and speaks to the house’s commitment to quality. These are drinking beautifully now, and the Blanc de Noir and Blanc de Blanc promise plenty of aging potential given the kismet of the vintage and vineyard.
In stock now:
Mellen Meyer Brut Nature Sparkling, Willamette Valley NV 750ML ($39.95) $31.90 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Winery note: 60% Pinot Noir & 40% Charodonnay. Disgorged March 20, 2021. Aged 30 months on the lees. Produced from non-irrigated vines.
Mellen Meyer Johan Vineyard Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Sparkling, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($69.95) $51.90 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Winery note: Johan Vineyard Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Sparkling, Willamette Valley 2016. Disgorged November 17th, 2019. Produced from non-irrigated vines.
Mellen Meyer Whistling Ridge Vineyard Blanc de Noir Extra Brut Sparkling, Ribbon Ridge 2017 750ML ($69.95) $53.50 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Winery note: 100% Pinot Noir form the North Block of Whistling Ridge Vineyard, Ribbon Ridge. Aged 34 months on the lees. Disgorged November 18th, 2020. Produced from non-irrigated vines.
Vinopolis tours Germany: Pfalz
Closer to Strasbourg than Berlin; the Pfalz is nestled between the Haardt Mountains and the Rhine River in a veritable oasis of forests and hills. Archeological records show that the district was one of the first areas in the entire world to have widespread consumption and production of wine, dating back to 550 B.C.E.
The beneficial growing conditions make for some of the most interesting and diverse expressions of German wine, with Riesling still being the crown jewel. The warmer average temperature that’s seen creates Rieslings with concentrated fruit flavors like apricot, mango and nectarine. Aromas usually feature a headier and effusive quality in comparison to other regions that brings to mind daffodils, yarrow and lilies. The Pfalz is a major hub for dry Riesling and features some of the most full-bodied expressions of the category, with sweeter examples being made by only a handful of producers. In spite of being one of the largest growing districts, the soils are relatively uniform, with sandstone, limestone and loess being the most commonly found, further boosting the organoleptic qualities of the finished wine. We carry some of the best producers in the Pfalz in house, including Müller-Catoir, Eugen Müller and Von Winning!
Pfalz Highlights In Stock Now:
Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($49.95) $29 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Case-6 Muller-Catoir Haardter Burgergarten Riesling Trocken, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($249.95) $166 pre-arrival special (that’s only $27.67/bottle!) *Case-six offer arrives in September
Grapelive 93 points “The Burgergarten in the Haardt vineyard as used by the famed Mueller-Catoir, or hill garden, is a Premier Cru site that is composed of weathered yellow sandstone interspersed with layer of loess and clay giving the perfect conditions to make a lush, but crisply dry Riesling of refined elegance and with a concentrated underlying power, which in 2017 is incredible and joyously perfumed… This Burgergarten grows on you with every sip and should get even more intriguing with 3 to 5 years more are on it, patience I think will be well rewarded, and I hope I get to revisit it a few more times.”
Stephen Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92+ points “From yellow-colored sandstone soils, the 2017 Riesling Bürgergarten “VDP. Erste Lage” is intense yet fine and pure on the slightly salty/stony, very elegant nose with its ripe and concentrated yellow-fleshed fruit aromas. The palate is pure and salty, very long and intertwines weathered terroir aromas with an airiness and lingering, very stimulating salinity. The wine is less textured than the Haardter but even more pure, deep, finessed and salty. Bone dry, with less than three grams of residual sugar, this is a concentrated yet still young Riesling that will shine in five years. Tasted in Haardt, December 2019.”
Muller-Catoir Haardter Muskateller Trocken, Pfalz 2017 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Stuart Pigott-Jamessuckling 92 points “Wonderful pink-grapefruit and muscat nose that bowls you over. So joyful and really rather subtle for a seriously aromatic grape variety. Very bright finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink now.”
Terry Theise note “I’ve often said you have to go to the Grand Cru Goldert from ZH to fins a Muscat equal to Catoir’s, but lately the Alsace wine’s been flirting with overripeness, while the Catoir never does. Clearly I adore Muscat, but if it has a claim to stake on greatness, this is where. The ’17 is clean, brisk, shimmering, salty and gigglesome. Forget the sleek salty substance; just suck on the Thai-basil leaf while you wiggle your toes….”
Weingut Eugen Muller Forster Kirchenstuck Riesling Auslese, Pfalz 2011 500ML ($24.95) $24 special, 19 bottles in stock now
Wine & Spirits Magazine 91 points “Kirchenstuck is named for the church (kirche) that fronts it, but it could just as well be kirschenstuck (cherry-piece), this is so redolent of pale red berries. It falls toward the lighter end of Auslese, the sugar more rounding than sweetening, with salty mineral and rose petal notes confirming the delicacy. Try it with pork dusted with sumac or other richly spiced dishes.”
Weingut Eugen Muller Forster Kirchenstuck Riesling Auslese, Pfalz 2012 500ML ($34.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Terry Theise “Every year for the last fifteen or more, this wine has been a masterpiece, and I can think of few if any parallels in the wine world- or in my wine world- of such sustained stellar performance year after year. 2011 is and remains a masterpiece of the exotic flowery style, “a city made of cherry blossom” as I wrote last year. Bearing in mind that these wines are never very sweet, this one is more typical for the “Auslese” idiom. The 2012, though, is a swollen subterranean wave of mineral. You start at OMG and end with WTF, because even in the context of so many great years this is singular and amazing. Fantastically salty and cherry-blossomy, with obdurate length and deeply embedded mineral.”
Von Winning ‘II’ Sauvignon Blanc Trocken, Pfalz 2019 750ML ($21.95) Was $19.50, Now $18 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 90 points “Tasted for the second time in May this year, von Winning’s 2019 Sauvignon Blanc II offers a clear and refreshing Sancerre-like bouquet of white and green fruits along with herbaceous and flinty aromas. Round and fruity on the palate, with good freshness and a silky texture, this is a medium-bodied, very elegant, stimulatingly salty and grippy Sauvignon Blanc with a mouthwatering finish. It is much better this time than when tasted soon after the bottling half a year ago.”
Von Winning Kirchenstuck Riesling Grosses Gewächs Pfalz 2017 750ML ($149.95) Was $119, Now $109 special, 6 bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht – Vinous 93-94 points “Site-typically musky notes of narcissus mingle with anticipations of the bright lime and pure, luscious white peach that dominate a silken, subtly oily, expansive palate. The layering of inner-mouth floral perfume, high-toned green herbal essences and mouthwateringly scallop-like savor is hugely impressive, leading to a finish whose musky bittersweetness reminds me of sucking on the stem-end of honeysuckle blossoms; whose salinity tugs at the salivary glands; and whose effusive fruit is transparent to stony underpinnings.”
Von Winning Ungeheuer Riesling Grosses Gewächs, Pfalz 2018 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 3 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 92+ points “Pure, clear, fresh and oaky on the deep, intense and elegant nose, von Wininng’s 2018 Ungeheuer GG “VDP. Grosse Lage” is sweetish, round and all too charming for my personal tastes, but it’s elegant, refined and persistently long on the complex and promising finish. Fine tannin grip and orange peel flavors on the finish. Tasted in Deidesheim, December 2019.”
Von Winning Pinot Noir Rose, Deidesheim, Pfalz 2020 750ML ($24.95) $18.50 pre-arrival special
Skurnik Wines note “Region: Pfalz. Grape Variety: Spätburgunder. Vineyards: Mix of sites in Diedesheim and Rupertsberg. Soil Types: Red sandstone, limestone, loess and clay. Age of Vines: 25 years. Farming Technique: Sustainable. Fermentation & Elevage: respectful cooperation with nature in the vineyard and minimal interference with the wine’s inner structure in the cellar.”
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European Rose from Sicily to Swabia
Did you know that Cru Barbaresco comes in more shades than red? Sourced from three estate vineyards in the legendary Ovello, Cars and Ronchi Cru’s this is a spectacular value on its pedigree alone. There are buckets of fresh strawberries, cranberries and red cherry, with a slightly minty-spicy finish redolent of Anise Hyssop. The aromas are equally as expressive, with a whole bouquet of elderflower, lemon blossom and orange zest rounding out the exuberance of the fruit.
In a nutshell: explosively fruity and highly aromatic, yet still medium bodied with a slightly tannic and refreshing finish. This would be perfect garden party wine that’s compatible with anything from watercress sandwiches to gumbo.
Luigi Giordano Vino Rosato Alba Piedmont 2020 750ML ($24.95) $19 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Importer note “100% Nebbiolo from family parcels inside Barbaresco crus of Ovello, Ronchi & Cars. Hand-picked in September. Soft pressing followed by 3-hour maceration.
Calabretta is one of our favorite producers of Sicilian wine in house. Their commitment to chemical free farming, stewarding old vines and meticulous winemaking is evident in every bottle of wine they make. Their rosato is no different, and is made from ungrafted vines planted directly into the lava rock of Mt. Etna.
The high elevation, intense sunshine and marginal soils create an incredible expression of rose filled to the brim with blood orange, watermelon pulp, Seville orange, savory minerality and rosemary smoke. This is one of the few rose’s in the global market that will improve with age, taking on notes of marmalade and white tea.
Calabretta Rosato Sicily 2019 750ML ($21.95) $18.50 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Winery Note: Rosato: it comes from young vines just planted in the Calderara Sottana district from a rigorous mass selection and, in part, in piedmont. Vinified according to the traditional fermentation “Pista & Mutta”, ie the must is pressed (piste) and immediately decanted (mutta), therefore in the absence of pomace there will be less tannins and less color. It was the wine that the farmers made for themselves and that they could drink after a few months. Fruity, floral, full-bodied. Dedicated to the ancient methods of winemaking.
“The National drink of Swabia, Now available in pink”
Known more by it’s Italian name Schiava, Trollinger is the most planted varietal in the German region called Swabia and nicknamed the areas “National Drink”. Vinified by local celebrity winemaker Jochen Beurer with a biodynamic field blend of other red grapes including Pinot Noir, Zwigelt, and Portugieser; this is the epitome of easy drinking rose. Made from the saignée method with no filtering or sulfur added, the rose walks the line between fleshy and fresh. With a medium body and a plethora of fruits, citrus and herbs that reminds one of maraschino cherry, fresh squeezed orange juice, and basil. The finish is refreshing and incredibly food friendly, to the point where you don’t want to share.
Beurer Rose Trocken Wurttemberg 2020 750ML ($24.95) $20.90 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Importer Note: A saignée blend of Trollinger, Portugieser, Zweigelt and Spätburgunder in a eye-popping bottle. Certified biodynamic.
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Chardy Party with Sandhi and Mt. Eden Vineyards
California is famous around the world for her Chardonnay with an entire ecosystem of different styles, growing regions and practices. After stunning the world in the 1976 Judgement of Paris, California chardonnay became comparable to white burgundy and has been a measuring rod ever since. In the ensuing decades since this upset, two styles have taken prominence in the State’s output. On one end of the spectrum there is the rich, plush and riper style that made California an icon; and a leaner, mineral and restrained iteration that’s meant to emulate the “French style” of winemaking.
Mt. Eden Vineyards is a historic estate located in the Edna Valley, with its founding in 1945 making it one of the oldest producers in the region. Farming without irrigation on their estate and sourcing from some of the oldest planted chardonnay in the state, these are benchmark producers of the richer California style in a way that retains freshness. We are lucky enough to feature two labels from their portfolio, both of which feature old vines, French oak barrel fermentation and years of potential age in the bottle. Mt. Eden Vineyards is known for having chardonnays that are still fresh and drinkable even after 15 years, making them a true New World rarity.
In Stock and available now:
Mount Eden Vineyards Wolff Vineyard Chardonnay Edna Valley 2017 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 93 points “This comes mostly from the Wolff vineyard with some fruit from the Middle Ranch vineyard. The 2017 Edna Valley Chardonnay opens with wonderful aromas of honeycomb, orange blossoms, saline, crushed shell and loads of baked apple and quince with an earthy undercurrent. The palate is medium-bodied, satiny and intense, with seamless freshness on the finish, which lingers with honeyed notions.”
Mount Eden Vineyards Wolff Vineyard Chardonnay Edna Valley 2018 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Erin Brooks-Wine Advocate 94 points “The 2018 Chardonnay Wolff Vineyard from Edna Valley is pure, energetic and fresh this vintage. The nose is lovely, loaded with floral perfume and ripe citrus fruits. The palate is silky and expansive with a shimmering mineral character and a long, pure finish. It improved over the two to three days it was open and will benefit from a long decant. 4,256 cases produced.”
While richer styles of Chardonnay are certainly a fixture in the microcosm of California, our vintages from Sandhi stand in contrast. Created as a collaboration between the wine director at one of SF’s finest restaurants, Zuni Café and Rajat Parr’s Sta. Rita Hills winery, it was easily the most popular wine sold Chez Zuni. Oregon wine fans may best know Parr for his Willamette Valley winery Evening Land and their pioneering Seven Springs vineyard. Some years before signing on to Evening Land, Parr’s founded Sandhi, an elite, small production winery that highlights the terroirs of Santa Barbara County. He and co-founder Sashi Moorman eschew extremes of ripeness, oak, or alcohol, instead crafting wines of elegance and restraint.
Vineyard sources for the Sandhi lineup include the legendary cool climate Bien Nacido, best known by the single vineyard bottlings produced by the Bien Nacido estate, Au Bon Climat, and Qupe Winery, and the world-classic, historic Sanford & Benedict. We knew it would be a charming and food-friendly wine, but we were stunned by the quality when we tasted a sample bottle last week. Fans of Evening Land will be dazzled by the beauty and elegance through a Californian lens, fans of Sandhi will be impressed by the price.
The 2016 has been such a rousing success that we recently acquired another vintage of the fantastic Chardonnay—the bright and zippy 2019. Tasting the two side by side was a study in the potential of Santa Barbara whites, with the older wine showing off a softer, more open feel, while its younger brother was edgy and more energetic. There’s limited stock of the ’16 left, so fans should stock up now, but both offer outstanding value. Fans of Evening Land will be dazzled by the beauty and elegance through a Californian lens, fans of Sandhi will be impressed by the price.
Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($34.95) $24 special
Case-12 Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2019 750ML ($399.95) $249 special (that’s only $20.75/bottle!)
Winery note “If you’ve ever sat at San Francisco’s iconic Zuni Café with a plate of oysters in front of you while you wait for the iconic whole roast chicken, you may have had a glass or two of this collaboration between longtime friends Rajat Parr of Sandhi and Zuni wine director Thierry Lovato. The wine is a barrel selection from some of Sandhi’s iconic Sta. Rita Hills sites, (think Mt. Carmel, Sanford & Benedict) with enough own-rooted, 1973 Wente selection Bien Nacido Chardonnay blended in to warrant a Santa Barbara County designation.”
Sandhi Zuni Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2016 750ML ($34.95) $21.90 special, 33 bottles in stock now
Winery note “If you’ve ever sat at San Francisco’s iconic Zuni Café with a plate of oysters in front of you while you wait for the iconic whole roast chicken, you may have had a glass or two of this collaboration between longtime friends Rajat Parr of Sandhi and Zuni wine director Thierry Lovato. The wine is a barrel selection from some of Sandhi’s iconic Sta. Rita Hills sites, (think Mt. Carmel, Sanford & Benedict) with enough own-rooted, 1973 Wente selection Bien Nacido Chardonnay blended in to warrant a Santa Barbara County designation. Add to that the favorable 2016 vintage in which a very warm spring and early summer gave way to cool nights and moderate daytime temperatures in July & August. These conditions allowed the medium-sized crop to mature perfectly with small berries in pristine condition and yield a remarkably balanced wine with fine depth and intensity.”
For 2016 Produttori Crus
Produttori del Barbaresco ‘Muncagota’, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “Balsamic notes of juniper, eucalyptus and pine align with floral, cherry and black currant flavors in this supple, well-structured red. Balanced and long, with a lingering aftertaste of rose, cherry and mineral. Best from 2024 through 2043. —B.S.”
Produttori del Barbaresco Ovello, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2016 750ML ($99.95) $89 special, only 6 bottles in stock now
Produttori del Barbaresco Ovello, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2016 1.5L ($219.95) $189 special, only 4 magnums in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “Opulent, this red combines cherry, plum, tar and tobacco flavors with a round profile. Menthol and wild herb accents emerge as do the muscular tannins on the finish. Overall, this is balanced and built for the long haul. Best from 2025 through 2043. —B.S.”
Produttori del Barbaresco Pora, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2016 750ML ($89.95) $79 special, 25 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “This red is saturated with bright cherry, strawberry and currant fruit. Mint, iron, tar and green, vegetal elements peek through as this evolves on the palate through the long finish. Assertive tannins put the grip on the finish, yet the intense fruit will come forward with time. Best from 2025 through 2045. —B.S.”
Produttori del Barbaresco Rio Sordo, Barbaresco Riserva DOCG 2016 750ML ($89.95) $75 special, 22 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 95 points “Eucalyptus, cut hay and licorice accent the cherry, plum and mineral flavors in this suave red. Firm and powerful, with assertive, nervous tannins and vibrant acidity. A bit jumbled today, yet there is energy and length on the finish indicating its future potential. Best from 2025 through 2045. —B.S.”
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Collector’s Corner: French Excellence
Burgundy and Champagne
We were lucky enough to secure a small allotment of their 2010 vintage, and is widely considered one of the best in the past two decades. Much like it’s often compared to sibling 2008; this was an exceptionally cool vintage that produced very small yields with major concerns about ripening before picture-perfect weather finished the crop with aplomb. Gevrey-Chambertin in particular was noted for producing some of the best results in all of Burgundy. Les Cazetiers captures the most elusive quality of Pinot Noir, delivering both elegance and structure in spades. This is a wine just beginning to enter it’s drinking window, and has decades more to go in the bottle.
In stock now:
Domaine Faiveley Les Cazetiers Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2010 750ML ($199.95) $149 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Stephen Tanzer 94 Points “Good bright medium red. Pure, precise aromas of red cherry, raspberry, crushed rock, rose petal, white pepper and blood orange–and no doubt some other high-pitched notes only a dog can hear. Juicy, intense and taut but not hard, with captivating orange zest lift to the red fruit and crushed stone flavors. This weightless wine shows little sign of Gevrey earthiness; in fact, I would have picked it blind as a top Chambolle premier cru. The penetrating finish features subtle lingering perfume and outstanding retention of fresh fruit. This should gain in complexity and texture over the next decade or two.”
Wine Spectator 94 Points “A scintillating, balanced red, leaving the cherry, raspberry and spice flavors juicy and harmonious. Silky and fluid, with racy acidity driving the long, spice- and mineral-tinged aftertaste. Best from 2015 through 2030. 200 cases imported.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
\Champagne Georges Laval is one of the stars of the grower movement—a cult winery whose wines appear in miniscule quantities here in the states. Vincent Laval makes wines that are rigid in their structure and impressive in their complexity—serious wines for studied drinking.
Highlights In Stock Now from Georges Laval:
Georges Laval Cumieres Premier Cru Brut Nature, Champagne NV (2018) 750ML ($129.95) $99 special 32 bottles in stock now
Importer note “45% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 15% Pinot Meunier. 2018-base. Premier Cru.”
Georges Laval Cumieres Premier Cru Brut Nature, Champagne 2015 1.5L ($299.95) $259 special, only 3 magnums available
Georges Laval Cumieres Premier Cru Brut Nature, Champagne 2015 3L ($699.95) $599 special, only 2 double-magnums available
John Gilman 94+ points “This is the exact same blend as the Cumières non-vintage bottling from the base year of 2015 that was released without any vintage-dating on the label in regular-sized bottles two years ago, but the magnums (and jeroboams for those so disposed) were aged an additional two years sur latte and hence are labeled with the vintage date on the front label. The larger-sized formats are also non-dosé. This magnum was disgorged at the end of November of 2019 and offers up a superb nose of apple, discreet tangerine, hazelnut, excellent minerality, a hint of iodine, warm bread, gentle smokiness, acacia blossoms and a whisper of oak (with most of this having been subsumed into the other aromatics). On the palate the wine is pure, racy and full-bodied, with a rock solid core, great delineation and mineral drive, refined mousse and absolutely stellar backend lift, grip and length. When this was first released, Vincent Laval was convinced it was one of the finest vintages of his Cumières bottling in many years, and drinking it now out of magnum with more time on the fine lees, it is awfully easy to agree with him! The extra few years aging sur latte have allowed the fine girdle of acidity to relax here nicely and this wine is now drinking really quite well out of magnum (and probably regular-sized bottles as well), but my bottles are staying put in the cellar for at least another five years! 2020-2055.”
Importer note “1/3 Chardonnay, 1/3 Pinot Noir, 1/3 Pinot Meunier. Premier Cru.”
Georges Laval Cumieres Les Hautes Chevres Blanc de Noirs Premier Cru Brut Nature Millesime, Champagne 2014 750ML ($299.95) $249 special, 15 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2014 Brut Nature Les Hautes-Chèvres emerges from old-vine Meunier planted in 1930, 1947, 1965 and 1971, and the last vintage to include fruit from the 1930 vines. Big, rich and expansive in the glass, the Hautes-Chèvres is another wine of pure pedigree and class. The Hautes-Chèvres is a wine of texture and breadth above all else. Pear, white truffle and brioche add attractive layers of nuance. This is another fabulous Champagne from Vincent Laval that only suffers in that it is tasted next to a number of wines that are maybe just a touch more complete!”
Importer note “100% Pinot Noir. Premier Cru.”
Georges Laval Garennes Demi-Sec, Champagne NV (2018) 750ML (99.95) $79 special, 4 bottles in stock now
40 g/L RS, 100% Pinot Meunier