In This Newsletter:
Sonoma for a Steal:
Stonestreet Cabernet incoming
2017 G.D. Vajra Crus Landing Friday
Tenuta Arceno Il Fauno
Producer Spotlights: Scala
Magnum Feature for Duval-Leroy
The Vicar of Vertus
Sweet like Nonna:
Vinopolis Italian Dessert Wines
Light and Mineral to Rich and Fruity, we’ve got you covered!
Red, White, Pink…Orange?
Rare: The Crown Jewel of Piper-Heidsieck
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Sonoma for a Steal:
Stonestreet Cabernet incoming
Arriving Friday, September 24
Looking for a Cabernet Sauvignon that encapsulates both richness and elegance? The 2016 bottlings from Stonestreet remain some of the most tantalizing of the vintage, in perfect reflection of their sprawling estate in Alexander Valley. With elevation that ranges from 400 to 2,600 feet above sea level in the Mayacamas Mountain range there’s a tremendous variety of loams and volcanic tuff that contributes to the wine’s burly structure. Black fruited, savory, and spicy with just enough oak to keep everything together for another 5 years easily. We won’t judge you for a cracking a few bottles open now however!
Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2016 750ML ($44.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2016 750ML ($249) $199 pre-arrival special (that’s only $33.17/bottle!)
Case-12 Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2016 750ML ($479) $389 pre-arrival special (that’s only $32.42/bottle!)
Jeb Dunnuck 93 points “Moving to the reds, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 19 months in 37% new French oak) offers impressive notes of tobacco leaf, damp earth, cedar, and blackcurrants. It’s look-alike for a top Bordeaux, has nicely integrated acidity, plenty of tannins, and is going to keep for over a decade.”
2017 G.D. Vajra Crus Landing Friday
G.D. Vajra remains one of our favorite producers in the Piedmont. Responsible for some of our finest Barolos, from top to bottom Vajra’s wines are excellent. These include an array of the best values coming out of Piedmont today. At all price points they are reference point wines that others are judged against.
The estate has always been good, but seems to have reached another level over the last decade. Delicious, attractively priced, and organically cultivated, anyone serious about their Piedmont wines drinking ought to be stocking up.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous -“The Vajra family produced a bevy of stellar wines from both their estates, G.D. Vajra in Barolo and Baudana in Serralunga. The 2017s are deep, fleshy and impeccably balanced. ”
Arriving Friday, September 24th:
G.D. Vajra Bricco delle Viole Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Aromas of underbrush, pine forest, woodland berries and cedar form the enticing nose. Full-bodied and savory, the structured palate delivers ripe Morello cherry, raspberry compote, star anise and cinnamon before closing on pipe tobacco notes. Tightly knit but refined tannins provide the backbone, while surprisingly fresh acidity for the hot vintage keeps it balanced. Drink 2024–2032.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “The 2017 Barolo Bricco Delle Viole is the darker fruited of the G.D. Vajra sites and has rounded floral aromatics of crushed roses, resin, and cranberry cocktail. The palate is ripe and inviting, with building structure and notes of fresh red cherry, blood orange, and clove. The warmth of the vintage is felt without sacrificing lift. Drink 2025-2050”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2017 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is classy and elegant to the core. Medium in body and wonderfully translucent, the 2017 captures all of the finesse of this site. Naturally, the 2017 also shows the ripeness of the year, but it retains its sublime sense of poise. The 2017 Bricco delle Viole is one of the clear stand outs of the year.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 95 points “The G.D. Vajra 2017 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is packed with medium dark cherry fruit and plum. The wine also shows a savory side, with spice, hazelnut cream, licorice and lightly fragrant potting soil. This vintage sits solid on the palate, wrapping thickly over the senses, thanks to its creamy, fruit-driven consistency and well-managed tannins. These vines are high in elevation, ranging from 400 to 480 meters in altitude. Those higher elevations are key to interpreting a vintage that saw heat such as this. Production is 15,000 bottles.”
Wine Spectator 94 points “This silky Barolo boasts aromas and flavors of rose, black currant, cherry, raspberry and iron, with a touch of earth, showing terrific purity and length. This is more about finesse than power, though the tannins are present and should allow this to age. Best from 2024 through 2042.
G.D. Vajra ‘Coste di Rose’ Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($69.95) $56.50 pre-arrival special
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 96 points “Wild berry, menthol and tilled earth aromas mingle with whiffs of dark spice. Linear and savory, the lithe palate is already immediate, featuring juicy raspberry, red cherry, crushed mint and star anise accompanied by taut, polished tannins. Tangy acidity keeps it fresh and bright.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94 points “With fruit from higher-elevation vineyards in the village of Barolo, the 2017 Barolo Coste di Rose is quite elegantly downplayed and fragile. The wine reveals wild berry, cassis and lots of blue flower or lilac. A pretty mineral note recalls crushed limestone and is present through the long and polished mouthfeel. This wine overperforms, considering the challenges of this vintage that saw extreme weather, from spring frost to scorching summer temperatures. These vineyard sites performed better than most. Some 4,800 bottles were released.”
Jeb Dunnuck 94 points “The 2017 Barolo Coste di Rose has bright aromatics of candied raspberry, apricot, anise, and dusty earth. The palate is medium-bodied, with fine tannins and notes of dried wild strawberry, fresh roses, and mineral-rich earth. This wine is open and inviting, while maintaining freshness and drive. Drink 2024-2040.”
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2017 Barolo Coste di Rose is pretty, supple and inviting. Some of the tannins need to resolve, but this is a young Barolo after all. The Coste di Rose doesn’t have the sensuality of the Albe or the pedigree of the Viole, but it nevertheless has so much to give. Crushed flowers, sweet red berry fruit, mint, crushed rocks and sage are some of the many notes that linger. I won’t be surprised if the 2017 is even better than this note suggests once it softens a bit.”
The average price is $72
G.D. Vajra Ravera Barolo DOCG 2017 750ML ($89.95) $75 pre-arrival special
Kerin O’Keefe-Wine Enthusiast 97 points ” From the township of Novello and from what is now widely recognized as one of the denomination’s top vineyard sites, this is just stunning, offering intense aromas of wild berries, new leather, floral notes, camphor and grilled herb. The delicious, structured palate shows finesse and power, featuring ripe red cherry, blood orange, cedar, licorice and mineral notes suggesting tangy iron. Noble tannins provide support. Reflecting the vintage, this won’t need years to come around but will also age well for at least another decade. Drink 2022–2032.”
Jeb Dunnuck 96 points “Lifted and herbaceous, the 2017 Barolo Ravera is noted by aromas of fresh pine, ripe red cherry, licorice, and menthol. The palate has depth without weight and is noted by ripe raspberry fruit, apricot, and black tea. Drink 2024-2050.”
James Suckling 96 points “Very floral with pure fruit, such as cherries and raspberries. It’s full-bodied with ultra fine tannins that are energetic and focused. The center palate shows such wonderful fruit character, yet it’s weightless and energetic. Try after 2026.”
Antonio Galloni 95 points “The 2017 Barolo Ravera is gorgeous right out of the gate. I am so impressed with its depth and pedigree. Rose petal, sweet red berry fruit, lavender, spice and dried herbs are all finely delineated in a Barolo of tremendous presence. Orange peel, cinnamon and cedar develop later, adding shades of dimension. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s stature and power. The 2017 is going to be fascinating to follow. Today, it is just breathtaking. That’s all there is to it.”
Wine Spectator 95 points “Notable for its purity of fruit, this Barolo features black cherry, black currant, violet, mineral and tar aromas and flavors. Harmonious and lithe, with an underpinning of mineral that lingers through the dynamic finish. Best from 2025 through 2045. —B.S.”
Monica Larner-Wine Advocate 94+ points “The G.D. Vajra 2017 Barolo Ravera shows solid build and consistency, with more rich and saturated fruit compared to the other Barolo releases from this historic estate. The Ravera cru offers broad shoulders with a tight textural fabric. That powerful approach makes a good sounding board for the wine’s dark cherry, plum, dark mineral and spice flavors. This is more of a red meat wine. 6,000 bottles were released.”
Shop the full selection of Vajra wines in stock now and arriving Friday on our web store!
Tenuta Arceno Il Fauno
Are you familiar with Tenuta Arceno? In addition to their olive oil and Chianti Classico production they make some of the best Bordeaux Blends in Tuscany at a variety of price points. While Tuscany is famous for her blends of the indigenous Sangiovese grape and Bordeaux varietals more commonly known as “Super Tuscans”, there have been Bordeaux blends utilized since the 14th century!
The combination of rich soil, high elevation and generous Tuscan weather creates a level of ripeness that is almost Napa Valley-esque but with the quintessential Italian rusticity and character. The “il Fauno” is sourced from the clay rich sections of the estate; the favored soil type of Merlot which makes up the backbone of the blend. Expect a plethora of ripe strawberry, Bing cherry, Mexican vanilla and cigar box with a finish of terra cotta and earth.
Arriving Friday September 24th:
Tenuta di Arceno Il Fauno di Arcanum Toscana IGT Tuscany 2017 750ML ($34.95) $28 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 93 points “Ripe, bold and soft, the Tenuta di Arceno 2017 Il Fauno di Arcanum is a hot-vintage blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Despite the difficult conditions of the vintage, which included spells of extreme heat and dryness, this wine hits an especially pretty balance that underlines the care given to preserving the best qualities of the fruit. It pours from the bottle with a darkly concentrated appearance and displays blackberry, plum, spice, tar and leather. There is softness here for sure, yet the wine’s structure and carefully engineered construction is intact.”
Arriving October 1st from Tenuta Arceno:
Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum Toscana IGT Tuscany 2015 750ML ($79.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum Toscana IGT Tuscany 2015 750ML ($479.95) $399 pre-arrival special (that’s only $66.50/bottle!)
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 97 points “It would be impossible to exaggerate the grandeur and majesty of the overachieving 2015 Arcanum. The blend is 74% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot. This full-bodied wine is mostly defined by its texture that is exceedingly rich and smooth with significant infusions of blackberry, plum, spice, tobacco and cured leather. The wine achieves beautiful balance, yet it remains intense and powerful all the while.”
Arriving Late October 2021
Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum Toscana IGT Tuscany 2008 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum Toscana IGT Tuscany 2008 750ML ($599.95) $449 pre-arrival special (That’s 74.83 per bottle!)
Monica Larner – Wine Advocate 96 Points “The 2008 Arcanum is a monumental achievement and my favorite wine in an already impossibly impressive collection. The blend sees Cabernet Franc (77%), Merlot and a very small part of Cabernet Sauvignon. Like many Tuscany growers, Tenuta di Arceno is betting on Cabernet Franc’s performance in the warmer corners of Tuscany. The integration here is absolutely beautiful and the wine glides smoothly over the palate with the perfect balance of extraction, glycerin, residual sugar and acidity. The aromas span the spectrum, from bright cherry to dark chocolate. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030.”
Check out our other wines by Tenuta Arceno on our web store!
Producer Spotlights: Scala
Have you ever tried a Calabrian wine? What about from their “Grand Cru” village of Ciro? Once a major producer and exporter of wine for the entire Mediterranean during Antiquity, Ciro has changed hands but never her principal grapes. The village of Ciro’s proximity to both the Mediterranean and Adriatic help mitigate the otherwise sweltering climate, not unlike the effect that the Ionian Sea does on Sicily. These ideal conditions create wines with a mineral driven spine, multidimensional fruits and bright acidity.
Reds and rosés are based around the Gaglioppo grape, with the whites being vinified from Greco Bianco. Scala has rapidly established themselves as the champions of these grapes, working exclusively with their organically grown estate vineyard. Vinification takes place in either concrete or stainless steel, making the resulting wine an unobstructed picture of the varietal character.
The genetic relationship to Nerello Mascalese is evident in Scala’s Gaglioppo, without any of the hard edges you’d usually associate with the Etna relative. The Gaglioppo red is deliciously plush with a spectrum of red and black fruits including Italian plum, blueberries and Amarena cherry with a spicy and smoky backbone reminiscent of myrrh, copal resin and pink peppercorn. Incredibly quaffable with a slight chill, and a match made in heaven with pizza!
The Rosato presents a completely different aspect of Gaglioppo in comparison to the red, featuring an acid driven spray of red cherry, cinnamon dusted strawberry, rosehips, and hibiscus. There is an additional frankincense and fresh picked rosemary note combined with ocean spray that makes it incredibly food friendly.
Are you a fan of linear, refreshing white wines that feature a mineral core and lasting finish? The Greco from Sala is about to be your new favorite. Featuring a light body but ripe fruit flavors, there’s levity to the wine that brings to mind summer peaches, yellow apple, fresh pear, Meyer lemon peel, lupine flower and seashell. Scala’s bianco is absolutely perfect with sushi, fish and chips, bouillabaisse or anything else from the sea.
In stock and available now:
Scala Rosato Ciro Calabria 2020 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 special, 10 bottles in stock now
Importer Tasting Note (Victor Schwartz) “The 2020 is a vibrant wine as always. The color is particularly striking, an electric copper-gold, like a ramato that’s been amped up. The nose and palate are delicious if elusive. There is a deep fruit quality that is a mix of apricots and red fruits, the varietal character of gaglioppo is evident along with a distinctive savory note in the background. The wine offers a fruitful acidity keeping it fresh and alive.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!
Scala Rosso Ciro Classico Calabria 2018 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Importer note “100% Gaglioppo, a medium-sized, thick-skinned grape indigenous to Southern Italy and best known for the production of Ciro DOC. The grapes comes from a vineyard called “Franza”, in Contrada Franza (municipality of Ciro), in the region of Calabria. The ownership of the land goes back to the 17th century. It was previously cultivated with olive trees and citrus groves, and turned into a vineyard in 1965. The soil is clay and sand, with a South/South East exposure and 10 year old vines trained as espaliers. The grapes are de-stemmed, then macerate at 77F until the fermentation is completed. After a soft pressing, the wine is racked and left in cement tanks for a minimum of 10 to 12 months. 13.5% Alcohol.”
Scala Bianco Ciro Calabria 2020 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 special, 16 bottles in stock now
Importer note “100% Greco, from vineyards located in Cirò (Crotone district), 100 to 150 meters above sea level. The vines were planted in 1997 and face south/south-east. They are trained in espalier. The grapes were manually harvested around the 20th of August (20 to 30 days earlier than usual, as 2017 was a very hot vintage). They were destemmed, softly pressed, and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks – 16° to 18° C (61 to 64F) in order to preserve the aromas. After the fermentation, the wine was racked and left in tanks for 4 months. Nose of white flowers. 12% alcohol.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Magnum Feature for Duval-Leroy
The Vicar of Vertus
Like all vintage Champagne, Femme de Champagne is only made in the most spectacular years (only three were made in the 1990s and only seven vintages have ever been made). 2000 was warmer than average and Duval-Leroy was delighted with their top quality fruit. Long known for elegance and finesse, this bottle exemplifies Duval-Leroy’s House style with its juxtaposition of tertiary character and minerality. This is not the loudest voice at your dinner party, but instead the most compelling. Speaking of dinner parties, these beautiful magnums would provide the perfect centerpiece at your next celebration at a price similar to what you’d pay for a 750ml of other top Têtes.
Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne Grand Cru Millesime 2000 1.5L ($349.95) $299 special, 22 magnums available
Wine Spectator 94 points “A rich version, with beautiful integration and mouthwatering acidity that seems to amplify the flavors of toasted raisin bread, black currant, candied orange zest and salted almond. Fresh and focused, showing hints of oyster shell and spice on the lasting finish.”
Shop our full selection of illustrious Champagnes on our web store now!
Vinopolis Italian Dessert Wines
Have you ever experienced the traditional Italian digestif of sweet wine and Biscotti? Much like olive oil and wine production it is one of the great “unifiers” of Italian culture, with examples seen from Sicily to the northern reaches of the Veneto. Traditionally sourced from local varietals, there are a number of techniques that have been developed over the centuries to make these wines, with their use largely being confined to celebrations and welcoming guests.
The main styles are Passito, Recioto and Vin Santo with the latter being first mentioned by Ancient Roman writer Pliny the Elder. There is a dizzying assortment of producers, sweetness levels, and varietals used with only a handful making it to the United States. Most examples feature medium-to-high levels of residual sugar, with a medium of acidity and an incredibly full body that can be almost syrupy.
In addition to all three being late harvested wines another shared characteristic is the drying that happens pre fermentation. Passito and Recioto wines involve adding dried or raisinated grapes to a batch of wine that’s still fermenting. This results in a wine high in alcohol with a healthy dose of residual sugar, and a dollop of tannins to round out the whole thing. Vin Santo in comparison is much more variable, with the final sugar content being determined by when the fermentation stops. This variance is on account of the use of wild yeasts, which stop fermenting at unpredictable times.
Across the board the wines tend to be medium to full bodied, with flavors becoming more textured and nuanced as they age in bottle. After 5-10 years after their vintage date they take on flavors like hazelnut, almond, dried orange peel, cloves and earth with their color darkening from gold to bronze. The time needed to late harvest, dry the grapes, slowly press and ferment make these some of the most labor intensive dessert wines in the entire world. We carry an incredible assortment in store, with even more arriving later in the fall.
Highlights in Stock Now:
Upon assuming ownership of the estate in 1976, Paolo De Marchi phased out the use of Trebbiano and Malvasia in their Chianti. The grapes were subsequently allocated for traditional Vin Santo production, which entails a minimum 8.5 years from harvest to bottling and an 85% reduction in yield due to the drying process. The combination of high elevation and inclusion of 50 year old vines make for a tantalizing plethora of characteristics with decades ahead of it in the bottle. The Vin Santo is absolutely divine when paired with a dessert course like almond biscotti, pumpkin pie or even fruitcake.
Isole e Olena Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Tuscany 2009 375ML ($59.95) $49 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Antonio Galloni 96 points “The 2009 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico is so beautiful. Orange confit, dried figs, caramel, hazelnut and honeyed flavors abound. Medium in body, with striking depth and texture. It’s a classic Vin Santo from white grapes, as well as a reference-point for the region. It is at once rich, but not at all heavy.”
Donnafugata’s founder Giacomo Rallo purchased an existing vineyard on a neighboring island, called Pantelleria with the idea of reviving the traditional style of Zibbibo (Muscat of Alexandria). The island is closer to Tunisia than Sicily, and experiences constant wind from the Mediterranean Sea and North Africa which mitigates the otherwise sweltering temperatures. The Zibbibo sourced for the Ben Rye bottling is grown in the bushvine style native to Sicily, called Alberello with an average vine age of 90 years old.
Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria Sicily 2017 375ML ($49.95) $39 special, 34 bottles in stock now
James Suckling 95 points “Pale golden-amber color. A full-bodied, sweet white with evolving layers of honey, lilies, candied ginger, peaches, kumquats and lychees. So luscious, complex and balanced. Incredibly long finish. Drink or hold.”
Arriving ETA Early October:
Arnaldo-Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito DOCG 2016 375ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Buglioni ‘Il Recioto’ Recioto della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2019 500ML ($49.95) 41.90 pre-arrival special
Castello di Volpaia Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Tuscany 2015 375ML ($69.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Feudo Montoni – Passito Rosso NV 375ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 94 points “Bright deep red with an orange rim. The nose really opens with aeration to offer sweet red plum, dehydrated red cherry, cinnamon and raisins. Then similar flavors to the aromas lifted by juicy, harmonious acidity. Finishes very long and suave with saline nuances and repeating notes of raisins. Lovely, light on its feet dessert wine that seems less sweet than it really is thanks to its piercing acidity. One of the best sweet wines I have tasted so far this year. This is a blend of air-dried Nero d’Avola and Perricone aged in wood barrels for seven months and then twelve months in bottle prior to going on sale.”
Light and Mineral to Rich and Fruity
We’ve got you covered!
This results in fuller structure, expressive aromatics and roundness on the finish that makes it perfectly quaffable. Expect a full spectrum of summer strawberry, pawpaw, mangostein and fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice with a slightly acerbic finish redolent of anise flower and Benihomare tea.
Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Les Griottes Rosé Beaujolais 2020 750ML ($19.95) $16.60 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Weygandt-Metzler Import note “Gamay. Sustainable. Quartz & clay. Tasting note: Bright watermelon, strawberry and citrus rind with a touch of rosemary.”
If you’re a fan of Catalonian whites or Cava you might have heard of Xarel-Lo, an aromatic white grape that’s often compared to Chardonnay due to its versatility during vinification. Being an indigenous varietal in Spain since 1548 it mutated at some point and also has a red skinned clone called Xarel-lo Vermell. Less than 300 acres of this varietal are still in existence in the entire world, with Gramona dedicating part of their production to preserving the varietal. Expect the acidity, structure and stonefruit character of Xarel-Lo with a definitive red fruited element not unlike Goji , fresh cranberries and redcurrants.
Gramona ‘Mart’ Xarel-lo Vermell Rosat Penedes 2020 750ML ($37.95) $29.50 special, 28 bottles available
Eric Solomon Imports note “Xarel-lo Vermell Certified organic CCPAE and biodynamic DEMETER. The pale color of this rosé comes from a 48-hour maceration before pressing. With this additional skin contact, combined with the already high levels of antioxidants present in the juice of this variety, Mart cannot only be enjoyed in its youth (peaches and strawberries) but it has the capacity to develop for several years in the bottle as more pink peppercorn nuances emerge.”
Schloss Gobelsburg, a Cistercian monastic estate, is one of the oldest wineries in the Austrian Danube area with a documented history that dates back to 1171. All the vineyards are located on slopes and terraces around the valley of the river Kamp near the town of Langenlois and the village of Gobelsburg.
Gently vinified in steel and gravity fed in the winery, this is a rose that emphasizes the lighter and more delicate character of rose. There’s a mixed plate of fruits ranging from white nectarine and strawberry, with additional notes of cherry blossom, yarrow and cranberry. The electric acidity of the Cistercien rose brings the fruit characters together in a quffable, kids punch esque way with a savory finish redolent of dried fruit tea. Compatible with flavorous cuisine at any stage in the meal like Tagines, Tabbouleh, Galbijjim, Ramen or Macarons.
Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg Cistercien Rose, Niederosterreich 2020 750ML ($21.95) $17 special, 26 bottles in stock now
Winery note “The valley of the Danube and its side-valleys belong to the ‘Cool climate’ areas of Austria. Some vineyards are even too cold for red wine making. Zweigelt, St. Laurent and Pinot Noir grapes grown in the cooler sites of Gobelsburg and Langenlois are used for this wine.”
Skurnik Wines note “Region: Kamptal. Zweigelt, St. Laurent, Pinot Noir. Appellation: Niederösterreich. Vineyard: Multiple cooler site vineyards. Soil Type Loess. Age of Vines (Average) 20 years. Sustainable. Fermentation and elevage in stainless steel.”
Red, White, Pink…Orange?
In orange wine’s ancestral home of Georgia, the ceramics are called qvevri and are partially buried underground to act as temperature control during fermentation and the subsequent resting period, with this practice being mimicked around the world. The extended skin contact results in a wine with more rustic flavors like yuzu, quince and bitter orange, in addition to a richer texture and a slightly tannic finish. We carry an entire assortment of Orange wines from around the world, ranging from some of the biggest cult winemakers in the world like Paolo Bea, Daterra Lorenzo, Giusto Occhipinti and Alberto Nanclares to locally made examples from Maloof
In stock now:
Gravner Ribolla Venezia Giulia IGT Friuli-Venezia Giulia 2011 750ML ($99.95) $79 special, 5 bottles in stock now
Decanter 93 points “Glorious vivid amber colour. Elegant and complex with aromas of dried fruits, earth, citrus zest, and honey. Amazing for its age.”
Importer note “Exclusively composed of the local Ribolla grape; fermented in Georgian amphorae buried underground; long maceration with wild yeasts and no temperature control; after fermentation, the wine rests again in amphorae for five more months and then is aged in large oak barrels for an additional six years; bottled without fining or filtering. Certified organic.”
Paolo Bea ‘Lapideus’ Bianco Umbria IGT Italy 2016 750ML ($79.95) $59 special, 6 bottles in stock now
Importer Note “Giampiero acquired a parcel of 80-year-old Trebbiano Spoletino in the town of Pigge di Trevi several years back, and 2016 marks just the third vintage of this exciting new addition to the Bea lineup. Arising from a cooler microclimate than the “Arboreus” above, “Lapideus” spent a month on it skins after pressing, followed by over 200 additional days on the gross lees—a similar vinification to “Arboreus,” yet one that yielded markedly different results. “Lapideus” has a leaner, racier carriage than the broad-shouldered “Arboreus,” with a more precise sense of acidity; it emphasizes drive over density, and its underlying salinity is not a far cry from the spellbinding wines we import from Paolo Vodopivec in the Carso—incidentally, a dear friend of Giampiero and a fellow ViniVeri administrator. A subtle note of honeyed sweetness at the wine’s core speaks of its warm-climate origins, and Bea’s propensity for wildness reveals itself in a fascinating but ephemeral cheese-rind whisper in its aromatics. Only 745 bottles were produced, the vast majority of which are destined for the US market.”
Paolo Bea Santa Chiara Bianco Umbria IGT Italy 2017 750ML ($59.95) $49 special, 18 bottles in stock now
Importer Note “The second of Bea’s two early and highly influential skin-macerated white wines, “Santa Chiara” hails from the fabled Pagliarocru, and combines roughly equal proportions of five varieties: Garganega, Grechetto, Malvasia, Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. Everything ferments together, without any additions or temperature regulation, in stainless steel, and the wine is given several years of settling before being bottled without fining or filtration. The rich, forward 2017 spent 28 days on its skins, and was bottled in May 2019 after 20 months of aging. Compared to the relatively racy 2013 “Arboreus” and the typically chiseled 2016 “Lapideus,” this vintage of “Santa Chiara” swaggers out of the bottle with macerated peaches, brassy spice notes, a liberal dash of white pepper, and candied citrus. Despite its somewhat explosive and brash personality, it possesses terrific drive and a focused, tannin-derived sense of architecture.”
Azienda Agricola Cos Pithos Terre Siciliane Bianco IGT Sicily 2019 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 11 bottles in stock now
Grapelive 93 points “[The] Pithos Bianco is, as the name suggests, a white wine made in the large terra-cotta pots as done in ancient times…. Macerated for close to two weeks with whole berries and aged on the skins this incredible dry wine shows a unique, intensity and powerful structure from the extract and is wonderfully textured on the zesty palate. Made from 100% of the Grecanico grape, a local variety of Garganega (of Soave fame), quite rare, but remarkably well suited to the southern tip of the island, where it gets a cooling ocean influence and breezes that help retain a salty freshness…. Azienda Agricola COS was founded back in 1980 by three friends, Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti, and Cirino Strano, but is led by the dynamic personality of Giusto Occhipinti, uncle to superstar Arianna Occhipinti, who was pushed COS towards natural winemaking and all organic with all of their vineyards being… The winery explains that the long skin contact and amphora, which allows movement of the lees, provides an additional level of complexity that can be seen clearly in this exotic white wine”
Eric Guido – Vinous 91 points “The 2019 Bianco Pithos, a varietal Grecanico, is a pale golden color in the glass, presenting a nose of pungent spring flowers, musky notes of apricot, pear and a hint of animal musk. This is soft and pliant in feel, with ripe orchard fruits offset by zesty yellow citrus, as a coating of liquid inner florals saturates deeply. Residual acids maintain balance and a juicy persona, as gobs of minerals and gingery spice linger long. The Bianco Pithos spends a month on the skins post-fermentation, followed by another seven months refining in amphora. While this has the sometimes quirky and nervous personality of an orange wine, it’s also very easy to like.”
Vegas Altas Orange Vino de la Tierra de Extremadura Spain 2020 750ML ($21.95) $19 special, 28 bottles in stock now
A blend of Cayetana and Pardina. Biodynamic.
Daterra Viticultores ‘Camino de la Frontera’ Blanco Castilla y Leon 2018 750ML ($49.95) $39 special, 7 bottles in stock now
Importer note “Camino de la Frontera Blanco comes from Angel’s ancient, northwest-facing vineyard in the Parque Natural de Los Arribes del Duero, from native Malvasia, Verdejo & Puesta en Cruz varieties. After a cool, wet & humid summer, the grapes were hand-harvested on September 20th, destemmed, crushed and wild yeast fermented in used 250 & 500L chestnut barrels with 10 days of skin maceration, then raised in the same vessels for 11 months. This is a “mountain white” showing bright orchard fruit, savory minerality and refreshing acidity. Pair it with grilled fish and poultry, paella and good friends.”
Luis Gutierrez – Wine Advocate 94 points “The completely unusual “orange” wine is a bright amber Albariño macerated with skins during the fermentation. The 2018 Crisopa, produced with grapes from the same vineyard as Soberrivas, has a completely different nose and a brighter and deeper color than any previous vintage. Perhaps the grapes were smaller and there might be more skins for the juice, and the wine underwent malolactic (at least partially). There are notes of apple liqueur, pollen and beeswax, and the palate is finely tannic. Here, the process overpowers the variety and place. It has lower acidity than most of the wines from the winery, but this is one of the finest examples of the type. It should develop nicely in bottle. 636 bottles were filled in August 2019.”
Importer note “Crisopa Branco Tradicional comes from the same parcel as “Soverribas” (Paraje Manzaniña) but is picked one day earlier to select the best bunches. After a wet and cool spring and summer, it turned dry and hot in August, with hand-harvesting on Sept. 10th through Oct. 6th. The grapes were foot-trodden in open plastic vats with 100% whole-clusters, and then skin-fermented for 20 days in a steel vat. After a vertical press the wine is racked into a used 500L French oak cask, where it rests for 11 months on the lees with battonage for first 3 months, before being bottled on Aug. 21st (fruit day) without clarification, filtration and only modest amounts of SO2. A fascinating and extremely textured Vinho Branco made in the style of the ancients!”
Chateau Vieux Moulin Vin Orange ‘Pulp’ 2020 750ML ($26.95) $21.90 special, 12 bottles in stock now
Importer note “100% skin contact Grenache gris. 100% destemmed. Maceration for one month in tank. Fermnetation under temperature control in steel vats. 100% malo. No filtration. No SO2 added.”
Ross & Bee Maloof ‘Beckenridge Vineyard’ Gewurztraminer Willamette Valley 2020 750ML ($34.95) $26 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Winery note “Own rooted, dry farmed, planted in 1976. Organic farming program, in 2nd ‘transition year’ for Organic certification through Oregon TILTH. Fermented until dry on the skins (16 days) in open top fermenters. Pressed off and moved into neutral burgundy barrels for 8 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Black tea, rose petals, and sea salt. Serve chilled or at cellar temp with bitter greens and alpine cheeses. Or with pizza, serve all our wines with pizza.”
Rare: The Crown Jewel of Piper-Heidsieck
The wine is crafted by an exclusive Chef de Cave named Régis Camus who, until 2018, was in charge of all of Piper-Heidsieck’s production. Under the direction of Camus, 8 times honored as the ‘Sparkling Winemaker of the Year’, there is nothing short of artistry at work here. Citing a commitment to “balancing fruit, minerality and freshness and to still be young in 20 years”
Rare is aged a minimum of 10 years prior to release, with most see even longer bottle age (2008 was just announced after over 13 years). Every vintage is given a title by Camus, meant to offer a “photograph” of the vintage and resulting Champagne. For the 2006 (in stock now), the word is “Sunny”, offering the promise of richness and great phenolic development.
If that’s not exclusive enough, we also carry their first ever Rare Rosé from the 2007 vintage. Described as “provocative” by Camus, the 2007 rosé stood alone until this week when Rare announced a 2008 release. Perfectly juxtaposed between subtlety and exuberance, it almost defies language with its unbridled expression.
In Stock Now:
Piper-Heidsieck Rare Brut Millésime, Champagne 2006 750ML ($179.95) $169 special, 13 bottles in stock now
Wine Spectator 96 points “Aromas and flavors of toasted brioche and grilled nut enrich the yellow plum, nectarine and grated ginger notes of this rich and creamy Champagne. Finely woven and beautifully integrated, with a firm backbone of mouthwatering acidity providing precise balance for the lush range of flavor. Drink now through 2029. 14,000 cases made, 1,800 cases imported.”
Also in Stock Now:
Piper-Heidsieck Prohibition Edition Brut, Champagne NV 750ML ($69.95) $49 special, 8 bottles in stock now
Winery note “To commemorate the 100th anniversary since the beginning of Prohibition, Piper-Heidsieck invites you to enjoy its Cuvée Brut with a ‘Roaring Twenties’ ambiance.”
Looking for epic Champagne? We have over 165 different options in stock. Shop the entire selection, including famous names like De Venoge, Georges Laval, Pol Roger and more, on our web store now.
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